Join dog groomer extraordinaire and San Diego Gayborhood expert, Gabriel Feitosa, on a tour of his favorite places to eat, drink, and catch a drag show.
Growing up in a huge concrete jungle like São Paulo, I’ve always wanted to live by the ocean. In San Diego I found the perfect combination of the ocean and the city. San Diego is very inviting to the LGBTQIA+ community, which makes it even easier to feel at home. I can be myself.
I start by exercising in the morning, doing some cardio at Mission Beach or a yoga class at the Rady Shell. After that, I take my dogs for a walk in Balboa Park and then join my friends to hang out at a nice lounge with handcrafted cocktails like Barrel & Board or insideOUT.
Being the gay man that I am, Rich’s and Flicks are my go-to spots for Saturday night. Flicks is a music video bar that has been around since 1983 and it’s a staple in the heart of University Avenue. I usually meet up with my friends at Flicks before taking a short walk to Rich’s, which is the most popular club in town. Rich’s has two separate dance floors, a nice outdoor area and a bubbly crowd. Everyone is welcome and a good time is guaranteed.
We have world-class drag performers here who we get to interact with in an intimate setting. On Wednesdays we have the Dreamgirls Revue at Urban Mo's. The show is produced by Chad Michaels, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, who also performs in the show. And we have Lips, a restaurant run by drag queens. Every time I go there I leave with my cheeks hurting from smiling so much. The humor is on point!
Walking your dogs right around sunset on Sunset Cliffs is one of the nicest dog walks you will ever experience. (Bring a jacket because it can get windy.) If you want something greener and equally as beautiful, take your pups for a stroll in Balboa Park. My favorite time to walk there is actually during the evening when the park is quieter and the lights hitting the buildings highlight the mix of Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, making everything look so theatrical against the dark sky.
Ocean Beach is one of my favorites because it has a dog beach. Even if you don’t have a dog, you could spend hours watching puppies play in the sand. Black’s Beach, in my opinion, is San Diego’s little secluded paradise. If you are willing to face a steep hike that is about half a mile down, you might just avoid the massive crowds that are not up for the same challenge and be rewarded with a scenic view.
At the Havana 1920 restaurant downtown, take the elevator down to The Prohibition speakeasy bar downstairs. The bar is small, but charming, with friendly staff and live music. Definitely a hidden gem. Also check out the Raised by Wolves bar at the Westfield UTC mall. You need a reservation, but the decor and experience will make you feel like you’re joining a secret society. Wayfarer Bread & Pastry in La Jolla is another secret spot. Get there early, they close at 2:30 pm and there’s a line out to the street. The line is there for a reason. Those pastries are to die for.
Shank and Bone in North Park is hands-down one of my favorites. They take the ever so popular Vietnamese pho and add their own modern twist. Another favorite spot is Colima’s. They serve a large variety of dishes in a traditional Mexican style. Try the seafood plates, one of their amazing micheladas, or stop by for one of their Taco Tuesdays.
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