Last month my friend and I took a culinary walking tour in the North Park district of San Diego. I had never done a culinary tour before and I LOVED it. I will definitely be doing one again! It was so much fun! I wasn’t that familiar with the area of North Park, although, it turns out that the venue of the Bonobo concert Rob + I attended last month was right on the main drag of North Park, so I had recently just been to the area and did not even realize it.
North Park is a really colorful up and coming area of San Diego. It has a cool hipster vibe and lots of great eateries. The area is located northeast of Balboa Park, with the heart of North Park considered to be located around 30th St. and University Ave.
The tour lasted about 3.5 hours and we visited 6 different eateries. We started our tour at Splash Wine Bar, located at 3043 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104. I loved this place. We had light bites and the most delicious white wine I have had to date. I hate that I forgot the name of it, but I know where to go to find it! They offer the option of buying a wine card at a discount and earning a free glass with use. Although there were no movies playing while we were there, they have a large screen that plays old movies throughout the day. That fact alone sold me. Great urban interior + old black + whites + wine for days! . . . SOLD!
After Splash we headed a few blocks over to Redwing Bar & Grill located at 4012 30th St. San Diego. One of the things I loved about North Park was the graffiti art that was strategically placed on power boxes, walls and exteriors throughout the city. Our guide, John, who was excellent, by the way, told us it was the city’s attempt to discourage actual graffiti.
The vibe at Redwing was . . . well . . . happy hour! The place was packed, standing room only, and we found out that there was a “beer crawl” taking place. But while we were in Redwing, we were served the. best. buffalo. wings. evah. . . . now that’s saying a lot coming from me. Normally, I hate wings. I prefer drumsticks (meat with a built in handle? I’ll take it!) But these buffalo wings were on another level. There were 3 different kinds : bbq, hot & sour thai chili and garlic ginger teriyaki. All 3 were amazing, but I think my fav was the thai chili, it was a great flavor that I had not tasted on a wing before . . . I will definitely be back to order more of the threesome . . .
The good thing about a culinary walking tour is that you don’t feel so bad about all the food you are eating because you do a nice amount of walking in between so you feel justified to stuff face . . . (justification for face stuffing:: always a + in my book.)
After Redwing Grill we headed up 30th Street a few more blocks to Crazee Burger, located at 4201 30th St. We found a great seat by the window and were served a yummy Angus slider that tasted amazing. We added on fries, which were just as tasty and perfectly seasoned. Crazee Burger had a never ending line that at some points went out the door. If you take a look at their burger menu you will see that they offer quite a selection of different burgers like kangaroo, venison + wild boar.
By the time we left Crazee Burger our stomach’s were leaning toward full! All the food we had had up to this point had been soooo good so we weren’t deterred. Our next stop was a few blocks back down 30th at Berkeley Pizza (3934 30th Street). I loved the black and white exterior, wood plank walls and roll up garage doors, plus, the pizza was great! We tried 2 different kinds, their signature spinach + mushroom pizza and the marinara pizza. Both were excellent and flavorful.
I loved how this tour provided us with a variety of tastes. Our tour guide John was very knowledgeable and shared lots of historical facts about the North Park area. Since I love learning about the history of places I am visiting as well as looking at the architecture, this tour was really an all around treat for me.
Our second to last stop was a coffee shop, about 5 blocks away. The weather had turned really chilly and there were even a few rain drops on the way there, so the walk and the brisk air were the perfect set up to the yummy vanilla lavender chai tea we got at the cozy Subterranean Coffee Boutique. It was the perfect atmosphere for the chilly weather. There were sofas and tables, and even a glass bookcase filled with books to choose from for your reading pleasure. I had never had any food or drink with “lavender” flavor and it was really good. The subtle hint of lavender gave it an exotic feel.
Our last and final stop was Venissimo Cheese located at 30th and University. Personally, I thought the coffee shop could have been the last stop, it would have finished things off nicely, but I was still game to try some different cheeses. Once inside Venissimo we were treated to a sampling of cow, goat and sheep cheeses. Apparently I was a cheese virgin and didn’t even know it!
I’d only ever had cow cheese up to this point . . . and now that I have partaken of other cheese species . . . I think I will stick with cow. Lol. This particular location of Venissimo Cheese is located inside of Bottlecraft which offers a wide selection of beers as well . . . and apparently craft beer cupcakes, which we seem to have missed out on, as the trays were completely bare. Maybe next time!
I hope you enjoyed the tour recap! It was tons of fun! If you are interested in booking a tour of your own check out bitesandiego.com and choose a tour that suits your taste buds from one of their 7 offerings! (I plan on trying all of them at some point!)
Have a great weekend!