A culinary adventure

Posted: September 7th, 2018 | Downtown Partnership News, Featured | No Comments

By Lana Harrison | Downtown Partnership News

Food can be the window into the soul of a city. Fortunately for San Diego, the view is looking pretty good.

From craft brews to luxurious wines, and steaks to authentic curry dishes, you’re just as likely to find your favorite local dining spot on any random corner as you are to find it perusing Yelp.

This impressive display of culinary diversity is especially notable in San Diego’s urban core.

Monzu makes its fresh pasta in house (Courtesy of Monzu Fresh Pasta)

Last year, nearly 1,500 foodies (and aspiring foodies) took to the tables, bar stools, and booths of Downtown to celebrate San Diego’s food culture at the Taste of Downtown. The 2018 restaurant lineup offers a similarly flavorful experience.

The 26th Annual Taste of Downtown, sponsored by Banner Bank, is gearing up to launch in just one week on Thursday, Sept. 13. Taste-goers can sample bites from either their favorite restaurants in City Center, Gaslamp Quarter, and East Village, or embark on a culinary adventure by trying someplace new.

A full list of the more than 40 participating restaurants is available at, but to whet your appetite, we’ll let some of the flavor-masters speak for themselves.

The Bell Marker (City Center)

Located on Broadway between Sixth and Seventh avenues, The Bell Marker was a welcome addition to City Center earlier this year.

They have a “beer-centered philosophy” according to Paige Reilly, partner at The Bell Marker. “The food we serve is the perfect accompaniment to our beer list.”

That list includes 16 house-brewed options, crafted in collaboration with Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Cervantes. The Bell Marker also offers a number of vegan options, for those vegan foodies who know how challenging it can be to find good eateries!

STK (Gaslamp Quarter)

For those desiring a more high-brow dining experience (and for those who don’t understand why you would have anything that doesn’t include meat), STK provides that traditional, but modern, steakhouse option.

“Our goal is to blend a five-star dining experience that you would expect from a great steakhouse with the fun and energy that you would hope to get out of any high-class environment,” said Reggie Robinson, general manager of STK. “The community is really the most important part of our success. We want people of all walks of life to enjoy the STK San Diego experience.”

That “experience” includes steaks (of course) as well as seafood and daily chef creations.

Stop by STK on Sixth Avenue, between F and E streets.

Monzu (East Village)

If you’re looking for an authentic, Italian-inspired dining experience without the price tag of a plane ticket, then Monzu Fresh Pasta on 10th Avenue is your next stop. Excited to have recently joined the East Village community, Monzu makes their fresh pasta in-house and strives to incorporate rich, local identities from various Italian towns into their recipes.

“We’re among the first in San Diego to dedicate an entire eatery to fresh pasta,” said Serena Romano, who owns Monzu with her husband Aldo.

Both Serena and Aldo are from Italy and “are committed to serving authentic Italian food that combines the traditions of Italy’s regional recipes with our own contemporary innovation.”

Come enjoy the space and the Italian ambiance!

What are the details for the Taste of Downtown?

Thursday, Sept. 15.

5-9 p.m.

$35 tickets in advance, or $40 on the day of can be purchased at

Complimentary shuttle service available

—Lana Harrison is the communications coordinator for the Downtown San Diego Partnership. She can be reached at

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