Food & Drink

Takeout Treasure Trove: 15 Must-Try Restaurants in San Diego!

San Diego is a city full of diverse and delicious cuisine. With so many options, it can be overwhelming to choose where to get takeout.

Luckily, we've done the hard work for you and have rounded up the best takeout restaurants in the city. Whether you're in the mood for Mexican, Italian, or Asian, there's something for everyone.

Takeout has become increasingly popular due to the pandemic, and many restaurants have adapted to this new way of dining.

From classic dishes to innovative creations, these restaurants have perfected the art of takeout. Not only is it convenient to bring the food home, but it also supports local businesses during these challenging times.

We've scoured the city to find the best takeout restaurants that offer delicious, high-quality food and exceptional customer service. Our list includes a mix of well-known establishments and hidden gems that you may not have heard of.

So, whether you're a San Diego native or visiting the city for the first time, you won't want to miss out on these fantastic takeout options.

1. Formoosa

4646 Convoy St #103, San Diego, CA 92111 (Google Maps)

Formoosa is a small and cozy Asian restaurant that serves delicious Taiwanese food.

Customers can enjoy dishes such as marinated cucumbers, beef rolls, chili wontons, and pork and noodles.

The restaurant has a modern and hip vibe, with bar seating and separate tables available.

The friendly and attentive service, along with the affordable prices, make Formoosa a great option for takeout.

2. Sushi Ota

Sushi Ota
4529 Mission Bay Dr., San Diego, CA 92109 (Google Maps)

Sushi Ota is a highly acclaimed takeout restaurant that serves premium sushi and Japanese cuisine. They have a reputation for consistently delivering high-quality, fresh sushi that's worth the price.

Although there might be a bit of a wait for service, customers are happy to wait for the fantastic food.

The Chef's Special Sashimi platter is a must-try, and their urchin is said to be better than any in Japan.

If you're looking for an authentic sushi experience, Sushi Ota is the place to go. Just make sure to plan ahead and make a reservation, as it can get busy quickly.

3. Tribute Pizza

Tribute Pizza
3077 N Park Way, San Diego, CA 92104 (Google Maps)

Tribute Pizza offers a unique and delicious takeout experience with a wide range of pizza options, including gluten-free and vegan choices.

The restaurant's sleek and inviting design adds to the overall experience, making it a great place to grab a quick meal.

The staff is friendly and attentive, ensuring that customers are satisfied with their orders.

Tribute Pizza is definitely worth a try for anyone looking for a tasty and convenient takeout option.

4. Oscars Mexican Seafood

Oscars Mexican Seafood
703 Turquoise St, San Diego, CA 92109 (Google Maps)

Oscars Mexican Seafood is a go-to spot for delicious and affordable seafood tacos.

The menu offers classic and modern options, including the popular surf and turf taco and the marinated tuna taco. The sauces are flavorful and add an extra kick to the already delicious tacos.

The staff is friendly and service is quick, making it a great option for takeout. The downside is the limited outdoor seating and the potential for a long wait during peak hours.

Despite this, Oscars Mexican Seafood is a must-try for anyone looking for tasty and budget-friendly seafood tacos.

5. Bud & Rob's New Orleans Bistro

Bud & Rob's New Orleans Bistro
815 F St, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Bud & Rob's New Orleans Bistro is a takeout restaurant that specializes in Creole and Cajun cuisine.

Their menu boasts of delicious dishes such as pulled pork sandwich, shrimp & grits, and jambalaya pasta.

The restaurant has a quaint and intimate atmosphere, perfect for a casual meal. The customer service is excellent, making the overall experience outstanding.

The restaurant is definitely worth a visit for those craving authentic New Orleans flavors.

6. Juniper & Ivy

Juniper & Ivy
2228 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Juniper & Ivy is a trendy and upscale takeout restaurant that serves imaginative New American cuisine.

The dishes are made with fresh ingredients and are well-balanced in flavor. The staff is friendly and accommodating, making the dining experience exceptional.

The restaurant has a cozy and modern decor that adds to the overall ambiance. The options for vegetarians are good, and the drinks are well-balanced.

The prices are a bit high, but the quality of food and service make it worth it. If you're looking for a unique and memorable dining experience, Juniper & Ivy is definitely worth checking out.

7. Empanada Kitchen

Empanada Kitchen
819 C St, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Empanada Kitchen is a must-try for anyone who loves empanadas.

This takeout restaurant offers a wide variety of savory empanadas that are perfect for a quick snack or a meal on the go. The prices are reasonable and the portions are generous.

The service is friendly and the staff is always ready to help. The only downside is the lack of ambiance, but this is easily overlooked when you taste the delicious empanadas.

Empanada Kitchen is highly recommended for anyone who wants to experience authentic Argentinian flavors.

8. The Crack Shack – Little Italy

The Crack Shack - Little Italy
2266 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

The Crack Shack – Little Italy is a must-visit takeout restaurant for chicken lovers.

Their fried chicken is crispy, juicy, and not greasy. The sandwiches are flavorful and filling, and the fries are incredible.

The sauces are a highlight, especially the pineapple mustard. The outdoor seating is cool and the service is friendly.

The prices are reasonable for the quality of food. Highly recommended for anyone craving delicious chicken.

9. The Red Door

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

The Red Door is a takeout restaurant that offers delicious upscale American comfort food made with fresh produce.

The menu features a variety of dishes including seafood pasta, lobster ravioli, and steak with seared tuna risotto. The chef is attentive and cares about his customers, often coming out to check on their meals.

The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, making it a great spot for a date night or celebration.

The service is lightning fast and the staff is incredibly professional. The Red Door is a great option for those looking for high-quality takeout food.

10. Callie

1195 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Callie is a Mediterranean takeout restaurant that offers a family-style menu with unique and exciting flavor combinations.

The chef uses fresh, local ingredients to create delicious dishes such as babaganoush, Egyptian carrots, and Aleppo chicken.

The in-house cocktails are creative and worth trying. The service is professional and attentive, adding to the overall dining experience.

The classy and contemporary ambiance of the restaurant makes it a great option for a sophisticated dining experience.

11. The Smoking Goat Restaurant

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

The Smoking Goat Restaurant offers a delightful takeout experience with its delicious French-American bistro fare. The menu boasts a variety of dishes, including the famous Duck a l'orange and Pork Chop, both cooked to perfection.

The seasonal menu ensures fresh ingredients and exciting options for every visit. The restaurant's country-chic space adds to the overall ambiance, making it a perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.

The Smoking Goat Restaurant's takeout service is efficient, ensuring that the food arrives hot and ready to be enjoyed. The wine bar selection is impressive, with interesting options to pair with every meal.

For those seeking a unique dessert, the Goat Cheese Cheesecake is a must-try. With excellent service and attention to detail, The Smoking Goat Restaurant is a gem worth discovering.

12. Grab & Go Subs

Grab & Go Subs
109 W C St # A, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Grab & Go Subs is a regional chain eatery that specializes in made-to-order sandwiches and salads.

With a wide variety of options, customers can choose from hot or cold subs, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches. The restaurant also offers coffee and soups.

The staff is quick and professional, ensuring that orders are prepared promptly. The food is fresh and tasty, with the Italian Beef sub and hot pastrami being standout menu items.

Grab & Go Subs is an excellent choice for a quick and satisfying lunch or breakfast on the go.

13. Animae

969 Pacific Hwy, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Animae is a classy takeout restaurant that offers delicious Asian-inspired dishes. The Bao Bun and Shrimp Caviar Toast are must-try items on the menu.

The restaurant has a modern and luxurious ambiance that sets the mood for a fine dining experience.

The staff is friendly and attentive, ensuring that customers have a pleasant experience.

Animae is a great option for those who crave high-end Asian fusion cuisine.

14. Superior Soul Food

Superior Soul Food
3007 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113 (Google Maps)

Superior Soul Food is a takeout restaurant that serves authentic Southern cooking at affordable prices. The food is made with the best ingredients and every item is delicious.

The wings are meaty and nicely sized, while the candy yams taste just like homemade. The Mac and cheese is on point and the red beans and rice is tasty. The lemon pepper chicken is a must-try and the collard greens are a great side dish.

Superior Soul Food is a go-to stop for soul food, and supporting a black-owned business is a plus. The food is hot and fresh, and the service is top-notch.

The restaurant is located at a house, but the food is packaged nicely and the texting option for pick up is convenient. Superior Soul Food is a great choice for anyone looking for excellent soul food.

15. De Nada Kitchen & Market

De Nada Kitchen & Market
2123 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116 (Google Maps)

De Nada Kitchen & Market is a small and intimate takeout restaurant serving Mexican and Spanish fusion tapas.

The chef, Oz, ensures every plate is made to perfection and the flavors are fresh and delicious. The menu is small, but the food is amazing and reasonably priced.

The sangria is also on point. The restaurant has a great atmosphere and is perfect for a casual meal or a date night at home.

The veggie empanadas and jalapeno pizza are highly recommended. If you're looking for a great takeout option, De Nada Kitchen & Market is definitely worth trying.