As 2017 races to a close, there are still a few things you should add to your to-do list — and they're all delicious. From rib-eye katsu sandwiches to next-level hot dogs with a Mexican twist, none of these dishes should be missed. Read on for a hit list of seven things to eat and drink before the end of 2017, and if you've already tried a few? Consider yourself ahead of the game.
El Bombero at Barrio Dog
Sure, Chicago and New York have their own signature hot dogs, but our vote is for this San Diego original. Head over to Barrio Logan and taste your way through all seven Mexican-inspired varieties nestled in soft bolillo rolls. Work your way up to the spiciest one — a fiery creation topped with seven kinds of chiles with a side of the Grim Creeper sauce. Don’t forget to request bacon for an extra $1.
2113 Logan Ave.; 619-546-7889
Paiko tantanmen at Menya Ramen
Ramen has always been big in San Diego, but it hit the upper stratosphere in March when this award-winning Asian chain, created by Takashi Endo, opened its first U.S. outlet with locations in Japan and Taiwan. When you finally get through the hour-plus wait for a taste, order the No. 8 paiko tantanmen, a fragrant pork broth with miso paste, sesame paste, chile oil and vinegar. It’s served with your choice of a pork or chicken cutlet, seasoned minced pork and stir-fried bean sprouts.
8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.; 858-571-2010
Pig Fry pizza at Regents Pizzeria
This delicious limited-run pie from Regents Pizzeria and Mastiff Sausage will have you coming back for more but it's only available unti lthe end of February. The deep-dish masterpiece is layered with Kennebec fries, crispy pork belly, al pastor sausage and carnitas, and then topped with marinara, a mozzarella-provolone-cotija cheese blend, cilantro and a circle of harissa aïoli sauce. Even better, No Kid Hungry benefits with every sale: $1 per slice and $5 for every pie.
4150 Regents Park Row #100, La Jolla; 858-550-0406
Breakfast of Champions at You & Yours Distilling Co.
Since opening in the spring, this distillery has stayed the course as one of the city's hottest bars, and a look at the East Village spot's new winter menu shows it's in no danger of cooling down any time soon. In addition to a cocktail incorporating cold-brew coffee and an inspired take on the Bloody Mary, we like the inventive Breakfast of Champions. A potent vanilla bean tea cordial anchors the drink, there's a citrus tang from orange and lemon, and it's mixed with Y&Y house vodka.
1495 G St.; 619-955-8755
Mead at Lost Cause Meadery
Beer has long been the reigning brew of choice in San Diego, but set your eyes on this Miramar mead spot. Six variations are made on the premises, from a buckwheat blossom with coffee, chicory and vanilla to an orange blossom mead with grapefruit and hibiscus. Sample your way through flights, and buy a bottle or two to take home.
8664 Miralani Dr. Ste. 100; 858-245-1911
Ice cream at JoJo’s Creamery
It’s December, but that doesn’t mean your ice cream craving has waned. Open since March, the shop run by the mother-daughter team of Jami and Emily Hester has been churning out flavors using organic dairy and high-quality ingredients in Encinitas. Flavors include coconut mounds, mud pie and staff favorite, bananas Foster. There's also a host of seasonal flavors like white chocolate peppermint bark, gingerbread spice and a vegan blueberry pomegranate.
937 S. Coast Highway 101 Suite 106, Encinitas; 760-487-5937
Rib-eye katsu at Himitsu
It's not just raw fish that draws the crowds to the La Jolla sushi spot, which opened in fall. Aside from sushi and sashimi, head in for the rib-eye katsu. One of our 30 things to eat this fall, this panko-coated rib-eye, sandwiched between brick toast slabs, should be the first thing you order here.
1030 Torrey Pines Rd. G, La Jolla; 858-263-4463