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San Diego Cuisine

San Diego enjoys an abundance of quality produce and dining, due to its privileged position on the Pacific Ocean and its warm Mediterranean-like climate. The renowned Chino Farms in nearby Rancho Santa Fe provides fresh organic produce both to local restaurants and restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. There is also a wine growing industry in nearby San Pasqual Valley and Temecula.

Given its ethnic and cultural mix, it is not surprising that San Diego has a wide range of cuisines. One can find Mexican, Italian, French, Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese, Greek, Latin, German, Indian, Central and East Asian, Middle Eastern and Pacific Islander food throughout the city. In addition, there are numerous seafood restaurants and steakhouses. The city's long history and close proximity to Mexico has endowed the area with an extensive variety of authentic Mexican restaurants. Regional homemade specialties, border fare and haute cuisine are all readily available.

San Diego's warm, dry climate and access to the ocean have also made it a centre for fishing and for growing fruits and vegetables. Long a centre of the tuna industry, San Diego benefits from an abundant supply of seafood.

Many of the most popular restaurants can be found in the Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, La Jolla, Hillcrest and Old Town.

Local specialties include:

· Mexican (carne asada, street tacos, California burritos, fish tacos, enchiladas, carne asada fries and ceviche);

· wood-fired, California-style pizza;

· Southeast Asian specialties of all kinds;

· local wines (San Pasqual Valley, Rancho Bernardo);

· a vibrant craft brewing community featuring 22 brewpubs and/or microbreweries. San Diego brewers have become famous for pioneering several specialty beer styles, most notably the American Double India Pale Ale. Unfortunately, none of San Diego's old breweries (such as Aztec Brewing Company) survived the spread of big national brewing companies;

· locally produced (from the mountains near Julian) hard and sweet apple cider;

· various fruits and vegetables, including avocados, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, eggplant, oranges, lemons, limes, strawberries, grapefruit, grapes, apples, pomegranates, persimmons, and melons.

Several chain restaurants made their start in San Diego. These include Jack in the Box, Pat & Oscar's, Souplantation (March 1978), Rubio's (1980s), Filippi's Pizza Grotto, Sammy's Woodfired Pizza, Roberto's, Alberto's, and Anthony's Fish Grotto (1950s). Rubio's fish tacos were also featured at the 1996 Republican National Convention which was held in San Diego.





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