Food & Drink

Get forked up: 16 must-try unique restaurants in San Diego!

San Diego is a city known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and delicious food.

With so many restaurants to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to eat. That's why we've compiled a list of the best unique restaurants in San Diego.

These restaurants offer more than just great food; they offer a unique atmosphere and dining experience.

From rooftop restaurants with stunning views to hidden gems in the heart of the city, San Diego has it all.

Whether you're a local or a tourist, these restaurants are sure to impress. So if you're looking for something new and exciting to try, look no further than these unique restaurants in San Diego.

Get ready to explore the best of what this city has to offer in terms of food and ambiance.

1. Island Prime

Island Prime
880 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Island Prime is a sleek waterfront restaurant and lounge specializing in Californian cuisine. Its modern decor and bay views make it a unique dining destination.

The food is delicious and well-prepared, with signature dishes including the filet trio and spicy steak tartare.

The service is friendly and attentive, making for a pleasant dining experience.

Island Prime is definitely worth a visit for those looking for a fine dining restaurant with a beautiful view.

2. Ironside Fish & Oyster

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

Ironside Fish & Oyster is a unique seafood restaurant located in a renovated warehouse. The nautical decor adds a quirky touch to the atmosphere.

The menu offers fresh and exquisite seafood, including a great oyster selection. The vegetable dishes are well done, and the supporting wine selection complements the food perfectly.

The service is prompt and relaxed, reflecting the laid-back environment. The cocktails, beers, and wines are diverse and creative.

Ironside Fish & Oyster is a must-visit for seafood lovers, whether for a romantic night out or a casual happy hour with friends.

3. 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 unique restaurant that offers a variety of tasty chicken dishes. With a fun and laid-back atmosphere, this restaurant is perfect for a casual night out with friends or family.

The menu features a range of options including sandwiches, tenders, and fries, all cooked to perfection.

The sauces are a must-try and add a delicious kick to the already flavorful dishes. The outdoor seating area is a great spot to enjoy the food and drinks while soaking up the atmosphere.

If you're in the mood for some quality chicken, The Crack Shack – Little Italy is definitely worth a visit.

4. Juniper & Ivy

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

Juniper & Ivy is a unique restaurant that offers an imaginative New American dining experience.

The menu is printed daily to reflect the fresh ingredients of the day, and the food is off the hook creative. The lamb tartare, halibut hand roll, and trout are well-balanced, seasoned, and fresh.

The saffron ice cream is the perfect nightcap to a wonderful dining experience. The restaurant has a youthful ambiance, and the music can be heard but doesn't interfere with conversation.

The drinks are creative, and the service is top-notch. Juniper & Ivy is a must-visit for anyone looking for a memorable dining experience.

5. Mister A's

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

Mister A's is a unique restaurant that offers stunning views of the city.

The food is delicious and beautifully presented, with a French-inspired American menu. The extensive wine list complements the meal perfectly.

The service is top-notch and accommodating, making it a great spot for a celebration or a romantic night out.

The outdoor patio is a must-visit, providing an unparalleled view of the city skyline and planes landing at the nearby airport. Mister A's is a must-visit for those looking for a unique dining experience with a view.

6. Queenstown Public House

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

Queenstown Public House is a unique restaurant that offers Australian cuisine in a whimsical New Zealand-themed pub. The restaurant's decor is charming and the service is friendly.

The food is amazing and the portions are huge, making it easy to share. Be aware that some dishes are cooked in chili oil. The outdoor seating area is lovely, but it can get chilly in the evenings.

The prices are reasonable considering the amount of food served. The mac n cheese appetizer is a must-try. The customer service can be a bit slow, but the food is worth the wait.

The restaurant also has a great beer selection and cocktail menu. Highly recommended for a fun and delicious dining experience.

7. insideOUT

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

InsideOUT is a unique restaurant that offers a menu inspired by California and Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant's atmosphere is lively and features a pool and an atrium, making it a perfect spot for a night out with friends.

The food is always Instagram-ready and the star of the menu is the creamy and cheesy Dauphinoise Potatoes.

The staff is attentive and friendly, making sure that customers have a great dining experience.

The restaurant regularly updates its decor to match the season, making it an exciting place to visit throughout the year. Parking can be a challenge, but it's worth it for the great food and ambiance.

8. Trust

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

Trust is a unique restaurant that offers seasonally driven New American fare in modern digs. With an inviting, well-appointed space, Trust is the perfect spot for a brunch or dinner date.

The menu features small plates with plenty of vegetarian options, and the food is culinary excellence personified.

The wood-grilled cauliflower, hush puppies, and braised oxtail raviolini are some of the standout dishes.

The bartenders craft cocktails with precision and care, making Trust the perfect spot for a night out with friends. Highly recommended for those looking for a unique dining experience.

9. The Smoking Goat Restaurant

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

The Smoking Goat Restaurant is a French-American bistro with an upscale farmhouse vibe. The exposed-brick walls and seasonal menu create a unique dining experience.

The food is creative, rich, and delicious, with an excellent wine list to complement the dishes.

The service is exceptional, making the meal truly wonderful. The atmosphere is intimate and perfect for a special occasion.

Highly recommend for anyone looking for a unique dining experience.

10. The Red Door

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

The Red Door is a unique restaurant that offers an authentic Italian dining experience. The executive level chef ensures that every dish is made with quality ingredients and tastes spectacular.

The customer service is top-notch, with servers going above and beyond to ensure guests have everything they need. The outdoor seating area is pet-friendly and perfect for a Cafe-style feel.

The live music inside the bar on most weekends adds to the ambiance. The wine selection is great, and the vegan options make it a perfect spot for special occasions or nice dinners.

The menu includes farm-to-table American comfort fare, with pasta and old favorites from the previous owner's menu. The owner/chef personally greets guests and checks in on diners, making sure they have a great experience. The Red Door is definitely worth a visit.

11. Callie

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

Callie is a Mediterranean restaurant that offers a unique and innovative dining experience.

The restaurant's menu fuses Mediterranean flavors with clean, modern presentation, resulting in dishes that are both visually stunning and delicious.

The attentive and knowledgeable staff provide excellent service, making for a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Callie's cocktails are good, but the food is the real highlight of the evening.

Prices are reasonable considering the premium quality of the dishes. If you're looking for a sophisticated and refined dining experience, Callie is the perfect choice.

12. Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop

Cowboy Star Restaurant And Butcher Shop
640 Tenth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop is a one-of-a-kind dining experience with a rustic-chic decor that sets the stage for an innovative American steakhouse.

The menu offers standard meat alongside ofal and wild game, with generous portions and incredible flavors cooked to perfection on a wood-fired grill.

The bar features a unique shelving contraption that displays all the top spirits, and the skilled bartenders are generous pourers.

Service is top-notch, and the staff is attentive to ensure each guest has an enjoyable experience. Highly recommended for a special night out or intimate date night.

13. Craft & Commerce

Craft & Commerce
675 W Beech St, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Craft & Commerce is a unique restaurant that offers excellent food with an adventurous twist.

The atmosphere is cozy and comforting, with taxidermy and old-timey decor lining the walls. The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a great dining experience.

The handcrafted cocktails are inventive and tasty, and the farm-fresh fare is delicious. The menu is not tailored to vegetarians, but the meat and poultry options are bespoke and satisfying.

The hidden tiki bar offers a fun change in decor after dinner. Craft & Commerce is the perfect spot for a date or a night out with friends.

14. Bleu Boheme

Bleu Boheme
4090 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116 (Google Maps)

Bleu Boheme is a charming French restaurant that offers an exceptional dining experience.

The restaurant boasts a cozy atmosphere with exposed stone walls and large wood tables. The menu features outstanding French cuisine and an impressive wine list.

Their charcuterie plate is a must-try, and many of their meats are cured in-house. The wait staff is knowledgeable and attentive, providing prompt and excellent service.

The prices are reasonable for the quality of food and service. Bleu Boheme is perfect for a romantic dinner or a special occasion.

15. Taste of Denmark

Taste Of Denmark
142 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 (Google Maps)

Taste of Denmark is a unique restaurant that offers authentic Danish cuisine. The menu features open-faced sandwiches, soups, meatballs, and Danish pastries.

The rye bread used in the sandwiches is seeded and satisfying. The staff is accommodating to food allergies and the patio is dog-friendly.

The restaurant is run by a Danish couple who provide friendly and kind service. The ebelskiver is a must-try and the chicken tartlet is also highly recommended.

Taste of Denmark is a laid-back option for those looking to try something different in their dining experience.

16. Addison Restaurant

Addison Restaurant
5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, CA 92130 (Google Maps)

Addison Restaurant is an upscale fine dining destination that offers a unique culinary experience. The restaurant's whimsical vibe and stunning ambience create a memorable dining experience.

The 10 course tasting menu is a must-try, as each dish is full of unique and flavorful ingredients that will leave you wanting more.

The staff provides impeccable service, making you feel like royalty from start to finish. The wine pairings are also exceptional and complement the dishes perfectly.

If you're looking for an unforgettable dining experience, Addison Restaurant is the place to be.