My Favorite San Diego Restaurants

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As I’m enjoying the lovely weather here in Ohio, I’m dreaming of Southern California. To be on the beach right now, that’s all I really want. Whether you’re looking to eat waterfront and watch the waves crash against the restaurant’s window, or eat in a restaurant overlooking the whole city, San Diego has you covered.

Go for the View:


George's At The Cove
Located 25 minutes north of San Diego, in La Jolla, George's At the Cove is the 3 story restaurant. It serves California fare while you take in some of the best views of the ocean. The rooftop terrace is absolutely spectacular!

Mister A’s
Mister A's, located in the downtown area, provides amazing views from the 12th floor setting. The restaurant serves American fare.

Jake's Del Mar
An upscale eatery that offers views of the ocean through it floor to ceiling windows. The rustic atmosphere is created by the wood beams above and the wood bench seating. The menu is seafood driven and include meals like Baja fish tacos, ahi poke bowl and grilled rainbow trout. The menu does have several meat options as well, such as a burger, a roasted turkey sandwich and a Duroc Pork Cuban Sandwich.

Family Friendly:


A.R. Valentien
Located in the Lodge at Torrey Pines, the A.R. Valentien provides indoor and outdoor dining next to the 18th green. The exposed wood beams in the dining room give the restaurant a rustic feel. The upscale American menu features roasted free range chicken, sea scallops and duck breast, as well as a tasting menu. The kids menu features chicken strips, penne pasta and a hmaburger to name a few.

Located just north of the San Diego zoo, in the Hillcrest area, Trust is a welcoming destination for those seeking American fare. The restaurant has a variety of options from the Ocean or Ranch, and features a wood-fired oven for many of its dishes, such as the wood grilled lamb meatballs.

Whisknladle is located in La Jolla, as mentioned, a 25 minute drive north of the city, and is a block from the ocean. The menu features dishes like the Prime 12 oz. Ribeye, Pork Chop with santa rosa plums, prawn pasta and a plate of southern California vegetables.

Jaynes Gastropub
Located north of the San Diego zoo, Jaynes is a laid back casual spot serving British pub fare.

Waypoint Public
Waypoint Public is a great place for the family. It has an area for kids and an outstanding menu. For those traveling with young ones, you have to check this place out.

Corvette Diner
The Corvette Diner is a step into the past. Enjoy the 1950's, singing waitresses and all, as you dine under the bright glow of the neon signs. The restaurant, with attached arcade, is sure to be a hit with young and old. The menu features classic diner food.

If you're in the mood for great ramen, try out Tajima. The restaurant is regarded as the top Japanese restaurants in the City.

The Crack shack
The Crack shack is a great spot in San Diego's Little Italy, and a must go for families. The menu features free-living, locally-raised chickens. There's an outdoor seating area which includes a wide variety of outstanding food. You'll be able to chose from sandwiches like the Coop Deville, a fried chicken sandwich with pickled fresno chiles, lime mayo, napa cabbage on brioche. The restaurant also has a 5 piece or 10 fried chicken meal, and different entree bowls. Oh! They also have a bocce court.

Fine Dining:


Addison at The Grand Del Mar
The Addison is one of the best restaurants in San Diego, and would be the perfect destination for a special event. Located in the Fairmont's Grand Del Mar, a short drive North of the city, the tasting menu features new French cuisine.

Herb and Wood
Herb and Wood specializes in upscale wood-fired dishes. Located in San Diego's little Italy area, the restaurant has dishes such as: Roasted Branzino, Roasted Half Chicken, Gnocchi or a pizza like Mushrooms & Truffle-Studded Goat Cheese and Clam Chowder pizza.

Juniper and Ivy
Juniper and Ivy is a very sleek and fresh restaurant located in San Diego's little Italy. The restaurant is owned by Michael Rosen and Richard Blais is the Chef Partner.

If you're in the mood for small plates of coastal cuisine, then Lionfish is the spot for you. The upscale restaurant is located downtown near the marina, in the gaslamp quarter.

Upscale Casual:


Wrench and Rodent
This sushi and seafood forward restaurant, focuses on local ingredients. The menu showcases the best ingredients such as yellowtail, octopus and albacore. The restaurant also has a variety of vegan dishes as well.

The cedar, wood-planked ceilings arch high above the dining room at Madison, a provide for a unique setting for a meal. The Mediterranean inspired menu features dishes like Shish Kabob and salmon skewers.

A little different, a little fun:


The Marine Room
This is a really cool option for those who want to get close to the ocean, but not get wet. The Marine Room in La Jolla, is located right next to the water. During high tide, the waves come crashing in, hitting the windows, providing dinners with a way to experience the force of the ocean. The french and seafood fare will impress as much as nature's power.

Trailer Park After Dark
I love different, and Trailer Park After Dark is, well, it's different. Located right in downtown, you'll be transported to a camp site. The tables at the restaurant are like benches and you can actually order a tv dinner!

Parq Restaurant
A wonderfully different dining option located in downtown San Diego brings the outside in. The dining room is filled with trees that separate the dinners. Not only a restaurant, but a nightclub.

Hornblower Dinner Cruise
If you've read any of my other restaurant reviews, you know that I'm a big fan of dinner cruises. That said, I would highly recommend the Hornblower dinner cruise. It's a 3 hour trip, from 7 until 10 at night, that takes you around the bay. You'll enjoy a 3 course meal and then dance the night away to a band or dj (your choice.) The cruise provides different menu options for kids, vegetarians and gluten sensitive passengers upon request. This would be a great option for families!

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