Where to Eat in San Diego: The Best Restaurants and Bars

April 14, 2018 Darleen Reid

San Diego embodies laid-back California culture, complete with a Boardwalk, surfing communities, and outstanding Mexican food. Breathe in the fresh ocean air at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, then gobble down a fresh fish taco at a La Jolla seafood joint. The naval aircrafts at the USS Midway Museum will have you standing at attention. A free Sunday concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is the perfect way to unwind after a Saturday night bar-hop in the thumping Gaslamp Quarter.
Things to do in San Diego

1. Ambrogio15

926 Turquoise St, Suite H, San Diego, CA 92109-1186 Delivery, Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Parking Available, Television, Accepts Credit Cards Italian, Pizza, Wine Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 10 - SGD 33 +1 858-291-8650
Excellent
91%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 109 reviews

Ambrogio15

An authentic but unique Milano gourmet pizza, a special dough recipe, an innovative pizza-making process, high-quality Italian ingredients, a holistic approach to the food and beverage world, a focus on sustainable agriculture and farming, along with a deep love for Milano, where Andrea, Giacomo, and Luca grew up, and for San Diego, where they studied, worked and became who they are now.

Reviewed By Ld922 - Bend, Oregon

The pizza and salads were great. The Italian wine list was wonderful. The servers were dedicated but too few. Dessert (Nutella stuffed focaccia) was so-so. It was overdone and took a long time to arrive as the kitchen was a bit overwhelmed.

2. Parma Cucina Italiana

3850 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103-3141 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Highchairs Available, Accepts Credit Cards Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 14 - SGD 33 +1 619-543-0049
Excellent
78%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 946 reviews

Parma Cucina Italiana

Parma Cucina Italiana is located in the hearth of Hillcrest, few minutes by car from downtown San Diego. It offers down to earth ambience and fantastic authentic Italian cuisine. From the Italian wines and the best Italian products to the native Italian, "right off the boat" proprietors, Parma-Cucina Italian is as authentic as it gets.

Reviewed By jomalleyghori - Austin, Texas

We had a great dinner here on our first night in San Diego. Wasn't sure where to go. Looked on TripAdvisor and decided to give it a try. So good. Very friendly. Very authentic. Pasta was great. I had the gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce - so good. My daughter had chicken parm. Excellent. Other daughter (young) just wanted pasta with butter and they were happy to accommodate. Nice wine list. Good dessert too - something chocolatey...can't even remember the name but good.

3. Harney Sushi

3964 Harney St, San Diego, CA 92110-2825 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Japanese, Sushi, Asian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 13 - SGD 46 +1 619-295-3272
Excellent
73%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 300 reviews

Harney Sushi

Harney Sushi is San Diego’s premier sushi bar and restaurant experience. As fresh and it gets, as imaginative as you want. This is the place where experimentation mixes with celebration, where fin dining service and knowledge fuses with beaming personality and style. Besides having San Diego’s only sake bar, Harney boasts more than 40 award winning wines, 30 of the worlds best sakes, a private VIP booth and over 30 gourmet specialty rolls named and created by loyalists. Music for your mouth, sushi for your soul. We are proud to offer our Southern California Based, Award-winning, sustainable sushi cuisine since 2001.

Reviewed By Jim G

We almost opted for the more conservative Sushi place nearby, but were extremely satisfied with our choice. First, our bartender Alex(We sat at the bar)could not do enough. He recommended the Rolls Royce and Osean rolls, with no rice ,per our request, and a steak...MoreWow! This makes us so happy to hear:) Can’t wait to have you back in

4. 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!

5. Enoteca Adriano

4864 Cass St, San Diego, CA 92109-2623 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Late Night +1 858-490-0085
Excellent
76%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 225 reviews

Enoteca Adriano

Reviewed By X4795RMjohnc - Bloomington

The minestrone was very tasty, if a tad too salty. "Pomodoro" salad featured wedges of unripe, flavorless tomato. (Why even offer this dish, if you're dependent on out-of-season tomatoes? I had an excellent caprese salad a couple of days earlier at the Butterfield Dining Room in Borrego Springs that used heirloom grape tomatoes.) Our main course--vitello saltimbocca--was good. A glass of Chianti matched it well. We fled the restaurant as soon as feasible; the cramped quarters and resonant acoustics encourage diners to shout at one another to be heard. Most unpleasant! But then we were elderly tourists, neither neighborhood residents nor young adults.

6. Sushi Ota

4529 Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109-4920 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Japanese, Sushi, Asian, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 13 - SGD 131 +1 858-270-5670
Excellent
76%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 794 reviews

Sushi Ota

Reviewed By lilykas - Nyon District, Switzerland

My local friend took me to this restaurant, and we sat at sushi bar. The menu offers a big variety of fresh fish/seafood, and we had sushi omakase(chef’s choice). We enjoyed every piece of them, and we were so satisfied at the end of the meal. The green tea that they served also tasted really good. It’s definitely a restaurant that we want to go back to.
The head of waitress could have been a bit more friendly though...

7. Devine Pastabilities

3545 Midway Dr, San Diego, CA 92110-4922 Parking Available, Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Outdoor Seating, Highchairs Available, Accepts Credit Cards Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 7 - SGD 20 +1 619-523-5441
Excellent
79%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 166 reviews

Devine Pastabilities

Toasty hollow garlic bread with great pasta dishes, salads and cheese steaks stuffed inside!

Reviewed By Dmarkwind - Kansas City, Missouri

This was a different take on Italian food where most of the entrees are served inside a hollowed-out six- or 12-inch roll. So there’s “Torsalads,” “Torpasta,” and “Torpedoes,” which are sandwiches. They have these welded wire-frame holders, which look a little like retro rocket fins, which hold your food upright when the bring it to you. They also have pizza and desserts, which are not served inside rolls. Torsalads include spinach, Greek, Ceasar, antipasto, and BBQ chicken. The torpastas include lasagna, eggplant parmesan, fetticini, and ravioli. You can get any of these pastas plated without being inside a roll, but you get a much bigger portion and they charge the price of the large. We split a large steak and cheese torpedo, and it was basically a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. We enjoyed our meal and thought the prices were reasonable, and would definitely come back if we had the chance.

8. Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant

17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr, Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA 92128-2112 Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Takeout, Reservations, Buffet, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Brunch SGD 14 - SGD 39 +1 877-509-9512
Excellent
64%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 335 reviews

Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant

Inspired by the olive trees, gardens and villas that dot the Mediterranean coastline, the Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant melds the classic and the unexpected, making it a place one simply has to experience. Add breathtaking golf course views and our award-wining resort service, and you've got a reason to stay all day. Fresh and modern, Veranda's seasonal menus feature Mediterranean cuisine with a Southern California twist. Each dish is designed by the our team of chefs using locally-sourced ingredients and the freshest possible proteins. Veranda is the perfect place to meet for a quick bite (try our house made guacamole or Pesto Pizza), dine under the stars or gather around the fire with a cocktail (join us Tuesdays for Patron Cadillac Margaritas). Come and enjoy. You're sure to have an experience to savor.

Reviewed By passportready2018 - Los Angeles, California

Service was exceptional. Very friendly and down to earth. Made us feel comfortable with high end service and delicious food. We loved sitting outside and overlooking the golf course. We didn't intend to each at the same restaurant twice, but we loved it so much the first day we went back again.

9. Kono's Cafe

704 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109-2408 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible American, Cafe, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch SGD 7 - SGD 13 +1 858-483-1669
Excellent
68%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Kono's Cafe

Reviewed By alanroytbak - Fair Lawn, New Jersey

Based on all the hype! We couldn’t miss this, and the hype is real. Authentic home made breakfast food with Mexican style. Portions are huge so definitely share. The egg burrito was spot on. Everything is fresh, the kids enjoyed their pancakes as well. The wait about 30 minutes or so. It’s worth the wait.

10. Truluck's Seafood, Steak and Crab House

8990 University Center Ln, San Diego, CA 92122-1085 Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi American, Seafood, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 41 - SGD 79 +1 858-453-2583
Excellent
73%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 687 reviews

Truluck's Seafood, Steak and Crab House

We invite you to escape to Truluck's. A getaway for the senses. Come savor the freshest Crab, direct from our own fisheries. Delight in our fresh-catch seafood menu or select tender, juicy steaks prepared to perfection. Then complement it all with delicious wines by the glass and bottle.

Reviewed By GattoViziato - Columbus, Ohio

What a great experience, our service was over the top and the food was cooked to order and very good. The wait staff was very attentive and always available to provide you assistance for food recommendations and wine selection suggestions. For our appetizer we had the raw oysters and a calamari dish. The Oysters were fresh. For my main entrée I ended up having the surf and turf, with the wait staff's insights I had the New York strip (medium rare) and one pound of Alaskan king crab. This was very good. The wine that we paired with our meal created the balance that we were looking for. Overall outstanding experience and a great meal. I will definitely be back.

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