City Guide

San Diego


If I had to choose one place to live in California, it would definitely be San Diego. The traffic isn’t too bad, the food scene is amazing, the views are gorgeous, and there’s always something to do. This is what I picture when I hear the words “California Dreamin'”. We went on vacation in San Diego & La Jolla last year and had the time of our life. From strolling the beach in a cozy hoodie at night  to seeing the animals at the San Diego zoo in the blistering heat, such an amazing place to visit!

xx, Kait♡




Farmer’s Bottega: A rustic Farm-to-table restaurant located in the Mission Hills neighborhood. It’s veggie driven with a ton of gf/v options. Amazing spot for a meal any time of day.
Open for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Civico 1845: This is an authentic and contemporary Italian restaurant focusing on health-conscious food with seasonal and locally grown ingredients. The restaurant was started by two brothers who moved from Italy to San Diego in 2013. The pasta and bread is made from scratch, and they have a vegan-friendly menu plus several dishes where you can sub gluten-free pasta. Wine selection is pretty good too!
Open for Lunch, & Dinner.

Cafe 21: Cute restaurant serving California food with a focus on organic ingredients. You’ll find everything from pancakes and French toast to sandwiches and rich entrees. They also make their own organic bread. Such a fun environment!
Open for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner.

Madison: A stunning Mediterranean-inspired restaurant located in University Heights! Kind of makes me feel like I’m on an episode of Mad Men, plus the food is delicious. Plenty of options and locally sourced.
Open for  Dinner and Weekend Brunch. 

Puesto: A taco chain local to Southern California, each location is unique with a lively indoor and outdoor setting. The tacos at Puesto are unique, flavorful, and super juicy. They have veg + gf options.
Open for Lunch & Dinner.

WhiskNLadle: They use seasonal & farm-to-table products, and the menu features homemade pastas and local seafood dishes like fish tacos. Their most popular dessert is the butterscotch budino and when you taste it, you’ll know why. Plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options.
Open for daily Brunch and Dinner. 

Fig Tree Cafe: A gardenesque cafe characterized by Californian flavors. There’s three locations and all use local fresh fish, meats, eggs, and produce. They offer gluten-free options for their French toast, sandwiches, and flatbreads in addition to many menu items that are already gluten-free. The Hillcrest & Pacific Beach locations are only open for breakfast and lunch, so if you’re wanting to go for dinner head over to Liberty Station.
Open for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner depending on location. 

GoodOnYa Organic Cafe: An organic cafe with simple and real food. They are 100% non gmo, 99% Organic, and as local as possible. We’re talking pasture-raised eggs, gluten-free sourdough, and all grass-fed/organic cheese, butter, and meats. The have a large drink menu featuring lattes, teas, smoothies, and kombucha and an even larger food menu with wraps, sandwiches, scrambles, salads, burritos, and quesadillas. The desserts are all gluten-free and organic, with a few vegan options as well.
Open for Breakfast & Lunch.

Crack Shack: Located in the booming neighborhood of Little Italy, it’s got a lively outdoor patio serving chicken & egg dishes, drinks, and homemade sauces. They are completely changing the game by sourcing local ingredients and humanely raised & pastured chickens. The “Firebird” is SO good and they have GFO like salads and bowls.
Open for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner. 

Trilogy Sanctuary: A yoga studio with gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, & organic food. It’s really really good! They have juice and smoothies but I love the Nutella and banana buckwheat crepe with cashew cream and caramel sauce or the Trilogy pancakes topped with strawberries, banana, peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut flakes, and cacao nibs. They have savory items too, and the vega-nachos is super popular for lunch.
Open for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner. 

Burger Lounge: Burger Lounge is the definition of #RealFood with grass-fed beef, huge veggie burgers, milkshakes, organic cheeses, salads and the softest buns on earth. They are committed to sourcing whole ingredients from sustainable environments and changing the way we view “fast food”.
Open for Lunch & Dinner. 

Cafe Gratitude: Every single Café Gratitude location I’ve been to is flawless. They focus on plant-based organic food as well as sustainability. The Humble bowl and enchiladas are probably my favorite thing on the menu. But the most glorious thing they make is the Serene cinnamon roll. You will NEVER have a cinnamon roll that good, trust me.
Open for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner. 

True Food Kitchen: LOVE LOVE this place. No matter where I go, they are always consistent and the food is always incredible.
Open for weekend Brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Tender Greens: Tender Greens is making the whole “eat your veggies” thing a lot easier. This counter-serve restaurant is big on sustainability, fresh produce, and organic ingredients. Don’t be intimidated by the long line, it moves fast. Top it all off with a chocolate chip cookie.
Open for Lunch & Dinner. 

Urban Plates: Urban plates is like the luxury version of Chipotle. Tons of options- I’m talking seasonal soups, pizzettes, sandwiches, bakery items, organic coffee, local craft beers, and plates like the grass-fed steak with mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. They use sustainable and organic ingredients throughout their menu and really care about wholesome ingredients while keeping prices relatively low.
Open for Lunch & Dinner. 

Tocaya Organica: This is the perfect quick stop for modern Mexican food. They use locally sourced organic products in their bowls, salads, tacos, and burritos. Tons of options for all diets and the menu is customizable. They’ve also got margaritas, matcha, creamy horchata, and cold-pressed juice. Oooo and dessert! The waffle ice cream sandwich is…Just get it.
Open for Lunch & Dinner. 

Live Beaming: Live Beaming is an amazing West Coast juice bar featuring organic superfoods. They offer plant-based food ranging from acai bowls and smoothies to salads and protein cookies. Seriously do NOT leave without buying at least one of their chocolate chip protein cookies.
Open for Breakfast & Lunch.




Bobboi Gelato: A must-try! You can check out their website for daily seasonal flavors. They have delicious dairy-free sorbets like strawberry, pineapple basil, and watermelon and organic dairy options like pistachio, chocolate caramel, and honey & cinnamon. The ingredients are fresh, organic, & local!

Live Beaming: I put this under dessert too, because their cookies and baked goods are yummmmy! Seriously, best protein cookies ever.

Cafe Gratitude: We loved going here for dessert. They have cheesecakes, cinnamon rolls, donuts, and pies. All made from organic & wholesome ingredients and all delish.

Pressed Freeze: Soft serve made from fruit, nuts, and vegetables. The chocolate drizzle is so smooth and almost chewy after it hardens on top of the freeze. My go to is swirl with cacao and almond butter drizzle and a pinch of himalayan salt.




Communal Coffee: My first experience at Communal Coffee was so friendly. We went to pay but our card kept declining because someone had stolen our card info. The staff gave us our coffee and donuts for free without knowing our circumstances. Menu favorites: iced vanilla bean latte and the chocolate lavender donut (by far the best gluten free donut I’ve ever had). Make sure to check out the in-shop floral boutique Native Poppy!

Moniker Coffee Co: The prettiest, brightest, airiest coffee shop in San Diego. I adore this place. It’s a modern general store with tons of artisan products, cute clothes, and delicious coffee drinks. They also make gorgeous cocktails. Definitely go here!

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters: Another amazing cafe serving organic, “farm-to-cup” coffee and handcrafted drinks. It’s such a cute place and it’s not far from the beach in La Jolla.

Holsem Coffee: If you’re a coffee connoisseur and wanting to hit all the good coffee shops, this one should be on the list. It’s located in North Park (near Communal Coffee) and they use fair-trade and pure ingredients in their pretty drinks.

Café Virtuoso: Delicious organic coffee and tea. The lattes here are next level and the staff is super friendly!

Brew Coffee Spot: Located right outside of San Diego in La Mesa. They use organic beans for their coffee and offer tea, kombucha, pastries, paninis, acai, and coconut yogurt bowls. Great spot if you find yourself out that way.


WhiskNLadle: Great food spot, but also a great place to grab drinks!

Altitude Sky Lounge: Really cool rooftop bar and lounge to have a drink and overlook the city. It’s kind of pricey, but the view makes it worth it.

Bar Bodega: A Spanish tapas bar with flavorful small plates and incredible drinks. They also have craft beers and many of their wines are bio-dynamics and organically sourced.

Noble Experiement: A good old-fashioned speakeasy bar. It’s hidden inside Neighborhood restaurant and is perfect for an intimate date night. The bartenders are dressed fancy smancy and the drinks are a little pricey, but it all comes with an experience. Highly recommend making a reservation.



Things to Do

La Jolla Cove: A beautiful small beach surrounded by sandstone cliffs. This is one of my favorite parts in San Diego. You can see sea lions sunbathing on the rocks and seals lounging on the beach. They’re used to tourists, but keep a respectful distance and don’t get too close because it’s dangerous to you and them. Plus it stresses them out. The seals will most likely be at the Children’s Pool and the sea lions will be closer to the cliffs. Super cool to watch.

La Jolla Shores Park: Scuba dive, surf, and kayak or take a lovely walk down the beach. It gets pretty busy, but definitely worth a visit.

Coronado Beach: Stroll the flat, sparkly beaches of Coronado. There’s so much to do once you make the trip over (about 5-6 miles from San Diego). You can check out the famous Hotel Del Coronado, bike, take a walk downtown, or go to Ferry Landing and Tidelands Park to shop or eat.

Windansea Beach: A beautiful small & rocky beach tucked away in La Jolla. It’s a popular place to surf, but I wouldn’t go here to take kids swimming (currents are strong). It’s more of a secluded beach to see a breathtaking view or the sunset. Hello romantic.

San Diego Zoo: I visited the San Diego Zoo when I was 6 but didn’t remember a single thing, so we decided to check it out again. The zoo is probably the best zoo I’ve ever been to and there’s so much to do. We spent about 4 hours here and had the best time.

Balboa Park: Right next to the San Diego Zoo and home to over 15 museums and pretty gardens. A few museums here: Natural History Museum, Museum of ManSan Diego Air and Space Museum, and the Museum of Art.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve: This is a reserve that protects indigenous wildlife, plants, and habitats. It’s a beautiful environment to spend your morning and was one of the highlights of our trip. You’ll see gorgeous overlooks and loads of trails right by the ocean. Highly recommend.

USS Midway Museum: If you’re interested in a history lesson on America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier during the 20th century, you’ll want to check out the USS Midway at Navy Pier. The self-guide audio tour is great and for $20 a person, it’s a good way to spend 2 or 3 hours.

Shopping at Fashion Valley: Plenty of stores, a movie theater, and food. What more could you need? But seriously, we went here a few times because…well, that’s where True Food Kitchen is ;).

Seaport Village: Cute waterfront shopping and dining village next to San Diego Bay. It’s gorgeous here at sunset, and they’ve even got a Ben & Jerry’s.

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park: Obviously a popular place to view the sunset along the Pacific Ocean, but you’ll also find arches, sea caves, and cliffs. Go ahead and set your camera to panoramic mode.


Kona Kai


Grand Colonial Hotel: This place is beautiful hotel with a sophisticated yet cozy classic-European design. It’s La Jolla’s oldest original hotel and you can tell preserving its history is so important. The location is perfect- it’s a short walk to many amazing restaurants like WhiskNLadle, Trilogy Sanctuary, Bobboi Gelato, Burger Lounge, Puesto, and Live Beaming. Girard Avenue is also near by, which is kind of like the Rodeo Drive of San Diego with tons of shopping and upscale boutiques. Best part? La Jolla Cove is literally steps from the hotel. It has breathtaking views and adorable seals and sea lions!

Pantai Inn: Located in downtown La Jolla, Pantai Inn was everything I could have hoped for when it comes to a bungalow seaside hotel. The Pantai community is like a Balinese-inspired haven with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, cascading waterfalls, outdoor and indoor fireplaces, and the friendliest staff on Earth. The ocean walk is right by the hotel and a short walk to shopping, great restaurants, and La Jolla Cove. Pantai is a hidden gem and I totally recommend it if you’re headed to La Jolla!

Kona Kai Resort & Spa: A lovely spot located on the tip of Shelter Island in San Diego. The rooms and the lobby are beautiful and tropical. They offer loads of activities and amenities like a spa and fitness center as well as paddleboard, pedal boat, kayak, & jetski rentals. Enjoy a cocktail poolside, the nightly bon fires on the private beach area, or a game of beach volleyball! This place is great for the active traveler!




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