Suzzanne

Dining in North County Coastal San Diego

Discover San Diego’s neighborhoods with our Summer Sweepstakes. Join us every week as we showcase the best in what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in some of San Diego’s unique neighborhoods. Be sure to check back for exciting insider tips, giveaways, and more! This week’s spotlight is on North County Coastal.

From pizza and brew to San Diego’s only 5-star restaurant, there is something for everyone in North County. Here’s our top 5 spots in the North County Coastal.

1. Pizza Port: A true pizza joint located a few blocks from the beach is Pizza Port. Visitors will find homemade pizza and home-brewed ale. With two locations in North County, Solana Beach and Carlsbad, it’s the perfect place to take the kids after a long day hanging on the beach.

2. Wine Steals-Cardiff: With over 40 rotating by-the-glass wines and more than 250 bottles, this is a great place to sip some wine and enjoy the ocean breeze. The stone and wine barrel bar is the centerpiece while stone arches and dark weathered wood add the old world charm reminiscent of Tuscany. There are ample leather couches and coffee tables to add to the comfort and with $5 tastings on Wednesdays, you can comfortably enjoy your wine into the night.


3. Addison: Inside the Grand Del Mar, you will find San Diego’s only 5-star restaurant. The Grand Del Mar’s signature restaurant features Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef William Bradley’s artisanal approach to cooking, combining local ingredients with contemporary French influences. A seasonal menu offers an inspired evening of culinary expertise.

4. Fidels Little Mexico: With some of the best chips and salsa in San Diego, this is a great spot to try authentic Mexican food. The restaurant and cocktail lounge features a taco bar, strolling Mariachis (Thurs-Sunday only) and two heated outdoor patios.

5. Solace and the Moonlight Lounge: Okay, so this hasn’t opened yet, but will be shortly. If you’ve been to Urban Solace in North Park, then you’ll understand why it’s already on the list. The original location features new american comfort food and a fantastic selection of West Coast wines and handcrafted beer.

Discover North County Coastal for yourself with our “Enjoy the Grand Life in San Diego’s North County” sweepstakes. Unwind during a two-night stay at The Grand Del Mar, one of San Diego’s most exclusive luxury resorts. Discover the dramatic North County coastline by air on “The Unforgettable” scenic helicopter ride for two from Corporate Helicopters of San Diego.

Suzzanne

5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

Sicilian Festa in Little Italy

1. 18th Annual Sicilian Festival: The music, dance, culture and cuisine of Sicily come to the streets of downtown San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood with four performance stages, a parade of costumed dancers, musicians and more, and best of all, it’s free! www.sicilianfesta.com

2. Old Globe Theatre: Thank Globe its Friday: Kick off the weekend in style with a pre-show bash. Includes hosted wine and martini bar, appetizers and dessert. This Friday you have your choice between August: Osage County or Life of Riley. www.theoldglobe.org

3. Wine, Blues and Brews Festival: Head up north to this annual event in Escondido that will feature live blues music on two stages, plus food and drink samples from local businesses. www.bonsallrotary.com

4. Western Days: Grab your boots and head up to Old Town Temecula as they relive the glory days of the gun-toting Wild-West. The event features a western art show, pony and stagecoach rides, chili cook-off, live music and high-noon shootouts. www.cityoftemecula.org Or head over to Rustic Ramona as it also embraces its Wild West roots with their annual rodeo. www.ramonarodeo.com

The Grand Del Mar

5. The Grand Del Mar Club M Wine Tasting: Head over on Friday night for complimentary wine tastings with Wine Director Jesse Rodriguez and Friends. Complimentary tastings will be offered 6:00 to 9:00 pm (while supplies last), along with music and dancing from 7:00 pm to 1:30 am.
www.grandedelmar.com

Suzzanne

5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

1. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park presents Butterfly Jungle, April 9-May 8. During this four-week celebration, guests can walk through the Park’s Hidden Jungle, an African aviary, and surround themselves with thousands of butterflies of every shape, size and color. A variety of butterfly species flutter freely throughout the Hidden Jungle along with more than 100 birds, creating a realistic rainforest environment.

South Coast Winery Resort and Spa

2. This annual spring event is a must see for any wine lover out there. South Coast Winery celebrates spring on April 10th from 3:00 – 7:00 pm with a blessing of the vineyards, followed by live entertainment, a barbecue, dancing and of course wine! Interested in a wine tasting? Comment on our blog and five lucky people with receive a 2 for 1 Wine Tasting gift card. Comment by Monday, April 11, 2011 at 10:00 am pacific.

The Lindley Lopez Circus

3. Head downtown with the kids for the Shake & Shout Family Festival, Saturday April 9 at the New Children’s Museum. From urban dance with Culture Shock to circus arts with The Lindley Lopez Circus, the Shake & Shout Family Festival appeals to kids and adults alike. Additional performances include Birdie’s Playhouse, Aaron Nigel Smith, and San Diego Young Gunz. Free with museum admission.

Photo by Jessica Packard

4. The season is just getting underway in San Diego as the San Diego Padres take on the Dodgers April 8-10. Special promotions include fireworks and rally towels on Friday, Padres mesh caps on Saturday and a special Military opening day on Sunday.

Ramona Music Fest

5. A variety of music artists will light up two stages at the annual Ramona Music Fest IV on Saturday, April 9th. The music kicks off at noon and continues to 6:00 pm at Dos Picos County Park. Ten bands and solo performers are expected to entertain the crowd with everything from rock, country and reggae, to a full brass band.

Robert Arends

5 to Try: Hot Highway 94 Finds

The Big Apple recently took a bite out of San Diego’s East County in an in-depth New York Post travel article, “Good times in San Diego.” Though they didn’t get to sample Julian’s famous apple pies (Big Apple & apple pies – how almost apropos), the travel editor DID get a taste of some lesser-known, but unequivocally cool finds along Historic Highway 94. In his own words, “EAST IS IT” – and I couldn’t agree more!

Following are “5 to Try” along Historic Highway 94 – New York-certified and sure to put visitors in a Mountain Empire state-of-mind:

Gloriosa Vineyards - good to the last drop!

  1. Gloriosa Vineyards, “California’s southernmost winery,” also in Campo – just a stone’s throw from the international border. Personal wine tastings by appointment only.  The Post enjoyed “their crisp, dry Zinfandel and pleasantly plummy Cab.”
  2. Vroom! - Motor Transport Museum

  3. Get your motor running at the Motor Transport Museum in Campo.  As the Post puts it, the perfect place for “transportation nuts” with its “decommissioned bits of automotive history.”  From milk trucks to Mack trucks, this place is a hoot and a half!
  4. Pacific Southwest Railway Museum's trestle bridge over Highway 94.

  5. Choo choo down to Campo’s Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, bringing “a slice of the past to life with hour-long train rides down to the border.” While you’re there, trek off the tracks and walk over to Tecate – what the Post calls, “one of the friendliest towns on the US/Mexico border.” Also, the highway goes right under their giant trestle bridge! Continue reading
Kate

Learn To Cook in Balboa Park

That's Chef Jeff Thurston, catch him in October!

Chef Jeff Thurston, catch him in October!

Want to channel your inner Julie & Julia?  

Whether you want to master the perfect hand-rolled sushi or unravel the mysteries of wine tasting, this fall the Balboa Park Food & Wine School is offering the chance to dig in and savor the experience with an exciting roster of autumn cooking classes.  

Classes are held at the school’s gorgeous facility in the heart of Balboa Park and fall highlights include a brunch how-to with last season’s Top Chef contender from San Diego, Rich Sweeney, on Sept. 19 and the 9th Annual Harvest Celebrationwith The Prado’s chef Jeff Thurston and local winemakers on Oct. 15.

Balboa Park Food & Wine School Sept Schedule

Of course, Balboa Park isn’t the only place in San Diego to give your culinary muscles a good work out.  Classes are also regularly scheduled at downtown’s San Diego Wine & Culinary Center, at Great News! Cooking School in Pacific Beach and at Macy’s School of Cooking in Mission Valley.   Bon appetit!