Dining In The Historic Gaslamp Quarter's Wonderfully Intimate Restaurants
San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter, within easy walking distance from the Sofia Hotel, is one of the city’s prime attractions: a place to shop, soak in Victorian-style architecture, and—of course—eat. This downtown hub is a gourmet’s paradise, lauded for the dense diversity of its eateries.
Lounging outside as the sun sets or people-watching from a window-side table, you’ll relish the Gaslamp’s immersive dining experience. Savoring its native dishes and drinks is the ideal way to fully take in this classy, charming landmark.
Here are four standouts you’d surely do well to visit—and not just once, but again and again!
Recently opened Gang Kitchen (345 6th Avenue) boldly occupies an old warehouse and fills it with the aromas of Asian fusion and the murmur of a busy bar. The restaurant—the vision of the same folks behind San Diego’s BASIC and URBN pizzerias—lures with daily happy and cocktail hours as well as the dizzying breadth of its fare, which encompasses tangs from across East and Southeast Asia.
If you’ve got a hankering for Italian fine-dining, swing by BiCE Ristorante (425 Island Avenue), a transportive Gaslamp fixture with a menu nodding to Old World tradition even as it courts innovation. The lauded kitchen concocts classic Italian high cuisine with a healthy dose of local Southern Californian ingredients. The cheese bar is not to be missed.
Osetra the Fishhouse
No gustatory foray to San Diego is complete without plenty of seafood, and one of the Gaslamp’s preeminent spots to savor the riches of the sea is Osetra the Fishhouse (905 5th Avenue). Taking wide-ranging culinary inspiration, Osetra is renowned for high-end seafood but also includes specialty pasta, aged meats, and a plethora of vodkas among its offerings. It also claims a famously formidable wine tower soaring three stories.
Skip over to another corner of the globe—all without leaving the Gaslamp Quarter—by stepping inside La Puerta (560 4th Avenue), where Mexican cuisine and culture are the main course. Beyond a mouthwatering menu—from tacos to tortas—La Puerta also attracts attention for its massive tequila collection: It boasts better than 100 varieties of that agave-distilled firewater. Regular live music adds to the festive atmosphere.
From tequila tastings to dishfuls of wontons, these restaurants embody the Gaslamp’s infectious verve for cosmopolitan flavors. Take a lovely stroll over from the Sofia Hotel and partake!
Photo credit: Andrew Subiela