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Something “New to See” for San Diego Visitors

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Photo Credit: theguardian.com @Erik Isakson

Been there, done that!  Whether this is your second, third or your “I can’t even count how many times I’ve been” trip to San Diego, you’re looking to kick start your vacation with something new. While we could give you a list of restaurants and shops that opened within the past month, we thought it’d be more fun to shed a little light on a monthly event that San Diego locals love: the free public sky viewing at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.

The first thing you probably noticed is the event is free! The perfect price for when you’re looking to try something new. On the first Wednesday of each month, members of the SDAA set up telescopes right outside of the Fleet Center building. Participants can gaze at the moon, planets and some of the brightest stars in the galaxy on clear San Diego evenings. Interested in staying near the Fleet Center during your trip? Learn more about affordable San Diego hotels near Balboa Park.

If you’re looking for even more fun, head to Fleet Center before the evening viewing for the “Sky Tonight” planetarium show which takes place inside at the theater. There are two show times, one at 7pm and another at 8pm, with adult tickets priced at $14 and children’s tickets at $12. As you watch the night sky change in front of your eyes, an expert astronomer will act as narrator, showing you just what to look for. Here are a few other things you should know before you go:

  • Parking is hit or miss, but most say that finding a spot can be tiring. Look to park a little further away at one of the larger lots and walk to the center in Balboa Park or opt for street parking as there is often more during the weekends.
  • Try to arrive at least 15-20 minutes early to ensure that you have time to purchase tickets. Click here if you would prefer to make a purchase online to get it out of the way.
  • By arriving early, you’ll get first choice of seats, however we do have to say that every seat in the house offers a spectacular view.
  • The planetarium show is not recommended for children ages 5 or under simply because of how dark the theater gets and the sophisticated language used by the narrator

The planetarium show and stargazing event is ideal for all visitors, bringing out the “inner-kid” of adults, offering fun and learning for teens and families, and providing a great date-night venue for those romantics tired of your average dinner and a movie.

Want to learn more about fun activities to enjoy in San Diego? Browse our blog and continue checking back in the future. As one of the top cheap downtown San Diego hotels, we’re always writing about money saving tips, fun things to do and local events! And if you know someone who would love spending the evening gazing at the stars, share this post with them on Facebook or Twitter.

Your Guide to Downtown San Diego’s Bar & Club Scene!

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Downtown San Diego is full of fun activities, exciting bars, mix and mingle events and dancing. The trick when visiting San Diego is picking the right nightlife hotspot when there are so many tantalizing options. There are literally over 100 options to choose from when you hit the Gaslamp District, making it hard to narrow down your options. That’s why we put together this list of the best places downtown for dancing, drinking, dining, lounging and socializing. Take a peek and go paint the town red after you unpack in your affordable downtown San Diego hotel room.

Dancing

If you’re looking to shake your groove thang downtown you have a few different options. For some swing and sock hop the only place to be is Henry’s Pub for Rockabilly Tuesdays on 5th Avenue.  To celebrate your saucy salsa side, head to Café Sevilla for tapas and the tango. If you’re looking to drop in low in a new and trendy dance club then Bassmnt, Fluxx, and Moonshine Flats will be spinning the latest house, hip hop and country beats.

Drinking

With a bar on every corner it’s hard to navigate where to go when you tour Downtown San Diego. A great place to start is Vin de Syrah for a glass of wine in an Alice in Wonderland type of atmosphere.  Some places to grab exquisite craft cocktails the Gaslamp Speakeasy, Prohibition, Magnolia and The Blind Burro located next to the SDCC. For more hot spots around the venue including cheap hotels near San Diego Convention Center click here!

Dining

Looking for a late night bite in a fun atmosphere? Downtown San Diego caters to the after-hours eaters with some great open late eateries. Check out Brian’s 24 for an upscale Denny’s type of menu, just be prepared to wait on busy Friday and Saturdays. Bang Bang has a trendy late night menu with sushi and Asian fusion cuisine and if you’re looking to party stay after supper for a poppin’ club scene. La Puerta won’t stop serving their delish carne asada fries or fish tacos until 2 a.m.!

Socializing

Grab your posse and your best pick-up lines before you head out to one of these bars if your main goal is meeting new and attractive party people: Altitude Sky Lounge, Searsucker, Coyote Ugly, Bootlegger or The Shouthouse.

After a fun night of seeing San Diego’s nightlife scene be sure you have a nearby hotel room already booked. The San Diego Pacific Inn is an affordable San Diego Airport hotel that is a mere 2 miles from the airport and is also  conveniently located next to the Gaslamp District!

To book a discounted hotel room near Downtown San Diego, call a Pacific Inn reservations specialist today at 1-800-571-2933.

Like what you read? Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for more San Diego vacation tips!

Fun Filled 1 Day San Diego Itinerary

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Photo Credit: globltorg

Just like Rome, San Diego wasn’t built in a day. However, if you only have one day to see SD’s finest we can help. You might just want to see some sights during your business trip in between meetings, or perhaps you have a long enough layover to venture around your cheap hotel near San Diego Airport and the downtown district. Whatever the case, we have compiled a list of the top 5 must-see items, all of which can be done in one day!

  1. Book an affordable hotel near Old Town San Diego because this is a great place to start your day. Old Town is packed full of history, beautiful parks, museums, shopping and plenty of restaurant options.
  2. Next head just down the street to see the wonders of Balboa Park. You’ll have your choice of museums, including the esteemed San Diego Museum of Art, along with prime picnic spots and playgrounds for the kids.
  3. Continue going south and you’ll hit San Diego’s Gaslamp District. Downtown San Diego is full of life, energy and diversity and you can’t skip town without experiencing it. Take your time to walk 5th Street, enjoy the overwhelming amount of restaurant options and grab a glass of wine on an Italian bistro-themed patio.
  4. Speaking of Italian, next up on your must-see list is Little Italy located just next door to the Gaslamp Quarter. With award winning restaurants on every corner and bars that cater to every taste, from classy and trendy to cheap and divey, this quaint town is a must. Just be sure you make reservations if you want to enjoy dinner here on a weekend night!
  5. Wrap up your fun-filled day by the Big Bay. Walk along the harbor during sunset and stop by the Maritime Museum to soak in some rich San Diego history.

When you wrap up your day alongside San Diego’s Bay you’ll also be conveniently located right next to your affordable San Diego hotel room if you made a reservation at Pacific Inn & Suites, which sits on California’s popular Pacific Coast Highway. If you call and book your room in advance today you can even receive 12% off already low prices. To secure your San Diego hotel room click on the “reservations” tab above or call us at 1-800-571-2933.

What are you most looking forward to seeing during your day in San Diego? Share this article on Facebook or Twitter to spark a conversation!

Your Guide to Attending a San Diego Opera

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Photo Credit: sandiegotheatres.org

The opera house in San Diego was voted one of the top opera venues in the nation by Opera America. The musical performance of an opera in this state-of-the-art venue is something that everyone visiting San Diego must experience. Ticket prices start at $45 and you can even see your “view from a seat” when you reserve your ticket on the SD opera website. The San Diego Opera House is located inside the Civic Theater, just down the street from the San Diego International Airport. If you’re thinking about buying tickets for a show, learn more about cheap San Diego Airport hotels.

If you’re a first time opera spectator, we know it might seem somewhat intimidating. You can brush up on various performances as well as general opera knowledge by attending the pre-opera lecture in the theater 1 hour before the performance starts, listen to a 15 minute SD opera podcast (sandiegoopera.libsyn.com/rss), or grab eclectic information from online resource “Operapedia.”

Other Tips for Attending an Opera:

  • Dress to impress but know that black tie affair isn’t necessary. Some show up in casual attire like jeans and a collared dress shirt while others choose to don a full suit or floor length dress.
  • Show up early for Fun on the Concourse. Mix and mingle in front of the theater before the show where you can grab a bite to eat from one of their food vendors: La Creperie, Red Oven Pizza, Bread & Cie and Puesto.
  • Don’t have so much fun that you don’t make it to your seat before the doors close. If you arrive late you’ll have to enjoy Act I from the lobby.
  • Turn off all electronic devices… and your voice. The acoustics in an opera house sound as beautiful as they do because voices and music travel extremely well without the need for a microphone. That means your distracting chit-chattering can travel as well.
  • Leave the kids at home. Young ones without an appreciation for dramatic performances might not appreciate a lengthy opera and decide to throw a mini drama of their own.
  • Be prepared to read super titles as most operas are sung in a different language. And for those unfamiliar with the term, super titles display the translation in English above the stage.
  • Enjoy your intermission. The 20 minute break is a great time to stretch your legs and grab a drink, so use it wisely.
  • Stay after hours for Afterglow at the Beverly Hills Salon on the 2nd level of the Civic Theater. Schmooze with fellow opera lovers and the cast themselves over a craft cocktail. Then, hit the town in the Gaslamp Quarter where great bars and restaurants are abounding.
  • Make sure you have an affordable hotel near the San Diego Convention Center. After a lengthy but beautiful performance, it’ll be nice to know you have a comfortable room to crash in.

Pacific Inn & Suites has the perfect post opera hotel options that happen to be comfortable, convenient and wallet friendly. Our downtown San Diego budget hotel is located less than 1 mile from the opera house inside the Civic Theater. Keep it classy and call 1-800-571-2933 today to see if you can score a discounted rate on our already affordable rooms and suites!

How to Save Money at San Diego Sea World

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Seals and sharks and whales, oh my! Sea World San Diego has a full day’s worth of fun waiting for you and your family. Between seeing amphibious exhibits, going on rides, watching entertaining shows and catching a glimpse of the famous Shamu, there will be little time to think about your vacation budget. Expenses can quickly and easily add up at amusement parks if you don’t plan ahead with a pre-set budget and handy money saving tips and tricks.

We’re all about helping you save money, which is why we put together this list of helpful and easy ways you can keep your wallet padded without missing out on any of the fun.

  • Never pay full price for admission. Getting discounts on SeaWorld admission tickets can take a little footwork and research but it will surely pay off in the end. You can get 20% off up to four tickets if you show your Southwest Rapid Rewards card, which is free to sign up for online. If you’re staying at Pacific Inn & Suites, a Downtown San Diego budget hotel, you can purchase discounted admission tickets from us and get 15% off your hotel stay! You also have the option to save $8 if you print the coupon at available at visitcalifornia.com. Some lesser discounts can be redeemed with proof of AAA membership, HiltonHHonors or California residency.One of the most honorable ways SeaWorld is handing out discounts is by allowing all U.S. active duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman one free admission ticket for themselves and three dependents per year. Just go to wavesofhonor.com to register.
  • Plan smart and pack ahead. Bring your own food to the park unless you want to pay $8 for a hot dog. Although food isn’t allowed into the park, you can pack a full cooler and leave it in your car. When lunch time comes, bring your cooler and enjoy a cheap and delicious meal at the picnic table area in front of the entrance gates.If you don’t want to deal with trekking back out to your car, you can consider purchasing SeaWorld’s All-Day Dining Deal. For adults its $29.69 if purchased in advance online and $16.99 for children ages 3-9. For this price you get a wristband that allows you unlimited access to food and water throughout the entire day at participating restaurants. The only downside is that you’ll likely have to wait in a line.
  • Are you planning on going to more than one San Diego attraction during your family vacation in San Diego? It might be more cost effective to purchase the Go Card San Diego from Costco. This card acts as an admission ticket to 46 of San Diego’s biggest and best attractions like Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. Prices range from $167 for a three day pass to $284 for a 7 day pass and can also be purchased online at smartdestinations.com.Interested in staying at a family friendly hotel near SeaWorld? Downtown is the ideal location. Because of SeaWorld’s location inland, we find that many families prefer to reserve affordable accommodations downtown near the Zoo. This way, you not only have access to all the attractions in the area, you’ll have savings in your pocket to help with the cost of exploring them!

We hope you found this information helpful and shareable! If you would like to pass this post on to fellow family travelers and money savers, just click on the social media icons in the upper right-hand corner. And if you’re ready to start planning your San Diego Sea World vacation you can click here to learn more about cheap SeaWorld accommodations, as well as free live shows, dining options inside the park and the best time of the year to visit.

6 Can’t Miss February Events in San Diego

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If you’re planning a trip to San Diego this month there’s no need to worry about rain or snow to slow you down! You can pack that social calendar to the brim with some of these fun February events:

  1. KuumbaFest San Diego is an annual event that celebrates African-American expression, culture and heritage. This multi-day celebration runs from February 14-16 and is packed full of events that are fun for the whole family. On Saturday alone you can see a dance showcase, and attend a food tasting event and a fashion show. All the weekend’s events will take place in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter near Horton Plaza. Click here if you’re looking to book a cheap San Diego hotel room near Gaslamp Quarter for the weekend!
  2. This Valentine’s Day celebrate a little differently by attending the San Diego Humane Society’s Pet Drive on February 15 from 10 am to 2 pm. This holiday pet adoption will take place at the U.S.S. Midway right on the San Diego Bay. Adopted animals will all be spayed/neutered, have current vaccinations, and have microchip identification. As a gift to you, the adoption fees for all seniors and military are waived! Seniors and military can continue saving money with a 10% off discount at the San Diego Pacific Inn, a budget hotel near the MCRD and U.S.S. Midway.
  3. Come out for Foodie Fridays at La Jolla Playhouse where along with your theater ticket you get access to gourmet food trucks and craft beer. The last two Foodie Fridays of the season are taking place this month on the 21st at 5 pm and the 28th at 6 pm. Green Truck will be there both nights to serve up their famous 100% organic burgers and salads. New York on Rye will also be parked in La Jolla on Friday to prepare authentic NYC deli food and Red Brick Oven will be cooking up fresh, authentic Neapolitan pizzas for theatergoers on Saturday.
  4. The San Diego Museum of Arts in Balboa Park is getting ready for their next Culture and Cocktails event on February 20. This 21+ event turns the museum into a social mixer with multiple bars, a DJ booth, lighting effects, performances and interactive exhibits. Guests can walk around the museum with a cocktail while viewing famous South Asian Art amidst Bollywood dancers, a Henna body art station and a slow motion photo booth.
  5. Do you like beer? If so, you can’t miss the annual San Diego Winter Brewfest on February 22. Tickets will include access to some of the best local craft beer, a souvenir glass and concerts performed by Headshine and Soda Pants. If you want to take your beer tasting experience to the next level, purchase the VIP ticket for entrance into the festival an hour early with a special cheese and beer pairing.
  6. Circus Vargas is back in San Diego and with their new show Magikaria Extreme it’s more action packed than ever before! Gather under the Big Top in San Diego or Mira Mesa through March 3 to experience astonishing magic, music and circus stunts.

So little time, so much to do! San Diego’s events keep rolling which is great if you’re planning a vacation to America’s Finest City. When picking a San Diego hotel it’s important to look at affordability, location and amenities. The Pacific Inn located near Downtown San Diego is proud to say that we offer our guests a variety of discounts, we’re centrally located near all major attractions and we offer a free hot breakfast every morning!

If you want to learn more about the rooms and services offered at our cheap downtown San Diego hotel, please call us at 1-800-571-2933 so that you can start booking your San Diego social events today!

San Diego’s Best Hidden Gem Restaurants

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San Diego attracts year-round tourists for many reasons; some come for the sea and sunshine, others for our world renowned chefs and award winning eateries. Foodies rejoice, because we have put together the top 10 undiscovered gems in San Diego that are serving up culinary classics and unique plates that will have your taste buds yearning for more. Book that plane ticket and grab an affordable hotel room near Little Italy in Downtown San Diego just in time to make your reservation at one of these amazing establishments:

  1. Carnitas Snack Shack | 2632 University Ave., North Park | $No reservation required here, just farm fresh food that’s established quite the reputation. One look at their menu and you’ll be torn between ordering a classic pulled pork sandwich or experimenting with the Triple Threat Pork Sandwich complete with pork loin schnitzel and Shack Aioli.
  2. Monello | 750 West Fir Street, Little Italy | $$For once we actually have classic Italian food made the Italian way. This small restaurant hosts a daily Milanese Aperitivo from 4 to 7 p.m. in the bar and patio, where you can order classic Italian cocktails and enjoy small plates on the house.
  3. Farm House | 2121 Adams Ave., University Heights | $$$This is the place to go for affordable and charming rustic French cuisine. Their food is made fresh in house every day and changes with the seasons. Right now stop in for almond panna cotta or dare to try the Escargot risotto.
  4. Sushi Ota | 4529 Mission Bay Dr., Pacific Beach | $$-$$$This small hole-in-the-wall sushi joint is famed among locals but scarcely talked about in media. Even if you plan on staying at an affordable hotel in downtown San Diego, put this Pacific Beach restaurant on your to-do list. Order fresh melt-in-your-mouth sashimi or salmon belly from their authentic Japanese menu.
  5. Brooklyn Girl | 4033 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills | $-$$Craft beer, seasonal food, affordable prices, cool location. Need to hear more? Stop by at 5 p.m. to grab a seat at their new oyster bar for fresh oysters, mussels, clams, crab, lobster and more! Pair it up with their recommended beer or wine and you’re ready for a mouthful of San Diego’s best shellfish.
  6. Jayne’s Gastropub | 4677 30th St., University Heights | $$-$$$San Diegans are glad to see Jayne’s back open after their extended holiday break. Their eclectic and diverse menu attracts people with different palates. Order up fish n’ chips, a white bean crostini or a panko-crusted salmon and wash it all down with a cold craft beer.
  7. Banker’s Hill Bar & Restaurant | 2202 4th Ave., Banker’s Hill | $$-$$$Reservations are recommended but bar seating is first come first serve. If you snag a seat you can enjoy their weekday happy hour from 4:30- 6:30 p.m. and again from 9:30 to 11p.m. Just don’t leave without ordering up their truffle fries, pork tacos or duck confit.
  8. The Smoking Goat | 3408 30th St., North Park | $$$This is the one place to get classic French and American cuisine in an unpretentious setting. Their charming home-styledécor really sets the mood for your entrée. You’ll be disappointed if you don’t try the pork chop with cheesy creamy polenta and a side of duck fat fries.
  9. Super Cocina | 3627 University Ave., Normal Heights | $Family style Mexican food made to order. Don’t visit this small restaurant expecting the cooks to churn out mass produced tacos. Here is where you’ll taste long-standing family recipes straight from their hometown. Their simple and well-prepared plates will leave you with the lingering taste of Mexican food done right.
  10. Addison | 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, Del Mar | $$$$Okay, you may have heard of this restaurant because it’s been touted as San Diego culinary pride and joy, which is why we had to put it on this list. The five star French dining experience at this Del Mar restaurant doesn’t come cheap, but world renowned Chef William Bradley makes sure you get your money’s worth.

If you’re trying to scrape some money together and enjoy a lavish meal, try saving money on your hotel stay. Book a cheap hotel room in San Diego at Pacific Inn today and you could save up to 15% off already cheap prices! We’re conveniently located next to many of these great restaurants and other major San Diego attractions like Old Town, home to more upstanding traditional Mexican cuisine. Click here to learn more about our affordable lodging near Old Town and the plethora of dining and shopping options available. To speak with a reservations specialist directly, dial 1-800-571-2933 now!

5 Family Friendly Restaurants in San Diego

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If you want to impress you kids during your upcoming vacation to San Diego all you have to do is take them to one of the five family friendly restaurants listed below. These local restaurants go above and beyond to make sure kids and adults are happy, entertained and well fed.

  1. Corvette Diner in Liberty Station tops the list due to its fun twists on retro style dining.  This old school style diner has an arcade and game area, a magician that wanders around to entertain guests and smiling employees that are having just as much fun as everyone else. Ask your waiter about the Dine & Play package that is offered Monday through Thursday if you want to play some games after gobbling down delicious meal.
  2. Coronado Brewing Company is the perfect place when it comes to pleasing kids and adults during Tuesday’s Kids Night. From 4 to 7 p.m.children are entertained with the balloon animals being made at the table and adults are entertained by the wide selection of craft beer that’s available. Plus, you can get two free kids meals with the purchase of a $10 entrée and beverage.
  3. Station Tavern in South Park is a fairly new restaurant that focuses on fresh and healthy food served in a stylish setting. Their modern exterior is well balanced with community style bench seating and an airy patio where pets, kids and beer lovers are welcome. In 2010, Station won California Small Business of the Year and was voted “Best Restaurant for Hipster Parents” in San Diego Magazine.
  4. Buca di Beppo is a great restaurant option for finicky eaters. If you have a child who likes to pick at their food or is constantly changing their mind about what they want, don’t worry because everything at this Italian restaurant is made family style. Get the group together and order a few delicious menu items to share like Chicken Carbonara or Eggplant Parmigiana. The restaurant runs like a large Italian household so noise isn’t an issue and large groups are easily accommodated. The restaurant’s main location is in the heart of the San Diego Gaslamp District, which is a must-see part of the city if you’re an out of towner.
  5. Stacked is a parent and child’s dream come true for many reasons. This new burger and pizza joint lets you create your own food items and decide on timing. Suddenly need to put the kids down for a nap? Not a problem! You control everything from your seat. You even have the option of pre-ordering your meals online before you get there so your food is ready to go. Let your kids get creative by putting together their own burger, pizza or mac-n-cheese entrée and if you’re up for some more fun, order discounted movie tickets at the restaurant.

Now that you have a list of family-friendly restaurants, what about hotels? The San Diego Pacific Inn is one of the top family friendly hotels near the airport that offers discounts for AAA and AARP members.Let our hotel become your home away from home in San Diego as you settle into our Kids Suits, complete with one Queen Size bed and one bunk bed. Call us today at 1-800-571-2933 to ask about our available rooms and discounts.

MCRD Graduation and Family Day Schedule

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San Diego takes pride in the fact that thousands of military men and women call this city home. In fact, every month hundreds of young men and women graduate from bootcamp right here in San Diego at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot near Downtown San Diego. The MCRD graduation ceremonies are an all-day affair to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the new marines. Many family members and friends fly from across the country and book a room at a cheap hotel near the MCRDto celebrate this monumental achievement.

After 13 weeks of physical, mental and emotional training your marine is finally graduating from arguably the toughest test of strength in the world. Aside from tears of joy, laughter and many sighs of relief, here’s what to expect during a typical MCRD Graduation Ceremony:

  • Most graduation dates are on a Thursday or Friday so expect to book a cheap hotel in San Diego for the extended weekend.
  • The 2-day ceremony consists of a Family Dayand Graduation Day.
  • Family Day starts with a breakfast buffet from 6:30 to 9 a.m., followed by an orientation, the Marine Corps Liberty Formations and then a lunch buffet from noon to 4:30 p.m.
  • The Graduation Day begins with a bay view breakfast buffet at 6:30 a.m., followed by the Colors Ceremony at 8 a.m., graduation seating at 8:30 a.m., the actual graduation ceremony from 10 a.m. to noon, and then a celebratory lunch until 1:30 p.m.
  • All visitors must enter the MCRD through gate #5 on graduation day, which will open at 6 a.m.

After all of the excitement and energy of the graduation it’s time to celebrate in San Diego! Your Marine has earned 10 days of leave before they’re assigned to a base, so don’t let this time go to waste. If you booked a budget hotel near Downtown San Diego, Little Italy and Old Town you’re in a prime location to easily access San Diego’s best. Try happy hour margaritas in Old Town, fine dining in Little Italy and bar hopping in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Still looking for a cheap hotel near San Diego’s major attractions and the MCRD? Try Pacific Inn Hotel less than 5 minutes from the MCRD and we offer discounts for military members to show our appreciation. Call us today at 1-800-571-2933 to ask us about our room availability and special MCRD rates.

Eat Your Heart Out in San Diego

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The word foodie – defined as having “a particular interest in food; a gourmet” – has more than quadrupled in usage in day to day conversation, online print, magazines and more in the past 10 years. So why the sudden increase in what seems to be a made up word?

Recently, major cities across America including Los Angeles, Aspen, Austin, Portland and New York have become home to some of the nation’s, if not the world’s best chefs, serving up unique farm to table creations that truly tickle the taste buds. While these chefs focus on the quality of their products and the cohesiveness of their menus, they also emphasize dining experience, giving way to a “foodie culture” intended to ignite feelings of fun, happiness and satisfaction. Restaurateurs are bringing the technologically-dependant workaholics back to the simple life of good food and good conversation in a relaxed environment.

Although a smaller city, San Diego is joining the foodie revolution, even hosting major food inspired events including San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, Vindiego and Latin Food Fest to name a few. So if you’re a self-proclaimed foodie and are heading down to America’s Finest City for a relaxing weekend getaway, save your dollars by staying at a cheap downtown San Diego hotel, and eat your way through the streets:

SEARSUCKER
If you have even the smallest insight to the world of celebrity chefs, the name Brian Malarkey is one you’ve heard time and time again. Breaking into the industry as a contestant on Top Chef and a judge on season one of ABC’s The Taste, Malarkey is known for his eccentric personality which is captured in his menu at Searsucker in downtown San Diego. Swanky cocktails such as the Peter Rabbit and the Honeybadger show Malarkey’s fun side, followed by small plates you probably won’t find anywhere else like “farm bird lollipops + snake oil + bleu fondue” and “marrow bone + sea salt + onion jam.” And for the main course, we’ll leave it up to you to check it out for yourself!

REI DO GADO
We’d like to preface this section by saying it’s in your best interest to stay an affordable hotel near the Gaslamp because dinner will cost you a pretty penny, and you’ll likely be too stuffed to walk more than few blocks to get back to your hotel. That said, Rei do Gado is a new Brazilian steakhouse that combines past traditions with a modern twist. In addition to an included salad bar which offers much more than salads (enjoy charuterie, cheese, fruits, veggies and more) patrons can choose from an unlimited amount of meats with a dozen cuts to choose from including lamb, pork tenderloin, tri tip, turkey breasts wrapped in bacon and filet mignon. Simply sit down, show you’re ready to eat, and relax as the servers bring around a constant and never ending supply of food.

NOBLE EXPERIMENT
Don’t mistake this underground bar for pretentious, because it is exactly the opposite. While you do have to make reservations in advance (about a week) via text, the small speakeasy is a hidden gem that never disappoints. The prohibition style theme gives the bar a unique feel and a laidback atmosphere, and the craft cocktails can’t be beat. Pair a stiff drink with something off their eclectic bar menu and enjoy a one of a kind dining experience. Holding just over 25 people at a time, it’s more of a lounge than a restaurant so you might want to get a snack ahead of time.

CELLAR DOOR
If you’re really up to try something new, you’ll want to head to Cellar Door. This private dinner club is hosted in the home of a San Diegan with all guests asked to sit at a single table, family style. Yes, you may be dining with strangers, but you’ll likely have the love of food in common which is more than enough to excite and push you through the fixed course menu. The dishes change on a seasonal basis and you’ll have to pre-purchase tickets ahead of time because they always sell out, but diners are always raving about the quality of food, the passion and kindness of the chefs and the amazing experience as a whole.

Reserve a room at one of the hotels near the San Diego Airport so you can sip and savor each restaurant in San Diego, right until the time you have to board your plane! If you know someone who is going to visit the city and has a passion for food, share this article with them on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the icons at the top of the page.

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