San Diego is filled with great places to eat. Below are some of my favorites that I always suggest to those visiting who are looking for a memorable meal. I’m constantly adding to this list as I visit new places, so be sure to check back often!
Bread & Cie (Hillcrest) – Breads and pastries are made daily and can be found at many coffee shops around town if you’re not able to make it to their actual location. The quiches are my favorite!
Great Maple (University Heights) – Holy large portions, Batman! My husband and I always share when we come here so someone doesn’t have to roll us out the door. Chilaquiles are fantastic and their beignets or maple bacon donuts are a must!
Hillcrest Farmer’s Market (Hillcrest) – If you’re in town on a Sunday morning, the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market is the place to be. Not only can you score some great local produce, but you can enjoy a meal from one of the great variety of food stalls the market has to offer.
Snooze (Hillcrest) – If you’re up early, head on over to Snooze for a great, filling breakfast. The breakfast pot pie is my favorite thing on the menu. This place is super popular, so arriving before 9am is key.
The Mission (North Park, Mission Beach and East Village) – Another popular neighborhood place where arriving earlier is better. I think I’ve had everything on the menu and love them all. Their french toast tops my list along with the chicken apple sausage and eggs. If your dish comes with their rosemary potatoes, you’re in for a treat!
Urban Solace (North Park) – They serve an amazing bluegrass brunch on Sundays! Get there early in order to score a seat outside so you can enjoy the music while you eat. Whatever you get, be sure to order their cheddar chive biscuits to go with. You won’t be sorry!
Bombay Exotic Cuisine of India (Hillcrest) – It doesn’t get much better than a $9.99 Indian food lunch buffet! The selection of food rotates, but the veggie samosas are always offered and always a favorite of mine. The garlic naan is also delish!
Burger Lounge (several locations) – A Burger Lounge burger and onion rings is one of my favorite quick lunches. They use all grass-fed beef and local produce. If you’re not a burger person, they also have some great salads.
Carnitas Snack Shack (North Park and Del Mar) – Come hungry to Carnitas Snack Shack! Portions are hearty and the food can be filling. If you go at peak times there can be a long wait to order and get your food, so plan accordingly!
Costa Azul (Coronado) – While you’re taking a stroll in Coronado, stop by Costa Azul for some great Mexican food. Margaritas are nice and strong and among my favorite things to order is their ceviche!
Point Loma Seafoods (Point Loma) – Fresh seafood at a great price and you can enjoy your meal right on the water in Point Loma! This place is popular so be prepared to have a little wait. My favorites are the fish and chips and their clam chowder.
Tacos Perla (North Park) – In town for Taco Tuesday? This place is a MUST. My favorite? The fish tacos, by far! And, if you’re feeling adventurous, top your taco with crickets!
Bencotto (Little Italy) – Of course, there is a ton of Italian restaurants in Little Italy and I’ve eaten at most of them. Bencotto is in my top two (see below for my other favorite). I’ve never had anything I didn’t like on their dinner menu, but if the lamb ragu is available the day you go, I highly suggest it. I also love the semifreddo for dessert.
Brooklyn Girl Eatery (Mission Hills) – This one is high on my list of San Diego favorites and is always a place that I like to take out-of-towners. Again, I’ve never had anything I didn’t like there, but my faves are the brussels sprouts, duck and burger!
Cucina Urbana (Bankers Hill) – Another restaurant where I’ve never done anything but LOVE what I’ve ordered. Favorites are the short rib pappardelle, fried squash blossoms and the jidori chicken. Their cocktails are also tasty. This place is always packed, so reservations are a must!
Davanti Enoteca (Little Italy) – Whatever you do, order the pork ragu with mascarpone polenta. It will change your life. Enough said.
The Prado (Balboa Park) – If you’re walking around Balboa Park, stop into The Prado for Happy Hour, lunch or dinner. The bar has an abbreviated version of the menu and great drink deals during happy hour. I celebrated my engagement and a few of my husbands’ birthdays at this restaurant so it holds a special place in my heart 🙂
Starlite (Mission Hills) – If you’re a fan of the Moscow Mule, they have the best one in town in my opinion and the back patio is also great for enjoying a drink on a warm evening. Food faves are the fries, jidori chicken, steak and veggie burger. If the ice cream sandwich is on the dessert menu, it’s a MUST!
The Smoking Goat (North Park) – One of our favorite places for a special night out. The food is spectacular and the service is absolutely impeccable; seriously, some of the best around. A menu must? The duck fat truffle fries. Yes, you read that right. Duck fat. Truffle. Fries. Done.
Extraordinary Desserts (Bankers Hill and Little Italy) – Seriously, this is THE place to go for dessert. Get your phone ready, too, because all of the desserts are downright gorgeous. They’re really almost too good to eat, until you take a bite; then you’ll devour the whole thing. I think I’ve had every dessert they offer and none of them has been anything less than top-notch. The Little Italy location serves meals beyond dessert, but the Bankers Hill location is strictly dessert. If you go on a Friday or Saturday evening, be prepared to wait!
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters (La Jolla, Morena Blvd and Little Italy) – Great, local coffee. Even if you don’t make it to one of their shops, their coffee is served at a bunch of other coffee shops and restaurants around town.
Caffe Calabria (North Park) – This is my favorite neighborhood coffee shop which is why you’ll find me there often and it’s become the coffee that I judge all other coffee against. Grab your favorite drink, a great bite to eat from their selection of pastry and sandwiches and have a seat outside in San Diego’s first parklet. It’s a great place to people watch and enjoy the San Diego sunshine!
Holsem Coffee (North Park) – A new addition to the craft coffee community in North Park. They set themselves apart by offering creative and flavorful coffee drinks. My favorite? The l’orange cappuccino with caramelized orange and vanilla bean. Great way to start your morning!
San Diego has become a craft beer mecca! Check out this list of breweries.
After you’ve had your fill of food and drink, check out my list of Things to Do and Places to See in San Diego!