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Gourmet Shops, Markets & Delis

13 Shops to Help Pack the Perfect Picnic for the Day

Stop by one of these gourmet shops, markets and delis throughout San Diego county to shop like a local and pack the perfect picnic for a day at the beach or a local park.

By: Sandra Veum, Personal Shopper

Great food on the go is a mainstay in San Diego's outdoor lifestyle. So it's no surprise that you'll find plenty of delectable snacks at diversified and notable local gourmet shops, markets and delis throughout the county. Stop by, shop like a local and pack the perfect picnic for a day at the beach or other recreational pursuit.

13 Gourmet Shops, Markets & Delis

Mona Lisa Italian Foods

This Italian deli, situated in the vibrant neighborhood of Little Italy, offers a wide selection of foods, wine, and drinks, including Italian cheeses, sandwiches, breads, crackers, meats, desserts and much more. Their relaxed and comfortable Italian restaurant is also located next door which has a full bar, authentic dishes, and house specialties.

Where: 2061 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

The Market by Buon Appetito

Just down the street from Mona Lisa, The Market by Buon Appetito offers personally selected gourmet groceries from Italy and other culinary centers from all over the world. With fresh fruits, veggies, pastas, wines, desserts, and gluten-free and organic items, this market is perfect to pack up a picnic lunch for the beach or park.

Where: 1605 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

Bottega Americano Marketplace

Located in downtown East Village on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law building, Bottega Americano Marketplace has one of the most extensive epicurean Italian markets and to-go options in San Diego. This gourmet market sells coffees, olive oils, sauces, pasta, macaroons, cocktail mixers, honey, cookbooks, and fresh foods packaged to-go. There is even a full espresso bar with hand-crafted syrups and flavored whips. Their innovative and interactive culinary restaurant is part of this market as well.

Where: 1195 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Luxury Farms

In the quaint neighborhood of Mission Hills, Luxury Farms can pack up one of the most delicious to-go box lunches with wine for any foodie. Carrying items that are beautifully packaged such as specialty cheeses, meats, chocolates, wine, and specialty sandwiches and wraps that come directly from their restaurant, The Patio on Goldfinch, just down the block. You might even want to pick up some of their house wear items to take home with you.

Where: 928 Fort Stockton Dr. Ste. 103, San Diego, CA 92103

Zion Market

If an Asian specialty market is your desire, Zion Market carries an abundance of fresh Korean specialty foods. This full service market offers daily specials and is known for having some of the best selections and prices in town. Their food court offers an abundance of Korean hot specialty dishes, sushi rolls, kimchi, sashimi, and a bakery to either enjoy on-site or take back to your hotel room.

Where: 7655 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego CA 92111

Pancho Villa Farmers Market

When it comes to Mexican markets try Pancho Villa Farmers Market. This Mexican market has an expansive variety of Latin foods, flavors and spices. Think fresh tortillas, produce, pastries, and specialty meats. In addition to having delicious daily specials like tacos, chili rellenos, and carnitas being offered in their cocina/deli.

Where: 3245 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego 92104

LaTiendita Mexican Market 

The cozy Mexican market, LaTiendita Mexican Market, carries specialty Mexican items and has a hot food bar providing their sought after tacos, salsa, and guacamole. With a wide selection of meats to experience in either tacos, enchiladas, or burritos you can't go wrong.  Be sure to try their red and green salsas with chips.

Where: 3851 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117

Balboa International Market

Balboa International Market is a specialty market offering an array of International Specialty and ethnic foods from around the world including Europe, the Middle East, Russia, South Africa, India, Mexico, Southeast Asia, and Japan. For the health conscious there is even a large natural section with organic gluten free products. The food court has both hot and cold items from the Middle East, Persia, and India.

Where: 5905 Balboa Ave, San Diego, CA 92117

Point Loma Seafood's

One of San Diego's staples for seafood is Point Loma Seafood's. With its doors first opening in 1963, this local deli and market carries the freshest fish, custom smoked fish, and filleting fish for the sport fisherman. They are known for their homemade chowders, fresh shrimp and crabmeat, and tartar sauce. With your fresh fish meal in hand and pleasant outdoor seating you will feel just like the locals.

Where: 2805 Emerson St, San Diego, CA 92106

Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill

Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill is a well known Mission Hills seafood spot that always attracts a line. Owned by two local brothers who grew up fishing and boating in San Diego. Every day they start with the freshest fish and carefully prepare it to enhance its flavor. Every plate, sandwich, and fish taco is an expression of being fresh and very local.

Where: 3667 India St, San Diego, CA 92103

El Pescador Fish Market La Jolla

In the seaside area of La Jolla resides El Pescador Fish Market La Jolla, created by a young ambitious surfer back in 1974. Recruiting a fellow surfer and friend to help grow the business from selling just fresh seafood to selling fresh fish to eat on the spot. Now offering everything from soup, salad, seafood cocktails, seafood sandwiches and salads, fresh char-grilled seafood and specialty items this is a must-eat-at location.

Where: 634 Pearl St, San Diego, CA 92037

Pelly's Fish Market & Cafe

Since 1989, Pelly's Fish Market & Cafe's mission has been to provide Carlsbad and the surrounding areas with the finest and freshest seafood available anywhere. Fish arrives daily on the "round" (meaning whole) then is filleted on-site. From their sushi grade Ahi to the locally harvested shellfish you will find the quality second to none. They serve the same quality fish in their cafe to make killer sandwiches, tacos, and grilled seafood plates. The different types of clam chowder is made daily and be sure to save room for Pelly's homemade key lime pie.

Where: 7110 Avenida Encinas #101, Carlsbad, CA 92011

Seaside Market

Seaside Market just off Coast Highway 101 in the beach community of Cardiff is a San Diego institution. Not only a full service market, Seaside has an excellent selection of fresh hand carved meat sandwiches that stand up to the best anywhere.  Don’t miss their BBQ Burgundy Pepper Tri Tip on a brioche bun - yes, it's as good as it sounds. Other favorites include the hot focaccia sandwiches, the Hawaiian plates and grommet muffin breakfast sandwich.

Where: 2087 San Elijo Ave, Cardiff by the Sea, 92007

For more fresh local food, visit one of the San Diego's many Farmer's Markets.

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