2,000 Calories and 10,000 Steps in San Diego
A Unique Guide to San Diego
We toured San Diego to find the best, most nutritious restaurants the city has to offer. Here's a unique guide to good eating and great exercise for hungry travelers.
How we did the math:
This series is meant as a fun guide to experiencing a city through the Cooking Light lens. All calculations are rough estimates and should be seen as a starting point for your own adventure.
Calorie burns were estimated using this calculator. The approximations are based on how vigorous the activity level is for a 150-pound woman—for example, a stroll around a farmers’ market was calculated at a lower burn than when we tell you to pick up the pace.
We estimated steps at an average of 2,000 steps per mile walked.
All calorie calculations for the meal selections we recommend were rough estimates based on inputting similar dishes and ingredients into this calculator.
Morning: East Village
French bistro Cafe Chloe (pictured) is the perfect spot to start the day. Order a breakfast salad with pancetta, poached egg, brioche croutons, and frisée.
Half a block away you'll find Juice Saves. Go for a Mighty Healthy: kale, Swiss chard, cucumber, celery, parsley, lemon, and ginger. Sip as you stroll through San Diego's East Village neighborhood, home to Petco Park and the new Central Library.
Burn: 34 calories
Eat: 524 calories
Water Workout: San Diego Bay
It's just a half-mile walk to board the ferry to Coronado Island, where you can rent stand-up paddleboards from Bike & Kayak Tours, and set out on a 90-minute paddle for spectacular views of downtown and the Coronado Bridge. After working up an appetite, hop back on the ferry for downtown replenishment.
Burn: 551 calories
The Headquarters at Seaport District, in the city's historic, Mission-style police headquarters building, is now filled with boutiques and restaurants, such as Puesto, which serves fresh Mexican street food in a former cellblock with colorful graffiti art.
Because no visit to San Diego is complete without trying the city's favorite dish, the fish taco, order the tuna asada taco made with seared bigeye tuna, fresh guacamole, and a sprinkling of cilantro wrapped in a house-made corn tortilla. Try it with a crispy shrimp tostada drizzled with mango habanero sauce.
Burn: 68 calories
Eat: 662 calories
Get Moving: Bankers Hill
After lunch, hike up the hill to 1,200-acre Balboa Park. San Diego's version of Central Park has 65 miles of trails, gardens, and museums. Hit trail #44 for a 3-mile route that takes you past museums and over the historic Cabrillo Bridge.
Burn: 204 calories
Dinner: Little Italy
Make your way to Little Italy at sunset and enjoy incredible views of the San Diego Bay and Point Loma. Grab a seat at Ironside Fish & Oyster (pictured) and sample a few briny Ironside Select oysters and the spritzy Toledo Steel cocktail.
After you've piqued your appetite, head a couple of blocks north to Top Chef vet Richard Blais' Juniper & Ivy. Try the brined, roasted chicken, served with green harissa, "sea water" potatoes, and chanterelle mushrooms. True to Blais' roots, you'll find a Southern accent: The buttermilk biscuits with smoked butter are a worthy indulgence.
Burn: 55 calories
Eat: 1,060 calories
Nightcap: North Park
Craft beer has become as synonymous with San Diego as sunshine and surfing, so hail a cab to Modern Times. Inspired by the 1990s, the bar is made out of old VHS tapes, and the walls are decorated with a mural of floppy disks. Enjoy the visual time travel and rest assured you've earned every drop.
Drink: 200 calories