San Diego

Weekend roundup

August 27-30


SeaWorld Zoo Days

Begins Aug. 28. Making quite the splash, the park has launched a new, reservation-required experience called “Bayside BBQ & Brews” as part of its Zoo Days series. Sample bites from a limited-time menu of beer-infused barbecue brisket sliders, German bratwurst, shrimp tacos, burgers and more—all paired with locally brewed craft beers—while cruising SeaWorld’s animal exhibits and outdoor grounds. Added bonus: Limited reservations and social distancing protocols mean way less crowds. See website for tickets and pricing. 500 Sea World Drive, Mission Bay, 619.222.4732.

Ruocco Park Market

Aug. 29. Enjoy creative street food, coffee, crafts, music and more at this recently reopened weekly market by the bay—nestled between Tuna Harbor Dockside Market and the USS Midway naval aircraft carrier on the south embarcadero. Presented by San Diego Food Markets, the event includes offerings such as freshly made vegan dishes, barbecue, paella and desserts; plus crafts, jewelry, homewares and more made by local artisans; and umbrellas offering shade. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free entry. 585 Harbor Lane, downtown.

Padres Game Viewing Along the Waterfront

Ongoing. Baseball, beer, burritos and bay views? Yes, please. Carnitas’ Snack Shack has partnered with the San Diego Padres to live-stream both home and away games on LED mega-screens. The outdoor bar and grill boasts spacious seating with views of San Diego Bay—serving cocktails, beer and a pork-centric menu loaded with hearty sandwiches, burritos, soft-serve ice cream and more. (Try the Triple Threat sandwich with pork-loin schnitzel, pulled pork and bacon; and the burrito sampler box.) No reservations needed. L, D daily. 1004 N. Harbor Drive, downtown, 619.696.7675.

Food + Drink

Bayfront Dining at Tidal

Now Open. There’s just something magical about sitting on the bayfront dining deck at Tidal, especially at sunset. Outfitted in ample, well-spaced seating, a fire pit and a “private beach house” vibe, the deck boasts 180-degree views of Mission Bay. To dine, the restaurant offers a themed nightly experience called Feed Me @Tidal, with family-style dishes that change often. Expect plenty of locally sourced seafood and produce. Th-Sa 5-9 p.m.; Su 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Paradise Point Resort, 1404 Vacation Road, Mission Bay, 858.490.6363.

Patio Dining at Madison

Now Open. “Patio pivoting” has truly become an artform in San Diego, and the new outdoor dining space at Madison is our new favorite. The half-block-long, cedar “parklet” (which also provides outdoor seating for Madison’s neighbors, Small Bar and Park & Rec) is particularly ideal for enjoying its Med-SoCal cuisine. We love the beet-cured salmon crudo and the panko-crusted pork chop. You’ll also find the best cocktails in the ‘hood here; try the Peruvian-pisco-based Stellar Ember. D Tu-Su 5-10 p.m.; Br Sa-Su 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. 4622 Park Blvd., University Heights, 619.269.6566.

The Pool House at Night

Now Open. Alfresco dining, imbibing and socially distanced nightlife await at Pendry San Diego’s new evening outdoor experience. Guests can order from a select food menu (think: sushi, salads and elegant seafood plates) from Pool House and Lionfish restaurant; and even order full bottle service from the hotel’s Oxford Social Club menu—plus DJs and glittering city views from its glamorous rooftop perch. Reservations highly suggested, with tables and private cabanas for groups available. Th-Sa 6-10 p.m. 435 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.738.7200.

Weekend Brunch at Nonna

Now Open. Find Italian comfort food in the form of weekend brunch at this beloved Busalacchi family outpost. Reserve a table on the quaint back patio and relax with a bloody mary or Bellini, before delighting in savory new dishes such as the fried egg panini with American cheese and ham on brioche; and the short-rib hash with eggs and toasted ciabatta. Those with a sweet tooth will swoon over the Italian pastries and desserts made at Zucchero, its in-house bakery and cafe. Sa-Su 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. 1735 India St., Little Italy, 619.234.1735.

Arts + Culture

The Birds at Cinema Under the Stars

Aug. 27-30. Experience some alfresco movie magic at this intimate outdoor venue, which presents films every Thursday-Sunday. This weekend welcomes a classic: the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock horror-thriller, The Birds—a coastal California town finds itself under attack by violent birds. The theater offers comfy reclining chairs, spaced six feet apart between parties. Masks are required to enter but can be removed when seated. Bring your own blanket. 8 p.m. each night. Online reservations close at 5 p.m. day of screening. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills, 619.295.4221.

Westfield UTC’s Family ArtLab

Aug. 29. Strolling through the Westfield UTC, you’ll find three new sculptures (one is pictured here) by artist Beverly Pepper—known for her grand, yet elegant, outdoor works embracing minimalism, cubism and modernism. The sculptures are presented in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. In celebration, the shopping center is offering Family ArtLab creations to-go, where families can do hands-on art activities together at home. Kits are free and can be picked up at the mall’s Palm Plaza. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, Golden Triangle. 

Maritime Museum of San Diego Tours

Reopened. Ahoy! One of our favorite slices of San Diego culture returns. Docked along the north embarcadero, this floating nautical museum is home to one of the larger collections of historical sea vessels in the U.S.—including the world-famous Star of India, an iron-hulled sailing ship built in 1863. Become immersed in more than 500 years of seafaring history—from dockside ship tours to insightful exhibits to San Diego Bay tours and more. (See website for ticket info.) 1492 N. Harbor Drive, downtown, 619.234.9153.

Photo credits: Nonna by John Dole. All other images are courtesy photos.

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