Posted Jul 7, 2015
7 Places to Get a Dose of Vitamin D and Eat Outdoors in San Diego
If you’ve lived in San Diego for awhile, you know that exploring the great outdoors is a must. For foodies, San Diego really is one of the best places to be: Amazing California produce, sunny skies pretty much every day no matter what, and loads of patio restaurants to explore and dine in.
When you aren’t having fun on the beach or taking a city hike through the numerous parks and gardens, be sure to fill up at one of these excellent al fresco dining hot spots:
1. Breeze Cafe
This adorable brunch staple is located right by the Village of Old Del Mar and the Torrey Pines trail– perfect for day hiking fuel. For breakfast, you can enjoy savory favorites like eggs benedict and the omelet du jour, or spring for the sweet stuff like cinnamon brioche French toast.
The lunch menu is equally impressive, with Thai chicken wraps and salmon sandwiches with lemon-caper mayo. Yum!
2. Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens
The brews here are nationally recognized and craft beer is kind of a big deal in So Cal, so it would be a shame not to grab a patio seat at this local favorite (in fact, you might want to make reservations– this place tends to get packed!).
In addition to Stone’s world-class beer, there is a brunch and meatless Monday menu, and an excellent red and white wine list – a beer/wine tasting in the beautiful California sunlight? Sign me up!
3. Pacific Coast Grill
If you want beach-side dining – and we mean right on the beach-– you can’t find a more amazing al fresco spot than PCG place. The dining room is so close to the shore, you can actually hear the waves crashing while you eat.
To no one’s surprise, seafood is the main highlight here, from sashimi-grade ahi to dungeness crab cakes to cornmeal-crusted fried calamari.
4. Panama 66
If you’ve spent the afternoon in Balboa Park and are looking for an excellent place to grab lunch or dinner in the sun, this outdoor cafe at the San Diego Museum of Art is tops.
In addition to brunch favorites, Panama 66 also hosts fun events like Tiki Tuesdays and Ska-turdays, and live music is almost always standard here.
5. Urban Solace
The burgers and craft beer are to die for here, and when you have a seat on their side patio, it makes it even more amazing.
Located in the trendy North Park neighborhood, Urban Solace (much like the name suggests) is the perfect place to wind down with a pint and people-watch on the weekends, or any day for that matter.
6. Hacienda de Vega
If you really need to relax, eat some wonderful food, and let the stress of the work week melt away, then Hacienda de Vega should be your go-to spot. You can dine here next to lakes and waterfalls, and in true San Diego fashion, there is plenty of delicious Mexican cuisine to choose from.
The pollo con mole, fajitas, sarape snapper and tequila shrimp are just a few of the specialties to choose from here– and don’t forget to wash it all down with a freshly made margarita (they have a unique version with jicama, chili salt, and tamarind).
Looking for patio dining near Mission Bay? One of the newest patio restaurants is Tidal, a coastal cuisine establishment that welcomes in beachgoers and paddleboarders with its relaxed and laid-back beach house feel. Communal tables allow you to chat with new friends, and the menu is quite impressive, with dishes like olive oil poached halibut and ricotta gnudi.
Be sure to take a dive into one of their craft cocktails or local craft beer selections as you bask in the San Diego sun.
Outdoor dining is practically a pastime in San Diego, whether you’re picnicking in one of many parks or grabbing a table at one of these fine establishments. Summer is here, so make the most of it by enjoying brunch, lunch or dinner in the great outdoors in San Diego.
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