By Anulak Singphiphat | SDUN Staff Reporter
More than 50 restaurants, breweries and retailers will be a part of a self-guided culinary adventure in Hillcrest on April 20, when the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) hosts the 13th Annual Taste of Hillcrest. The four-hour event runs from 12 – 4 p.m. and boasts cuisine from more than 40 restaurants, including Crest Cafe, Baja Betty’s, Nami Sushi and Urban Mo’s Bar & Grill.
“I think the Taste of Hillcrest is so successful year after year because of the supreme quality and magical energy of our Taste,” said Lisa Weir, HBA marketing and communications director. “It’s truly one of the best around.”
New neighborhood restaurants Sloppy’s Burritos, d Bar and Salt & Cleaver will be joining in on the festivities this year, and some of San Diego’s leading microbreweries – Aztec Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Company and Thorn Street Brewery, among others – will have samples available at retailers including Urban Outfitters and Cody’s Home + Gifts.
Weir said this was the first year the HBA partnered with the microbreweries, offering samples at businesses other than restaurants.
“Along the tasting route, you can head into one of six of our retailers and wash down all the delicious samples you’ve indulged in with cold beer tastings,” Weir said.
Cecelia Moreno of Crest Cafe said her restaurant will be participating this year, after taking several years off. Crest Cafe is celebrating their 30th year in business and was one of the founding members of the annual event.
“The Taste of Hillcrest proceeds allow the HBA to continue to offer neighborhood services,” Moreno said. “[It] is a great way to introduce our restaurant to hundreds of potential new customers, and to reward our existing customers with a great event.”
Participants will receive a Taste of Hillcrest tasting ticket, a detailed map of the neighborhood and a complete recipe book featuring specials and coupons from several Hillcrest restaurants. There will be two will-call stations for tickets: one at the intersection of Fifth and Robinson streets and one at The Range Kitchen & Cocktails, located at 1220 University Ave.
“With over 50 restaurants to sample, you want to make the most of your day by being strategic and avoiding crowds,” Weir said. “The most restaurants I’ve had one person report tasting in one day is 38. I challenge someone out there to beat that on Saturday … and tell us about it on Facebook.”
The HBA trolley service will be running during the event, with stops throughout the entire tasting route. Additionally, the recently launched Park Hillcrest program offers a mobile application and website showing available lots to help with an increase in traffic.
“When you’re out on the streets during the Taste of Hillcrest, you look around and see families, couples and friends all laughing and enjoying each others’ company while experiencing Hillcrest,” Weir said. “It’s wonderful to explore Hillcrest in this way. Food brings people together, and Hillcrest does too.”
Tickets for Taste of Hillcrest can be purchased in advance for $30 from Urban Mo’s, Empire House, d Bar or Cody’s Home + Gifts, as well as online. On April 20, the cost is $35. For a complete list of participating businesses and to purchase tickets, visit fabuloushillcrest.com or call 619-299-3330.