We typically do a lot of research, but didn't really get to do much before the trip to SD. We were staying right next to Petco Park and didn't want to venture too far. It rained a little bit, but we had a great time. My thoughts....
First night (Wednesday) we went to Hotel del Coronado for drinks at sunset and then went to the Gaslamp Quarter afterwards.
Hotel del Coronado is beautiful, but the bar wasn't at nice as I would have expected. Conversely, the Gaslamp Quarter was better than I anticipated. There a certainly a few cheesy chains, but there are also plenty of local places to make up for the chains.
Lunch Thursday was at La Puerta in the Gaslamp Quarter. We really liked that place.
Dinner Thursday was at C Level. We went primarily for the view, but the food did not disappoint. Portion sizes were ridiculously large.
On Friday we decided to hit Little Italy and just picked Davanti Entoteca out of the blue. I'm glad that we didn't realize that it is part of a small chain, because we probably wouldn't have picked it. However, the food was incredible.
We then walked down the the Waterfront Bar & Grill to drink away the rest of the day. It was a good way to end the trip.