San Diego's Best Local Tips

Local tips for visitors to San Diego about places and things that can help make your visit better. Enjoy these San Diego tips to maximize your San Diego experience.

Festivals and Special Events

San Diego festivalsMany neighborhoods in San Diego have annual festivals and special events that are very popular. For instance, the Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off attracts thousands of people each year who enjoy multiple stages of live music, hundreds of street vendors, rides for children, beer garden, and chili competition. San Diego also hosts the largest hot-air balloon parade each year around Christmas time. Check the San Diego events calendar to figure out what is currently happening around town during your visit.

San Diego Shopping

Fashion Valley Mall is a wonderful open air mall located near Qualcomm Stadium off of Interstate 8. Fashion Valley Mall offers the normal collection of stores and some unique shops as well. The mall has a nice open air food court and a very modern movie theater. The Fashion Valley Mall is dog friendly, so you can walk around with your pooch.

Mission Valley Mall is located off of Interstate 8 about a mile east of Interstate 5. Mission Valley Mall is also outdoors. The Mission Valley Mall is more designed for larger department stores and large specialty stores like Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Mission Valley Mall is very popular and can attract large crowds during busy periods, however the parking garages and open air parking make visiting the mall easy.

These are just a few of the best shopping malls in San Diego.

Grocery Stores in San Diego

The big chain grocery stores include Albertson's, Vons, Ralph's, Wal-Mart and a few others. A more local favorite is Trader Joe', which can be found throughout San Diego. Trader Joe's offers very high quality natural foods under the Trader Joe's brand at very affordable prices.

Whole Foods is an organic food chain that is located throughout San Diego as well. Whole Foods is very expensive but the quality and taste of the food including the prepared food is worth it. The extensive salad/food bar which you pay by the pound is the best selection and quality for this type of food that you can find almost anywhere.

The San Diego Union Tribune covers all of the news in San Diego.

Popular Restaurants

If you visit San Diego you should absolutely taste the authentic Mexican food here. For a quick bite there are several taco shop chains that are very good including Roberto's Taco Shop. Honestly, almost any taco shop in San Diego is going to have awesome tasting food and it will only cost you $4 - $7 for a delicious burrito at most places. Recommended Mexican food dishes include the chicken and steak burritos and especially the California Burrito that combines the meat of your choice with potatoes and more.

Robertos Taco Shop

San Diego’s best restaurants include Royal Thai Cuisine, Rei do Gado Brazillian Steak House, Osterio Panevino, Rainwater’s, China Camp, Quattro Gatti Ristorante, Benihana, Buffalo Joe’s Restaurant & Bar, Salvatore’s, Gordon Biersch, Terra Restaurant, Trattoria Mare E Monti, Casa De Pico, Joe’s Crab Shack, Sevilla,; Cafe Coyote, Morton’s of Chicago, Bayou Bar & Grill, El Fandango, Todai Restaurant, Hollywood Star Grill & Nightclub, Redfish Cajun Grille & Bar, Latin Room and Bandar.

San Diego restaurants

Phil's BBQ is an incredibly popular barbecue joint located on Sports Arena Bouleard in Point Loma.

The incredibly cool and surf themed Hodads is one of the best hamburger joints in all of Southern California. Hodad's is located on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach and there is often a line of people outside waiting to get a seat so that they can taste the delicious burgers and popular milkshakes. Jack in the Box, with their famous television commercials is a fast food burger place that originated in San Diego.