6 Atypical Valentine’s Day Dates in San Diego

By Darlene Horn  |  February 3, 2014

Valentine’s Day arouses a variety of emotions: love, fear and - more often than not - a shred of desperation to figure out the kind of date that's not played out. Here now, six suggestions for an outside-the-box evening. None of these dates involve fixed price dinners or roses. But all of them are unexpectedly sexy and fun. 

  • Turf Supper Club
    1116 25th St.; 619-234-6363

    This already-happening scene features old-school drinks and do-it-yourself cooking over a community grill. "Accidentally" cross tongs with your date and see what kind of fire you can start. 

    What to order: Anything beef, especially the filet mignon.
    How much will it set you back: $30 or more.
    Date points scored: 4: less if your date is vegan.

  • Luche Libre Taco Shop
    1810 W. Washington St.; 619-296-8226

    Masked wrestling vigilantes serve up taco favorites in Pepto Bismol-pink surroundings that will do anything but remind you of the holiday. Ask about reserving the champions booth.

    What to order: “Full Nelson” enchiladas with chicken or cheese.
    How much will it set you back: Less than $20 for two people.
    Date points scored: 3: higher if your date is a sucker for luchadores.

  • San Diego Chicken Pie Shop
    2633 El Cajon Blvd.; 619-295-0156

    Those looking to downplay the holiday extravagance should look no further than this San Diego institution, specializing in comfort foods. An age-diverse crowd makes it an ironically hip scene.

    What to order: Chicken pot pie with veggies, whipped potatoes, a biscuit and - for dessert - pie. 
    How much will it set you back: $7.50 per person.
    Date points scored: 2-3: make sure your date doesn't want to get dressed up.

  • Lips
    3036 El Cajon Blvd.; 619-295-7900

    Food is secondary in this drag queen-themed restaurant where shows start at 6:30 PM on Valentine's Day. Word is “Diana Ross” and a host of her other friends will make an appearance. Take note: this is the kind of place where dressing up is encouraged. 

    What to order:  Choose salmon Wellington as part of the three course prix fixe menu.
    How much it will set you back: $29.95 for 3 courses plus $8 cover charge per person.
    Date points scored: 4: higher if you have a sense of humor.

  • Ballast Point Craft Spirits Tasting
    10051 Old Grove Rd.; 858-695-2739

    Depending on how you look at it, this activity can either be a no-pressure couple outing or something for the whole group. A tasting flight of vodka, gin, rum, moonshine and bourbon includes a tour of the distillery.

    What to order: The tasting flight of the month’s selection.
    How much will it set you back: $10 per person.
    Date points scored: 4: if your date is a lightweight, this could be higher or lower.

  • Credit: Flickr/Timmer82

    East Village Tavern & Bowl
    930 Market St.; 619-677-2695

    Downtown San Diego’s hot (and only) spot to hit some pins is a great casual date spot. If you're un-hitched, consider a group outing and slyly invite that person you’ve had your eye on. 

    What to order: Easy-to-eat favorites like the “Strike Zone” sampler or pretzels with beer-cheese sauce.
    How much it will set you back: $55 to reserve a lane in the evening - food not included.
    Date points scored: 4: higher if you own a bowling ball.