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Restaurants, Breweries and Nightlife

What's New in San Diego


Restaurants, Breweries and Nightlife

Cali Breakfast opened in downtown San Diego’s Cortez Hill in November, serving breakfast dishes made from fresh local produce with a Latin twist. The menu combines breakfast and brunch options including breakfast tacos, avocado toast and sweets, and also offers a doggie-friendly selection. Cali Breakfast partnered with some of the local charities in the area and will be donating a percentage of its earnings to children with disabilities.

Al Dente, University Heights’ newest Italian dining destination, opened in December, specializing in offering traditional Italian recipes with a modern twist. From the team that brought San Diego Rusticucina and the newly-opened Zama in the Gaslamp, Al Dente promises to be both rich in Italian history and robust with innovative flavor combinations. The restaurant’s unique offerings will include specialties using wild game meat and classic homemade pasta made in-house.

Opened in December in the Convoy District, Diego’s Pan-Asia business district, Take the Bait Seafood Bar is a new restaurant offering a diverse menu of locally caught seafood, salads and flatbreads. Signature menu items include whole octopus, seafood towers, seafood boils for two, a raw bar, a tropical fish & chips dish and seafood-topped flatbreads.

Newly Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded Heritage Brewery & Barbecue opened their second location in Oceanside in January. Heritage serves traditional classics, including the Texas Trinity of smoked brisket, homemade sausage, and ribs, as well as Chef Daniel Castillo's creative departures like the popular brisket banh mi and the pastrami torta.

The hospitality group ELE Collective, behind popular North Park bar Park & Rec, will open a globally inspired restaurant and bar in the former Johnston’s Variety Department Store, a five-and-dime store that opened in 1924. Named Johnston’s, the 3,500-square-foot space will take inspiration from Mission Cliff Gardens, a neighborhood botanical park that closed in 1929. The menu will feature buttermilk fried chicken, confit garlic hummus with homemade za’atar and yakitori grilled meat and vegetarian skewers.

Early this year, Longfellow Real Estate, a developer of life science buildings, and celebrity chef Richard Blais are teaming up to open a Europe meets SoCal eatery dubbed California English. Located in Longfellow’s Biovista campus in Sorrento Mesa, the restaurant will serve an all-day menu of American and Great Britain dishes.

The founding chef behind La Doña restaurant in Ocean Beach has partnered with San Diego's Cohn Restaurant Group to convert Bo-beau Kitchen + Garden in La Mesa into Casa Gabriela, an authentic Mexican eatery and cocktail bar. Now open, Casa Gabriela offers a menu of authentic Mexican dishes, made using passed-down recipes from Chef Gaby's family.

The Gaslamplighter, a karaoke and cocktail bar that’s due to land in the Gaslamp neighborhood this year, will feature a list of classic and contemporary cocktails as well as a menu of bar bites and shareable plates. The bar will host karaoke on its main stage on Tuesday through Sunday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. There will also be occasional live music programming, a mix of local acoustic artists and nationally known names.

Seaport Village, San Diego's harbor-side hub, will be home to several new dining options as part of the Port of San Diego's ongoing revitalization. The restaurants being added include L.A. restaurant chain Gladstone’s, Cork & Batter, a baseball-themed restaurant and sports bar, Zytoun, featuring authentic Mediterranean and Greek cuisine, SoCal-inspired dining destination Malibu Farm and Old Harbor Distilling Co.’s first satellite tasting room.

Opening in February in Banker’s Hill, steps from Balboa Park, Kinme Omakase will be an immersive sushi experience that tells a story of Japan’s bountiful culinary history. With just ten seats and only two seatings per night, Kinme's monthly tasting menu will focus on executing a course-by-course experience inspired by Kaiseki and Edomae-style Japanese omakase restaurants. Centered around expressing the flavors of the season, dishes will utilize seasonal ingredients and premium fish selections directly from the world-renowned Toyosu fish market in Tokyo, as well as purveyors from San Diego and Ensenada in Mexico.

Set to reopen in March under new ownership, El Dorado, a cocktail lounge that was formative in establishing San Diego's craft cocktail scene, will feature a more classic cocktail menu deeply rooted in playful riffs and modern spins. To bring consistently great drinks year-round, El Dorado will offer a timeless cocktail experience that is a comfortable contrast between being highbrow and lowbrow, making it a go-to spot for regulars any night of the week.

This summer, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and founding Jeune et Jolie chef, Eric Bost, will launch their gourmet chicken sandwich shop, Chick N’ Hawk, in Encinitas. The restaurant will serve chicken items, fresh seafood, and cocktails.

San Diego celebrity chef Brian Malarkey and business partner Chris Puffer have taken over Herringbone in La Jolla. The Puffer-Malarkey Collective will transform their former haunt into Le Coq, a French-inspired steakhouse slated to open at the end of 2023. While the concept is still very much in development, the restaurant will transport diners to Paris in the 1920's with a menu of globally-inspired fusion dishes and dry-aged meats.

Bivouac Ciderworks will debut a new concept in the fall, directly adjacent to its North Park tap room and urban production facility. The Bivouac Adventure Lodge will feature generous communal seating, a members-only private tasting club and an in-house general store featuring local, chef-driven pantry goods for build-your-own charcuterie boards and other provisions for purchase, including outdoor gear, apparel, gifts, and more.

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