Food & Drink

16 Best Restaurants With Outdoor Seating in San Diego

San Diego is a city known for its perfect weather and stunning views. It's no surprise that many restaurants in the area offer outdoor seating to take advantage of these natural amenities.

Whether you're looking for a romantic dinner spot, a family-friendly brunch location, or a place to grab drinks with friends, San Diego has a variety of options for outdoor dining.

One of the best things about outdoor dining in San Diego is the variety of cuisines available. From fresh seafood to authentic Mexican cuisine, there's something for everyone.

The outdoor seating also allows for a more relaxed atmosphere, making it a great option for those who want to enjoy their meal in a casual setting. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating with a view of the ocean or the city skyline, adding to the overall experience.

In addition to great food and views, outdoor dining in San Diego also offers a safe way to dine during the pandemic.

With ample space for social distancing, outdoor seating allows diners to enjoy their meal while minimizing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. It's a win-win situation for those who want to enjoy a meal outside while staying safe and healthy.

In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best restaurants with outdoor seating in San Diego.

From hidden gems to popular hotspots, we'll highlight some of the best places to dine al fresco in the city. So grab your sunglasses and get ready to enjoy some delicious food with a view!

1. Cesarina

4161 Voltaire St, San Diego, CA 92107 (Google Maps)

Cesarina is a stylish Italian restaurant with outdoor seating. The servers are friendly and knowledgeable, making great recommendations for both food and wine.

The homemade pasta is a must-try, especially the PAPPARDELLE al BRASATO di MANZO.

The tiramisu is also a crowd-pleaser, made tableside. The restaurant is on the pricier side, but the food and service are worth it.

Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends. The outdoor dining area is perfect for enjoying the San Diego weather while indulging in delicious Italian cuisine.

2. Ironside Fish & Oyster

Ironside Fish & Oyster
1654 India St, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Ironside Fish & Oyster is a must-visit seafood restaurant with a quirky nautical design. The outdoor seating area is perfect for a romantic dinner or a catch-up with friends.

The menu offers a wide selection of fresh seafood, including a great oyster selection and tasty vegetable dishes.

The supporting wine selection is also impressive. The staff is friendly and attentive, making the dining experience relaxed and enjoyable.

The restaurant is also kid-friendly, making it a great spot for families. Don't miss out on the bone marrow and roasted octopus dishes.

3. Queenstown Public House

Queenstown Public House
1557 Columbia St, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Queenstown Public House is a charming restaurant with outdoor seating. The staff is friendly and accommodating, making the dining experience enjoyable.

The food is delicious and well presented, with a variety of options to choose from.

The beer selection is impressive, with several different kinds available. The ambiance is whimsical and inviting, with a New Zealand theme throughout.

It's a great place to try something new while still enjoying comfort food. Highly recommended for those looking for a unique dining experience.

4. Mister A's

Mister A's
2550 Fifth Ave 12th floor, San Diego, CA 92103 (Google Maps)

Mister A's is a must-visit restaurant with stunning outdoor seating. The views of the city skyline and planes coming in to land at the nearby airport are breathtaking.

The service is top-notch, making it a perfect place for a special occasion or a romantic evening out. The presentation of the food is impeccable, and the taste is priceless.

The lamb chops and duck are particularly noteworthy, and the extensive wine list is impressive. The staff is accommodating, and the chef is happy to customize dishes to dietary restrictions.

Highly recommend making a reservation for the patio seating, which is equipped with heat lamps to keep you warm. Mister A's is a San Diego gem that should not be missed.

5. insideOUT

1642 University Ave #100, San Diego, CA 92103 (Google Maps)

InsideOUT is a trendy restaurant with a unique indoor and outdoor setting.

The courtyard, complete with a water feature and plants, offers a cool and relaxed atmosphere. The food is delicious, and the service is friendly and attentive.

Make sure to reserve a table in advance, as the restaurant is popular and gets busy quickly.

The only downside is that parking can be difficult to find. Despite this, InsideOUT is a great option for a fun night out with friends or a romantic date.

6. Trust

3752 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103 (Google Maps)

Trust is a modern New American restaurant that offers seasonally driven cuisine and cocktails. The inviting, well-appointed space is perfect for outdoor dining.

The restaurant provides heating lamps for outdoor seating, making it comfortable even on chilly nights.

The menu features smaller plates, perfect for sharing, and plenty of vegetarian options.

The service is quick, friendly, and attentive. Trust is a great choice for a delicious meal in a stylish and comfortable setting.

7. The Smoking Goat Restaurant

The Smoking Goat Restaurant
3408 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104 (Google Maps)

The Smoking Goat Restaurant boasts an upscale farmhouse vibe with exposed-brick walls and a seasonal menu. Their French-American bistro fare is creative, rich, and delicious.

The service is exceptional, and the staff is attentive and friendly. The outdoor seating area provides a nice ambiance for a low-key night out or a romantic dinner.

Highly recommended dishes include the octopus, scallops, and salmon. The goat cheese cheesecake is a must-try and is surprisingly delicious.

The prices are reasonable for the high quality of food. This place is definitely worth a visit for those looking for a unique dining experience.

8. The Red Door

The Red Door
741 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103 (Google Maps)

The Red Door is a refined yet homey eatery that offers upscale American comfort fare made with garden-fresh produce.

The restaurant has outdoor seating where diners can enjoy their meals in a cozy and friendly atmosphere.

The menu features delicious dishes such as lobster ravioli, orecchiette with house-made Italian sausage, and chicken parmesan.

The chef personally checks in with diners to ensure they are satisfied with their meals. The Red Door is a great place for a special occasion or just a nice dinner.

9. Waterfront Bar & Grill

Waterfront Bar & Grill
2044 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Waterfront Bar & Grill offers a great atmosphere with outdoor seating and a friendly staff.

The food and drinks are delicious, and there is a good selection of beers on offer. The happy hour is solid, and free snacks are available.

The kitchen closes late, making it a great option for a midnight meal.

The bartenders are prompt and respectful, and the prices are reasonable. This is a must-visit local bar with a fun vibe and a diverse crowd.

10. Kettner Exchange

Kettner Exchange
2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Kettner Exchange is a must-visit for foodies who enjoy a unique dining experience.

This restaurant with outdoor seating offers a creative menu of American dishes with global flair, perfect for those looking for something different. The atmosphere is wonderful, with beautiful decor, lighting, and music.

The rooftop bar is a must-visit, and the fireside places are perfect for couples. The service is good, and the staff is knowledgeable about the menu.

The family-style appetizers are delicious, and the desserts are awesome. Prices are a little on the steeper side, but the experience is worth it.

11. Wet Stone Wine Bar & Cafe

Wet Stone Wine Bar & Cafe
1927 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Wet Stone Wine Bar & Cafe is a charming restaurant with outdoor seating. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, perfect for a date night or a small group gathering.

The menu offers a diverse selection of tapas-style dishes that cater to different tastes.

The staff is knowledgeable about wine and can make great recommendations based on your preferences. The service is exceptional, and the staff is friendly and attentive.

The outdoor seating area is surrounded by plants and creates a peaceful oasis in the city. Wet Stone Wine Bar & Cafe is a great spot for a relaxing evening with friends or a loved one.

12. JRDN Restaurant

Jrdn Restaurant
723 Felspar St, San Diego, CA 92109 (Google Maps)

JRDN Restaurant offers a refined beachside dining experience with spectacular ocean views.

The menu features upscale surf and turf dishes, including juicy cubanos, lamb lollipops, and steamed mussels. The cocktails are expertly crafted and pair well with the food.

Guests can enjoy their meal on the outdoor patio, complete with patio heaters for cooler evenings. The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a memorable dining experience.

For those looking for a high-end restaurant with a prime location and delicious food, JRDN Restaurant is a must-visit.

13. Top of the Market

Top Of The Market
750 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Top of the Market is a fine dining restaurant with outdoor seating and stunning bay views.

The menu features high-end seafood and an extensive wine list.

The atmosphere is elegant and perfect for a special occasion. The professional and knowledgeable staff provide excellent service.

Prices are on the higher side, but the quality of the food and experience justifies it.

14. Panama 66

Panama 66
1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Panama 66 is a great spot for drinks and live music in a pleasant outdoor venue.

The food is delicious and made with high-quality ingredients, but the menu could use more variety. The grilled sandwich could also use more cheese for the price.

Counter service is fast and staff is friendly. The eclectic beer and wine selection is reasonably good.

The ambiance is great with live jazz bands on Wednesday nights. The seating in the sculpture garden is a unique feature that adds to the experience.

15. Wormwood

4677 30th St, San Diego, CA 92116 (Google Maps)

Wormwood is a French restaurant with outdoor seating that offers an exceptional dining experience.

The food is expertly crafted with unique flavor combinations and presentation that is both pleasing to the eye and palate. The drink menu is extensive, with over 40 absinthes to choose from.

The service is excellent, with friendly and knowledgeable staff. The ambiance is warm and inviting, making it a perfect spot for a romantic evening or special occasion.

The prices are on the higher side, but the quality of the food and service is well worth it. If you're looking for a memorable dining experience, Wormwood is definitely worth a visit.

16. Las Hadas Bar and Grill

Las Hadas Bar And Grill
558 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Las Hadas Bar and Grill is a must-visit restaurant for anyone who loves Mexican food. The restaurant has a great outdoor seating area that adds to the ambiance.

The food is excellent, with great drinks and veg tacos that are highly recommended. The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a pleasant dining experience.

The restaurant offers great deals on certain days, such as Margarita Monday and $4 taco Tuesday, which makes it an affordable option for those on a budget.

The portions are generous, and the guacamole is exceptional. Las Hadas Bar and Grill is a great spot for family dinners or a night out with friends.