When it comes to food, San Diego offers downtown restaurants, five-star eateries, and everything in between. You’ll find happy hours with $5 cocktails as well as expensive five-course meals. There’s a rich diversity in flavors here, too, thanks to many thriving immigrant communities. You’ll find foods from China, Japan, Mexico, India and more here. Below are a few San Diego restaurants to enjoy during your epicurean journey.
The Best Burger
Hodad’s may not serve up the fanciest burgers, but this joint is still one of the best restaurants in San Diego. It was featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in 2007. Hodad’s opened in 1969 and is run by the same family today. The burger joint has become iconic for two reasons: for its massive, sloppy burger and its late owner, Mike “Bossman” Hardin, the son of Hodad’s original owners Virginia and Byron Hardin. Mike Hardin was known in the community for his generosity and his passion for the business.
Mike Hardin called these “sloppy, old fashioned, run-down-your-arms burgers.” The patties here are big and juicy. One such masterpiece is the Guido Burger, which includes pastrami, pickles, ketchup, swiss cheese, grilled onions, and spicy brown mustard.
The Best Tacos
San Diego is famous for its tacos. You’ll find taco stands all over the city. You should visit several of them while you’re here to decide for yourself which joint does it the best. If you’re looking for something more upscale, try Galaxy Taco. If you’re looking for a great fish taco, head to Tacos Mimi. For carnitas, head to Carnitas Las Michoacanas. For some of the most beloved street-style tacos, hit up Tacos el Gordo.
The Best Late-Night Snack
San Diegans agree: If you’re looking for a late-night or hangover snack, it’s got to be the California burrito. This homegrown burrito is basically carne asada covered fries wrapped up in a burrito with some lettuce and tomatoes. For the best, head to one of the top San Diego restaurants, Nico’s Mexican Food at its original Ocean Beach location. Nico’s only accepts cash, so be prepared.
The Best Seafood
Of course, sitting right on the Pacific means San Diego serves some amazing seafood. If you’re looking for more fine dining, we love The Marine Room. It’s got a killer view of the ocean to match its menu. For sushi, try Himitsu in La Jolla. Himitsu serves up sushi, nigiri, and Japanese-style taps in an intimate setting. We love the outdoor patio, too. Visitors also recommend The Fishery. This restaurant is in the same warehouse as the Seafood Restaurant & Market, so all its seafood comes from the same fisherman.
Take a Tour of Restaurants in San Diego
If all of this is overwhelming to you, consider taking a food tour. Visitors love the Brothels, Bites, and Booze Tour, which will take you to through the Gaslamp Quarter. This part of San Diego was once the center of entertainment and nightlife in the city. We also love BITE. You’ll choose from one of San Diego’s six neighborhoods and learn all about the food scene there.
Come join us in San Diego for a great meal. You can grab fresh seafood from a local market and cook it in your home; order tacos from a nearby food truck or go out for a nice sit-down meal. Call us today to book one of our vacation rentals and to learn more about the best restaurants in San Diego!