Where to Eat in La Jolla: The Best Restaurants and Bars

April 14, 2018 Kelli Reichel

Topnotch golf courses, art galleries and seals share the dramatic oceanside landscape of La Jolla, an affluent community 15 minutes from downtown San Diego. Swimmers, snorkelers and kayakers dip into La Jolla Cove, where the protected waters shield an abundance of bright orange Garibaldi fish and sea caves indent the cliffs. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the family-friendly Birch Aquarium and the acclaimed La Jolla Playhouse deliver breaks from the sun.
Things to do in La Jolla

1. The Taco Stand

621 Pearl St, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-5014 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards Mexican, Latin, Fast Food, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 4 - SGD 13 +1 858-551-6666
Excellent
77%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 822 reviews

The Taco Stand

Reviewed By VEE1225 - Raleigh, North Carolina

WOW!!! Our lunch at The Taco Stand was DELICIOUS! I'm so glad we decided on this spot to eat! It was a Sunday and the church crowd was out. There isn't much seating inside and we got a beer with lunch (that we weren't able to take outside), so that was a little frustrating because there were some people that ordered after us and took over tables before they got their food.
I got a Pollo Asado Taco, a Baja Taco and an Al Pastor. The Baja was THE BEST! Maybe the single best taco I've ever had! Al Pastor was my second favorite...the pineapple on it was great!
My husband got the Camaron-spicy shrimp, Carne Asada and Pollo Asado. He enjoyed his as well! This favorite was the one with shrimp.
Pollo Asado was both of our least favorite out of the ones we got.
Overall great, great meal! I wish we had one in NC because I'd eat this ALL THE TIME!

2. The Cottage La Jolla

7702 Fay Ave, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-4309 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa American, Cafe, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch SGD 26 +1 858-454-8409
Excellent
69%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

The Cottage La Jolla

Over 24 years ago, we stumbled onto a sleepy little restaurant called the Cottage La Jolla. The restaurant was a local hangout and had a reputation for delicious food and friendly, personal service. Since 1992, our business has exploded, and in late 2009 we finished a complete renovation of the restaurant. Improvements include a handicap lift & restrooms, expanded kitchen & a fresh, new look. What hasn't changed is our passion for serving tasty, classic American & Southern California influenced food. We are also proud of the many servers, bussers and cooks that have been with us for years & years. We are often asked how we are able to operate two restaurants on different coasts, and our response is, "It's all about the people." Please take a moment to say hello to our Manager, Michael Harrison, on your next visit. Welcome to the Cottage!

Reviewed By mw595 - Bedford, New York

Very nice venue. The food was perfectly prepared and well presented. Our waitress could not have been more professional. The menu has some unusual variations on the typical breakfast options. I especially liked scones instead of toast and the tangerine juice.

3. Eddie V's Prime Seafood

1270 Prospect St, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-3609 Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Seafood, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night, Drinks SGD 66 - SGD 66 +1 858-459-5500
Excellent
71%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Eddie V's Prime Seafood

Reviewed By sloths - Central Poland, Poland

Eddie V's has a great terrace upstairs overlooking at the city and the ocen. The gas lamp heating is more than enough not to feel the cold enhanced by the ocean breeze, I really enjoyed looking at the city lights and the full moon above them - beautiful view. The menu: Whenever I have an option to choose Chilean sea bass, I go for it. The one I had at Eddie V's was by far the best one I have ever had - truly amazing! Steamed perfectly, with a touch of light soy sauce and ginger - absolutely delicous. I also tasted my friend's steak - even though I am not a steak fan, this one was perfect. Hats off - chef!

4. A.R. Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines

11480 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-1045 Validated Parking, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 33 - SGD 85 +1 858-777-6635
Excellent
76%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 558 reviews

A.R. Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines

The Lodge’s signature restaurant, A.R. Valentien, highlights regional San Diego cuisine served in an elegant, timbered indoor-outdoor dining room overlooking the 18th hole of Torrey Pines Golf Course. Executive Chef Jeff Jackson sources only the best local provisions, and the menu changes frequently based on seasonal fare available. The restaurant takes its name from a talented early 20th-century California artist whose works are exhibited throughout the restaurant.

Reviewed By Sheryl B - Bethesda, Maryland

Lovely restaurant. Good service. The cheese plate was a bit underwhelming, but the Ahi special was very good. A little tray of sweets was presented at the end of meal, which is perfect for those who don't have room to order full desert. Nice adjacent...MoreThank you for sharing your dining experience. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed the Ahi dish, and that you received good service. We hope to welcome you again in the future.

5. El Pescador Fish Market

634 Pearl St, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-5013 Takeout, Seating, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol American, Seafood, Soups, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner +1 858-456-2526
Excellent
64%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 733 reviews

El Pescador Fish Market

Reviewed By Jezblanc - Oxford, United Kingdom

Super cool spot and a real fish destination. Proper fish mongers who know their stuff selling and cooking great fish/ sea food based dishes. Great spot for a quick lunch or more. Love it.

6. Harry's Coffee Shop

7545 Girard Ave, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-5102 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible American, Cafe, Diner, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch SGD 26 +1 858-454-7381
Excellent
62%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 318 reviews

Harry's Coffee Shop

Reviewed By rebecarpisces - La Jolla, California

This is an older coffee shop with tons of history. Pictures on the walls are fun to look at, large menu with a variety to chose from. Friendly staff, centrally located with parking in the back

7. Girard Gourmet

7837 Girard Ave, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-4231 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible American, Cafe, Delicatessen, Soups, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch +1 858-454-3325
Excellent
61%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 204 reviews

Girard Gourmet

Reviewed By SofioFay - Fayetteville, AR

We had breakfast here on the last morning of our trip--sorry that we didn't find it much sooner. This is first-rate baking of many varieties. Wonderful cherry Danish, tart, not overly sweet. Fine puff pastry. Excellent morning egg special. Very generous with bacon (at a mere $1 extra). Good coffee. This is the place to go in this area.

8. Piatti

2182 Avenida de La Playa, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-3214 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 46 - SGD 66 +1 858-454-1589
Excellent
63%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 722 reviews

Piatti

Reviewed By Kathy G - Columbus, Ohio

Great great good for the price. Surprisingly good quality. Lasagna really tasty. Kale salad yummy. Bread and oil out of sight - best we have had. Crowded - suggest reservations.

9. We Olive & Wine Bar

1158 Prospect St, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-4533 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Free Wifi, Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards Mediterranean, Wine Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner +1 858-551-8250
Excellent
65%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 148 reviews

We Olive & Wine Bar

We Olive is a culinary and wine destination that features olive oil tasting and education, artisan foods for sampling, gourmet gifts, wine tasting, and a delicious menu designed to pair with our small-production wines and featuring our extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. We Olive is a unique combination of upscale retail, wine bar, and tasting experience. Our retail store features a gorgeous olive oil tasting bar where guests are treated daily to complimentary olive oil tasting and education. Our highly-knowledgeable staff will recommend favorite pairings of olive oil and artisan vinegars and help guests discern tasting attributes of our certified California extra virgin olive oil. Our wine bar features artisan California wines that guests can order by the taste, half glass, glass and bottle. Monthly wine tasting events are held with a featured winery where guests can learn and taste wine with the winemaker. Throughout the week, We Olive offers featured specials in the wine bar, food samples and product demos to encourage guests to taste. We Olive’s retail store features certified California extra virgin olive oil and vinegars sourced directly from the producer that guests can purchase in bulk. Our fustino system allows guest to choose a bottle size they like and fill with their favorite olive oil or balsamic vinegar. We also offer a variety of gourmet foods including small-batch pestos, tapenades, mustards and jams. The rustic modern décor carries through to the collection of artisan olive wood pieces we offer along with beautiful gifts for the kitchen and home. In addition to our food retail, all of the wines from our wine bar are available for retail purchase.

Reviewed By Gerise T

What a gem! My husband and I strolled in after shopping in La Jolla. Of course we sat on the small patio and enjoyed a cheese board; my husband had a glass of white and I had a tasting of four very different, delicious wines. Oiur waitress was very knowledgeable and the shop is cute!

10. NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar

910 Prospect St, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-4144 Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Accepts Discover, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 66 +1 858-964-5400
Excellent
67%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 554 reviews

NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar

An ongoing commitment to innovative cuisine using only the freshest local produce makes NINE-TEN a must visit for culinary aficionados. This intimate restaurant, led by Executive Chef Jason Knibb and Pastry Chef Jose Alonzo III, offers the perfect combination of sophistication and casual elegance and an ideal location along La Jolla's Prospect Street. Enjoy the best of the harvest from local artisan farmers, where produce is selected daily for the restaurant's Evolving California Cuisine. The bounty of the sea is also featured with local fish selections and items arriving daily from Hawaii and the North Pacific and Atlantic regions. Special prix fixe menus are available and feature matching wines from the extensive wine cellar. Enjoy dining indoors or on the sidewalk patio or outdoor terrace with glimpses of the ocean. A separate bar offers limited menu and happy hour specials daily. Open daily for breakfast and lunch and dinner nightly. Sunday Brunch is also offered.

Reviewed By 860SusanB860 - Rockwall, Texas

My husband and I had just arrived in La Jolla and were looking for an early dinner. We walked around, spotted this restaurant, read the menu in the window, and were instantly intrigued. Unfortunately, the interior of the restaurant was quite fancy and we were not dressed accordingly - due to a day of travel. We chose to sit outside on the little casual patio and that proved to be a great decision. Our server (Katie) was very attentive and extremely friendly. We started with very nice glasses of California wines, sourdough bread and salty butter. Since we were more tired than hungry, we ordered a couple of small plates for our meal and they were both fantastic! Little did we know at the time that we had somehow popped into an award-winning chef's restaurant. Lucky, right?
My husband had the Thai Lobster Salad and it was awesome. The combination of flavors was absolutely delicious - cilantro, chiles, mango, mint, peanut and coconut enhanced the mild taste of the lobster. I ordered the Short Rib Ravioli and will readily admit that it was one of the most colorful and flavorful dishes that I have ever had (I write a food blog and am not easily impressed - but this did it!!). Not only was the plate an explosion of colors and unusual combined tastes, it was FANTASTIC to the taste buds. The meat-filled ravioli was cooked to perfection and was covered with a hazelnut cream. Each bite of pasta, pomegranate seeds, butternut squash chunks, mango shavings, sage pieces and butter crumbles melted together in my mouth. The entire dish was unusual and extraordinary.
For dessert, my husband ordered the Half-Baked Chocolate Cake which was very good and not too large of a serving. My dessert was the Chocolate, Cherry & Pistachio dish which was as artistically plated as it was tasty. Yum!
My main regret about this evening now was not being able to order a full three or four course meal from this chef. I have the distinct feeling that we would have been blown away. This was an EXCELLENT taste adventure! Kudos to the chef. I hope I have the opportunity to return and dine here in the future. It will be top on my list.

ThingsTodoPost © 2018 All rights reserved.