San Diego Restaurants and Fine Dining

San Diego restaurants range from fine dining in a vibrant downtown setting to quaint cafes along the beach. Known for pristine coastline, a sparkling downtown, incredible hotels, and exciting attractions, San Diego is home to some of the best restaurants imaginable to keep visitors and locals happy. New San Diego restaurants seem to pop up on every corner from extravagant sushi and Asian fusion restaurants to Mom and Pop burger joints and malt shops. No matter what kind of cuisine you crave, San Diego restaurants have it all. Fine dining in San Diego isn't hard to find either, just cruise through the Gaslamp Quarter in downtown or check out some of the fancy restaurants in La Jolla.

When you come to San Diego there are three must-have cuisines: Mexican, Seafood/Sushi and Steak. San Diego is peppered with Mexican restaurants. They aren't hard to find, but the really good ones are, so ask around for the best one near your hotel. Since San Diego happens to be a coastal city with a large port, the seafood here is fresh and delicious. Thus, sushi bars and other seafood joints like Point Loma Seafoods or the Fish Market are a must. Lastly, you will find some of the best steaks in town at Donovan's or Flemming's.

Mexican Restaurants: Whether it's your first time visiting San Diego or you are a veteran of this beautiful city, you must try the Mexican food. Being so close to Mexico, San Diego is overflowing with Mexican restaurants. These aren't the kind of "Mexican" restaurants you can find falsely named throughout the United States. The Mexican restaurants in San Diego are authentic. Now you might be saying that a burrito is not Mexican, and you are right; however, the burritos in San Diego are made with authentic Mexican flavors, ingredients and dishes. Old Town is a great place to go for a variety of authentic Mexican restaurants from cheap to fine dining experiences.

  • Gaslamp Quarter/Downtown: For San Diego visitors looking for a high-class San Diego fine dining experience, look no further than the Gaslamp Quarter. Comprised of 16 blocks of restaurants, hotels, shops, and nightlife venues, the Gaslamp Quarter is home to some of the best restaurants in San Diego. This thriving downtown scene attracts the elite local San Diego crowd, posh visitors, and stylish 20-somethings to the many amazing San Diego restaurants, bars, and nightclubs on a daily basis.
  • Little Italy: On the outskirts of downtown to the north lies Little Italy, a small neighborhood dedicated to celebrating and preserving the Italian influence on San Diego. Many Italian fishing families relocated to San Diego in the 1920s after the big earthquake in San Francisco. Together, they built one of the largest tuna industries in the world and helped make San Diego a thriving city. Little Italy is now full of authentic, family-owned Italian restaurants, neat shops and art galleries. Whether you are looking for a quick, cheap bite or some of the best fine dining in San Diego, Little Italy has exactly what you need.
  • Point Loma/Ocean BeachIf you keep heading north along the bay from Little Italy, you will find yourself in Point Loma and Ocean Beach. These areas are mostly residential, but they have some popular San Diego restaurants great for breakfast and lunch. Ocean Beach is known for its local, surfer bum kind of feel with some cool shops, dive bars and cheap eats.
  • La Jolla: About 10-15 minutes north of downtown you will find La Jolla, "The Jewel" of San Diego. This affluent community on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific has a multitude of boutique shops, art galleries and some of the best San Diego fine dining. Everything from fine American cuisine to Asian fusion, steak and seafood can be found in La Jolla and La Jolla village. The spectacular views from some of these San Diego restaurants are almost as breathtaking as each savory bite.
  • Del Mar: Keep heading north from La Jolla and you will eventually run into Del Mar, another north county community with beautiful coastal homes and pristine sandy beaches. Similar to La Jolla, you will find many unique shops and San Diego fine dining restaurants with great views of the ocean and beaches.
  • North Park/South Park: North Park and South Park are located east of downtown near Balboa Park on the hills overlooking downtown and San Diego Bay. This upbeat area of San Diego has been drawing increasing numbers of people who love delicious sustainable food and unparalleled drinks. The bars and restaurants are on the new trend of supporting local business and creating a fun and interesting atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.
  • Clairemont Mesa/Kearny Mesa: Just east of La Jolla you will run into Clairemont and Kearny Mesa. This area of San Diego is most known for having great sushi bars, noodle houses and other popular Asian fare. If you are craving Japanese or Chinese or something else from East, you should cruise up to this area for some of the best Asian restaurants in San Diego.

If San Diego fine dining isn't your thing and you just want some cheap drinks and good eats, check out the areas of San Diego with good bars and nightlife. However, if you are looking for something more romantic, most of the best fine dining in San Diego is around downtown, La Jolla and Del Mar.

Travelling with the kids? There are a ton of family friendly San Diego restaurants throughout the city, and many of them are quite affordable, so you don't have to worry about your kids running up the bill. Also, if you are planning a family vacation to San Diego, you should check out the Go San Diego Card, which will save you up to 55% on admission to 50 of San Diego's best attractions and theme parks as well as other great discounts.