Food & Drink

8 San Diego Restaurants That Should Be Chains

Published On 04/08/2015 Published On 04/08/2015
Sara Norris/Thrillist
City Tacos
Blind Lady Ale House
Sara Norris/Thrillist
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1. Sicilian Thing Pizza 4046 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104 (North Park)

Sicilian-style pizza is a rare breed in San Diego, and nobody does it better than this longstanding shop in North Park. Don’t be fooled by the modest digs: aside from perfecting the namesake style, it also does a bang-up job on New York-style pies. Not sure what to order? The Sicilian-style Almost Lasagna, named one of the eight best pizzas in the city, is a great pick. Daily specials encourage mid-week pizza consumption, while everyday prices are so reasonable that it makes sense to order one pie of each style and plan on lots of leftovers.

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2. BFD 4135 Park Blvd, University Heights, CA 92103 (University Heights)

BFD stands for Big Front Door, which is the name of this local deli that serves up an array of freshly prepared dishes that can include soups, salads and sandwiches made-to-order. There's also an in-house specialty wine and craft beer shop that specializes in smaller-scale producers, so you can get your drink on while you wait for your grub.

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3. OB Smoothie Bar & Sub Express 5001 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107 (Ocean Beach)

This no-frills sandwich shop slings a tasty assortment of subs and arguably the best acai bowl in San Diego, made with acai purée blended with your choice of soy milk or apple juice (the better option).

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4. City Tacos 3028 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104 (North Park)

Imaginative fillings, like shrimp battered in a serrano-tempura batter, adobo-rubbed mahi mahi, and pork tenderloin with a spicy, sweet, and sour demi-glace have been attracting repeat customers since the shop opened. (It also helps that all nine tacos are priced at $3.50 apiece.)

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5. Blind Lady Ale House 3416 Adams Ave, Normal Heights, CA 92116 (Normal Heights)

Sometimes known as BLAH, this Normal Heights beer bar and pizza-centric restaurant is anything but. It’s a fine go-to for vegetarians, neighborhood locals with kids, and anyone who appreciates a great thin-crust pie. Pizza varieties run the gamut from margherita and four-cheese to the heavy-loaded egg & bacon, decked out with Swiss chard, caramelized onion, and truffle oil. Pizza and beer, works every time.

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6. Devine Pastabilities 3545 Midway Dr, San Diego, CA 92110

Locals love the toasted, hollowed-out garlic rolls stuffed with pasta at this Midway joint.

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7. Alforon 5965 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115

Flat bread "pizzas"; other-worldly hummus; and warm, crumbly falafel are just some of the treasures you’ll find at this family-run Mediterranean-Lebanese restaurant that has handily attracted praise from intrepid foodies.

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8. Great Maple 1451 Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103 (University Heights)

Not just a common compliment among syrup makers, Great Maple's a fancied-up '60s diner with a bit of European flair, coming at you from the guys who brought you Hash House a-Go-Go and The Tractor Room. This East Village spot offers extensive menu lineups, from brunch through dinner. Make a reservation if you can, because this place is constantly busy.



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