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Fig Tree Café in Pacific Beach is Celebrating 6 Years!

Fig Tree Cafe, Pacific Beach

Fig Tree Café in Pacific Beach is Celebrating 6 Years!

The Fig Tree Café, located at 5119 Cass Street in Pacific Beach, is celebrating their sixth anniversary. The unique eating experience provides diners with delicious food in an atmosphere that feels as if they are dining on a bench in an overgrown garden.

Fig Tree Story

Fig Tree Café began as the vision of owner, Johan Engman, in 2008. Johan wanted to create an inviting dining experience featuring an open kitchen concept so that diners could see the culinary action as they dined. The Pacific Beach location, which is the original location for the restaurant, began in an old cottage near the beach. Johan created a garden-like setting with a dog-friendly patio just off the beaten path taken by beachgoers. Local legend has it that there is an old putting green underneath the deck that was left intact.

Culinary Delights

The food offered at the Fig Tree Café in Pacific Beach can only be described as a culinary delight. Food served at the restaurant is all organic and the chefs live by a strict farm-to-table motto in everything from the coffee they serve to their freshly baked bread. They offer many gluten-free and vegetarian options as well. For breakfast, they offer French Toast made with their gluten-free cinnamon-raisin bread. Lunch diners may choose their gluten-free multigrain bread for all sandwiches as well. As a way of giving back to the community, the Fig Tree Café donates $1 per order of the Wally Burrito to the Emerging Filmmakers Fund at San Diego State University. The Wally Burrito consists of three eggs with avocado, scallions and Monterey cheese with a side of house potatoes and salsa.

Specialty Drinks

A visit to the Fig Tree Café would not be complete without trying one of their signature drinks. They offer fresh squeezed orange juice Mimosas and White Peach Bellinis. Try the Blackberry Bliss, a mix of vodka and Champagne muddled with mint and blackberries. Another favorite is Daddy’s Pepper, a mixture of vodka, soda water, jalapeno, mint, lime and strawberries. In October, the restaurant offers the Boobie Bliss, a blend of Champagne with muddled strawberry and 7Up with a pink sugar rim. Proceeds from sales of the Boobie Bliss are donated to the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Research Organization.

Park Atmosphere

The interior of the Pacific Beach store gives diners the feeling that they are enjoying a picnic in an overgrown garden, with statues, vines and fountains. The outdoor patio provides a view surrounded by hanging vines and tweeting birds and can accommodate large parties. Dog-friendly, it allows pet owners to enjoy delicious food and libations with their four-legged family members as well.

About the Owners

Johan Engman was born and raised in Sweden, moving to the United States with his mother when he was 16 years old. Originally, he planned to remain in the country for only one year, but Southern California eventually became their permanent home. Johan entered the restaurant business after graduating from high school, starting out as a dishwasher. He moved on to bus tables before becoming a server at a number of local restaurants. He conceptualized the Fig Tree Café as a prime morning destination and now operates three branches of the café as well as Café Cantata, his latest venture. Alberto Morreale grew up near Palermo, Sicily and began cooking for his family at the age of 14. He attended the Culinary School of Milan and apprenticed in Northern Italy at the Mathari Bistro and the Vincenzo Trattoria in Bergamo. He moved to the United States in 1995. Alberto began as a sous chef at Osteria Panevino in San Diego and helped open four more restaurants with that organization. His philosophy is that food should not be complicated, but that “it is important to know where it comes from.”

The passion and vision of both Johan and Alberto are clearly evident in the atmosphere, food and drink provided to patrons at the Fig Tree Café in Pacific Beach. As they celebrate their sixth anniversary, they continue to provide fresh, healthy, farm-to-table cuisine and a fun, eclectic atmosphere that continues to draw diners from throughout Southern California.