San Diego Uncorked: Top 10 Wine and Dine Spots

You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. Andre Gid

Those little, yet delightful new discoveries which have been under your feet all along, can make it all the more exciting once you uncover them, even as you step unto the shore of the unknown. As I was leaving one of my favorite places to dine in San Diego, known to many locals, and conveniently tucked away, just west of the airport, is Island Prime. If you've not taken the opportunity to dine with them as yet, make plans to do so soon, the food, wine list, and service are as delicious as the view of downtown San Diego.  Not so long ago, I had the excellent fortune year to hang out with a new friend; from Wente Wines where we had a grand time discussing everything from the wine business to sports. On the way home, driving along the harbor, something which greets many visitors leaving the airport, billowing clouds forming overhead caught my eye. So I just had to stop along the waterfront to snap this picture with my iPhone

This picture you see above is just a snapshot of San Diego, my hometown, where I grew up and where I live, work and play. Did I fail to mention also to eat and drink well? If so let me set the record straight, I do my fair share of both, whether it's dining out or a casual meal at home. That said when it comes to the Wine and Dine 'scene' here in San Diego; I believe I have a pretty good grasp of its top wine and dine destinations, one I'd like to share. Also if I may be so bold, the place where you can find the very best fish tacos in San Diego period, end of story. 

I was asked back in July, by the Grape Collective to come up with a top ten list of places I frequent and would recommend to thirsty vino-sapiens and hungry carnivores. So I did just that, and you can check out that list I came up with here.  That said, I desired to do more than a quickie post, and instead do somewhat a bit more elaborate. So I decided to give that list a quick shake, then add some and remove some names, you understand, some quick editing as it were, so here it's, please enjoy.

1. ENO Pizzeria & Wine Bar, Address: 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118 Grab a slice, grab a glass and breath in some fresh ocean breezes because it just steps away from the beach. As you can see I still managed to keep Pizza in the lineup, what is a great wine and dine list, without a little pizza? 

2. The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro, Address: 897 South Coast Highway 101, (760) 942-2104 If you want to have a tasty, wine paired meal or just want to grab a bottle to go, this is one of my top choices. 

3. Splash Wine Bar, Address: 3043 University Avenue, (619) 296-0714 A great place with small bites, and wine on tap, in fact over 80 different selections to choose from, and you select the pour size, not the server. Quick, quiet [relatively] and comfortably found in city central North Park, where the locals go, who know what's up. 

4. Island Prime, Address: 880 Harbor Island Drive, (619) 298-6802 Like I said, this is an excellent place for the views, especially in the evening, the food is delicious, the wine list is well thought out and diverse, the service is always outstanding. Located just moments west of the Airport. If you're leaving terminal two, just head straight through the light, and once you see the water, hang a left, and it is 'just' at the end of the jetty. 

5. TJ Oyster Bar, Address: 4246 Bonita Road, (619) 267-4577 Now if you the very best fish tacos in all of San Diego, this is the thee place to go. Don't be taken in by any pretenders to the throne, boys and gurls, because this place is the real deal!  Seating is minimal, each taco is prepared once it's order, seating is limited, the line is always out the door, and yes you can suck down a cold cerveza to take a bite out the warm sunshine. 

6. The Wine Vault and Bistro, Address: 3731 India Street, (619) 295-3939 Another great wine and dine spot in San Diego, it's a popular destination for vino-sapiens. Because this place is a one-stop shop, they really do it all. If you want to arrive early for your dinner reservations, ask Chris to make you his famous and favorite Martini, the 409. You can also buy bottles to take home if you happened to like a bottle of wine you had with dinner. 

7. The Barrel Room Vintage Wine Bar and Bistro, Address: 16765 Bernardo Center Drive #1, (858) 673-7512 I really do love this place as well, if you just want to grab a glass of wine and relax with friends, they have a cozy area just to the side of the bar to hang out. If you want a bottle of wine with dinner, great because unlike most places, the markup is just $5 above the retail prices of their attached wine shop. Great food and excellent service. 

8. Jaynes Gastropub, Address: 4677 30th Street, (619) 563-1011 Another North Park gem, not to be missed, the food is eclectic, the well-stocked bar is always buzzing, and the wine list is top notch. Do not miss an opportunity to dine here, and hang with the locals, guaranteed to be tourist free. Feeling a bit cramped inside; ask for a table in the seemingly secret back patio, a very comfortable spot to laugh loudly, pop some corks and raise some glasses.

9. Urban Solace, Address: 3823 30th Street, (619) 295-6464 This place is near a San Diego legend, again a favorite with the locals, a central city, North Park gem. Grab a bite, sip some wine, raise a glass to toast and enjoy a great evening dining out in one of San Diego's hot-to-trot dining destinations. 

10. The Smoking Goat, Address: 3408 30th Street, (619) 955-5295 And last but certainly not least, and as you can see from the address, this delicious dining location is found in North Park. A pretty good wine list could use a bit more imagination, but the food is excellent, the menu well thought out and the service will keep you coming back for more.  

That's all for today folks, there will be more Champagne in the next post, so keep that glass full, and remember to sip long and prosper cheers!


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