What's Cooking–Right Now!–In Seaport Village

Big changes are afoot at downtown San Diego's iconic seaside tourist attraction. Here's a rundown of restaurants that still have doors open

When gyms closed due to the initial pandemic outbreak my daily workouts became long walks along downtown San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Wearing a mask was a bummer. On the bright side, far less picturesque pathways exist than my bayside route, which stretches from Broadway (at Harbor Drive) to Hilton San Diego Bayfront (1 Park Boulevard).

For the tedious span of more than a year (it seems like more than a year; my perception of time has faded), this was the primary course for my workout regimen.

Near the middle of this hike is shopping-and-dining-complex Seaport Village. The throngs of tourists are now mostly missing. Storefronts come and go. What used to be considered cozy and quaint is now best described as spartan.

Big change is afoot in the soon-to-be-former Seaport Village. A $2.5-billion proposal to redevelop Seaport San Diego is now winding through a political maze. There are action deadlines in 2022.

Then again, if it still feels like 2020, are 2022 deadlines binding?

For the benefit of those of us living in the here and now—whatever today’s specific date may be—I recently wandered through the skeleton of Seaport Village to report on what’s cooking, right now.

There are roughly a dozen places left to get a bite, a beer, a nibble or a nosh:

New & Open Now

Part of the patio at Mr. Moto Pizza House.

The premium spot for bay-view dining in Seaport Village is near the north entrance of the Embarcadero and features a trio of hip, casual newcomers.

Mr. Moto Pizza House, Mike Hess Brewing and Marion’s Fish Market offer side-by-side-by-side patios.

Mr. Moto offers as many varieties of toppings on its pies as Mike Hess pours from his taps. What’s stopping you from ordering a Red Chunky Mess pizza at Mr. Moto and washing it down on the patio with a pint of Mike Hess’ Ground Out Hazy IPA?

Nothing’s stopping you.

The Inner Circle

TukTuk Eatery is new on the Seaport scene.

Proximally located behind the primo bay-view trio is an al fresco food court served by several eateries. Two are stalwarts: Margarita’s Kitchen and Cantina and San Diego Burger Company.

Both these OGs serve better-than-average fare. The San Diego Burger burger offerings vary from ground sirloin to turkey, chicken and buffalo. Margarita’s’ kitchen honors the Oaxaca and Michoacan regions.

The new kid on the outdoor food court block is TukTuk Eatery, serving pan-Asian snacks, baos, and bowls where you mix and match while choosing your base, protein and sauce.

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Hanging In There

Business is percolating at Spill The Beans.

The list of places still hanging in there at Seaport Village have varied tenures.

For decades, Edgewater Grill has been offering “Breakfast on the Bay All Day Every Day.” The lights are still on for dinner, too.

The San Pasqual Winery is a few years old, and this tasting room pours locally made wines by the glass and by the bottle.

Newcomer Spill The Beans Coffee + Bagel is doing brisk business with cups of joe and scratch-made bagels.

Going or Gone

End of an era for Pier Cafe.

A couple of Seaport Village’s grand dames have (thankfully) aged out.

The 40-year-old, two-story, 14,000-square-foot Harbor House has closed down. It will be taken over by Malibu Farm. A top-to-bottom revamp is planned.

Pier Café looks great on Instagram, but it’s days as a selfie backdrop are numbered. It’s open now, but a hostess reports a shutdown is imminent, with plans up in the air.

Coming Soon

At the moment, two spots are slated to open soon. (Don’t ask what “soon” means.) Those include: Crack Tacos, which utilizes Cardiff Crack Tri-Tip steak in its tacos; and Louisiana Charlie’s, serving PoBoys, gumbo and other traditional Cajun dishes. SDSun



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