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Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Posted: April 20th, 2018 | Best Of Uptown, Communities, Featured | No Comments

Uptown is a unique place to call home. We pride ourselves on our historic districts and mainstay local spots, yet also embrace and welcome change to our vibrant community.

From residents to houses, our neighborhoods comprise a balanced mix of young and old, established and new. Why would the dining and entertainment establishments we frequent be any different?

We recently asked the readers of San Diego Uptown News to tell us their favorite local dining spots and entertainment venues found throughout and nearby our Uptown neighborhoods. Our ballot offered 70 voting categories, including brunch, comedy club, doughnut shop, food truck, happy hour, Irish pub, Mexican cuisine and movie theater.

From our numerous coffee shops and breweries to the buzzing night life scene, we featured categories to best reflect the feel of our distinctive community.

San Diego Uptown News covers nearly a dozen neighborhoods, including Old Town, Mission Hills, Bankers Hill, Hillcrest, University Heights, Normal Heights, North Park, South Park, Golden Hill, Kensington and Talmadge, as well as nearby regions of City Heights, Little Italy, Mission Valley and more. The range of winners reflect our diverse neighborhoods, offering a glimpse of what it’s like to be an Uptowner.

In this month’s “Best of Uptown” special section, we feature an accumulation of these top establishments, showcasing them with colorful advertisements, photos, contact information and descriptions outlining their missions to serve their customers.

As you look through these pages, we hope you find familiar names along with new faces. Swing by these spots for a taste of life in Uptown, whether you attend a show at your go-to music venue or try a new restaurant outside of your palate.

Without further ado, here are your picks. From all of us at San Diego Uptown News, congratulations to 2018’s Best of Uptown winners! See you around the neighborhood.

[Editor’s note: This year, we split the ballot into two sections: dining/entertainment and business/retail. This issue exclusively features the best dining and entertainment venues. To vote for the best business and retail spots, stay tuned for our next ballot in print and online at sduptownnews.com.]

—The staff at San Diego Community News Network (sdcnn.com)

 

AMERICAN CUSINE

GOLD: Great Maple

Great Maple

1451 Washington St.
thegreatmaple.com/sandiego
619-255-2282

SILVER: Trust.
3752 Park Blvd., Suite 105 C
trustrestaurantsd.com
619-795-6901

BAKERY

GOLD: Twiggs Bakery & Coffeehouse
2804 Adams Ave.
twiggs.org/adams-ave
619-296-0616

SILVER: Cardamom Cafe and Bakery
2977 Upas St.
cardamomsandiego.com
619-546-5609

BARBECUE

GOLD: The Smok’d Hog

3749 Park Blvd.
thesmokdhog.com
619-546-5467

Smok’d Hog BBQ

The Smok’d Hog features award-winning BBQ ribs on Saturday and Sundays, fried chicken on Fridays, and gourmet smoked meat sandwiches all week long. Check out our menu — you can dine in or order to go.
San Diego’s best BBQ and gourmet sandwich shop is located at the corner of Park Boulevard and Robinson Avenue, just a few minutes from Balboa Park. If it’s your first time, we recommend trying our signature pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, the “KC” or “Carolina.” Or sink your teeth into a Florida-inspired “Cubano.” On Saturdays and Sundays, we serve BBQ ribs smothered in our house hog sauce. You’ll love our slow roasted mouthwatering meats, which are smoked in-house daily! Be sure to check our menu often. Don’t forget, The Smok’d Hog offers BBQ catering in San Diego.

SILVER: Grand Ole BBQ y Asado
3302 32nd St.
grandolebbq.com
619-213-3765

The tradition lives on!

“I fell in love with Central Texas BBQ flavors as a kid and often wondered why there wasn’t a venue that combines those flavors with great music in an outdoors setting in San Diego,” said Andy Harris, owner of Grand Ole BBQ y Asado.

Harris spent more than 20 years honing his barbecue skills — from buying his first smoker at 20 years old to testing out all the best BBQ at all the best BBQ joints in Kansas City, Memphis, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

BREWERY

GOLD: Kensington Brewing Company
4067 Adams Ave.
brewerysandiego.com
619-400-6584

SILVER: North Park Brewing Co.
3038 University Ave.
northparkbeerco.com
619-255-2946

BILLIARDS

GOLD: Triple Crown Pub
3221 Adams Ave.
triplecrownpubsd.com
619-281-0263

SILVER: Gilly’s
2306 El Cajon Blvd.
619-298-6008

BREAKFAST

GOLD: The Mission

2801 University Ave.
themissionsd.com
619-220-8992

The Mission

The Mission concept specializes in simple, healthy, and tasty food with a whimsical edge and a focus on artful presentation at an affordable price. By focusing on the use of simple and fresh ingredients, this vibrant urban bistro promotes living in an increasingly health-conscious world. Our entrees are creatively presented, resulting in artful culinary displays that are sure to please the palate. Guests dine in dynamic, inviting surroundings, featuring large, bright and airy windows along with eye-catching local artwork. The menu, which includes everything from classic pancakes and sandwiches to modern Chino-Latino cuisine, is sure to satisfy every appetite.

SILVER: Crest Cafe
425 Robinson Ave.
crestcafe.net
619-295-2510

BRUNCH

GOLD: The Patio on Goldfinch
4020 Goldfinch St.
thepatioongoldfinch.com
619-501-5090

SILVER: Fig Tree Eatery
416 University Ave.
figtreeeatery.com
619-298-2010

BURGER

GOLD: Cali “O” Burgers
1290 University Ave.
calioburgers.com
619-692-9999

SILVER: Crest Cafe
425 Robinson Ave.
crestcafe.net
619-295-2510

BURRITO

GOLD: El Zarape Restaurant
3201 Adams Ave.
elzarapeeatery.com
619-692-1652

SILVER: Colima’s Mexican Restaurant
2302 University Ave.
colimasmexican.menutoeat.com
619-297-2715

BUSINESS LUNCH

GOLD: Hob Nob Hill
2271 First Ave.
hobnobhill.com 
619-239-8176

Opened in 1944 with the sole intention to provide quality food and exceptional services at reasonable prices, Hob Nob Hill has worked hard to stay true to its commitment. A full-service restaurant and bakery, Hob Nob Hill and its American Country-style furnishings offer its guests comfortable seating while they enjoy an array of tasty American classics. Whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner — Hob Nob Hill’s American styled menu provides their guests with generous portions, affordable pricing and a taste that’s sure to entice its patrons for more!

Just about everything — from baking fresh muffins and cakes to curing corned beef — is done on the premises. And each recipe has been home-developed and home-tested to ensure that you, the customer, will experience the ultimate dining pleasure. For more information regarding business hours and menu details, visit Hob Nob Hill’s website.

SILVER: Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar
902 Washington St.
harleygraykitchenandbar.com
619-955-8451

CASINO

GOLD: Sycuan Casino
5469 Casino Way
El Cajon, 92019
sycuan.com
619-916-4468

Feel at home as you walk through the doors of Sycuan Casino, San Diego’s top choice for fun and excitement in a casual environment. Located in the heart of America’s finest city, Sycuan Casino began as a humble Bingo Palace back in 1983. Now, it has become a community landmark. Undergoing a massive renovation in 2012 with additional enhancements in 2015, Sycuan now features 2,000 exciting reel and video slot machines; more than 40 gaming tables, poker, bingo; and a variety of restaurants to choose from.

Non-smokers will also enjoy over 800 slots and table games in the comfort of San Diego’s first and largest fully-enclosed non-smoking room — complete with its own separate entrance and Paipa’s Surf & Turf buffet. The GameDay Sports Bar & Grill has 39 wide-screen TVs, including five 90-inch TVs; bar-top slot machines; a stadium sized menu; over 30 beers on tap; the Party Pit, complete with three blackjack tables; an extensive collection of sports memorabilia; and a high-energy atmosphere. Sycuan’s intimate 457-seat entertainment venue, Sycuan Live & Up Close, features national musical acts and comedians year-round. Open 24 hours daily.

SILVER: Viejas Casino & Resort
5000 Willows Road
Alpine, 91901
viejas.com
833-445-5400

CASINO BUFFET

GOLD: Valley View Casino & Hotel
16300 Nyemii Pass Road
Valley Center, 92082
valleyviewcasino.com
866-843-9946

SILVER: Sycuan Casino
5469 Casino Way
El Cajon, 92019
sycuan.com/dining/paipas-buffet
619-916-4468

CASUAL DINING

GOLD: Pop Pie Co.

Pop Pie Co.

4404 Park Blvd.
poppieco.com
619-501-4440

SILVER: Carnitas Snack Shack
2632 University Ave.
carnitassnackshack.com
619-294-7675

CATERING

GOLD: The Wild Thyme Company
7163 Construction Court Suite B
thewildthymecompany.com
858-527-0226

SILVER: Mastiff Sausage Company
3038 University Ave.
mastiffsausagecompany.com/catering
619-255-2777

CHINESE CUISINE

GOLD: Saigon on Fifth
3900 Fifth Ave. #120
saigonon5th.com
619-220-8828

SILVER: City Dragon
2885 El Cajon Blvd.
citydragonsd.com
619-280-2255

COCKTAIL

GOLD: Martinis Above Fourth Table + Stage
3940 Fourth Ave., Second Floor
ma4sd.com
619-400-4500

SILVER: The Caliph
3100 Fifth Ave.
thecaliph.net
619-298-9495

COFFEE SHOP

GOLD: Lestat’s Coffee House
3343 Adams Ave.
lestats.com
619-282-0437

SILVER: Young Hickory
4096 30th St.
younghickory.com
619-795-6574

COMEDY CLUB

GOLD: American Comedy Co.
818 Sixth Ave.
americancomedyco.com
619-795-3858

SILVER: Comedy Heights
comedyheights.com
619-993-3402

COMFORT FOOD

GOLD: DiMille’s Italian Restaurant
3492 Adams Ave.
dimilles.com
619-283-3153

SILVER: Pop Pie Co.
4404 Park Blvd.
poppieco.com
619-501-4440

DANCE CLUB

GOLD: Rich’s 1051 University Ave.
richssandiego.com
619-295-2195

SILVER: Gossip Grill
1220 University Ave.
thegossipgrill.com
619-260-8023

DELI

GOLD: The Deli Llama
3702 Fifth Ave.
delillamasd.com
619-295-4666

The Deli Llama

It began with a concept — amazing sandwiches in a whimsical setting where customers feel at home. Ten years later, The Deli Llama has earned 29 “Best of” awards for its signature sandwiches, paninis, salads, house-made sauces, soups, and specialty chips and beverages.

The Llama also features three types of gluten-free breads and baked goods, as well as vegetarian and vegan options. The Deli Llama continues to draw new and loyal customers to enjoy its delicious food and fanciful setting … the little deli where the staff treats customers like family! And coming soon — The Deli Llama Food Truck!

SILVER: Grant’s Marketplace
2953 Beech St.
grantsmarket.com
619-231-0524

DESSERT

GOLD: Holy Matcha San Diego
3118 University Ave.
holymatchasd.com

SILVER: Extraordinary Desserts
2929 Fifth Ave.
extraordinarydesserts.com
619-294-2132

DINNER

GOLD: Dunedin New Zealand Eats
3501 30th St.
dnp-sd.com
619-255-8566

SILVER: Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop
640 Tenth Ave.
cowboystarsd.com
619-450-5880

DOUGHNUT SHOP

GOLD: Copper Top Coffee and Donut
101 Washington St.
coppertopcoffee.com
619-458-9045

SILVER: Donut Bar
631 B St.
donutbar.com
619-255-6360

FOOD TRUCK

GOLD: Mariscos Nine Seas Seafood
3030 Grape St.
mariscosnineseasseafood.com
619-279-0010

SILVER: Kiko’s Place
4404 Texas St.
facebook.com/kikosplaceseafood
619-341-7397

FAMILY RESTAURANT

GOLD: Rudford’s Restaurant
2900 El Cajon Blvd.
rudfords.com
619-282-8423

SILVER: DiMille’s Italian Restaurant
3492 Adams Ave.
dimilles.com
619-283-3153

FARMERS MARKET

GOLD: Hillcrest Farmers Market
3960 Normal St.
hillcrestfarmersmarket.com
619-237-1632

SILVER: North Park Thursday Market
3000 North Park Way
northparkmainstreet.com/events/farmers-market
619-294-2501

FAST FOOD

GOLD: Five Guys
670 University Ave.
fiveguys.com
619-299-9105

SILVER: In-N-Out Burger
2005 Camino Del Este
in-n-out.com
800-786-1000

FINE DINING

GOLD: Dunedin New Zealand Eats
3501 30th St.
dnp-sd.com
619-255-8566

SILVER: Donovan’s Steak & Chop House
570 K St.
donovanssteakhouse.com
619-376-1184

FRENCH CUISINE

GOLD: The Smoking Goat Restaurant
3408 30th St.
thesmokinggoatrestaurant.com
619-955-5295
SILVER: La Bonne Table
3696 Fifth Ave.
619-260-8039

GREEK CUISINE

GOLD: Alexi’s Greek Cafe

Alexi’s Greek Cuisine

3863 Fifth Ave.
619-297-1777
Serving Greek, Mediterranean and American food, this Hillcrest institution has been delighting palates for over 20 years. Serving everything from Gyros to spanakopita to Greek salads, Alexis even offers vegetarian cuisine. For the best Greek food in Hillcrest, visit Alexis Greek Café. No other Greek restaurant compares.

SILVER: Olympic Cafe
2310 University Ave.
olympiccafesd.com
619-692-9082

GOLF COURSE

GOLD: Torrey Pines Golf Course
11480 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, 92037
torreypinesgolfcourse.com
858-452-3226
SILVER: Tobey’s 19th Hole Cafe
2600 Golf Course Drive
619-234-5921

HAPPY HOUR

GOLD: Flicks
1017 University Ave.
sdflicks.com
619-297-2056

SILVER: Park & Rec
4612 Park Blvd.
parkandrecsd.com
619-795-9700

HEALTH FOOD STORE

GOLD: Barons Market
3231 University Ave.
baronsmarket.com
619-814-5555

SILVER: Lazy Acres Natural Market
422 W. Washington St.
lazyacres.com/missionhills
619-272-4289

HOT WINGS

GOLD: Wingstop
4403 University Ave. #400
wingstop.com
619-280-8000

SILVER: The Rail
3796 Fifth Ave.
thebrassrailsd.com
619-298-2233

INDIAN CUISINE

GOLD: Bombay
3960 Fifth Ave.
bombayrestaurant.com
619-297-7777

SILVER: Punjabi Tandoor

9235 Activity Road, Suite 111
punjabitandoor.com
858-695-0956

IRISH PUB

GOLD: Oscar Wilde’s Irish Pub
1440 University Ave.
oscarwildespub.com
619-567-8249

SILVER: The Field
544 Fifth Ave.
thefield.com
619-232-9840

ITALIAN CUISINE

GOLD: DiMille’s Italian Restaurant
3492 Adams Ave.
dimilles.com
619-283-3153

SILVER: Buona Forchetta
3001 Beech St.
buonaforchettasd.com
619-381-4844

JAPANESE CUISINE

GOLD: Azuki Sushi
2321 Fifth Ave.
azukisushi.com
619-238-4760

SILVER: North Park Sushi & Grill
3021 University Ave.
hanaoka-restaurant.com
619-297-0924

JAZZ BAR

GOLD: Seven Grand San Diego
3054 University Ave.
sevengrandbars.com/sd
619-269-8820

SILVER: Martinis Above Fourth Table + Stage
3940 Fourth Ave. Second Floor
ma4sd.com
619-400-4500

JUICE

GOLD: Project Juice
1080 University Ave. Suite H 207
projectjuice.com/hillcrest-cafe
619-452-2513

SILVER: Juice Crafters
401 University Ave.
juicecrafters.com
619-297-0235

LATE NIGHT DINING

GOLD: Rudford’s Restaurant
2900 El Cajon Blvd.
rudfords.com
619-282-8423

SILVER: Uptown Tavern
1236 University Ave.
uptowntavernsd.com
619-241-2710

LIVE MUSIC VENUE

GOLD: House of Blues
1055 Fifth Ave.
houseofblues.com/sandiego
619-299-2583

House of Blues San Diego

House of Blues is the ultimate night out. It’s where great food sets the stage for amazing live concerts. From VIP experiences with the world’s best artists to our world-famous Gospel Brunch on Sundays, House of Blues is truly where music and food feed the soul.

SILVER: The Observatory North Park
2891 University Ave.
obervatorysd.com
619-239-8836

LOCAL WINERY

GOLD: Négociant Winery
2419 El Cajon Blvd.
negociantwinery.com
619-535-1747

SILVER: Wilson Creek Winery
35960 Rancho California Road
Temecula, 92591
wilsoncreekwinery.com
951- 699-9463

LUNCH

GOLD: The Deli Llama
3702 Fifth Ave.
delillamasd.com
619-295-4666

SILVER: EmpireHouse
127 University Ave.
empirehousesd.com
619-688-9283

MARGARITA

GOLD: Ortega’s, A Mexican Bistro
141 University Ave.
ortegas.com
619-692-4200

SILVER: Del Sur Mexican Cantina
2310 30th St.
delsurmexicancantina.com
619-501-0643

MARTINI

GOLD: Martinis Above Fourth Table + Stage
3940 Fourth Ave., Second Floor
ma4sd.com
619-400-4500

SILVER: Born and Raised
1909 India St.
bornandraisedsteak.com
619-202-4577

MEXICAN CUISINE

GOLD: Del Sur Mexican Cantina
2310 30th St.
delsurmexicancantina.com
619-501-0643

SILVER: Ortega’s, A Mexican Bistro
141 University Ave.
ortegas.com
619-692-4200

MOVIE THEATER

GOLD: Landmark Theatres Hillcrest
3107 Fifth Ave. #200
landmarktheatres.com
619-298-2904

SILVER: Landmark Theatres Ken Cinema
4061 Adams Ave.
landmarktheatres.com
619-283-3227

NEW RESTAURANT

GOLD: Dunedin New Zealand Eats
3501 30th St.
dnp-sd.com
619-255-8566

SILVER: Shank & Bone
2930 University Ave.
shankandbone.com
619-458-9085

NIGHTCLUB

GOLD: The Rail
3796 Fifth Ave.
thebrassrailsd.com
619-298-2233

SILVER: Rich’s
1051 University Ave.
richssandiego.com
619-295-2195

OUTDOOR DINING

GOLD: The Patio on Goldfinch
4020 Goldfinch St.
thepatioongoldfinch.com
619-501-5090

SILVER: Underbelly
3000 Upas St.
godblessunderbelly.com
619-487-9909

PET FRIENDLY DINING

GOLD: Knotty Barrel
844 Market St.
knottybarrel.com
619-269-7156

SILVER: Del Sur Mexican Cantina
2310 30th St
delsurmexicancantina.com
619-501-0643

PHO/NOODLE HOUSE

GOLD: OB Noodle House
2218 Cable St.
obnoodlehouse.com
619-450-6868

SILVER: Underbelly
3000 Upas St.
godblessunderbelly.com
619-487-9909

PIZZA

GOLD: DiMille’s Italian Restaurant
3492 Adams Ave.
dimilles.com
619-283-3153

SILVER: Filippi’s Pizza Grotto Little Italy
1747 India St.
realcheesepizza.com/little-italy
619-232-5094

POKE

GOLD: Poké Go
3614 Fifth Ave.
pokesd.com
619-230-5549

SILVER: Fishmongers’ Market
1735 Hancock St.
fishmongersmarkets.com
619-756-7345

ROMANTIC DINING

GOLD: Madison on Park
4622 Park Blvd.
madisononpark.com
619-269-6566

SILVER: Et Voilà French Bistro
3015 Adams Ave.
etvoilabistro.com
619-209-7759

ROOFTOP LOUNGE

GOLD: Mister A’s
2550 Fifth Ave.
asrestaurant.com
619-239-1377

SILVER: George’s at the Cove
1250 Prospect St.
La Jolla, 92037
georgesatthecove.com
858-454-4244

SALAD

GOLD: Jyoti-Bihanga
3351 Adams Ave.
jyotibihanga.com
619-282-4116

SILVER: Barons Market
Barons Market
3231 University Ave.
baronsmarket.com
619-814-5555

SANDWICH

GOLD: Grant’s Marketplace
2953 Beech St.
grantsmarket.com
619-231-0524

SILVER: The Deli Llama
3702 Fifth Ave.
delillamasd.com
619-295-4666

SEAFOOD

GOLD: Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill
3667 India St.
bluewaterseafoodsandiego.com
619-497-0914

SILVER: Point Loma Seafoods
2805 Emerson St.
pointlomaseafoods.com
619-223-1109

SPANISH CUISINE

GOLD: Cueva Bar
2123 Adams Ave.
cuevabar.com
619-269-6612

Established in 2010, Cueva Bar is a gem in the University Heights neighborhood. If you’re searching for a small, neighborhood bar with an intimate setting, look no further. At Cueva Bar, we are proud to offer delicious, globally-inspired tapas, a sommelier curated wine list and a draft selection of (mostly) local craft beer. For our gluten-free and/or vegan patrons, we offer a very dynamic and flexible menu that fits your dietary needs. We specialize in bringing people together with the help of shareable plates, friendly service and an intimate setting!

SILVER: Cafe Sevilla
353 Fifth Ave.
cafesevilla.com
619-233-5979

SPORTS BAR

GOLD: The Rail
3796 Fifth Ave.
thebrassrailsd.com
619-298-2233

SILVER: Hamilton’s Tavern
1521 30th St.
hamiltonstavern.com
619-238-5460

STEAKHOUSE

GOLD: Donovan’s Steak & Chop House
570 K St.
donovanssteakhouse.com
619-376-1184

SILVER: Morton’s The Steakhouse
285 J St.
mortons.com/sandiego
619-696-3369

SUSHI

GOLD: RB Sushi
3955 Fifth Ave.
bsushi.com
619-269-9900

SILVER: Azuki Sushi
2321 Fifth Ave.
azukisushi.com
619-238-4760

THAI CUISINE

GOLD: Amarin Thai
3843 Richmond St.
amarinsandiego.com
619-296-6056

SILVER: Bahn Thai
4646 Park Blvd.
bahnthai.net
619-299-6363

THEATER

GOLD: Diversionary Theatre
4545 Park Blvd. #101
diversionary.org
619-220-0097

SILVER: The Old Globe
1363 Old Globe Way
theoldglobe.org
619-234-5623

The internationally-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the most renowned regional theaters in the country and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for over 75 years.

The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 plays and musicals on its three stages, including its highly-regarded Shakespeare festival. The Globe has become a gathering place for leading theatre artists from around the world, such as Tom Stoppard, Daniel Sullivan and Chita Rivera, among many others.

Numerous Broadway-bound premieres and revivals, such as “Dirty Rotten” “Scoundrels,” “The Full Monty,” and “Damn Yankees,” have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs in New York and at regional theatres across the country.

The Old Globe is at the forefront of the nation’s leading performing arts organizations, setting a standard for excellence in American theater.

VEGETARIAN/VEGAN

GOLD: KINDRED
1503 30th St.
barkindred.com
619-546-9653

SILVER: Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant
4661 Park Blvd.
myplumeria.com
619-269-9989

WINE BAR

GOLD: Négociant Winery
2419 El Cajon Blvd.
negotiantwinery.com
619-535-1747

SILVER: Village Vino
4095 Adams Ave.
villagevino.com
619-546-8466

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