The San Diego Central Library is in Downtown San Diego in the East Village. The library is walking distance from dozens of restaurants for all tastes and price ranges. Approximately a 15-minute walk away is the Gaslamp Quarter, featuring bars, local eateries, and chain restaurants. Horton Plaza Mall, with typical mall amenities and chain restaurants (Panda Express, etc.), is approximately 20 minutes away by foot.
For bayside views, shopping, and dining with a tourist flair, Seaport Village is about 20-25 minutes west of the library by foot (https://www.seaportvillage.com/). Next to Seaport Village is the Headquarters @ Seaport, which is a newer shopping/dining area where the old S.D. Police Headquarters used to be (http://theheadquarters.com/). For those interested, there is live music and salsa dancing at Headquarters on Friday, 9/21/18 from 6-9 pm.
For a quick drink or snack, there is a café in the library’s courtyard and 7-Eleven on the corner (11th Ave and Park Blvd) across from the library’s main entrance.
Below are a few library staff-recommended selections within a 5-10 minute walk.
1) The Mission
1250 J Street
Open daily 7am-3pm
Sandwiches, soups, salads, pancakes, soy chorizo, Latino breakfast plates, a gluten-free menu, and more.
2) Oscars Mexican Seafood
927 J Street
Sunday – Thursday 8am – 9pm; Friday – Saturday 8am – 10pm
3) MG Beyer Seafood
317 10th Ave
Sun-Thurs 10am-8:30pm; Fri/Sat 10am-9:30pm
#2 and #3 are both good casual spots for fish tacos, ceviche, and other seafood dishes.
4) Harvest by the Patio
369 10th Ave
Monday-Friday 11am-10pm, Sat/Sun 10am-10pm
Harvest offers “California comfort food” including sandwiches, grain bowls, salads, starters, cocktails, and more.
5) BeShock Ramen
1288 Market St
Sunday-Thursday 11:30am-9:30pm, Fri/Sat 11:30pm-10:30pm
A well-reviewed restaurant with ramen, sushi, and an extensive sake menu. Monday -Friday happy hour: 11:30am-6:30pm(drinks) and 3:00-6:30pm (food)
6) Lotus Thai
906 Market Street
Monday-Thursday 11am-3pm, 5pm-10pm; Friday 11am-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Sat 12-11pm; Sun 12-10pm.
7) The Kebab Shop
630 9th Ave (between G and Market)
10:30am-10:00pm; Friday and Saturday10:30am-11:00pm
Kebabs, sandwiches, and wraps as well as hummus, falafel, salads, and sides.
8) Brooklyn Bagel & Bialy
1000 Island Ave
Monday-Friday 6:30am-2:00pm; Sat/Sun 7:00am-2:00pm
A good spot for a morning coffee and bagel or yogurt, or a bagel/bialy sandwich for lunch.
9) Berkeley Pizza
539 Island Ave
Sunday-Thursday 11:00am-11:00pm; Fri/Sat 11:00am-3:00pm
Chicago-style pizza by the slice, with vegetarian options.
10) Half Door Brewing Co.
903 Island Ave.
Monday-Friday 11am-2am; Sat/Sunday 9am-2am; happy hour M-F 4:00-6:00pm
A popular pub-style spot for beers and cocktails with patio seating. Offers brunch, lunch, and dinner menus with Irish dishes, flatbreads, salads, small plates, and more.
11) Bean Bar
1068 K Street
657-CAFFINE, aka (657) 223-3463
Weekdays: 6:30am – 4:30pm
Weekends: 7:30am – 4:30pm
Literally across the street from the library’s main entrance this local coffee shop serves espresso, lattes, pour over, and cold brew as well as a small menu of other coffee drinks. Coffee is their thing, though they often have avocado toast and pastries for sale.
If you’re looking for your usual fix, Starbucks is located just a couple of blocks northwest from the Central Library: 1011 Market Street.
611 5th Ave
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11am-2:30pm; Dinner: Sun-Thursday 5:30-10pm; Fri-Sat 5:30-11pm. Happy hour daily 2:30-6pm. Brunch Sat and Sun 10am-3pm
Good spot for an early happy hour or an upper scale dining experience with a hip vibe.
13) Lolita’s Mexican Food
202 Park Blvd.
8:00am-10:00pm Mon-Sat, 8:00am-9:00pm Sunday
Good for a quick burrito fix, just around the corner from the library and next to Petco Park.
14) Pokez Mexican Restaurant
947 E St. (between 9th & 10th Ave)
9:00am-10:00pm every day
Pokez has all the usuals and specializes in vegetarian and vegan dishes. Bonus—it’s a block away from old Central Library (820 E St), so you can sneak a peek at a blast from SDPL’s past.