Favorite San Diego date spots

Hi friends! How’s it going? Our house was hit with a bit of the standard spring cold. Liv and the Pilot got it the worst, and P and I are still fighting the good fight. Fingers crossed it doesn’t get worse. I used to boast about my awesome immune system -I used to go YEARS without getting sick- and could never understand why my parent friends and their kids were always sick. I totally get it now. When your immune system is constantly down from lack of sleep and your house is a petri dish of preschool germs brought home, it’s harder to fight it. I’ve been pretty cautious of using oils in the diffuser since P is so little, but I’ve been using lavender throughout the house, and Tom, Liv and I have been drinking lots of tea with honey. I’ve also been *enjoying* this cold fighting elixir of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, honey, hot water, turmeric, cayenne. No one else will touch it haha. 

Cold fighter

I had my pre-op appointment yesterday for my upcoming procedure, hit up the gym for arms (arm burner coming atcha tomorrow), and we went for a family walk.

Family walk

(The Pilot says we’ve definitely been married a while when I give him less grief about his creeper-y March mustache. I just saw it and said, “Oh yeah. It’s March.”)

P lasted in the Ergo for longer the 10 minutes without majorly spitting up. THIS IS HUGE.

It was also Liv’s first time walking Caro all by herself! I help her around the corners since there are more cars and crossing the street we always hold hands, but down the sidewalk, it was just her and Caro. Liv is super gentle with her and they are just the right pace for each other.

So today, I thought we could talk about favorite date night spots! The Pilot and I finally feel comfortable heading out on a date night while the kiddos stay with our awesome sitter or a good friend. (Since Miss P’s reflux was so bad, it took a while before I was ready to leave for longer than an hour or so. Thankfully, I think we’re finally on the ups and getting out of the woods! I THOUGHT THIS WOULD NEVER COME. haha)

Here are some of my favorite date places in San Diego, depending on what you’re looking for. It’s tricky because there are so many fantastic restaurants in SD, but these are our very favorites:

Fave San Diego

If you’re looking for…

a quaint, romantic spot with delicious food: Bo-Beau Kitchen or Herringbone. Bo-Beau may just be one of my all-time favorite restaurants, and the atmosphere at Herrington is divine. There’s an enormous tree built into the structure. 

something casual: Puesto or OB Noodle House. If you come to San Diego, you have to try OB Noodle House. Their pho is everything. You can sit at the bar, or enjoy the fresh air and people-watching on their new patio. They have two locations in OB, and the newer one is 21+ after 5pm. Puesto has some of the best tacos I’ve ever had, and they have a couple of locations in town. Their margaritas are killer, too. 

Puesto tacos

to drink wine, share a cheese board, and enjoy the atmosphere: Vin de Syrah. This is another spot with a cool atmosphere. It’s very Alice In Wonderland and you enter downstairs through a faux grass-covered door. It’s dark and whimsical with moody, romantic decor. Their chocolate cheese board is to. dieeeeee. forrrrr.

to people-watch, listen to awesome music, and drink inexpensive cocktails: SHOUT HOUSE. I think they only have bar food but as the Pilot says, “There are food qualities in beer, but there are no beer qualities in food.” 😉 Also, I have high appreciation for any opportunity to shamelessly belt out “Livin’ On a Prayer.”

to share a bunch of tapas and enjoy house cocktails: Prep Kitchen or the Patio on Lamont. They have similar menus and are the perfect low-key spots for house cocktails and appetizers.

something you can enjoy before walking down to the beach: Cody’s. Their ceviche is my favorite, and it’s walking distance from our beloved seals.

something super fancypants with a view: Mister A’s. We went here for our anniversary and I was expecting it to be over-hyped. Nope. It really is that good, and the sparkling view of the entire city is magical.

flavorful Mediterranean food: Meze Greek fusion. They also have bellydancers, which is always fun. 😉

Us after meze1

to go out downtown afterwards: Searsucker. I didn’t find anything over-the-top glorious about their food (it’s delightful, but not overly memorable) but it’s a great location to go bar hopping afterwards.

Mexican food with unique decor/atmosphere: El Camino. We went here for my 30th birthday! I was in Mexican skeleton heaven. 

Super El Camino Mexican Kitsch Bar and Lounge 5

if you just want GOOD Mexican food: Miguel’s in Old Town. Old Town is swarming with awesome Mexican restaurants, but Miguel’s is my favorite for a date.

Mexican-Asian fusion with INSANE dessert: Indigo Grill. My recap of this one is here! GET THE BROWNIE. You will not regret it.

Brownie of life

real Italian food and incredible pizza: Caffe Bella Italia. This is a quaint restaurant in PB, and you can hear the staff’s friendly bantering in Italian. There are a lot of wonderful Italian restaurants here (especially with Little Italy) but I still think this is the most “like the real deal” pizza I’ve tried here.


(I mean, I’m not picky about pizza. But if it can transport me back to Italy, I am instantly obsessed.)

to share appetizers and drinks, then take them into a movie: the LOT. We were able to check out the opening, and I’m SO STOKED we’re getting one in Liberty Station. 

Places we want to try:

The Marine Room

Cucina Urbana

The Golden Door

Where is your favorite date night spot where you live? If you live in, or have been to, San Diego: are there any date night spots we have to try?

Have a wonderful day and I’ll see ya later on the Family page.



Ocean Beach Faves

La Jolla Faves

Point Loma Faves

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  1. Shannon Crenshaw Rhoads on March 22, 2016 at 6:19 am

    I’m not a San Diego local, but I travel there a lot (and got married there last August)! I love this list and look forward to trying some of your favorite spots!

    Some other favorites:
    Pizza Nova (the garlic rosemary bread balls they serve before your meal comes out are everything)
    Brigantine (best fish tacos on earth so far as I’m concerned)
    Red Sails Inn (not a date night spot, but for a low key breakfast it’s awesome)
    Piatti (the lemon ravioli is the most legit)

    Happy eating!

  2. Chelsea@RunningWithaWhisk on March 22, 2016 at 6:26 am

    I will definitely be bookmarking this list! My husband and I are moving to the Bay Area in a month and have plans to go down to San Diego for a weekend. I love this comprehensive list!

  3. RachelG on March 22, 2016 at 6:47 am

    OB NOODLE HOUSE! OB NOODLE HOUSE!! 🙂 In Connecticut Le Petit Cafe is the perfect fancy yet unpretentious and cozy date night spot. The most delicious french food outside of Paris. Also literally right down the block from it is GZen, this wonderful vegan spot that even the meat eating husband likes (hint hint, come visit 😉 ). 🙂 Their brunch is amazing.

  4. Dietitian Jess on March 22, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Thanks for sharing-the hubs and I are planning a San Diego trip for this year- will definitely reference this post. My go tos in Philly is basically any Steven Starr or Vetri restaurant- the quality and fun menu items are plentiful at every restaurant. PS my go to for a cold is raw garlic on a spoon of nut butter- the garlic is very medicinal and the nut butter helps it go down without burning so much! Feel better soon

  5. Lindsay on March 22, 2016 at 7:00 am

    I have a friend who works at Ironside Fish and Oyster. Their Chowder Fries are EVERYTHING.

  6. Cassie on March 22, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Mellow Mushroom is our go to right now since they have vegan pizza… everything in the world to this no dairy gal! Do you have a recommendation for an essential oil diffuser? I keep meaning to get on the bandwagon and toss our plug ins, but then I cost over to check out prices and put it off.

  7. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on March 22, 2016 at 7:44 am

    I’ve been to SD twice and everywhere I ate was amazing. Little Italy was my favorite! Unfortunately, I cannot remember the names of any of the places. Guess I will have to visit soon!

  8. Juliana on March 22, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Thanks for the list, I was away for a few years before moving back to SD in January and everything has changed just enough that I feel I don’t know anything anymore.

    You should definitely try Wet Stone Wine Bar in Banker’s Hill. I actually went with a friend for it’s grand opening a loooooooong time ago, and then never went back until a guy took me there on a date a few weeks ago. He was nothing to write home about (womp womp) but it’s still a neat spot. I love wine bars that aren’t too loud or crowded and you can actually have a conversation. Plus they had an interesting selection of wines, I also tried their sangria and it was surprisingly good!

  9. Taylor on March 22, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Yum!! All of those look awesome!!! I can’t remember the name, but there was this cute little lunch spot in Coronado that we love to go when we visit San Diego.

  10. Steph on March 22, 2016 at 8:49 am

    You’ve got to try Underbelly for great ramen, Jayne’s Gastropub (sit on the magical patio with twinkle lights), Banker’s Hill for a fabulous happy hour and Juniper and Ivy for the most creative foodie food you’ve ever tasted! Happy eating!

  11. Jacki on March 22, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Cucina Urbana is amazing! I went there when I was newly pregnant and in town with some friends to do the Rock n Roll Half (which I bowed out of due to a bum knee and insane exhaustion from growing a human). They had this amazing burrata appetizer that I maybe asked 15 times if it was pasteurized. He swore it was, and I didn’t even care if he was lying to me, it was so incredible. This was also the same trip where I spent 20 minutes in the Phoenix airport on the way there googling whether or not pregnant women could eat crab….I was seriously considering not getting on that plane if I couldn’t have a Point Loma Seafoods crab sandwich.

  12. Maggie {Maggie Gets Real} on March 22, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Love these! Moving to SD area in August for grad school, and I’ll have to drag the bf along to “verify” all these top picks. 😉

    Does a hotel room count as a fave date spot? bahahaha. Long distance relationship problems…womp wommmmp.

  13. Meghan Schmitt on March 22, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Cucina Urbana is amazing! We also really like Pomodoro in Point Loma for authentic Italian.

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      ohhh i’ll check that out!

  14. linz on March 22, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Thanks for sharing!! We’re heading to san diego in 3 weeks and I’m totally checking at least one of these places out!

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      yessss. enjoy your time here!

  15. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on March 22, 2016 at 11:23 am

    You guys are adorable!

  16. Amanda Turner on March 22, 2016 at 11:38 am

    I’m not picky about pizza either, but that looks freaking delicious.

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      THE BEST 🙂

  17. Sam @ Barrister's Beet on March 22, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Hope you guys all feel better soon! That elixir looks…. rough ; )

    I’ve never been to SD but I would LOVE to go! I think it would make for a great long weekend trip for me and my husband. We’re going on a Baltic Cruise around Northern Europe, Scandinavia and Russia in May and I’m super pumped.

  18. Nicole Samuel on March 22, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Can’t wait to finally try Bo-Beau soon, I’ve heard amazing things!

    In my mind, the best date night is a cheese plate and bottle of wine at Whiskenladle. The atmosphere in the front portion is just perfect for a cozy date night!

    Also love Red Door in Mission Hills for awesome farm-to-table brunch or dinner date. My bf and I just went to Bracero the other weekend and I can’t wait to go back. Best to go with a date so you can split everything on the menu with him–it’s all amazing!! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      oh my gosh, you will LOVE IT
      whisknladle is another great spot for sure!
      i will check those out. thank you!

  19. Grace on March 22, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Your reaction to the Pilot’s creeper ‘stache is hilarious. My hubby has surprised me by shaving his beard to a mustache not once but twice. This last time was at a Cinco de Mustache party so as he put it, “I had to babe!” Luckily the beard was back in full force within a few weeks.

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      hahah that is awesome

  20. Leanne on March 22, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Gina – my husband and I just got back from San Diego yesterday for our belated honeymoon. I used a lot of your lists as a guide so thank you for posts like this! Our favorite was Wonderland (we stayed in OB) for the great sunset and cocktails. Loved the acai bowl from tiki port per your recommendation too.

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      so so awesome! wonderland is one of liv’s favorite. happy you liked tiki port too!

  21. Molly on March 22, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    You should try Luce (Bay Park) and Starlite (mission hills). Both have amazing Moscow Mules with real copper mugs. Urban Solace in North Park (watermelon tomato salad) and Brooklyn Girl( mission hills) Ironside (little Italy). Also Tower 23 in PB for a sunset glass of vino. You will LOVE Cucina Urbana

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      i will definitely check those out! thank you! we have been to tower 23 (stayed there on our baby moon with liv!) and brooklyn girl and LOVE them. i already know we have the same taste 🙂

  22. Meredith on March 22, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Definitely second (or third?) the Ironside recommendation. Oysters + their homemade bread = heaven. I love 100 Wines which I believe is owned by the Bo-Beau folks. Cantina Mayahuel is a legit tequila bar in Uni Heights that has authentic and amazing food as well – the torta and ceviche are my faves. Downtown for fancy nights – Kettner Exchange or Juniper & Ivy. Great Maple in HIllcrest is known for brunch but I actually think the dinner and cocktails are better – you can still get maple bacon glazed donuts for dessert 🙂

  23. Lena on March 22, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Cucina Urbana is so good. They have this magical seafood pasta that you have to get if you like seafood and pasta.

  24. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on March 23, 2016 at 5:11 am

    Hope you are all feeling better soon. Spring colds are so difficult. Thank you for your tips to keep the house relatively germ-free. I know apple cider vinegar is the best for what ails you but hard to get down.

  25. Kari F on March 23, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Hi Gina! I hope you all are feeling better! Would you please share the recipe for your cold elixir?

    • Fitnessista on March 23, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      i don’t really measure anything, but here’s my eyeball version:
      1/4 cup hot water
      1 heaping teaspoon ACV
      1/2 teaspoon honey
      sprinkle of turmeric and cayenne
      juice of half a lemon

  26. Jessica on March 23, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Yessss! My boyfriend and I are headed down to San Diego this weekend, so this is perfect timing for me!

  27. Laura on March 23, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    This is a great list! The Wine Vault & Bistro offers a 5-course meal with wine pairings on the weekends, and the menu is different every week. I agree with the others about Juniper and Ivy, Underbelly, Starlite, and Brooklyn Girl. Buona Forchetta in South Park is our go-to place when we want to feel like we are back in Italy. And speaking of South Park, I am dying to try the new vegan place there, Kindred.

    I hope you feel better soon!

    • Fitnessista on March 23, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      i didn’t know about the new vegan place! i’ll have to check it out. also buona forchetta is happening 🙂
      did you love juniper and ivy? i loved the dessert but i thought the food was ok.
      hope you’re having a great week!

  28. Martha on March 23, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    I lived in San Diego for 6 years. Cucina Urbana is a must!

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