This is my last week working in the San Diego Magazine offices—don’t get me started or I
may will cry—and though I’ll still be freelancing for them regularly, I won’t have an office that helps separate work from home, co-worker chatter to bask in (I may miss this the most!), and the public bus full of crazies to entertain me.
I also won’t regularly stroll the East Village neighborhood where the offices are located. (The location is in a bit of a gray area between East Village and downtown, but let’s call it East Village for all intents and purposes.) Granted, for a work-heavy downtown area, the lunch options are meager, but I have found special places I’ll miss. Here’s an abbreviated neighborhod tour of my favorites:
I hated toting my basically defunct to-go mug of homemade coffee on the bus, but it saves money. That said, I treated myself once a week to the delicious lattes at Mad Fix, a stand on C Street that uses local roaster Dark Horse and also offers gluten-free baked treats. Barista Dottie is a cool chick, and her lattes are the best in the area. I also like nearby Zanzibar Cafe, for both coffee and (a pricey) breakfast, but 1.) I couldn’t snap a quality picture, and 2.) I like the hole-in-the-wall quality to Mad Fix.
Miguel’s is the place for affordable juices, smoothies, sandwiches, and acai bowls. Truth be told, their acai is a little runnier than I prefer, but their juices are phenomenal. Look at those prices! It’s hard to find that quality at that price around here. To top it off, the staff is super friendly.
I’d been to Cafe Chloe before, but once I started working downtown, it became my favorite spot for business lunches. Their breakfast and lunch menus are offered until 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, and though I try to branch out, I always go back to the poached eggs with mushrooms and sage truffle butter sauce. It tastes indulgent, but the portion size is perfect. No food coma zzz’s for this girl. Yesterday I had the iced latte, and you know how some places water down cold drinks? Cafe Chloe’s was spot-on.
I’ve already sung the praises of Donut Bar, but the artisanal donut shop became a (dangerous) habit these last few months. C’mon, it was two blocks away! What was I supposed to do? Say no to the heavenly samoa donut (above)? A rotating menu may be frustrating for loyalists, but it gives me a chance to try something new almost every time.
ACME Southern Kitchen‘s m.o. is indulgent comfort food, but for these past couple of heat waves, nothing was more satisfying than their lemon icebox cake with a fluffy homemade whipped cream that made me squeal. Tangy, cold, and light—it’s what 90-degree days call for.