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LA to San Diego is one of the most popular road trips in California. It’s 122-ish miles and should be about two hours long… BUT if you do it the Gaby way, it’ll be a little bit longer and so much more delicious!
I’ve done the drive probably two dozen times over the past few years. We’re always heading south to visit friends, attend weddings, concerts, football games, book signing events… you get the idea. Over the years I’ve developed the MOST EPIC road trip itinerary that will take you from LA to San Diego (and in reverse) and you’ll stop at some incredible restaurants, coffee shops and pastry shops along the way.
You remember the Capital One Savor® card that I’ve been obsessing over the past year? It comes with all sorts of benefits that are PERFECT for people like you and me because the new rewards structure is epic. 4% cash back on dining which is key for a food-based road trip. 4% cash back on entertainment, including concerts, live sporting events, movie theaters, amusement parks, museums and art galleries. And 2% cash back at grocery stores, which comes in handy if you need to make any extra stops along your road trip. If you haven’t already checked it out, you need to!! It’s making life a whole lot sweeter.
I used the Savor card the whole road trip and packed in so much incredible food that resulted in mega rewards so everyone wins! Ready for this - here’s the route…
Los Angeles: First thing is first, grab a morning pastry at Gjusta in Venice. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu, but their chocolate chip cookies feel like the right way to start any drive. Also the Bialy sandwiches… life changing.
Manhattan Beach: About 30 minutes into your drive, swing by Two Guns Espresso in Manhattan Beach and grab a latte, a mocha, or a regular black coffee if that’s more your speed.
Long Beach: Ice Cream at Long Beach Creamery is a MUST every single time I go to Long Beach. The flavors coming out of their scoop shop are unbeatable. All-natural flavors and incredible combos - the cabernet brownie and dark chocolate are two of my all-time favorites.
Newport: One of our favorite places to stop for lunch is Bear Flag Fish for some poke, guacamole and some freshly friend tortilla chips. Hands down the best poke in all of southern California! Be prepared for a little bit of a line, but I promise you it’s worth it.
Rancho Santa Fe: One of my favorite places right in Rancho Santa Fe is Chino Farms. It’s an incredible farm stand that some of the best restaurants in San Diego use for their produce. All of their fruit is fantastic so it’s great to stock up for a few snacks throughout the weekend. And if you have time, grab a chocolate chip cookie at Thyme in the Ranch. It’s the sweetest little bakery near Chino that has fantastic pastries. It’s full of fresh flowers, tons of different cakes like carrot cake, German chocolate cake, lemon blueberry cake and gorgeous salads. Very on brand.
Pacific Beach: As you get into San Diego, a stop for Fish Tacos at Oscars is an absolute MUST. Easily the best tacos in all of Southern California, and I say that with 100% certainty as I’ve tried them all. These are truly the best tacos on earth and you need to try everything on the menu!
San Diego: Oysters and Lobster Rolls to from Ironside are the perfect way to end the trip. Grab a glass of bubbles and some fresh seafood and cheers to the perfect road trip!
So next time you hit the road, save this link and make sure to explore in real foodie style! I promise you it will be the most memorable and delicious road trip you’ll ever take! And if you need someone to meet you at Bear Flag for some poke, I’m just an Instagram DM away 🙂
This looks great Gaby. My fiancée and I are traveling to San Diego this summer and plan on seeing a lot of these places. We will report back when we do! So thanks for the thoughtful foodie post!
I live in SD & have made that drive a zillion times & I have to say you are spot on!!! All excellent choices. I may have to go get an Oscar’s taco right now & ceviche too.