New Downtown San Diego Eateries Offer Intriguing International Flavors

Techo Beso, and other urban spots have multi-cultural focuses, seasoned by Mexico, Ukraine, Colombia and other tasty backgrounds
The Techo Beso rooftop space opened atop the AC Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Techo Beso loosely translates as “rooftop kiss.” Party guests got a chance to be smooched by this Tulum, Mexico-inspired outdoor bar area atop the new eight-story AC Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter on May 11, 2023.

The rooftop features a pool, tropically themed cabanas, two bar areas and a DJ platform. Techo Beso offers hand-crafted cocktails, shared-plate appetizers (try the spicy beef sliders) and 360-degree views of the Gaslamp Quarter.

AC Hotel and Techo Beso are on Fifth Avenue, along the Gaslamp Quarter’s main drag. The hotel is in the space previously occupied by TGI Fridays, McFadden’s and Redfish. It’s next door to the now-closed Theatre Box movie house, in a building that has also seen Nick Canon’s Wild ‘N Out Sports Bar and Nick Jonas’ rooftop Villa One Tequila One Gardens open and close recently.

Techo Beso’s decor is colorful and intriguing. The pool is currently only open to hotel guests during the day and becomes a night spot in the evenings. A plan to offer day passes for the pool in in the works.

The rooftop bar is one of several new downtown spots opening this spring/summer that are inspired by global culinary themes. Check out the list below of downtown San Diego eateries seasoned by Mexico, Ukraine, Russia, Colombia and a host of other international destinations:

Adore Coffee House

Adore Coffee House owner Maryna Goncharenko.

Ukrainian native Maryna Goncharenko’s new Cortez Hill coffee shop is named after Harry Styles’ song “Adore You.” The shop is also a touching monument to love and survival. Goncharenko emigrated from her war-torn country four years ago. Her husband passed away last year after an untimely cancer diagnosis. She persevered and opened Adore Coffee House. Goncharenko currently employs family members who escaped Ukraine after the 2022 Russian invasion. Check out her delicious house special: Coffee-soaked tiramisu in a can. Or, show support for Ukraine by purchasing a blue-and-yellow-colored iced coffee called a Brave Latte. 550 Cedar Street

Pushkin Lounge

Pushkin Lounge.

Ike Gazaryan is an Armenian who opened Pushkin Russian Restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter years ago. When Russia invaded Ukraine last year, a wrongly directed anti-war backlash caused business to drop by more than half. Gazaryan told NBC7 he favors Russian poetry (especially the work of Alexander Pushkin, who was exiled by Russia for his anti-government views). Now, he’s dropped the geographic reference from the restaurant’s title. And revamped the decor and made changes to make the menu less Russian-centric. 750 Sixth Avenue  

Miracle Potion 

Miracle Potion.

Just opened in early May 2023, Miracle Potion is serving desserts and pastries inspired by the Colombian heritage of owner Maria Duarte. Baked goods include Columbian chocolate cupcakes and caramel honeycomb cake. And of course, there’s full-bodied Colombian coffee. Miracle Potion is just getting off the ground in the downtown Columbia District. Check out the second-floor quiet space where patrons can get a sugar-and-coffee fix while relaxing in a flower-filled sanctuary. 690 West B Street 

Leave of Absence 

Leave of Absence at Hotel Alma.

The former Kimpton-branded Hotel Palomar San Diego in the city’s Core District is now the Kimpton Alma. Translated from Spanish, alma means “soul.” Prepare to soothe your soul at the hotel’s new Leave of Absence pool deck eatery. The splashy noshes are wood-fired pizzas and flatbreads served up under the guidance of chef Jason Neroni. 1047 Fifth Avenue

Saint James French Diner

Saint James French Diner at Palihotel.

The century-old building that was the Ramada St. James opens anew as a 122-room Palihotel on May 12, 2023. The Gaslamp Quarter hotel’s ground-floor restaurant (formerly Brian’s 24) is scheduled to open on May 25 as the Saint James French Diner. The diner will also service a new rooftop seating-and-bar area. For at least the time being, only hotel guests will be allowed to patronize the rooftop space. 830 Sixth Avenue

Timmy’s Place 

The grand opening of Timmy’s Place.

The San Diego Sun recently did a full feature on Timmy’s Place, a new Cortez Hill pizzeria staffed by residents of an Urban Street Angels youth homeless shelter. It bears repeat mention in this New-Restaurants-With-International-Flavor roundup because of its multinational menu. Along with pizza and sandwiches, give consideration to the Somali stew, Thai chicken and Vietnamese coffee. 1404 Fifth Avenue SDSun

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