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15 San Diego Icons Share Their Favorite Food and Drinks

Jason Mraz, Rob Machado, Geena "The Latina," Claudia Sandoval and more notable locals shout out their top city eats

By SDM Staff

Steve Fisher

San Diego State’s All-time Winningest Coach

Red-Wine Braised Short Rib at Pamplemousse Grille

[I like] Pamplemousse Grille in Solana Beach. Starter: lobster and truffle grilled cheese—amazing. Entrée: red-wine braised short rib with saffron risotto and baby vegetables. [There’s] nothing better anywhere. Jeffrey Strauss, the chef and owner, makes everyone feel special.

Jason Mraz One Kitchen Collaborative San Diego

Jason Mraz

Singer, Songwriter, Coffee Purveyor

Fish Tacos at One Kitchen Collaborative

The vegan fish taco by One Kitchen Collaborative is possibly one of the best tacos of all time, honoring everything you love about real fish tacos. The crunch. The oils. The sauces. The drip. The flavor. It has it all—and maintains a vegan status. But you can only get it at their taco pop-up [on the] first Tuesday of the month at Jitters Pub in Oceanside. [It’s] become a party centered around the taco. There’s a DJ and everything.

Focaccia Bread Seneca Trattoria San Diego Magazine

Rob Machado

Professional Surfer

Focaccia Bread at Seneca Trattoria

I don’t make it downtown very often, but when I want to take my wife out on a date, it’s Seneca. They have amazing Italian cuisine with spectacular views of the city. [I like the] homemade focaccia.

Parkhouse Eatery Pancakes San Diego Magazine

Claudia Sandoval

Chef, Television Personality

Churro Pancakes at Parkhouse Eatery

Parkhouse Eatery has been our family’s favorite place to go to on weekends for brunch, birthday celebrations, and more recently, my daughter’s high school graduation. Anyone who knows me well knows exactly what I always order when I get there: the churro pancakes. This cinnamon-and-sugar-swirled pancake makes you want to stuff your face with its crispy edges, fluffy innies, and sweetened condensed milk drizzle.

Panama 66 San Diego Magazine

Ramel J. Wallace

Musician, Artist, Podcast Host

Wagyu Burger at Panama 66

Panama 66 has one of my favorite layouts of any restaurant, and the Wagyu burger is designed to taste just as good as the restaurant [looks]. I order it medium-rare and bite into heaven.

Yukas Truck Cafe San Diego Magazine

Ashley Nell Tipton

Local Fashion Designer, Winner of Project Runway Season 14

Latte at Yukas Truck Cafe

I love Yukas Truck Cafe. Located directly across from mi casa, this is my morning go-to place to get caffeinated. They even have breakfast items and tacos. I love supporting small businesses and personally know the struggles that can come with making a go of it.

Kravings Fruit Bar San Diego Magazine

Geena “The Latina” Aguilar

Radio Host, Channel 933

Açaí Bowl at Kravings Fruit Bar

I absolutely love everything at Kravings Fruit Bar in Santee. My boyfriend is obsessed with their Chamoy apples. We love their açaí bowls and all their natural juices, [plus] their tostilocos. The owners are always around and know you by name.

Seaside Nachos San Diego Magazine

Swingin’ Friar

San Diego Padres Mascot

Tri-Tip Nachos at Seaside Market at Petco Park

One of my all-time favorite dishes at Petco Park is the Seaside Market burgundy pepper tri-tip nachos. Featuring Seaside’s iconic burgundy pepper tri-tip, aka Cardiff Crack, these nachos are only available at the park and include BBQ sauce, queso, and green onions.

Todd Gloria Coal Bros Taqueria San Diego

Todd Gloria

Mayor Of San Diego

One Ribeye & One Chicken Taco at Coal Bros Taqueria 

Coal Bros Taqueria is just steps away from City Hall. There’s a lot of competition when it comes to tacos in this town, but brothers-in-law Abner Figueroa and Julio Toscano have definitely figured out something special. I am a creature of habit, so I always order their signature tacos—one ribeye and one chicken—and the combination of the seasoning, the salsa, and the smoke of the grill hits the spot every single time.

Eat Crispy Burger Chad Michaels San Diego

Chad Michaels

Drag Performer, Winner of Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season One

All-American Crispy Burger at Eat Crispy Burger

My newest obsession in North County is Eat Crispy Burger off Leucadia Boulevard. If you want an old-fashioned burger that tastes like a million dollars, this is your joint. Freshly pressed burger patties and all the fixings make all the competition in town blush! A simple menu makes your choices very easy.

Rockies Frozen Yogurt San Diego Magazine

Melanie Barcenas

SD Wave FC Forward, Youngest Player Ever Signed To The National Women’s Soccer League

 Açaí and Pitaya Bowl at Rockies Frozen Yogurt

I have two favorite dishes at Rockies Frozen Yogurt: their açaí bowls and their frozen yogurt. I really love their 50-50 blend that consists of açaí and pitaya. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and healthy. The granola here is wonderful and the fruit is always fresh! I really enjoy eating this on a game day. Sometimes I switch it up and go for their frozen yogurt, which is also really yummy. Their toppings are unique because they are swirled into your yogurt.

Jamba Juice San Diego Magazine

Bill Walton

NCAA Basketball Champion

Peanut Butter Chocolate Love at Jamba Juice

A large Peanut Butter Chocolate Love smoothie from Jamba.

Alce 101 San Diego Magazine

Shannon MacMillan

Former Professional Soccer Player; Olympic Gold Medalist; VP of Community Relations, SD Loyal

Yaki-Glazed Potstickers at Alce 101

ALCE 101 has a great atmosphere and amazing tequila bar, although I always stick with my Tito’s and soda. Start with the yaki-glazed potstickers and finish your meal with a bowl of their elk pozole—ridiculously tasty! You also can’t go wrong with the green chile onion ring tower.

Bolognese Piacere Mio San Diego Magazine

Tim Mays

Owner, The Casbah

Bolognese at Piacere Mio

I spend a lot of time in South Park, between Vinyl Junkies Record Shack, Whistle Stop, and Station Tavern, and, when dinner time rolls around, it’s a short walk to Piacere Mio—the food is always fantastic and the bustling dining room is always energizing. We usually share the carbonara, bolognese, or marinated artichoke. There’s no better combination. Fresh and robust!

Max's Restaurant San Diego Magazine

Jason Magabo Perez

San Diego Poet Laureate

Lechon Kawali Sisig at Max’s Restaurant

Lechon kawali sisig at Max’s Restaurant on Mira Mesa Boulevard. I grieve the loss of a magical sisig served at the late Cristy’s Bakery on [the same street]. Max’s sisig is solid, definitely both a luxury and a comfort. I know folks debate what constitutes authentic sisig, and I’m a Kapampangan sisig fan myself. However, this lechon kawali sisig at Max’s is super good.

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