Events: San Diego Taco Fest 2017 – Best Tacos in San Diego

Ever wanted to sample the best tacos in San Diego? Now you can – all in one place!  30 of San Diego’s best taco restaurants will be  at San Diego Taco Fest 2017 on Saturday, May 20 from 11 am – 10 pm at Waterfront Park San Diego (which has gorgeous views of the bay, btw!).

Even better, proceeds from the event support a good cause – Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego, which just happens to be one of our favorite local charities and where we adopted our sweet dog Tiki. San Diego Taco Fest has paired up with Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego to help promote adoption of rescue dogs and raise funds for the organization’s efforts.

Get ready and mark your horses (oops, we mean chihuahuas), for a chihuahua race and beauty pageant at this special event. The first chihuahua race starts at 2 p.m. – check the full schedule here. Tiki didn’t get his Glamour Shots ready in time to meet the deadline for this year’s pageant, so he won’t be able to attend, but he’s always game to chow down on some leftover tacos!

The day will also be packed with musical performances from Vanilla Ice (anyone else watch The Vanilla Ice Project on HGTV?), Mix Master Mike, Vokab Kompany, Sweet & Tender Hooligans (Morrissey and The Smiths tribute), Fayuca, and Jarabe Mexicano.

Admission to San Diego Taco Fest is 21+, so this is a great option for a date day, or just an excuse to get out and enjoy San Diego’s beautiful weather with friends. And, even though the event benefits Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego, pets are not allowed at the taco fest (except guide/service dogs and those participating in the organized chihuahua races/beauty pageant). There is an entrance fee (check ticket prices here) and your ticket fee does not include food/beverage at the event. At $35 per ticket right now + food and beer, this event could really add up, but we love that it supports a good cause. Hope to see you there!

Dog Friendly Restaurants San Diego: Pieology Pizza Carlsbad

We love cheap date nights, and Pieology Pizza in Carlsbad Bressi Ranch Village Center has become one of our favorite spots for an inexpensive night on the town. We’re big on saving money, so we try not to break the bank when we go out for dinner. At Pieology, we can have a fun date for less than $20 out the door  – it’s fun and causal (we just love the inspirational quote wall below – don’t you?) with great food + drinks. And, it also happens to be another one of our favorite dog friendly restaurants in San Diego. Todd loves the local beers Pieology has on tap – and I love that there’s a Peet’s Coffee next door for a post-dinner treat. It’s a win win for everyone, including our pups. 🙂

In case you haven’t been there yet, Pieology is kind of the “Subway” of pizzas. You can choose from one of their “favorite” personal artisan style pizzas like “Mad to Meat You,” and “Smokin’ Buffalo Chicken,” or you can create your own, which we prefer. Half the fun of going there is choosing your own toppings and experimenting with all the fun combinations you can come up with. Their pizzas are only available in one size (11.5 inches). We typically split one pizza (we find it’s more than enough for two people), but we had a coupon for a free pizza this time, so we went for two. You can create your own pizza with as many toppings as you want for under $10. Say WHAT?!

You read that right. AS MANY TOPPINGS AS YOU WANT. You can also choose the type of house-made crust you want (we went for wheat). They also have gluten-free for those with Celiac Disease. For toppings, we chose mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, olives, Canadian bacon, artichokes, spinach, and Italian sausage. We decided to keep it pretty classic for this pizza and it definitely hit the spot.

Todd didn’t mind the beer from Coronado Brewing Company, either (anyone else tried the Orange Wit??). I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I tried a few sips of the Orange Wit and really like the fresh citrus zing. Cheers to that.

The outdoor patio at Pieology Carlsbad offers a relaxing atmosphere to kick back and enjoy your pizza. We always prefer to eat outside (why not when the San Diego weather is always so gorgeous?) and, since we bring out pups out to eat with us often, we love restaurants that have dog-friendly  outdoor patios. It’s always been pretty quiet when we’ve been to Pieology Carlsbad and our pup, Mishka, was perfectly happy cozied up on the patio here. Doesn’t this look relaxing?

Peet’s Coffee is located kitty-corner to Pieology, so we headed there after our meal for a Vanilla Latte to cap off our date night. Under $20 spent total. Perfect San Diego date night, if you ask me. 😉

Where are your favorite cheap date night spots in San Diego?

Looking for other dog friendly restaurants in San Diego?

Here are a few more of our favorite San Diego dog friendly restaurants:

Dog Friendly Restaurants San Diego: Tamarack Beach Resort – Dini’s By the Sea

As “parents” to three chihuahuas, we’re always on the hunt for dog friendly restaurants. We’re lucky that San Diego is very pup friendly, but it can be challenging to find a restaurant that checks all our boxes – dog friendly (of course), has a nice view and wicked good food. Dini’s By The Sea at Tamarack Beach Resort meets all those criteria and is one of our go-to faves.

Dini’s is adjacted to Tamarack Beach Resort in Carlsbad, right across the street from Tamarack Beach. There are only a few restaurants in Carlsbad that have an ocean view and Dini’s is one of those with prime real estate.

We love the atmosphere here – maybe it’s the fact that it’s attached to a hotel, but it always makes us feel like we’re on vacation – casual, beachy vibes + an awesome view of the ocean. Dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio – there’s street and foot traffic that passes by the patio, but it makes it a fun and lively place to kick back and enjoy a meal.

We usually like to visit Dini’s at sunset (talk about views!) or for a mid-week lunch. The restaurant and bar can get pretty crowded on the weekends, but we’ve been there on weekdays for lunch when we’ve had an almost-private dining experience.  They also have a great Happy Hour if you’re looking to enjoy a beachside meal without having to break the bank, or just want to enjoy sunset drinks.

We kicked off our lunch with some calamari…always one of our favorite appetizers. At $14, it was a little pricey for the amount served, but it sure was delish…and our pup Tiki approved.

For lunch, I ordered the Stuffed Avocado with Chicken – always one of my top dishes .

a) because I’m obsessed with avocado and will eat it with everything and…

b) because I feel semi-healthy ordering this

We’ll just forget about the calamari we ordered as the appetizer, okay? 😉

Todd ordered the Lobster Burger, which is his must-have dish at Dini’s. It’s one of the most popular items on the menu and is always a hit with friends and family we bring to the restaurant. We were pleasantly surprised the first time we ordered this and it was delivered with a decent amount of lobster on top. Doesn’t this look good???

I may or may not have stolen half of Todd’s burger. Actually, he offered me half and then asked for it back – haha. Can’t say I wouldn’t do the same thing though because it is SO good. I think I’ll have to order the Lobster Burger next time and throw my healthy eating to the seagulls because this dish is just too good to pass up.

We love that Dini’s is right across the street from the beach – after our meal, we took Tiki for a walk on the beach path – the Carlsbad Seawall path is actually 4 miles long, but Tiki’s little legs can only carry him so far, so we usually just do a quick walk.

Dini’s continues to be one of our favorite restaurants in Carlsbad and we’re already dreaming about our next Lobster Burger. 😉 It would even be fun to do a staycation at the Tamarack Beach Resort sometime – and it’s also a great place for friends/family to stay who are visiting San Diego from out of the area. Check out the nightly room rates here if you’re curious.

For more dog-friendly destinations in San Diego, check out:

Dog Friendly Restaurants San Diego: Hotel Del Coronado Sun Deck Bar & Grill

Ocean Palms Beach Resort – Pet Friendly Hotel Carlsbad, CA

Which would you order? The Lobster Burger or the Stuffed Avocado???

Tell us in the comments below! 🙂



Dog Friendly Restaurants San Diego: Hotel Del Coronado Sun Deck Bar & Grill

As “parents” to three mischievous, yet too-cute-resist  chihuahuas, we’re always on the hunt for dog friendly restaurants in San Diego. With gorgeous spring weather on the horizon, we headed to Hotel Del Coronado for a Friday afternoon lunch. Hotel Del Coronado is a dog friendly resort, so your pup can dine,  stay and play at this classic California hotel by the beach. Pet walking, pet sitting and veterinary services are even available for your pup.  Talk about 5-star treatment. It’s easy to see why this hotel is often considered one of the best places to visit in San Diego.

Built in 1988, Hotel Del Coronado is a National Historic Landmark that has served esteemed guests from Marilyn Monroe to Franklin D. Roosevelt, and modern-day celebs like Oprah Winfrey and Steve Spielberg. With gorgeous views like these, no wonder celebs would want to call this their home away from home. The Del, as it’s affectionately known, has also been rumored to be home to a ghost or two….but we’ll save the ghost stories for another time when we get to stay overnight. We always love a good ghost hunt.

Hotel Del Coronado’s Sun Deck Bar & Grill is a great spot to enjoy ocean views and soak up some California sunshine. We were able to snag a secluded table in a corner complete with a firepit, cushioned lounge chairs, and an incredible view of the ocean. It was just what we needed – it was so cozy, we were tempted to take a nap – and these two did.

The menu at Sun Deck Bar & Grill offers an array of tropical drinks and Mexican fare, along with the classic American burger. We decided to split a burger and tacos, and Todd also ordered a Coronado Orange Avenue Wit by the Coronado Island Brewing Company. This So-Cal take on a traditional witbier honors Coronado’s main street, which is home to the Coronado Island Brewing Company and was once lined with orange trees. The citrus zing was the perfect complement to a sun-toasted afternoon.

The burger was tasty – you can’t go wrong with classic American fare at a classic California coastal hotel. The tacos were decent, but we probably wouldn’t order them again. As you’ll see by the menu, the prices at Sun Deck Bar & Grill are a little steep. In terms of the view, however, this restaurant wins big among pet friendly restaurants. You’re paying for the atmosphere and incredible views when you dine here.


If you’re looking for places to take your dog in San Diego and don’t want to commit to a full meal, we suggest checking out the Sun Deck Bar & Grill’s “Yappy Hour” held every Sunday from 4-5pm. Dogs can lap up complimentary Evian and “yappatizers” (organic gourmet dog treats), while their parents sip on pet-inspired drinks such as a Hair of the Dog, tangy Greyhound or Salty Dog.

After lunch, we went for iced coffee at The Del’s cafe and then moseyed onto the beach, where we discovered this masterpiece by The Sand Castle Man. A former construction industry pro who was hit hard by the recession, Bill Pavlacka (aka The Sand Castle Man) turned to building sandcastles. You can even commission him to create a custom sculpture for your engagement, wedding, or just because. Amazing work of art!

There are many reasons to love San Diego, and The Hotel Del Coronado is one of them. Blue skies, swaying palm trees, toes in the sand…we can’t think of a better way to kick off the weekend.

There are so many great pet friendly restaurants in San Diego and we can’t wait to share them with you. More San Diego hotspots coming soon and, until then, you can find us napping on the beach. 😉

And if you’re already dreaming of a stay at Hotel Del Coronado….go ahead and check the room rates.