Are you ready for the San Diego Junk Bonanza?!!
We promise you bodacious vintage shopping when you come on over to “our house” at the Del Mar Fairgrounds March 20-22, but that’s not all! The San Diego area is chock-a-block full of great places to see, shop, imbibe and dine!
To help make your visit even more fun, we asked Bonanza vendor and local artist Jennifer Price of Jennifer Price Studio to share her vast storehouse of knowledge about the SD scene! “The Del Mar Fairgrounds lies between Solana Beach and Del Mar,” she said, “so you’re right in the middle of both cool towns!”
Here’s how she broke it down!
Close to the Fairgrounds
The Fish Market and The Brigantine are both great local seafood joints within walking distance of the venue. “Dog Beach” is across from The Brigantine and a fun place to dip your toes in the surf and watch the dogs frolic! A stone’s throw from the fairgrounds is Red Tracton’s, a fun, old-school steakhouse and track hangout with a piano bar. There’s a flurry of authentic little Mexican restaurants in closeby area called the Barrio, where there’s an ongoing rivalry between Fidel’s and Tony’s Jacal … locals are staunchly loyal to their favorites. Also not far is Cucina Enoteca, a vibrant, funky Italian eatery along with several other restaurants, markets and shops in that center.
Within a mile of the fairgrounds, is the Cedros Design District, which encompasses several blocks of independent shops, boutiques, cafés, a winery and a brewery! And the local train station is on the street, too. The anchor is SoLo, a 4,000-square-foot collective of wonderfully curated vintage and new home goods, books and gifts. (Editor’s note: Jennifer’s amazing artistry is part of this collective!) Check out House Vintage, the shop owned by FOB (Friend of Bonanza!) Debi Beard! Wander across the street for a tasting at Carruth Cellars or a couple of blocks north for a local brew at Culture Brewery. On the way is Cedros Soles, a local favorite for fashionable indulgences. We’re lucky to have the 40-year old world-class small music venue, Belly Up Tavern in our neighborhood … check their calendar for shows and have a bite at their Wild Note Café. Also on the street are the Antique Warehouse and many other shops and galleries, including newcomer gallery Handcrafted. The two-story Leaping Lotus houses more than 100 vendors, highlighting globally sourced merchandise. And the street gets really lively on Sundays for the farmer’s market, 1-5 PM.
(Jennifer notes: “I prefer Cedros for shopping and Del Mar for dining!”
The idyllic little town of Del Mar is a charming spot for strolling, dining and sipping. The heart of town is the Plaza, which houses shops and restaurants, including longtime staple Pacifica Del Mar, where you can always find a great meal with an amazing view and stellar service. The L’Auberge Resort is across the street, a bit of an indulgence to stay there, but fun to enjoy a cocktail in the lobby with live music several days a week. Walk down the street to Powerhouse Park for a breathtaking spot to picnic, watch the surfers and stick your toes in the sand … adjacent to favorites, Jake’s Del Mar for super food, cocktails and the friendliest people, and the Poseidon next door for a cool beach vibe. Back in “downtown Del Mar” … go-to spots are Zel’s, for great food, local flavor and live music … Sbicca, a bistro with delicious food and wonderful service … and the classic Bully’s, think Naugahyde booths and prime rib. Need lodging? The Junk Bonanza team calls Hotel Indigo its home-away-from-home headquarters! Situated on Camino Del Mar, it has great views and great dining, too. It is the Bonanza’s preferred lodging option; you can check here for the special Junk Bonanza rate!
Up the Coast
A gorgeous five mile drive on the Pacific Coast Highway up the coast will bring you through Cardiff-by-the-sea to Encinitas, a booming beach town. The Lumberyard is full of restaurants and shops, including faves Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria, Lobster West and many small stores. Love the Savory Spice Shop and design hounds might want to check out Grounded. A block or two north in the heart of town, stop for a beer at the classic dive bar Daley Double Saloon and stroll the street to enjoy the many boutiques, including Gardenology. There are also quite a few vintage and resale clothing stores dotted throughout Encinitas.
An equally breathtaking drive less than two miles south of Del Mar brings you to Torrey Pines State Reserve with a beautiful beach and miles of hiking & walking trails among the cliffs. Adjacent is the world-renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course and The Lodge at Torrey Pines. The Grill at the edge of the course is a nice stop for breakfast or lunch after a hike. The lodge itself is an indulgent destination for dinner or a cocktail in the lobby bar. A. R. Valentien is the lodge’s signature restaurant, but locals love the drugstore hamburger served in the lounge.
About ½ hour drive south from Del Mar, it’s worth a day trip to check out the vintage and antique shops on Newport Avenue, particularly Vignettes and Newport Avenue Antiques next door. As well as a large antique mall and a few other small shops in that block. There are fun food & drink spots for every taste on the street, including Azucar, a cute little Cuban café & pastry shop. And if you’re there on a Wednesday afternoon, a fabulous farmer’s market, 4-8 PM… lots of local flavor!
San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is a vibrant area to visit the many shops and bars housed in historic buildings. Seaport Village is a bit touristy, but a fun place to stroll among the shops and galleries along the embarcadero. Little Italy (or Little Little Italy, as we like to call it … say that five times fast!) has a booming restaurant scene with modern spots mixed among the classic Italian eateries as well as a few vintage shops such as Architectural Salvage and Klassik.
“There are so many facets to San Diego, it’s impossible to list them all here.” Jennifer said. “I will be exhibiting at Junk Bonanza, so come find me for more local recommendations!”
Jennifer, you rocked this list! Thank you for lending your local’s eye to those of us who are looking forward to experiencing your great community!