Samuel and I headed down to San Diego for a little weekend getaway last week. It was actually my first time there and I loved it so much!
I wanted to share our itinerary on here just in case any of you are planning a trip down south!
We got into San Diego a little past noon, stopped by our hotel in the Gaslamp District to freshen up, and headed straight to Holy Matcha. For those of you who don't know me, I am the biggest tea drinker — matcha, or any kind of green tea, and mint are my favorite. Ever since I saw photos of Holy Matcha popping up on my Instagram feed last year, I knew that I had to visit someday. So when Samuel told me that we were going to San Diego, I made him promise to take me to Holy Matcha.
You should've seen me when we arrived at Holy Matcha because I was jumping around like a little kid at Disneyland! The place was pink perfection -- exactly like I'd envisioned!
To be honest, we weren't expecting the food and drinks to be exceptional, since most Instagrammable spots aren't exactly culinary hotspots. We sampled a few things off their menu and we were blown away by everything! I ordered the strawberry matcha latte, which was easily the prettiest drink I've ever had. It was so refreshingly fruity and earthy, too! Samuel tried the hazelnut matcha latte, which I was skeptical about, but we ended up loving it. Since we were pretty famished, we got the avocado toast, the matcha vanilla donut, and the strawberry matcha donut. The avocado toast was the star of the show, and quite possibly the best avocado toast we've ever had! We finished up every last bite and left with giant smiles on our faces.
I keep telling Samuel that if we lived in San Diego, we would frequent this place.
After filling up on lite bites and reminding Samuel for the hundredth time that we would have to come back, we made our way to the San Diego Zoo.
This was actually the main reason for our trip: to visit the new baby hippo, Tony. We stumbled off course several times only to find our way to the hippo cove just an hour before closing. We spotted Tony and his mom before they wandered back for food. We waited around until closing for them to come back out, but luck was not on our side. I guess we'll have to come back soon to see them again!
One of my favorite foods is hand-made pasta. When we go out for Italian food, we only go to places with hand-made pasta, which I know, sounds very strange, but trust me on this: hand-made pasta is 100x better than normal store-bought pasta. We stoped by Bencotto for some fresh pasta and tiramisu, which lived up to all the reviews we read. If you're a fan of Italian food (who isn't, though...), I'd definitely recommend this place.
There was a really cool dessert place a block down where you could create your own extravagant merengue ice cream sundaes, iDessert, but it was a total flop and ruined our appetite for more desserts.
We woke up bright and early, worked out, and walked over to Le Parfait Paris for brunch. We actually felt like we were transported back to Paris! Since we were there pretty early, the place was practically empty and we had all their selection of baked goods to choose from.
Like at most bakeries, I wanted to order everything, but we narrowed it down to an avocado toast, an egg and soy chorizo croissant sandwich, two nutellaccinos, a few macarons, and an extra croissant for good measure.
We like to eat our way through the city, especially when we're travelling, so we usually stop by several bakeries to pick up goodies to take home.
We spent most of the day walking around the Gaslamp Quarter, which was quite a funky part of town. It's definitely the place to be for night life, if you're into that. Little Italy, the area where we had dinner the previous night, was more our scene.
Our next stop was Seaport Village, which was probably my favorite. There's a villa filled with cute little stores that looked straight out of Mexico, although all the Spanish-style buildings made me feel a little homesick.
Our next stop for treats was at the Seaport Village Cookie Company. I didn’t think much of the place until I tried their “macadamia nut/white chocolate/oats cookie.” It was chewy and moist and just right! I wish I could send you all one of their cookies — you’d love me for it!
Needless to say, we grabbed several more to bring back, which I finished on the plane.
We walked all the way to the famous Kissing Statue, then decided that it was time to head over to Ocean Beach.
The weather wasn't looking too promising, but we wanted to try our luck. By the time we got to the beach, we were both in the mood for some tacos at South Beach Bar & Grille. The place itself was dark and rather dingy for my taste, but their mahi-mahi tacos (and piña coladas) were phenomenal. Apparently, they're world famous, and rightfully so.
I was stuffed after just two tacos and wanted to explore Newport Avenue, which was the quintessential beach town. It started to rain shortly after we ventured out, so we took shelter at Azúcar.
Samuel picked out their "Little Havana" for us to share, though I ended up eating most of it. He does the best job getting me to try new foods. A rum-infused vanilla bean cake with dulce de leche and vanilla bean frosting wouldn't be something that would appeal to me, but thanks to him, I got to enjoy a unique and decadent dessert.
We waited out the storm and walked back to the beach, but as much as we'd wanted to take a dip in the water, it was just a tad too windy and chilly. I was kind of disappointed, but we ended up going back to the hotel to relax in the hot tub before heading out for dinner and treats.
Since we weren't able to eat at Extraordinary Desserts the previous day due to overeating (happens way too often!), we decided to stop by for dinner and desserts. If you follow me on Instagram, you might've seen my many stories highlighting their desserts. They had shelves and shelves of the most beautiful desserts.
Their savory menu was limited, which was justified because they were probably too busy making those 50+ desserts daily! We got a few paninis to munch on, which I would just skip next time around. Their dessert selection was overwhelming, and there was so much that I wanted to order. I had the hardest time choosing just a few, even though Samuel's the sweetest and always encourages me to order everything that I want. Our desserts, a slice of the Fraiser cake and a caramelized chocolate lava bun, were heavenly. This place and Holy Matcha are definitely on my "must return" list!
Have you guys ever visited San Diego? I'd love to know some of your favorite spots for our next trip back!