San Diego is a city that loves spice. From the beach to the downtown area, there is no shortage of restaurants that cater to those who enjoy a bit of heat in their food.
If you are someone who loves spicy food, you will be happy to know that San Diego is home to some of the best spicy food restaurants in the country. Whether you are looking for Mexican, Indian, Thai or Korean cuisine, San Diego has something for everyone.
The best thing about San Diego's spicy food scene is that there is no shortage of options. You can find everything from mouth-watering tacos to fiery curries within a few miles of each other.
The city has a diverse mix of cultures, which means that you can find a wide variety of spicy dishes from around the world.
In this blog post, we will be exploring some of the best spicy food restaurants in San Diego. We will be taking a closer look at the dishes that make these restaurants stand out and why they are worth visiting.
So, if you are ready to embark on a spicy food adventure, keep reading to discover the best spicy food restaurants in San Diego.
1. The Crack Shack – Little Italy
The Crack Shack – Little Italy is a spicy food restaurant that specializes in chicken and egg dishes.
The food is fresh, delicious, and reasonably priced. The restaurant has a fun and hip vibe with stylish outdoor seating, a full bar, and a bocce court.
The fried chicken is crispy, juicy, and not greasy. The spicy chicken sandwich has a nice kick to it and is highly recommended.
The sauces are yummy and the pineapple mustard is a must-try. The Crack Shack – Little Italy is a must-visit if you're looking for great spicy food in a cool atmosphere.
2. Bahn Thai
Bahn Thai is a cozy Thai restaurant known for its bold and spicy flavors.
The menu offers a variety of authentic Thai dishes, including vegetarian and vegan options. The restaurant's small size and counter service add to its charm.
The food is served on inexpensive paper plates, but the quality and taste are exceptional. The mango and sticky rice dessert is a must-try if it's in season.
The restaurant can get crowded during peak hours, but the wait is worth it. Bahn Thai is the perfect spot for anyone craving delicious and spicy Thai food.
3. Empanada Kitchen
Empanada Kitchen is a must-visit for anyone who loves spicy food. Their empanadas are hearty, nutritious, and reasonably priced.
With plenty of options to choose from, there's always something for everyone. The decoration could be better, but the friendly service more than makes up for it.
The spicy beef empanada is a must-try. The chimichurri sauce is a bit small, but the empanadas are great nonetheless.
The 24-pack of savory empanadas is perfect for brunch or a quick bite. Empanada Kitchen is a bright and cheery stop for anyone craving authentic Argentinian cooking.
Animae is a ritzy Asian fusion restaurant that offers high-end steak and spicy dishes in a luxurious atmosphere.
The starters are amazing, and the Bao Bun and Shrimp Caviar Toast are must-tries. The Taiwanese Chicken is the standout dish, full of flavor and spice.
The drinks are tasty, and the ambiance is warm and welcoming. The service is attentive, making for a perfect dining experience.
If you're looking for a fine dining experience with a spicy kick, Animae is the place to be.
5. Thotsakan Thai and Vegetarian Cuisine
Thotsakan Thai and Vegetarian Cuisine is a must-visit restaurant for those who love spicy food. The menu offers a wide range of dishes that cater to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
The staff is friendly and provides excellent service. The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere with colorful statues that add to the ambiance.
The food is flavorful and comes out quickly. The vegan mock-meat options are a standout feature.
The Green Curry and Spicy Eggplant dishes are highly recommended. Thotsakan Thai and Vegetarian Cuisine is a great place to enjoy authentic Thai cuisine.
6. Sovereign Modern Thai Cuisine
Sovereign Modern Thai Cuisine offers Malaysian and Laotian inspired dishes that pack a spicy punch.
The restaurant has been recommended by Michelin in 2021 for its delicious and complex vegetarian curry noodles and must-try chicken satay.
The food is incredibly fresh and flavorful with high-quality ingredients. The service is attentive and friendly, making for a comfortable dining experience.
If you're a fan of Northern Thai fare, this is definitely worth checking out.
7. Rei Do Gado Brazilian Steakhouse & Seafood
Rei Do Gado Brazilian Steakhouse & Seafood is a must-try for lovers of spicy food.
With 15 types of meat items served tableside, including chicken heart, lamb chop, and leg, this restaurant provides a feast for the senses.
The side bars offer an array of delicious items, such as shrimp cocktails, spinach walnut salad, and Brazilian pickle peppers.
The ambiance and decor could use a makeover, but the food and service more than make up for it. This authentic Brazilian restaurant is a great choice for those looking for outstanding food and variety.
8. Bangkok Spices Thai Restaurant
Bangkok Spices Thai Restaurant is a must-visit for anyone who loves spicy food.
Their menu offers a range of options for different spice levels, so everyone can find something to enjoy. The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable.
The service is friendly and quick, making it a great spot for a casual lunch or dinner.
The decor is quirky and adds to the overall atmosphere of the restaurant. Don't miss out on their curries and noodle dishes, which are particularly delicious.
9. Thai Island
Thai Island is a cozy restaurant that offers delicious and authentic Thai cuisine. The staff is friendly and accommodating, ensuring that customers get their desired spice level.
The food is reasonably priced and served fresh, with the curries and Pad Thai being popular choices.
The restaurant also serves sushi, which is equally delicious. The seating is intimate and cozy, making it the perfect spot for a casual date or a quick lunch.
If you're in the mood for some spicy Thai food, Thai Island is definitely worth checking out.
10. Superior Soul Food
Superior Soul Food is a must-try for anyone who loves spicy and authentic Southern cuisine.
This unassuming restaurant serves up some of the best lemon pepper wings and red beans & rice in town, with a small spicy kick that adds an extra layer of flavor to every dish.
The chicken is juicy and flavorful, and the mac & cheese is creamy and delicious. The owners are friendly and welcoming, and the prices are affordable.
If you're looking for a taste of vintage Southern cooking, Superior Soul Food is the place to be.
11. King Of Thai cuisine
King Of Thai cuisine is a popular Thai restaurant that serves traditional spicy dishes in a laid back setting. The restaurant has a great vibe and the food is full of flavor.
The spice level is not overwhelming, but it complements the ingredients well. The service is quick and the lunch specials are large portions.
The red curry with beef and the spicy chicken fried rice are highly recommended.
The restaurant also offers delicious desserts such as coconut ice cream with mini fried banana rolls. King Of Thai cuisine is a must-try for anyone who loves spicy Thai food.
12. Ly Heng Asian Restaurant
Ly Heng Asian Restaurant is a hidden gem for those who crave spicy food. This Cambodian and Chinese restaurant offers unique flavors that are hard to find elsewhere.
The dishes are cooked to order, ensuring freshness and quality. The beef sate with thick egg noodles and the dry style Phnom Penh noodles are must-try items on the menu. The shaking beef is also a standout dish.
The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable. The pork bone broth soup is complimentary with any rice entree and is a delicious addition to the meal. The Thai tea is also highly recommended.
While the service can be slow at times, the exceptional food makes up for it. If you're looking for authentic and flavorful Cambodian and Chinese cuisine, Ly Heng Asian Restaurant is definitely worth a visit.