Sarah Weinberg

The Kids Are Alright – Family Friendly Dining Options in San Diego

Monkey Paw Beer at Stone Liberty Station

San Diego restaurants offer a surprising number of exciting family friendly dining experiences from beaches to breweries.

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

Monkey Paw Beer at Stone Liberty Station

Outdoor recreation and an adventurous menu mix well at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Liberty Station.

Wait a minute, beer and kids? Yes! Both locations of Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens offer a dining destination, with an outstanding and challenging menu for adults featuring local meats and produce, and of course, local beers. They also have a kids menu that offers fresh veggies and their own house made soda (free of high-fructose corn syrup). You”ll find no frozen chicken fingers here. Kids can choose between chicken stir fry with noodles, carrots peas and broccoli; a cheese sandwich on freshly baked ciabatta bread and garlic mashed potatoes; chicken and cheese burrito with rice and beans on the side; or pasta in a cream sauce. Our family enjoys dining here because adults can enjoy a pint watching the kids play bocce ball at Liberty Station while we wait for the food to be served. Both locations offer outdoor gardens and paths and grassy lawns so older kids can wander and younger kids have somewhere to toddle (with escort) beyond the confines of a dining room.

Where: 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, CA 92029
> Find out more about Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Escondido

Where: 2816 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
> Find out more about Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station

Corvette Diner

Corvette Dinner

Pinky Tuscadero and friends welcome your kids to The Corvette Diner.

For pure kid-pleasing pleasure, Corvette Diner has it wired. This place is all about celebrating fun, and they have a huge menu with options for everyone, so even the pickiest eater can be accommodated. Those looking beyond the “diner” experience can find options like the “Popeye” spinach salad. Portions are huge (although there”s an extensive kids menu here too) and the food is fresh and tasty. The wait staff wear 1950s-era diner outfits and toss straws and bubble gum on to the table when they come to take your order. The space is large with many car and music themed rooms and best of all, an arcade! Kids can play pinball, video games and the like and win tickets for small prizes they select. No wonder it”s a birthday party favorite in San Diego.

Where: 2965 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
> Find out more about Corvette Diner

Waypoint Public

Waypoint Public - Family Friendly Dining

Waypoint is a neighborhood joint that offers family friendly dining and a hip after 8:00 PM crowd in search of local and rare beers.

You know kids are welcome when a restaurant builds out an area just for the little guys to play. At Waypoint Public located on 30th Street, a thoroughfare with a reputation for craft beer and culinary excellence in the neighborhood of North Park, families can reserve a table next to a kids “corral” to watch their tykes while dining. This kids” zone offers toys, bookshelves, blocks and bean bags in a little area toward the back of the restaurant carpeted with artificial grass and surrounded by a white picket fence.

While the kids menu includes favorites like cheeseburger and fries, mac “n” cheese, grilled cheese and little chicken dinner, the restaurant”s philosophy of fresh, local ingredients result in healthier options all around. The regular menu offers charred Spanish nbso online casino reviews octopus and duck cassoulet as well as an amazing burger. The 30 beers on tap and close to 100 bottles to choose from mean mommy and daddy will be happy too.

Where: 3794 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104
> Find out more about Waypoint Public

Station Tavern

Dining, family, burger, craft beer

Casual and fun, with a play area for the kids, Station Tavern in South Park is a must visit dining stop for families looking for great local experience.

Station Tavern, in the South Park neighborhood, is one of the most comfortable places for families to dine. It reminds me of a German beer garden with its indoor-outdoor picnic tables and quality beer and cocktail selection. The menu is simple with burgers, fries and tots, salads and a few other rotating items. “Station” as the locals call it, offers a place just for the kids as they crowd inside, and on top of, a mini trolley sitting within a fenced-off area in the outside dining space. A chalkboard and other sand toys offer youngsters distraction in this play zone. The restaurant sits on what was once a trolley track running through the neighborhood, thus the name.

Where: 2204 Fern Street, San Diego, CA 92104
> Find out more about Station Tavern

The Wave House at Belmont Park

Surfer - Wave House San Diego

Dine simulator-side at The Wave House at Belmont Park for a thrilling meal.

For a true escape from everyday dining, head to Mission Beach and get a table at Belmont Park”s Wave House. This entire area sits outside on the famed Mission Beach Boardwalk steps from the Pacific Ocean. The Wave House offers tropical palms, tiki style bars, a college crowd and also a sand pit for the kids to play in (including bean bag toss and giant chess board), all next to two giant wave rider simulators. My kids were fascinated watching beginning and expert surfers alike paddle in to the Wave House”s Flowbarrel and FlowRider wave simulators. No boredom at this restaurant! The menu is varied and extensive, featuring popular favorites from many cultures – taking into account the large tourist population that visits the area. While the kids dined on quesadillas and chicken satay, my husband and I enjoyed fresh sushi made to order and the real ocean views. The Wave House offers fun, action, great people watching and a dip in the ocean for dessert.

Where: 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109
> Find out more about Wave House San Diego

> Enjoy more family friendly dining in San Diego

Where do you like to take your kids to dine in San Diego?

Candice

La Jolla Restaurants with a View (and Great Food, Too)

While everyone loves a good view while they dine, many diners worry that restaurants with a great view may rest on their laurels when it comes to the food. Fortunately for foodies everywhere, these restaurants in the seaside neighborhood of La Jolla offer food that’s just as delicious as the coastal view is spectacular.

George’s at the Cove

George's at the Cove

The food is just as good as the view at George’s at the Cove

Overlooking scenic La Jolla Cove, George’s at the Cove features executive chef Trey Foshee’s creative regional cuisine in an atmosphere of modern elegance. Foshee’s cutting edge and ever-changing menu can be enjoyed in three of the restaurant’s settings: the first-story California Modern featuring an elegant dining room, the bistro-styled George’s Bar and the rooftop Ocean Terrace, spanning spectacular ocean views.

> Find out more about George’s at the Cove

The Marine Room

The Marine Room in La Jolla

The Marine Room is located right on the sand, offering incredible views

A local landmark since 1941, The Marine Room is nestled along the sand of La Jolla Shores. The changing tides and dramatic waves crashing against the restaurant’s windows provide the perfect backdrop for executive chef Bernard Guillas’ sophisticated dishes like maple smoked bison carpaccio, thyme-rubbed free range veal tenderloin and lemon verbena lobster tail. Chef Guillas was recently inducted into the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, becoming the only chef in San Diego to join the ranks of the 204 Master Chefs from around the world.

> Find out more about the Marine Room

The Shores Restaurant

The Shores restaurant La Jolla San Diego

The Shores in La Jolla has a great view with a casual atmosphere.

The sister restaurant of The Marine Room, The Shores Restaurant offers the same breathtaking views of La Jolla shores, but with a more casual atmosphere. Families will feel right at home in the dining room or on The Shores’ beach-side patio. The Shores offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and an easy-going happy hour, as well as weekend brunch.

> Find out more about The Shores Restaurant

Brockton Villa Restaurant

Brockton Villa Breakfast

Brockton Villa is best enjoyed at breakfast.

Overlooking La Jolla Cove, Brockton Villa has been serving award-winning breakfast, lunch and seasonal dinner for 20 years. Using local ingredients and seafood, the menu includes fresh takes on classic American cuisine. Not to be missed is Brockton Villa’s world-famous Coast Toast French toast, served throughout the day.

> Find out more about Brockton Villa Restaurant

> Explore more of San Diego’s La Jolla

Do you have a favorite seaside San Diego restaurant? Share it in the comments below.

Candice

5 Reasons to Try San Diego Restaurant Week this January

100 Wines Hillcrest San Diego Restaurant Week

Update: San Diego Restaurant Week has been extended for a second week! Sample your way at one of the 150 participating restaurants from January 26-31, 2014.

All the holiday feasting may have you thinking of fasting, but don’t start that New Year’s diet just yet! San Diego Restaurant Week is just around the corner. If you don’t yet have plans to enjoy San Diego Restaurant Week, January 19 – 24, 2014, here are the top 5 reasons why you should change your plans:

1. Healthy Options

Roppongi Sushi Bar - San Diego Restaurant Week

Sushi is healthy! Enjoy some at Roppongi during Restaurant Week.

While not everyone makes a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, many diners have healthier eating in mind in January. Fortunately, several San Diego Restaurant Week participating restaurants are known for their healthy-yet-delicious options. Try the Good Things Growing, an Indian corn pudding, at Indigo Grill or the seasonal fish entree at Roppongi Restaurant & Sushi Bar to discover that healthy food doesn’t have to be boring.

2. Dining Around the Globe

San Diego is a cultural melting pot, especially when it comes to restaurants. Start the week with dinner at Nobu for Japanese fare, try an Italian favorite at BICE Ristorante, and round out the week with lunch at Taste of Thai. Your taste buds will have traveled the world in one week.

3. New Venues for San Diego Restaurant Week

Croce's Park West celebrates its Grand Opening during Restaurant Week.

Croce’s Park West celebrates its Grand Opening during Restaurant Week.

Whether it’s the brand new SEA180º Coastal Tavern or the recently updated Market Restaurant + Bar, each San Diego Restaurant Week gives diners a chance to try new venues. Check out the grand opening Croce’s Park West, a new spot by the owners of the original Croce’s restaurant downtown, which closed in 2013.

4. California Restaurant Month

San Diego’s January Restaurant Week is part of a month-long celebration of California dining. Thanks to California Restaurant Month, travelers up and down the state can sample cuisine from more than 30 California destinations. So enjoy a January road trip, and be sure to stop in San Diego between January 19-24!

5. Great Deals

100 Wines Hillcrest San Diego Restaurant Week

Cheers to great deals!

Of course, the best reason to dine during San Diego Restaurant Week is to take advantage of the great deals. With three-course meals at some of San Diego’s finest restaurants starting at $25, Restaurant Week can help you recover from all that holiday spending.

Are you planning on dining in San Diego during Restaurant Week? Let us know in the comments below.

Bruce Glassman

Beer-Centric Bites: 5 Great Craft Beer Restaurants in San Diego

Let’s face it, touring San Diego’s many craft beer offerings is hard work. All that standing at bar counters, lifting your arms up and down as you sip…it’s not difficult to work up an appetite. Fortunately, San Diego is not only home to more than 70 great craft breweries, it’s also home to dozens of great beer-centric restaurants, bistros, and pubs.

Here is just a smattering of some great craft beer restaurants in San Diego (starting in North County and moving south):

Churchill’s Pub & Grille (887 W San Marcos Blvd.)

churchills stout braised pot roast san diego craft beer restaurants

The pot roast at Churchill’s is stout-braised, of course. (Photo ©Mike Pawlenty/Chefs Press)

This popular spot boasts one of San Diego’s best selections of craft beers on tap and a great menu of beer-friendly and beer-inspired food to go along with it. More creative than simple “pub comfort food,” the kitchen offers a wide variety of apps, soups, salads, burgers, and craft-centric entrees, including a Spicy IPA Burger, Cottage Pie made with brown ale, Imperial Stout Pot Roast, and a Grilled Salmon topped with a sour ale beer blanc sauce.

URGE Gastropub (16761 Bernardo Center Dr.)

urge beer battered mac n cheese san diego craft beer restaurants

Craft beer mac n’ cheese at URGE (Photo ©Mike Pawlenty/Chefs Press)

With 51 craft beers on tap (mostly from San Diego) and more than 100 bottles to choose from, URGE’s food offerings are unabashedly beer-inspired. Brew-infused, hearty pub fare makes up the core of the menu (Beer Cheese Fries and Beer-Battered Mac and Cheese!), with many dishes that include more interesting elements, such as wild boar and rabbit, and burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers that come with a variety of craft beer dipping sauces (Sculpin mustard, Ur-Bock Aioli, and Sour Cherry Ale BBQ sauce to name a few). For the light of heart, there are numerous salad options, including a goat cheese salad topped with a Wit Beer Vinaigrette and a wedge salad topped with a Barbar Honey Ale Blue Cheese dressing.

Local Habit (3827 Fifth Ave.)

local habit cali belgique braised pork san diego craft beer restaurants

Pork braised in Stone Brewing Co’s Cali Belgique at Local Habit (Photo ©Mike Pawlenty/Chefs Press)

This Hillcrest restaurant is a bit of a hybrid: it combines the casual, comfortable aspects of a pub setting with a more elevated take on salads, small plates, and sandwiches. An excellent selection of local brews on tap, along with great non-local craft selections, make it easy to pair the creative but comforting fare with great beer. A regular lineup of special beer-and-food pairing menus and brewmaster dinners means that, whenever you go, chances are good some special beer-inspired food awaits.

Ballast Point Little Italy (2215 India St.)

ballast point brewery tasting room and kitchen san diego

Ballast Point’s new Little Italy Tasting Room & Kitchen

Fans of this brewery’s great beers are already flocking to Little Italy’s newest tasting room and kitchen for a taste of Ballast Point’s new food menu. In addition to an impressive selection of Ballast beers on tap, the menu offers numerous beer-infused choices that include everything from beer-battered onion rings to house-made pretzels with beer cheese and beer mustard, to a grilled chicken sandwich with beer vinaigrette. And note to garlic lovers: don’t pass up the beer-steamed mussels with ginger.

Stone World Bistro & Gardens Liberty Station (2816 Historic Decatur Rd #116, San Diego)

stone brewing co. world bistro and gardens liberty station san diego

Stone Brewing Co.’s new World Bistro & Gardens at Liberty Station

Opened this past summer, Stone’s impressive new dining site on Point Loma rivals its Escondido sibling in every way. Beautifully designed, with numerous indoor and outdoor dining and drinking options, Stone offers an extensive draft and bottle list along with a varied menu that highlights organic, local, and farm fresh ingredients (Stone’s own organic farm supplies many of the bistro’s products). For beer-centric bites, a few of the options include Arrogant Bastard brined pork chops, Cheddar, Garlic, and Stone Ruination IPA Soup, and the super popular BBQ Duck Tacos dressed with Stone Levitation BBQ sauce.

Enjoy!

bruce glassman author of san diego brewery guideBruce Glassman is the author or numerous books on San Diego craft beer, including the award-winning San Diego’s Top Brewers. His San Diego Brewery Guide, which offers essential information on each brewery, tasting notes, and touring maps, is available at www.georgianbaybooks.com.

Robert Arends

Quick Guide to the 2013 San Diego Pride!

Walking under Hillcrest SignLet your rainbow colors fly! San Diego Pride is coming up this weekend, July 12-14. The glittery glamorous spotlight shines on Hillcrest, San Diego’s hip uptown neighborhood, during one of our city’s biggest summer events. Following is a quick guide to the big annual LGBT celebration.

Three Must-See San Diego Pride Events…

Dancers at Pride of Hillcrest Block Party!

Dancers at Pride of Hillcrest Block Party!

First, here’s the 411 on the big three must-see San Diego Pride events:

  • 2nd annual Pride of Hillcrest Block Party on July 12, 6-11pm, on Normal St.; starring former Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta.
  • 39th Annual Pride Parade on July 13, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, down University Ave. Grand Marshalls are George Takei (of Star Trek fame!), his partner Brad and La Toya Jackson (really!)
  • Pride Festival, July 13-14, in beautiful Balboa Park, featuring eight dance/entertainment stages, including Ms. Jackson in concert.

Sip…

Good times on tap at Urban Mo's!

Good times on tap at Urban Mo’s!

So many bars, so little time! Let’s narrow down the list a bit to these Top 10 tried and true hotspots:

  1. Baby Cakes – cocktails and cupcakes, sweet! Fab for people watching from the patio.
  2. Bourbon Street – a classy touch of N’Orleans in neighboring University Heights
  3. Brass Rail – the official Pride Parade After Party, and no cover!
  4. Flicks – Hillcrest’s #1 video bar.
  5. Gossip Grill – caters to the ladies (gents welcome too)
  6. Hillcrest Brewing Company – toast San Diego’s hop-pening craft beer scene and the world’s 1st LGBT brewery!
  7. Martinis Above Fourth – swanky digs and best martinis in town!
  8. Number One Fifth Avenue – friendly neighborhood bar with patio out back to mix & mingle
  9. Pecs – Bears, oh my! Good times on tap all weekend.
  10. Urban Mos – dance floor, 3 bars, packed patio and great food…yes please!

Sup…

There are dozens of great restaurants in and around Hillcrest. Standouts include the new Great Maple, Project Pie (best pizzas!), D Bar and Snooze. Other favs: Baja Betty’s (muy bueno Mexican food), The Tractor Room, Yakitori Izakaya Tec Chan (for yummy late-night Japanese apps), Cucina Urbana and Café on Park (popular brunch spot!).

Sleep…

The coolest, closest gay-friendly hotel is Inn at the Park, just two blocks from Hillcrest and the Pride Festival. Their rooftop happy hour on Friday is off the charts!

PAR-TAY!

Go wild at the San Diego Zoo Party!

Go wild at the San Diego Zoo Party!

Groovestars unite at Rich’s nightclub for high NRG music and dancing till 2am. For you circuit boys and gals, four Pride Parties are sure to perk you up (get tickets here or at the door):

  • Pride Ball – July 12, 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM at Spin Night Club
  • Circuit Daze – July 13, 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park
  • The famous [for some, infamous ;-)] Zoo Party – July 14, 4:00 to 11:00 PM at the San Diego Zoo
  • Fete Accompli – July 14, 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM at the House of Blues downtown

P.S. While you’re here, work on that coppertone tan at Coronado Beach, one of “America’s Manliest Beaches,” according to The Travel Channel.

Candice

San Diego Restaurant Week 2013 Preview

Was your New Year’s resolution to start feeding that piggy bank? If you’re like me, you want to save money without feeling like you’re missing out on the good things in life, like fine dining. January is always a great time of year for money-saving travel to San Diego, when hotel rates and airfares have dropped from their peak holiday prices. And thanks to San Diego Restaurant Week, you really can live the good life in San Diego without breaking the bank.

From January 13 – 18, 2013, diners can enjoy a six-day exploration of the region’s exciting dining scene for a fraction of the normal expense.  More than 180 participation restaurants will offer special three-course, prix fixe dinner menus for just $20, $30 or $40 per person (beverages, tax and gratuity not included) and two-course, prix-fixe lunch menus for just $10, $15 or $20 per person. Here’s a sneak peek at some notable menus:

100 Wines Hillcrest

100 Wines Hillcrest San Diego Restaurant Week

100 Wines Hillcrest

100 Wines Hillcrest will be serving up their signature crispy cauliflower with pancetta, parmesan cheese and a balsamic port reduction. Follow that up with a proscuitto pizza creatively topped with house made mozzarella and green grapes.

Gaijin Noodle + Sake House

Gaijin Noodle and Sake House San Diego Restaurant Week

Ramen at Gaijin Noodle + Sake House

Gaijin Noodle + Sake House in downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter offers one of the tastiest deals with a starter, two yakitori skewers, half bowl of ramen and dessert (like their bacon s’more) all for only $20.

Terra American Bistro

Terra American Bistro San Diego Restaurant Week

Pumpkin soup and lamb at Terra American Bistro (Photo by Paul Body as it appears in “From Terra’s Table,” Chefs Press, 2010)

For diners who want maximum menu options, Terra American Bistro in La Mesa has you covered with more than 10 appetizer options and seven entrée options, including their Karl Strauss Amber Lager braised pot roast and sinful lobster mac ‘n cheese.

California Restaurant Month

San Diego Restaurant Week is part of California Restaurant Month, occurring January 2013, when 30 destinations across California are hosting restaurant week events.  Details are available online at www.visitcalifornia.com/restaurantmonth.

What restaurants are you excited to try out during Restaurant Week?

Candice

Restaurant Week Meets National Cheeseburger Day

What do you get when you combine San Diego Restaurant Week, a 6-day celebration of dining deals, with National Cheeseburger Day? One great excuse to go out and enjoy a burger in San Diego!

Try a cheeseburger at one of these participating Restaurant Week venues and savor the savings along with your entrée:

Davanti Enoteca

Cheeseburger at Davanti Enoteca in San Diego's Little Italy

Davanti Enoteca’s top-notch burger (photo by Erin Jackson).

It may be an Italian restaurant, but Davanti Enoteca serves up a mean cheeseburger. Just ask San Diego food blogger Erin Jackson. Plus, Davanti Enoteca was recently named one of the top 50 best new restaurants by Bon Appetit magazine.

Bunz Burger Joint

An All-American Classic at Bunz

You may have read about Bunz previously on this blog, and for good reason. During Restaurant Week, you can choose from 5 different burger options paired with a drink and an overflowing bucket of fries or onion rings for just $10.

Slater’s 50/50

Slater's 50/50 Cheeseburger in San Diego

The Flamin’ Hot cheeseburger at Slater’s 50/50

If you like options, you’ll love the Restaurant Week deal at Slater’s 50/50. Diners can enjoy a burger, appetizer and drinks for just $10; and you can choose from any of their 10 decadent burger options featuring toppings that range from peanut butter to asparagus spears.

Where will you satisfy your craving on National Cheeseburger Day?

Benjamin Eastman

Late Night Eats in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter

It is the eternal question of the late night party crowd – “where are we eating?” You’re rolling out of a bar or nightclub at 1:00 AM and have worked up an appetite dancing. It’s late but nobody wants fast food. And while I am a diehard fan of the 24-hour taco shop, I recognize that this is not everyone’s preference, so here are a few suggestions for your late night eats:

Maryjane’s

For those who want to rock out while they snack out, Maryjane’s in the Hard Rock Hotel offers a variety of diner-style food options until 3:00 AM on Friday and Saturday nights. Whether you’re partial to late night breakfast foods or go for such classic late night eats as chicken wings or chili cheese fries – you’ll be eating like a Rock Star at Maryjane’s.

Gaijin Noodle House

Drunken Noodles at Gaijin Noodle House

Gaijin Noodle House – which is open until 1:00 AM most nights – actually stays open until 3:00 AM on Friday and Saturday nights! What better food to chow down on after a long night of drinking and shenanigans than a bowl of ramen noodles, some yakitori skewers or (if you’re not quite done drinking yet) a Kakigori cocktail!

Bolillo Tortas

Chow Down on a Great Late Nite Snack at Bolillo Tortas

If you’re craving something a little more south of the border, Bolillo Tortas is also open until 3:00 AM Thursday – Saturday nights. Their menu of healthier Mexican options includes some great soups, salads and tortas (Mexican sandwiches) with flavors that will not disappoint!

So while I know the lure of 4th Meal is calling, try to avoid the drive thru and check out one of these delicious late night spots!

Brent Bernasconi

Calling All Kids – Let the Kidvasion of San Diego Begin!

Get ready for the ultimate family vacation! During the entire month of October, kids eat, stay and play for free throughout San Diego. Take advantage of great deals at over 100 participating partners including Amtrak, world-class attractions, museums, hotels, restaurants, surf companies, tour companies and more.

> Find Over a Hundred Kids Free Offers in San Diego This October

Candice

5 of San Diego’s Top Tots: Best Restaurants for Tater Tots

Maybe it’s the crispy crunch of the golden brown crust. Maybe it’s the warm, fluffy comfort of the soft potato interior. Or maybe it’s that each bite transports you back to a simpler time, when Saturday morning cartoons and the contents of your lunchbox were the only troubles that weighed on your mind. Whatever the reason, the appeal of the charmingly nostalgic tater tot can’t be denied.

Satisfy your inner schoolboy (or girl!) with tasty tots from one of these top 5 San Diego spots (in no particular order):

1. Bub’s at the Ball Park

What’s more All American than a baseball game and a side of tots? Top off a Padres game at PETCO Park with an order of their Lunch Lady Tater Tots, which can be made with sweet potatoes for a twist on the classic tot, or go all in with the Ballpark Tots, topped with chili, cheese, onions and sliced hot dogs.

2. R Gang Eatery

This comfort food haven has taken the tot to the next level. You’ll find everything from the traditional tot to ones flavored with pickles, jalapeno and cilantro, blue cheese and bacon, or a side of foie gras crème for dipping.

3. Currant Brasserie

If you like your tots served in elegant bistro ambiance, try Currant American Brasserie located in the Sofia Hotel. Nothing says indulgence like enjoying some garlic and chive tater tots dipped in habanero ketchup or chive buttermilk ranch under the glow of their sparking chandeliers.

4. Eat at Recess

Trends collide when tater tots meet the food truck. With a menu featuring childhood favorites like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and grilled cheese, tater tots are a natural fit. Go for the original, or try some topped with cheddar cheese or truffle oil and feta. Their “Tatchos” come layered with grass–fed beef, jalapeños, cheddar cheese and Recess signature sauce.

5. Station Tavern

In a sea of venues trying to out-top each other’s tots, Station Tavern in South Park is a refuge for the tot purist. Their tater tots come served just one way, golden brown and deliciously crispy, seasoned just right with some salt and pepper, and as simple and wonderful as those Saturday morning cartoons.

> Find more delectable San Diego restaurants

Do you have a favorite San Diego tot spot? Share it below!