Getting The Best Out Of San Diego & Newport Beach

March 08, 2018

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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

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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.

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My favourite order was the grilled chicken with the papaya & mango slaw!

10 Barrel Brewing Co.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Breakfast Republic

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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.

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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 😢]

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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.]

Pressed Juicery

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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

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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.

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Well that wraps it for San Diego & Newport Beach. Have you ever been to one of these cities? If so, what did you think?


Written by Sofia Shendi who lives and works in Montreal, as the CTO of Tastet. Join me on Twitter

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