Little Italy is one quintessential neighborhood with a unique mix of retail, residential and restaurants, all within walking distance of each other. The heart of this bustling area supports pizzas, empanadas, sushi and a corner pub, Princess Pub & Grille.
Lots of outdoor seating makes for good people watching as throngs of tourists and locals walk their dogs and kids along the street, especially on weekends. The Princess website boasts that it is the original British pub in San Diego, having opened in 1984. Inside you’ll find a large bar with comfortable chairs, lots of pub “stuff” on the walls for décor, and a lot of noise especially with the music turned up and people talking over it. It’s a happening place with a good vibe. Their menu while featuring fish and chips and bangers deviates to also include such things as baby back ribs and blackened Pacific salmon Caesar salad with Parmesan, not exactly my idea of authentic English pub grub. But as my sidekick remarked, they cater to a broader clientele given the location.
We ordered fish and chips and determined the chips, while thickly cut, were too soft and less flavorful than Shakespeare Pub & Grille in lower Mission Hills. For me, the fish batter also could have been crisper. The side of curry sauce for the chips is long on hot chile in the mouth, and reminds me of chile rather than a distinct curry. A meal of chips and curry is $6.50. I did like the Scotch egg as it was served warm, wrapped with flavorful sausage meat, cut in half and served with Branston pickles (a a finely chopped crunchy chutney of carrots and other vegetables flavored with vinegar, onion powder and lemon juice). 1665 India Street, Little Italy, 619-702-3021, www.princesspub.com.