Food and Drinks Take Flight: Samplers Now Go Beyond Beer
Beer flights have been around as long as breweries have existed. But now bars and restaurants are taking note and combining the sampler style of service with their most popular menu items. Whether it’s cocktails, hot beverages, breakfast, or Mexican fare, you can taste a variety of flavors on one platter (or share them if with your friends, if you happen to be that generous). San Diego is at the forefront of this mouthwatering movement, and we’ve scouted out the restaurants dishing up this innovative food and drink trend so you can take flight, too. No passport required.
Cover Photo: Wonderland Ocean Pub
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The North Park location of Breakfast Company starts your day off right with its breakfast flight boasting pancakes in irresistible flavors like tiramisu and banana bread. Breakfast Republic takes your taste buds on a tour with its Flight of 3 Pancakes that span eight incredible flavors from Oreo cookie and cinnamon roll to strawberry cheesecake and pineapple upside down.
Photo: Breakfast Republic
French Toast Flight
At any of Breakfast Republic’s San Diego locations, you can sink your teeth into a French Toast Sampler that includes any of its seven flavors like Mr. Presley (peanut butter with bananas Foster and bacon) and gluten-free cinnamon raisin. Breakfast Company's North Park location, also in San Diego, lets you mix and match from French toast flavors like crème brulée, churro, or peach and almond for its breakfast flight.
Photo: Breakfast Republic
On Friday nights, hop into Blackmarket Bakery in University Heights between 5 and 10 p.m. for a sweet and savory pastry flight including treats like bread pudding, mini cheesecakes, and sweet rolls.
Photo: Glow Cuisine (Getty Images)
It’s about time tacos took flight. At Puesto, order up a flight of gourmet street tacos in 11 varieties like filet mignon, Maine lobster and verduras, nopales (cactus), or avocado and zucchini blossom. Choosing only three will be the hardest decision you make all day.
Photo: Marianna Massey (Getty Images)
Mole is a traditional Mexican sauce made from chiles and chocolate. Sound strange? It’s actually quite tasty. Give the sweet-savory combo a try at Tahona Restaurant and Bar, which offers a Mole Flight of mole coloradito, mole verde, and mole negro atop a large flauta de papa (potato taco).
Photo: ©fitopardo.com (Getty Images)
Change up your daily caffeine fix at Fig Tree Café, which offers fair-trade certified 100 percent organic coffee in the form of a Caffeine Sampler. The trio of 4-ounce javas consists of a latte, a mocha, and a zesty Mexican mocha. Need more oomph and nutritional benefits to boot? Ask for the Antioxidant Shot Flight featuring goji, mangosteen, and acai flavored beverages.
Photo: Marius Hepp / EyeEm (Getty Images)
Hot Cocoa Flight
Need to decompress on a wintry day without alcohol? Try the Flight of Three Hot Chocolates at Morning Glory bistro. Sip on hot cocoa in flavors like strawberries and cream, orange and vanilla, or maple cinnamon.
Photo: Sofie Delauw (Getty Images)
Wednesdays mean margaritas at Jalisco Cantina. Their Wednesday Margarita Flight will get you pleasantly buzzed on brightly-colored cocktails in flavors like Mexican candy, spicy tamarindo, coco piña, passion mint, Pink Cadillac, O’side Aqua and prickly pear.
On any other day of the week, check out El Chingon’s Margarita Flight, which includes a choice of three mini margaritas from their six original combos like the Bad Hombre, Chico, and Paloma en Fuego.
Photo: Jalisco Cantina
If you need ever-changing variety, hit up Cafe 21, which offers a Mimosa Flight that samples from six mimosa creations that change daily.
Photo: Cafe 21
Seafood cocktails are a thing. Who knew? Find your new favorite at Wonderland Ocean Pub in Ocean Beach with the Pescadero Sampler. Whet your whistle with the Mac Daddy ahi poke, fresh fish ceviche, and shrimp aquachile. Bonus: they’re served with corn tortilla chips made in-house.
Photo: Wonderland Ocean Pub
If fruit-infused wine is your drinking pleasure, try the Sangria Flight at Cafe 21. This Spanish party drink is made in-house from a simple recipe of all-natural ingredients.
Photo: Cafe 21
Take your palate on a vineyard adventure (and get soused before your flight) at Gianni Buonomo Vintners in Ocean Beach. The Pre-Flight Flight allows travelers to imbibe a variety of wines on their day of departure for discounted prices by showing their boarding pass.
Photo: Westend61 (Getty Images)