San Diego, a bustling city, boasts a countless number of good restaurants. Here, we can only compile a list of personal favorites. Below you’ll find a list, neatly sorted by category, that can serve as a great source of inspiration.
Traditional fast food is often associated with subpar ingredient quality and bland taste. Over the years, however, restaurants in San Diego have managed to establish a combination of convenience and speed (‘Fast Food’) with the right mix of taste and good ingredients.
Five Guys is my personal favorite, where you can build your favorite burger completely individually! The ingredients are of superior quality, resulting in one of the tastiest fast food burgers in the region.
Tip: Be sure to try the Cajun Fries! A small portion is sufficient, as extra fries are often added for free.
In-N-Out is a classic, familiar and recommended to many even before their first trip to California. This fast-food chain has maintained an excellent reputation for decades, an almost unchanged menu, and predominantly uses ingredients of good quality!
Tip: It’s not on the menu, but if you ask for a ‘Double-Double Animal Style,’ you get the ‘Secret Sauce’ on both your burger and fries (A mix of roasted onions and dressing sauce. Very tasty!).
The Best Burgers
Hodad’s (Ocean Beach & Downtown)
One of the most famous and best burger restaurants is Hodad’s, now represented by 2 restaurants in San Diego! The burgers here are big and really tasty, one must try it out to convince themselves of the probably best burger in San Diego!
Bare Back Grill (Pacific Beach)
Bare Back Grill isn’t often mentioned in the same breath as Hodad’s when it comes to the best burgers in San Diego, which in my opinion, is unjust. Bare Back is a burger restaurant with a New Zealand twist located in the Pacific Beach neighborhood. Here, you’ll get both unique quality (organic meat) and exotic options (lamb, swordfish…).
Tip: The Lamb Burger and the Sweet Potato Fries are highly recommended!
Other alternatives for good burgers in San Diego: Rocky’s, Slater’s 50/50 or Canada Steak Burger
The Tastiest Burrito
The small Taco-Shops
San Diego wouldn’t be what it is today without Mexican food! With a large Mexican population, many small, traditional taco/burrito shops have been added over the years. Here, it’s almost impossible to pick out a specific place, you should simply try and if in doubt, consult a review portal.
Tip: Marcy’s Taco Shop in Pacific Beach is run by a very friendly Mexican family and the burritos are really tasty! My favorite: Surf N’ Turf Burrito!
Chipotle has now established itself nationwide as a chain and rightly so! They pay close attention to healthy and local ingredients and serve large portions! Like a buffet, you can put together your own burrito, taco, burrito bowl or salad. Chipotle has several stores in the San Diego area!
The Healthy Alternative
Urban Plates (Del Mar)
If you want to eat healthy and delicious food, Urban Plates is the place to go! All ingredients are delivered fresh from local farms, and you can taste the difference! You can choose from delicious salads, platters, and sandwiches/burgers. The food is often prepared right in front of the customer’s eyes and the atmosphere is relaxed and pleasant.
Alternative: Tender Greens offers a similar menu to Urban Plates and also has three different restaurants in San Diego! Also highly recommended.
Bertrand at Mister As (Banker’s Hill)
One of the best restaurants in San Diego also has an unbeatable view of the harbor and the city: Bertrand at Mister As definitely belongs to the upscale category and you should reserve in advance to secure a table! The French-American cuisine is award-winning and makes Bertrand at Mister As one of the most popular restaurants in San Diego.
George’s at the Cove (La Jolla)
George’s, thanks to its view and exquisite cuisine, is a top address for anyone looking for a special experience. Located in the noble district of La Jolla, the restaurant has a unique view of La Jolla Cove and the Pacific. The food is appropriately specialized in seafood but also offers something for steak fans and vegetarians! Multi-course menus are also a specialty of the house.