San Diego has a new trend and reviewers are raving about it: Campfire-inspired cuisine.
The vibrant city of San Diego has always been renowned for an innovative food scene and recently the city has seen a flurry of investors and top chefs successfully opening restaurants and bars. Good examples of this trend are Liberty Station – a former naval training centre from the ’20s turned international food hub – and the stylish Little Italy.
But wait, what? “Campfire cuisine”? Is that really a thing? Well, sure looks like it. To make the most of their great year-round climate, foodies in the city are attempting to develop a gastronomy that blends the great outdoors with haute cuisine.
If what you’re looking for is the scent of a roaring bonfire and open flame-cooked flavours, Campfire and One Door North are excellent destinations when visiting the city.
Campfire is decorated with wooden camp furniture and their kitchen only uses local market ingredients. Their official website states that, “Campfire is a return to the origins of cooking and hospitality. A celebration of the spirit of our name in which we gather around a fire, create honest food, and share it with friends.”
One cannot avoid salivating like a hungry camper when taking a peek at their menu. They offer such exquisite delicacies as grilled halibut with roasted potato, peas, green garlic and lobster reduction; Smoked Mary’s chicken with polenta, kimchee, rappini and honey bulgogi; and, oh my god, Manila clams featuring smoked pork belly, green tomato dashi and poblano chili.
What sorcery is this?
For their part, family-owned One Door North attempts to blend French cuisine with the bounty of San Diego. They serve farm fresh plates in an amicable space designed to inspire discovery and adventure.
On their official website they describe themselves as “Serving a menu that is both imaginative yet unpretentious, diners are treated to seasonal dishes that have a local, sustainable and organic emphasis.”
The restaurant has received much recognition for their initiative, being featured by OpenTable in 2013 as one of the ‘Top 100 Fit for Foodie Restaurants’ and was recently named the ‘Best Neighbourhood Restaurant’ in San Diego Magazine’s annual “Best of” issue.
If reminiscence over camping trips, rustic decor and the smell of burnt wood is your thing, San Diego sure has plenty to offer. Prices range from $12USD to $30USD per plate.