Food, Fashion and Fun by The Sea Tara Mackey
Written By: Tara Mackey
Photographed By: Michael Wesley
Styled By: Sierra Everett
Hair & Makeup By: Jennifer Mau
This February, my first book “Cured by Nature” hit bookstores and Kindles everywhere and skyrocketed to #1 on Amazon in less than two weeks. This catapulted into an amazing career whirlwind, as this written extension of myself and deep reflection on my health journey became a huge part of my day-to-day reality, with a ton of tasks at hand. A lot of what I’ve been able to accomplish has been passion, and a lot of it has been my ability to multi-task.
These days I’m either running my company, The Organic Life, or writing bestselling books, songs or wellness articles over on my blog (.theorganiclifeblog.com—say hi!). You can also find me teaching folks worldwide the secrets of forming a healthy, mindful relationship with themselves through my Cured by Nature workshops. After embarking on a remarkable road trip and relocation from New York City to California in 2011, and traveling the country and globe, San Diego was no contest as a home base because of all it has to offer for a clean, balanced lifestyle. From the expansive hikes, to the organic farmers markets, the engaged community, music venues, gorgeous views and perfect surf—I am so proud to live in San Diego and I definitely fall more in love with this city every single day. Nothing can compare to the inner peace and enrichment I’ve found here. For the Healthista, SD is paradise.
I find most of my inspiration in the moments when I can get lost in a sunny day and fulfill my most important obligation of all: the one to myself. My secret to success: constantly find a balance between doing important work and finding time to prioritize, meditate and practice self-care. We all know how our days can get jam-packed quickly, so it’s great when you find one local destination that encourages efficiency, while also providing a great place to eat, write, shop and chill out. I thrive off of nature; adore clean, healthy meals; and I absolutely love spaces that celebrate the outdoors and allow you the ability to step back and take a moment to yourself.
Since landing in San Diego, I’ve been looking for that one, special place—and I finally found it in The Headquarters at Seaport Village! This charming, one-size-fits-all destination is where you can do all of your meetings, shopping, then grab satisfying dinner and drinks, plus pick up something unique for the house or a friend on your way out. If you’re like me, this will be your new go-to spot! Between the views, the food, drinks and shopping experience, The Headquarters at Seaport checks all the entertaining, enjoyable lifestyle boxes! Located just blocks from multiple parks and the harbor, this dining and shopping haven is a hidden San Diego gem. During my recent adventure there, I quickly found out why!
The Headquarters at Seaport Village provides beautiful ambiance in a trendy, casual setting as well as a unique dining and shopping experience for every age. You won’t find many cut-and-dry shops here! Take your best friend and stop by Urban Beach House for a boho shopping spree or bring the whole family to Puesto for your choice of tacos! You can always treat yourself to a self-love date sometime and chow down on a Vennissimo Cheese’s melted cheese plate by the fountain, or swing by Eddie V’s for a divine dinner or drink with your parents or significant other.
Native Knowledge: The Headquarters at Seaport Village used to be the location of the San Diego police department which included several jail cell blocks. Today, they’ve used that fact to their advantage as a local tourist attraction. Do yourself a favor and check out the tiny cells where they used to keep inmates (they’re on the way to the bathroom—you can’t miss them!) The walls are even decorated with old mug shots to explore. A perfect backdrop for selfies!
The taco restaurant of my dreams! Whether you’re looking for an exclusive Mexican dining experience or a delicious drink, Puesto has you covered! With seating both inside and outside, this vivid restaurant looks out onto The Headquarters courtyard and provides delightful menu options for everyone. The tacos are out of this world (I tried three different kinds and could not pick a favorite! Sorry—you’ll have to try them all yourself!). Puesto’s guacamole is the best I have EVER had and their margaritas are out of this world. Strong and gratifying! You don’t have to cross the border to enjoy authentic Mexican food or drinks. I was pleasantly full but not stuffed—my favorite feeling after a meal! Bring a bestie!
Dallmann Fine Chocolates is a truly one-of-a-kind experience for the chocolate lover or your inner child. Like an adult version of Willy Wonka, this shop is chocolate heaven! Choose from dozens of different chocolates, truffles, beers, wines and cheeses. Be sure to make it upstairs, where Dallmann does delicious chocolate, cheese and wine tastings for under $20. In a rush? No worries. You can scoop up a mixed box of delightful chocolates or truffles and do one of your own pairings at home for a super reasonable price! I grabbed a box of sea salt and white chocolate truffles as a gift and was amazed by the handmade detail of each one. So beautiful you almost don’t want to eat them! You can tell that they were crafted with a lot of love, care and skill. Absolutely delectable! I could live here! (Can I?!)
If you like cheese, you’ll LOVE Venissimo! This gourmet cheese shop is surprisingly charming, with darling photos of goats on the walls to pay homage to your appetizing options. The selection of cheese is exceptional, and can be paired with a variety of meats, fruits, wine and beer. With such a choice variety of artisanal cheeses on hand, I couldn’t help myself from picking up some gifts for family and friends while I waited for my meal to be freshly baked by hand—yum! I had their melted cheese plate and it was fit for a queen! There is something for everyone, and with a sample option you won’t have any problem picking the perfect cheese for you!
Up until this trip to The Headquarters, I had not tasted a decent gelato since my time in Italy because every option paled in comparison. So when I stepped into Gelato Paradiso, my eyes lit up! Was this really the gelato paradise of my dreams?! YES! Yes it is! I am SO excited I found this place, because I saved myself a round trip ticket back and forth to Europe—seriously! If you’re craving something refreshing and fulfilling (or the kids are!), this one-stop-shop is the way to go. They have a tremendous selection of gelatos to choose from and their cones are finger-licking delicious. Just try to pass by this place and the smell of waffle cone wafts into the courtyard and beckons you in! I munched down on the chocolate, vanilla and cherry! Can’t choose, either? Don’t worry—they’re happy to let you sample first and they’ll be delighted to make you a mixed cone of your very own!
Urban Beach House is everything you ever dreamed a SoCal shop would be! They have so many coastal inspired gifts to choose from and it feels like you are truly home (if home was steps from my beach). Just my kind of taste! They’ve selected locally made candles, stylish shirts, sun hats, dresses, jewelry and trinkets that all give a nod to the San Diego shore. Urban Beach House provides a wealth of options for cute, ocean inspired patterns, textures and colors to decorate or spruce up your wardrobe, home or outdoor living space. The perfect place to stop in for a thoughtful gift for the man in your life, too. There are definitely a lot of treasures to be found here (and treasure-inspired décor, at that!), especially if you dig into their sale section. Friendly customer service and absolutely no pressure from staff to buy anything—which is my favorite part of any retail store!
Beautiful ambiance. Strong, well-made drinks. Fresh, healthy seafood. For a taste of the local catch, it doesn’t get much better than Eddie V’s. I finished off a whole plate of perfect, melt-in-your-mouth scallops and sipped on a crafted gin and tonic, made with love and the most professional shake-and-pour I’ve ever seen! The service is quick and attentive, so it’s the perfect place for a first date, birthday, anniversary or graduation party. Eddie V’s has a romantic atmosphere, so I can only imagine a lot of engagements have gone down here! The building itself is crafted beautifully inside—with a bold, rural style and an expansive floor-to-ceiling wooden wine cabinet.
Native Knowledge: Live musicians play at night and the staff goes above and beyond to make sure you’re truly satisfied with your experience. Come during Happy Hour to catch the killer prices!
As a native New Yorker, I’m an admitted pizza snob. I thought the very best pizza came from Manhattan and Brooklyn—exclusively. Well, my mind’s been changed! The brick oven pizza at Flour and Barley is legit. Absolutely amazing! I’ve found my new pizza hotspot and instantly felt like I was back home in NYC with a pinch of classic Italian charm to boot! Be sure to try their bacon infused spirits (with a bacon garnish, in case there wasn’t enough bacon!). Beyond pizza, you and the family can choose from amazing entrees, home-cooked style pasta, exquisite salads and a great selection of beer and wine. You’ll find the hostesses greeting and exposed brick walls a warm surprise! Our waiter had me laughing the entire time and the service was exceptional.
Cherry Hills Market is the hidden gem among gems. Definitely my kind of shop! A mix of old school, New York City apothecary and inviting, SoCal chic, this market is charm—personified!
In addition to hand picking items, they partner with designers, visionaries and bloggers to bring engaging collections that thrill and inspire. Plus, the market has killer sales events every week. I just love getting something rustic and unique for my house or wardrobe on sale! Cherry Hill Market is right up my alley, with a brand focus on simplicity and sustainability, They boast a beautiful boho swank and a curated, home-focused beach style. You can feel the good vibes all around the store! Coming soon: vinegars and olive oils. Before you leave The Headquarters, be sure to stop by and ask what’s new!
Native Knowledge: The front desk is reclaimed wood doors that originally resided in The Headquarters. In fact, every nook and cranny of Cherry Hills Market is alluring and curated.
Secret to Success: Constantly find a balance between doing important work and finding time to prioritize, meditate and practice self-care.
The Headquarters at Seaport Village
789 W Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101
Apparel & Accessories Provided By:
Urban Beach House
Tara Mackey Explores Seaport Village for What’s Healthy and Fun