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30 New San Diego Restaurants and Bars That Have Opened During the Pandemic

Eater logo Eater 5/11/2021 Candice Woo
a kitchen with a table in a room: Burgeon at The Arbor © Facebook Burgeon at The Arbor

Having a tough time keeping up with all the new dining options? Welcome to the Opening Report, a roundup of recent restaurant openings big and small across San Diego that will be regularly updated.

Did we miss a spot? Drop a note at the tipline and we’ll consider it for the next update.

May 11, 2021

LITTLE ITALY— Carlsbad’s Burgeon Beer Co. has launched a new tap room and kitchen called The Arbor in the base of the Savina building that is now offering a large variety of house beer as well as wine and kombucha. Its seasonal food menu, which is also available for takeout along with draft beer to-go and retail four-packs, ranges from ribeye tacos to seafood jambalaya and Szechuan tofu. 1326 Kettner Blvd.

GRANTVILLE— Longtime Mission George restaurant Szechuan Mandarin has been remodeled and reopened as Fish Grub, where the menu centers around fish and chips — offering everything from Pacific cod to whole fried tilapia — but also offers seafood sandwiches, tacos, and entrees like ginger-soy salmon and coconut curry shrimp. Its weekday happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 5855 Mission Gorge Rd.

CARMEL VALLEY— Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, the popular Bay Area chain, has opened its fourth San Diego location at Del Mar Highlands Town Center. Among the more than 800 sandwiches on the menu are items exclusive to this branch, including the “Not So Cursed Antiques” that features steak, beer-battered onion rings, and provolone and the vegetarian “Torrey Pine” made with vegan “steak”. The first 50 people in line for their grand opening event on May 21 will receive a free tshirt and sandwich. 3545 Del Mar Heights Rd, C7.

OCEAN BEACH— Sorrento Valley’s California Wild Ales has a brand new tasting room where it’s pouring a large selection of its barrel-aged sour beers and introducing a slew of beverages including the brewery’s first-ever lager, a pale ale made in collaboration with Ocean Beach Brewery, and its hard seltzers. 4896 Newport Ave.

CHULA VISTA— The South Bay’s new Ichiban Sando, open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.,, specializes in Japanese sandwiches or sandos. Served on thick slices of homemade Japanese milk bread, they’re filled with fried pork or fried chicken cutlets and come with optional cheese or spicy sauce. The shop also offers a variety of milk and fruit teas. 573 H St.

April 12, 2021

LITTLE ITALY— Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien, in partnership with Grain & Grit Collective, has opened the second location of Samburgers inside the Little Italy Food Hall. First launched in Seaport Village as part the multi-menu EATS by Sam project, it offers a beef patty blend of sirloin, brisket, and short rib as well as a salmon, chicken, and vegan burger. For the grand opening, Zien will be hosting a book signing for his latest cookbook, Recipes with Intentional Leftovers, along with other special events and giveaways. Samburgers is next headed to Costa Mesa, where Zien recently opened another Not Not Tacos. 550 W Date St Suite B.

EAST VILLAGE— The seventh outpost of City Tacos has arrived in the East Village in the former Larry’s Deli spot right next to Petco Park. Currently open two hours prior to and after every Padres home game, City Tacos Ballpark Taqueria is serving a limited menu of its most popular menu items including the chorizo asado, pescado, and borrego tacos and offering patio and some indoor seating. 323 Seventh Ave.

VISTA— Pure Project has partially opened its new brewery headquarters, a 13,850-square-foot space that will be its production hub. Although the indoor tap room and brewery are still under construction, the patio and beer garden areas are open for on-site service as well as beer to-go. 1305 Hot Springs Way.

DEL MAR— After shuttering its original location in North Park, Tamarindo has resurfaced at the Del Mar Plaza with its menu of agave spirit-focused cocktails and tacos, salads, sandwiches, and entrees that range from seafood paella to Oaxacan chicken mole. The nearly 6,000-square-foot restaurant, which has a spacious ocean view patio, is open for dinner service with takeout and lunch coming soon. 1555 Camino Del Mar Ste. 116-117.

PACIFIC BEACH— Uncle Chai Thailand Street Food recently landed on Cass Street with a takeout menu that ranges from Thai curries and soups to a variety of rice and noodle dishes. Other specialties include green papaya salad, stewed pork legs, and moo ping, or Thai-style grilled pork skewers. 4508 Cass St., Ste B.

March 30, 2021

NORTH PARK— Grab-and-go breakfast outlet Eggies opens its fourth location today in North Park where it sits adjacent to its popular sibling, Breakfast Republic. Functioning out of a 100-square-foot space fronted by a walk-up window, and operating from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, it offers a takeout-oriented menu of breakfast sandwiches, French toast jars, and churros. 2726 University Avenue.

CARLSBAD — Orange County’s Tabu Shabu, which arrived in San Diego last year with a first outpost in North Park, has opened a seventh location overall at The Square at Bressi Ranch where it joins several other restaurants including Giaola Italian Kitchen, Casero Taqueria, and Mendocino Farms. Specializing in Japanese shabu-shabu, the do-it-yourself restaurant features a menu of meat, seafood, and vegetables that are cooked inside individual tabletop hot pots of boiling broth. 2674 Gateway Road, Suite 190.

OCEAN BEACH — Replacing an Italian spot, Starfish Filipino Eatery has landed in the neighborhood with a mix of Filipino classics and modern dishes, including pancit, adobo, and lumpia and a number of vegan and vegetarian options. A selection of silog, a breakfast dish of garlic fried rice, and egg, and a protein, is available on weekends and the restaurant will soon launch a weekly reservation-only chef’s prix fixe menu on Thursday nights that will occasionally feature guest chefs. 1830 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, Ste E.

POWAY — Plenty of kid and pet-friendly patio space can be found at The Hop Stop, opened at the Old Poway Village Shopping Center by two local beer industry veterans. Featuring live music on Sundays in its beer garden and a frequently-rotating tap list, the restaurant’s crowd-pleasing menu ranges from chicken wings and salad to sandwiches, burgers, pizza, and sausages. 14055 Midland Road.

BAY PARK — The former Benchmark Brewing space has become a second satellite tasting room and beer garden for Scripps Ranch-based Harland Brewing. Open daily, with a weekday 3 to 6 p.m. happy hour special on pints, the Bay Park location is partnering with the nearby Poseidon Project to offer a menu of appetizers and pizza. 4112 Napier Street.

March 10, 2021

KEARNY MESA — Recently expanded from Northern California, Milk Tea Lab is a chain of boba tea shops with a modern, science-y theme that serves a menu of drinks, ranging from honey roasted milk tea and lychee green tea to peach and passion fruit tonics that can be topped with everything from mango popping boba to red beans, egg pudding and coffee jelly. The cafe also offers an eclectic mix of savory snacks, including takoyaki, popcorn chicken, tater tots, and potstickers. 7510 Mesa College Drive.

LA JOLLA — Mermaids and Cowboys which debuted during the pandemic, replacing Alfonso’s on Prospect Street, is reopening on March 11 after a hiatus. Starting with outdoor dining and dinner service, with plans to launch happy hour, weekend brunch and lunch when indoor dining resumes, the surf and turf menu from executive chef Chris Barre includes bone marrow crab cakes, chowder fries, and giant, sharable platters featuring a three-pound porterhouse steak or Maine lobster. . 1251 Prospect Street.

RANCHO PENASQUITOS — Geared towards takeout and delivery, Myung Ka is specializing in ready-to-eat meal boxes packed with Korean favorites including steamed kim chi dumplings, bulgogi kimbap, spicy seafood soup, and the classic Chinese-Korean noodle dish jjajjang myung. 12812 Rancho Penasquitos Blvd.

EAST VILLAGE — Offering curbside pickup and delivery, Open Art Street Market combines a gourmet grocery and gift store, stocking grab-and-go sushi, salads, sandwiches, and baked goods along with snacks and pantry items as well as home decor and other household items. 729 9th Avenue.

TEMECULA — The Prestifilippo family, who run other several businesses in the area including Gourmet Italia, Poggio Leano Winery & Vineyard, and Spuntino Pizzeria, are behind Bottega Italia, a bar and restaurant serving Italian pastries and coffee at breakfast and a dinner menu that includes a long list of pizza, calzone, and pasta paired with Italian cocktails. 28475 Old Town Front St.

February 26, 2021

FASHION VALLEY — Aloha shirt specialist Tommy Bahama has landed the large-scale Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar at the mall. The 7,200-square-foot restaurant-retail hybrid combines shopping and dining experience, with a store full of the brand’s apparel and home decor items alongside an eatery and cocktail bar serving an island-style menu that includes coconut shrimp, ahi poke, and a range of rum cocktails. Plenty of outdoor seating is available but online ordering is also offered for takeout or delivery on all menu items and special family meals. 7007 Friars Road, #305.

HILLCREST — Now open for outdoor dining, La Taverna’s owners hail from Rome and Sicily, which inspires its menu of housemade pasta that you can mix and match with different sauces and add-ons as well as wood-fired brick oven pizzas. There’s also a variety of vegan and gluten-free options. The Italian restaurant’s takeout menu features family-style meals for two or four people that includes salad, pizza and/or pasta, and dessert. 3650 Fifth Ave.

KEARNY MESA — Taiwanese dessert cafe Meet Fresh, a global chain that arrived in Mira Mesa in 2019, is launching its newest location with a weekend-long special event. The shop, which specializes in shaved ice, warm dessert soups, boba teas, and more, is running a buy one, get one free deal on its milk tea or winter melon tea with mini taro balls through February 28. 7501 Clairemont Mesa Blvd #303.

LITTLE ITALY — Replacing India Street fixture Indigo Grill, Allegro has opened for brunch, lunch, and dinner with a coastal Italian menu from Sicilian chef Marco Provino (Rusticucina) and the group behind Osetra Seafood & Steaks that includes a large variety of seafood dishes, including sea urchin, lobster, and Dungeness crab pasta. The restaurant features a glassed-in kitchen and an outdoor dining space filled with lemon trees and fire pits. 1536 India St.

CORONADO — Specialty market Vom Fass, a specialty oils, vinegars, spirits and wine store that operated in Hillcrest for 5 years, has relocated to a waterfront space in the Coronado Ferry Building where the gourmet store has added add a wine, whiskey, and tequila bar. 1201 First Street #101.

February 12, 2021

CARLSBAD — As part of a resort-wide renovation, the Park Hyatt Aviara has started to unveil a new lineup of restaurants and bars on the property include Pacific Point, a lobby bar and terrace, and Ponto Lago, which opens today for breakfast and will start dinner service later this spring as well as weekend brunch. The ocean-view restaurant, with a glassed-in show kitchen, serves a Baja California menu and mezcal and tequila-based cocktail list. It’ll soon be joined by Ember & Rye, celebrity chef Richard Blais’ fresh take on a steakhouse. 7100 Aviara Resort Dr.

HILLCREST — Acclaimed North County bakery Prager Brothers Artisan Breads has launched an outpost in Hillcrest that’s now open for takeout, though there is a small outdoor dining area that may open at a later date. Along with its locations in Carlsbad and Encinitas, the Hillcrest branch offers the full range of pastries, breads, and baked goods beyond what can be found at its farmers market stalls including store-exclusive Valentine’s Day treats like cherry chocolate sourdough, pain suisse, and hot chocolate shortbread. 1252 University Ave.

LA JOLLA — Furaido Premium Chicken Company, which moved out of its Poway location early last year, has reopened in the UCSD area as Calvin’s Korean Hot Chicken with its same popular recipe for fried chicken tenders and wings in flavors like garlicky soy and devil garlic and sides ranging from corn and edamame to jalapeno poppers. New on the menu is a sandwich stuffed with two tenders, pickles, slaw, and top secret sauce. 3211 Holiday Ct.

CHULA VISTA — La Central Urban Grill has opening another outpost in the community, a standalone spot that features an outdoor beer and wine garden and a Baja California menu that includes raw bar offerings like oyster shots, aguachile, and Mexican-style sashimi as well as a variety of tacos filled with everything from chicharron and octopus to carne asada, spicy shrimp and grilled vegetables. 3373 Main St.

LA MESA — Among the recent additions to Grossmont Center’s vegan food offerings, Mariscos No Mar offers creative versions of classic Mexican seafood dishes made with all-vegan ingredients including an array of ceviche and aguachile made with jackfruit, heart of palm, coconut, oyster mushrooms, or faux shrimp. The food stall also serves tacos like gobernador and marlin with vegan substitutes.

All Openings Coverage [ESD]

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