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Diners' Choice: Neighbourhood gem restaurants in San Diego

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OpenTable
Updated 05 April 2024

Looking for the best restaurants that are the best neighbourhood gems in San Diego? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyses nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favourite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you book, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Arrivederci restaurant
4.8
4.8 (45)
$31 to $50
Italian
Hillcrest
About the restaurant
Arrivederci Ristorante is an authentic Italian restaurant. Arrivederci means hello. The restaurant's name refers to Italian hospitality offered here. It has a decent semi-formal ambiance. The walls are decorated with paintings gathered from different parts of Europe. Antique lamps are hung from the ceilings to add a rustic appeal. Arrivederci specializes in preparing all dishes with authentic Italian recipes and ingredients. Grigliata vegetariana is prepared with a variety of assorted grilled vegetables. Rigatoni amatriciana is prepared with tabular pasta soaked in rich sauce, prepared with tomatoes and romano cheese. Italian bacon topping enhances the flavor. Pollo al funghi is the traditional chicken meal. The boneless breast of chicken is topped with mushrooms. The ingredients are cooked in wine sauce. Arrivederci serves Italian wines and beers.
Top review
JillBvip
Dined 4 days ago
Outstanding food with huge portions. I should have shared!
A photo of Ney Restaurant & Cafe restaurant
4.7
4.7 (120)
$30 and under
Mediterranean
La Mesa
About the restaurant
Ney is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant featuring colorful cuisine, including house-made burgers, pizzas, kabab, salads, and hummus. We pride ourselves on serving up authentic Middle Eastern flavors with the best service around. Book your table now!

We offer hookah at our restaurant and per California law, no one under 21 can be seated during times that hookah is being served. Children are welcome on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm.

Top review
MariaR
Dined on 1 Apr 2024
Came here based on the exceptional reviews from other diners. We came as a large party of 8 for Sunday dinner at 6pm. For appetizers we ordered the falafel, beef shawarma, hummus, and bruschetta to share. Everything was very flavorful and probably some of the best I’ve tasted. Everyone had their own entree. I personally had the chicken tikka. The portion was substantial and excellent. The baryani comes with the option to hold the almonds since I have a nut allergy. What a great addition to La Mesa. We will be back!
A photo of CUCINA CAPRESE PIZZERIA & TRATTORIA restaurant
4.7
4.7 (91)
$30 and under
Italian
Old Town
About the restaurant
From My Heart and Soul to Your Table...
Chef Giuseppe Monaco, Born in Capri, Italy where his passion for cooking took root starting from Mamma Rosa & Papa Giovanni… Giuseppe was trained in Culinary School in Capri, Italy and has over 30 years experience—Let Giuseppe take you to his home with the finest Italian meal you have ever had!

Cucina Caprese is a restaurant that uses traditional Italian culinary techniques including il Forno a Legna –old style wood-fired oven– cooking. We use seasonal, local and organic ingredients as well as meats, cheeses and extra virgin olive oil(EVOO) imported from Italy.

Our dough is prepared the authentic way of old Napoli–made only with special ‘OO Flour’, yeast, and water (no sugar oil, or vinegar). Our pizza is then prepared the traditional Neapolitan way, il Forno a Legna, in a wood-fired pizza oven on the side made to order!

Top review
JulieC
Dined 6 days ago
The Host/Chef Giuseppe and his entire team were hospitable and polite. There were 8 of us and everyone was delighted by the cuisine and atmosphere. This place is on point!
A photo of Pomodoro Ristorante Italiano restaurant
4.7
4.7 (33)
$30 and under
Italian
Point Loma
About the restaurant
Pomodoro features a rustic yet refined atmosphere, exquisite food presentations and a knowledgeable and friendly staff. Blending classic and contemporary Italian cuisine, Italian music and a colorful "Tomato Inspired" décor. Along the wall, a large wine rack houses many bottles and vintages, our wine list is designed to perfectly compliment your meal. Guests will indulge in the flavor of a true Italian experience the minute they step foot in Pomodoro, located in the heart of Point Loma, San Diego.
Top review
TomTvip
Dined on 3 Apr 2024
Very impressed. Food was amazing-fast, tasty and great portions. Great staff.
A photo of Guadalajara Mexican Grill restaurant
4.6
4.6 (30)
$30 and under
Mexican
Temecula
About the restaurant
OUR STORY:
Founded in 1986 the Solano family opened Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant in Lake Elsinore, California. Eleven years later in 1997, we opened our second location Guadalajara Mexican Grill and Cantina in Temecula, California. At Guadalajara’s, we take real pride in providing the freshest ingredients to ensure high-quality Mexican food. We pride ourselves in having generous portions, a festive environment, and the best margaritas in town!

Top review
crystal
Dined 3 days ago
Food was excellent as well as the portions. Service was pleasant and the Sunday DJ Cafe made the atmosphere fun.
A photo of BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse - Mission Valley restaurant
4.6
4.6 (36)
$30 and under
American
Mission Valley
About the restaurant
Time counts at BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse. Since our humble beginnings back in 1978, we've continued to refine our brewhouse experience to make BJ's a place where you can make the most of any meal. We want BJ's to be a place where the moment you leave is the moment you plan on coming back. We pride ourselves in our craft and attention to detail. Our guests come here for our award-winning handcrafted beer. They come here for the Southern California twist we've put on the Chicago-style deep dish pizza. And they come here for our Pizookies®, our world-renowned dessert. But above all we know people come here to make their good times better. So in many ways we haven't just crafted a brand, but a mindset. And our guests are the reason for this. And it's because of them we're continually striving to make sure every moment they choose to spend with us counts. Welcome to BJ's, a restaurant with a Brewhouse soul.
Top review
Premonsdaydinpvip
Dined on 31 Mar 2024
Our server was amazing! The pizookie desserts were our favorite!
A photo of Gyu-Kaku - Downtown San Diego restaurant
4.6
4.6 (241)
$31 to $50
Japanese
Downtown
About the restaurant
Founded in Tokyo in 1996, Gyu-Kaku has become the world’s #1 Japanese BBQ brand! Thanks to our devoted fans we have reached over 700 locations worldwide. Each day, hundreds of thousands of people gather around the table-top smokeless grill, a centerpiece of our dining concept, enjoying selections of premium meats, just off the grill, and other freshly prepared foods from our kitchens, inspiring laughter, conversation, and a magical dining experience.

Our authentic yakiniku (grilled barbeque) dining experience crowns you the chef. Share a variety of delicious appetizers and premium cooked meats over a flaming grill, paired with Japanese sake, frosty cold beers, or other alcoholic and non-alcoholic options of your choice. We're the perfect spot to enjoy time with friends and family, organize an office party, or to spend quality time with your significant other!

Before you go, don't forget to taste our best-seller Harami Skirt Steak or Prime Kalbi Short Rib among other must-try dishes!

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on 7 Apr 2024
Cami provided us with excellent service and explanations of our choices since it was our first time there. Food was great. Overall, I would recommend and plan on a second trip.
A photo of P.F. Chang's - Temecula restaurant
4.5
4.5 (84)
$30 and under
Chinese
Temecula
About the restaurant
We are an Asian & Chinese restaurant offering dine-in, takeout, to-go, delivery, and catering. Make a reservation online to dine in. Order Asian and Chinese food delivery, takeout, and catering online or through the P.F. Chang's mobile app. Let us cater the perfect feast for you - corporate office catering menus are also available. P.F. Chang's offers a variety of signature Asian, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Mongolian, and Chinese food dishes including Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Pad Thai, Signature Lo Mein, Fried Rice, Mongolian Beef, Chang's Spicy Chicken, and Pork and Shrimp Dumplings. Order online for sushi delivery and takeout. Many gluten-free and vegetarian menu items are available. Try our seasonal cocktails and seasonal menu items.
Top review
MichaelMac
Dined on 1 Apr 2024
Great Food. Excellent location, good parking. Natural light.
A photo of P.F. Chang's - Carlsbad restaurant
4.5
4.5 (217)
$30 and under
Chinese
Carlsbad
About the restaurant
We are an Asian & Chinese restaurant offering dine-in, takeout, to-go, delivery, and catering. Make a reservation online to dine in. Order Asian and Chinese food delivery, takeout, and catering online or through the P.F. Chang's mobile app. Let us cater the perfect feast for you - corporate office catering menus are also available. P.F. Chang's offers a variety of signature Asian, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Mongolian, and Chinese food dishes including Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Pad Thai, Signature Lo Mein, Fried Rice, Mongolian Beef, Chang's Spicy Chicken, and Pork and Shrimp Dumplings. Order online for sushi delivery and takeout. Many gluten-free and vegetarian menu items are available. Try our seasonal cocktails and seasonal menu items.
Top review
Johnvip
Dined 5 days ago
The food and service were excellent, but I was surprised how empty the place was.
A photo of Petrini's restaurant
4.4
4.4 (394)
$30 and under
Italian
Little Italy
About the restaurant
Petrini's, in the heart of San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood, serves homemade Italian dishes with a traditional authentic dishes. If you go to Music box, stop by for a dinner and a cup of wine before the show. We offer Brunch, Lunch and Dinner menus 7 days a week.

The diablo shrimp in spicy wing sauce with lemon and cream, served with garlic cheese bread makes the perfect starter to your meal. Some of Petrini's' specialty entrée dishes include the smoked salmon alfredo sautéed with tomatoes and basil, garlic and rosemary served with spaghetti with tangy Pomodoro sauce and the baked white fish coated in seasoned bread crumbs in wine, butter and garlic sauce with Tuscan vegetables. Handhelds, such as the classic meatball hoagie, the vegetarian caponata sandwich with tomato-stewed eggplant and the craft-your-own pizzas, are other diner favorites.
For a sweet end to your meal at Petrini's, enjoy a homemade classic Italian dessert, the layered tiramisu cake.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on 14 Apr 2024
I felt very lucky to get a 515 reservation on the day of the Billy Joel and Sting concert at Petco. That’s the reason we were in Little Italy or downtown to begin with and I was very happy with my choice..
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