Brent Bernasconi

San Diego Restaurant Week Returns September 15-20

San Diego Restaurant Week - September 2013

San Diego Restaurant Week - September 2013

With hundreds of amazing restaurants throughout San Diego county, it can be hard to pick which one to try when lunch or dinner rolls around. This September, the California Restaurant Association San Diego County wants to help make that decision a little easier with a week of delicious prix-fixe lunches and dinners at many of San Diego’s award winning restaurants.

San Diego Restaurant Week

More than 180 San Diego restaurants will invite diners to indulge in three-courses prepared special for this occasion only at discounted prices with prix-fixe lunches priced at $10, $15, and $20 and three-course prix-fixe dinners are $20, $30, or $40. No tickets necessary for this event, just make reservations for any of the participating locations, show up, choose from their prix-fixe menu and let your taste buds enjoy!

When: September 15-20, 2013
> Find out more about San Diego Restaurant Week


#SDRWTaste2013 is an exclusive first look at what San Diego Restaurant Week September has to offer with over 40 of San Diego Restaurant Week’s best restaurants will be serving up samples of house specialties that will delight your taste buds! Each food sample will be paired with a unique beverage to enhance the flavors of each dish you sample.

Where: Broadway Pier, San Diego, CA 92101
When: September 12, 2013
Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: $60
> Find out more about #SDRWTASTE2013

> Explore more of San Diego’s delectable dining options

Which restaurant are you excited to try during this September’s San Diego Restaurant Week?


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

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


Tips for Frugal San Diego County Fair Fans

Ride This for Less

The San Diego County Fair opens June 10 and runs through July 4. (Closed the first three Mondays.) General adult admission costs $13 and those 62 and older pay $7 – but deals abound.

  • For super fans, the Best Pass Ever can’t be beat. It includes daily admission – all 22 days of the fair – for just $22. You’ll need a school or government-issued photo ID to use the pass.
  • Tuesdays are the magic day for kids 12 and younger. They get in free. (Admission for kids 6-12 usually costs $7.)
  • Can’t make it on a Tuesday? Youngsters up to age 12 can get in free ANY day if they read 10 books and have it verified by their teacher or librarian. The Certificate you’ll need to get signed can be downloaded in English or Spanish. (Kids 5 and younger get in free everyday.)
  • Been on unemployment during the past year? Get free admission for you and a friend on June 21 and 28. Just go to the Will Call window near the O’Brien gate with a recent unemployment check stub and a photo ID. The same deal is available to Golden State Advantage (public assistance) cardholders.
  • Adults can get $3 admission on Tuesday, June 14. You’ll need a ticket available now with any $5 purchase at Albertsons stores. Albertsons also offers $11 adult admission tickets – $2 off the regular price, valid any day. (Remember to get these tickets in advance; none will be available at the fair.)
  • Additionally there are discounted tickets available on military bases for those with appropriate ID.
  • Once you’re inside, there are tons of free things to enjoy – including concerts by big name artists. Get free unreserved seats at performances by Pat Benatar, Randy Travis, Switchfoot, the Doobie Brothers, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Foghat, Uriah Heep, Joan Jett, Neon Trees, The Beach Boys, Grand Funk Railroad, REO Speedwagon, Big Time Rush, La Arrolladora Banda El Limón, Larry Hernandez and Espinoza Paz.
  • Love the rides? Wednesdays and Thursdays are Pepsi Pay-One-Price days. For $30, fairgoers can buy a wristband that allows unlimited access to Fun Zone and Kiddieland rides from noon until 8:00 pm. The deal is available on certain other days – but to get it, you’ll have to check availability, then buy and print out your Pay-One-Price voucher online. (There’s a $2.50 fee for online purchases.)
  • Food? On Tuesdays more than 100 food vendors participate in Taste of the Fair, offering smaller portions for $2. Save even more by bringing your own picnic to the fair; there are six designated picnic areas. (No alcohol, glass containers or metal knives and forks allowed.)
  • Ticketmaster is selling a variety of Fair Value Packs online. The best deal must be purchased before opening day. Pay $51 for four adult admission tickets, a parking pass, four drink coupons (valid with food purchase at participating vendors) and 50 ride tickets; it’s a $93 value. (Starting opening day, the package drops the parking pass.)
  • The Passport to Savings booklet is available at the fair for $5. It includes coupons valued at more than $10,000, ranging from a return ticket to the fair to discounts on food and rides.
  • Parking a car at the fair costs $10; it’s $15 for preferred parking. But there’s free parking at Horsepark, just to the east of the fairgrounds; a free shuttle will get you to the front gate. On weekends there’s additional free parking (with shuttle service) at Torrey Pines High and Mira Costa College’s San Elijo campus.