1. Spiked Sweets
Metl Bar is putting a spin on our our favorite summer staple—ice cream infused with beer or wine. The downtown bar created these boozy treats as a side project during the pandemic, and they quickly became the most popular menu item. So popular that they’ve now opened a second location in North Park that’s dedicated to producing more of the creamy concoctions. Metl Bar also serves brunch, so you can enjoy a few scoops alongside some signature late-morning dishes, like strawberry and Champagne French toast or pecan praline pancakes. By summertime, the North Park location plans to offer all 40 cocktail ice cream flavors from the downtown original, including negroni gelato, White Russian Oreo, and cucumber gimlet. Ice cream for brunch? Count us in!
2835 University Avenue, North Park
2. Smokin’ Hot
More authentic Texas barbecue has arrived! Oak and Anchor is serving up smoked goods on Chula Vista’s Third Avenue that taste like they’re straight from the Lone Star State—because they are. When cofounders Adrian and Chris Sweat couldn’t find their hometown cuisine in San Diego, they decided to bring it here themselves and start a pop-up restaurant, which has resided in Chula Vista Brewery throughout the pandemic. The collaboration is noteworthy for representing two of the few Black- and veteran-owned businesses in the area. Specialties like the Double Barrel (a loaded baked potato with sour cream, green onions, and cheese, topped with brisket and pulled pork) prove that everything really is bigger in Texas!
294 Third Avenue, Chula Vista
3. Waste Not, Want Not
Go beyond your reusable shopping bags. The MightyBin, a new zero-waste grocery store, is coming to North Park. Stock up on ethically sourced pantry and household products with glass jars and other reusable containers from home or from the store (thoroughly sanitized ahead of time). All of the store’s products come out of gravity dispensers, so shoppers can pour what they need with minimal packaging. Owner Isabelle DeMillan hopes this new way of shopping will reduce food waste and cut costs. The store will also be a drop-off site for organic waste to be composted. Be on the lookout for its opening and sustainable-living workshops in early July.
2855 El Cajon Boulevard, Suite 4, North Park