Taste of Uptown

    Life can be tough as a college student. You want to appreciate good food and try dishes from different countries, but there’s always that evil voice in the back of your head reminding you about the rent check, the phone bill and the car insurance bill — a person can only eat so much Mac ’n’ Cheese and Top Ramen.

    There’s no doubt that venturing out of the confines of La Jolla to try new restaurants is hard on the wallet because being a food lover is an expensive hobby. Any self-professed “food whore” will gladly give you a list of restaurants they’ve been dying to go to since their freshman year, from the moment they had tried all the colleges’ dining halls (and anywhere else that accepts meal points), and realized that they pretty much all suck, and the novelty of a breakfast burrito at 1 a.m. isn’t all that appealing anymore.

    Thank goodness for events such as the Taste of Uptown/Hillcrest, where feasting on dishes from Thailand to Italy is possible for a mere $20. On April 17, Hillcrest will be flooded with food lovers sampling some of San Diego’s best restaurants’ tasty treats. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hillcrest will host the annual Taste of Uptown/Hillcrest food festival. This self-guided walking tour will take you through the colorful neighborhood of Hillcrest to sample some world famous cuisines.

    For those who wish to succumb to pure indulgence and pampering, or who are just feeling lazy, a shuttle will be running; that is to say that one need only hop on a shuttle to be whisked away and fed life — it can’t get much easier. A quick run-through of the 38-plus restaurants is enough to whet your appetite. Promoters have promised this event to be for everyone, and when they mean everyone they’re including pets: our furry friends can indulge in some baked goodies as one of the featured restaurants is a dog and cat bakery.

    With restaurants such as Amarin Thai Cuisine, Taste of Szechuan, Arrivederci Pizzeria, Crush, Hash House A Go-Go and Bachi partaking, you’ll be sampling foods from across the world; antipasti from Italy, tapas from Spain, sushi from Japan and curries from Thailand will surely fill up any hungry college student. For those with a sweet tooth, eateries such as the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Ben & Jerry’s will be on hand to satisfy that craving and tempt you with anything from a chocolate caramel bread pudding to some decadent gelato to a Cherry Garcia ice cream cake. Finish off the day with a cup of joe and you’ll be guaranteed to leave Hillcrest with a smile on your face and a very happy belly.

    What started off as a way to improve the relationship between restaurant owners of Hillcrest and San Diego residents has blossomed into this annual, mouth-watering event. Inspired by the popular Chicago food festival, Taste of Chicago, all proceeds from this event will go to the Hillcrest Association, a non-profit organization created to promote a better business and living environment.

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