As a local in San Diego, I have tried my fair share of loco moco dishes. For those who may not know, loco moco is a popular Hawaiian dish that consists of a bed of rice, a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and gravy.
It's a hearty meal that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
San Diego may not be Hawaii, but there are plenty of places in the city that serve up a mean loco moco.
From hole-in-the-wall diners to upscale restaurants, there's a loco moco for everyone's taste buds.
But not all loco mocos are created equal. Some have thick, rich gravy that's perfect for dipping your fries in, while others have a lighter gravy that lets the flavors of the meat and egg shine through.
Some places even add their own twist to the classic dish, like adding avocado or substituting the rice for fried noodles.
In this blog post, I'll be sharing my top picks for the best places to get loco moco in San Diego.
Whether you're a local or a visitor, these spots are definitely worth checking out for a taste of Hawaii in Southern California. So, get your appetite ready and let's dive into the world of loco moco in San Diego.
1. Chris' Ono Grinds Island Grill
Chris' Ono Grinds Island Grill serves up some of the best loco moco in town. The portions are generous and the flavors are on point.
Along with the classic Hawaiian dish, they also offer poke bowls, huli huli chicken plates, and other traditional dishes.
The staff is friendly and the prices are reasonable. The only downside is that the restaurant only offers takeout, but the food is worth the trip.
If you're in the mood for some delicious Hawaiian fare, Chris' Ono Grinds Island Grill is definitely worth a visit.
2. Leilani's Cafe
Leilani's Cafe is a great spot for those looking to try some authentic Hawaiian food.
The Hilo Style Loco Moco is a must-try, with a generous portion of meatloaf topped with gravy and served on a bed of rice with two eggs over medium.
The cafe also offers a variety of other island dishes like musubi and teriyaki. The staff is friendly and the service is fast.
The gift shop next door is worth checking out while waiting for your food. Keep in mind that it's cash only, but the food is definitely worth it.
3. The Mission / East Village
The Mission / East Village is a popular eatery that serves Asian-Latin fusion fare with an international twist.
While the place is known for its breakfast and brunch options, they also offer a delicious loco moco dish that is definitely worth trying. The dish features a bed of rice topped with a juicy beef patty, a fried egg, and savory gravy.
The flavors blend together perfectly to create a mouthwatering experience. The portions are generous, and the service is friendly and attentive.
The Mission / East Village is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for a unique and satisfying loco moco dish.
4. Fathom Bistro
Fathom Bistro is a cozy taproom and eatery that offers a selection of craft brews and bar bites.
Visitors can enjoy the beautiful views of the San Diego Bay waters while indulging in their delicious loco moco dish. The menu is small but the quality of the food is exceptional.
The sausages are homemade and the bread is flown in from Philly, making for a perfect chewy texture.
The beer selection is unbeatable and there's something for everyone to enjoy. Fathom Bistro is a must-visit spot for those looking for a unique and enjoyable dining experience.
5. Farmer's Bottega
Farmer's Bottega is a chic farm-to-table eatery that offers a new American menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The restaurant uses fresh, high-quality ingredients to create delicious dishes that are well-balanced in flavor. The loco moco is a standout dish that is worth trying.
The restaurant has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, and the service is friendly and attentive. However, parking can be an issue during peak hours.
If you're looking for tasty food made with fresh ingredients, Farmer's Bottega is definitely worth a visit.
6. JRDN Restaurant
If you're in the mood for some delicious loco moco, head to JRDN Restaurant.
This beachfront eatery offers refined takes on classic surf 'n' turf dishes, as well as a great view and cocktails.
While the menu is a bit limited, the dishes are all great choices and the servers are courteous and knowledgeable.
The overall atmosphere has a cool vibe, making it a solid choice for anyone visiting the area.
7. The Hen House
The Hen House serves up a delicious Hawaiian-style loco moco that is a must-try for brunch lovers.
The tapas-style menu offers well-balanced portions that are made from scratch and bursting with flavor. The decor is beautiful and the outdoor patio provides a refreshing vibe.
Service is friendly and attentive, making for a great dining experience. Don't forget to try their lavender latte and freshly squeezed orange juice.
The Hen House is definitely worth a visit for a high-quality brunch experience.
8. Oi Asian Fusion
Looking for a delicious loco moco in town, look no further than Oi Asian Fusion.
This restaurant is a hidden gem that serves up a fusion of Filipino and Japanese cuisine. The portions are filling, and the food is fresh and flavorful.
The prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is cool and modern. The staff is friendly and attentive, and the service is fast.
Don't miss out on the ube upside down pie for dessert. Oi Asian Fusion is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique and tasty dining experience.
9. San Diego Slider Company
San Diego Slider Company is a must-visit spot for loco moco lovers. With an impressive selection of 48 different sliders, there is something for everyone.
The food is fresh and delicious, and the service is friendly and helpful.
The variety of options, including clam chowder bread bowl and shakes, make this place a great choice for a quick and satisfying meal.
The restaurant is clean and well-maintained, and the bathrooms are spotless. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a delicious and unique dining experience.
10. Flap Your Jacks
Flap Your Jacks is a fun and vibrant spot for loco moco lovers. While making your own pancakes is the main attraction, the savory Mexican options steal the show.
The Rancheros and grilled toast dishes are exceptionally flavorful and well-made.
The service is friendly, and the Yelp waitlist is accurate and on time.
The restaurant has a great atmosphere, perfect for a date, with friends, or family, and especially for kids. Prices can be a bit high, but the food is worth it.