San Luis Obispo Travel Guide

After creating guides for several spots in Europe (such as here and here), I figured it was finally time to share one that’s a little closer to home — a San Luis Obispo travel guide!! If you haven’t been to SLO yet, add it to your travel list! This quaint, charming town on the Central Coast has everything you need for a weekend road trip getaway — an incredible wine country, a world famous Farmer’s Market, darling restaurants and bars, and 70 degree weather practically year round.

The town will always have a special place in my heart since it’s where I went to college and met my husband  (we met on the first night at Cal Poly in the dorms and the rest is history). While I’ve always loved SLO, the town is now better than ever! There are so many new restaurants and boutique hotels being added downtown, and entire blocks are undergoing renovations.

Last weekend, my husband and I took a road trip up the coast to visit SLO again, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Below, I’ve put together a San Luis Obispo travel guide below of all the best spots to visit if you’re planning on making a trip to the Central Coast!

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

Granada Hotel and Bistro

Located on Morro Street downtown, this boutique hotel is the ultimate spot to stay in the heart of the city. It’s rustic and intimate atmosphere is the perfect setting for a SLO vacation, and it’s proximity to the rest of downtown can’t be beat. Whether or not you’re staying here,  If you’re looking for an amazing place to grab a cocktail, head to their bistro which has both a cozy indoor bar as well as a romantic outdoor patio. On our recent visit, we were able to sit down with bar manager and Root Elixir creator  Dominique Gonzalez, who shared some of her favorite craft cocktails from the menu. My favorite was the Bodega Punch made with local gin and a Tempranillo cordial, which makes it a bright pink! One of the most intriguing cocktails of the evening,  however, was their Old Fashioned that came with a syringe, sphere of ice, and a small gold mallet! The syringe was filled with whiskey, and the mallet was used to crack the ice and release a maple syrup inside. Whether or not you’re staying at the Granada on your trip, the bistro should definitely be at the top of your list to visit!

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

Scout 2.0 

This charming coffee shop off of Foothill Blvd. is the perfect spot to grab breakfast before starting your day. Their original location is actually a smaller shop nestled downtown, but this larger spot is my absolute favorite. While it can be pretty busy with students during the school year, grab a cappuccino & croissant and settle in for the small town charm.

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

Lincoln Market & Deli

Elliot & I fell in love with the sandwiches at Lincoln Market & Deli during college, and it’s always our first stop when we’re back in SLO. Owned by a local couple, the shop not only makes incredible sandwiches, but they also sell gourmet foods and have a fantastic selection of craft beers. The space, which recently underwent renovations, now has a brand new patio complete with bright yellow umbrellas and stools. Order a Tassajara Delite (personal fav – turkey, bacon, avo and honey-jala sauce), grab a beer from the fridge, and be prepared for complete bliss.

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

Edna Valley Wine Country

One of my favorite parts of SLO is how close it is to wine country! Edna Valley is less than a 15 minute drive from the downtown area, and has nearly 30 tasting rooms throughout the region. One of the best in Edna Valley is Chamisal Vineyards, which was the first vineyard planted in the region. The property has an intimate tasting room within a barn-style building where you can try their “Chamisal Flight” of Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, and the outdoor patio with views of the vineyard is an ideal place to relax with a bottle (they sell bottles of Malene rosé at the tasting room, too, and it’s one of the best I’ve ever tried!) If you’re interested in learning more about the property, I would highly recommend taking one of their tours as well. You get to learn more about the history of Chamisal, and are taken through the winery to a spot that has a 360 degree view of the vineyars! Our guide C.J. provided an incredibly genuine and knowledgable experience that left us wanting to go back next time we’re in town!!

Another one of my long-time favorite spots in the region is the Balieyana, Tangent & True Myth tasting room, which is located within a historic yellow schoolhouse. Since the tasting room houses three different wineries, there are a lot of wines to taste and select from. I love grabbing a bottle of Pinot Gris and taking it outside to the grass to enjoy with a packed picnic! The view is absolutely beautiful and the lawn is pup friendly which is always a plus when we bring Aspen.

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

Mint & Craft

If you’re headed out to the wine region, Mint & Craft is a wonderful place to stop and grab items for a picnic. Recently opened by the owners of Novo and Luna Red (two of my favorite SLO restaurants), this café and mercantile has ready-made specialty wraps, salads and treats that are best enjoyed with a glass of wine! They also carry a range of local products on their shelves, so it’s a great place to stock up on goodies to bring home. Food can also be ordered and eaten on their darling patio on the newly renovated Monterey Street.

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

The Station

This wine bar and shop on Higeura Street is a dream! The Station mainly focuses on imported wines as well as local small batch bottles, which you can either drink in their bar or buy to-go. They also serve coffee, using beans from Santa Barbara’s Dart Coffee Co. The exposed brick, modern furniture, and fun wallpaper make the space an Instagram dream!

A few Other favorites:

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

Sidecar Cocktail Co

This hip downtown cocktail bar and restaurant has one of the best weekly happy hours in the city. Their extensive drink menu, “California craft” cuisine, and cozy vibe make this place another must-visit, even if it’s just for a quick cocktail. If you want some fun entertainment, sit at the bar to get an up close view of their amazing bartending skills!

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

Libertine Brewing Company

San Luis Obispo is quickly becoming a beer city, with new breweries seeming to open each time we visit! While the region is perhaps best known for the Firestone Walker brewery, there are several small new breweries downtown like Libertine,  which has 76 taps and specializes in “wild” sour beers.

San Luis Obispo Travel Guide | The ELL Blog

Madonna Inn

A trip to SLO isn’t complete without stopping in at the Madonna. If you haven’t seen their wildly decorated rooms or the pink floral carpet, pop in for a bit. Their pink champagne cake is the BEST, so head into the restaurant for a slice and glass of bubbly!

 

Hope you enjoyed my San Luis Obispo Travel Guide! And special thanks to Visit SLO CAL and Molly Kern for putting together this wonderful trip! x

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two

If you’re looking for some of the most fun and instagrammable spots in Paris, you’ve come to the right place. The second half of my “How to Spend 5 Days in Paris” guide is here, and it’s full of fun spots to eat, drink, and see in Paris’ most picturesque neighborhoods (see the first part of the guide here).

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL BlogHow to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part Two | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris: Days 4-5

The second half of our stay in Paris contained even more rosé, cheese, and amazing meals than the beginning! Here are some of my favorites that I highly recommend adding into your itinerary if you’re visiting the city.

• Stroll the shops and cafés on Rue Montorgueil: This pedestrian friendly area in the 2nd arrondisement was by far my favorite part of Paris! Rue Motorgueil is foodie heaven, filled with adorable cafés, shops, restaurants and bars that make you feel like a local. We ended up in the area 3(!) times on the trip since we loved it so much. Some of my favorites include: Matamata Coffee Bar (coffee, sandwiches, and tropical wallpaper), Miss Bahn Mi (a pink Vietnamese sandwich shop), Filakia (amazing Greek souvlaki), and La Maison Stohrer (oldest patisserie in Paris). On certain days of the week, the beginning of Rue Montorgeuil also has an open market.

• Get in line for dinner at Ober Mamma: While researching for our trip, I came across several recommendations for this Italian restaurant in the 11th arrondisement. Ober Mamma is extremely popular with the locals (as are the rest of the Big Mamma group’s restaurants), so waiting in line before it opens is standard practice. Since we were spending just 5 days in Paris, we wanted to make sure and get in on our first try, so we showed up at 6:30 (doors opens at 7). The line was already about 30 people deep, but we were able to get in and grab a table in the front bar area. The food was absolutely incredible, and the staff were fluent in Italian which made ordering so much easier for us after studying abroad in Italy! Homemade pasta is served in copper pots, while their tiramisu is scooped right from it’s baking dish table side. This restaurant is not to be missed if you’re looking for an amazing dinner. The group’s newest restaurant Pink Mamma just opened a few weeks ago, and I’m already dying to go back and try it!

• Head out of the city for tropical drinks at Polpo Brasserie: This oasis on the Seine is definitely worth the bit of a trek outside central Paris. To find out more, read my post on it here!

• Have a balcony picnic with finds from the grocery store: While traveling, one of my all time favorite activities is going to the grocery store. It might seem strange, but I have my reasons! Grocery stores are typically for locals and aren’t catering to tourists, which means the prices are great  and you get to see what it’s like to be a local. We stopped in at one near our hotel and managed to get tomatoes, cheese, bread, and wine for about $12! After grabbing ice at the hotel bar, we took our spread out onto our balcony and people watched. Whether or not you have a balcony, you can easily grab these items and find any nearby park to sit at.

• Find the flamingos along the Seine at Rosa Bonheur: After visiting the Musee d’Orsay (which I recommend if you love impressionist art, or if you just want to see the gorgeous train station), we walked along the Seine and found a bar on the bank with the cutest pink sign. Naturally we had to go in, and grabbed a bottle of rosé and some patatas bravas to have on the deck. This was my favorite rosé memory of the trip since the prices were fair (I think the bottle of Le Saint Andre was about $18) and the wine was amazing — I just wish they sold it in the US! There’s another floating barge with a bar next to Rosa Bonheur too, and they both turn into Parisian night clubs when the sun goes down. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon break or an evening out, definitely check out this spot.

• Discover the islands in the Seine: If you visit Notre Dame, you might not have known you were actually on an island. The chapel sits on Île de la Cité, one of the two natural islands that are in the Seine. My favorite one, however, is it’s next door neighbor, Île Saint-Louis. This charming little area in the 4th arrondisement is connected to the rest of the city via four bridges, and feels as if it is stuck in time. The calm and historic streets are lined with several local shops, including ones that sell cheese, pastries, and speciality foods (where I found the best French olive oil). We grabbed sandwiches and found a group of benches near the water to have lunch. There was a live band playing in the streets above, and it all felt perfectly Parisian.

• Buy fresh flowers at Marché Bastille: This open market has an incredible array of vendors selling fresh produce, meats, breads, cheeses, and flowers. There are strawberries set in pink tissue paper baskets, endless cheese wheels, and tomatoes in every color — definitely a bit of heaven. I also found a bouquet of coral peonies here for just 6 euro, which was half the price of any other penoies we’d found in Paris! The area around the market is filled with specialty shops and cafés too, so I would really recommend visiting if you’re trying to find a local experience.

•  See the colorful houses on Rue Cremieux: Near the Marché Bastille, Rue Cremieux is a narrow street lined with pastel colored houses. It’s incredibly charming, and definitely worth a stop for some vibrant pictures. Get there early if you want the street to yourself since it’s a pretty popular spot to visit!

Fill a box with macarons at Ladurée: A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without macarons, and there’s no more iconic spot to get them than at Ladurée. Their Champs-Élysées location makes you feel like a princess, where you can sit and enjoy their signature desserts on a street side patio with a glass of champagne in hand. They also offer a full menu as well, but I prefer to just visit for a box of their perfect macarons.

Skip the metro at the end of the day and walk home: At any time of day, I prefer to be above ground seeing the beauty of Paris rather than in the metro. This is especially true at night when you get the chance to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle! Since the tower is visible from almost everywhere in Paris, I recommend walking back to your hotel at least one night to see the city light up.

Hope you enjoyed this guide to 5 days in Paris! Still more to come on our final days in London, including the incredible hotel we stayed in!

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One

Oh how I miss this city so much already! Paris in the early summertime is a dream, and I can’t stop obsessing over all of the memories from the trip. We spent 5 days in Paris, and managed to experience more of the city than I could have imagined. I’ve broken the trip into two parts, and am sharing my favorite highlights from the first few days below!

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

Where We Stayed: The Amastan Paris

Since this was only our second time to Paris and we didn’t know the city as well as London, we wanted to stay in a fairly central location. After some research, we found the the darling  Amastan Paris located a few blocks off Champs-Élysées. This boutique hotel had everything we were looking for and more. The rooms were designed in a navy and white color palette with modern wood and gold accents. Our room also had doors that opened to a balcony overlooking the streets, from which you could even see the Eiffel Tower. One of my favorite memories from the five days we spent there was celebrating our anniversary on the balcony with fresh macarons and champagne, and watching the top of the tower sparkle.

While the room was definitely on the small side compared to any of the other places we stayed, the design, location and price made it completely worth it. Downstairs, the Amastan had an interior courtyard bar which was the perfect spot to grab a drink when we arrived. I was obsessed with the communal marble table and the garden patio tucked in the courtyard of the building.  If you’re looking to stay in central Paris with easy access to all of main sights, I would really recommend staying at the Amastan!

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris, Part One | The ELL Blog

How to Spend 5 Days in Paris: Days 1-3

Our first few days in Paris were spent walking around and getting our bearings for the city. We barely used the metro at the beginning of the trip since we wanted to see everything above ground! Because this was a return trip for us, we didn’t feel the need to do some of the main attractions again. So our time was spent wandering, sitting at cafés, and taking in all of Paris’ beauty. Based on my favorite parts of the trip, here are some suggestions for the first few days!

Picnic beneath the Eiffel Tower: Picnicking in Paris during the summertime is a must. We wanted to find a local market to pick up some items, and we stumbled upon the perfect street near the Arc de Triomphe. Markets filled with fresh produce spilled onto the streets, and nearby shops sold bread, cheese, and yummy pre-made French dishes. After picking out some items –French potato salad and rosé were my favs — we headed straight for the tower and ate in the late evening sunshine (the sun doesn’t set till almost 10pm in the summer, so there’s plenty of daylight!)

• Stroll Rue Cler: We loved charming Rue Cler last time we were in Paris, and we loved it even more this time around. The street is full of cute cafés, markets, and flower shops, making it the perfect stop between our hotel and the Eiffel Tower. L’Eclair is one of our favorite spots on the street, where we ate a late night meal of salmon tartare and rosé on our first day there.

• Sip mojitos in the Latin Quarter: When Paris is over 90 degrees and equally as humid, frequent stops for something cold were necessary. We were so happy to find out that mojitos are really popular cocktails at cafés, since they are our favorite summertime sip! Maison Sauvage near Boulevard St. Germain was a perfect spot to grab one, where you can sit beneath fringed umbrellas and people watch in the Latin Quarter.

• Walk Champs-Élysées towards the Tuileries Gardens: Staying steps away from Champs-Élysées meant spending quite a bit of time on the boulevard. While the shops and cafés that line the street are a huge attraction (and the Arc de Triomphe is pretty gorgeous), I felt like the area was a bit too touristy for my taste. However, the grandness of the street is a sight to behold, especially when you walk away from the shops and head down towards Place de la Concorde.  This huge public square filled with gorgeous fountains leads directly to the beautiful Tuileries Gardens. Here you’ll find plenty of outdoor seating, perfectly manicured paths, and even a charming carousel.

• Wander the streets of Montmartre: The winding alleyways through the hills of Montmartre are some of my favorite streets in Paris. The area seems to preserve the idyllic romantic history of Paris, which I adore. While we were there, we grabbed a sidewalk table at Le Saint Jean for lunch, where I had the best fresh chicken salad filled with hard boiled eggs, fresh tomatoes, and beets. We actually found ourselves back in Montmartre on our final day of the trip too, and stopped back at the same café for their live jazz night. There’s something special about sitting at a street side cafe listening to live French music! If you’re in Montmartre, don’t forget to head up to Sacre Cour to see the sweeping view of Paris. Once you’re there, you can find another one of my favorite spots nearby, Grenouilles Paris. This small shop specialized in Parisian beer and amazing sandwiches made on fresh baguettes, and is worth a stop if you’re looking for a quick lunch!

• Walk across Pont Alexander III: This is by far my favorite bridge in Paris. Not only is it featured in one of my all time fav movies Midnight in Paris (go watch it now if you haven’t seen it!), I think it perfectly captures everything that is beautiful and romantic about Paris. The black ornate street lamps, gilded details, and grand statues at each end make it so easy to photograph. Honestly, I almost preferred walking on the bridges on either side of Pont Alexander just so I could look at it!

Coming up in the second portion of the “5 days in Paris” series, I’m sharing where to find the best collection of local restaurants, how to get into one of the most popular Italian restaurants, and where to go for flamingos and rosé on the Seine!

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark

As I mentioned in my last post about the Leman Locke hotel, we decided to stay in East London during the first weekend of our recent visit to Europe. I absolutely fell in love with the different neighborhoods on the east side of the city, especially on the south side of the Thames. While we’ve visited Southwark several times before, this was our first time exploring the neighboring Bermondsey district. Between the street markets, breweries and restaurants, I knew I loved it from the start. If you’re visiting London and looking for some local spots to try out, I’ve listed some of my favorites from our time in the southeast bank below!

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

London Travel Guide: Bermondsey & Southwark | The ELL Blog

Borough Market: This has always been a favorite spot of mine, and it now has an even more significant place in my heart due to the events that occurred there while we were visiting London. While the market has been closed since the attack, it’s  actually reopening this week to continue serving the city as it has for the past thousand years. A visit to this market — filled to the brim with produce, cheese, meats, and local food stands — is definitely necessary if you’re in London.

Neal’s Yard Dairy: While this shop originated in Covent Garden, my favorite location to visit is on a side street near Borough Market. The shop is filled floor-to-ceiling with wheels of cheese, and you can sample a variety that are either locally made or imported. We grabbed a wedge of an amazing  local cheddar and a loaf of bread for our train trip to Paris (details of that trip coming soon).

London Grind: This café and cocktail bar is located within an old bank at the end of London Bridge, and  served up the best breakfast we had on the entire trip. Their avocado toast comes topped with poached eggs and red chilis, while their Full English breakfast came with the best roasted tomatoes and mushrooms. Aside from the food, their urban design aesthetic is pretty great, too. I fell in love with their neon sign quote on the back wall: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” There are also many other “Grind” locations throughout London, so there is most likely one nearby wherever you are.

Maltby Street Market: Located in Bermondsey beneath strings of lights and flags, this market should be on the top of your list if you’re in London during the weekend. The market runs beneath the train tracks, with local little shops tucked under the arches. Grab a gin cocktail to-go at Little Bird and stroll through the various pop-up stands serving all different types of street foods, from scotch eggs to waffle sandwiches. One of the best things I ate on the entire trip was a creamy French potato and ham dish served out of a gigantic pan near the end of the market (and I’m still trying to figure out how to recreate it!).

Bermondsey Beer Mile: The London craft beer scene reaches an all time high in Bermondsey. The neighborhood has nearly 10 microbreweries along a mile and a half stretch, which has been dubbed the “Bermondsey Beer Mile.” Many of the breweries are in the arches beneath the train tracks and are only open on the weekends. My favorites that we visited were Anspach & Hobday, Hawkes Cidery, and Brew by Numbers. The breweries are definitely on the smaller side and can get really busy, with people spilling out into the streets to enjoy their pints — but we loved getting to see where the locals spend their Saturdays!

Woolpack: Unlike some other pubs in London, the Woolpack has several local beers on draft. Their back patio is worth a visit, and made me miss my pup since it was super dog friendly! They also host pop-up events on their patio with local brewers, so we got to check out Fourpure Brewing Co. while we were there.

Tanner & Co: We stopped here for an afternoon cocktail, and it didn’t disappoint. Their bar menu can be found inside vintage books, while table numbers are painted on enamel cups filled with succulents. The best part is their bright patio complete with colorful market lights and vibrant patio chairs – an ideal place to enjoy a Saturday bloody mary in the sunshine.

More to come from our second weekend in London soon, as well as all things Paris!

San Diego Neighborhood Guide: North Park

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Modern Times

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Tribute Pizza

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Holsem Coffee

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Holy Matcha

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Ray Street

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Tribute Pizza

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Pigment

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Pigment

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Communal Coffee

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Underbelly

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | PigmentThis week, I’m sharing the first San Diego neighborhood guide in my series, which starts with North Park! This neighborhood is by far one of my favorites in the city – the trendy shops, cool cafes, and incredible beer scene make it a super fun weekend spot (a.k.a we’re there at some point almost every weekend). Centered around 30th and University just a few minutes north of downtown, this up and coming area is definitely a must-see if you’re visiting San Diego.

 

San Diego Neighborhood Guide: North Park

Pigment

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Pigment

Whether or not you live in San Diego, you’ve probably heard of this gem of a store. Filled with colorful stationary, gifts, treats, cocktail accessories, and a succulent potting station Pigment is a dream destination.  It pretty much brings me happy tears every time I walk in (or maybe the tears are from wanting to buy every single thing in sight). Plus, they have an ombré pink wall outside. So, basically this spot is heaven.

Communal Coffee/Native Poppy

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Communal Coffee/Native Poppy

What’s better than coffee + flowers? This darling combo shop unites two amazing concepts in one place. You can order a rose latte and avocado toast, and then peruse the curated gift shop and Native Poppy’s custom flower mart while you wait. The Communal Lounge in the back, now open for events, even comes complete with a pink door. Be forewarned, holding coffee while trying to take pictures of every cute corner can be difficult, so make sure to snag a table first 😉

Holsem

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Holsem

Marble countertops. White walls. Espresso. Wine + beer. What more do you need from a coffee shop? Holsem is located just a stone’s throw away from Pigment, and is the perfect pick-me-up after a day of exploring. Whether you try out one of their creative latte concoctions or sit down for a glass of wine with a charcuterie board, this place doesn’t disappoint.

One Door North

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | One Door North

This restaurant brings camping chic to 30th Street. Reserve a canvas tent to dine in or grab a cozy table near the window and be prepared to feel like you’ve gone on your own little outdoor adventure. The menu is nature inspired as well, which means lots of fresh produce, a “picnic” charcuterie board, and s’mores for dessert. Stop by during the week for their happy hour to snag some inexpensive sips and snacks, too.

HOLY MATCHA

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Holy Matcha

This pink + tropical café is what Instagram dreams are made of. The newest addition to University Street, Holy Matcha is already a huge hit in the neighborhood. Ceremonial matcha comes in pink ceramic bowls, while avocado toast and vegan donuts round out the menu. Definitely a must-visit!

HAMMOND’S ICE CREAMSan Diego Neighborhood Guide | Hammond's Ice Cream

San Diego may not have quite the same hip ice cream scene as LA, but Hammond’s is definitely giving our city something to be proud of. The retro-meets-modern decor along with the delectable flavors from Hawaii makes this spot a great treat. Did I mention they have mini ice cream cone flights?!

Artelexia

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Artelexia

This gift/art shop is another one of my favorites in North Park. Artelexia is a vibrant store inspired by Mexico, and curated beautifully. It’s filled with handmade glassware, tapestries, flower crowns and countless piñatas, plus you can snag a tasty popsicle from their Viva Pops freezer!

Tribute Pizza

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | Tribute Pizza

Leave it to North Park to have one of the coolest pizzerias in the city. Located within the old U.S. Post Office, this restaurant is known for making pizzas inspired by favorites from around the world. Any spot that serves fresh pizza and rosé by the glass is great in my book, and the bright modern space puts it over the top.

The Breweries

San Diego Neighborhood Guide | North Park Beer Co.

It would be hard to write a San Diego neighborhood guide for North Park without at least mentioning the killer craft beer scene the neighborhood has going on. The area has over ten breweries/tasting rooms, which makes for a fun Saturday crawl. Some of our favorites include North Park Beer Co., Thorn Street, Mike Hess, and Modern Times. Most are pup friendly, too!

Other notable spots:

Underbelly (Hip patio spot for yummy ramen)

Young Hickory (Coffee + beer shop)

Coin-Op Game Room (Dive bar filled with retro arcade games)

Urban Solace (Southern comfort food with a cozy aesthetic)

Bottlecraft (Shop carrying bottled beers from around the world)