San Diego WRITTEN BY AMY CRIST
Adelaides makes us wish we owned a flower store. If you’re lucky enough to be in San Diego over the summer, Adelaides has the best selection of sunflowers – the colors are as vibrant as a sunset over the Pacific.
7766 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037
Architectural Salvage of San Diego
This don’t-miss shop is where designers find all those glorious vintage doors and iron gates that we all see and envy. We’ve carted home old pediments, stained glass windows, and enough glass doorknobs for two houses.
2401 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
Everyone will want to know where you bought the things you find here. Killer brass lamps, white leather sofas, vintage burlwood tables, hide-upholstered barstools, and exclusive finds galore. We’re currently dating a set of sculptural face bookends that look very Kelly Wearstler.
2310 Kettner Boulevard Suite B, San Diego, CA 92101
Bon Bon Home & Garden
You can’t miss the lime green paint and black and white awnings along Pacific Coast Highway that beckon visitors to Bon Bon, which feels like a French flea market washed up on the beach. We’ve found seashell bottles, Union Jack ottomans, and delicate chandeliers. Don’t miss the clothing boutique next door.
301 N Highway 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075
This cute Parisian-inspired black and white boutique is filled with fresh fashion finds from Corey Lynn Carter, Genetic Denim, Myne and other hard-to-find lines.
5544 La Jolla Boulevard, Suite B, La Jolla, CA 92037
Ah, vacation clothes: cool, comfortable, and in large supply here. Designer lines include Alternative Apparel, Blank NYC Denim and Splendid. Don’t forget to stock up on Havaiana sandals while you’re here.
4667 Cass Street, Pacific Beach, CA 92109
Naven Dresses, Rich & Skinny jeans, and BB Dakota galore make this one of our San Diego standbys.
635 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Girard Avenue Collection
We’ve found orange fretwork benches, zebra rugs, turquoise horse sculptures, and Belgian-influenced china cabinets filled with pretty green plates. The vintage and new offerings here aim to make your home as interesting as you wish.
7505 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037
858.459.7765 SEE MORE >
We shipped an entire terrarium filled with live plants home from Pigment, which has everything you need to get into suitcase trouble. Design books, Rifle Paper cards, sparklers for birthday cakes, locally made jewelry, fabulous modern furniture, orange wire outdoor chairs, and olive wood kitchen tools. Did we mention the gold hooks that look like hands, the pillows that look like Bambi, and the vintage aprons? Go.
3827 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104
Steps from Whisknladle and Herringbone, this sprawling store is stocked with glamorous framed seafans, shell mirrors and raffia ottomans that will have you dreaming of living la vida beach. (Or shipping a tufted linen sofa back to wherever you really do live.) It’s all white, bright, textural and fresh — sophisticated seaside chic. There’s a smaller outpost in Coronado.
7766 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037
858.454.0866 SEE MORE >
Sharing space with its sister store, Seaside Home, this paper outpost stocks beautiful letterpress and Lily Pulitzer monogram pieces in girly colors. We like to stock up on monogram recipe boxes and trays for gifts throughout the year. There’s a second location in Coronado.
1055 Wall Street La Jolla, CA 92037
Each of the mini boutiques inside the Solo Cedros co-op offers high style and treasure-hunting joy. We’ve found vintage mercury glasses, piles of the freshest coffee table books, anchor-adorned doormats, subway sign art, antique flashcards, local artists’ paintings, and Patch NYC candles. This is our favorite stop in Solana Beach’s Cedros Design District.
309 S Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075
South Coast Wahine
As if we could write this entire guide without including a surf shop. From the wall of rainbow Roxy and Billabong bikinis to the best selection of Reef flip flops — this is the headquarters of the San Diego wardrobe.
5023 Newport Avenue, San Diego, California 92109
The Faded Awning
Our nautical decor leanings know no bounds, and we do well indulging them here. Think decoupaged whale plates, gorgeous straw sea totes, Nantucket bracelets, and vintage beach flotsam galore. We particularly appreciate the antique life preservers and the large striped shirt section. You’ll bring home a pillow, for sure.
7464 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037
858.456.7464 SEE MORE >
If Marie Antoinette washed up along Ocean Beach, covered in seashells and all of her diamonds and pearls, she wouldn’t have to walk far to find her San Diego home. Vignettes offers decor with a French twist — sculptures covered in seashells, mirrors encrusted with rhinestones, furniture that Marie herself would love.
4828 Newport Avenue, San Diego, CA 92107
This tiny treasure hosts wardrobe finds from Plenty by Tracy Reese, Joe’s and Central Park West. We find the best summer dresses here.
414 W Cedar Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Food + Restaurants
Bird Rock Roasters
Located in the trendy neighborhood of Bird Rock, bring your dogs, kids, loved ones and friends to enjoy the company of people who believe that a perfect cup of coffee is the best way to start the day. We once saw a French bulldog pull up on the back of a Harley Davidson for his morning treat.
5627 La Jolla Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92037
Craft & Commerce
No vodka. No ketchup. No kidding. (Vodka has no flavor, the owners say, and ketchup has too much.) But there will be fried pickles, fried chicken, and french fries with cheese on top, so consider everything forgiven. Cocktails here are art. The Eastern Prospector with orange tea-infused bourbon is perfection. And we’re still thinking about the burratta salad and the so-stylish room.
675 W Beech Street, San Diego, CA 92101
619.269.2202 SEE MORE >
A San Diego legend, Cucina Urbana is beloved for simple food and expert preparation. Think stuffed squash blossoms, short rib pappardelle, beautiful salads — and seriously awesome light fixtures. If the kiddies are in tow, Cucina Urbana will let them make their own pizzas, though we’re pretty sure more pepperoni slices end up in their mouths than on the pie. Speaking of pizza, the foraged mushroom is our favorite for grown-ups.
505 Laurel Street, San Diego, CA 92101
The sweet vanilla goodness of Cups scents the entire street. This cupcake boutique is set up like a lounge, so you can have your cake and a DJ, too. Vegan and gluten-free cakes are among the offerings — and so are cooking classes and private parties. Don’t bother ordering one of the mini-cupcakes: you’ll regret that decision the second you bite into it and realize how fast your pleasure will end.
7857 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037
The Duck Dive is Pacific Beach’s newest gastropub. This swanky surf-inspired restaurant attracts a lively crowd for duck fat fries, deviled eggs, and a pork sandwich called “the three little piggies.”
4650 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109
In decorating her gorgeous treats, Karen Krasne uses almost as many flower petals as she does pounds of chocolate. Peering into 20-foot pastry case alone is worth a visit. We are devoted to the chocolate shortbread and the rolls of cookie dough ready for baking at home.There are two locations, but the modern architecture of the Union Street is special.
1430 Union Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Not only is this restaurant named after one of our favorite fabrics, it is hands down one of our favorite places. Top Chef’s Brian Malarkey draws a chic La Jolla crowd. Clever cocktails like the Killer Kir are best enjoyed during Oyster Hour – Herringbone’s twist on happy hour. Did we mention that the oysters are only $1 during this time? If you stay for dinner, order the Tahitian Albacore with caramelized cauliflower and the fried Brussels.
7837 Herschel Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037
We’re eating whatever Carl Schroeder is making. It promises to be locally sourced, gorgeously prepared, and offered during a meal that will be remembered for years to come. The menu changes daily, but there was once a corn soup in the summer that needed to be enshrined. Please have dessert.
3702 Via de la Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014
Noble Experiment will bring out the prohibition swagger in all of us. In our heads, we’re strolling in wearing beaded gowns, hanging on the arms of handsome gents. There’s a secret door into this dark, moody speakeasy, where you have to send a text message to gain access. Give yourself a week’s notice to secure the password – it’s worth it. When you get in, try the And Maria: gin, lemon, logan berry liqueur and soda water. It screams chick drink, but we’re OK with that.
777 G Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Pacific Beach Fish Shop
There’s a line out the door at lunchtime and at night, and that might just be for the onion rings. The fish is as fresh as it gets, and you get to choose how it’s flavored, cooked, and served. Cajun spice or classic lemon pepper? Grilled or Fried? Sandwich or Tacos? Everyone’s happy here.
1775 Garnet Avenue, San Diego, CA 92109
PB Shore Club
Located in the heart of the PB beach walk, this is the place for cold beer, good music, and new friends. The tater tots and nachos reign supreme — along with the fish tacos, since this is San Diego, of course. Grab a seat at the window bar and take in the unobstructed views of the ocean.
4343 Ocean Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109
Point Loma Seafoods
Cozied up to the docks in Point Loma, this is where we beeline to buy the freshest swordfish and tuna to grill at the beach, or for softshell crab sandwiches to eat overlooking the water. The daily fish sandwich is renowned across the West coast.
2805 Emerson Street, San Diego, CA 92106
PrepKitchen is Whisknladle’s answer to quick and inexpensive comfort food – offering the best of Whisknladle’s popular menu in three neighborhood spots around town. You can order in or take out — just make sure to try the bacon-wrapped dates, white bean salad, and roasted chicken.
1660 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Rocky’s Crown Pub
The best-kept local secret, but there’s a wait at lunch, so make some friends and have a beer. We will not tell your boss. A great burger with excellent fries is your only option, so tell your bartender how you want it prepared. Sit as close to the bar as you can, just to listen to the bartenders’ stories.
3786 Ingraham Street, San Diego, CA 92109
Brian Malarkey strikes again with Searsucker. Wear your Sperry Top Siders and seersucker suit to enjoy a cocktail made with house-infused vodka. Malarkey is the master of fish and the Alaskan Halibut is no exception. Order a side of bacon grits (we’re believers in keeping it Southern, after all). And do try the jalapeno-chorizo corn, served off-the-cob.
611 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Cozied Coronado Island feels like another world — peaceful, slow, old-fashioned. Tartine is the small, sweet cafe at its heart. Our long list of favorites includes the bacon panini at breakfast, lemon tarts at all hours, champagne vinaigrette, raspberry jam, and decadent apple turnovers. And the pavlovas. Oh, the pavlovas.
1106 1st Street, Coronado, CA 92118
The Green Flash
Look no further for breakfast in Pacific Beach. The Huevos Rancheros are holy, as far as we’re concerned. We’ve spent happy hours on the patio listening to the waves and chatting with friends.
701 Thomas Avenue, San Diego, CA 92109
Quaint Whisknladle is our favorite La Jolla haunt and one of the prettiest rooms in town. Think black and white furniture with high, arched ceilings. The food is local, organic, and worthy of your vacation time. We love the WNL burger, the mussels, and the summer salad – you’ll thank us once the combination of sweet orange and grapefruit slices, corn, avocado, and fennel hit your lips.
1044 Wall Street, La Jolla, CA 92037