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Phillip Esteban’s Wildflour Opens This August in Liberty Station 

After years of delays, the chef's most ambitious project is almost here—but is hardly the end of his vision
New San Diego restaurant and bar Wildflour Delicatessen from Chef Phillip Esteban opening in Liberty Station this August
Courtesy of Wildflour Delicatessen

Wildflour Delicatessen has had a name and a space for a few years. But the idea for it has lived in chef Phillip Esteban’s mind for a decade.

“When I was back at Cork & Craft in Rancho Bernardo, I wrote eight business plans that have evolved over time, and this was always the first one I ever wrote,” says Esteban. “This was something that I wanted to do back in 2013.”

Interior rendering of new San Diego restaurant Wildflour Delicatessen a new deli, cocktail bar, and bakery coming to Liberty Station
Rendering courtesy of Arch5 Design Studio

But that time, while longer than expected, allowed the concept to become more than what he originally envisioned. Esteban has made a name for himself as a pioneering local talent bringing his Filipino heritage to the forefront of cuisine. He’s helped shape the culinary landscape into something much more globally accessible alongside fellow chefs like Tara Monsod (Animae, Le Coq). But rather than continuing to specifically focus on his culture, as he’s done at White Rice, he says Wildflour will be more inspired by what he eats on a typical day, and what he thinks other people will enjoy as well.

Wildflour Delicatessen will open this August at 2690 Historic Decatur Road in the Arts District at Liberty Station. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Esteban says barring any other delays, he plans to soft open Wildflour on Wednesday, August 21 through Friday, August 23 with shortened hours. They’ll then close for the weekend to evaluate, reset, and restock, before a grand opening on Monday, August 26.

Interior rendering of new San Diego restaurant Wildflour Delicatessen a new deli, cocktail bar, and bakery coming to Liberty Station
Rendering courtesy of Arch5 Design Studio

The menu will span breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with lunch serving more set items like focaccia sandwiches and ready-to-grab sides like Mediterranean couscous or lemon basil orzo. “Breakfast and dinner, that’s where the menus flip a little bit,” he says, saying neither section will have more than eight to 10 dishes at any given time, and will feature items like fresh seafood, roast chicken, pork chops from Thompson Heritage Ranch, and with dinner offering relaxed, family-style service. 

“I’m not so worried about, ‘Oh, I need to make this the sexiest, finest dish, with the best technique,’” he laughs. “It’s gonna be high technique still, but just more focused… It won’t be your stuffy five-star white linen type of service. It’ll be a lot more casual.”

Wildflour will also have a coffee bar, retail shop, and cocktail program, which will emphasize lighter concoctions. “Having all these wild, crazy cocktails isn’t the thing for the area,” he explains. “It will be a lot more straightforward, lighter, refreshing, citrus to just pair with the food.” The space itself spans a little over 4,000 square feet with a large outdoor space able to seat 40-50 guests. But, for as much as Esteban says he loves the bright and clean aesthetic cultivated by Arch5 Design Studio, there’s one other big draw to the space.

“There’s a tremendous amount of parking,” he laughs.

Wildflour has taken up more than its fair share of time and energy to come into existence. But Esteban says it’s been nice to focus on one project before the next year really ramps up for him. “2025 gets really crazy,” he says, adding he has four potential projects in the pipeline, including more White Rice locations and perhaps even another smaller, more express version of Wildflour. But he doesn’t want to just keep opening restaurants (although clearly he’s up for it). 

Esteban is also a mountaineering enthusiast and has been looking for ways to cross over his personal hobby and professional world. Backpackers often bring ready-to-eat meals in their packs, but dishes like chicken pesto pasta or oatmeal didn’t always resonate with Esteban. So he decided to R&D his own line of dehydrated meals, featuring Filipino flavors along the lines of White Rice’s popular silog bowls.

“So if you’re a person of color… who does climb, it connects with you now,” he says. “It would be the first one in the world to actually make these flavors.” 

The work is never done in his world. “These things aren’t easy,” he says. “But I’m never the type to dwell on things. There’s always a time and season for everything.” It seems Esteban’s season is only just beginning to bloom. 

San Diego burger joint and butcher shop Swaguy Burgers opening new locations in Imperial Beach and Pacific Beach
Courtesy of Swagyu Burger

New San Diego Restaurants & Local Food Events

Swagyu Burger Opening Several New Locations 

Chef Steve Brown’s savory sensations at Swagyu Burger has proven so popular that the local chain is slated to open more locations across Southern California, including Imperial Beach in mid-July and Pacific Beach around the end of August, according to operations lead Kyle Simh. Simh says that while their steakhouse and butcher concepts were successful, the demand for burgers was so high they decided to shift their focus. “We’d be booked out on a Saturday night [at Swagyu Study Hall in Pacific Beach], but it was all burgers,” he explains. “That’s what people really wanted, so we wanted to start to focus on the burger more.”

Simh says they plan to open more Swagyu Burger locations in Newport Beach and San Jose this summer, but are also looking to expand to Los Angeles and beyond. “We’re waiting for the right thing to pop up, but we’re actively looking,” he promises. 

San Diego's AC Hotel Downtown's rooftop bar called Techo Beso in the Gaslamp Quarter
Courtesy of Techo Beso

Beth’s Bites

  • Grind & Prosper Hospitality (Louisiana Purchase, Coco Maya) has a new concept on the horizon—The Haole Shack, slated to open this summer at 707 Grand Avenue. With a menu that includes smashburgers, teriyaki bowls, and shave ice, it sounds like a decent taste of Hawai’i on the PB boardwalk. 
  • Comic-Con is coming next month—are you planning your dining options yet? Gaslamp District and East Village are both walkable from the convention center and chock full of tasty destinations. If you prefer to look down at the crowds versus fight your way through them, head to the roof of the AC Hotel Downtown Gaslamp Quarter to Techo Beso for margaritas and killer views of downtown. 
  • The Seventh House will live again in North Park, this time as a speakeasy that promises to be “darker than ever,” according to Instagram. Guess it’s time to ask the oracle which cocktail is in my future…

By Beth Demmon

Beth Demmon is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose work regularly appears in national outlets and San Diego Magazine. Her first book, The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider, is now available. Find out more on

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