San Diego has a diversified culinary culture with something for everyone, making it a food lover’s delight. San Diego’s restaurants are renowned for their fresh ingredients, strong flavors, and creative menus, from coastal cafes to rooftop pubs. Making a choice about where to eat might be difficult with so many possibilities. We’ve compiled a list of the top 20 restaurants in San Diego to help you find the perfect bite.

Our Favorites

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George’s at the Cove

  • Oceanfront
  • Upscale
  • Contemporary
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Kettner Exchange

  • Trendy
  • Rooftop
  • Lively
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Ironside Fish & Oyster

  • Seafood
  • Sophisticated
  • Industrial

The 20 Best Restaurants in San Diego

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Juniper & Ivy

The contemporary American restaurant Juniper & Ivy, which is situated in the center of Little Italy, serves creative cuisine crafted with ingredients that are acquired locally. The uni pasta and the lamb belly are two popular items on the restaurant’s constantly-changing menu.


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The gourmet dining establishment Addison is situated in Del Mar and provides an opulent dining experience with superior service. The menu of the restaurant offers dishes with a contemporary spin on French cuisine.


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The Marine Room

A La Jolla landmark, The Marine Room provides stunning ocean vistas and a menu that highlights the best of Californian cuisine. The restaurant is renowned for its signature dish, Maine lobster soup, as well as for its well-known high tide feasts, during which the waves pound the windows.


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Herb & Wood

Little Italy’s Herb & Wood is a rustic-chic eatery with wood-fired food and creative beverages. The menu at the restaurant offers California-style food with a Mediterranean influence.


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Popular Mexican eatery Puesto serves street-style tacos and inventive drinks. There are multiple locations for the restaurant spread over San Diego, including La Jolla, Mission Valley, and the city center.


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Born & Raised

In Little Italy, there is a steakhouse called Born & Raised that provides a retro-inspired dining experience with a contemporary touch. The cuisine of the restaurant offers traditional steakhouse fare including prime rib and filet mignon.


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Hillcrest’s Trust is a modern American eatery that serves farm-to-table fare crafted with regional ingredients. The menu of the restaurant changes frequently, but some of the favorites are the roasted bone marrow and duck confit.


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Mister A’s

The rooftop restaurant Mister A’s in Bankers Hill provides breathtaking views of the cityscape. The restaurant’s cuisine offers traditional American fare with a contemporary touch.


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Cucina Urbana

The best of California Italian cuisine is served at the Italian restaurant Cucina Urbana in Bankers Hill, which features rustic-chic furnishings and a menu. The cuisine at the restaurant is constantly changing, but some patrons’ favorites are the meatballs and the pasta with truffles.


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The Crack Shack

The Crack Shack is a funky eatery that specializes in chicken and eggs and serves delicacies like fried chicken sandwiches and deviled eggs. In San Diego, the restaurant has multiple locations, including ones in Little Italy and Encinitas.


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The Oceanaire Seafood Room

A daily-changing menu is available at seafood restaurant The Oceanaire Seafood Room, located in the city’s center. The restaurant is well-known for its raw bar and its giant shrimp cocktail specialty dish.


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George’s at the Cove

A La Jolla landmark, George’s at the Cove provides breathtaking ocean vistas and a menu that highlights the best of Californian cuisine. There are three floors in the restaurant, and each offers a distinctive dining atmosphere.


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Urban Solace

A restaurant in North Park called Urban Solace serves food with Southern influences that is produced with regional products. The menu at the restaurant is constantly changing, but some of the crowd favorites are the chicken and waffles and the shrimp and grits.


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La Jolla’s Herringbone is a seafood-focused restaurant with a chic, coastal-inspired ambiance. The menu offers a variety of meals made with fresh seafood, such as oysters, ceviche, and grilled fish, in addition to creative cocktails and a sizable wine selection. The furnishings are a mix of modern white pieces and rustic wood accents, creating a style that is both sophisticated and relaxed.


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Ironside Fish and Oyster

Little Italy’s Ironside Fish & Oyster is a seafood-focused restaurant with a chic, contemporary interior and a menu that emphasizes local, sustainable fish. The restaurant is well-known for its raw bar and its lobster roll, which is its specialty.


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The Smoking Goat

The Smoking Goat is a North Park restaurant with French influences that serves traditional bistro fare cooked using ingredients that are obtained locally. The escargot and the coq au vin are two dishes that are frequently on the restaurant’s changing menu.


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C Level Lounge

C Level Lounge is a waterfront restaurant located on Harbor Island that offers stunning views of the San Diego skyline. The restaurant’s menu features classic American dishes with a seafood focus.


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Kettner Exchange

A modern American menu with a focus on small meals and handmade cocktails is available at the hip Little Italy eatery Kettner Exchange. The restaurant’s interior is decorated in a contemporary, industrial style and has a rooftop bar.


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The Patio on Goldfinch

In Mission Hills, there is a quaint, neighborhood restaurant called The Patio on Goldfinch that serves food with a Californian influence that is produced with fresh, regional ingredients. A lovely outside patio and a welcoming indoor eating area are featured in the restaurant’s design.


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A.R. Valentien

A.R. Valentien is a fine dining establishment in La Jolla that serves seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine produced using ingredients that are acquired locally. The restaurant’s interior is decorated in a traditional, elegant style and offers breath-taking views of the Torrey Pines golf course.


Want More Local Recommendations?

The culinary culture in San Diego is as diverse as the city itself, with several top-notch eateries providing food from all over the world. Every palate may find something to enjoy in San Diego, from traditional Italian dishes to contemporary Japanese cuisine, fresh seafood to creative drinks. We invite you to continue exploring San Diego’s dining alternatives because our list of the top 20 eateries in the city is just the beginning. For more suggestions and insider information on what to do in San Diego, be sure to check out our other local articles!

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