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Market on 8th: Eat globally at this San Diego–area food hall

Market on 8th at National City’s downtown district. Market on 8th at National City’s downtown district.

Part of an ongoing effort to revitalize National City’s downtown district, Market on 8th is widening the spotlight on the area’s food culture.

Housed in a renovated 1940s building at 41 E. Eighth Street, the new 9,000-square-foot market holds 12 food stalls, along with a culinary bookstore and a streetwear boutique.

Although the offerings are diverse, ranging from tacos to barbecue to poke, Asian cuisines make up most of the lineup.

Sisig Pizza

Pizza Kaiju's Sisig pizza.

Pizza Kaiju, a pandemic pop-up turned brick-and-mortar, does accomplished New York– and Detroit-style slices and pies made with familiar toppings, but the sisig pizza that interprets the sizzling Filipino pork dish is a standout.

The white pizza features roasted pork belly, mozzarella, calamansi cream, garlic, red onion, and shavings of pickled serrano peppers. Even the ranch dressing, a go-to pizza condiment, gets an Asian twist with black garlic and miso.

Pork Satay

Café Indonesia's pork satay.

A descendant of a once-famous Indonesian restaurant in the Philippines, Café Indonesia serves a menu that spans Filipino-inspired specialties, such as a fried chicken sandwich glazed with a chile-and-vinegar–spiked red adobo sauce, and time-tested family recipes for Indo-Dutch favorites.

A luscious rendition of beef rendang, a caramelized coconut beef curry, and juicy grilled skewers of chicken and pork satay are excellent anchors for combination plates that include nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice) or jasmine rice, as well as pickled cucumber, shrimp chips, curried eggs, and sambal badjak (an Indonesian hot sauce).

Garlic Mushroom Noodles

Weapon Ramen's garlic mushroom noodles.

In the beer garden, sip on a mango or grapefruit IPA made by local brewery Novo Brazil and snack on surf and turf lumpia from the beer-friendly menu at Serbesa. (Be sure to designate a driver if you plan to drink alcohol.)

Weapon Ramen's OG Tonkotsu.

Weapon Ramen's OG Tonkotsu.

Other don’t-miss dishes include fragrant northern Thai–style lemongrass sausage from Ping Yang; the invigoratingly spicy garlic and mushroom noodles from Weapon Ramen, a Japanese noodle house; and MNGO’s dessert platter with fresh mango and sticky rice, mango pudding, and ice cream.

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