arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter tiktok youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Specialty Food Shops in San Diego

Great Gastro!

If you're looking for the perfect bottle of wine or specialty cheese to complete your picnic basket, or locally sourced olive oils or chocolates to take home, stop by one of the many specialty shops sprinkled throughout San Diego.

By: Sandra Veum, Personal Shopper

Epicurean Delights to Sip and Savor

You don’t have to dine in a restaurant to take advantage of the amazing gastronomic pleasures being served up in San Diego. To stock up on gourmet food items from local cheeses and homemade baked goods to fine wines and sumptuous chocolates, here are a few shops definitely worth stopping by.

Wine Bars

The Wine Bank

Long before downtown San Diego became a hotbed of dining and nightlife, The Wine Bank, located in the Gaslamp Quarter, began aggressively amassing one of the finest collections of wine and liquor in the world. Now the historic building's large antique bank vaults house rare vintages, cult and limited edition wines. As you meander through its labyrinth of rooms and endless stacks of wine, you'll also pass single malts, small batch bourbons, cognacs and just about every other spirit available from aquavit to pisco. The shop's underground vaults are also home to wine tasting and pairing events on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons.

Grape Connections

Grape Connections, in the quaint seaside neighborhood of Point Loma, is a fine wine store dedicated to providing quality wines at reasonable prices, some starting as low as $5.99. The owner has over 30 years of experience in the wine industry and a knack for recommending the perfect bottle of wine to compliment any dinner or activity. If great customer service with a local hands-on approach is your desire, this shop is one not to miss. Their wine bar is open daily from 12:00 - 6:00 PM.

Wine Steals

Located in the beach community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Wine Steals is known for a lively and relaxed atmosphere where the concept is to combine wine buying and tasting in a fun environment. Whether you are a beginner wine drinker or a well-seasoned one, this shop offers something different for everyone. The casual rustic ambiance will have you imagining that you are in a traditional winery in Europe. Come in to sip, nibble and socialize before buying that perfect bottle of wine.

The 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro

The 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro combines an extensive wine shop with a true California bistro restaurant. With two locations, one in the eccentric beach area of Ocean Beach and another in the laid-back beach area of Encinitas, this unique wine shop and bistro will complete any cravings from a quick glass of wine and charcuterie board to a delicious dinner paired with the perfect bottle of wine.

Grape Smuggler

Located in Point Loma's Liberty Public Market, Grape Smuggler's retail shop boasts hundreds of wine selections from all over the world. They are also known for their local liqueur, bitters and accoutrements for the home bar enthusiast. Be sure to also check out the tapas bar located in the eastern dining hall where guests can enjoy a series of wine flights paired with the perfect tapas.

Chocolate & Candy

Dallmann Fine Chocolates

Indulge in the most delicious chocolate that is sure to leave a lasting impression at Dallmann Fine Chocolates. Located in the shopping area of The Headquarters at Seaport Village, this chocolate tasting room and store carries the most unique and flavorful chocolates using the finest and freshest ingredients. On Thursday nights, experience their tasting room where they pair their world-class confections with beer, wine, champagne, scotch or cheese...just to name a few.

Chi Chocolat

Point Loma's Chi Chocolat boasts hand-made fresh artisanal chocolates like bonbons, truffles, chunky slabs of premium chocolate and delectable chocolate covered fruit. Known for some of the most unique flavors of chocolate like cardamom, cinnamon-nutmeg, curries and tequila, just to name a few. Be sure to compliment your selected chocolate with one of their Italian coffee drinks made on the spot.

Lolli San Diego Sweets

Lolli San Diego Sweets shop located in Liberty Station's Public Market has everything a sweet tooth could wish for—bulk soft sour candies, gummy bears, licorice, locally handmade chocolates, organic candies, freshly made organic cotton candy and much more. Be sure not to miss the retro candy selection to bring back some nostalgic memories.

Cousin's Candy Shop

If nostalgic candy is your desire, try visiting Cousin's Candy Shop, located at Seaport Village and in Old Town State Historic Park. A confectionary shop stocking fudge, taffy, licorice, caramel, chocolate, and old-school candy taking you back to another era. Stroll through the aisles in a quaint setting while filling up your goodie bag. If visiting the Old Town location, be sure to watch the candy makers stretch the salt-water taffy in the window.

Fresh Baked Bread

Bread & Cie

An authentic five-ton stone oven imported from France browns the bread at Hillcrest's Bread & Cie. This quaint bistro atmosphere lets customers watch the busy bakers at work and sample the daily selections of traditional country levian, French white batard and sourdough baguette along with more unusual bread choices like jalapeño & cheese, fig & anise and black olive. The unique flavors, textures and crusts sets this shop apart. They also offer a well-executed breakfast and lunch menu.

Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe

Striving to be the best artisan bread bakery in San Diego is Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe at Liberty Station. This local gathering offers over 20 flavors of handmade artisan bread, decadent morning pastries, creative sandwiches, coffee and espresso drinks. With easy parking you can either swing by and pick up items or relax and enjoy them with inside and outside seating. You might want to split one of their decadent cinnamon rolls since they are known for them.

Charlie's Best Bread

Pacific Beach's Charlie's Best Bread has been showcasing an all-organic line of product since 1988. Everything is made with fresh and pesticide-free organic ingredients such as: organic flour, organic grains, organic eggs, organic honey, organic fruits and veggies, organic butter and organic dairy.

Prager Brothers Artisan Bread

What do you get when two brothers share the same passion for baking traditional wholesome bread? Prager Brothers Artisan Bread store. Born and raised in Carlsbad, the brothers became so popular at the farmers markets that they decided to open a retail space offering specialized high-quality organic breads baked fresh daily and containing 100% organic grains, seeds and nuts. Some local favorites are walnut wholegrain, olive rosemary and raison walnut. If scones, cookies, chocolate croissants or sandwiches are what you desire, they have you covered here too.

Olive Oil

Vom Fass

In German, Vom Fass translates to "from the cask," which is exactly the experience here. This charming, locally owned shop is based on the simple European tradition of sampling wares before purchasing. With tasting experts at your fingertips and a wide assortment of olive oils, this shop also features infused oils, nut & seed oils, wine vinegars, fruit balsamic vinegars, spirits and liqueurs, brandy, whisky, bourbon, wine and other spirits. Not only will you enjoy tasting their product, but you will have a choice of which beautiful bottle you would like to purchase it in. If you are a "foodie," then this shop in Hillcrest will not disappoint.

We Olive & Wine Bar

Perched above La Jolla Cove, We Olive & Wine Bar features a balcony with stunning ocean views where you can experience complimentary tastings of California extra virgin olive oils, vinegars and gourmet foods. Their philosophy is to take pride in offering the finest products from artisan growers, and educate guests about the health benefit and exceptional quality of California Extra Virgin Olive Oils. This shop also offers a menu of olive oil inspired small plates and features small-production California wines and local craft beer.

Temecula Olive Oil Company

Temecula Olive Oil Company, located in Solana Beach and in Old Town, are not only the sellers of their olive oil but they are the actual growers. This shop and tasting room is family owned and operated, and committed to using only California olives to make the highest quality olive oil. The Old Town location features olives, hand-blended flavored oils, spreads, sea salts, balsamic vinegar, herbs, rubs, soaps, lotions and candles made with extra virgin Temecula Olive Oil. The Solana Beach location is in the heart of the design district, Cedros Design District, featuring daily complimentary tastings of cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars, as well as showcasing a complete line of products like cookbooks and artisan gifts made from olive wood.

Baker & Olive

Baker & Olive is a locally owned chef-inspired specialty shop and tasting pantry, with stores in Encinitas, Del Mar and San Diego. With a passion for good food and exceptional customer service this specialty store carries everything from artisan cheeses, world-class aged balsamic vinegars, premium harvest olive oils from around the world, boutique wines, salts & seasonings, and an array of local handcrafted food ingredients. They are truly known for their unique blends of olive oils so be sure to pick some up to take home with you.


Venissimo Cheese

Venissimo Cheese offers five unique locations throughout San Diego. From Downtown, Mission Hills, Del Mar, North Park and their latest in Point Loma, this specialty shop offers tastings of any type of cheese you want. With their knowledgeable cheesemongers and descriptive receipts (complete with pronunciations, country of origin, milk type & more), the goal is to take the intimidation out of artisanal cheese shopping. Be sure to check out their Academy of Cheese (AOC) located either at the Downtown or Del Mar location.

Bottego Americano Marketplace

Located in the vibrant area of downtown San Diego, this European-style full restaurant has a made-to-order epicurean market attached to it, offering gourmet items perfect for any picnic basket. Reminiscent of the neighborhood markets of Italy they feature seasonal produce, olive oils and a variety of cheeses. This is a great place to stop by for the perfect cheese pairing with the perfect bottle of wine or beer.

Liberty Public Market

Located in Point Loma at Liberty Station, the former Naval Training Center, this market has it all; from prepared foods, a wine shop, beer, cocktails, desserts, an olive oil tasting area, fresh fish, a butcher shop, a cheese and gift shop, freshly brewed gourmet coffee, a fresh flower shop, a dog boutique and a retro candy shop, just to name a few. There are also vendors with unique jewelry, sunglasses, watches and more. It's also a fun spot to stroll the adjoining blocks and get a local's perspective on a Southern California lifestyle.

Farmers Markets

Local culinary treasures, along with the freshest fruits, vegetables and flowers can also be found at one of the many local Farmers Markets. There's one every day of the week in neighborhoods throughout San Diego County. Find a San Diego Farmers Market!


Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Map of San Diego's Specialty Food Shops

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you


Elevate your Event with Andaz and Save!

Andaz San Diego
Valid: Feb 21 - ongoing

Promotional concessions available for corporate and social events occurring between November 1, 2023 through December 31, 2024.


Advance Purchase Offer

Days Inn By Wyndham San Diego Hotel Circle
Valid: Nov 13, 2023 - ongoing

Plan your perfect San Diego getaway in advance, and save! When you book and prepay your stay 7 or more days in advance, you’ll take advantage of these special savings today, and have no...


Dana for Dogs Package

The Dana on Mission Bay
Valid: Nov 13, 2023 - ongoing

Eat, Fetch, Love your way to Happiness! Make the Dana on Mission Bay your four-legged-family members home away from home as well, with this special pet-friendly package. PACKAGE INCLUDES: Daily...

Events to check out


Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 25 - Jul 28, 2024

Comic-Con International is the largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, attracting thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related...


Bike the Bay

Aug 25, 2024

San Diego's finest annual cycling event across the Coronado Bridge and around the bay! Ride the bridge, Bike the Bay for the 17th annual ride on Sunday, August 25, 2024! Cruise around San Diego Bay...


Annual Over The Line Tournament

Jul 13 - Jul 21, 2024

The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) is calling all players, beach-goers, and sports enthusiasts to the biggest summer event in San Diego!

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up





Follow Us


English | Change Language

Select your country or region

Great Britain

Or use Google Translate