San Diego has a great food and cocktail scene going on. Kettner Boulevard and Indie Street in Little Italy are the main drags for some of the finest of dining spots, headed up by Richard Blais’ Juniper & Ivy. If you aren’t on an expense account or your rep isn’t picking up the tab, here are a few suggestions to whet your whistle or fill your belly in and around Little Italy:
Ballast Point Brewing Company | 2215 Indie Street | ballastpoint.com
Their award-winning Sculpin IPA, especially the grapefruit, is worth a visit even if you’re just popping in for a quick one before dinner in the area. They also serve excellent burgers, tacos and salads and a bunch of fun share-plate appetizers.
Ironside | 1654 Indie Street | ironsidefishandoyster.com
Seafood and cocktails in a converted warehouse; what’s not to like? Small plates, big plates, awesome salads and a raw bar to die for. Did I mention cocktails?
Civico 1845 | 1845 Indie Street | civico1845.com
Rustic setting for some great Italian food. Locally sourced and slow-cooked; and plenty of vegan and gluten-free options on the menu. Call ahead to reserve a patio table.
The Crack Shack | 2266 Kettner Blvd | crack-shack.com
Get your deviled egg and fried chicken sandwich fix on at this Richard Blais run outdoor joint. Campy but fun. ‘Nuf said. Kiss the Chicken!
Herb & Wood | 2210 Kettner Blvd | herbandwood.com
This is a big, rollicking place serving world-class California-Mediterranean food. If you want to be amazed – this is the place. The Bone Marrow, Escargot, Gruyere, Fine Herb and Caramelized Onion Pizza is a must. Classy cocktail bar scene. Post-retro brick loft interior and a polished wait staff. Highly recommended.
False Idol |675 W. Beech Street | falseidoltiki.com
False Idol is the tik-easy I referenced in the title. Like a speak-easy, only they serve Polynesian-inspired drinks, with a tiki-bar vibe that words can only inadequately describe. To enter the tik-easy, you have to walk through a walk-in freezer from the Crate & Commerce cocktail bar next door. If you can figure out how to get there, you’re in for a fabulous experience and some serious cocktailing.