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Food & Wine Stroll in Downtown San Diego
Gaslamp Flavor & History Walking Tour
By Linda Kissam 'Food, Wine & Shopping Diva'
San Diego is a foodie heaven.
Most people think of Mexican Food and fresh fish when they think of Southern California. The city's long history and close proximity to Mexico has blessed the area with an extensive variety of authentic Mexican restaurants, regional homemade specialties, border fare and haute cuisine.
Several chain restaurants made their start in San Diego including Jack in the Box, Pat & Oscar's, Souplantation (March 1978), Rubio's (1980s), Filippi's Pizza Grotto, Sammy's Woodfired Pizza, Roberto's, Alberto's, and Anthony's Fish Grotto (1950s). This is the foodie Olympics for sure.
The culture of San Diego, California is influenced heavily by American and Mexican cultures due to its position as a border town, its large Hispanic population, and its history as part of Spanish America and Mexico. However, because of its ethnic and cultural mix, San Diego has a wide range of cuisines; think Mexican, Italian, French, Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese, Greek, Latin, German, Indian, Central and East Asian, Middle Eastern and Pacific Islander food throughout the city. In addition, there are numerous seafood restaurants and steakhouses. San Diego's warm, dry climate and proximity to the ocean also make it a center for fishing and for growing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Long a center of the tuna industry, San Diego benefits from an abundant supply of seafood.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the next time you’re in the downtown area, experience
the fun and flavor of San Diego through a foodie walking tour. There are several
companies to choose from, but my money and recommendation is on Another Side Of San
Diego Tours’ 2-
Taking a guided stroll through time you’ll admire restored Victorian-
At the start of your tour your guide will check you in at the tour desk next to Horton Plaza. They offer you a bottle of water and a big smile and off you go on a 1.5 to 2 mile stroll. At each restaurant, you’ll sample the cuisine of the restaurant while learning about its food and history. You can purchase wine or spirits at most places for an extra charge. This was an important component for the group I was in. During the walking portion of the tour, your guide will share interesting facts and stories about the buildings, streets, and culture of San Diego.
The Gaslamp Flavor & History Walking Tour doesn’t go to the fanciest restaurants in San Diego but it does take you to the yummiest places while providing great local scenery. My tour took me from Italian (The Opera Café) to Mexican (Rockin’ Baja Coastal Cuisine) to the richest gelato shop (Chocolat Cremerie) I’ve ever been to. I know I was visiting places that are usually only known to locals.
The tours get a hodgepodge of people, both local and visitors. People who love food,
people who love regional architecture, people who want to know more about the San
Diego culinary scene, people who love to experience a city by walking and tasting
it, people who want to do immerse themselves in a city’s taste and feel. People
who go on foodie tours are the curious, fun loving sort who will gladly walk and
chat for two hours. If your friends describe you as “lethargic," or a "picky eater,”
or if you have a cast on your foot…then a 2-
San Diego is a pretty casual place when it comes to fashion, so don’t feel like you
have to dress up. Come as you are. Dress in looser threads – and definitely no prom
shoes, keeping in mind you’ll be casually strolling for about 2 miles/ 2hours total.
Go ahead and wear your favorite statement t-
Once you take one tour, you’re likely to want more. The good news is that you can take more than one tour and not visit the same restaurant or area twice because this company has a variety of tours like the famous Gaslamp Segway® Tours, Coronado Segway® Tours, and La Jolla Segway® Tours. You can also sign up for a variety of other experiences: Helicopter Tours, Horseback Riding Tours, Hot Air Balloon Flights, Sightseeing Tours, Sailing Tours, Kayaking Tours, and Hiking Tours. Pretty much if you can think of it, they’ll sell it to you.
So…why not put on your most outrageous t-
Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva' is a professional travel, food and wine
writer based out of Southern California. Through her websites and
she specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing
her favorite things about the places she visits.