San Diego is a great city to visit for a quick getaway for its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and history. In addition, the food places in San Diego are top-notch, fresh, and unique. Besides being known for its fresh seafood and Mexican cuisine, the city has a bunch of other amazing food places that will make tourists wanting to come back to San Diego for more culinary adventures. With that being said, here are 10 Food Places You’ve Got To Try In San Diego:
When in the famous Little Italy area of San Diego, you have to try Barbusa! The Italian restaurant serves authentic Sicilian cuisine with a modern take. After you and your party get settled down at a table, a waiter will come by and give diners a basket of fresh homemade potato chips. Among the popular dishes at Barbusa are the duck ragu polenta, Sicilian Meatballs, and the gnocchi. All the pasta and pizza dishes are fresh and delicious!
2. Donut Bar:
There is never a bad time to enjoy and have donuts! The Donut Bar is one of the best donut shops in San Diego and a great place for photo opportunities to post on Instagram for foodies and social media lovers. Besides its location in Downtown San Diego, Donut Bar also has stores in Chula Vista, Las Vegas, Scottsdale, and Temecula.
This donut shop is a favorite of celebrities and has been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Travel Channel, and The Food Network. All the donuts are fresh and the presentation is immaculate. It is too hard to say which donuts are the most popular, so my personal favorite donuts from Donut Bar include the birthday cake oreo, red velvet, french toast, and mud pie, to name a few. The line is very long, especially on weekends, so get there early!
Located on El Cajon Blvd., Tiger!Tiger! Tavern is one of the best places to go in San Diego if you are in the mood for some fantastic food and original craft beer! This is a great place to hang out and catch up with friends and family. The San Diego tavern opened its doors in 2011 and its space used to be a saddle shop during the 1940s.
Tiger!Tiger! makes their own sausages, charcuterie, and smoked meat. In addition, they serve only the best indie beers they can find. Both the food and beer are equally great. Customer favorites include the Sausage Poutine Fries, Chowder, and Homemade Sausages.
4. The Fishery:
As San Diego is a city right by the beach, you cannot leave without enjoying some fresh seafood. The Fishery is definitely one food place you have to try while in San Diego!! Besides being a restaurant, The Fishery also serves as a retail market and seafood distributor. All seafood is wild and caught locally from the ocean surrounding San Diego. The restaurant part of The Fishery is open for both lunch and dinner. Popular dishes from the menu include the clam chowder, Alaskan halibut & chips, and the Northwest Crabcakes.
5. Born and Raised:
This new steakhouse is quickly becoming one of San Diego’s hottest spots to dine at. Born & Raised is also located in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego and is literally next door to Barbusa (See #1). As one enters the restaurant, they will immediately be amazed by the glitzy decor and fabulous cocktails. Born & Raised offers several dishes served tableside and has a wonderful selection of juicy steaks. Some of the steaks options include Steak Diane and Wagyu beef that is grilled on Japenese charcoal.
6. Galaxy Taco:
This Mexican Eatery is located in La Jolla, a popular suburb that attracts many visitors and is 30 minutes away from the actual city of San Diego. Besides its famous tacos, the restaurant also offers a plethora of traditional and updated regional Mexican dishes. The cocktail menu also has many great options for drinks. Galaxy Taco is famous across San Diego for their tortillas, which are made in-house daily. When one dines at Galaxy Taco, some of the items they should consider ordering include the Baja Fried Shrimp Tacos, Braised Short Rib, Steak Tacos, and the Queso Fundido.
7. Betty’s Pie Whole:
For all you pie lovers out there, this one is for you! Located in Encinitas, a suburb that is 40 minutes away from the actual city of San Diego, Betty’s Pie Whole serves all of their pie as wholes, no single slices of the dessert are served or sold. This San Diego pie shop is named after the owner, Betty, who hails from the South.
Betty’s Pie Whole offers both savory and sweet pies on its menu. In addition, the San Diego pie shop offers pies for customers to “Take & Bake” at home. For customers who opt to purchase a pie to “Take & Bake” at home, be sure to look on the website for which flavors are available for “Take & Bake” as the options change daily.
The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pie, Betty’s Lemon Pucker Pie, Apple Crumbly Pie, and The Mississippi Mud Pie are the most popular sweet pie options. Meanwhile, Grandma Lucy’s Chicken Pie, Mama Jo’s Meatball Pot Pie, and Boyd’s Break-The-Fast Pie are amongst the favorites for savory pies. Betty’s Pie Whole is definitely a hidden gem that you’ve got to try the next time you go to San Diego!
8. George’s at the Cove:
Like Galaxy Taco., George’s at the Cove is also located in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla. The restaurant is famous in San Diego for its’ breathtaking ocean views, which make great photos for Instagram. George’s at the Cove is a three-floor restaurant and each floor serves a different menu.
California Modern is the name of the dining space on the first floor and all food items on the menu give diners a feel of what the cuisine in San Diego and California is like. There are several vegetarian and vegan options on the menu too.
Level2 is the name of the dining space on the middle level of George’s at the Cove. Level2 is well known for its marvelous cocktails, which are amongst the best in all of San Diego and offers a casual lunch and dinner menu. The views of the ocean from the middle-level dining space are pretty.
Ocean Terrace is on the top floor of George’s at the Cove and is one of the best rooftop dining spots in San Diego. The views of the Pacific Ocean from Ocean Terrace are breathtaking. Like Level2, Ocean Terrace food options on the lunch and dinner menus are casual. The fish tacos are to die for!
9. Herb & Wood:
The third restaurant from San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood to make this list, Herb & Wood is one of the city’s best restaurants and was opened by local celebrity chef and Top-Chef Alum Brian Malarkey (finished fourth overall on Top Chef Season 3). Herb & Wood is only open for dinner and brunch (Sundays only) and is a culinary delight as all their dishes offer unique flavors. It is important to note that the restaurant’s menu changes daily.
10. Richard Walker’s Pancake House:
One cannot depart from San Diego without stopping by to try Richard Walker’s Pancake House! This restaurant is open for both breakfast and lunch and has three locations across the city in La Jolla, Carlsbad, and Downtown San Diego. In terms of breakfast options, the San Diego Pancake House offers everything from omelets to egg dishes to Belgian Waffles to crepes to everyday favorites.
As the name of the breakfast place implies, Richard Walker’s is most famous for its delicious pancakes! This breakfast item is offered in several different ways from gourmet griddle cakes to traditional to specialties.
Amongst the customer favorites for pancake options include the Apple Pancake, Chocolate Chippies, Traditional Buttermilk Pancakes, and the Potato Pancakes. It is important to note that Richard Walker’s doesn’t take reservations. So, be sure to get there early as the line is long but worth the wait!