San Diego Eats and Treats

I just got back from San Diego and I’m not functioning well. I just need my own bed, my own food, and less PMS. Then my life would be complete. But at least I’m back with my best friend, meaning my dog, Jackson. I missed the sh*t out of him.

So I ate a f*ck ton in San Diego. Really, too much. But I guess that’s what you do on work trips/vacations. I decided to not workout at all, just to give my body a complete break and be able to rebuild a little bit, so I was actually really pumped to get back in the gym when I got home. My workout proved what my diet had been like the past few days, but at least I got in the gym for something on a Sunday.

Anywho, when I got to San Diego, I asked everyone on instagram where were the best places to eat. Well, there were over 300 comments about restaurants. Someone told me to go to ‘On the Border’. What? Are you high? Have you been to that place? Weird. But there were a ton of great recommendations. Even though I obviously didn’t try all of them, here are some great ones I’ve heard of before for any of you who plan to visit San Diego, as well as all the places I tried!

  • The Flying Pig
  • Prepkitchen
  • Hodad’s
  • Cowboy Star
  • Not So Fast Paleo Food Truck
  • Candelas on the Bay
  • Point Loma’s Seafood
  • Great Maple (for brunch)
  • Buona Forchetta (gf pizza)
  • Bo-Beau
  • Cucina Urbana
  • Cafe 21
  • Underbelly

Now let’s talk about the places I tried! When I got to San Diego, I was too lazy to go anywhere right away, so I ordered room service. Terrible idea. I was obviously instantly disappointed, so I showered up then headed out solo to Carnitas Snack Shack. It had popped up on my yelp recommendations and had a ton of good reviews, and then a ton of people recommended it on my instagram. So I grabbed a cab over and was surprised that the “restaurant” was actually really like a snack shack. It was a little shack that you ordered at the window then took your food to go or went around the corner to sit down and wait for your food. They also had another shack in the back that you could order beer or wine at. Since I was starving, I ordered some wine, chips and salsa, then two pork tacos.


Their guacamole was awesome and they had this really good jicama and corn slaw on the side of the tacos that were awesome, but I kind of felt whatever about the tacos. I’m a big taco person. We have tacos at least once a week at home in Denver, but these were just kind of meh. I just wanted a little more pop of flavor like salt or spice or something. It was still good and really big portion for tacos, but I was crazy impressed like so many other people. Still worth going to because the ambiance was really fun. And I’m guessing their smothered fries are pretty awesome. I mean come, they’re smothered fries.

The next day I was lucky enough to get to go to Pete’s Paleo kitchen, cook and hang out with him, then I got to try his bacon. It’s f*cking awesome. Like, seriously, awesome. You have to try it. Then we headed out around the bay and I thankfully found a gluten free cupcake at Frost Me Cupcakes to eat later that night. I’m a weirdo and like eating dessert by myself in my hotel room, in bed, while watching MTV. Judge me. Do it. Before I ate my cupcake in bed, I ate dinner at Comun Kitchen and Tavern, but I sadly felt whatever about it. I order a carnitas tostada and the steamed halibut and both weren’t super flavorful. I think I should have tried something else, but the tomato salad was AWESOME and I hate salads, so that says something. So I’m glad I had my cupcake to end the night with. And I saw Chris Humphreys (Kim Kardashian’s ex husband) right by the restaurant because they were at a gym that was above the restaurant. He’s gigantic.


The next morning I started my day off at the Little Italy Farmer’s Market. This farmer’s market is AWESOME. It’s like 3 blocks long with gluten free stands, paleo products, jewelry, artwork, produce, meat, really whatever you want. I didn’t end up getting anything because I needed cash, and had none, but I did get a mocha while I was in Little Italy. It was sweet and made up for the fact that I didn’t get a molten lava cake at the gluten free bakery stand.

I’m also glad I held back because my friend Vanessa from Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind, Stacy, and I all started the day off with brunch at Barleymash. A bunch of people recommended this place in gas lamp, so I just had to try it! They have a mimosa bar AND a bloody mary bar. We decided to do the mimosa bar, where I made a pomegranate peach mimosa then pretty much just drank champagne straight from the bottle. We had the ALL IN hash that had pork belly confit, short ribs, pulled pork, beer cheese sauce and potatoes with an egg on top. I was so stupid full. But it was totally worth it.


THEN Vanessa pulled out her newest cookies she just made. If you haven’t heard already, Vanessa is writing her first cookbook and it’s going to be crazy insane awesome. I’ve been lucky enough to try a ton of different of recipes from her book and they are FANTASTIC. On Saturday, she brought us s’mores cookies. Dead. They are LITERALLY the best thing I’ve ever eat. Or at least up there. I took like a billion pictures of them.


IMG_9093 IMG_9095

After brunch, we went shopping. Don’t you worry, I’ll share all of my fun finds on Friday! Once we shopped, we needed a cocktail obviously. So we went to Craft and Commerce for a cocktail and and some Devils on Horseback (bacon wrapped dates) and some gin drinks. I don’t remember what it was, but I know it wasn’t strong enough. Still delicious but come on people. Poor in the gin.


We changed and headed out to dinner. At this point, I was still pretty full from sugar the entire day. But you gotta do what ya gotta do when you’re visiting girlfriends you barely get to see. We decided we wanted to have Searsucker for dinner because even though I thought I had eaten there before, I never had. And I wanted to actually see what it was all about. And it was AWESOME. I didn’t want to stop eating. We had duck fat fries, then farm bird lollipops, then artichoke hearts + gruyere + tomato, and jalapeno-chorizo “corn off the cobb”. AND THEN, we had brown butter cake and double irish whiskey sundae. It was stupid awesome. I just wanted to stay there for hours and never stop.


Last but not least, we had cocktails at Noble Experiment. It’s a speak easy in the back of the restaurant Neighborhood. You don’t really know where it is when you go into the restaurant. You just wander back through the super small restaurant back to the small area where the bathrooms are and if you’re lucky, someone pushes open the wall of kegs so you actually know where the speak easy is. Or at least that’s how it was for us. Thankfully Vanessa made reservations so we got in and had FANTASTIC cocktails. At this point, sugar was the last thing I need, but when in Rome. I had some gin concoction that was magical. Check out how sweet the ceiling was. And the walls were lined with skulls. So hip.



Do you have any favorite places to eat or drink in San Diego?? Share in the comments below so readers can visit those places too!

Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


35 thoughts on “San Diego Eats and Treats”

  1. That food looks terrible for you. Thank God I don’t get to San Diego and eat at awesome restaurants, and try delicious food someone else cooked for me.

    I get to stay home, and eat all the boring stuff I always eat and have to cook myself.

    Guess the jokes on you, Juli.

    1. I’ve read this comment multiple times and it still doesn’t make much sense to me. I think this takes the cake for oddest comment I’ve ever received on my blog.

      1. The joke really isn’t on you, Julie. The jokes on me. I couldn’t care less if that food is bad for you. It looks awesome, and I like reading about good food. I’m sorry if that silliness didn’t translate well.

        I’ll totally take the oddest comment award though. I don’t win a lot of awards. Again. Kidding.

  2. Girl, I friggin love you. You work hard, you play hard, no apologies needed. Now I am itching to go back to San Diego to try some of this stuff!

  3. I always eat dessert when I’m cozied up at home! High fives to you 🙂 I totally don’t judge but commend you!

  4. I love reading your blogs….too cute!
    So want the s’mores recipe too!! Never been to San Diego to offer up some recommendations, but looks like you had a blast!

  5. Sounds like you were able to hit some of our best restaurants!! Next time you’re in SD, you gotta try Raglans in Ocean Beach…. BOMB lamb burgers with fried eggs on top

  6. omg that egg and meat concoction looks fucking unbelievable. i can only imagine what that tastes like. i’m gonna have to make that at home somehow or just fly to san diego. short ribs, pulled pork, and pork belly are like my favorite foods on the planet.

  7. I was laughing so hard when I saw that On the Border comment someone left on your Instagram! What the what?! LOL I eat my gluten free cupcakes alone in my bed watching tv too, but it’s usually Bravo. Now if I would only work out like you do…

  8. Cafe 4140 is San Diego’s best kept secret! Everything is beyond amazing. Reading this post made me really miss San Diego!

  9. Snack Shack is so great, but I agree about the tacos. They’re missing flavor! Next time try the pork belly appetizer or their Snack Shack burger. That burger will change you.

  10. I am totally WITH YOU on eating desserts by myself at home…it let’s me give my full attention to it and fully savor it. Plus, you don’t have to share 🙂 Aside from my begging dog, no distractions! 🙂

  11. My husband and I lived in San Diego for four years and never even heard of the places you mentioned (although we did eat at several of the ones on the list earlier in the post). I feel like we missed out! For totally overboard food, Hash House A-Go-Go is amazing. We had several other places we liked in downtown, but we so rarely braved the parking nightmare that I don’t think we went anywhere more than once!

  12. My kids and I went earlier this summer and we ate 3 times at this place called The Trails Eatery. They have gluten free cinnamon roll pancakes. Not pale, but at least they are gf. Amazing out of this world good!!

  13. So glad you had fun in SD!!! You know those food trucks that drive around? Well there is a paleo truck!!! Their food is pretty damn good when you can find them near you. Also love Slaters 50/50. 50% ground bacon and 50% beef. Made your way and name it. And they serve sweet potatoe fries. Oh and the bacon brownie is to die for. I also agree with previous post for Hash House. oMG huge plates.

  14. I’ll be at Pacific Beach in a couple of weeks… Did you happen to visit any restaurant that serves Bulletproof Coffee ( MCT Oil and Kerry Gold… the whole schmear! )

  15. If you get a chance, I saw you mentioned it, Cowboy Star has amazing food. The filet is wonderful and the bread pudding (yes I know, big no no) is to die for. The pan roasted salmon is great and the Charcuterie Plate is hard to pass up. The wines are lovely and the drinks… they dont skimp on the alcohol. Next time your in town let me know, my treat, I’m looking for an excuse go again

  16. Love your blog and lover the stuff you talk about always:) I can’t wait to check some of these out when I am in San Diego next week. Any good shops that you went in too and suggest?

  17. I like finding new paleo recipes and some of the discussion with other members about what’s working for them, but what I don’t like it the seemingly constant use of the f – word and other inappropriate swear words.

    Such a turn off to follow this blog.

  18. I had a friend swear by the carnita tacos at the Carnita Shack as well, I thought it was really bland. I did try their steak sandwich, and it was soooo good!

  19. Why did I not follow you back in 2014 so I could warn you about the snack shack tacos?! If only I could go back in time. Ha. I will watching out for next time so I can write you my list of 100,000 places to eat and drink in San Diego.

  20. Tasha, I’m heading to San Diego and looking for good places to eat. If you see this can you share some of your top choices for paleo and, hopefully, gluten free? Thanks

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