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San Diego Area
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San Diego Information
Overview:
Cultures collide in sunny San Diego. City sidewalks meet sandy beaches and Spanish heritage combines   More...
Dining:
While many go to San Diego to indulge in authentic Mexican food, top-notch enchiladas and burritos   More...
Attractions:
With beaches, theme parks, and historical sites galore, there's always something to see and do in San Diego.  More...
Shopping:
San Diego 's diverse neighborhoods are packed with a variety of shops that sell just about anything you can imagine.  More...
Entertainment:
San Diego by night is just as hot as San Diego by day. The city's bars, clubs and lounges cater to every    More...

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Guide To San Diego
While many go to San Diego to indulge in authentic Mexican food, top-notch enchiladas and burritos aren't all the city offers. Chefs and restaurateurs flock to the beachside metropolis and bring with them a variety of dishes and dining styles. While the surf-and-turf plate was once the most sophisticated item on the menu, today, San Diego is a fine dining paradise, offering eateries dedicated to cuisines from every corner of the globe. Italian cafes sit next to Indian restaurants; Japanese sushi-bars border French bistros. If American fare is what you're hungry for, San Diego is home to a wealth of chain restaurants and independently owned eateries to satisfy your appetite. With thousands of restaurants to choose from, you're bound to find something to please your palate in San Diego .

San Diego 's Mexican fare rivals the dishes served up south of the boarder. In the city's historic Gaslamp quarter, near the U.S. Grant Hotel , sits Las Fajitas, a restaurant rooted in Mexico City elegance rather than California cool. Behind Las Fajitas' antique bar, bartenders mix up some of the best margaritas in the city. Sizzling platters of grilled steak, chicken and vegetables fly over the heads of diners eager to taste the eatery's namesake. But fajitas aren't the only specialty the restaurant offers: its Mexican-style seafood is fresh and tasty. Las Fajitas' Camarones al Chipotle features a bounty of large shrimp bathed in a creamy sauce of onion, garlic, green tomatillo, and of course, chipotle chilies. Rounded out by rich guacamole, rice, beans and warm tortillas, the dish is deliciously savory and reminiscent of old-world Mexico . Make a reservation to enjoy Las Fajitas' food al fresco on the restaurant's sidewalk patio.

Candelas, a handsome and romantic Mexican hideaway in downtown San Diego , is located near the Radisson Harbor View . Traditional Mexican ingredients combine with French preparation techniques to create delightfully unexpected dishes. Candles illuminate the small dining room and bar, making the dining experience pleasantly intimate and sophisticated. Forget about the burritos and tacos of American Tex-Mex grill-and-bars – the chefs at Candelas whip up modern, imaginative creations like cream of black bean and beer soup. One of the best appetizers is the Estructura de Agucate, layers of avocado, crab, shrimp, scallops and parsley drizzled in a mango and basil vinaigrette. Make sure to try Candelas' signature Langosta Baeza, a lobster served in its shell with mushrooms, bacon, tequila and jalapenos. With its stylish atmosphere and gourmet cuisine, Candelas is the perfect place to discover just how unique Mexican cuisine can be.

Italian food is hugely popular in San Diego and there are a variety of cafes and restaurants around the city that serve quality pasta and pizza. Located in Pacific Beach near the Holiday Inn Express Mission Bay , Caffe Bella Italia serves up contemporary Italian dishes, such as Neapolitan-style macaroni mixed with sausage and artichoke hearts in a tomato sauce. A grilled focacia sandwich paired with a salad of mixed greens makes a filling lunch. If you come for dinner, save room for dessert: Caffe Bella Italia's tiramisu is one of the best San Diego has to offer. Families and singles flock to Piatti Ristorante, near the Hyatt Regency La Jolla , for brick oven pizzas, flavorful pastas, and juicy grilled meats. The rotisserie chicken is one of the most ordered entrees, along with the pappardelle fantasia, a bed of noodles accented with shrimp, arrugula, and tomatoes. Show up early on the weekends to score a table on Piatti Ristorante's tree shaded patio. One of the best Indian restaurants in San Diego is located near the Shelter Pointe Hotel and Marina . The chefs at Bombay Exotic Cuisine of India prepare authentic Indian delicacies with California 's freshest ingredients. Colorful fruits and vegetables are found in every entrée. Mixed with savory spices, they create unique flavor combinations, as in the dizzy noo shakk , a sweet and sour banana curry. Vegetarians and meat lovers alike will find something to love at Bombay : all curries can be made with a choice of chicken, lamb, fish or tofu. If you've got an appetite, go for Bombay 's full, fixed-price dining option and feast on an entrée, side dishes of vegetables, flat breads, dessert and tea for a bargain.

Thai food enthusiasts will love Celadon, a restaurant that has been a San Diego favorite for over twenty five years. A short drive away from the Red Lion Hanalei Hotel , Celadon has set the standard for Thai restaurants throughout San Diego since it began serving its signature dishes. Tom Kha soup, a savory combination of coconut milk, lime, cilantro and scallops, is a popular starter. Celadon's menu lists a great selection of meat and vegetable entrees. Vegetarians often go for the restaurant's colorful stir-fry of eggplant, bell pepper, sweet basil, garlic and chili. Try ordering a variety of dishes and sharing with those at your table – this is the best way to experience the range of flavors Celadon has to offer.

One of the most well known San Diego restaurants is Chive, located just south of La Quinta Inn San Diego Vista . The modern bistro has received much attention from trendy locals as well as curious tourists. While Chive is often categorized as an Asian restaurant, the place has a worldly feel: inside, the moods of sophisticated London , modern New York and artsy San Francisco reflect Chive's fusion American, Asian and French cuisine. The bar serves up drinks you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else. The Grand Squeeze martini, a delicious concoction of vodka, blood orange, grand mariner and orange juice, is one of Chive's most popular drinks. With their mix of crispy wrapper, warm duck and cool melon cubes, duck spring rolls compliment Chive's drinks nicely. Satisfy your appetite with Chive's much talked about spice crusted lamb loin. With a crisp skin and juicy interior, the lamb tastes delicious with its fruit and Hawaiian red rice accompaniments. For anyone eager to taste something new, Chive is a must-go restaurant.

For those who want variety, the Cheesecake Factory is the place to go. Located in the Fashion Valley shopping mall near the Holiday Inn Select Hotelcircle , the Cheesecake Factory is one of the few chain restaurants that enjoys success in San Diego . While cheesecake is half of the eatery's name, it's certainly not the restaurant's only draw. The Cheesecake Factory features over two hundred menu selections from around the world in the forms of pizza, pasta, seafood, salads, sandwiches, steaks and more. The restaurant's signature Factory burgers are top-notch and big enough to qualify for two meals. The excellent sweet corn tamale cakes, miso salmon and Cajun Jambalaya show that a restaurant need not adhere to one specific cuisine to produce good food. Try to leave room for the cheesecake – creamy and rich, it comes flavors ranging from simple strawberry to decadent chocolate brownie fudge, and is guaranteed to end your meal on a sweet note.

With its huge range of eateries, deciding where to eat in San Diego is often a tough task. When you finally choose a place, you're practically guaranteed a delicious meal. Whether you decide to sample new flavors or stick to your old favorites, you'll always find something satisfying in San Diego .

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