Looking for noms and other goodness in San Diego?

The San Diego Convention Center offers the best of both worlds for attendees at Fetch, a dvm360 conference. On one side, you have the wide-open expanse of the Pacific Ocean. On the other side, you have the Gaslamp Quarter, a 16-square-block dining and entertainment hub of more than 100 restaurants, pubs, shops, nightclubs and more.

Finding food and fun won’t be a problem. Deciding what to pick from a long list of fabulous options might. With that in mind, we’ve put together a quick guide to some sweet spots within one mile of the convention center to get you started.

Sip this

  • Want to sip your coffee next to a kitty? The Cat Café gets you and is here for you. A café purchase is your admission fee to its playpen of adoptable cats. (You can also sign up to do yoga with the cats a couple times during the conference.)
  • You could also try Lani Coffee, which brews Hawaiian coffee and features espresso drinks with Big Island flavors. Shouldn’t every morning start with a coconut latte?
  • If you only have a minute, the convention center is home to a Starbucks just outside the exhibit hall. (Phew!)
  • Vitality Tap is nearby if coffee isn’t vital to your survival (How? Tell us your secret!). Perhaps you’d like to kick-start your day with a juice or smoothie.
  • Once you’ve had enough coffee and CE for the day, visit The Nolen, a sleek rooftop bar on top of the Courtyard Marriot featuring inventive drinks in a cozy setting.
  • Or visit The Field, a turn-of-the-century Irish pub that was shipped, piece by piece, from Ireland to San Diego.

Feast on that

  • Richard Walker’s Pancake House has much, much more than pancakes (but you might as well try the cherry pancakes while you’re there).
  • If the idea of tiramisu pancakes topped with espresso syrup and mascarpone sauce sounds irresistible, grab a seat at Café 21.
  • Don’t miss out on fish tacos—Tin Fish is located across the street from the convention center, making it a great stop if you’re short on time but tall on appetite.
  • Rockin’ Baja Lobster is another sunny spot for fish tacos, but you may want to try one of their signature Baja Buckets instead (think: flash-fried fish and a heap of sides).
  • Biga features handcrafted Italian cuisine and was given the honor of “Best Pizza in San Diego” by the travel website Thrillist.
  • For burgers with single-source, American grass-fed beef, visit Burger Lounge. Vegetarian? Vegan? Gluten-free? Burger Lounge has options for you, too.
  • For a nice dinner, Searsucker serves “New American Classic” cuisine like duck pot pie and buttermilk fried chicken.
  • Lou & Mickey’s provides fresh seafood and prime steak. Who can say no to grilled teriyaki wild Ecuadorian mahi mahi and macadamia nut crusted wild Alaskan halibut?
  • Brian’s 24 serves up hearty fare 24/7. We’re not sure if biscuits and gravy is a good idea at 2 a.m., but we’re willing to find out.

Relax here

  • Click here to view the December calendar for the Balboa and Civic theatres. (Fair warning: It’s mostly just The Nutcracker.)
  • Get some Christmas shopping done early at Find Your Feet Sock & Sandal Shop, a veritable wonderland of fun and unique foot coverings.
  • Break away from the pack and embrace your wild side at the San Diego Zoo. A 15-minute taxi ride from the convention center, it’s home to over 3,500 rare and endangered animals.