SanDiegan.com 54th year
Best restaurants in San Diego personally reviewed, Eat FREE on your birthday & where KIDS EAT FREE are benefits of knowing San Diego well. Enjoy the best factory outlets, attractions, coupons, shopping malls, micro-breweries, 1,000 FREE activities & things to do. Take 50 FUN city tours by air, land & sea with useful maps including Tijuana, Temecula, & 40 wineries. Get FREE San Diego relocation assistance. Travel Well.
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The City of San Diego gave Barry a “Barry Berndes Day” on January 14th, 2018. This award was in recognition of Barry’s over 50-year devotion of showing millions of newcomers, visitors, and residents his city annually via the SAN DIEGAN, SanDiegan.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages. BARRY KNOWS SAN DIEGO.
HOT LINKED. #2 RANKED. In addition to my fabulous self-guided walking and driving tours, spice up your sightseeing adventures with a helicopter tour, seaplane tour, sailboat San Diego Bay cruise, and a Hornblower sunset dinner and dancing harbor cruise.
Barry’s HOT Home Page Tips
(1) Click on the arrow in the little black box in the right corner of any page & it will return you to the top of the page. (2) Click on the Barry Icon to return to the home page from any page.
HOT LINKED! I have literally dined in 10,000 restaurants over the past 54 years. I go unannounced, I pay for my own meals, and I inspect the kitchen. Unlike a Yelp reviewer, I am a professional reviewer. So, I always eat three meals at one sitting, and I NEVER ORDER MY OWN MEALS. I simply ask the server to bring me what they’d serve their best friend. I also ask them NOT to tell me what the entree is until it’s served. If they are going to serve me steak, I ask it to be prepared medium-plus. Then I say, “just bring me the best entree on the menu along with at least one appetizer and two desserts”. I add, “I don’t care what it costs, just bring me the best entree”. I keep ordering meals until I am sure I have eaten their best meal. Where you sit can also be a deal-breaker. So, I’ll often add the table number offering the best view. Then, I write the review and have it fact-checked for accuracy.
HOT LINKED! #2 RANKED. The Kearney Mesa Convoy District is home to the Best Asian Restaurant Row in America. It’s 1.5 miles long and filled with over 100 restaurants, which are literally next door to one another. For Dim Sum served by cart by dozens of ladies at lunch in a bustling atmosphere, you’re looking for the 20,000 sq. ft. Hong Kong-style award-winner Jasmine Seafood Restaurant. Everything is showcased within SanDiegan.com with maps, photos, and reviews. This is an awesome way to seriously get to know a city via dining in its best restaurants suburb by suburb.
Best Banquets & Catering
HOT LINKED! #1 RANKED. If there is a wedding or special event in your future, then do what thousands of locals do, visit this page. My personally reviewed recommendations include impressive wineries, elite golf course clubhouses, classy yacht clubs, prestigious hotels, and awesome restaurants with breathtaking ocean views. SanDiegan.com has page one ranking for this venue. The navigational bar version is only accessible via your laptop.
HOT LINKED! #1 RANKED. All 75 breakfast and brunch restaurants have been personally reviewed by me. I went unannounced, paid for my own meals, and inspected the kitchens. Expect a delicious dining experience while discovering my SanDiegan.com online version of San Diego Best of San Diego, Ca. It’s the Best of Everything – Reviewed.
HOT LINKED! #1 RANKED for Best restaurants in San Diego personally reviewed. I only recommend the best of the best! As San Diego’s Dean of Restaurant Reviewers, I showcase the city by dining in the best restaurants by going unannounced, paying for my own meals, and inspecting the kitchen. San Diego is an awesome restaurant town.
Best Burger Joints Top 10
HOT LINKED! #1 RANKED. An American passion is a constant search for the best hamburger. Here at SanDiegan.com, you’ll find my Top 10 Best Burger Joints in San Diego. Plus, I’ve added 20 more honorable mentions with a useful map. I dined in each burger joint, and I sampled multiple burgers at one sitting to find their Best burger! All are worth discovering!
HOT LINKED! #1 RANKED. Two casinos are only 15 freeway minutes from downtown San Diego. They are JAMUL CASINO & Sycuan Casino. Our Las Vegas-style casinos offer top-notch gaming venues along with nationally acclaimed entertainment, and dining alternatives galore 24 hours a day. Five casinos even boast luxurious hotel accommodations. Thus, you no longer have to travel to Las Vegas to enjoy gaming at its best. Additional perks include day spas, golf courses, multiple restaurants. One casino even has a factory outlet. My extensive San Diego Best of San Diego Ca. would be remiss if it did not include introducing you to the many impressive San Diego casinos.
Best Curbside Takeaway
HOT LINKED! #1 RANKED for San Diego BEST Curbside Takeaways & Delivery Places. I only recommend personally reviewed restaurants vs. a list of unknown places. I have always been a big supporter of curbside takeaway dining. Now that dining at home or in your hotel room has become the new NORMAL make it your own by adding candlelight, champagne, and music via Pandora. So, why not see if you can also recall some long-forgotten dance steps?
Best Eat FREE On Your Birthday in San Diego
HOT LINKED. #1 RANKED. You may not live to be 100, but everyone should have 100 birthdays. Eating in multiple restaurants for FREE during your birthday month is what local restaurant owners are encouraging you to do. Eat FREE on your Birthday in San Diego is FUN and Highly Recommended. One great recommendation is having a GRAND SLAMM BREAKFAST at a Denny’s Restaurant. Just show up on your birthday with your driver’s license as proof that it’s your birthday. It’s that simple! Other restaurants want you to go online and to get their FREE meal offer. Better yet! Since you can’t get to all of these 75 restaurants on your birthday, most restaurant offers are month-long or even up to six weeks after your birthday for a FREE meal. Even Rubio’s and Jack-in-the-Box restaurants offer FREE tacos!
HOT LINKED. #2 RANKED. The best 1,000 FREE activities and things to do in San Diego is a click away. For example, the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park offer FREE admission for children up to age 11 when accompanied by a paying adult each October to celebrate founder’s day. Balboa Park museums offer FREE admission to residents on rotating Tuesdays. Admission to the Old Town’s State Historic Park is FREE and parking is FREE. The Military gets FREE admission to most attractions. So do a little preplanning and you’ll discover that most things to do in San Diego are FREE!
- 30 Parades including 3 boat parades
- 30 Art Galleries + Spanish Village
- 50 Maps for Walking & Driving Tours
- 54 Miles of Beaches (La Jolla Shores is #1)
- 75 kids eat FREE restaurants
- 75 FREE meal on your birthday places
- 140 San Diego Festivals
- 200 Farmer’s Markets
- 250 Hiking Trails & Campgrounds
- 340 City Parks for picnics & family outings
Best Hotels Good City Access
If you’re NOT staying in a spectacular oceanfront hotel like La Jolla Shores Hotel or a romantic San Diego Harbor view hotel like Kona Kai Resort & Spa on Shelter Island, then staying in a good Sandiegan.com recommended hotel with excellent access to the rest of the city for a lot less money makes good sense. It makes good sense to stay in centrally located Mission Valley. Back-in-the-day, Mission Valley’s Hotel Circle was where everyone stayed. That was before the downtown convention center was built. Two locally-owned hotels with restaurants on their property are The Kings Inn ($72) night and the recently upgraded Town & Country Resort ($128) a night. If you are in the military rates are even lower. Mission Valley is home to two major shopping centers, great restaurants, two golf courses, dozens of good hotels, and offers easy access to all attractions. Check rates before booking.
Best Kids Eat FREE Places in San Diego Hot Linked
HOT LINKED. #2 RANKED.
HOT LINKED. #3 RANKED. San Diego is the Microbrewery Capital of the World. They can boast such a claim because they have won more blue ribbons at world competitions than anyone else. Many microbrewers are featured in my San Diego Best of San Diego, Ca best of everything with an easy-to-navigate map. My SanDiegan.com tour also includes three of the top microbreweries in America. They are Stone Brewery, Ballast Point Brewing Company & Coronado Brewery. My self-guided tour shows you four popular neighborhoods and great places to eat.
Click on Churchfinder.com for an extensive and informative list of over 100 places of worship. Since San Diego is often referred to as Paradise on Earth, it should come as no surprise that locals love to worship their God.
HOT LINKED. You’ll enjoy the many discount coupons for fun things to do, like a sunset champagne dinner cruise aboard a Hornblower yacht on San Diego Bay. A tour of the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier and the awesome high-end factory outlet shops are absolute musts. Be sure to visit the information center at each mall for their many discount coupons. SanDiegan.com showcases the Best of San Diego, Ca. best of Everything, which includes coupons, maps, city travel tours, and awesome personally reviewed places to eat.
HOT LINKED. #1 RANKED. Also, refer to my home buying, renting, condos, apartments and office space click on this tab Commercial.com for assistance in finding a place to live and office space. I have used Pacific Coast Commercial for office space with great success.
Historic Must-See Sites Missions, Attractions, Military Museums, Ships
HOT LINKED! #1 RANKED. Here are 14 MUST-SEE historic attractions and museums! Also, plan to spend half a day exploring San Diego’s Old Town State Historic Park. Admission and parking are free. The park conveys an authentic re-creation of the pueblo of tiny San Diego’s history between 1821 and 1872. You’ll stroll thru restored adobe homes, museums, landmarks, commercial shops, and restaurants as informative park rangers and volunteers bring the flavor of the past into the present. My Old Town walking tour and map are very helpful. These historic attractions are almost all operated by volunteers and are thus true labors of love. All these historical museums are absolutely excellent!
Kids Eat FREE Places in San Diego – hot linked
#1 RANKED non-paid.
Kid-Friendly: 40 Things to Do – hot linked
Mexico: Tijuana Restaurants, Shops self-guided map tour SanDiegan.com
HOT LINKED. #3 RANKED. This is my 54th year providing my do-it-yourself day trip to Tijuana. You’ll need to bring your passport to cross the international border. My SanDiegan.com Tijuana map and chapter will tell you how to get there, and where to park on this side of the border. Taking your car to Tijuana is not recommended because your insurance is not valid in Mexico. Secondarily, the wait time in line to return to the U.S. can be up to 10 hours. Instead, I highly recommend taking a round-trip bus (buses cross quickly via a special border crossing lane). They will literally bring you back to the parking lot where you parked your car. Everything is thoroughly covered in my self-guided tour of Tijuana including where to shop and best restaurants to dine in.
HOT LINKED. #1 RANKED. The best place to park your car is on the U.S.A. side of the U.S./Mexican Border is at Border Station Parking (428-9477) at 4570 Camino de la Plaza. Parking is ($9) for 10 hours Monday through Thursday. On the weekends it jumps to ($18) a day and on holidays it’s even higher. Exit the last exit before entering Mexico from the I-5 Freeway and take an immediate right into their tall 24-hour attended, fenced, parking lot. From here you can catch a Tourismo Express Shuttle Bus that will bring you back to this same parking lot after a day of fun in Tijuana, Mexico. The last departure from Tijuana is 6 p.m. Tourismo Express Shuttle Bus (619-428-0011) charges ($10) per person round trip and ($6) one way. Taking the shuttle is 1,000% better than walking to the border, and then taking a cab to downtown TJ. Also, within SanDiegan.com read my extensive Tijuana Chapter and study the maps.
Be one of my thousands of online followers that use my many SanDiegan.com chapters and maps to discover the Best of Baja California, Mexico. You should definitely discover the romantic seaport town of Ensenada and the nearby Valle de Guadalupe Wineries via a sleek highway that clings to the coast offering 67 miles of breathtaking ocean views. My personally researched information will enable you to stay in the best hotels, dine in gourmet restaurants, and discover the Best of Baja California, Mexico! Featured online chapter chapters with maps and text include Tijuana, Rosarito Beach, Puerto Nuevo, Guadalupe Valley, Ensenada, San Felipe, and Mexicali.
Be sure to purchase a Mexican insurance policy online from Baja Bound, before you cross into Mexico for the day or longer. If you have a serious accident in Mexico, you (and your car) will be detained until it is determined who is the guilty party and damages are paid on demand. Mexican authorities do not accept an American insurance policy as proof of financial responsibility. It only costs ($12.05) a day and ($42.94) a year. Pricing is subject to change. Just get a Mexican insurance policy online, for your peace of mind.
HOT LINKED! Balboa Park is San Diego’s Cultural Center and is home to 17 museums, live theatre, a merry-go-round, and more that you can still enjoy via Balboa TV during the pandemic. The San Diego Museum of Art has a great app as well. Plus, SanDiegan.com offers a wonderful walking tour with three easy-to-follow maps. Yet, Balboa Park is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to museums. There are dozens of historical museums including the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier and historic Old Town San Diego, where California’s history began. Admission to Old Town including parking is FREE. My SanDiegan.com walking tours include easy-to-use maps and include where to enjoy a delicious meal with a frosty margarita, and you dine to the sounds of strolling mariachi bands.
Online Shopping Bargains & Deals via SanDiegan.com
At the forefront of online shopping is the one and only City Lights Collectibles offering 40,000 sq. ft. of collectibles for every holiday you can imagine. Christmas is their specialty, but they also do a rousing business for Halloween. They offer FREE shipping & visitors pay no tax! Online shopping is their specialty as this store has local, national, and international clientele. However, if you can visit in person, you will be blown away by the quality and magnitude of their offering. Seeing is believing!
Real Estate: Home Repair & Helpful Repair Assistance
If you’re not a fix-it man, the next best thing is knowing where to find the help you need, especially if you’re a newcomer. Nextdoor.com is a favorite local resource for finding professionals and insider tips from neighbors living in your neighborhood. Really it’s the truth. Home Depot is unquestionably the best hardware store with multi-locations countywide. For roof repair, it’s Shake, Shingle & Roll Roofing. He’s the best! For low-priced junk removal contact junkbustersinc.com or call toll-FREE 1-844-464-5865 and speak to Josh. Ask for the ($99) SPECIAL.
Real Estate: Home Buying, Apartments, Condos, Retirement Where to live
HOT LINKED! For 54-years Sandiegan.com has been everyone’s choice for the insider information of what each suburb has to offer. I also review the top builders and mega apartment complexes. My hands-on experience includes having actually lived in nine different suburbs in San Diego County while growing up in San Diego. Reading the over 20 neighborhood chapters with walking and driving tours is a must for getting to know the lay of the land.
HOT LINKED! An amazing number of visitors end up relocating to San Diego. My introduction to the insider’s view of San Diego is my intent to get you to consider such a view. Where to live, work and play is another consideration.
HOT LINKED! #1 RANKED. I served in the military in San Diego. So, I’ve been on every military base. I know the San Diego you want to know! Be sure to make full use of the Housing Referral Office for your branch of service. They are staffed with military wives, who are committed to your family having a smooth transfer. They are a big help. Also, review the many SanDiegan.com categories on the Navigational Bar.
San Diego Relocation Guide
#1 RANKED. Access this page via the Navigational Bar at SanDiegan.com because as a newcomer you will be visiting this website an average of 11 to 48 times your first year of residency. Thus, getting to know all this 700-page website has to offer will be a great asset in getting you up to speed in your relocation. Be sure to review SanDiegan.com Real Estate, Neighborhoods, Jobs, and Shopping chapters. If you’re in the military read the extensive Military chapter accessing it via the Navigational Bar as well. My SanDiegan.com Best of San Diego, Ca. should include using the suburb maps with walking and driving tours to give you the lay of the land as each suburb is unique!
San Diego Relo Car Buying
#4 RANKED. San Diego’s big car dealerships are grouped together regionally from the South to the North. The Mile of Cars mileofcars.com in the South Bay boasts of having 5,000 cars and 18 dealerships. They cater to the military at the Naval Bay at 32nd Street and Latinos south of the border in Mexico. The next concentration of dealerships is in Mission Valley along Highway 8. East of Mission Valley is the city of El Cajon, which is home to a host of dealerships along El Cajon Blvd. The remaining three multi dealerships are in Poway, Escondido, and Carlsbad. They cater to soldiers stationed at Camp Pendleton. The biggest single dealership with multi-locations and an excellent reputation is the Mossy Automotive Group with 7 locations offering Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Volkswagon, Honda, Mitsubishi, Infiniti, and El Cajon Ford. I have bought and leased several cars from Mossy. So, I can attest to their high quality.
SanDiegan.com Relocation Online Universities and College Classes
HOT LINKED! Click on the headline for a list of the Best Online Schools in San Diego. San Diego is a college town with over a dozen colleges and universities. Plus, being a military town as well there are a lot of perks for military families to take full advantage of the extensive online alternatives available to get their degree while in San Diego. Getting a college degree or better online is one of my popular 500 things to do in San Diego via SanDiegan.com.
SanDiegan.com Suburb, City, & Neighborhood Search
San Diego is paradise on earth. Just ask a local. Yet, no two suburbs are the same. Aspire to live in the coastal zone as near to the ocean as possible, especially if you are single. I have spent the past 53 years creating chapters with a map of all of the great places to live. A review of the many cities and suburbs listed in the Neighborhood tab is essential. Read each suburb chapter before you tour them. San Diego is also home to awesome new home builders including Shea Homes, McMillin.com, and Pardee Homes offer extras like solar. See the Real Estate Chapter within SanDiegan.com.
SanDiegan.com (3)Factory Outlets (21) Malls Swap Meet
HOT LINKED! #2 RANKED. San Diego has three awesome factory outlet centers, where you can literally shop till you drop! I also showcase the major shopping centers, as they are glamorous destinations within SanDdiegan.com for the Best of everything. See the coupon page.
HOT LINKED Everything from Sky Diving to Sailing or just Basking in the Sun is what makes discovering my San Diego Best of San Diego, Ca. is a 365 days a year playground.
HOT LINKED! Virtually every year online travel magazines rank San Diego as the top Travel destination worldwide beckoning 36 million visitors here to relax and enjoy the moment. Here is a local and regional travel bucket list of must-experience travel destinations in your own backyard to take the edge off during the coronavirus, especially if you have cabin fever.
Travel Getaway to Catalina
HOT LINKED. A super romantic getaway 26 miles off of the California coast from Dana Point via a sleek ferry is a romantic getaway almost incomparable. The island was once owned by Wrigley Chewing Gum millionaire William Wrigley.
Travel via San Diego International Airport or 9 other San Diego Airports
HOT LINKED! San Diego is a happy 10 airport county with the San Diego International Airport at Lindbergh Field being the busiest air travel destination. It’s just 2 miles from downtown San Diego. The second busiest airline destination is North County’s McClellan–Palomar Airport. The third major airport (while technically not in the U.S.A) is Mexico’s Tijuana International Airport. Travelers can actually get to the airport from the U.S. to Mexico and back via a short walking bridge. Not reviewed are two large military airports.
YOU DEFINITELY NEED A CAR. Preplan getting a car (if you didn’t arrive by car) at the airport or train station. A cheaper way is via Dirt Cheap Car Rental. They rent slightly used cars mostly to foreign exchange students and savvy visitors, who don’t need a brand new car to impress people they don’t even know. My 50 city and suburb map tours will quickly introduce you to my San Diego Best of San Diego Ca. best of everything.
Dozens of cruise ships make scheduled stops in San Diego at the beautiful downtown San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal. Their stopovers enable you to discover a great deal of the Downtown area of San Diego.
Rail travel is fast becoming in vogue again. One reason is that the fares are so reasonable. For example, the one-way fare from Los Angeles to San Diego is a mere ($36). California’s picturesque coastline when seen by train is incredible.
HOT LINKED. PAGE ONE RANKED If there is a wedding or special event in your future, then do what thousands of locals do, visit this page. My personally reviewed recommendations include impressive wineries, elite golf course clubhouses, classy yacht clubs, prestigious hotels, and awesome restaurants with breathtaking ocean views. SanDiegan.com is top-ranked for this venue. You can only access the navigational bar via the laptop version.
HOT LINKED! #3 RANKED. There are literally 115 wineries in San Diego County. Many wineries are freeway close. San Diego wines have also been served at the White House. Also impressive is the fact that there are two viticultural areas (AVAs) in San Diego County. The oldest is the freeway close to San Pasqual Valley near Escondido. It’s home to the Orfila Vineyards and Winery, with more blue ribbon awards. than any other winery. Here too is the promising Rancho Guejito Vineyard. The other wine-growing region is in Ramona, boasting 30 wineries. All are included in my San Diego Best of San Diego, Ca. Best of Everything.
Wine Tours 40 Temecula Wineries, Boutique Hotels & nice Restaurants
HOT LINKED! Freeway close to Temecula is a famous wine-growing region. It’s also one of my highly recommended things to do in my San Diego Best of San Diego, Ca section. There are 40 wineries you can visit 4 are must-visit wineries. I have also chosen two excellent restaurants to dine in. Plus, two excellent vineyard hotels I have personally stayed in that I can recommend One is a French chateau. Plus, the map is excellent in that it includes a tour of Old Town Temecula as well.
HOT LINKED! Another winery day-trip getaway by car or a bus tour is to Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe near the romantic seaport town of Ensenada. Ensenada is home to one of the top 5 French Restaurants in the world. Wine tasting in Mexico means dining in gourmet restaurants while sampling their’s wines against the backdrop of sweeping vineyard views. It’s an amazing experience. All are well worth discovering in my San Diego Best of San Diego, Ca. Best of Everything found in my winery chapter.
SanDiegan.com 54th year
SanDiegan.com is the ultimate restaurant, shopping, coupons, things to do, relocation, and regional travel resource everyone uses. Our research is based on an unbiased, personally, experienced approach.