Indulge at the Hottest Spots in Seaport District, San Diego

Seaside Scene 

Classic Meets Contemporary at This Monument Turned Entertainment Destination 

Written By: Britt and Gretchen Hackmann of Nubry

Hair By: Connie Novello

Photographed By: Valerie Kon

What was previously the headquarters of The San Diego Police Department, has now been appropriately reinvented into The Headquarters at Seaport District, and now attracts more than just officers as San Diegans and travelers flock to its open-air retail center for eats, drinks, shopping and courtyard activities like boot camp and movie night! The dramatic main arch on Harbor Drive contains the tower where San Diego police officers watched for enemy aircraft during WWII. Much of the original building elements can still be seen, even after the restoration of this Spanish Colonial inspired building and is listed on The National Register of Historic Places. Nestled directly in front of Seaport Village, The Headquarters is a short walk to the water where one will enjoy beautiful ocean views as they stroll the boardwalk. Make it a worldly date night with a cheese sampling at Venissimo Cheese, tacos and palomas at Puesto, and a creamy pistachio gelato at Gelato Paradiso as you window shop at the celebrity favorite Kitson, LOLO, Seaside Papery, and Madison Boutique. All of these fabulous dining and shopping options to choose are very conveniently located at this unique retail landmark! Valet parking is available or play it extra safe with Uber, which will drop you off curbside and allow you to have more than one Mexican Firing Squad at the bar at Puesto.

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789 W Harbor Dr, Ste 155
San Diego, CA 92101

Walking into Puesto at The Headquarters, you instantly gravitate towards the lively bar where bartenders are mixing up margaritas with freshly squeezed lime juice, but we’ll try the Mexican Firing Squad, which is composed of Reposado tequila, lime, house-made grenadine, and Angostura bitters. You only need one of these to take the edge off! Puesto may be known for their handmade corn tortillas and the crispy melted cheese tacos that create a flavorful explosion in your mouth, but they also boast an expansive menu that offers true foodies the opportunity to come back over and over for a taste of Mexico. With hefty servings, guests will want to share as many antojitos as they can, and you won’t want to miss dipping into Puesto’s house-made guacamole topped with crab … it goes fast! While Puesto is known for its specialty cocktails and authentic Mexican recipes, the interior design is equally memorable. Chor Boogie’s street art spans many of the walls, starting with the bar, as you enter. A boogie bird watches you as you dine in the main dining room and as you make your way to the restroom too! Come with friends or lovers for fabulous drinks, unbelievably tasty dishes and good conversation.

Venissimo Cheese
789 W Harbor Dr, Ste 113
San Diego, CA 92101

Boasting cheeses from all over the world, Venissimo Cheese is a cheese lover’s dream! Not sure about anything having to do with cheese? Stop in and feast on a variety of flavors new to you, and your cheesemonger will share with you a little history, how it’s made, what to pair with it, and ways to serve it. On Venissimo Cheese’s website, they have a quote by Monterey Jack Kennedy saying, “My fellow turophiles, ask not what your cheesemonger can do for you, ask what you can do for your cheesemonger.” Fictional as Monterey Jack may be, I’m sure you’ll too soon agree! For a unique date idea, enjoy your cheeses in the courtyard at The Headquarters and then head over to Gelato Paradiso for something sweet or Puesto for libations.

789 W Harbor Dr, Ste 142
San Diego, CA 92101

All the way from LA, Kitson has the coolest graphic T-shirts and gift options you’ll ever find in one spot. From unique book titles and a selfie stick, to funky sunglasses, pens that decorate wine glasses, and pill boxes that read “Heavily Medicated for Take Off, ” Kitson is a girl’s dream, and sure to make your gal pals laugh with most all of the gifts. But, hold on, you can gift yourself, too! If Ryan Gosling leggings aren’t your thing … wait, how can Ryan Gosling leggings not be your thing? Wear them to bed and your morning coffee routine is guaranteed to be a little bit steamier. The funny quotes that cover much of the product may be risqué and off-color, but hilarious nevertheless!

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Dallmann Fine Chocolates
789 W Harbor Dr, Ste 122
San Diego, CA 92101

In case you needed clarification, chocolate pairs perfectly with fruit, cheese and dessert, but it also goes quite well with Champagne, beer, wine and dessert wine. Dallmann Fine Chocolates is a family-owned business that opened its first fine pastry shop in 1954 in St. Gilgen, Austria, with only three types of pastries. Fifty years later the Dallmann family opened a chocolate shop in San Diego. Isabella Valencia, owner and chocolatier, offers chocolate-making classes that will teach you how to mold and airbrush chocolates. Becoming a chocolate connoisseur may feed your sweet tooth desires, but will also help you to discern between good and bad chocolate, know how to taste chocolate, increase chocolate shelf life, make caramel, package chocolate, and create multi-level ganache. Really want to know how to make chocolate? The Master Class Level 1 and 2 are 6-hour classes and will teach you all of the above.

Gelato Paradiso
789 W Harbor Dr, Ste 117
San Diego, CA 92101

Tiramisu, Nocciolina Americana, Vaniglia, Stracciatella, Pistachio, Panna Cotta, Banana, Bacio, and Nocciola are just some of the gelato flavors served up on an extra large waffle cone at Gelato Paradiso. Dress for warm daytime weather in a flowy printed frock, sunglasses and Panama hat and lounge in the courtyard with an oversized frozen creamy deliciousness. Each morning, Gelato Paradiso artisans, who received their training from master Sicilian gelatoias, are in the production room mixing gelato. The gelato is made each morning right in the shop, just like they do it in Italy! There are no artificial powders or syrups used here either, and the bold flavors come from artisanal cocoas, extracts, fresh fruits and other quality ingredients. You can feel good about every bite!

LOLO Boutique
789 W Harbor Dr, Ste 114
San Diego, CA 92101

At LOLO, there’s always a gem waiting for you that will complete your effortless, travel-inspired look. Accessorize with a chunky, beaded necklace or printed scarf and update your caftan, hat or beach tote collection here, too! Their casual resortwear utilizes earth tones, crochet, linens, silks and straw, all of which combine to provide the perfect Southern Californian wardrobe that will take you equally well to Palm Springs and St Barth.

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Eddie V’s
789 W Harbor Dr, Ste 158
San Diego, CA 92101

For the very best in grilled market fresh fish, oysters, steak, lobster tacos, jumbo lump crab cakes and truffle mac and cheese, Eddie V’s is the go-to. Fish arrives daily from pristine waters around the world, including swordfish from Block Island, scallops from Georges Bank and yellowfin tuna from the Caribbean. USDA Prime steaks are hand cut and specially aged for over 28 days to ensure peak flavor. The service here is unmatched! Just a drinks kind of a night? Live jazz in the bar paired with a glass of Flowers Chardonnay may suit your fancy.

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