San Diego Insider Tips: Balboa Park Eat Sheet

Balboa Park
From fine dining to coffee and pastries, Balboa Park’s dining scene offers something for everyone.

Looking to grab a bite, a pint or cappuccino? Check out Balboa Park’s essential dining and drinking outposts.

1. Albert’s Restaurant

Nestled in the heart of the San Diego Zoo, a private waterfall sets the scene for a relaxing bite or drink away from the crowds. Expect fresh produce and sustainable seafood and meat alongside a full service bar. Zoo admission required. M-F 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sa-Su 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 2920 Zoo Dr., 619.685.3200.


2. Cafe Mingei

Coffee, tea and treats, oh my! Plaza de Panama plays hosts to a variety of local baked goods and refreshing beverages, making this the perfect place to start your day in Balboa Park. Open daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 1439 El Prado, 619.704.7402.


3. Flight Path Grill

In between exhibits and aircraft replicas celebrating the history of aviation and flight history, take a shaded seat on Flight Path Grill’s patio where you’ll find a selection of pub grub like hamburgers and pizza. Sa-Su 11 a.m.-4 p.m. San Diego Air & Space Museum, 2001 Pan American Plaza, 619.234.8291.


4. Lady Carolyn’s Pub

Looking to grab a drink or bite before a performance at The Old Globe? Look no further than Lady Carolyn’s Pub which offers a smattering of salads, sandwiches, snacks, coffee, wine and brews. Open before theater performances. 1363 Old Globe Way, 619.231.1941.


5. Panama 66

A local favorite, this bar and restaurant located in The San Diego Museum of Art’s May S. Marcy Sculpture Court offers a bit of something for everyone. Expect craft beers on tap, live music and weekend brunch, all in a relaxing, open-air setting. See website for hours. 1450 El Prado, 619.696.1966.


6. The Prado at Balboa Park

Upgrade your date night with dinner and drinks at this award-winning restaurant. Hot Tip: On Wednesdays, receive 50 percent off all bottles of wine under $75 or bring your own bottle and enjoy no corkage fees. More vino, please! See website for hours. 1549 El Prado, 619.557.9441.


7. The Tea Pavilion

Overlooking the Japanese Friendship Garden, find your zen as you sip on a variety of traditional Japanese green teas. Other menu highlights include noodle soups, rice bowls and sandwiches. M 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Tu-Su 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 2215 Pan American Plaza, 619.231.0048.

Photo courtesy of Where San Diego magazine | Photo by Jon Bilous/Alamy Stock Photo.

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