Happy hour in Little Italy


Contemporary American food is served at Craft and Commerce in Little Italy. Michelle Moran, City Times.

Michelle Moran

Little Italy in downtown San Diego is known as a “hip and historic urban neighborhood,” according to the its website and it lives up to that slogan.

The district is filled with restaurants that make you feel like you are really in Italy because of the authentic food. Among all the coffee shops and Italian eateries is an American food joint. Once you discover this gem, you will see what makes this place stand out.

Craft and Commerce has a modern, trendy vibe before you even enter this establishment. The outside walls are covered in a grassy moss with a red neon sign that reads “you look good,” to give the customers a boost of confidence after indulging in their mouth-watering concoctions.

During happy hour, the customers choose where to be seated. If you choose to sit outside, the workers provide some blankets by your table to keep you warm. The first amazing thing about the menu is the drinks: craft cocktails at their finest. There are champagne cocktails, beer cocktails, punch bowls (for up to four people) and many others. The I.P.A. (India pale ale) cocktail is made with i.p.a., grapefruit infused aperol, orgeat and lemon. The grapefruit and lemon complement the I.P.A.’s bitter taste.

The second best thing about Craft and Commerce is their mini corn dogs. Not only are they not mini, they are the most delicious corn dogs in San Diego. The corn dogs are bacon wrapped, served with stone ground mustard and spicy cheese fondue. The first bite into these is heavenly, and they alone make this place memorable. Two corn dogs are normally $7, but during happy hour they are $4 but they are well worth the price if you don’t come for happy hour.

For the light eaters, there are three types of salads. The cheapest is the house salad, which comes with artisan greens, heirloom carrots, pea sprouts, french breakfast radish, all tossed in a miso ginger dressing. If you like ginger, you’ll love this salad because it complements the savory veggies.

The lunchtime burger comes with aged cheddar, onion marmalade, tomato, lettuce, a house sauce, served on a brioche bun. Not you average burger when it comes to the onion marmalade, it makes your taste buds jump with joy. The patty has the right amount of juicy texture and is tasteful. The burger had a sidekick: garlic fries served with a delicious garlic aioli.

The staff here were very attentive and friendly. You are greeted right as you walk in, and the waitress was personable, which makes this place feel as if you are enjoying a nice meal and drink at your friend’s house.

Happy hour prices include select appetizers which are discounted and all local beer is half off. For instance, an Alesmith IPA is $2.50 instead of $5. In the near future, the cocktails will be included in their happy hour.

Most of their dishes are moderately prices, ranging from $7.95 to $10 for an entree. This restaurant is open seven days a week and there are no reservations.

Craft and commerce is located on 675 W. Beech St. in Little Italy.