OOPM is proud to be headquartered in San Diego, California where we get beach days in February, tons of craft beer options, and some of the best surf in the country. But you know all that. Let’s talk about what you don’t know about San Diego. Our hope here is to offer some behind-the-scenes tips to this city for those that come to visit without wanting to solely rely on Yelp’ing their entire trip. We live here, work here, play here, and are happy to share our Insiders Guide to San Diego with you.
Our staff got together and talked about the one neighborhood where we felt most at home and that was unknown and un-tapped by tourists, and we all decided on South Park. Located on the Southeastern side of Balboa Park, this area boasts many awesome places to grab a bite and a brew. You can use our guide as suggestions, but on the whole we recommend grabbing a parking spot near 30th and Beech and exploring on foot.
You can find your fix of coffee and eggs at this local favorite, which sometimes has live jazz on the weekends. A very relaxed, hippy vibe, where the owner is hands-on and accepts only cash or check (yes, check!), you will generally find all you need to jumpstart your day exploring this corner of San Diego.
Food Bowl Market
If you want to roll like a true San Diegan, you will eat a few tacos that cost less than 2 dollars each while you are here. Food Bowl Market provides just the ticket, offering 1.25 tacos out of an authentic Mexican market.
Hamilton’s is one of the city’s great bars with an impeccable beer list, neighborhood friendliness, and local dogs hanging under the bar stools while their owners grab a pint on a Sunday afternoon. The secret window in the back right of the bar is for ordering from their extensive bar menu. Bar food, yes, but clicked up a notch – recommended are the ‘Potato Hammy’s’ that are savory sandwiches featuring a hashbrown IN the sandwich.
“Booty Basement” in the Whistle Stop Bar
On the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, this cash-only dance party heats up in the basement of one of South Park’s quirkiest dives. Other nights can be fun, too, with vintage records on the decks, and locals getting silly.
If you don’t end up tipsy-eating at Hamilton’s or over-indulging in street tacos, your next best bet in South Park may just be Italian at Buona Forchetta. Those that prefer vegan and high-end cocktails can hit up the newly minted KINDRED. But perhaps our all-time favorite is the vintage experience of cooking your own steaks amidst a backdrop of red wallpaper and old skool tunes at Turf Supper Club.
San Diego is a beer town through and through. Every neighborhood has its own flavor, and South Park is no exception. Head over to South Park Brewing to sample their latest craft concoctions including Griff’s Pale Ale and Legally Red.
Coupl’a SD Pro Tips:
1 – When to Visit
One thing not commonly known about San Diego unless you live here is what we call ‘May Gray’ and ‘June Gloom’. During these months, our otherwise super sunny city gets pretty cloudy and surprisingly gray. Not to worry, it’s not cold or anything, but those wanting sun sun sun should avoid those months. The best time to visit San Diego is essentially any other time of the year, but August and September are particularly wonderful.
2 – Uber at the Airport
You can get an Uber from the airport to your destination. When you walk out of the baggage claim level, cross over one street and head right. You’ll see signs for ‘app-based transport’ and there is a little lot from where you can pick up an Uber. That being said, a rental car is recommended since our public transport is not up to snuff.
3 – Cold Waters
The water temp in San Diego is chilly, pretty much year-round. Even in the summer, many people opt to wear a wetsuit.