Are you wondering about the best restaurants in San Diego now that you’re relocating to America’s Finest City? With more eateries opening than closing every year, the metropolis boasts fantastic places to eat and try something new. No matter your taste, you can be sure you’ll find something to your liking here. Be it Mexican, Asian, or American cuisine, get ready for all kinds of gastronomical delights.
We assume that you already can’t wait to settle in and start exploring this magnificent city. Living in San Diego will bring you all kinds of excitement. Enjoying its thriving restaurant scene surely falls under the most fun things to do around town. Do you just want to relax with your friends? Or you’re a foodie and adventurist always looking for something innovative? Either way, you’ll find numerous places you’ll want to check out. So, let’s take a look at some of the hottest spots to visit when moving to San Diego.
Start With Some of the Best Restaurants in Downtown San Diego
You can never run out of things to do in the very heart of this sprawling hub. So, when you get there and start preparing for your first tour around, be sure you include some of the hottest eateries, too. If you want to go to a bar or a club, there are many places where you can go out and party, as well. Just don’t forget that the cost of living in San Diego is rather high. And everything is even more expensive the closer you get to the center, so plan your budget accordingly.
When it comes to restaurants, it would probably take you some time to check out all of them. Let’s not forget that every once in a while, a new place opens with an eclectic menu. And so the list goes on and on. To help you decide where to start, we would like to mention two of the top-ranked downtown eateries.
Enjoy Exotic Food at The Lion’s Share
When downtown, it would be a real shame to miss visiting The Lion’s Share, currently one of the most eclectic eateries in town. Not only do they serve delicious fare, but there is also a great selection of wines and other drinks. The funky décor and artwork make The Lion’s Share a quite curious place to visit. So, for those of you looking for unique things to do in San Diego, here’s a great stop.
The place is primarily known for excellent meat, but there are plenty of other items on the menu you’ll definitely want to try here. Some of these include wild boar Bolognese, grilled hanger steak, as well as exotic sausages.
Explore the Creative Menu at Kettner Exchange
Speaking of creativeness, we have to mention Kettner Exchange, an American restaurant serving delicious fare on the rooftop. Yes, you heard it right! This lovely open-air rooftop lounge is not just a top-notch dining destination, but you also get to relax and enjoy the view.
You can choose between small and large portions, perfect for sharing. You’ll hardly find a better place to taste such tasty progressive American cuisine.
The menu is changing depending on seasonal ingredients, but here are some small plates you should order if available: duck meatball, pig mac steam bun, Thai grilled sausage. Among many delicious large plates, some of the most popular ones include Mary’s chicken, prime beef tenderloin medallion, and Niman Ranch port chop.
Don’t Miss the Best Mexican Restaurants in San Diego
While there are all kinds of culinary delights to be found, when thinking about San Diego’s food scene, many first think of fantastic Mexican dishes. No wonder, given the close proximity of the Mexican border and the wide range of traditional Mexican dishes that you can try here. And it’s not just about tacos. Of course, you can probably order the most delicious tacos in the entire area, too, but there are so many other delicious specialties to taste.
Food trucks, too, serve excellent Mexican fare. However, if you really want to relax and enjoy it, you’ll want to sit back in a restaurant and enjoy the full service, right? If you want to start with tacos, Galaxy Taco is waiting for you.
Try Some of the Best Tacos in Town at Galaxy Taco
This one is often recognized as the leader when it comes to the foods of Mexico. Top critics’ pick: Galaxy Taco. So, you can trust experts who repeatedly choose this eatery over many others as the ultimate place to try fish tacos.
Other delicacies you should try here include chicken enchilada, braised short rib, wood-grilled trout, as well as carne asada. They also have excellent desserts. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure you leave room for a churro, flan, almond cake, or whipped coconut raspado.
Galaxy Taco is known for regular guest chef collaborations, so you never know when you might get a chance to try your favorite dish prepared in another way.
Be Sure You Taste Homemade Tortillas at Las Cuatros Milpas
With a long tradition in the business, Las Cuatros Milpas is, without a doubt, another must-visit restaurant for Mexican food enthusiasts. Some might say their menu is small, but even so, it’s good enough to beat a long list of other eateries around here. Whether you order rolled tacos, chicken tacos, burrito, or rice and beans with chorizo, you’ll wish for a little bit more when you’re done.
Las Cuatros Milpas is open six days a week, so you can choose when you find it most convenient to leave a table here. Anything but Sunday is possible. Well, if you call to make a reservation on time, as the place is quite busy. You might end up waiting for your table a bit longer than you’d want, but remember that it’s worth the trouble.
There’s Always Something Delicious in the Best Italian Restaurants in San Diego
Whether you’re moving to a city alone or you’re planning to explore the place with your friends, paying a visit to a cozy Italian eatery is a must. Luckily, there are many excellent spots where you can order top-notch Italian dishes. Whatever your preferences, there will be something on the menu for your taste. You can be sure of that.
Now, with so many options before you, it’s only natural that you get a little bit confused and not know where to start. But we are here to point you to some of the top-recommended Italian dining destinations.
Head Straight to Buona Forchetta to Feel Authentic Italian Atmosphere Without Leaving San Diego
Nestled in the South Park neighborhood, Buona Forchetta is the top-recommended eatery if you want to get the taste of authentic Neapolitan-style, wood-fired pizza. This tiny family-owned eatery is also known for its delicious homemade pasta, as well as a carefully selected wine list. They also offer a range of gluten-free options.
What’s interesting about Buona Forchetta is that you can even take part in pizza-making classes! You get a chance to take a sneak peek at their unique way of preparing delicious pizza dough and blending toppings. Get ready to get your hands dirty and have fun.
Buona Forchetta is also available for private events. You can celebrate your special event on the beautiful shaded outdoor patio or leave a table in the courtyard with the playground.
Enjoy Flavorful Food and Excellent Wine List at Il Dandy
How much would you enjoy trying contemporary Calabrian dishes prepared by two native Calabrians? Make sure you reserve a table at Il Dandy as soon as you arrive to try what these two Michelin-starred chefs have to offer.
Their native Calabria inspires the menu, so you shouldn’t miss trying their mouth-watering Calabrian pizza, as well as a wide range of pasta. As for drinks, their offer mostly includes Italian wines, but you can also order a craft beer or a cocktail.
Il Dandy is most popular among friends and couples. It is not much of a family place, at least not for those families with children. But, don’t worry – we’ll now move on to some of the hottest family eateries, too.
Spend a Pleasant Evening in One of the Best Family Restaurants in San Diego
Those of you relocating with kids can also enjoy a wide range of excellent eateries serving flavorful fare for adults and children alike. Are you just looking for a place to spend a pleasant evening with your entire family? Or you need one for your kid’s birthday or some other special occasion? You can choose from a variety of fantastic spots offering kid-friendly menus, as well as playgrounds and other fun activities for the little ones.
So, let’s see what these two kid-friendly eateries have to offer and why you should start with them when you begin your foodie adventure with your kids.
Choose Between Indoor and Outdoor Tables at Campfire
According to San Diego magazine, the top-recommended destination for big groups, according to critics, might be Stone World Bistro & Gardens. But we would like to single out the runner-up: Campfire, readers’ top pick for best mocktails.
Campfire’s lovely camping décor makes your time here even more pleasant. You can enjoy the relaxing vibe indoors or outdoors. The food served here is mostly smoked, roasted, or grilled (to go with the very name) and meant to be shared. Our suggestion: smoked brisket served with cornbread purée.
Enjoy Delicious Fare and Fun Games at Park 101
If you’re looking for a top-notch fare, but also a place where the kids can enjoy fun games, here’s where to go: Park 101. This 8000-square-foot venue located in the nearby city of Carlsbad is fun for adults and kids alike. You can hang out with your friends in the rooftop lounge or the garden pub while the little ones are having fun in the playroom.
Enjoy Your Share at the Best Seafood Restaurants in San Diego
Since you’ve chosen an oceanfront city to move to, fresh seafood is guaranteed. It is often considered one of the top places to eat fresh and delicious seafood in the entire country. So, if you are a fan of this type of meat, you’ll love the great number of eateries serving fresh fish, oysters, shellfish, and much more. And if not, you’ll begin to appreciate it sooner than you could expect.
Let the Stunning View of the Beach Take Your Breath Away at The Marine Room
Your meal is even more enjoyable when you get to admire a breathtaking view at the same time. So, why not head straight to The Marine Room? With waves crashing right before your eyes, this chic eatery offers a magnificent view of the beach alongside just as fantastic marine and French fare.
Check out the Top-Notch Raw Bar at Ironside Fish & Oyster
Another fantastic place to eat pristine seafood is Ironside Fish & Oyster – a new eatery opened in a renovated warehouse with nautical designs. Among other specialties, be sure you try Kusshi oysters and a gluttonous lobster roll dressed in brown butter mayo. This is a haven for hipsters also offers some of the best cocktails around.
Be Sure You Book a Table at the Best Steak Restaurants in San Diego
With some of the top-ranked steakhouses on the entire West Coast, this Californian metropolis is sure to have a lot to offer. You can choose from a wide range of different steakhouses, from those serving classic steak dishes to those who also have other specialties on their menus.
Book a Table at the Rooftop Patio at Born and Raised
If you’re moving in the summer, we’re sure you’ll look for pleasant places to spend your time outside. Add delicious steak to the mix, and you’ve got the answer – Born and Raised.
When you’re craving classic steakhouse fare, this is the right place to go. The service you get here is often described as a “performance.” So, get ready for a memorable experience. To make it even more enjoyable, be sure you leave a table on the spacious rooftop patio.
Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop Has an Excellent Selection of Wines to Go With the Mouth-Watering Steaks
Having been one of the most progressive steakhouses for more than ten years, this place guarantees top-notch steaks. You also get to get a sneak peek at the chef preparing your delicious meal at the chef’s counter. To make your dinner even better, you can choose from a range of world-class wines and a cocktail program.
Check out Some of the Best Vegan Restaurants in San Diego
With the growing number of vegans, the number of vegan eateries has been on the rise recently, as well. If you, too, are looking to join this crowd, or you just want to grab a meatless meal once in a while, America’s Finest City won’t disappoint you.
Kindred Is the Right Spot to Enjoy Contemporary Vegan Fare and Drinks
Gothic décor and the sound of death metal in the background set an eclectic ambiance not expected in a restaurant at first glance. But it won’t take you long to fall in love with Kindred even if you’re not a heavy metal fan. The delicious vegan fare made with fresh herbs, spices, and other ingredients will make you want to come back for more.
Take Your Dog to Modern Times Far West Lounge
If you’re moving with pets, here’s the perfect place for you. In addition to fantastic fare and drinks (especially beer), Modern Times Far West Lounge is rather popular because it is pet-friendly. So, do not hesitate to bring your furry friend when you decide to check out this lovely eatery.
Try Something New at the Best Vegetarian Restaurants in San Diego
Similarly to vegans, vegetarian enthusiasts, too, are quite numerous around the area. So, there is a great number of eateries for vegetarians, innovative spots with something to offer for everyone’s taste. Even meat-eaters will surely love these. If you don’t know where to start, here are some suggestions.
Taste Vegetarian Renditions of Thai Fare at Plumeria
If you like Thai cuisine, Plumeria is the right place for you. How delicious does this sound: mock duck larb with lime and soy sauce soaked seitan under chopped cilantro and scattered roasted rice powder? Like we said, even meat-eaters will want to dig in with such tasty specialties on the menu like the ones offered at Plumeria.
You Can Find Only Delicious and Healthy Food at Lean and Green Café
Lean and Green Café serves delicious and carefully selected dishes for breakfast and lunch. The casual atmosphere is perfect for any time of the day, and a freshly made smoothie a good enough reason to stop by. Its lovely location in La Jolla neighborhood is ideal when you want to relax on the outdoor patio and get some sunlight while you enjoy your delicious meal.
Best Sushi Restaurants in San Diego Are Must-Visit Spots
Asian cuisine is an integral part of San Diego’s food scene, so it comes as no surprise that there are many excellent sushi eateries to explore around here. Here are some of the top sushi places not just around the area, but probably in the entire state of California and beyond.
Enjoy the Cozy and Eclectic Ambiance at Wrench and Rodent
Wrench and Rodent has to offer so much more than the pleasant atmosphere. Its inventive sushi menu makes this one of the hottest sushi eateries in the city. Even though it is located about 40 miles away from downtown, it’s worth driving there. You’ll be surprised to see how well all parts of plants and fish can be combined, as the chef’s philosophy here is all about “no waste.”
Don’t Miss the Specialties at Sushi Ota
As an award-winning Japanese eatery, Sushi Ota surely deserves to be among the top-ranked sushi destinations. Don’t let its strip small setting fool you. This is the ultimate place to be if you want to taste fresh raw uni, sashimi, and plenty of other gastronomical delights.
Enjoy Lovely Ambiance at the Best Romantic Restaurants in San Diego With Your Loved One
In case you’re moving across the country for love, we’re sure you’ll want to take your loved one to a fancy spot for your date. Whether you just want to celebrate that you’re together or you need a place for a special occasion, don’t worry about it. America’s Finest City is full of wonderful eateries where you can enjoy an intimate atmosphere and relax sipping a glass of wine with smooth piano music in the background.
Those of you moving in with your significant other will also love these elegant eateries. What better way to celebrate your new life together than to take your partner to one of these romantic spots? There are plenty of other romantic things to do in San Diego, but starting with these elegant dining destinations is probably the right way to go about it. So, let’s find out a bit more about two of the many romantic restaurants that this magnificent metropolis has.
Elegant Environs and Smooth Piano Music at Manhattan of La Jolla Are Perfect for a Date
This Italian eatery is probably among the most popular elegant dining destinations in town. As the name itself suggests, this is a New York-style place where you can enjoy world-class Italian fare with pleasant music in the background. Depending on when you book a table, you may catch their weekly live jazz show. There’s live music five days a week, so even if it’s not jazz, it will make the atmosphere even more pleasant, that’s for sure.
Speaking of La Jolla, we should mention that this also one of the best neighborhoods in San Diego. So, if you haven’t chosen where to relocate yet, this area is worth considering. If you’re looking for a more peaceful place, you should consider moving to the suburbs.
The WineSellar & Brasserie Offers an Intimate Atmosphere and World-Class French Fare
This upstairs romantic eatery, too, offers an intimate setting perfect for a date. Of course, it’s not just the romantic atmosphere that makes this lovely eatery worth your visit. You can order delicious seasonal, contemporary French dishes and a bottle of the finest wine to go with your meal.
The Best Restaurants in San Diego Are Waiting for You, So Pack Your Bags
Can you already picture yourself enjoying various culinary delights and relaxing in San Diego’s finest restaurants or going to a bar? You can’t wait to get there and start living your life to the fullest in this fabulous Pacific coast metropolis. So, it’s time for getting organized to move.
But how do you do it? If you don’t know how to go about your relocation by yourself, don’t sweat it. If you have any troubles, you can always step aside and let expert San Diego movers handle your move for you. If you don’t have time to pack all your stuff, the solution is simple – hire movers to provide you with packing services. If you want your vehicle to get around, ask for auto transport. Professional movers can cover every step of your relocation, so relax.
Your only concern should be where to start exploring the new surroundings and how to get a table at the hottest restaurant in town. Now that you know which ones are the hottest, don’t waste your time, but start planning your tour right away.