Restaurant of the month: Liberty Public Market
This month we introduce you to something a little different – a food hall – a food court plus a market.
Located in the historic Liberty Station in Point Loma, Liberty Public Market is its own uniqueness of 28 artisans (restaurants and shops) with 4 more opening soon. This 25,000 square foot epic food emporium contains options ranging from sandwiches to crepes to cannoli to ramen to lobster and even oysters. There is definitely something for everyone at Liberty Public Market.
Liberty Public Market is the inspiration of David Spatafore, a Coronado restauranteur, who was approached about opening a new restaurant in the old Naval Training Center. When Spatafore visited the site, he didn't envision it as an appropriate place for a restaurant. He did, however, see it as a public market – similar to Pike's Place in Seattle. All the public markets Spatafore has seen have been built in old historic buildings. Spatafore knew, though, that for a public market to work in San Diego, it couldn't just be a replica of its counterparts around the world. San Diego's public market had to showcase the food mecca that San Diego is so famously known for.
In addition to adding a few of his own brands, Spatafore tapped into his resources of restaurant friends and ventured through local farmers markets to pull together the most unique, uncompetitive range of people who were passionate about their food and had a bit of restaurant savviness. In this public market, you will not find multiple coffee venues or sandwich shops. You will find a full variety of food cultures. A true foodies' dream shop.
We ate food samplings from several artisans. The 3-cheese, ham and cheese, and meatball type arancini (stuffed balls coated with bread crumbs and deep fried) from Roma Express were absolutely superb, especially with the sauces. The Chicken Empanada from Parana was filled with seasoned shredded chicken, roasted red bell pepper, green onion, sautéed onion and contained a tasty blend of spices. The Lobster Mac N' Cheese from Wicked Maine Lobster was white cheddar shells served in a sourdough bread bowl – spectacularly divine.
Naturally, we couldn't leave without checking out the desserts. We had Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Lavender and Honey Macaroons from Le Parfait Paris. Not being a big dessert fan myself, these were surprisingly delicious. We also sampled Peppermint, Birthday Cake, and Chocolate Chip gelato from Scooped – the peppermint and chocolate chip were our favorites and those came home with us.
There is not enough space to properly describe the food here, so I'll just say if you truly want an extraordinary dining experience that's a little out of the ordinary and you can taste a little bit of this and a little bit of that, give Liberty Public Market a try. I'm telling you, this place was definitely a lot of fun to check out. I felt like a kid seeing everything for the first time. It was quite amusing.
Janine Holman is a freelance writer, photographer, and travel blogger - founder of Life Beyond Awesome – a site of travel journeys for adventurers, foodies, and lovers of luxurious things. Her stories cover both local and international travel and focus on diving into cultures and communities and the people who make them thrive. She invests time in learning how to best travel on a dime – being money smart and maximizing travel dollars while still enjoying the luxurious side of life (spas, restaurants, quaint places to stay, etc.). Janine covers all kinds of topics and is known for being adventurous, enjoying the outdoors, and embarking down the path less traveled. Most of all Janine enjoys sharing her life’s adventures and showing others how they too can design a Life Beyond Awesome.