20 Of The Best Places to Eat in San Diego

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My husband (B) and I are both native San Diegans. I love San Diego because it is so diverse, and it has something for everyone! If you want to experience art, various cultures, different scenery, warm and sunny climate, San Diego is where it is at!

These are 20 of our favorite places to eat in San Diego. These places are family-friendly and are great spots to go on a date, or just to go explore with a friend!


P.S. These aren't listed in any particular order, rhyme or reason.


Enjoy exploring!

20 of the Best Places to Eat in San Diego

1. The Cottage - La Jolla Cove

A quaint little place, rightfully named The Cottage, is located in La Jolla. The Cottage serves breakfast and lunch. I love sitting outside under the colorful umbrellas while enjoying a Mexican Mocha Cafe Moto Espresso with my breakfast. 

2. Red O - La Jolla 

I’d definitely recommend this as a date night or brunch with friends. They serve gourmet Mexican cuisine. Red O has a regal feel, and even more romantic at night. 

3. Seaside Market - Cardiff by the Sea

Gourmet meets grocery! They not only have fresh produce, meat, dairy, pantry items, but they also have a beautiful array of flowers, household essentials, and the best part, they have a cuisine and bakery department! My husband and I will order a hand-crafted dish by a Seaside Market Chef, have them heat it up, and enjoy our meal on the beach!

4. Donut Bar - Downtown San Diego

Expect to wait in line, and make sure you get there early because once they sell out, their doors are closed! Come with an appetite because these gorgeous donuts are humongous and a beautiful piece of artwork. Check out their Instagram for pictures of what they offer. 

5. The Lot - La Jolla or Liberty Station 

Dinner and a movie gets taken to the next level with The Lot. Pick a movie of your choice, choose your seat, and relax in luxurious lounge chairs. Best part is their extensive menu. Goodbye popcorn and nachos! 

The LOT - La Jolla

6. Caffè Calabria - North Park 

A taste of Italy in your cup, or your plate. Not only do they serve coffee, but they serve pizza as well. I love the atmosphere of Caffè Calabria, and it is spacious! Surprising for North Park, as they usually have smaller spaces.

7. Dunedin New Zealand Eats - North Park 

 Dunedin (pronounced Dun-ee-din) is a place to get great tasting food made with organic ingredients. Get a taste of authentic  New Zealand food while in San Diego! 

8. Hash House a Go-Go - Hillcrest 

Chances are you will have to wait a good 30+ minutes to be seated, but it is worth the wait. Hash House a Go-Go offers breakfast and lunch menu items. They have huge portions, so come hungry! 

9. Jake’s - Del Mar 

B and I love taking the scenic route up the coast to go to Jake’s. The view of the ocean is simply gorgeous, and the food is impeccable. If you aren’t a fan of seafood (like me) they also have a nice selection of land lover food.  

Coronado sign on Orange Avenue

10. Sundae’s - Coronado 

Sundae’s in Hotel Del Coronado was once Moo Time (the second location in Coronado) and it turned into Sundae’s in 2018.The ice cream menu was revamped by Las Vegas chef, and gorgeous displays of gelato are available. Not only is their gelato #instagramworthy but, it tastes incredible too! After grabbing gelato, feel free to head towards the beach and soak in the sun for a spell. 

11. Better Buzz - Hillcrest 

This Better Buzz location is (in my opinion) the most aesthetically pleasing BB coffee shop in San Diego. They offer various specialty drinks, breakfast items, sandwiches and smoothie bowls as well. This location is unique with having multi levels inside a historic building. 

12. Cafe Coyote - Old Town

If you want to find good Mexican food, visit Old Town. My favorite spot there is Cafe Coyote. They have a ton of seating, and I enjoy catching up with friends here. Can’t beat chips and salsa! 

13. Specialty Produce - Old Town

Visiting Specialty Produce feels like a backstage pass to grocery shopping where executive chefs shop! If you enjoy cooking and picking out quality ingredients, you have to take a trip to Specialty Produce. It is open to the public, so don’t worry about needing a restaurant license. 

14. World Famous - Pacific Beach

World Famous is slightly tucked away, but the view of the ocean and their food is truly outstanding. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner with an emphasis on seafood. 

15. Hotel del Coronado - Coronado 

Built in 1888, the charming Victorian hotel still charms visitors and locals to this day. It has gone under some incredible renovations, still keeping the historic feel, but making modern upgrades. Even if you aren’t a hotel guest, you are welcome to explore the property and experience many of their available outlets (spa, dining, shopping, historic tours).

16. Liberty Public Market - Liberty Station

This is a great place to go on a date, or on a family outing. There are plenty of places to eat, shop for souvenirs ,go on a peaceful walk, play in the playground, or take pictures. Liberty Station has a lot of San Diego naval history as well.

17. Soda and Swine - Liberty Station

Such an interesting ambience when you go in. I love a restaurant that puts good effort into their atmosphere. Like my dad would always comment about restaurants, the atmosphere is so key! Their food is excellent. Soda and Swine is a perfect spot to relax and get some drinks and appetizers with friends/coworkers/family.

18. Richard Walker’s Pancake House - La Jolla

There are two locations in San Diego, one in downtown and one in La Jolla. B and I enjoy going to the La Jolla location as there is more seating, and La Jolla is one of our favorite spots as well. Obviously famous for their pancakes, they have an extensive breakfast menu.

19. Sugar Factory - Downtown 

Sugar Factory is a bumping, energetic place, rightfully so because they are the kings and queens of sugar! They do have regular food too, but you’ll definitely want to try one of their elaborate desserts. If you come on your birthday, or order their special sundae, they will make an amazing performance. 

20. Javier's - La Jolla

Javier's is elevated Mexican cuisine. I love the aesthetic - each Javier's is different yet romantic and relaxing atmosphere with dimmed lights, candles, and beautiful tropical plants. The food is incredible and you will be stuffed by the end of the meal.


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