The Best Places to Eat and Drink at NAA Apartmentalize 2022

Like many of you, the Knock crew is getting ready to head to San Diego for NAA Apartmentalize.

And also like many of you, we know that the conference experience is just as much about where you go to eat and socialize as it is which sessions you attend. Especially in a foodie mecca like San Diego, picking the best happy hour spot and grabbing a clutch dinner reservation are a crucial part of the conference planning process. 

We turned to one of our San Diegan Knockstars — Event Manager Allyson Mutch — for local faves that you shouldn’t miss. (And don’t be surprised if you bump into her and the rest of our Knock team there! 👋)

Where to Eat and Drink in San Diego During NAA Apartmentalize

Best Overall

Huntress

Huntress_04_PhotobyZackBenson-774x600(Photo: Zack Benson)

0.3 miles away from the San Diego Convention Center (5 minute walk)

Reservations accepted

A new staple to the downtown area, Huntress’ sleek ambiance and delicious menu make it a must-visit while in town, says Allyson. She recommends the lobster curry soup with the Parker House rolls. “To die for!"

Born and Raised 

b&r(Photo: Open Table)

1.8 miles away from the Convention Center (10 minute drive)

Reservations accepted

This modern steakhouse in San Diego’s Little Italy features glitzy decor, fun cocktails, and spacious digs, along with a stunning rooftop. “Sit upstairs and order their tableside service,” says Allyson. “You get the view and the show!”

Best Outdoor Seating

Coasterra 

2jpg(Photo: Coasterra)

4.8 miles away from the Convention Center (15 minute drive)

Reservations accepted

Coasterra has some of the best views of the San Diego skyline. “It’s worth the short drive from the Gaslamp Quarter!” 

Rustic Root 

35932210_10103052751280867_991091199932628992_n(Photo: Rustic Root)

0.4 miles away from the Convention Center (5 minute walk)

Reservations accepted

“The appetizers at Rustic Root are unlike any other,” Allyson says, and she highly recommends starting with the firecracker shrimp. Grab a few different options, sit on the patio, and enjoy!

Best for Large Groups

Bang Bang

BangBang1.0(Photo: Lyudmila Zotova)

0.5 miles away from the Convention Center, (8 minute walk)

Reservations accepted

Grab all of your friends, order one of the fish bowls (Allyson recommends the “I Used To Have Bangs”), and enjoy the music and food! Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Ryan Gosling-themed restroom.

Basic Pizza

basic(Photo: Basic Pizza)

0.5 miles away from the Convention Center (8 minute walk)

Reservations accepted for parties of 8 or more 

“This is not your average pizza place,” says Allyson. “Get the 4-Maggio or build your own pie, you can't go wrong here!"

Best Happy Hour

The Nolen 

DSCF5536(Photo: Hayley Hill Photography)

0.4 miles away from the Convention Center (7 minute walk)

Reservations accepted

The Nolen is a great mix of classy and casual. “I would start off with the Gold Rush and the Crispy Tots,” recommends Allyson, “and see where the night takes you!”

Barleymash 

d024.1920x1080(Photo: EventUp)

0.5 miles away from the Convention Center (8 minute walk)

No reservations

Barleymash is amazing no matter what time of day you visit. However, they truly shine during happy hour. Allyson recommends the watermelon mule — “Have one in my honor!”

Best Dinner

Davanti Enoteca

2ital_t670(Photo: San Diego Reader)

1.7 miles away from the Convention Center (10 minute drive)

Reservations accepted

“Little Italy has some of the best restaurants in downtown San Diego, but this location is probably my favorite,” Allyson says. “Order the Focaccia di Recco and an Aperol Spritz to start, you will not regret it!”

Puesto At The Headquarters 

puesto_20new_201.0.0.1415221712.0(Photo: Mike Newton)

0.6 miles away from the Convention Center (12 minute walk)

No reservations 

What’s a trip to Southern California without eating some great Mexican food? Get your fill of tacos and margaritas, then watch the sunset over San Diego Bay.

Best Breakfast and Brunch

Breakfast Republic 

B_Rep8(Photo: Eater San Diego)

0.6 miles away from the Convention Center (12 minute walk)

No reservations 

In the mood for some amazing chilaquiles? This is the place for you! “Don’t forget to take a photo in one of their egg chairs,” says Allyson. (Pics or it didn’t happen, right?)

Cafe 21 Gaslamp

DutchBaby1(Photo: Cafe 21)

0.6 miles away from the Convention Center (12 minute walk)

Reservations accepted

“You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here,” Allyson says. “But if I had to pick just one thing, it’s the Dutch Baby pancake, every time. It pairs great with the mimosa flight!”

 

Want more recommendations for where to go and what to do in San Diego? Hit up the Knock crew at NAA!