Bacon Lovers Rejoice! The Big Bite Bacon Fest is returning to San Diego

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Bacon has managed to establish quite the cult-like following, adding an odd but delicious twist to everyday foods. From chocolate covered bacon to bacon ice cream, this food item has become the new “must have” ingredient. This year, locals and visitors can celebrate its greasy goodness at the Big Bite Bacon Fest at the San Diego Fair.

On July 5th, guests will have the chance to taste all sorts of bacon dishes at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. There are two separate tasting events, the first from noon to 3 pm and the second 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. This event is expecting bacon dishes from up to 40 restaurants and celebrity cooks from the San Diego area and further afield. The beer offerings are coming from about 30 different breweries in the San Diego and Southern California region.

Tickets are available for advance purchase and on the day of the event. General admission tickets include unlimited bacon dish samples and the visitors’ choice of 10 samples of beer that are 3 ounces each. Advance tickets for general admission are $55, while general admission tickets the day of the event are $65. VIP ticket holders get everything available to general admission guests, and they are allowed into the event an hour earlier and have special seating during the event. The cost of these advance VIP tickets is $75 with an additional $10 added for purchases on the day of the event. Piglet and Sober Pig tickets range in price from $45 to $75, depending on the date they are purchased. Piglets and Sober Pigs get the same wonderful selection of bacon featured food, but the ticket does not include the beer samples as they are catered towards the kids and designated drivers in the group.

Other exciting activities at the tasting include interesting bacon-themed games, promising fun for the whole family. Gear up for the 2014 Bacon Fest by booking your hotel near San Diego Bay in Downtown, a great place for post-festival pork dishes.

If you’re in need of an affordable downtown San Diego hotel room, call Marina Inn & Suites at 1-800-571-2933 to ask about our available rooms, discounts and complimentary amenities.


The Best Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in San Diego


San Diego is considered one of the most beautiful destinations in the world which is why thousands of visitors flock to stay in affordable San Diego hotels every year. Between the outside attractions and scenic views, there is much to enjoy about this city on the coast. While our award-winning restaurant scene is known far and wide among foodies, sometimes trying the city’s hole-in-the-wall restaurants can prove to be a delightful dining experience, one that is usually only had by locals.

Lolita’s Taco Shop | 7305 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, 92111

Known for their authentic ingredients and ample portions, Lolita’s is a favorite for their carne asada fries and large California burritos. Although the restaurant is often overlooked, it makes for Mexican food that rivals what you’d find south of the border.

Paesano | 30th St, 92104

With their homemade sauces and traditional menu items, Paesano is known as a secret gem in the community for their affordable choices. It’s known as a humble neighborhood Italian restaurant with large portions served to regular customers.

Bay Park Fish Co. | 4121 Ashton St, 92111

Bay Park Fish Co., located – as one would suspect – close to the San Diego Bay, offers a wide variety of fresh seafood options. Some local favorites include the campechana and the macadamia crusted halibut. The food is seasonal and they also carry an exceptional wine selection.

Imperial Mandarin | 3904 Convoy St #102, 92111

Known for serving the best Chinese food in the city, Imperial Mandarin serves dim sum from 11 AM to 9 PM with sides that include wonton soup, salt and pepper chicken wings, and peking duck. Their authentic choices and late-night menu are a hit in the community.

Con Pane Rustic Breads & Café | 2750 Dewey Rd., Ste 105, 92106

This small but beloved bakery has been serving up the city’s best cinnamon rolls, grilled cheese sandwiches and turkey cobbs for years. If you’re looking for fresh baked goods, affordable and delicious menu items, all served in a cozy and quaint setting, this is your best bet. Locals have managed to keep this bakery under wraps for too long! Satiate your sweet tooth after breakfast or lunch with once or there over-sized, made-fresh-daily cookies.

So many options, so little time! Experiencing the food and culture of San Diego is a definite “must” when vacationing in this great city. Book a cheap hotel near San Diego airport to be right in the middle of all the action, next to public transportation options and also near the beautiful San Diego Bay. Marina Inn, located off of the famous Pacific Coast Highway, is one of the most affordable, comfortable and safe hotels in the downtown San Diego area.

If you’re looking to book a room at a cheap hotel in downtown San Diego, call
to talk to a Marina Inn reservations specialist today.

Dive into the Highlights of San Diego Food Trucks

marina food truck

The San Diego food truck scene is as plentiful as it is diverse, brimming to the top with eclectic culinary choices that can expand one’s palate just as easily as they can satisfy a deep-seated craving. The current food truck craze can trace its origins back to early truck-based taco purveyors in Southern California, so it is only fitting that some of the best street grub today is found here in sunny San Diego. Don’t waste any time after you’ve finished unpacking in your affordable hotel near the San Diego airport, let’s get out there and grub on some good food!

For the more adventurous eater, there is just as much variety to be found amongst food trucks as at local brick and mortar restaurants. The aptly-named Eat at Recess, typically housed in the Mission Valley area, describes itself as “mobile playground” and serves up modern takes on lunchtime snacks. Think: Grilled Cheese “TOTwich” stuffed with tater tots, melted cheese and smokin’ BBQ Sauce and we recommend adding the crispy Applewood smoked bacon.

For some diversity try God Save the Cuisine in Pacific Beach which offers British fare on the cheap. Try their Big Ben Burger complete with aged English Cheddar and a tangy smoked salmon flatbread.

If you’re looking for a chance to try the much-lauded Korean fusion cuisine popular among modern food trucks, the Tabe BBQ Truck in La Jolla offers up Korean BBQ Beef Sliders and the Sorong Burrito, a behemoth of multiple meats, fries, rice, and veggies, doused in salsa for good measure.

On the more traditional side of things, there are plenty of Latin American food trucks cruising around the greater San Diego area. Tacos La Mezcla in South Park is a classic, offering traditional and modern fare, including jerk chicken tacos and grilled fish- perfect for the traveler staying in a nearby Little Italy budget hotel. The tacos al pastor come highly recommended and are suitable for any sweet and savory pork cravings. Wading into more ethnic waters, the Mariscos el Prieto truck in Chula Vista offers some of the best Mexican seafood in Southern California. Upon arrival you’ll receive a complimentary cup of their fish stew in a Styrofoam cup – this is true no-frills dining – before you chow down on marlin tacos, mussels and a Mexican-style shrimp cocktail doused in tomato sauce.

San Diego offers all of the diversity of a larger metropolitan area like LA or NY with fewer crowds and better weather: two factors ideal for al fresco dining on the cheap. Whether you seek traditional or more unusual cuisine, there’s certain to be a restaurant on wheels ready to serve you.

For anything and everything food truck related in San Diego County, visit and for the perfect family friendly and affordable hotel in Downtown San Diego visit Marina Inn. We’re only a few miles away from a weekly food truck gathering in South Park on Grape Street. Every Tuesday night from 5:30 to 8:30 pm food trucks flock to the corner of Fern and Grape Streets to greet hungry passerby’s.

Come May 23-24 you can get a weekend’s worth of Food Truck fun during the Food Truck Invasion in Valley Center. For more information on the event visit their Facebook listing at While you’re at it, add Marina Inn on Facebook to stay up to date on hotel discounts and San Diego events.


Belmont Park’s New Beer Restaurant

 New Belmont Park Beer Restaurant

Belmont Park in San Diego, CA has a fun and relaxed atmosphere for inexpensive summer fun full of theme-park style attractions, an arcade with laser tag, and plenty of new restaurant options. The Mission Beach boardwalk’s newest addition, Draft, offers an exciting place for casual, relaxed, beachfront enjoyment with your friends or family. This new craft beer hotspot is sure to be one of your favorite pit stopsalong the shoreline during your weekend vacation in San Diego.

Draft knows its craft. This beer lover’s paradise has over 60 beers on tap and over 80 bottles for a true exploration of flavors. With a daily happy hour and a bottle sharing program, you have no excuse not to try a vast array of brews. Bottle sharing is a unique experience where beer aficionados bring a personal bottle of a rare brew to share with everyone in attendance. With events like these, a view that can’t be beat and constantly rotating beer seasonal beers there’s always a new reason to visit Draft.

While it may have a good selection of specialized craft beers on tap, Draft isn’t stuck up. The owners are making a concentrated effort to make sure Draft is comfortable for long time connoisseurs and casual beach goers alike. There may be over 140 beers to choose from, but no one will judge you for ordering a good old fashioned Coors Light and watching the sun go down on their expansive patio.

Draft has an intriguing menu prepared by Chef Brad Wise to pair with its beer selection. Pork belly corn dogs with truffled mustard and pistachio encrusted salmon are just some of the fare available at this location. These gourmet flares on boardwalk classics add to the relaxed yet sophisticated vibe.

The space itself can hold 500 customers at a time and has a large video projector screen, in case people-watching isn’t enough to keep you entertained. Whether you’re brand new to beer tasting and are looking for a little Beer 101 or you know exactly what you’re looking for, Draft is a fun addition to a budget friendly summer day in San Diego and is a great way to wind down after heart-pumping rides at San Diego SeaWorld or Belmont Park.

During your vacation in San Diego you can get the best of both worlds by staying at the Downtown Marina Inn hotel located less than 2 miles from Downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and less than 7 miles from Mission Beach, CA.

To reserve your cheap hotel near Downtown San Diego call Marina Inn & Suites today at 1-800-571-2933to take advantage of our early booking super savings!

5 Downtown Restaurants Worth Saving Up For

Downtown Restaurants

Traveling on a budget frees up money you can spend in other ways while you’re on your trip in San Diego, CA. Whether you’re visiting sunny San Diego to see the sights or taking a trip for Comic Con and need some prime places to eat near your San Diego Convention Center hotel, here are a few choice eateries in the Gaslamp Quarterthat are worth every penny.

  1. Bertrand at Mr. A’s – Nested comfortably on the twelfth floor of a skyscraper, at the cusp of Downtown San Diego, Bertrand at Mr. A’s offers a select menu of seasonal delights, including seafood, meats, and more. They also have an impressive wine selection. Bertrand at Mr. A’s offers New American cuisine with one of the best views of San Diego, stretching all the way from the Coronado Bridge and across the bay to the San Diego Airport. Want to stay nearby? Look into cheap San Diego Airport accommodations and enjoy close proximity and extra savings which you can use toward your meal!
  2. Donovan’s of Downtown – This classy restaurant is not your typical steakhouse. They offer fine dining for the discriminating carnivore. This renowned steak house has an award-winning wine selection and delectable cuts of high-quality steak, along with many tempting chicken, chop and seafood choices. Unlike other steakhouses, Donovan’s provides a side and a vegetable with your entrée of choice, helping in terms of affordability as these sides are often an additional cost at similar restaurants.
  3. Nobu - Fans of Asian fusion, Japanese cuisine and sushi will appreciate this restaurant. Nobu offers some of the most exquisite sushi you’ll ever have, without hopping a plane to Japan. This is a trendy, upscale restaurant that’s earned every bit of the hype surrounding it. While it is on the more expensive side of San Diego’s dining spectrum, they have a daily happy hour from 5pm to 7pm and all night every Friday. Enjoy a few appetizers in the bar and a hot sake before heading to your table to save on your final bill.
  4. Acqua Al 2 – With a menu that’s firmly rooted in traditional Tuscan classics, this trattoria-style restaurant is one you can’t afford to miss. They offer a tantalizing selection of cold and hot menu options, along with a wide array of freshly made pasta dishes.
  5. Opaque - For a more novel fine-dining experience, foodies should make a point to reserve a table at Opaque. The dining room is bathed in complete darkness, allowing diners to enjoy their meal using all of their other senses. They offer a New American menu, with delicately cooked selections of beef, chicken, vegetarian and fish to choose from.

Once you’ve unpacked and settled into your affordable Downtown San Diego hotel room, call and reserve a table at one of these five popular restaurants to get a taste of San Diego. Looking for more information on things to see and do during your San Diego vacation? Follow Marina Inn on Facebook and Twitter and don’t forget to reserve your discount hotel room with us by calling 1-800-571-2933!

Sushi in Old Town San Diego?


Believe it or not, San Diego’s Historic Old Town – an area that celebrates its Spanish founders – is home to some of the best Japanese cuisine in the county! Everyone already knows about the fresh made tortillas, California burritos and small Mexican markets, but what about the hand rolls and sake shots?

If you want to experience Old Town like the locals, skip over the Mexico-inspired tourist hot spots and head straight to the small hole-in-the-wall eateries that are serving up the best sushi in San Diego. Unpack your bags at your budget hotel near Old Town San Diego and head over to these top restaurants located just steps away from Marina Inn:

  1. Sushi Tadokoro serves traditional Edo-mae style sushi or Nigiri (raw fish over small balls of vinegar-marinated rice). This warm and inviting restaurant on San Diego Ave. has some of the best fresh shrimp in the city and is the place to go for sashimi (raw fish) and ama-ebi (sweet shrimp). There’s always the option of ordering Omakase which means “I’ll leave it to you.” Just have an open mind and give the sushi chef a price range and they’ll make you something special, unique and delicious. Seating is limited so be sure to make a reservation beforehand and sit at the bar if you want one-on-one service with the chef himself.
  2. Yoshino Japanese Restaurant doesn’t look like much from the outside, but when it comes to the food they’ll leave your taste buds dazzled. This cozy restaurant on the outskirts of Old Town serves up a vast array of Japanese food items like fresh sashimi, traditional and trendy sushi rolls and their famous sesame chicken. Seating is first come first serve so you’ll want to show up when doors open at 5 pm for a guaranteed seat, especially on busy weekend nights.
  3. Harney Sushi breaks all the rules in a wonderfully delicious way. This sushi restaurant strays from tradition and instead creates new and interesting combinations that are sure to please your palate. Their lively atmosphere is largely due to the late night happy hour from 10 pm to 12 am and the in-house DJ that mixes up tunes while you down sake bombs. Don’t leave without trying the Flaming Lip Roll which is a tempura fried California roll with cream cheese, spicy mayo, jalapeno and sriracha.

Reservations at an Old Town Japanese restaurant could be the cherry on top of a wonderful fun-filled day in San Diego during your vacation. Take time to wonder around Old Town soaking in the rich foods, history and shops before you stray over to the nearby Marine Corps Recruit Depot Museum just across the street near the San Diego Bay. Click here to learn more about the San Diego MCRD and why it’s a great tourist stop even if you’re not a military member.

If you’d like to make your travels easier you can always book a cheap downtown San Diego hotel room that’s walking distance from the above mentioned activities. No need spend extra money on a rental car when Marina Inn & Suites is located less than 2 miles from the MCRD, just 3 miles from Old Town San Diego and the Old Town trolley stop.

Don’t forget to stay social. You can follow us on Facebook by clicking on the blue icon in the top right-hand corner of this page. Stay tuned for exclusive specials and discounts reserved only for friends on social media!

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