Eating San Diego

in n out burger fries
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Here are some places worth visiting if you ever find yourself hungry in San Diego.

Tacos El Gordo

If you love Mexican food and you’re ever in San Diego or Chula Vista, you HAVE to stop by Tacos El Gordo. You’re doing yourself an injustice, otherwise. I’m absolutely obsessed with their abodaba taco – spicy pork cut fresh off the spool and topped with creamy homemade avocado sauce – it’s my favorite thing on the menu. Want something a bit more out of the box? Try the tacos de buche, cabeza, sesos, tripa, or lengua (that’s pork stomach, beef head, beef brains, beef guts, and beef tongue). Whatever it is you have a taste for, get there early. The lines are always long and the parking lot is always full.


I don’t know why I was so obsessed with trying In-N-Out. I’m not a huge fan of burgers in general, I’m very particular when it comes to my fries, and I try really hard to avoid things like 500-calorie milkshakes. But alas, Tumblr and Buzzfeed teased me for years until I just HAD TO HAVE IT, and of course, it had to be animal style. It wasn’t the mind-blowing deliciousness that I had expected to encounter, but I’d admit it was pretty tasty. So all in all, did I enjoy the meal? Yes. But not as much as I enjoyed the overall experience of finally getting my taste of the predominately West-Coast chain.



San Diego’s Little Italy is home to dozens of gastronomic treasures, Papalecco being my favorite by far. From paninis to pastries, everything is divine. The apple turnovers basically melt in your mouth and the gelato is some of the best I’ve ever had in my life (I’m convinced the Nutella flavor is mixed by God him/herself). Not to mention the charming decor and friendly, Italian speaking staff. Basically, a trip to Papalecco is the closest you’ll ever come to getting in your car and driving to Italy from California.

Taegukgi Korean BBQ

You would think I came here to chow down on some tasty all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ, but you would be wrong. I went solely for their macaroon ice cream sandwiches. They come in lots of flavors – strawberry, green tea, chocolate mango, etc. – but I ended up going with passion fruit. It was delicious as expected, but I’d suggest anyone eating one let it thaw a few minutes before trying to take a bite. It is extremely cold and hard coming directly from the freezer. Me and my sensitive teeth had to learn the hard way!


Project Pie

I call it the “Chipotle of pizza”, but you won’t be charged for extra ingredients and you don’t have to worry about getting E. Coli. These personal artisan pizzas are made to order any way you like. Choose from an array fresh ingredients and have it cooked to perfection in a real brick oven. Most importantly, you get to have an entire pizza to yourself. Do I even need to say anything else????


Have you tried any of these places? Where do you eat in California/San Diego?

About Lauren Victoria 87 Articles
Lauren is a Chicago native and budget traveler obsessed with foreign languages, neuropsychology, dancing, and applesauce. She recently quit her full-time job in social services to be a human English dictionary in Madrid, Spain.
  • I’m going to San Diego in September so I will have to check some of these spots out.

    • Please do! The great news is that they’re all reasonably priced, too!

  • I’ve been obsessed with visiting the West Coast for two reasons: El Pollo Loco & In-N-Out Burgers!!!

    • Gahhh now I need to add el pollo loco to my list! I’d never even heard of it!