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Best of 2003: Best Late-Night Hot Dog Place

Vida Cart
Corner of Fifth Avenue and Island, Downtown
(No phone)

When the vibes are right, usually around one or two in the morning, this hot dog stand becomes a café des artistes, the kind of street scene you would find in New York or San Francisco. Daniela, an artist from Bulgaria, started it right under the historic Chinese Callan hotel. The idea was extra cash between paintings. Now artists, students, chefs, and new downtowners looking for "street life" congregate here to argue art, politics, and life. Staples are coffee, sodas, jumbo hot dogs, hot links, corn dogs, pretzels, and nachos. But her seven-inch pizza is as good as a meal. And it's not just stand-around: she has a fenced-off seating area where you can watch the scene, and be a part of it.

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Vida Cart
Corner of Fifth Avenue and Island, Downtown
(No phone)

When the vibes are right, usually around one or two in the morning, this hot dog stand becomes a café des artistes, the kind of street scene you would find in New York or San Francisco. Daniela, an artist from Bulgaria, started it right under the historic Chinese Callan hotel. The idea was extra cash between paintings. Now artists, students, chefs, and new downtowners looking for "street life" congregate here to argue art, politics, and life. Staples are coffee, sodas, jumbo hot dogs, hot links, corn dogs, pretzels, and nachos. But her seven-inch pizza is as good as a meal. And it's not just stand-around: she has a fenced-off seating area where you can watch the scene, and be a part of it.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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