Six months after its debut in one of San Diego’s most prominent tourist districts, the locally-minded Old Town Urban Market is nearly fully occupied. The relocated Tuetano Taqueria and its companion seafood restaurant Mar Rustico were the first to launch late last year and have since become a bonafide dining destinations while the remaining spaces in the renovated 7,000-square-foot open-air complex have been rolling out at a steady pace.
The latest arrival is Por Vida, the acclaimed coffee roaster and cafe with roots in Barrio Logan. Its new Old Town outpost serves its popular menu of specialty drinks, ranging from Mexican mocha and hot chocolate to a wide variety of lattes flavored with everything from dulce de leche to mazapan, rose, and horchata. The coffee company also organizing regular culture nights at the market, features local artists and musicians.
Por Vida joins Ruth’s No. 5, a San Diego-based salsa company offering chips and salsa flights and an outpost of Elote Restaurant, which specializes in Mexican roasted corn. There’s also the Wine Shop SD, which focuses on small production, sustainable. and family-owned wineries, and Cultura Rim Paste, a local company serving micheladas and drinks made with its own michelada mix and tangy chamoy dip along with Mexican-style candy and snacks. Most of the new shops are open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Doughnut purveyor Barrio Donas is expected to open by summertime, which is when the operations director Shannen El-Qasem hopes the market will be completely activated. El-Qasem tells Eater that she’s working to lease the final space, which might be a breakfast spot or a sushi and poke bar, as well as a glassed-in nook that could function as a plant shop.