La Jolla Faves

Hi friends! How’s the afternoon going? Hope you’re enjoying the day! New post up on the Family page here, and heads up: all info about the lotus tanks for an awesome cause will go out tomorrow!

This morning, I had an awesome acupuncture appointment. It felt extra relaxing, and my acupuncturist doesn’t think I’ll make it to 40 weeks. (<— I like that a lot, especially if the heat continues!)

Livi and I grabbed Starbucks, ran a couple of errands, and are at home relaxing for quiet time. 

Today, I thought I’d share some more of our San Diego favorites since many of you have mentioned upcoming vacations this fall. La Jolla has always been one of our favorite spots, and way before we lived here (and thought there was no chance we’d ever live here), we would stay in La Jolla. It’s packed with cute shops, unique restaurants, and opportunities to walk around outside, enjoying the sights.


Here are some of our favorite places to go for…

the BEST brunch: the Cottage. This is probably the #1 place I tell friends to visit if they’re staying in La Jolla. They have the BEST breakfast, awesome mimosas, gluten-free options, and something for everyone, whether you want stuffed french toast, an omelet, pancakes, eggs Benedict, etc. They’re also very kid-friendly. The wait over the weekends is always crazy, but we’ll put our name on the list, walk down to the park at La Jolla Recreation Center so Liv can play, and they text you when your table is ready. 

The cottage 1 of 1

an awesome acai bowl: Nekter. They make their cashew milk in house and use it as the liquid base for their acai bowls. They also make a killer green juice: the Greenie. 

for a high energy spin class: Sparkcycle. This is more like dancing on a spin bike than anything else, but they have a great club vibe, loud music and class flies by. Bonus: they lend you spin shoes if you don’t have any.

Date night: Whisknladle or Herringbone. These are perfect for a night out, with a variety of appetizers, cocktails, desserts (so, so good), and modern twists on American comfort foods. I prefer the atmosphere at Herringbone, as it was build around an enormous tree, which still stands in the middle of the dining room, surrounded by twinkling lights. I’m going to be faceplanting into some oysters there next month. 🙂


tapas and drinks: prepkitchen. This is a more casual spot, with cheese boards, tapas, and a wide selection of drinks. Perfect for a group or casual date night. 

Sightseeing: La Jolla Cove. If you’re in La Jolla, you definitely need to make a stop by the Children’s Pool to watch the seals sunbathing, swimming and playing. They’re so sweet, peaceful, and BRAVE. Quite a few times, seals have waddled up the shore for photo ops haha. 

Seals 4

Gelato that will make you cry tears of happiness: Bobboi. They use simple, fresh ingredients, and have incredible vegan options sweetened with maple syrup. Just go. I promise. 

Whimsical sugar cookies: Girard Gourmet. According to Liv, cookies taste better when it’s painted like a dolphin.


One of my favorite workouts ever: Orangetheory Fitness. They have a La Jolla location, and word on the street is that if you get there early you can reserve a treadmill in advance. (At the Point Loma location, everyone crowds by the door to run to the treadmills because they want to get it over with haha.)

a fun day activity: Birch Aquarium. This is packed with educational opportunities and exhibits, including an active tide pool, seahorse nursery, and shark feeding.



Shopping: Girard Ave & Prospect St. There are some small boutiques, tourist-type stores, and chains, like gap, Lorna Jane and Banana Republic. The entire area is very walkable, so you can walk from lunch to shopping to sightseeing. 

the most delicious vegan and raw food: Triology. I can’t rave about this place enough, and it’s my mission to try everything on the menu. They also have a magical patio with aerial yoga and comfy chairs. This is another family-friendly spot. 



Tacos, with insane guac, margaritas, and freshly-made tortillas: Puesto! I was convinced that I’d miss the tacos at Blanco in Tucson, but I think Puesto’s may be even better….


YOGA: Prana Yoga. It’s a clean and peaceful spot, and I especially love the owner, Gerhard’s classes. 

a pet-friendly spot with bomb salads and craft cocktails: Cody’s. They have an amazing salmon salad, a full pet menu, and herb-infused cocktails. 

exploring a cave with a gorgeous view: La Jolla Caves. Definitely not for my claustrophobic friends, but once you make it to the bottom, the view is incredible. 



I also need to mention Torrey Pines, even though I still haven’t made it out there for a hike. Quite a few of my friends go often, and it’s supposed to be breathtaking. I’m definitely adding it to the winter bucket list!

Any La Jolla faves that I’m missing? I feel like they’re constantly adding new restaurants and shops, so we need to keep going back. 😉

What travels or vacations do you have coming up? I’m really looking forward to our Tucson Thanksgiving trip, but that’s all we have on the horizon for now!



More San Diego faves:

Ocean Beach

Point Loma

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  1. I’ve always wanted to visit California, and you make it sound like such a fun and happy place! My fiancee and I just got back from Disney World last week, and that concludes our travels for the year. Next year we’ll be picking our honeymoon location!

  2. So glad you wrote this post! I recently moved a few miles away from La Jolla Shores (and walking distance to UTC! Aka the reason why my bank account yells at me) and am still discovering new areas. I would say Juice Kaboose is a close second to a Nekter (although I’ve only been to the Del Mar location a bunch of times). I think Torrey Pines is a much quieter and more family- oriented beach if people are looking for something a little less crowded, but nothing beats the Cove 🙂

  3. perfect timing on this post! I’m leaving on Friday to visit my aunt in La Jolla with my mom and a few of my aunts- we’ll see how many places I can drag them in 6 days! I am always drooling over your acai bowl pics, so I plan to steal away for that on my own at least 😉 thanks for the tips!

  4. I grew up in the SF Bay area and never visited San Diego. It figures that now that I live in Colorado, I’m itching to go.

    We will definitely be checking out La Jolla—the views and tacos alone look amazing!

  5. We’ve lived in San Diego for 13 years. Our favorite place in LJ is Windansea Beach. It has the best sunsets in SD. Also great for watching surfers as it has some of the best waves in SD. There is a neat thatched hut too. My husband is a photographer, you can see tons of pics taken there on IG at @kcalfredphoto. This also seems to be where all the kids who go to La Jolla High hang out. All I can say is they make some really small bathing suits nowadays. (Neptune PL and Playa del Norte)

    I often take my son to the LJ Library. They have a 3-d printer there he loves. Also a great used book area where I sometime pick up gossip magazines to read at the gym for 25 cents. Great children’s section too. (Draper St between Pearl and Silver) Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza is on the corner.

    La Jolla Shores is a great beach for families. Lots of sand and much gentler waves than Windansea. (Off El Paseo Grande). Also a great park here.

    The Torrey Pines Glider Port near UCSD is a fun place to hang out. You can watch the hang gliders and they serve food. Dog friendly. Beautiful views. (Torrey Pines Scenic Drive)

    And yes, hiking at Torrey Pines is a must.

    But my favorite place in LJ is Trader Joe’s. But it has one of the worst parking lots in SD. 🙁

  6. This post couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! Headed to SD in two weeks, and I am always looking for new places to try. We will def be checking out Puesto – what is better than guac and margaritas? And, The Cottage is the absolute best- I always make a point to visit at least once per trip (maybe every day:)) Thanks for all the great recommendations!

  7. Yes yes! We are coming in November, so this is helpful. We are thinking of either staying in La Jolla or in the Gas Light District. Any to stay recommendations in either?

  8. Have you ever heard of the NoWait app? If not, it’s seriously amazing! It’s basically an app that tells you how long the wait is at a restaurant then holds your place in line, so you can theoretically hold your place in line while you’re still at your house and just make your way over to a restaurant when it gets closer to the time they’re ready for you. It has restaurants like The Cottage, True Food Kitchen, and lots of Old Town faves like Casa de Reyes on it!

  9. Oh man – all I think about when you mention Torrey Pines is the endless hill! I rode up it several years for the MS Bike Tour and it never got better! We want to do a day trip down to La Jolla soon, so thanks for the recommendations!

  10. I’ve been almost everywhere in SoCal except for La Jolla. I may need to change that especially if it doesn’t cool off here soon.

  11. Traveling to DC for the weekend and I can’t wait! I am starting a CNA program which will be on the weekends until December, so it’s my last trip of the year! Ughhhh La Jolla looks like my happy place <3

  12. I love La Jolla and spent my summers there! I love this post, thanks for sharing I cannot wait to visit again and try all of your recommendations xo C

  13. You HAVE to go to to El Pescador. It used to be just a fish market but then they bought a place next door and made a restaurant. They serve fish caught that day and it is AMAZING. (and you get a lot of your money). You can get it on a sandwich, salad, plate or taco. They have soups as well. So good! And definitely classic La Jolla. The ones you listed are all great but some of them have multiple SD locations which I feel like that somehow takes away a little charm. Hope you love it if you haven’t been there 🙂

    • Fitnessista says:

      i will definitely check it out! and agree about the places you can find elsewhere in san diego. if you have more ideas of awesome la jolla-only spots, let me know!

  14. One of my faves in La Jolla is Brick & Bell Cafe on Silverado–they have the best scones!!

  15. I would love to visit La Jolla! And I really want to try acupuncture!

  16. We LOVE visiting La Jolla! I have an awesome hotel recommendation, La Jolla Cove Suites. We had a full kitchen, separate bedroom, family room, etc. It made traveling with a toddler so much easier than just a regular hotel room. And the view from our private balcony was beyond gorgeous! Best hotel I have ever stayed at, highly recommend 🙂 As for food, we loved the pizza at Amicis! Delicious!

  17. Going to San Fran this weekend! First time there, excited to check out the scene.

  18. I’ll be in La Jolla this Christmas to visit my in-laws! Maybe I’ll run into you at Puesto. Who needs turkey when fish tacos exist in the world?

  19. You must go to Torrey Pines! I went there on the weekend for the first time. It was wonderful and hardly any people. The hiking/walk is easy that Liv could easily do it too. Stopped at Beaming for some hydration 😉 before heading back up the coast. It was a great way to spend a day. Hoping to come back down in a few weeks. The caves look really cool!

  20. Those tacos look out-of-this-world delicious!

  21. Lauren Walsh Forgione says:

    Awesome!! I’m a local in La Jolla too (Bird Rock)..nice roster!!!

  22. Here are some of my La Jolla faves that didn’t make it onto your list (but I think you and other readers would enjoy!) —

    Torrey Pines – absolutely must check it out. It’s more like nature walking than hiking bc the trails are mostly flat and easy. But it’s beautiful.

    Warwicks – great bookstore on Girard Ave with a wide range of books. It’s a fun place to explore while waiting for brunch reservations… you’ll surely leave with a new read.

    Museum of Contemporary Art – really neat stuff in here. It also has a great outdoor sculpture garden with killer views. The restaurant there is one of my faves for brunch/lunch — usually no wait and really good food in a cute outdoor environment.

    Athanaeum – music and arts library that’s beautiful and historic. You can just pop in there and look around if you want a nice change of pace from shopping. They have chamber music performances in one of the small library rooms periodically. I’d highly recommend you guys checking it out on a date night!

  23. La Jolla fave = The Coffee Cup cafe!!! Brb, drooling.

  24. I love La Jolla but haven’t been in years! We need to make a trip back!

    Lotus tanks? Cannot wait to hear about them!! <3

  25. I love this post!! La Jolla is my favorite place in California. If I could afford to live there I would move there in a heartbeat! Thanks for sharing all the fun travel tips. I will definitely use these on my next trip to San Diego.

  26. I just went to Harry’s Coffee Shop last week and it was amazing! They make this Eggs Benedict over a bacon waffle that is to die for. Plus it reminds me of east coast diners which makes me happy 🙂

  27. I love Nekter!!! There smoothies are super yummy too. This is a great list, my husband and I will have to try one of the date nights you recommended.

  28. queenoffitness says:

    Love LaJolla…have only been there once for a few hours, in 2002, and while walking around we stumbled upon the cottage and had a delicious lunch there. we still talk about it! we could never remember the name of the restaurant but the first time you blogged about it, i was like “that’s it!” we visited laguna beach for the first time this past summer and LOVED it. if money was no object i would want to live in laguna. every.single.person we met in a restaurant, store, on the beach, even the john wayne airport couldn’t have been friendlier. must be all the vitamin D californians get. plus, i was able to try all these awesome healthy/fun foods you blog about but can never find in NW pennsylvania.

  29. If you don’t want to trek up the Torrey Pines hill, there are a few other spots that are just as beautiful as Torrey Pines itself and it’s all flat:

    1) Torrey Pines Gliderport – there is lots of parking and spectacular views. There is a little overlook that allows you to see north and south over the cliffs. Also, you can get a good view of the Torrey Pines golf course from here.

    2) La Jolla Farms Rd. There is a short maybe .5 to .75 mile loop just off this road. Parking is on the street in the designated areas. Not a high traffic area, so you will avoid the crowds that you would have at the Gliderport or Torrey pines. Nice views here of a 20,000+ square ft. home.

    3) Del Mar cliffs – exit Del Mar heights and park off 4th street. Walk left first (view of Torrey Pines beach) and then go right. You can also see the Amtrak up close here, so it’s fun to watch the trains go by. Perfect for sunset walks.

    Hope you check out these spots and enjoy. They are my favorites.

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