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The Most Famous Restaurants in San Diego

San Diego offers the quintessential Californian city with its constant sunshine, gorgeous beaches, and cool, coastal vibe. It has an overwhelming amount of things to do, from the world-famous San Diego Zoo and the pristine beaches to the grand historic districts and trendy nightclubs. You can hike along the cliffs of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, walk the sands of Coronado Beach or check out the gorgeous scenery at La Jolla Cove. Balboa Park provides the city’s cultural hub and boasts museums, theaters and gardens. You can also explore the military and maritime heritage with interactive and family-friendly museums. Foodies love visiting this Cali city to sample everything from street food and authentic fish tacos to fine dining. But where do the smartest, savviest diners consider the most famous restaurants San Diego has to offer? Welcome to the Tastemaker Lists. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. Book a table today!

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The OpenTable Team
15 Restaurants
Updated 04 February 2020
Restaurants:The Red Door, Godfather Restaurant, Baci Restaurant - San Diego
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Italian
Neighborhoods:Mission Hills, Kearny Mesa, Old Town
A photo of The Red Door restaurant

The Red Door

$$$$
Italian
Mission Hills
4.7
2447 reviews
The Red Door, located on Washington Street in the Mission Hills neighborhood, is one of the most famous restaurants in San Diego. The eatery offers guests sustainable and responsibly-sourced products to ensure the very best dishes. They serve Italian comfort foods with fresh locally grown and handcrafted products. Chef/Owner Luciano Cibelli shops daily and selects every item they serve. It is some of the highest-rated cuisines in the city! Try items like their Cashew-Crusted Wings, Fried Egg and Marro and the famous Red Door Burger.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Godfather Restaurant restaurant

Godfather Restaurant

$$$$
Italian
Kearny Mesa
4.8
1234 reviews
The Godfather, a Balistreri restaurant, is an Italian hotspot in downtown San Diego. The restaurant provides authentic cuisine from the hills of Italy and is definitely one of the best-known restaurants in town. Established in 1974, it’s a sophisticated and classy establishment that centers around generational recipes from both Northern and Southern Italy. Over the years, critics around the world have awarded the quality of food and standards of service here. Come enjoy their menu of steak, chicken and pasta dishes and pair your meal with a bottle of their finest champagne!

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Baci Restaurant - San Diego restaurant

Baci Restaurant - San Diego

$$$$
Italian
Old Town
4.9
1483 reviews
Baci Restaurant is beloved by locals and definitely one of the most famous restaurants in San Diego. It offers diners a hint of old-world Italian charm, with cozy booths, white tablecloths and gracious servers dressed in tuxedos. It’s the kind of place you want to take friends and family who are visiting from out of town to show them the best of San Diego! The decor is modern but the menu is classic, featuring Northern and Southern Italian cuisine. They serve specialty classic pasta dishes, veal, fresh seafood and tempting daily specials by Executive Chef Domenico Alioto.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The WineSellar & Brasserie restaurant

The WineSellar & Brasserie

$$$$
French
Sorrento Mesa
4.8
826 reviews
Consistently ranked among OpenTable’s Top 10 local restaurants, The Brasserie is also one of the most famous restaurants in San Diego. Established in 1988, The WineSellar and Brasserie is the city’s premier destination for fine wine and exquisitely crafted, locally-sourced, organic fare. Diners can enjoy a bottle of wine from the adjoining WineSellar boutique wine shop or choose a glass or bottle from their extensive list. The menu features decadent French cuisine, including everything from Duck Two Ways to a Beef Tenderloin to a Leg of Lamb Salad.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The French Gourmet restaurant

The French Gourmet

$$$$
French
Pacific Beach
4.6
1251 reviews
Located right in the heart of Pacific Beach, The French Gourmet is a snazzy place to bring a date or a group of colleagues to dinner - anyone you really want to impress! It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the casual, air-conditioned space combines the elegance of an old-world cafe with the casual ambiance of a neighborhood eatery. The sunlit space is perfect for an early morning espresso with a croissant or a leisurely lunch of shared dishes. Their menu features California-influenced French cuisine to the San Diego area and strives to serve up an unforgettable culinary treat! Try their famous Paysan Salad, Moules Provencale or the Escargots a la Bourguignonne.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Bleu Boheme restaurant

Bleu Boheme

$$$$
French
Kensington
4.7
2938 reviews
Located in Kensignton, right across from the Ward Canyon Neighborhood Park, Bleu Boheme is a casual elegant French restaurant that locals love. The design sparks a feeling of France’s past generations and the restaurant evokes all the old world charm of a bygone era. It mixes the Bohemian and artistic free-spirited left bank of Paris with the roots and tradition of the quiet, rural areas. This neighborhood restaurant always has delicious, affordable and comforting French cuisine.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of SEA180 Coastal Tavern restaurant

SEA180 Coastal Tavern

$$$$
Seafood
Imperial Beach
4.5
2678 reviews
SEA180 Coastal Tavern is definitely one of San Diego’s most famous restaurants! Located at one of San Diego’s most distinctive locales, it features sweeping views of the Coronado Islands, South Bay and Mexico while you dine. The name comes from the glorious 180-degree views of the expansive ocean visible from every corner of the establishment. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they serve an outstanding menu of eclectic food, including fusion, contemporary American and Mexican. Their menu changes regularly but try some of their seasonal specialties!

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Fishery restaurant

The Fishery

$$$$
Seafood
Pacific Beach
4.8
2176 reviews
Hungry for some amazing seafood? Head to The Fishery Restaurant and Market, located just a few blocks from the ocean in North Pacific Beach. Their menu features ‘coastal cuisine’ with a simple yet serious focus on the best coastal fisheries and local farms have to offer! Chef Paul Arias has a passion for cooking and uses delicious seasonal produce to guarantee the freshest, tastiest food. They also have an award-winning wine list of bottles that pair nicely with the food.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of El Agave restaurant

El Agave

$$$$
Mexican
Old Town
4.7
1818 reviews
El Agave features the true flavors of Mexico in San Diego! This is the city’s premier Mexican cuisine destination, established in 1996 and still very popular with locals and visitors alike. The restaurant and Tequileria offer a unique dining experience within the largest tequila museum in the United States! With over 2,500 tequilas on display, they definitely know how to serve a great margarita here! Nestled in historic Old Town, it’s the perfect spot for a romantic date, a business lunch or a night out to celebrate a special occasion.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
View Takeout Menu
A photo of NINE-TEN restaurant

NINE-TEN

$$$$
Californian
La Jolla
4.6
2466 reviews
NINE-TEN, located on Prospect Street in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, is a casually elegant eatery featuring globally-inspired, locally-sourced food. It has an ongoing commitment to innovative cuisine using only the freshest products available. Led by chef Jason Knibb, it offers the perfect combination of sophistication and elegance. Enjoy dining indoors or on the sidewalk patio or outdoor terrace with glimpses of the ocean. Try some of their delicious dishes to see why it’s one of the most famous restaurants in San Diego!

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
View Experiences
A photo of AVANT restaurant

AVANT

$$$$
Contemporary French
Poway / Rancho Bernardo
4.5
1257 reviews
AVANT Restaurant at Rancho Bernardo Inn is the Rancho Bernardo suburb, is one of the most elegant restaurants in town - and one of the most famous restaurants in San Diego! It draws on the best of wine country dining and features inspired culinary exploration, leisurely socializing and the freshest seasonal ingredients and apply a California mindset to it all. They serve up vibrant, creative dishes and artisan libations in an inviting setting defined by its indoor-outdoor design, dynamic spaces and lush garden decor.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
View Experiences
A photo of AR Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines restaurant

AR Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines

$$$$
Farm-to-table
La Jolla
4.8
1783 reviews
A.R. Valentien is the signature restaurant at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, the AAA Five Diamond resort in La Jolla. Executive Chef Jeff Jackson is synonymous with the farm-to-table movement in San Diego and their menu showcases fresh market-driven seafood, meats, produce and dairy products. Popular dishes include lemon ricotta pancakes, chicken “under a brick” with braised cavolo nero and chicken liver pate! Guests can dine in the elegant California Craftsman dining room or sit on the tranquil outdoor terrace with gorgeous views of the golf course.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Farmer's Bottega Restaurant restaurant

Farmer's Bottega Restaurant

$$$$
American
Mission Hills
4.6
1198 reviews
Farmers Bottega is another of the most famous restaurants in San Diego. It’s a farm-to-table spot located in the heart of Mission Hills, a charming neighborhood with lots of old-fashioned charm. Guests relish in carefully crafted fare where the food is as organic as the vintage, reclaimed decor. As soon as you enter the intimate eatery, you’ll find a rustic ambiance like that of a real farmhouse. The interior features everything from Edison bulbs to hollowed wine barrels to complete the cozy vibe. Enjoy seasonal specialties like their cheese and meat board and various wild game.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Marine Room restaurant

The Marine Room

$$$$
Seafood
La Jolla
4.7
6406 reviews
For a truly exquisite fine dining experience in town, head to The Marine Room in La Jolla! Located right on the surf with a glorious beachfront setting, it’s a perfect place to dine when you are in the mood for a fancy night out. Opened in 1941, The Marine Room quickly became popular for the gorgeous ocean views. Celebrities, world figures, residents and visitors all frequent this historic landmark. Dinner items include their signature dishes like the Marigold Pepitas Dusted Wild Prawns.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Nobu San Diego restaurant

Nobu San Diego

$$$$
Cocktail Bar
Downtown / Gaslamp
4.6
3082 reviews
If you’re in the mood for an exceptional meal in San Diego, you can’t go wrong with Nobu. World-renowned for their “New Style” Japanese cuisine, Nobu features some of the best food in the country. The San Diego location is another blank canvas for Chef Nobu Matsuhisa to display his talent. Standout dishes include the Black Cod Miso and Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapenos. The restaurant sits inside the centrally located and super hip Hard Rock Hotel and is the perfect destination for a delicious Japanese dining experience.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
View Takeout Menu
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