gastrobits Guide to Convention Center Dining

One of the most common questions is where one should dine when attending a convention. While it is a common thing for people to stay in hotel circle or mission valley and take the trolley to downtown, I'll make this mostly centered around the convention center itself.
Here is a map of all the locations in this guide:

View gastrobits Convention Center Dining Guide in a larger map 

 Walking Distance

These are decent places you can get to by walking. I'm assuming most people are willing to walk about 5-8 blocks.
  • Jsix at Hotel Salomar (616 J St) - This is probably the best "fine dining" destination with any consistency near the convention center. Their burgers are supposedly especially good during lunch time
  • Top of the Market (750 N Harbor Dr) - While it is a chain restaurant, great food with a great view at this location.
  • Bar Basic (410 10th Ave) - Come with a group to get some nice large pizzas. Also a bar/club for hanging out late.
  • Sora (655 Broadway) - Japanese Italian cuisine from one of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa's proteges

East Village

These places are a bit further in the East village, but still within walking distance (maybe 10 blocks total)
  • Cowboy Star (640 10th Ave) - Best steak place in San Diego, but also a really great restaurant in general. Try the buffalo burger for lunch.
  • Cafe Chloe (721 9th Ave) - Great french bistro food. This place epitomizes the great bistros that San Diego has to offer.
  • Knotty Barrel (844 Market Ave) - This gets the slight nod over Neighborhood for the bar/gastropub of choice mainly because their food is a bit better.
  • Noble Experiment (777 G St) - If you're into cocktails, this is the place to go. Call ahead to make sure you have "reservations"

Little Italy

If you're willing to buy a trolley pass for the day, you can take the Trolley to the Little Italy exit and all of these great restaurants will be within walking distance
  • Bencotto (750 W Fir St) - Great Italian hand-made pastas.
  • Craft and Commerce (675 W Beach St) - Some ridiculously good bar food to pair with drinks such as the bacon cracker jacks and mini corn dogs.
  • PrepKitchen Little Italy (1660 India St) - Some nice bistro food with drinks. Try the London's Burning cocktail. Personally I favor the appetizers over the entrees.
  • Extraordinary Desserts (1430 Union St) - A great place for cakes and gelato for dessert. Also a nice selection of teas.


If you are able to travel by car, please refer to my overall guide of San Diego.


About This Blog

gastro bits is a blog that juxtaposes the geeky with the foodie; it is an attempt to be educational about food, yet entertaining at the same time.
None of the reviews are meant to dissuade you from trying anything by yourself, but simply to provide information for you to make a more informed choice.
If any special treatment is provided to the blogger, full disclosure is presented at the beginning of the post.

  © Blogger template Webnolia by 2009

Back to TOP