San Diego is a city that is known for its beautiful beaches, great weather, and delicious food. The city boasts a diverse culinary scene that caters to all tastes and budgets. From street food to fine dining, San Diego's restaurants offer something for everyone.
Whether you are a local or a visitor, finding the best restaurants in the city can be overwhelming. To help you out, we have put together a list of the best restaurants in San Diego.
Our list includes restaurants that serve different types of cuisine, from Italian to Mexican, Japanese to American. We have also included restaurants that cater to different budgets, from affordable to upscale.
Our goal is to give you a taste of what San Diego's culinary scene has to offer, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to dining out in the city.
We have visited each of the restaurants on our list and have tried their signature dishes. We have also taken into consideration factors such as service, ambiance, and location. Our list is not ranked, as each restaurant offers a unique dining experience that cannot be compared to another.
Our hope is that this list will inspire you to explore San Diego's culinary scene and discover new restaurants that you may not have heard of before. So, without further ado, let's dive into the best restaurants in San Diego.
1. Eddie V's Prime Seafood
Eddie V's Prime Seafood is an elegant fine-dining restaurant that specializes in seafood and steak.
The menu is well-curated and the dishes are cooked to perfection. The staff is attentive and knowledgeable, making the dining experience exceptional.
The restaurant also features a cocktail lounge with live jazz music, adding to the ambiance.
The prices are on the higher side, but the quality of the food and service justifies it. Eddie V's Prime Seafood is a great choice for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.
2. Island Prime
Island Prime is a sleek waterfront restaurant and lounge that offers stunning skyline views.
Specializing in Californian cuisine, the restaurant serves up mouth-watering seafood dishes that are sure to impress.
The black rice accompaniment with the seared tuna is a standout dish, while the lobster bisque and shrimp and caviar pasta are also highly recommended.
The service is polite and attentive, making for a great dining experience. It's a perfect spot for a romantic evening or a night out with friends and family. Don't forget to make a reservation in advance!
3. CUCINA urbana
CUCINA urbana is a trendy and stylish Italian restaurant and wine shop. The restaurant offers a wide range of delicious dishes made from pure and fresh ingredients.
The menu features a variety of pasta dishes, pizzas, and small bites that are worth trying. The restaurant has a great ambiance and friendly and knowledgeable staff that make the dining experience enjoyable.
The pizza bar, seating at the bar, and window seating add to the overall experience. The wine selection is impressive, and the option to buy wine bottles at retail price is a plus.
CUCINA urbana is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality Italian dining experience.
4. Bud & Rob's New Orleans Bistro
Bud & Rob's New Orleans Bistro offers authentic Creole and Cajun dishes in a casual space with limited seating.
The menu boasts delicious options such as pulled pork sandwich, shrimp & grits, jambalaya pasta, and alligator sausage.
The staff is friendly and attentive, creating a welcoming atmosphere for diners.
The restaurant is a must-visit for those looking for a taste of New Orleans cuisine in the area.
5. Queenstown Public House
Queenstown Public House is a whimsical New Zealand-themed restaurant and beer bar. They offer a large selection of draft beers and upscale bar fare.
The menu has a good selection of tasty dishes, but some items are cooked in chili oil, so it's best to ask the waiter before ordering.
The building and seating have a rustic appeal, and the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable. Prices are a little on the high side, but the portions are generous, and the food is worth it.
The outdoor seating area is great, and happy hour is a must-try. All in all, Queenstown Public House is a great spot for a casual night out with friends.
6. Mister A's
Mister A's is an elegant restaurant that offers stunning views of the city and bay. The service is top-notch, and the waitstaff is attentive and professional.
The cocktails are expertly crafted, and the food is delicious. The gorgonzola crusted prime beef tenderloin is a standout dish, cooked to perfection and melt-in-your-mouth tender.
The mac and cheese is rich and truffle-y, with a delightful crust. The chocolate mousse torte is a perfect finish to the meal.
Mister A's is a must-visit for anyone looking for an upscale dining experience with breathtaking views.
Trust is a modern restaurant that serves New American cuisine. The menu is seasonally driven and features tapas-style dishes meant for sharing.
The staff is knowledgeable and polite, providing excellent service.
The food is fresh and bursting with flavor, with dishes like wood-fired cauliflower and shrimp and sausage leaving a lasting impression.
The restaurant's chic atmosphere and inventive cocktails add to the overall experience. Trust is a must-visit for those looking for a culinary adventure.
8. The Red Door
The Red Door is a refined yet homey eatery that offers upscale American comfort fare made with garden-fresh produce. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere that's perfect for a date night or intimate dinner.
The menu features a variety of dishes, including seafood pasta made with fresh squid ink pasta, short ribs over polenta, and aged ribeye.
The restaurant also offers great red wine and live music on most weekends. The servers are attentive and work together to ensure that the food comes out efficiently.
The Red Door is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for delicious food and wonderful service.
9. The Smoking Goat Restaurant
The Smoking Goat Restaurant offers an upscale farmhouse vibe with a seasonal menu. This French-American bistro serves delicious bistro fare and has an interesting wine list with some unique options.
The menu is adjusted slightly each day, but the core items remain consistent. The pork chop and swordfish are incredible dishes that are sure to impress.
The atmosphere is intimate and cozy, with exposed-brick walls adding to the country-chic feel of the restaurant. The goat cheese cheesecake dessert is a must-try for anyone looking for something unusual that still resonates with the familiar.
The Smoking Goat Restaurant is a great option for anyone looking for a modern French restaurant with delivery and takeout options available.
Callie is a refined Mediterranean restaurant that offers a sophisticated dining experience. Their menu features a fusion of Mediterranean flavors that are presented with modern flair.
The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere, and the waitstaff are knowledgeable and attentive.
The food is of premium quality and reasonably priced. The chef is talented and innovative, offering unique combinations of flavors that are sure to delight.
Callie is a must-visit for anyone looking for an exciting and fresh dining experience.
11. Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop
Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop is a rustic-chic chophouse that serves standard meat alongside ofal and wild game.
With a personalized happy birthday menu and attentive service, the restaurant offers a memorable dining experience. The flavorful dishes, generous portions, and mouthwatering desserts are exceptional.
The skilled bartenders create delicious and strong drinks, making it a perfect spot for happy hour.
The innovative American steakhouse also has a butcher shop and event venue. Highly recommended for those who want to taste the best steaks in town.
12. Taste of Denmark
Taste of Denmark is a small, family-owned eatery that serves authentic Danish cuisine.
The menu is focused on lunch entrees and Danish-style snacks. The food is freshly prepared and the rye bread is outstanding.
The service is excellent and the staff is knowledgeable about the menu. The atmosphere is laid-back and unfussy.
This is a hidden gem that is worth checking out for a change of pace from typical dining options.
13. Herb & Wood
Herb & Wood is a chic and upscale restaurant that offers rustic, wood-fired dishes and old-school cocktails.
The ambiance is sophisticated yet laid-back, with indoor and outdoor spaces tastefully decorated.
The menu boasts a nice selection of appetizers and entrees, with the Tomahawk Pork Loin Chop being a standout dish.
The service is impeccable, and the craft cocktails are creative and delicious. While on the pricey side, Herb & Wood is the perfect spot for a special occasion or a night out with friends.
14. Tapas & Beers
Tapas & Beers offers a delightful dining experience with its Mediterranean-style tapas, meaty entrees, and local craft beer and wine.
The wood-clad spot emphasizes quality ingredients, and the dishes are tailored to the client's taste.
The friendly staff and owners provide attentive service, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Whether you're looking for a casual night out or celebrating a special occasion, Tapas & Beers is a great choice for a memorable meal.