Monday, October 29, 2018 / by Ryan Stein
San Diego is known for its vibrant culture, gorgeous weather, and eclectic food scene. With taco stands on nearly every block and seafood served straight from the ocean, this city is at the top of our list for foodies. Those lucky enough to, enjoy food from around the world within steps from their homes. This city is simply bursting with fine dining and local fare.
With so many mouth-watering local hot spots, the options of where to eat are endless. Whether you are looking for a traditional Mexican dish, a plate of fresh oysters, or a burger and a beer, we have compiled a list of local favorites that will be worth the drive.
The Cottage La Jolla - Located on Fay Avenue in La Jolla, this charming indoor/outdoor restaurant is great for breakfast or lunch. Grab a bag of their or take a seat for a delicious full-service meal complete with coffee or a mimosa.
Hash House A Go Go - Brunch is calling! This local staple was founded in 2000 and has since expanded to locations around the country. With a of hash options, chicken and waffles, pancakes, benedicts, scrambles, and more, there’s something on their menu for everyone.
Richard Walker’s Pancake House - With two locations in San Diego, Richard Walker’s is a local . While there are lighter menu options like eggs and omelets, Richard Walker’s is best known for their heavier dishes: Belgian waffles, crepes, and pancakes.
Snooze - The perfect local breakfast/lunch dining experience. With a menu full of American favorites such as scrambles, eggs benedict, blueberry pancakes, French toast, salads, sandwiches, and morning cocktails, Snooze offers an upscale menu in a down-home diner atmosphere. Get here early to and the crowds!
Olive Cafe - Breakfast is available all day at this restaurant! Olive Cafe’s Mexican breakfast dishes and French toast are too good to pass up. From breakfast burritos to cream cheese French toast, you’ll want to order everything on the menu. For lunch, try one of their delicious wraps or quesadillas and enjoy your meal on the patio.
The Taco Stand - A San Diego staple: Tacos. The Taco Stand’s menu is inspired by the taco joints sprinkled along the Baja Peninsula. All tacos and burritos are prepared with handmade corn tortillas, high-grade meat, and fresh ingredients. For dessert, try their churros or cool down with a Mexican popsicle.
Barley Mash - This pub and gastrobar is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. With a menu stocked with American favorites, Barley Mash’s dishes have a progressive take on traditional bar food. We suggest finding a designated driver to for this trip. You’ll definitely want to explore their . Visit here on a sunny day when the garage door-style windows will be open, creating the perfect indoor-outdoor environment.
Carnita’s Snack Shack - The go-to spot for sandwich and fries. Carnita’s has two locations and a menu created with meat-lovers in mind. While their most popular items are made with pork, they also offer beef burgers, chicken sandwiches, fish tacos, and vegetarian options. Take advantage of their weekday happy hour and taco specials on Tuesdays.
El Pescador Fish Market – This spot is great for fresh seafood on a budget. This local favorite has been open since 1974 and features a of fresh catches. Enjoy oysters, shrimp, salmon, yellowtail, calamari, ahi tuna, halibut, sea bass and more. All entrees are available as a sandwich, salad, or plate.
Menya Ultra - For when you’ve had enough seafood and tacos. This authentic ramen joint is sure to impress. Their menu of traditional favorites includes tonkotsu and gyoza and a bar menu complete with sake and Sapporo.
Veranda Fireside Lounge and Restaurant - The beautiful patio at Veranda is complete with fire pits and ambient lighting making it the perfect place after the sun goes down. Their menu features a seasonal menu of Mediterranean style dishes with a southern California twist, complete with and decadent desserts.
Truluck’s Seafood, Steak, and Crab House - Truluck’s is a true fine dining experience. With a business casual dress attire and seafood fresh from their private fisheries, a dinner here is guaranteed to be one to remember. Perfect for a fancy date or an impressive business meeting.
Juniper and Ivy - This vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurant opened in 2014 and features a menu of classic dishes with a twist. All items are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients from local suppliers, so there is always something new and delicious to try, no matter how many times you’ve been.
Herb & Wood - Open for dinner daily and brunch on the weekends, Herb & Wood has quickly made a name for themselves in the two years they’ve been open. A meal here is a true fine dining experience with a menu featuring small plates and entrees made of the freshest ingredients.
Ballast Point Tasting Room - Come for the beer, stay for the food. Ballast Point has been a leader in the Southern California beer industry for twenty years. While this isn’t your typical fine dining experience, Ballast Point offers a menu that goes far beyond bar food.
No matter what you’re in the mood for, San Diego has something to offer everyone. From a casual breakfast to a formal night out, this city’s eateries certainly won’t disappoint. You’ll need some in your car for the trips to these places! Keep your eye though, this list doesn’t even scrape the edge of the amazing restaurants in San Diego; there’s a hidden gem on every corner.