About this Project

Welcome to Classic San Diego. A little bit about this project —

There are quite a few old San Diego places that have faded from memory — restaurants, hotels, landmarks, places. With a little digging, their stories can come back to life, in a fascinating way.

It’s not only their stories we’re telling, but the story of San Diego.

Red Sails Inn menu cover

I’ve always loved old restaurants, and fondly remember as a child the good times our family had dining out.

During college I worked in restaurants and learned to cook. And to this day, I love to cook. (I occasionally blog about it…)

As a designer, I love old menus and ephemera. Always have. Not only lists of foods, they tell a story of the place, the time, the culture of that moment. Aren’t you curious to know more?

Today I serve as board chair for The Culinary Historians of San Diego, an educational nonprofit that presents free public lectures about food and how it relates to history and culture most third-Saturdays at the downtown San Diego Public Library. Check it out!

And I’m still an illustrator and designer, a life-long passion. My firm provides marketing, advertising and design for small business, nonprofits, restaurants, and for the arts and hospitality industries.

Martin S. Lindsay

Classic San Diego: Tasty Bites from the History of America’s Finest City
I’m compiling these stories into Classic San Diego, a book about the culinary history of San Diego. This website provides a forum for the research. Which restaurants do you want to read about? Suggest a restaurant, share your stories and photos here!

Martin S. Lindsay, AIGA
Classic San Diego



1983 Martin Lindsay at the Old Ox

Martin Lindsay cooking at the Old Ox Restaurant, San Diego, CA, 1983. Photo, Susan Manis.