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Park and Recreation

Seen enough of North County? Try North Park! University and 30th are home to some of the best bars and restos in SD, with an arsenal of instant classics lining every block.

Swoon Dessert Bar’s luscious treats defy convention. (Radishes? In dessert?! Amazing.)

Spacious, sprawling, modern and…delicious! Il Postino is classic Italian dining in a contemporary setting, replete with suspended chain artwork juxtaposed by buttery-smooth lounge seating. The expansive dinner menu has something for everyone, from grilled polenta topped with sautéed mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and gorgonzola to the self-titled “Il Postino” pizza, a sumptuous pie covered in prosciutto, arugula, mozzarella and white truffle oil. The list of incredible meals goes on, but be sure to try the immensely popular Pappardelle al Ragú d’ Anatra for a duck ragout pappardelle that’ll have you saying “delizioso!” 3959 30th St., ilpostino-sandiego.com

Carnitas’ Snack Shack has been stealing the show (we’re talking lines down the sidewalk) in North Park since its inception and we have the news you’ve been waiting to hear: a new, bigger version is on its way to Mira Mesa (stay tuned for details)! Classics like the braised pork belly app and the “Triple Threat” pork sandwich (schnitzel and pulled pork and bacon) are sure to be mainstays at the new shack, and your favorite Ballast Point and Green Flash brews will be ever-present. Double the locations, twice the pig…we’re ready. 2632 University Ave., carnitassnackshack.com

With a name like Swoon Dessert Bar, who wouldn’t be smitten? Executive Chef Ian Smith’s popular new venture features a menu that changes weekly, with “Sweet” and “Hybrid” desserts that are handcrafted, beautifully plated and undeniably heavenly. When in doubt, try the chef’s best with the “Chef’s Choice” three-course menu, and sit at the bar to watch him work his magic. Our favorite of August so far? The dark chocolate gelato with scorpion berry ganache, granola and tangerines. Sweet, spicy and definitely swoon-worthy. 3139 University Ave., swoondessertbar.com

Provence plus Texas plus Maine equals The Smoking Goat. The French and American countryside collide at this smoking-hot spot, where you can find buttery escargots au gratin right next to Maine lobster mac & cheese. The duckfat truffle fries with mustard aioli are a must-try and the pork chop is always perfectly cooked. C’est magnifique! 3408 30th St., thesmokinggoatrestaurant.com

Coffee in the morning, pizza in the evening: Caffé Calabria is doing it right. Grab a fresh, house-roasted cappuccino, Viennese or espresso and stroll to the outdoor parklette, a great place to relax, read and people-watch in the San Diego sunshine. Wave to the chef manning the wood-fired oven on your way inside and be sure to order one of their authentic Neapolitan pizzas…any Italian mother would be proud to call them her own. 3933 30th St., caffecalabria.com