After spending a few days in Seattle and a week in Portland this past August, I took a flight down to San Diego to wrap up my 2017 summer on the west coast with a friend. Like Seattle, it was my first time discovering San Diego. I have to say that I have mixed feelings about the city and it might be because I expected much more based on my friends’ memories.
It’s not that San Diego doesn’t have great places to offer but they are not close to each other and I never felt like one single neighbourhood had enough to offer for me to stay around.
Getting a chance to drive up to Newport Beach for a full day really made the trip feel complete as the smaller city did have much more to offer! Considering how short of a drive it is, I suggest you do both if you ever visit this area yourself.
Here are places I would be happy to rediscover on a future trip:
The Crack Shack
The Crack Shack is a concept coming from Richard Blais from Top Chef. The food was so satisfying that we ate there two days in a row and ended up meeting some really friendly locals! It’s also located in Little Italy which was my favourite neighbourhood.
My favourite order was the grilled chicken with the papaya & mango slaw!
10 Barrel Brewing Co.
While walking out of the tourist district, we noticed what looked like a beautiful rooftop terrace. 10 Barrel Brewing Co. is one cool local brewer and it’s because of them that I discovered sour beers. Their cucumber sour beer is amazing and I still hope to find it in airports when I’m travelling back home.
Dark Horse Coffee Roasters
Dark Horse Coffee Roasters has a pretty counter in an up & coming neighbourhood. I enjoyed my americano but even more their overall branding especially if you plan on bringing some beans back home.
Communal Coffee is one of the most beautiful coffee shops I have visited around the world. I love the concept of selling flowers & coffee in one same location. They actually sold a lot more products including self-branded mugs that I really wanted to bring back.
Liberty Public Market
If it wasn’t for sharing an Uber ride with strangers being dropped there, I would have missed out on Liberty Public Market! This market is amazing to grab a cocktail and food with friends & family.
On my visit to Liberty Public Market, I decided to grab brunch at Breakfast Republic. It seems to be a very popular chain in California and I can say it was quite delicious! They even have Kombucha on tap 😉
Moving to Newport Beach for a day…
Most of these stops were recommended to me by Jeannette Ogden / shutthekaleup after messaging her on Instagram and they were all great!
Bear Flag Fish Co.
We had some delicious fish tacos & ceviche at this beautiful fish restaurant. I would go back to Bear Flag Fish Co. in a heartbeat!
Juice Served Here [Closed 😢]
I’ve been following Juice Served Here on social media for a while now and visiting them IRL did not disappoint. The Newport Beach location is pretty and the staff is truly there to help. [As I was writing this and looking up their site, I realized the company actually shut down.]
I mentioned Pressed Juicery in my previous article about Seattle. Well, I had an even better experience at their Newport Beach location. I would have this weekly if it came to Montreal! [Hear me Montreal juice bars?]
Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee
Sidecar Doughnuts is another company I have been following on social media for a while so I had to go & visit them in person. The staff was so lovely and I truly wanted to try every doughnut. I ended up picking the gluten-free doughnut, considering how rare they are, and it was the best GF treat I have ever had.
Well that wraps it for San Diego & Newport Beach. Have you ever been to one of these cities? If so, what did you think?