Hidden (and not so hidden) gems of San Diego’s sweet-like-a-homemade-cannoli neighborhood.

10) Influx Cafe visit website >

Influx CafeInflux Cafe starts this baby off. Whether its an early Wednesday morning or a Saturday afternoon, this hipster-friendly coffee shop is packed with good people and great eats – definitely flaunting a bit more flare than your average Starbucks. Free wifi, organic coffee and handmade croissants seal the deal.

Must Have Eats: Croissant Melt #1 featuring toasted black forest ham, brie cheese with creamy dijon mustard…YUM.

9) Vo.cab.u.lar.y Boutique visit website >

Vo.cab.u.lar.y BoutiqueLadies, if you’re looking for modern, stylish and chic (and what girl worth her dry cleaning bill isn’t) this is your boutique. Sporting a fun assortment of dresses and jewelry for every occasion, you’ll love their variety of accessories too. Give them a “Like” on Facebook for weekly discounts & events.

Must Have Treat: After an afternoon scrutinizing the racks, get a small cup of gelato next door at Pappalecco.

8) Mona Lisa Italian Foods visit website >

Mona Lisa Italian FoodsEstablished in 1956, Mona Lisa Deli comes as close to authentic Italian cuisine as San Diego is ever going to get. A graphic representation of the well-known icon’s eyes, nose and mouth peer out at the street from a white building on the corner of India and Hawthorn Streets. You can smell the freshly made garlic bread and tomato sauce from several blocks away. Happen to be in the market for a legit bottle of olive oil? They stock rows and rows of the best stuff in town.

Must Have Eats: Deluxe Sub piled with salami, mortadella, ham & provolone with Italian dressing…Delizioso!

7) Stickball Sundays visit website >

Stickball SundaysStumbling upon this is like being whisked back to late 19th Century era Hell’s Kitchen in New York City. On the first Sunday of the month people of all ages take over the streets of Little Italy to play the urban version of America’s favorite pastime that is, “stickball.” No gloves, self-pitch and “Bronx rules” apply. Don’t forget this means “Buildings, curbs, parking meters, signs and balconies are all playable in fair territory”

Must Have Hit: Contact SDStickball@juno.com to get in on the action. Don’t forget to leave your glove at home.

6) El Camino visit website >

El CaminoThis legend-in-the-making restaurante is all about atmosphere (and a damn good burrito): planes flying overhead, guests chomping on free chips and queso while sipping boot-shaped Micheladas. Perfecto for groups or couples alike. Extra shout out to the pig shaped lanterns, mini TVs built into the bar and the Chiclet confetti in the bathroom.

Must Have Eat: The Mac ‘n’ Cheese Nachos…como se dice awesome?

5) Casa Artelexia visit website >

Casa ArtelexiaThis family-owned latino boutique has more charm than your favorite Mariachi band on Mothers Day. The owner, Elexia runs this bright orange fiesta of a shop, while her dad hoofs it around Mexico finding incredible homemade stuff to sell at the joint. You can easily kill multiple hours in this wonderland, getting up close and personal with everything from Lucha Libre Masks to Milagros.

Must See: Casa Artelexia is hosting a Frida Kahlo Look-A-Like Contest July 31 in the backyard of their store

4) Bottlecraft visit website >

BottlecraftIn my recent post about Craft Breweries in San Diego I talked about the growing craft beer trend taking San Diego by storm (and sud). Bottlecraft recognizes that “San Diego has become an internationally-known landmark for craft beer” and is throwing out that San Diegans have it too good!! We’re beer snobs, and that’s a compliment. Budlight = gross. Coors = yuck. Lets face it — our palettes are all grown up now (minus that occasional Jägermeister for old times sake). Instead of traveling to craft breweries near and far, Bottlecraft brings the good beer to us (better yet, they take requests). Check out their store on India Street and pick up a 6-pack of your favorite craft beer for the weekend.

Must Have Thirst Quencher: Stop in and try their Flight of the Day – 4 preselected beers that change daily.

3) Waterfront Bar & Grill visit website >

Waterfront Bar & GrillWelcome to “San Diego’s Oldest Tavern.” This place doesn’t try to be cool, it just is. Every night the patio is bursting with people of all shapes and sizes. Grab a pitcher, a bowl of free popcorn and a couple of friends for the perfect afterwork hangout spot. And If you’re a morning person, their Bloody Mary is one of SD’s finest. Feel free to get it early…they open at 6am 🙂

Must Have BarFood: Wednesday is “Super Slider Night” Get $2 Chipotle Sliders til they run out.

2) The Mercato Farmers Market visit website >

The Mercato Farmers MarketTime to get your shop on. Every Saturday from 9am-1pm Date Street is lined with 100+ booths packed with fresh fruits, veggies, flowers, eggs, cheese, meats, fish, hummus and more. Most vendors have samples to try before you buy. Bring your dog, get some sun and stock up on fresh ingredients for the week ahead.

Must have Condiment: Chipotle Bitchin’ Sauce! A vegan, gluten-free, almond-based sauce to die for.

1) Project X Media’s New Office visit website >

Project X MediaThats right… We’ve Moved! Goodbye Cedros Ave, Hello Kettner Boulevard. Our new office is conveniently located at the corner of Kettner and Kaimia Street in Little Italy North. As much as we’ll miss the old location + gallery space in Solana Beach, we’re excited about the new digs – panoramic views of the San Diego Bay, a Yoga Studio downstairs, Happy Hours at El Camino and those Waterfront Bloody Mary’s for our Monday morning “status meetings”…

Must Have Contact Info: Please update your address books with our new address and come visit!

Project X Media
2400 Kettner Boulevard
Suite 224
San Diego, CA 92101