Some Like It Hot and Spicy

Spicy Ramen

Is June gloom getting you down? If an escape from the marine stratus plaguing the sunny San Diego we all know and love is in order, then treat yourself to a staycation for the senses and spice things up with a savory blend of piquant ingredients. Whether you’re in need of something smoky, jalapeño hot, or just a tinge of something invigorating, the city has something to quell your hunger for sunshine. Turn that gray into “HAYY” in no time at these foodie hotspots around San Diego with the perfect dishes for you!

Bub’s @ the Beach knows how to bring the heat, and with 20 years of experience as Pacific Beach’s go-to for laidback beach vibes under its belt, this local staple is doing something right. Put a little pep in your step with their immense selection of toothsome grilled wings. Dive into a heaping pile of these coveted delicacies smothered in their popular Archie sauce, a finger-licking blend of buffalo and honey mustard that will leave your taste buds screaming for more!

Escape the gloom and glide into paradise at Waterbar, Pacific Beach’s stunning ocean-front venue that integrates marine allure into its décor. The idyllic setting to enjoy local surf vibes without the marine layer misting your face, Waterbar’s menu combines a fresh selection of coastal favorites with a “social dining” mentality to yield conversation-starting eats that aim to please. Warm your bones with their Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, plated with spicy apple slaw, pickled serrano aioli, Espelette pepper and mustard seed.

Live your best life despite the gloomy skies at Union Kitchen & Tap in the bustling Gaslamp District. Complete with a warm and inviting ambiance that lends itself to social gatherings and fun date nights, this local eatery offers just the fare to spice up your next meal out. Sink your teeth into their hearty Padre Burger, a hefty creation loaded with creamy queso fresco, roasted jalapeño, chipotle lime aioli, pickled onion and micro cilantro on a warm brioche bun.

If an inviting neighborhood hangout warms your soul, look no further than Pillbox Tavern in Solana Beach. Best known for its array of delicious wing sauces and selection of unique takes on American classics, Pillbox is a cozy option for those seeking solace during June’s overcast hours. Bring on the smoky flavor with their Blackened Cajun Club, stacked with blackened grilled chicken breast, bacon, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and Cajun aioli, all served on grilled multi-grain bread. If this doesn’t enliven your spirits then nothing will!

Slurp your way to happy thoughts at Tajima’s East Village location, and dive into a bowl of their Spicy Sesame Ramen. Prepared with a spicy tonkostu soup base mixed with special sesame paste, this flavorsome dish is packed with ground pork, bean sprouts, fried garlic chips, ramen egg, baby bok choy, green onions and Japanese seaweed. Pair this steaming masterpiece with the eatery’s Asian-influenced décor and modern allure, and you’re sure to leave with a smile on your face and no recollection of June gloom!

Nothing bestows joy faster than a freshly-made taco in San Diego, so it’s only fitting to seek your pick-me-up at one of the city’s most coveted taco havens! The Taco Stand knows how to sling a taco or two, so head to one of their four locations in La Jolla, Encinitas, Downtown or North Park to get your fix. Be sure to nosh on their Camaron (Spicy Shrimp) taco, crafted from grilled shrimp, cheese, avocado, cabbage, tomato and chipotle sauce, and complete the meal with their Mexican street-style Corn on the Cob, smothered in mayonnaise, parmesan cheese and chili powder.