San Diego is amorously called “America’s Finest City”. But if you end up dragging your boo to a long day at Sea World (no offense, Shamu) because it was the first thing that popped up online, your time together may not be the finest. But if you’re searching for adorable (and affordable) places in San Diego that’ll sweep them off their feet, look no further! Here are San Diego’s cutest little pocket’s that’ll totally blow your date away.
1. Communal Coffee- 2335 University Ave
Before that giant Cal State midterm, treat your girl (or guy) to a much-needed rose vanilla latte at Communal Coffee. This Pinterest-worthy beauty boasts artisanal, independently brewed coffee, beautiful indoor architecture, and in-house collaborations with local artists/creatives. Communal is especially known for its beautiful bouquets, which can be found all around the cafe and can be purchased through their producers, Wild Blooms, in store. They even have occasional events such as live music (Summer Music at South Park ) and floral arrangement workshops. What better way to shake things up then to see your love trying ever so hard to not get their hands wrapped up in floral tape? Just do your research in advance: you don’t want to bring your favorite scissors for what you thought would be a workshop and turns out to be a kids’ group!
2. Donut Bar- 631 B Street
We’ve had a bit of a carb renaissance these past couple of years, and this shift has brought attention (and in turn innovation) to tons of amazing donut shops across the country. One such spot is the Donut Bar, which is both critically acclaimed and relatively new. This place boasts not one, not two, but twenty-eight mouthwatering flavors such as Mexican Hot Chocolate, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Blueberry with Meyer Lemon. Each treat is about $3, so you won’t be breaking the bank as you indulge. Donut Bar even boasts seasonal and vegan choices, so there’s truly no disappointing option. Our personal advice? Grab a picnic blanket, pick up a couple French Toast donuts, and head to Balboa park for a darling little picnic. Donuts not your thing? Might as well snap a few instagram-worthy shots by the cute exterior (featuring a pink sprinkled donut with angel wings) as long as you’re there. Pro tip: to avoid long lines, head there earlier in the morning (before or around 9 am) on a Weekday.
3. Old Point Loma Lighthouse- 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr.
Although this historic landmark was retired from use in 1891 (fog and clouds made it difficult for ships to view this particular lighthouse, so it was moved to another location), the Old Point Loma Lighthouse has been charmingly refurbished to mimic its original late 1800s appearance. It actually came into existence just ten years after California became part of the United States! This is the perfect opportunity for your history-buff cutie to take a break from those long lectures and step into history itself. While the top of the tower is only open a few times a year to the public, the lighthouse is open every day from nine to five (except on Christmas), and boasts a stunning view of the sea. If it’s especially overcast, bring your colorful raincoats and a camera and have a stunning photo shoot (the clouds in the sky make for some excellent lighting)! Just make sure to bring some cash for the vehicle fee (a pass should be around $20) and you’re good to go.
4. Soda And Swine Liberty Station- 2750 Dewey Road #104
Liberty Station on its own is a fantastic San Diego spot for dates or any other occasions, but Soda And Swine takes it to the next level with its chic interior (just look at those red bar stools) and modern twists on classic American fare. Unlike most sit-down places, you order before you sit down, and there are even games at the front in case the line runs a bit long. But the ten minutes you may wait before placing an order are beyond worth it. You and your date can converse over old-fashioned cream sodas (in authentic retro soda bottles) and Banh Mi sliders, along with one of their several potato-based sides (the dirty fries are rumored to be out of this world). To walk off the calories (or at least a few of them), check out the cool shops at the Liberty Public Market, featuring fresh fish, locally brewed coffee, and fresh cut flowers. What better way to impress your date’s mom than with an artisanal bottle of Olive Oil? Dinners at his house will never be the same. And why stop there? Liberty Station has tons of amazing events throughout the year-like live concerts and complementary wifi. So you and your S.O. can come back after a Saturday date and study on the patio for hours the following Monday.
5. Mariposa Ice Cream- 3450 Adams Ave
If you’re craving a sweet treat on a hot San Diego Afternoon, head for Normal Heights. It’s there that you’ll find Mariposa Ice Cream, a 19-year-old joint serving up over twenty-one homemade ice cream flavors (and a couple vegan options, too). And as if two heaping scoops of coconut almond fudge on a waffle cone weren’t enough to draw you in, Mariposa was founded by a fourth generation Dutch dairy farmer who used the same recipe his grandfather taught him- small batches, no eggs. This local jewel may be a bit crowded at times, but once you get a seat, you’ll be surrounded by walls full of thank you messages from loyal customers and pictures of celebrities enjoying their Mariposa Rum Raisin ice cream. Prices are pretty sweet, too: you and your bae could split a Brownie Sundae for $3 a piece (or one of you could pick up the $6 check). Or, better yet, take home a pint and watch a movie with a couple other friends under the stars.
What’s your favorite date spot in San Diego? Which of these dates do you want to try the most? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/751608625295431543/
Anna Livia is a Junior Communications student at John Paul The Great Catholic University. Her hobbies include reading how-to guides on being an adult, exploring the many pockets around North Country (San Diego) and attempting whatever new pasta recipes appear on Pinterest. She hails form Los Angeles but aspires to live in Houston one day for a career in Magazine Editing (not to mention the low housing prices). Her perfect afternoon would include cats of any kind, hot cider, and Malcolm In The Middle.