Edible San Diego's Romantic Picnic Shopping Guide
How often have you make grand plans for a romantic midweek evening, just to end up rushing to make your reservation or burning your pan-seared steak in a wild attempt to get dinner on the table before your date arrives?
Put down the frying pan.
This year, we're stepping out of the kitchen and instead creating a picnic spread of well-curated nibbles and sips from around San Diego county. For us, the shopping is half the fun, and being able to spend more time relaxing and enjoying the bounty and the company, sounds pretty great.
When we think of romantic meals, we can't help but think about aphrodisiacs, the sensual foods named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. While there is little proof that any of the foods, from oysters to ginger to chocolate have a significant physical effect on libido, scientists agree that the most important organ for amorous encounters is the brain, so enjoying a meal that is playful, tactile, and not too heavy (you don't want to end up in a food coma!) is the most likely way to set the right mood.
Collect your bounty and head to Balboa Park, your favorite beach, or simply come home and spread out a picnic blanket on the floor, turn on some electric candles, and spend the evening tasting, sipping, and savoring.
Edible San Diego's Romance-Guaranteed Shopping List
Fresh oysters and Sashimi from Catalina Offshore
Catalina offers sustainably sourced, super fresh, sushi-grade seafood, and they are the ones you can trust when it comes to amazing raw fish. There is something downright sexy about slurping oysters and eating cool, silky slivers of sashimi. They are also light enough not to weigh you down or make you sleepy. Buy these items last and eat them first, along with some chilled sparkling wine.
Catalina Offshore, 5202 Lovelock Street
Open 8am-5pm, Wednesday- Sunday; 8am-5pm Monday and Tuesday
Charcuterie from Heart and Trotter
The name of this local, sustainable butcher shop couldn't be more appropriate, and their selection of house-cured charcuterie made with local meat sans the chemical fillers, preservatives, or binders, are paired with local craft beer.
2855 El Cajon Boulevard, Suite 1
Open Tues-Sat 11am-7pm; Sunday 11am-5pm
Exotic Fruit from Specialty Produce
Is there anything better than trying something new with your special person? You are sure to find some appealing and unusual options amoung the incredible variety of familiar and exotic produce at Specialty. We are super into the Algerian tangerines, purple passionfruit, and guavas right now.
Specialty Produce, 1929 Hancock St #150
Open 8am-5pm daily
Cheese, Flowers, and Extra Provisions from Liberty Station
Set in a 1920s-era naval base commissary in San Diego’s Liberty Station neighborhood, Liberty Public Market brings nearly 30 local artisans and retailers together in one open 25,000-square-foot-space. Stop by the Venissimo Cheese shop and ask the passionate staff for recommendations and samples from their vast selection to pair with your beverages for the evening. (Bonus: studies have shown that the chemical properties once thought to make chocolate the ultimate aphrodisiac are actually much more potent in cheese!). Take a stroll around the market and pick-up some dried fruit, pickled vegetables, nuts, and any other accompaniments that look good, then swing by AE Floral for a stunning bouquet.
Liberty Public Market, 2820 Historic Decatur Road
Something Sweet (and Gorgeous) from Extraordinary Desserts
Opened by San Diego native, executive pastry chef, Karen Krasne in 1989, this bakery has remained one of the most popular bakeries in the city ever since. It isn't hard to see why. The desserts are as gorgeous as they are delicious, topped with flecks of gold and real flowers and sold in perfect, petit sizes. We are especially fond of her petit cheesecakes, but there hasn't been a dessert we tried there that we didn't love.
Balboa Park: 2929 5th Avenue | Little Italy: 1430 Union Street
Open Monday to Thursday 8:30am-11pm, Friday 8:30am-midnight; Saturday 10am-midnight; Sunday 10am-11pm
Beer from Bottlecraft
Shop a wide selection of local brews to take home in a bottle or straight from the tap to your growler at this mega craft beer shop with locations around San Diego.
Bottlecraft, Little Italy: 2252 India Street (between Ivy and Juniper) | North Park: 3007 University Avenue (between 30th and Ray Street) | The Liberty Public Market: 2820 Historic Decatur Road | Solana Beach: 437 S Hwy 101, Suite 107, Solana Beach
Hours vary by location, but all are open until at least 10pm daily.
Wine from San Diego Wine & Beer Co
This unassuming wine shop doesn't look like much from the outside, but they carry a vast selection of California wines at prices that would make Trader Joe blush. The owner is friendly and helpful, with plenty of great suggestions for pairings.San Diego Wine & Beer Co, 7080 Miramar Road, Ste 100 Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm; Sunday 11am-5pm