Living in SoCal, I often take San Diego for granted. My trips down south typically involve a late night out at the Gas Lamp District and a visit to a nearby taco joint. I realized recently that I don’t explore the area as often as I should. This last Labor Day weekend, my friends and I were lucky enough to score floor seat tickets to Sam Smith at the Valley View Casino. We took it as an opportunity to deviate from our normal routine and explore different parts of the city.
G R E A T M A P L E
Great Maple is a modern brunch spot specializing in dishes with ingredients that are sustainably sourced. My friend had made reservations for 11:15AM, but we ended up arriving a little late at 11:45AM. We called ahead of time to forewarn about our delay and they were nice enough to accommodate our change of time.
Good thing my friend made reservations. When we arrived, this place was buzzing!
GM House Mary – Green Mark Vodka, Mary Mix, Spices, Salt Rim, Green Olives, Ground Pepper Spicy Okra
I ordered the Fruity Pebbles pancake with a side of eggs. I couldn’t help myself. I have a sweet tooth and an extra soft spot for all things Fruity Pebbles. I also loved how fluffy the eggs were.
The House Smoked Beef Brisket Hash is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. Though I didn’t eat this dish myself, my friend seemed to enjoy it and didn’t have any complaints.
I really liked this brunch spot! I can see why it draws so many customers. My only gripe I have with this location is their number of bathrooms (only two for the whole restaurant – men & women). Great Maple has multiple locations across Southern California, including one in Newport Beach. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try this place again.
1451 Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103
Make reservations here
S A N D I E G O A I R & S P A C E M U S E U M
We stopped by the San Diego Air & Space Museum located in Balboa Park. There are plenty of other museums in that area, but we heard this was the highest rated one. Cost of the museum is ~$20 for adults and $10.95 for kids 3-11.
This outdoor area can be rented for events including weddings!
There were some pretty neat things to see at the museum. A lot of it had to do with the history of aviation and a little less to do with with space.
2001 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101
Visit their website here
Based on the name of a utopian community in Long Island, NY of 1850, Modern Times brewery focuses on aromatic, flavorful beers that often highlight season ingredients. Almost all of their beers are named after real and mythical utopias.
The lines to order got a little hectic at times. People didn’t know there’s actually two registers. Keep a lookout for that second one so you’re not wasting time waiting in the more popular line.
Something interesting about this brewery is that they offer full pours (16 oz.) for their beers that have over 10% ABV! The hubby ordered their hazy IPA called the Mosiac. For him, it was a refreshing thirst quencher that isn’t bitter as most IPAs, but still packs the ABV of one.
At this point in the day, I was exhausted. I opted not to have any beer and checked out some of their coffee options instead!
I always go for an Americano. It is my perfect pick me up.
The barista recommended their limited edition, bourbon barrel-aged roast. It has a very strong bourbon smell and taste! If you’re looking for that sort of taste without the effects of alcohol, this would be the drink for you. This roast was unique, but I don’t think I would ever order it again.
3725 Greenwood Street, San Diego, CA 92110
Visit their website here.
L I B E R T Y P U B L I C M A R K E T
Last foodie stop, the Liberty Public Market! I’ve heard good things about this place from a friend and was excited to finally get a chance to try. The food hall offers a variety of dishes from seafood to Mexican! They even have plenty of vegan options with each vendor.
Also known as Liberty Station, this place was formerly a naval training center.
The hallways were a maze and got pretty confusing. We lost a few friends from time to time. It is always good to refer to these maps for guidance.
I love that there is so much to see. It took us forever to decide what we wanted to eat!
Henry and I loveeee seafood so you bet I picked this spot out of the many different options.
The owners of this eatery boasts about their use sustainably sourced seafood.
We ordered the half dozen oysters for $16. For being so close to San Diego, I was a little disappointed in the quality. It just didn’t taste as juicy and as fresh as I would’ve liked. I feel like I could’ve found better tasting oysters for the same price elsewhere.
Mama Made dishes are modeled after Thailand street food with recipes passed down from the owner’s mother.
We ordered their sampler plate which consists of fried calamari, spring rolls, and potstickers with plum and ginger sauce. This dish was good, but not the best I have ever had. It was a little soggy by the time we had a chance to find our seats and eat.
Mastiff Sausage Co.
A sampler plate my cousin-in-laws ordered. They looked amazing. I wish I could have tried it, but all their sausages had some component of pork. There was an option for smoked apple & sage sausage which was vegan!
The Mess Hall
The Mess Hall was the only place inside that had ample amount of tables and seating. We were able to find enough space at the bar for our group of 6. Best thing about the mess hall is their selection of alcohol!
Our meal was not complete without some DESSERT! We originally wanted to try the bakery that sits in the middle of the station, but we didn’t have enough time to wait in the lengthy line. After walking around, we stumbled upon this cute crepe spot on the outskirts of the market.
I wasn’t feeling too adventurous so I ordered the basic banana, Nutella, and strawberry.
It’s always really fun to see them assemble what you’re about to eat.
Ta-da! Completed outcome was a beaut. I loved that it was fresh and piping hot! Downside was that the crepe was pretty thick and big. My husband and I tried to finish it between the two of us, but we were too stuffed to be able to finish the entirety of it.
I loved that there are so many different options to choose from in the Liberty Food Market. The dishes I personally tried were mediocre, but we’ve only had a tip of what was offered there. I like that their outdoor patio is dog friendly so I can see myself coming back with my puppy in the near future.
Liberty Public Market
2820 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
Visit their website here.
L A F I N
My friends and I finished our night out with some amazing tunes from Sam Smith. For those of you who haven’t seen him live, you must! His voice has so much raw talent. He really could be singing children’s lullabies and it may bring me to tears.
San Diego has so much to offer when it comes to culinary discoveries. I can spend many days here and be able to experience so many different types of cuisines.