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15 of the Best San Diego Food & Drinks to Try This April

SDM staff shouts out our favorite food finds this month
Food dishes on a table from San Diego restaurant Trilogy Sanctuary
Courtesy of Trilogy Sanctuary

Wake up. Coffee is calling, and waffles and eggs await. Each month, we shout out the places where we stuff our faces, and, this April, we’re focusing on the monarch of meals, the emperor of eats, the sultan of spreads: brunch. Hope you’re hungry. It’s time to go get some.

Shroomed + Chia Bowl from San Diego restaurant Trilogy Sanctuary in La Jolla, San Diego

Shroomed + Chia Bowl

Trilogy Sanctuary

Caffeine keeps me alive, but the decaf “shroomed” infusion at this vegan La Jolla rooftop yoga café may resurrect me. With reishe, cordyceps, chaga, and cacao, it proved a comforting combination of mushroom soup meets hot chocolate, paired with a chia pudding bowl— fresh and crafted with love. Admittedly I only got one bite because my toddler inhaled it, so… two stamps of approval, I guess. –MH

Benedictos Veggie from Ensenada restaurant Eme in Baja California

Benedictos Veggie

Eme Restaurante

Next time you venture down the Baja peninsula, stop by Eme Restaurante. Perched on the Ensenada hillside, this trendy, pet-friendly nook features an espresso bar, cold-pressed juices, and an endless menu that warrants repeat visits. Their veggie Benedict—a melody of poached eggs, mushrooms, spinach, and feta, perched on a toasted English muffin and bathed in a zesty poblano sauce—justifies hours spent in border gridlock. –CN

The Calexxxican at San Diego restaurant The Naked Cafe in Point Loma

The Calexxxican

The Naked Cafe

Proof that chilaquiles by any other name would taste as delicious. The Naked Cafe’s Calexxxican “meditation bowl” piles egg whites, plant-based chorizo, feta, black beans, avo, sour cream, and salsa over crispy tortilla chips. It’s not the healthiest thing at this Carlsbad hideaway for organic eats, but, hey, brunch is for sins. This just happens to be a lesser one. –AR

Pink Rose Waffles from Pink Rose Cafe restaurant in La Mesa, San Diego

Pink Rose Waffles

Pink Rose Cafe

If Barbie decorated her dream house during a particularly manic episode, you’d get this La Mesa mecca of made-for-the-’gram photo ops. Think pink everything—from the neon sign to the wall of plastic flowers to the food and drinks. Even the receipts. The pink rose waffles are heavily rose-water-flavored, soft, chewy and, honestly, kinda good. Paint me pink and call me Ken. I’m moving in. –MH

Madeleine Omlet from restaurant Cafe Madeleine in North Park, San Diego

Madeleine Omelet

Cafe Madeleine

I stumbled upon French restaurant Cafe Madeleine while meeting a friend for brunch in North Park. Decorated in art-nouveau style and featuring quaint sidewalk tables with umbrellas, you really do get a Parisian feel while visiting. Try the Madeleine omelet, made with mushrooms, brie, truffle oil, and breakfast potatoes, or the savory-sweet French onion soup, which can be made gluten-free. –NM

Croissant Breakfast Sandwich frin Stratford Court Cafe in Del Mar, San Diego

Croissant Breakfast Sandwich

Stratford Court Cafe

The breakfast sandwich: so simple, yet so easy to mess up. Key players: cheddar cheese, zingy-fatty sauce, fluffy eggs. In my opinion, all other components are arbitrary, a croissant is a plus. Del Mar’s Stratford Court aces the test; the charming cottage setting with plentiful sunny tables and endless coffee are extra credit. –SL

Manna Porridge from restaurant Atelier Manna in Encinitas, San Diego
Courtesy of Atelier Manna

Manna Porridge

Atelier Manna

If you take one thing from our food critic’s review, know that the porridge at Manna must not be missed. Need a hug, but no human takers? Consider your Sunday-morning oxytocin needs covered. Mixed mushrooms, egg yolk, and seared scallop snuggle in a duvet of creamy, earthy buckwheat. Miso adds depth and balance. It’s divine, and I’m pining for my next embrace. –SL

Blue Whale Brekky Bowl from Blue Whale restaurant in La Jolla, San Diego

Blue Whale Brekky Bowl

Blue Whale

Trying to find seating for Saturday morning brunch at La Jolla’s Blue Whale was a daunting task. After puppy-guarding a table with a passion only a helicopter mom could muster, I was rewarded with the Brekky Bowl. If the rabbit food–looking greens garner a side-eye from your hangover, I recommend crafting a DIY avocado toast with the other ingredients to ensure satisfaction. Bacon and hash browns, you were perfect. –AP

Tiramisu Brioche French Toast from Matteo restaurant in South Park, San Diego

Tiramisu Brioche French Toast


The best-named restaurant in SD has one of the best treats in town. With espresso-dipped brioche, coffee cream, fresh fruit, and a big ball of mascarpone, this caffeinated toast is worth a trip to South Park all its own. Hanging at this buzzy brunch bastion is just a bonus. –MH

Churro Pie from North Park Bakery My Vegan Pie in San Diego

Churro Pie

My Vegan Pie

Made in a North Park home, the pies from MVP are vegan, gluten-free, and refined-sugar-free (dates provide sweetness). Our advice? Treat the cashew-based churro pie like a breakfast pastry. It tastes like a satisfying mix of oatmeal and Cinnamon Toast Crunch and won’t take you on one of those donut-induced glucose roller coasters. –NP

Croque Madame from Feast & Fairway restaurant in Coronado, San Diego

Croque Madame

Feast & Fairway

One of Coronado’s best kept secrets, Feast & Fairway brings the flavors of Breakfast Republic to the island, minus the typical morningfood hustle. The croque madame, a tower of eggs, ham, gruyere, and béchamel sauce atop thick slices of toasted brioche, provides delicious fuel for a long day at the links. –CN

Yorkshire Cali Burrito from California English restaurant in Sorrento Valley, San Diego

Yorkshire Cali Burrito

California English

Should Richard Blais rename the Yorkshire Cali burrito at his UK-inspired locale in Sorrento Valley? Maybe. On the one hand, “British burrito” doesn’t conjure delight. On the other, meats, potatoes, eggs, swaddled in a tortilla-like slab of fluffy Yorkshire pudding… it fits the bill. Whatever you call i—’rito, wrap, portable roast—the carb-loaded dish will leave you both stoked and chuffed. –JB

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bowl from Quik Stop Liquor in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bowl

Quik Stop Liquor

Liquor stores offer society many things: booze, sandwiches, cigarettes. Vice and sustenance. Quik Stop on Newport Avenue balances the poisons within by slinging smoothies and the like from a sidewalk setup. This frozen PB & J in a cup tastes, well, like it was made with care outside a liquor store. In OB, there is a real and earnest competition about who has the best açai, dude. This one gets points for location. –MH

Strawberry Croissant from Kearny Mesa bakery Paris Baguette in San Diego

Strawberry Croissant

Paris Baguette

In Kearny Mesa, dodge shoppers in Korean grocer Zion Market to reach its food court, home to Paris Baguette, an international South Korean chain that’s become part of the Asian bakery boom in SD. At this point, I usually go into a trance and wake covered in a fine dusting of sugar from six different half-eaten pastries. The strawberries-and-cream-filled victual is so good that sometimes I spritz my croissant-scented perfume (a real thing I own) just to relive it. –AR

Birriaquiles in a bowl from Chula Vista restaurant Sunday Breakfast Society in San Diego
Photo Credit: Rolando Magdaleno


Sunday Breakfast Society

Give me birria all day, everyday. Throw it in ramen, inside tamales, on a sandwich, over spaghetti, in cereal—sky’s the limit. So naturally, I had the birriaquiles at Chula Vista’s Sunday Breakfast Society. They come with sour cream, cilantro, green salsa, over easy eggs, and all my affection. –NM


By SDM Staff

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