Bite San Diego Food Tour – Bites & Brews in North Park
San Diego is a foodie town. Many towns are. But guess what makes San Diego special? If you go on a San Diego Food Tour, you start at a brewery and most restaurants have also an excellent tap selection of local brews. So basically, if you take a Bite San Diego Food Tour, you get a craft beer tour as well. And if you know me, you know I am always up for a beer tour 🙂
Welcome to North Park
So when the husband and I got an invitation by Bite San Diego (use promo code mariaabroad for a 15% discount on any full price tour!!) to go on a food tour around North Park, we were really excited. A few years ago, North Park was just starting to turn itself around and now is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. Sweet craftsman style bungalows line the street and you have an abundance of bars, restaurants and cool shops to keep you entertained. And there is just enough grittiness leftover to give it some character.
Another Plus: Not many tourists end up in North Park yet, so if you are visiting, check it out and enjoy San Diego like a local.
Parking can be a bit iffy in North Park, so the husband and I arrived early (yes, those German genes again, I know!). So while we waited for our San Diego Food Tour guide and the other tour participants, we decided to check out Hess Brewing. With a pint head start, we met up with the rest of our group and enjoyed a nice 6 beer sampler. Hess makes some really great beers all around, but I have to say that their stouts are in a class of their own and you should give them a try!
Next up and only a quick walk around the block: California Tap Room. Known for their amazing pretzels, we enjoyed them as well as another pint of hoppy goodness. How could we resist the cheapest pint in the city? $4 pints are hard to beat and we (meaning I, because the husband was the designated driver!) had to order one.
The pretzel balls were crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Almost like back home in Germany. Almost 😉 Best of all? Pretzel is the ultimate food to soak up some of that beer, and yes, I am speaking from experience.
Venissimo Cheese is a cheesemonger with several locations in San Diego County. We received a nice little nibble of three different kinds of cheese that were very enjoyable. Guess what, they also had a huge selection of craft beer from all over the country. And no, this time, I didn’t have any.
I really love this place, because it reminds me of the specialty shops in Europe. Going to a cheesemonger is definitely a bit pricey, but you get high-quality products and the people working there really know their stuff. They can help you choose the right cheese and how to pair it with the right fruits, wines, and beers.
Dive bars have a special place in my heart. When you sit down on the bar, your butt sticking instantly to the faux leather seat, and you have to control yourself to not start singing Piano Man, then you know you found a good dive bar. Those places have history. They have atmosphere. They have cheap drinks. And you can show up in jeans and t-shirt. But most dive bars lack one thing: Decent bar food.
Enter RedWing Bar and Grill. Their menu consists of the typical bar fare, but here it actually tastes good. I am not a big fan of chicken wings to begin with, but these were amazing. Crunchy, sticky and finger-licking good. The Thai-flavored ones had a nice little kick to them and were my favorites. Oh, and did I tell you they have a great selection of craft beer? Of course, I had to make sure myself that their tap machine was in working order… but you already knew that, didn’t you?
Just across the street from RedWing, you can find one of the most unique burger bars in San Diego: Crazee Burger. We were served some delicious sliders. The meat was juicy, the bun light and toasted perfectly. Fresh and crunchy veggies on top. All the attributes of a great burger. The husband and I really enjoyed this stop and even came back there a few days later with Priscilla, the mother-in-law.
What make Crazee Burger so special? They not only have your same old same old beef burger, no, they have quite a few exotic burger variations as well. From Bison to Venison, Aligator to Ostrich, yes. even Camel burgers are waiting to be tried by the adventurous eater channeling their inner Anthony Zimmern. I am always up for some crazee food, so I had the camel burger on our next visit and it was really good. Yes, they had craft beer. No, I didn’t have any.
Also on the same street is Berkeley Pizza. If you can’t make up your mind between Deep Dish and Thin Crust because both are so damn delicious, this is the place for you. Why should you decide, if you can have the best of both worlds? And Berkeley Pizza does a great job combining the thin and flaky crust with the tangy, garlicky sauce that would make any Italian Grandma proud. This is some great stuff, so if you are in the neighborhood, stop by and grab a slice!
Our last stop of the Bite San Diego Food Tour was also really cool. Splash Wine bar lets you try wine by the splash, from the mundane and affordable to the rare and expensive wines. This is especially cool, if you don’t want to spend $150 buying a pig in a poke and don’t even know if you like it, this is the place to try. You load up a prepaid card and the just swipe away. Each pour is 1 oz and depending on the price of the wine, the charge will be deducted from your card.
Splash Wine Bar also treated us to some tasty flatbreads that were really amazing. If you want to save even more, get there before 6.30 PM and take advantage of their everyday happy hour!
A bit about Bite San Diego Food Tour
Bite San Diego offers private tours as well as 7 public tours in various San Diego neighborhoods. Each tour has a unique feel, just like the neighborhoods and restaurants you will visit. Check out their website for tour dates, times and specific restaurants that each tour takes you to and pick the one that fits your taste buds!
The price for this 5 1/2 hour walking tour in North Park is $47, which I think is a great value. All the food and some of the drinks (beer sampler at Hess Brewing) are included. Keep an eye out for deals and maybe their combo packages of hotel room plus Food Tour work for you.
Who would like a Bite San Diego Food Tour?
This tour is great for locals and tourists alike. We had about a 50/50 split of locals and tourists in our group, so whether you are exploring San Diego on a quick trip or have lived there many years, this tour is great for any foodie who wants to check out some cool new restaurants.
Quite a few of the tours include bars and breweries, so they have a minimum age of 21. So, if you or someone in your group is under age or doesn’t drink, check the restaurants that are visited on each tour or call them (619) 634-8476 to find the best tour for you.
If you are a picky eater, this is probably not the right afternoon activity for you, as you can’t really customize your tastings.
Bite San Diego Food Tour – My 2 Cents
The husband and I had a really great time on our San Diego Food Tour! A big shout out to our Tour Guide Hank! He had a ton of knowledge but was also the kind of person that made you forget that you were on a tour. After a few stops, it felt like a buddy showing us around the neighborhood and bringing us food 🙂
If you are a foodie and want to try something new and fun, I highly recommend going on a Bite San Diego Food Tour. It was awesome!
My only suggestion would be to add a few ethnic restaurants into the mix, as San Diego has some really great ethnic food. I always love it, when people try something that they have never had before in their life. Sometimes it is gross and tastes horrible and you might have to rinse your mouth with water. Big deal. But sometimes, you discover something that tastes better than anything you have tasted before and that you will crave until you get your hands on it again. Worth it? I think so 😉
The husband and I were invited on a complimentary tour with Bite San Diego. But my opinion, the good, the bad and the ugly is still mine 😉
Remember to use mariaabroad during checkout and get a 15% discount on any full price tour with Bite San Diego!
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