The Best Movie Theater Experience in San Diego
“In my view, the only way to see a film remains the way the filmmaker intended: inside a large movie theater with great sound and pristine picture.” -Ridley Scott
One of our families’ most anticipated leisure activities is watching a movie at Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas! Cinepolis gives you a one-of-a-kind experience where you can watch movies in big, comfy chairs with almost any candy/food/beverages you can imagine! Although it is a bit more expensive, Cinepolis provides everything you need for an incredible night out at the movies! Here are three big reasons why our family loves Cinepolis:
Online Ticket Ordering and Seat Selection
You can download the mobile app (by simply searching for “Cinepolis” on your device’s app store) or go to http://www.cinepolisusa.com/ to order tickets to your favorite movie in-cinema! The app is super simple to use, so you don’t have to worry if you’re movie is sold out before you get to the theater. You can also see the entire room’s seating arrangement and choose your exact seats for the movie. If you’re going with just one other person, it’s nice to see ahead that your seats will be right next to each other, where you can fold up the middle arm rest and snuggle if you want to!
Once you get in the theater, you’ll notice that your oversized leather seat is luxurious and uber comfortable. There is a button to lean your seat way back, and fold down trays for when your food comes! You can fold up the middle arm rest and be super close to the person next to you (or keep it down if you’re watching the movie solo). You can see the screen easily from anywhere in the cinema, just be careful not to fall asleep if you get too comfortable!
Food and Drink
The menu at Cinepolis is probably the best thing about the entire experience. You just push a button by your arm rest, and a waiter comes to your seat to help you with your order. There are several candy and soda selections on the menu, but alongside that is full lunches, dinners, appetizers, and extras! Choose from burgers, fries, specialty sandwiches and other gourmet items, and they are brought out right to your seat! No need to wait in long lines ahead of time for anything! Also, for any movie where there is a martini icon next to the movie, you can order and consume alcoholic beverages during the movie. This is a wonderful benefit to the cinema, especially for date night with your partner. Getting to go to a movie and order a hot fudge sundae and a cocktail is something you just can’t beat anywhere in San Diego!
Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas offers regular and 3D movies, so no matter what type of movie you like, Cinepolis has something for you! If you haven’t been to a Cinepolis movie, make sure to check out their website and plan your next family or date night out! I guarantee you’ll love it!
Have you been to Cinepolis? What movie did you see and what food did you order? Let others know here how much fun you had!
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” -Saint Augustine
With the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure, “Mapping Megan” and husband Mike believe travel has the potential to inspire change in people, and in turn, inspire change in the world. They embraced travel as a lifestyle in 2007, and are dedicated to documenting their journey and observations through entertaining, candid articles and brilliant photography. Megan had a few minutes to sit down between her travels, and I had the opportunity to ask her some questions! Here is how it went:
-So you grew up in Australia and traveled to Japan in high school. What was that like?
Yes! Japan from Australia was my first ever trip abroad. I was 15, and highly excited to be on an overseas trip with my friends. I give HUGE credit to the teachers who chaperoned 30 teenage girls to Japan for two weeks! It was one huge two week slumber party full of sushi, Tokyo Disney and a lot of culture shock … the biggest shock being that we were expected to use squat toilets throughout our stay!
At 15 I didn’t have a huge appreciation for global culture, and honestly the highlights of the trip were Tokyo Disneyland and my home stay. We visited a sister high school in Tokyo and each of us were paired up with a Japanese student who we stayed with for 3 days. This was an amazing experience which not only improved our language skills, but also planted the beginnings of the travel bug within me.
-You caught the “travel bug” in 2007 in college, where did you want to travel to most at that point?
Pretty much anywhere I could. I didn’t necessarily have a “bucket list” at that point with a list of destinations I wanted to tick off my list, I was more in love with the feeling of adventure and exhilaration which comes with exploring new environments, discovering cultures different to my own, tasting new flavors, meeting new people and seeing new things.
I spent 2007 working as a boarding school assistant in London, a 12 month gap year in between high school and university, so I was in a perfect position to explore Europe in the 17 weeks holiday we had off from the school. Looking back this was more of an opportunity to get a taste/sampling of Europe. I went wherever the cheapest deals took me, and it was a chance to dip my toes in the world of international travel and simply be away from home.
-How many countries have you traveled to and which have been your favorites?
I’m sitting at around 38 countries now – I’m more interested in slower travel and fully immersing myself in a new destination as opposed to jumping across borders just for the sake of having a fuller passport.
Bolivia is a country which really surprised me and blew me away. It’s unlike any other country on earth. You have the breathtaking Andes, the daunting altitude, the lush rainforest, the too-small bowler hats worn by the indigenous women, the vast salt flat, the decorated llamas, the pink flamingos, and that famous harrowing mountain bike ride down the most dangerous road in the world (death road). I quickly realized that this land locked South American country should have been an obvious choice for me, being interested in adventure, culture and nature.
Other countries which make my list of favorites include Iceland (the nature is UNBELIEVABLE!), Italy (who wouldn’t love a country which doesn’t make you feel guilty about eating pizza, gelato and indulging in fine wine every day!), and Ecuador. While I haven’t spent time on mainland Ecuador we spent 2 weeks in the Galapagos Islands, and the wildlife experiences there were out of this world. It was everything we had imagined it to be – being in the Galapagos Islands and snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles was like stepping into the cover of a National Geographic magazine.
-Your website is www.mappingmegan.com, what is your goal for the site?
When my website began the sole purpose was to chronicle my travels. 2007 was the first time I had spent a full year away from home, so my blog was a way to keep my friends and family up to date without having to send 20 million emails and spend ridiculous amounts of money on phone calls!
After that initial year abroad I kept traveling, and kept up my blog. Finally in 2012, I realized that people were doing the same thing I was doing, traveling and blogging about it, though they were making a living in doing so! So I dedicated myself to building an audience and optimizing the site as a business, and now I have turned travel writing via my blog into a career. My goal for the site is to still chronicle my travels, and share my adventures with the world, though now I also have specific business goals and social media strategies etc which have been added into the mix.
My main goal in having turned my site into a business was to have the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere, to be my own boss, manage my own schedule, and do something that I truly love. My goals are now about maintaining that lifestyle and career.
-Is traveling your only job, or do you have a “regular job” too?
I had a regular job for the first year and a half of blogging as a business, though now it is my full time career. Making money from a blog takes time – there’s usually an initial time investment of around a year or so, because you need to build an audience and publish a continual string of high quality content to prove yourself so that advertisers will want to work with you. And while it’s hard work juggling a full time regular job with full time blogging at the same time, it’s absolutely worth the commitment to get to the stage where you can leave 9-5 behind.
-Here is the million dollar question, how do you make money traveling?
There are many different ways to make money while traveling the world – I personally make money by running a blog, but if you’re willing to think outside the box, there are other alternatives too. Like teaching English abroad. English language skills are in high demand all around the world, and there are hundreds of wonderful jobs available. Thousands of travelers are earning cash teaching English abroad everyday, and often you don’t need to be certified. You just need to be a native speaker. Check out languagecorps.com or eslcafe.com, and choose a location!
Or becoming a day trader. Or bar tending. Or picking up resort jobs in each new destination you visit. Or working online as a freelance writer. Or selling your photography. There are so many different ways you can make money while traveling if you’re willing to think outside the box.
When it comes to blogging specifically, advertising income may come in many different forms. I personally make a lot of my money via Sponsored posts – where a company will pay to have their business, product, or hotel promoted on our site. Though other streams of income include Affiliate marketing (where you receive a percentage of a sale made from someone having clicked through from your site), direct advertising (selling advertising space, for instance on the sidebar of your site), and many bloggers also use their site as a platform to pitch for freelancing work with other companies.
-What do you like to do when you’re not traveling?
When I’m not traveling I’m blogging! The problem with having combined a passion with a career is that I’m generally spending every waking moment in front of the computer on my blog when we’re not out traveling somewhere. I do however enjoy spending time in the outdoors, so heading out on hikes, spending time at the beach – and I’m trying my best to learn the piano too!
-You met your husband Mike in Tanzania in 2010. Where have you traveled together and where did you get married?
Mike and I met in Africa after both having just summated Mt. Kilimanjaro. He’s from the United States and I’m from Australia, so after having spent 12 hours chatting and laughing together at the hotel bar, we had to part ways, though did stay in touch. Many hours of phone calls and letters back and forth later, and we decided to give a long distance relationship a go. We would meet up in the middle to be able to see each other, meeting in Paris, Scotland, London, Amsterdam, until Mike moved to Australia for a year in 2012.
I decided that planning a destination wedding in a location halfway between Australia and where his family was in Florida was only fair, so in 2013 we were married in Hawaii! You can view photos from our destination wedding here. We have traveled everywhere together since.
-Do you have a “home base” or do you just travel all of the time?
Since our wedding in 2013 we had been traveling full time, with occasional bases throughout the United States for a few months inbetween long travel stints. However after 2 years of full time travel we have now returned to Australia and are setting up a base again. We’re looking forward to having a home to travel back to after we’ve spent time abroad. There’s nothing better than the feel of a familiar pillow under your head!
-Your husband Mike is a wildlife photographer, has he done this on a freelance basis for anyone like National Geographic? His photos are stunning!
Yes, Mike’s main passion is wildlife photography, though he does this purely for the love of the craft. I take full advantage of all of his amazing photography for blog and social media purposes, though he hasn’t yet broken into freelancing or selling photography as his main focus has always been keeping it as a passion.
He is however in the process of setting up a wildlife travel website dedicated to displaying all of his amazing photos and wildlife tips. Watch out for this!
-I looked at your bucket list. It is impressive, with some of the scariest and craziest ideas I’ve ever heard. Tell our readers which ones you are most looking forward to!
I’m really looking forward to cage diving in South Africa with Great White Sharks. This is something I haven’t yet had the opportunity to do, though I’m absolutely dying to. And then an expedition to Antarctica is also at the very top of my list. Though I’ve always harbored a secret wish to be the first travel blogger to the moon! I’m sure if I can get 5 minutes with Richard Branson I can talk my way onto a Virgin Galactic flight once they’re ready to take off!
-When did you start to do more adventure travel as opposed to just sightseeing? Can you explain what adventure travel is?
Adventure travel can really mean anything; it doesn’t have to always include hazardous and strenuous adventures. For instance some might see adventure as leisure biking and hiking tours. For others, it might entail BASE jumping into an underground cave in Mexico. Or Skydiving over Sydney. Culinary and wine tours, bird watching, architectural tours and religious pilgrimages are activities that can be classed as adventurous too.
I’ve learned that adventure really depends on the person experiencing something. The excitement could come from stepping outside your comfort zone, or from culture shock, or from an experience which requires significant effort and some degree of risk (whether real or perceived). In my experience I see adventure as generally including physical activity, a cultural exchange or interaction and engagement with nature.
-What are your top tips for travelers looking for their next exciting destination?
Look for off the beaten path destinations, and plan to visit during shoulder season at off peak times. Traveling outside of peak season not only saves you a huge amount of money on your travel (there is less demand for flights and accommodation so providers cut their rates), but you also avoid mass crowds. And it is so much more enjoyable experiencing a location without mass tourism, and having the run of a place to yourself.
This means you won’t have to wait in hour long queues to enter your favorite museum, people won’t be out hassling you to buy tacky souvenirs on the streets, and you can experience a destination as the locals do. Locals are generally friendlier to travelers in off season too, so it can make for a much more immersive experience for you.
-What are your three most popular blog posts?
Countries that don’t celebrate Christmas
A Travelers Worst nightmare: Blocked From Email Communication
The Sexiest Male Travelers Alive 2014
-I don’t see San Diego on your destination list, is there a reason for that? Maybe when you go see the Monarch Butterfly Migration in Santa Barbara, Ca you could stop here? We’ll treat you to lunch!
We have actually just been through San Diego! We’ve just returned home to Australia after having taken three months to roadtrip from the bottom of the States to the top – we drove from California right up to Alaska! I’m slowly going through and writing about all our adventures now, so hopefully we will have our time in San Diego published soon.
Our favorite stop while in San Diego was at La Jolla Cove – the opportunity to be that close to California’s seal and sea lion population was unbelievable!
We can’t wait for that one, we’ll keep our eyes out! Where can our followers find you online and what do you offer/promote on your social media sites?
Our social media sites bring you the best of adventure travel from all around the world. You can follow our journey on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram also.
Thanks so much for taking the time out to answer some of our questions today Megan! We look forward to talking again soon, and reading your San Diego blog!
(Readers, do you have any questions for Megan? Comment them below and we’ll see when she’s on solid ground again! Thanks for reading!)
*This is a contributed article.*
A simple life is good with me. I don’t need a whole lot. For me, a T-shirt, a pair of shorts, barefoot on a beach and I’m happy. -Yanni
When I moved here to San Diego two years ago, all I wanted to do was get to the beach as fast as I could and relax. I drove down different roads until I could see the ocean, turned onto Pacific Coast Highway, and headed right through Encinitas. A few minutes later, I had my toes in the sand and a big smile on my face. If you haven’t been to Encinitas, you should go to this beachfront community. There are shops, restaurants and the beach of course! Here are some of my favorite places in Encinitas:
There are several wonderful beaches up and down Encinitas. Here is a list of them, and a little about each. Moonlight Beach was the very first California beach I ever visited, and I instantly fell in love! Moonlight Beach has easy parking, and basically defines California at its best. It has a big grassy area for any festivity you may be celebrating. It has many volleyball courts for those beach volleyball players, and warm, soft sand for anyone looking to just be a beach bum for the day. It’s quick and easy to get on and off the sand, and you can splash in the waves with your whole family without the risk of scratching yourself on a rock. It really is the perfect family beach, so make sure to check it out, but check all of the beaches out, they are the main attraction in Encinitas!
Coffee & Drinks
Coffee is a serious thing in Encinitas. (Isn’t is everywhere?!) One any given day, you’ll see a line out the door (and even around the corner sometimes) at Lofty Coffee. The coffee is delicious, and something about the 101 (or Pacific Coast Highway as some may call it) just feels busy enough to always need coffee, no matter what time of day you’re down there. If you don’t want to wait in line at Lofty, you can head to Better Buzz Coffee, which is also very tasty, and in Encinitas.
Another reason a lot of people come to Encinitas is to enjoy the night life. There aren’t a lot of bars, but Union Kitchen & Tap (also right on the 101 highway) is popular enough not to really need too much competition. People come from all over to enjoy sitting at the indoor/outdoor tables and drinking their favorite cocktail with friends.
What would Encinitas be without restaurants?! Have no fear, there are plenty around this little town. A few small cafes I really like are Lotus Cafe, Swami’s Cafe, and Native Foods Cafe. After you spend the day surfing with your buddies, make sure to grab a quick bite to eat at one of these eateries. For date night with your honey, or just a good night out with friends, try the 101 Diner, or Blue Ribbon Pizzeria. Another good pizza place is Leucadia Pizzeria, which is where most people in Rancho Santa Fe like to order their pizza from, especially in our country club community The Bridges, because they will deliver! (And because it is delicious pizza!) If you’re looking for a full dinner experience, make sure to try East Village Asian Diner. It’s an incredible Asian restaurant that features very hot stone bowls that they mix ingredients of your choice in. I had a chicken bowl and it was one of the best dinners I’ve ever eaten.
Encinitas is an amazing place where you can grab a coffee, surf, swim, and enjoy a fantastic dinner all in the same day, without even having to get back in your car! Make sure if you come to visit San Diego, that you head over to Encinitas and see all it has to offer! Have you been there already? What is your favorite place to eat?
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France
It was a lovely San Diego Friday and my family desperately needed to get out of the house. A suggestion to check out the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (AKA the San Diego Safari Park) was made by a friend of mine, and strengthened when we google searched it and came across some pretty awesome promo videos. (You can even see the live Tiger Cam 24/7 on this website!) Who knew they had so much to offer from zip lining, Africa safari tram rides, Hot air balloon tours, animal encounters, splash pads, loads of dining, face painting and even a carousel (the clincher for my 3 1/2 year old – with unlimited daily rides for only $12). The decision was quickly made, we packed a small bag of snacks and water and off we went.
The San Diego Safari Park is located at 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, California 92027. The drive is about 30 minutes from central San Diego and you pay for parking once you arrive there. You’re also able to purchase tickets at the gate which are $48 per day for adults and $38 a day for kiddos. If you’re a local it’s totally worth the annual membership which is only $102 for adults and $49 for kids! One of the things we loved about standing in line for the tickets (really what can you love about standing in line haha) was that they had mist machines in the trees that made you already feel like you were entering a jungle.
As soon as we entered the park we were handed a map of the place – the biggest question for everyone I believe is WHERE to start!? African Woods? Elephant Valley? Tiger Trail? Before we could make a decision our attention was grabbed by what looked like a little chetah in the “animal encounter” area right there near the front. We had to stop to watch it jump at amazing heights and run and play with the guide inside. (And, of course we had to snap some pics!) After watching for a bit, we decided to head to “Africa” to catch the Tram ride. It was quite a walk to get there but of course we were passing awesome animals along the way – we even got to feed some goats! Once we made it to “Africa” and got into the line for the tram it moved quite quickly and we were loaded up to see the Safari within about 10-15 minutes.
The tram was driven by a very well spoken and knowledgable tour guide who drove us through the African Plains of the park. In total the ride was about 20 minutes and was really cool. She knew just how to spot out different types of animals as they grazed or played or slept in the shade. Periodically she would stop the tram so we could watch some animals interacting in their own little “wild” within the park. As we watched, she gave us the run down of what kind of animal we were seeing, their characteristics and history etc., which was very informative and enriched the experience by far. By the end, we were all a bit sweaty as it was hot and there’s no AC with the wide open windows in the tram. We were happy to get off and head to another part of the park.
My daughter (and loads of other kids) were excited to find a splash pad (like a mini water park) along the trail back towards the center of the park, so we sat on a bench in the shade while she screamed and played in water sprinklers to cool off. We grabbed a fresh bag of popcorn and some bottled water at a near by stand and ventured off to the Gorillas. Now I have seen monkeys in other Zoo’s but these Gorillas were something else! There were 2 full adults, 3 adolescents and 1 baby all in a big open area. The baby was so cute and playful doing somersaults and monkey-ing around with the others. The 2 adults were very relaxed and unbothered by the crowd and the 3 adolescents had their own little drama and wrestle match off to one side of the area. Even my daughter was captivated by their personalities – it was truly like watching them in the wild. They were all so un-bothered by on-lookers and seemed content to be enjoying the sunny day. A couple rides on the carrousel and a face paint to appease the little one and we were off to check out the elephants!
The elephants were all together in a big pack and despite us getting super close to their water hole in the heat of late afternoon they didn’t come to play in the water as we were hoping. We had to admire them from a distance but I was happy to see how massive their living area was. A perk of a safari style zoo vs. traditional ones is clearly the amount of space for the animals. Following the elephants we walked through some awesome bird sanctuaries and were planning on ending with the Tigers, but with all the walking we were a bit burned out from the day! This is for sure a park that should be done in a couple days to really appreciate all it has to offer.. I honestly felt like we just scratched the tip of possibilities there – especially when you consider all the zip lining, hot air ballooning etc.!
My favorite part of this park is the cleanliness and ambiance of the park. There is greenery and mist everywhere as well as so many options for snacks and drinks to keep you full and satisfied as you venture about. The San Diego Safari Park is for sure a great place for families with kids of all ages. Heck it’s even a great San Diego date night option! As long as you don’t wear heels ladies 🙂
If you’re looking for a great way to get out and experience some of what San Diego has to offer with wild life – the San Diego Safari Park is definitely a MUST go to!
Happy Exploring, Chels
An Overview of the Many Bloggers Who Spend Time Writing About La Jolla
“Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.” -Pat Conroy
La Jolla is a wonderful town in southern California. Just a few minutes away from downtown and north county San Diego, it’s right in the center of all the action. Many bloggers spend time writing about La Jolla, but two bloggers have really caught my attention when it comes to this beach city. Some of their stories are just too good not to share, so I thought I would bring them to light. They are working hard to bring exciting content to the web, all about La Jolla! Here are my two favorite La Jolla experts, along with another very helpful site:
La Jolla Mom
One of my all-time favorite bloggers and La Jolla expert is Katie Dillon, aka La Jolla Mom. When I first moved to San Diego, her website is what I found first in a “San Diego blog” search. La Jolla Mom spends most of her time traveling the world with her family, but when she does come back to home base, it’s La Jolla that she returns to. Her site is full of tips and tricks for traveling, but her most fascinating section is the “La Jolla/San Diego” section. She writes a lot about events that are happening right here in San Diego, and how you can experience them best. (Make sure to check out surfing Santa coming November 28th, see more here.) She has a fresh take on events, and a family touch that brightens every story she writes. I love how she tells a unique story through each blog post, and brings her readers even closer into her life! My favorite story she has is about Mt. Soledad and why parents should take their kids there. (Read it here.) I can connect with her on a lot of levels, as her son is 8 and my son will turn 8 this coming May! Make sure to check out her website www.LaJollaMom.com if you’re planning to travel to La Jolla soon!
One of our featured bloggers here on San Diego Lifestyle Blog, Mary Desjean, has written a lot about La Jolla, and is definitely a La Jolla expert. (Read the feature article she wrote for us here.) She has visited a lot of La Jolla restaurants, and really gives an in-depth look at these dining locations. Check out all of her La Jolla food stories and find out what La Jolla truly tastes like. From coffee shops to breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurants, Mary has written about it all and has tons to share! One of my favorite stories she has written is this one about Whisknladle, one of my favorite places to eat in San Diego. I love her writing style, it’s very comedic. I also love that she was on the top of our search results for great restaurants in San Diego, and think she’s definitely someone you should get to know if you don’t already. Everyone loves to eat, and reading her stories helps me get right to the point of where to eat and what to order when I get there.
Other La Jolla Websites
This website, La Jolla By the Sea, claims to be the “official site of La Jolla” highlighting events, activities, and places to go around town. You can book a stay in La Jolla through this website, and they also have a great events calendar. Sign up to receive news, events, and updates. It includes where to eat, what to do and where to stay. You can also look at beach guides, maps and directions. I use this site to check-in on new restaurants and read more about what they’re like before I even leave the house.
Bloggers in La Jolla never run out of new things to write about. There is always a new place to visit, restaurant to dine at, or activity to experience. Make sure to read these stories, along with our other La Jolla articles, and do your research before you go out on the town to enjoy yourself. You can also check out these sites
La Jolla Blue Book
for other information about La Jolla.
What is your favorite aspect of La Jolla? We would love to hear about your favorite places to go, and what you love to do in La Jolla!
“My work has also motivated me to put a lot of time into seeking out good food and to spend more money on it.” – Michael Pollan
One of the great things about La Jolla is that there are so many good places to eat. I’m not a food critic, but I like eat and drink, so I’m just going to relay my experiences as a friend would do. These are some of my favorite places, but I am sure there are many more, you just have to explore and try new things.
Best Places to Eat in “The Shores”
The Shores Restaurant is the restaurant at the La Jolla Shores Hotel. It has really great seafood, and is also a nice breakfast spot. It has great ocean views and very good service. It has top reviews from Trip Advisor and from Open Table.
Piatti – La Jolla is a wonderful, neighborhood Italian restaurant with an option for open air dining. They have a nice wine list, a full service bar, good service, and really tasty food.
The Marine Room is adjacent to the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, and it is well known for its food, great service, and waves crashing against the glass of the restaurant during high tide. It is a spectacular experience!
Osteria Romantica is a traditional Italian restaurant with the checkered table clothes and fabulous wine list. The pastas are really terrific, and the service is very good. I love the ambiance of this place and it will remind you of eating at a traditional family Italian restaurant in New York.
Barbarella has a bistro atmosphere and serves locally grown organic produce. Everything is always super fresh, and there is something on the menu for everyone. It has a good number of outdoor tables for dining, and a fun bar.
Shorehouse Kitchen is a dog friendly restaurant that’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They even have a doggie menu. They have fun dining events like a five course wine pairing menu on December 2nd. Make your reservations today!
Sushi Mori is one of the better sushi restaurants in San Diego, and the best sushi place in La Jolla Shores. Everything is always super fresh and tasty.
Jeff’s Burgers is a good place for a burger if you want a break from the old staples like Burger Lounge and Smashburger . They make everything fresh and the have burgers, salads, and sandwiches. My teenage kids really love this place…especially when I’m not there with them!
Best Places to Eat in “The Village”
The Cottage is one of my favorite breakfast places in San Diego. We don’t get there as much now that we live in Rancho Santa Fe, but sometimes we just have to make a run down there for breakfast and to stock-up on their King Kong Brand Muffins.
Sushi on the Rock is a fun and hip sushi place that serves innovative sushi and sashimi dishes. The food is always fresh and good, and the ambiance is very fun. It’s a fun place for a date.
Puesto Mexican Street Food is a fun Mexican restaurant that is best known for their award winning tacos and their happy hours. It is a fun place to hang with a few friends.
Bubba’s Smokehouse BBQ is one of the better BBQ places in San Diego. I don’t think it is a good as Phil’s but it is still very good. The pulled pork, the brisket, and the jerk chicken are all really good. They also serve burgers, and have a pretty good selection of craft beers.
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood is one of the most fun places in La Jolla. It’s a really good seafood restaurant that has a fun bar and live jazz some nights. The restaurant has really nice ocean views as well.
Donovan’s Steak and Chop House moved from the UTC area to the Village in the last year. They are located where Azul used to be, right next to George’s on the Cove. Donovan’s is my favorite steak place in San Diego, bar none, and this move to the new location is really wonderful. They have made a few changes to the interior of the restaurant to make it look more like a Donovan’s, and the food is great. They have a fun bar, and a wonderful wine list. In the new location, they are open for lunch and dinner.
George’s at the Cove is one of my favorite places in La Jolla. They actually have three distinct restaurants. The lower level is the formal dining experience, and they have terrific service, great food, and a wonderfully creative chef. The second floor is good to hangout for drinks and more casual dining. The upstairs patio is great for breakfast and lunch and has views of La Jolla Cove. It is a very special and fun place.
Herringbone is one of celebrity chef Brian Malarkey’s restaurants, and one of my favorites. I really like Searsucker in downtown San Diego because of it’s lively atmosphere, but Herringbone is still pretty lively, especially by La Jolla standards. They have a nice two sided bar and the back part of the restaurant has a tree growing in the middle. It is a really cool vibe and the food is excellent. The wine list is a little more limited, but very good. And like most places in San Diego, you can always bring your own wine and pay a modest corkage fee (I almost always do that everywhere).
Wisknladle is a family oriented restaurant that is a favorite of La Jolla residents. It is the same owners as PrepKitchen, which has a location in Del Mar, and other locations in La Jolla and Little Italy near downtown San Diego. The food is good and the ambiance is casual and family style.
Tapanade is a fancy French restaurant. I am not big on French food, but I’ve been to a couple events there, and also been a couple times with clients. I’m not an expert on French food, but I think it is comparable to Mille Fleurs, which is in my neighborhood in Rancho Santa Fe. I do think Mille Fleur has a better wine list.
Nine-Ten has really good California cuisine, fresh locally grown produce, and a fun bar. It has a fun atmosphere and it’s worth trying at least once.
Roppongi is a fun and hip Japanese restaurant. If I go with a large group or with my family (which is a large group since we have five kids!), we like to sit outside around the fire pit. My kids like to order the “hot rock” and cook their own food on the hot rock. They have good sushi and other really nice Japanese food. A bit Americanized, but still really tasty. It reminds me of Cafe Japengo which really isn’t a traditional Japanese restaurant, but still super fun. Japengo is in the Aventine, which is in La Jolla. but not really in La Jolla since it’s east of the 5 Freeway!
Burger Lounge and Smashburger are both really good burger chains, and both have locations in La Jolla. They are both on my list of favorite burger places in San Diego. Check out the full list here!
Great Food at Torrey Pines Lodge
A.R. Valentine is one if the best restaurants in San Diego. It is great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and worth trying even if you aren’t staying at the Lodge. Everything I’ve had on the menu is good, and I’ve eaten there multiple times for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Grill is another one of the places on my favorite burger place list. It has a nice outdoor patio that overlooks the 1st Tee for Torrey Pines South Course. It is a great place for casual dining or for the 19th hole at Torrey Pines to grab a drink after a fun round of golf.
I hope you find this list helpful! Like I said before, I’m sure there are many other wonderful dining spots in La Jolla, but these are definitely some of my favorites. Tomorrow we will be publishing a list of some of our favorite bloggers that really know La Jolla well. You can use them as a resource as well!
What are your favorite places to eat in La Jolla? Any disagreements with my list? Where do you like to eat and grab a drink with friends? What’s your favorite date-night spot? We’d love to hear from you!
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