Looking for a place to eat in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego? Here are some suggestions for dining in this newly revived area of San Diego. Mind you, this isn't a "best" or "top" list, nor is it exclusively focused on fine dining. It's simply a subjective list of places to try while in this part of San Diego. Now, get out and eat!
If you're going to start somewhere for a memorable dining experience, Urban Solace is a good bet. Urban Solace serves up New American Comfort Food and was created out of a desire to bring a new and exciting neighborhood dining concept to San Diego. With a straight-forward dining and service experience, the menu features a unique combination of American dishes, both classic and cutting edge, and an intriguing wine and crafted beer and cocktail list.
Chicken Pie Shop
Now, where Urban Solace serves up New American comfort food, at the other end of the spectrum is the venerable Chicken Pie Shop, which serves up good old fashioned comfort food. It ain't fancy by any stretch, but the food is starchy and filling and cheap. Order up a classic chicken pie (actually turkey) and some mashed potatoes from a waitress who calls you "honey" and it gets served to you in minutes. It's better and quicker than any fast food place on the Boulevard.
If you're looking for a hearty breakfast, lots of people swear by the Mission. The Mission specializes in simple, healthy, tasty food, with a whimsical edge and a focus on artful presentation at an affordable price. The portions are hearty and the pancakes and potatoes are crowd favorites. The Mission also has locations in the East Village and Mission Beach.
The Linkery is a restaurant with an admirable philosophy, including pastured and sustainably raised meats from farmers they know, their own house made fresh sausages and house cured meats like bacon, hams, and other charcuterie, and they make their food by hand, from scratch. They also use fresh, organic produce from regional farmers. It's a place worth checking out.
If you're looking for rustic French cuisine, Farm House Cafe is worth checking out. Technically located in University Heights (just north of North Park), Farm House serves up well-prepared French bistro food with the chef's own twists.
Now, if your inclination of the moment is for a burger and beer, Tioloi's Crazee Burger is the place to head over. It's even been featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with that dorky Guy Fieri guy. But they don't just serve regular old hamburgers - they serve burgers for the adventurous: gator, salmon, ostrich, venison, antelope and kangaroo are slapped between buns. That in itself makes it worth trying.
Johnny's Family Restaurant
For all-day dining in North Park, most people think of old school Rudford's or Denny's, but a better alternative is Johnny's Family Restaurant. Just this side of a greasy spoon, Johnny's serves up standard American diner fare, along with Greek and Mexican dishes with equal aplomb. Johnny's does the diner thing better than any self-styled "diner" or chain because it comes naturally.
Lefty's Chicago Pizza
Now, I'm not a deep dish pizza person - give me a thin, crispy crust anytime. But if it's Chicago-style pizza you're looking for, then you can't go wrong with Lefty's Chicago Pizza. It's an unassuming beer and pizza place, but it is true to its Windy City roots. Throw in authentic Chicago dogs, chopped salads, burgers and Pabst Blue Ribbon, and you'll feel you're among the working stiffs on the South Side.
Red Fox Steak House
If it's steak in a retro setting, then it's time to hit the Red Fox Steak House. All dark, with naugahyde booths and piano bar, the Red Fox Steak House gives off that Rat Pack vibe with true authenticity. The steaks are done old school, with old school prices. Sure, it might be a little tattered around the edges, but it's got more character than any Outback Steakhouse, any day.
Ranchos is associated with the Ranchos Natural Foods Market, and if it's a sit down Mexican restaurant to go to, locals flock to this place. Along with large portions of traditional Mexican dishes and homemade chips, Ranchos offers a large number of vegetarian offerings. All of it done in a healthy and fresh way.