Restaurant Guide–San Diego

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Los Angeles | Orange County | San Bernardino/RiversideSan Francisco

  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)


TJ Oyster Bar–4246 Bonita Rd. (Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening. Baja style seafood, specializing in raw and marinated dishes. Has a large variety (much of it cooked), and all of it seems to be like you would get across the border. (6-8-18)


Miguel’s Cocina–5980 Avenida Encinas (Mexican) Open Daily.  Fish tacos.  Rec. by Scott P. (from Yelp). (11-16-15)

Chula Vista

Tacos El Gordo–556 Broadway (Mexican) Open daily (open late night).  Tijuana style street tacos that seem to be regarded as the best in San Diego. (6-8-18)


Pho Truc Xanh–503 W. Mission Ave. (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Scott P.’s favorite.  Not just pho (has a good Vietnamese menu). (11-16-15)


Julian Cider Mill–2103 Main St. (Cider).  Fresh cider, apple butter, nuts, trail mix.  I especially want to try this since Stout’s Cider Mill in Arizona closed (and I think this will be just as good).  Located in NE San Diego County.  Recommended by Scott P. (from Yelp).  There are several other businesses in the same block such as Julian Pie Co, Mom’s Pie House, Julian Cafe, Apple Alley Bakery, Candied Apple Pastry, and Julian Tea. (11-16-15)

La Jolla

Cottage–7702 Fay Ave. (American) Breakfast & lunch daily; Dinner Tue-Sat.  Known for its very good breakfasts (innovate dishes), cost listed as $$.  Featured in magazines as one of the top breakfast places in the U.S. (11-16-15)

San Diego

Blue Water–3667 India St. (Seafood) Open Daily.  Casual, cheap, many times has line going out the door.  Has an outdoor patio.  Clam chowder, oysters, fish & chips.  Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. (11-12-15)

China Max–4698 Convoy St. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Best & most authentic Cantonese in SD.  Dim sum is popular. (11-16-15)

El Agave–2304 San Diego Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Authentic Mexican–specializes in pre-Spanish food.  10 kinds of mole.  Rec. by Gil. (11-12-15)

El Patio of Old Town–2611 San Diego Ave. (Mexican).  May be Cal. style Mex. food (but I’m not sure).  Has excellent reviews (worth visiting regardless of the style). (11-16-15)

El Zarape–4642 Park Blvd. (Mexican) Open Daily (open late night).  Maybe the best fish tacos in SD. (11-12-15)

Escape Fish Bar–738 5th Ave. (Seafood) Open Daily.  Some of the best reviews of any fish place in SD.  Chipotle chowder, fish and chips, swordfish tacos, grilled sea bass. (11-16-15)

Kous Kous Moroccan Bistro–3940 4th Ave. (Moroccan) Open daily (dinner only).  Chicken tagine is a customer favorite, but it looks as if they have a full menu of Moroccan dishes.  Reviews are excellent. (11-16-15)

Los Cuatro Milpas–1875 Logan Ave. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  Cheap and “very good authentic Mexican food” (I’m not sure if it’s Cal. style or interior Mexican). (11-16-15)

Mitsuwa Marketplace–4240 Kearney Mesa Rd. (Japanese) Open daily (closes at 8:00 pm).  Grocery store and market that has stalls for small restaurants.  Reviewers say the food at these restaurants is authentic and “just like home.”  It seems to be rather inexpensive also.  Reviewers say the best item is ramen.  The store is similar to Uwajimaya in Seattle which is great for picking up tea and other treats. (11-16-15)

Oscar’s Mexican Seafood–746 Emerald St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Some consider it to be the best place for Ensenada style tacos (fried fish with cabbage). There is another location nearby at 703 Turquoise St. (6-8-18)

Romeo & Julieta–4715 Monroe Ave. (Polish) Dinner only (closed Mon).  This is a Polish restaurant and wine bar, which may be a little different but reviewers say the Polish food is good.  Pierogi (several kinds), schnitzel, chicken kasha. (11-16-15)

Super Cocina–3627 University Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily. Serves authentic home style meals. Mole, pozole, red and green enchiladas are popular. (6-8-18)


Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.



Chowhound (San Diego)

Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog

Thrillist (Best Mexican Restaurants in San Diego) (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Scott P.)

Zomato (San Diego)

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