I was recently invited to join a food tour with BITE San Diego, a company that leads small groups through one of seven different neighborhoods in San Diego to taste samples at local eateries (and provide a dose of history and cultural knowledge on the walking tour.) Trevor and I chose to tour La Jolla, which, for my non-San Diego readers, is the “fancy” part of town – set alongside the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean, it’s where you’re most likely in San Diego to see Ferraris and oceanfront/cliffside mansions that look like Tony Stark’s. La Jolla is home to the rich and the famous, but it’s not like Hollywood. Here, hipster paradise meets quintessential Southern California (meaning, there are more juice bars and yoga studios than pubs and burger joints.) Still, it’s home to some of the best culinary spots in the whole county.
Our guide, David, was friendly, helpful, and personable – at different points throughout the four-hour tour, he and I discussed everything from wagyu beef to what’s culturally hot in Tijuana. And that’s not including the conversations he kept going with the whole group (12 of us) – I learned from him that the founders of La Jolla purchased land for something like $1.15 per acre (that land is now worth over $1 million per acre) and that the Museum for Contemporary Art used to be someone’s personal house (no, really!)
BITE San Diego tours typically consist of 5-7 stops in a 3-4 hour tour, but you don’t get full meals at each stop (it’s called “BITE” for a reason.) Trevor and I both refrained from eating big breakfasts the morning of the tour so we’d be good and hungry for all the delicious food we’d be sampling, and we left the tour satisfied – not full, but not hungry. All in all, it was an educational and satisfying four hours on a gorgeous San Diego day by the ocean. Now, as David repeatedly chirped, let’s get on with the food!
BITE San Diego Stop 1: Ohana Cafe
Pictured: Pork, jasmine rice with onions and coconut; whipped pineapple frozen yogurt
BITE San Diego Stop 2: Prospect Bar
Pictured: squaw (a relative of catfish) tacos with homemade tortillas, citrus aioli, avocado serrano sauce. This was absolutely delicious, and we wished we could have more or bigger portions.
Plus, check out the view!
BITE San Diego Stop 3: Richard Walker’s Pancake House
Pictured: Apple pie pancake with maple smoked bacon. This is just a taste of the normally GIANT pancakes – like, the size of your plate and six inches high!
BITE San Diego Stop 4: Beaming Superfood Cafe
Pictured: Salad Fiesta, gluten-free dark chocolate chip cookie (like a brownie but way better), all-natural soda, and a cookie smoothie. Everything here is gluten-free and made without dairy.
Plus, how cute is this tiny succulent?!
BITE San Diego Stop 5: Public House
Pictured: New Zealand kobe beef sliders and beer (purchased separately.) Did you know kobe beef comes from cows that are hand-massaged daily and fed beer?!
BITE San Diego Stop 6: Jonty Jacob’s
Pictured: meat variety featuring biltong (a South African dried beef specialty) and various sausages – don’t call it “jerky!”
BITE San Diego Stop 7: We Olive La Jolla
Pictured: Olive oil varieties and wine pairings. We tried Meyer lemon olive oil, peach vinegar, blackberry vinegar, and basil olive oil — let’s just say the lemon oil and peach vinegar is now sitting in my kitchen. They’re delicious!
Interested in a BITE San Diego tour? Check out their website for other neighborhoods to explore.