Flavors of the Pacific Exploring San Diego's Culinary Tapestry

Top 20 Restaurants In San Diego California

San Diego's culinary scene is diverse and influenced by its coastal location, proximity to Mexico, and a thriving local food movement. Here's a brief overview of the culinary history, staples, specialties, pros, and unique features of San Diego cuisine. The county's culinary history is shaped by its coastal geography and the influence of Mexican and Spanish flavors. Native American, Mexican, and Spanish culinary traditions have all played a role in shaping the local cuisine. 


Joya is a contemporary, approachable restaurant serving organic farm-fresh menu items, daily specials, and delicious salads, sandwiches, and pressed juices. The restaurant space will also feature a variety of versatile and functional indoor and outdoor spaces, presenting itself as the ideal location for private and corporate events—from weddings and birthdays to meetings, reunions, and more. 

Mister A's Restaurant

The Story Of Mister A's Restaurant. In a time where everything feels like a trend, Mister A’s Restaurant in San Diego remains a classic. Perched atop the Manchester Financial Building in the Bankers Hill neighborhood, it has been an iconic, fine dining establishment since opening in 1965.Please note Formal Dress Code is mandatory here.

The Smoking Goat Restaurant

Family owned and operated, duo Fred and Tammy Piehl have ignited a passion for quality rustic fare in the heart of San Diego’s North Park neighborhood at The Smoking Goat and One Door North restaurants. THE CHEF, Fred Piehl is one of San Diego’s pioneering chefs whose neighborhood restaurants set the bar for community, service, quality and sustainability.

ANIMAE Steakhouse 

The Inspiration Behind ANIMAE, Brian Malarkey’s ANIMAE features Japan’s finest A5 wagyu beef, complementing an Asian-inspired menu crafted by Executive Chef Tara Monsod that pulls from all corners of the Far East. The design pulls inspiration from the stunning, modern architecture of BOSA’s Pacific Gate Tower that sits atop the restaurant. 

The Local Eatery & Drinking Hole

The Local Eatery and Drinking Hole opened its doors in 2003, as a family owned and operated restaurant and bar. Mina Desiderio saw an opportunity to carve out a niche in the Financial District of Downtown San Diego. The philosophy was simple: Bring the beach and all things that define San Diego to downtown. The vision was to be an establishment that supported local sports teams, local cuisine,hence the name, The Local Eatery & Drinking Hole.

Roy’s San Diego

Situated on the grounds of the Marriott Marquis, Roy’s San Diego offers sweeping views of San Diego Bay along with the inventive Pacific Rim flavors that define Roy’s Hawaiian inspired fusion cuisine. Each Roy’s location features our signature dishes and locally inspired creations from our accomplished Chef Partners. 

California English Restaurant

Richard Blais’ ability to think unconventionally is evident at his newest concept ,California English. Located in the hub of a Class A Life Science campus, ideas meet provisions in the flourishing Sorrento Mesa neighborhood. The sentiment runs deep through California English’s deliberate approach to locally sourced ingredients, a friendly and cool-as-can-be staff, and an effortless undercurrent that not only represents California but feels like a piece of home to neighbors and travelers alike.

 World-Famous Restaurant, San Diego

We are world-famous, iconic beachfront restaurant proudly serving Pacific Beach and its guests since 1970. Classic Southern California uniquely inspired cuisine with the freshest seafood, seasonal vegetables, and hand-carved steaks. We offer the most gorgeous ocean views and genuine hospitality. Join us for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Weekend Brunch.

Fogo De Chao Brazilian Restaurant

Fogo San Diego resides in the historic Gaslamp Quarter allowing guests to discover what’s next at every turn. This internationally renowned restaurant welcomes guests into an expansive dining room seating 270 and offers al fresco dining on the patio. Guests can enjoy Brazilian bites and cocktails at Bar Fogo. Beautiful private and semi-private rooms can accommodate group dining needs from business meetings and presentations to family events and celebrations.

Cafe Sevilla

Find Yourself in Spain. Cafe Sevilla has been dedicated to providing the true essence of Spanish culture, music and cuisine since 1987. Located in the heart of downtown San Diego, Long Beach and Costa Mesa, Cafe Sevilla is proud to offer the most authentic Spanish ambiance in their tapas bar, restaurant and nightclub. Café Sevilla specializes in Spanish tapas or small plates, which are great for a fun, interactive and sharable dining experience. We also feature a large variety of Spanish wines and refreshing sangrias.


Welcome To KETTNER EXCHANGE. The recipient of the coveted Orchid & Onion award for Architecture, Kettner Exchange’s design pays homage to San Diego founding father William Kettner. The restaurant boasts two levels of indoor/outdoor drinking and dining, filled with subtle nods to the City’s great bay and nautical history. Corporate Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski’s rotating menu features some of the most innovative dishes in San Diego, from Tender Belly Farms suckling pig larb, to hamachi ceviche, foie gras French toast and Grilled quail char sui.

Morton's The Steakhouse

Your Table Is Waiting. Conveniently located at the edge of the historic Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown San Diego, and across from the San Diego Convention Center, Morton's The Steakhouse provides the perfect dining destination. With a beautiful dining room, sleek Bar 12-21, a patio for outdoor dining, and three private Board Rooms with seating from 2 to 96 guests, the restaurant can accommodate groups both large and small. Come enjoy the "Good Life" at Morton's The Steakhouse, San Diego.

Dobson's Bar and Restaurant

Dobson's Bar and Restaurant is a hidden treasure in the heart of Downtown San Diego/Gaslamp Quarter. For the last 40 years, this has been the hot spot for business lunches and frequented by many local and nationwide celebrities. Paul Dobson, the namesake for Dobson's bar and restaurant, is one of America's few professional Bullfighters. The food is California cuisine with a touch of Italian, French, Spanish and Asian cuisine. 

ARLO San Diego

ARLO is an award-winning restaurant celebrating the San Diego lifestyle and culinary culture serving scratch-made dishes, using fresh local ingredients. The fun, fresh, quirky environment is highlighted by a sweeping outdoor patio, swaying palm trees and a giant outdoor fireplace. Rounding out the experience is an inventive cocktail program, extensive wine list and local craft beer on tap. ARLO also offers plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, and free parking. So, what's holding you back.

Cafe 21 San Diego

As one of the most innovative restaurants in San Diego, we are committed to changing the way our guests think about food. From our signature breads to our fruit-infused sangrias, something is always cooking at Cafe 21 San Diego. Our concept is small plates, allowing for variety and our guests to indulge in different tastes and flavors. Everything from our style of service, spices, and techniques are true to the culture of Azerbaijan.

Jrdn Restaurant 

Jrdn Welcomes You To Dine At Our Oceanfront Locale. At JRDN, we can’t decide which views are better: the views of the ocean, or a delicious plate of Ahi Poke Nachos paired with Chili Mango Margaritas. With us, you’ll never have to choose!  Dive into everything the beach has to offer with a tasty meal inspired by our oceanfront locale, just steps away from the sand. We can’t wait to sea you!

The Marine Room Restaurant

Celebrating Eight Decades of Coastal Cuisine. For more than 80 years, The Marine Room has welcomed residents, travelers, celebrities, and world figures to its surfside establishment for unparalleled seaside views and inspired coastal cuisine. From fresh seafood to innovative seasonal dishes, The Marine Room is one of San Diego's best restaurants and one of the region's most iconic dining destinations.

Grant Grill Restaurant

Downtown San Diego Restaurant. No matter what brings you to Grant Grill, a downtown San Diego restaurant, we guarantee a remarkable dining experience. From the sumptuous surroundings – including classic mahogany wood, fleur de lis banquettes, and white linen-topped tables – to the ever-evolving seasonal menus, Grant Grill carries a tradition of excellence since 1951.

Lazy Dog Eat & Drink

Welcome To Lazy Dog We have a long-standing tradition of hospitality in the Simms family and have gathered the knowledge and traditions of three generations to create something we hope will be a special place for you and your family. As a kid, I treasured my time spent enjoying the Rocky Mountains and now, more than ever, I cherish the time I get to spend there with my family. 

Coasterra Mexican Restaurant

San Diego’S Premier Bayfront Dining Destination . Located on Harbor Island, Coasterra offers stunning views of the San Diego Bay, downtown skyline and Coronado Bridge. Dine out on the expansive solar heated patio or the mural-painted main dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows. The innovative Modern Mexican menu crafted by Chef/Partner Deborah Scott showcases Baja-inspired cuisine. 

NINE-TEN Restaurant

Welcome to NINE-TEN. Here, we reimagine the meaning of farm-to-table cuisine, with fresh hyper-local ingredients sourced from mere steps away. Our culinary experts have cultivated a menu that's as ever-evolving as the seasons, using their decades of experience to merge the flavors of California with global influences.

Addison Restaurant 

Addison, Southern California’s first and only three-star Michelin restaurant in the heart of San Diego. Chef William Bradley offers his distinct culinary perspective through an experience that celebrates regional ingredients and Southern California influences. We recommend wine pairings to enhance, and offer an extensive wine list showcasing top California vintages and newly discovered selections from around the globe. 

San Diego's culinary scene is a vibrant tapestry woven from a rich history, diverse influences, and a commitment to fresh, local ingredients. From the shores of the Pacific Ocean to the Mexican-inspired creations, the city's cuisine reflects a fusion of flavors that make it a unique and delightful destination for food enthusiasts. The staples, such as the iconic fish tacos and California burritos, showcase the city's coastal location and the influence of Mexican culinary traditions. 

As we explore the flavors of San Diego, it becomes clear that this city is not just a destination for sun and surf but a haven for food lovers seeking a diverse and unique culinary experience. From traditional favorites to contemporary creations, San Diego's cuisine is a reflection of its people, history, and the bounty of the land and sea that surround it.