Although the coronavirus pandemic continues to deeply impact San Diego’s dining scene, some restaurants are finding ways to thrive and even expand. The latest local spot to take this pandemic path is Metl Bar & Restaurant, which is expanding its boozy ice cream into a café in North Park. Also new: artisan breads in Hillcrest, rolled tacos in National City, and Tokyo-style fried chicken in Kearny Mesa (and beyond). Eater San Diego shares those top stories of the week from our food and drink scene.
MetlBar Creamery & Café Opening Next Month With Southern-Style Brunch
The Gaslamp’s Metl Bar & Restaurant is expanding its popular boozy ice cream concept, Metl Cocktail Creamery, to North Park. The new café will have a dedicated boozy ice cream shop as well as a daytime eatery specializing in decadent brunch plates like chicken and waffles and pecan praline pancakes. Metl Cocktail Creamery has boomed during the pandemic because, really, who doesn’t need ice cream right now? In November 2020, Metl co-owner Jenna Elskamp joined the conversation on our Scene in San Diego podcast to talk about her venture into ice cream-making and how she planned to grow her unique business – pandemic and all. You can listen to our episode with Elskamp here or below (Episode10: Boozy Ice Cream? San Diego Bar Finds Sweet Spot in Middle of Pandemic).
Listen/subscribe to the Scene in San Diego Featuring Eater Podcast to get the latest local lifestyle stories and news from our local food and drink scene. As we continue to adjust to life in the coronavirus pandemic, the way we enjoy our city has changed. We’ll keep you up to speed on those changes as it impacts the things to do during your downtime in San Diego. Tap here to find Scene in San Diego Featuring Eater wherever you listen to podcasts.
Five New Restaurants to Try in San Diego
This roundup of the latest eateries to open during the pandemic includes a fresh outpost in Hillcrest for acclaimed North County bakery Prager Brothers Artisan Breads. Then there’s the reopening of a popular fried chicken joint as Calvin’s Korean Hot Chicken, as well as two spots specializing in Baja California cuisine.
Rolled Taco Specialist Adding Two More Locations
El Tianguis, which operates branches in North Park and Chula Vista, is headed to National City where it will join the food court at Westfield Plaza Bonita. The fast-casual eatery, which specializes in rolled tacos made with fresh corn tortillas, will also be coming to Mission Valley later this year.
RakiRaki Ramen Expanding Into Tokyo Fried Chicken
The owner of RakiRaki Ramen is launching Junya’s Crispy Karaage, a new line of Tokyo-style fried chicken that will be available in limited quantities starting later this month at the ramen shop’s locations in Kearny Mesa, Mira Mesa and Liberty Station. Based on Japanese technique, the secret-recipe chicken is first marinated before being double-fried to a crisp.
Where to Brunch in San Diego Right Now
The beloved ritual of brunch continues – even during the pandemic – with many local restaurants reopening and offering outdoor service for their weekend brunch menus, and other eateries featuring a large variety of takeout brunch options. From brunch cocktails to classic egg dishes, Eater’s latest map offers up 15 brunch recommendations.
Candice Woo is the founding editor of Eater San Diego, a leading source for news about San Diego’s restaurant and bar scene. Keep up with the latest Eater San Diego content via Facebook or Twitter, and sign up for Eater San Diego’s newsletter here.