Five Best Places to Dine in Downtown San Diego

Being a native San Diegan, I could go on and on about this city and all the amazing things to do here.
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The Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego was not always as energetic and electric as it is now, nor was it the home to so many amazing restaurants as it is now.  In 1985, the morphing of our city’s downtown area began with the erection of Horton Plaza, the funky Westfield Shopping center. Then in 2004, when Petco Park was built, the downtown area exploded again as the East Village began to develop. Now, the San Diego downtown area, all the way from the harbor to the east village is hoppin’ at almost any time of the day, week or year.

Here are my picks for the five best places to grab a bite in downtown San Diego (though it was hard to narrow down to five!).

1)   Dobson’s – This hard to find little treasure boasts a mussel bisque that is absolutely to die for and sourdough bread that will push you off the edge, if the bisque didn’t do it first. It’s perfect for a quick bite before the theater if you’re catching a show at the San Diego Rep or Spreckles, or a business lunch during the day. I learned about it from my dad, before he passed away, because it used to be his favorite business lunch spot.

2)   Tin Fish – San Diego is pretty much the home to the best fish tacos in the world, and besides the lobster tacos at South Beach Bar and Grill in Ocean Beach, Tin Fish has the best of the best. Located at the end of 5th Avenue in the Gaslamp, right next to Petco Park, this place is MUST visit while in San Diego. Their criss cut French fries are pretty awesome too.

3)   Red Pearl Lounge – If I am ever headed downtown with a group of four or more I always suggest Red Pearl Lounge. The Asian Fusion cuisine is delicious and different, and the ambiance is funky and fun. You can order family style so it’s perfect for big groups. I took a big group of women there before BlogHer ’11 last year and it was a perfect way to start of the weekend.

4)   Basic – For a casual, basic dining, before or after a Padre Game or before or after your night on the town in the Gaslamp, grab a bar stool and a pizza pie at Bar Basic and watch the people walk by. You’ll love the vibe of this industrial style venue.

  1. Analog – This is where I spent my 40th birthday and I will tell you, you can’t go wrong with this place. Check out my post on 5 reasons your next event should be there. Try their lobster corn dogs or their sliders. Oh, and their blood orange lemon drops. And did I mention theyhave an old school Pac Man game and LIVE BAND KARAOKE? This is a photo of what live band karaoke looks like at a 40th birthday party.
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Honorable mentions go to Rama, a perfect date night destination, and Cafe Sevilla for amazing Spanish food and flamenco music.

What are your favorite spots in downtown San Diego?

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