Best Neighborhood for Eating and Drinking in San Diego

2 women sitting on chair in front of table with foods 

Going out around town is one of the best things to do to unwind, this mean that for a lot of people one of the biggest considerations when moving to a new place is if there are a lot of great places to eat and drink in the area.  Luckily, people moving to San Diego won’t be left wanting, here’s a list of the best neighborhoods in San Diego for foodies. 

Little Italy  

If you often crave Italian staples, the former fishing village straightforwardly known as “Little Italy” will be right up your alley. It boasts of a glut of great restaurants and shops and offers would be residents a nice farmers market on Saturdays.  

Here are some of the places you might want to check out when you move there: 

Nolita Hall 

If youre more of an evening and nightcap kind of person, Nolita Hall is just perfect for your tastes. As a trendy food-and-drink emporium, it’s ready to serve all comers, from friends looking to hangout on the weekends or the office worker looking to let loose after work. The menu boasts the least pretentious offerings you can find anywhere, munch down on pizzas & salads, wash it down with different kinds of liquor, and just chill.  

Morning Glory  

If you and your family are really into brunch, then look no further than Morning Glory. It’s checkered floors, copper furnishings, and pink accent just sets the perfect brunch feel.  The menu has staples like American classics like steak and eggs alongside global favorites like chilaquiles with mole, pork belly with eggs and fried rice. 

Craft & Commerce  

Great cocktail places are hard to find, luckily there’s “Craft & Commerce” in San Diego. This staple of the San Diego social scene offers a glut of innovative drinks, which has made it an icon of the modern craft cocktail scene. 

Herb & Wood  

Chef Brian Malarkey serves up fantastic wood-fired pizzas, delicious pastas, and ocean fresh seafood plates for the more rustic leaning would-be residents out there. Hillcrest signage under blue cloudy sky

Hillcrest

One of the most progressive, and most LGBTQ-friendly neighborhoods in the city, Hillcrest also hosts San Diego’s annual pride parade. This hub of activity will serve anyone and everyone with its countless ethnic dining offerings. You can enjoy one of the many restaurants here, including Bread & Cie bakery, Mexican restaurant Lalo’s, Snooze for brunch, and the ever-vibrant, gay burger joint, Urban Mo’s. There are several wine bars in the area too. Balboa Park, home to the California Tower and the San Diego Zoo, sits to the south of the neighborhood. 

Here are some of the best restaurants in San Diego to dine in: 

Trust  

The urban-rustic aesthetic is in vogue right now, especially in California, and trust partners that with seasonal ingredient- driven dishes.  

Common Stock  

If you like to eat alfresco but don’t necessarily want to eat outside, your best option will be open layout restaurants, and Common Stock is one of the best around. the bright and open space inside Common Stock, goes hand in hand with regional signatures, like Nashville hot chicken, classic cheeseburgers, and the like. 

Mission Hills 

Even the more upscale areas in San Diego, like Mission Hills, still have a lot to offer for everyone. Mission Hills in particular offers a varied blend of resto’s to choose from, from the corner diner, to sophisticated dinner spaces. Mission Hills is definitely a neighborhood in San Diego for foodies. 

Fort Oak  

San Diego is a hub of the finest gastronomy in the country and Fort Oak fits the bill, as it offers a global perspective to grilled produce-driven dishes. 

Gaslamp  

Gaslamp is THE place for the foodies looking for the best place to have gastronomic adventures nightly. It’s filled with dynamic bars and restaurants. There's a mix of chain and independent restaurants in the area, with many global options. The restaurants also turn into Clubs late at night, so you can definitely have all the fun you could ever want in one place. Ready to explore Gaslamp? Here are the best eating and drinking places in the Neighborhood of Gaslamp: 

Cafe21 

California is known for farm to table establishments, and Café 21 is the farm- to table standard bearer in Gaslamp. You can go from a light afternoon’s cappuccino to interesting dinner choices in the evening.  

Sevilla 

Bringing a taste of Spain to San Diego, Sevilla, delivers world renowned specialties like jamon serrano, grilled octopus, Spanish tortillas, patatas bravas. And these amazing dishes are all served while live flamenco music plays in the background.  

Coin-Op Game Room  

For people who just love to hang around and play some classic games with their family and friends, this is the place to be.  You can scarf-down all-American classics, and a great selection of beers and cocktail while beating your friends in skeeball.  

Barleymash 

The traditional sports bar for the people more into watching their favorite team while downing beers and burgers. Barleymash is environmentally friendly as the responsibly harvest their meat, locally farm, serve sustainable and organic foods. They ensure the quality  of what they serve and they also recycle and compost! 

 

people cheering while holding mugs 

North Park 

This trendy neighborhood offers a mix of residential and urban areas. You’ll discover industrial-chic breweries, izakayas, taco stands, all day breakfast, live music, and cafés—all with a hipster touch. The best places in the vicinity are 30th Street and University Avenue where you’ll find finest food and drinks. 

Here are some of the must visit places in North Park: 

Louisiana Purchase  

You’ll get a bite of Louisiana at this creole and cajun restaurant in North Park. Find all the classics plus some more contemporary nods like Alligator Andouille Cheesecake and the Dookey Chase, honoring the Queen of Creole Cooking herself, Leah Chase. You can also request their Executive Chefs extraordinary dishes based on seasonal ingredients. 

North Park Beer Company 

This brewpub is a warm and relaxing spot for friends to meet, chat, and chill. Neighbors will love their world class beer and delectable food. You can try their 2018 GABF Medal Winner Pilsner, Bird Park or their Mocha Massage  

Tribute Pizza  

If you’re looking for a local spot, Tribute Pizza is the way to go. They have been loved by the locals since their humble beginnings as a one-man shop. This home-grown pizzeria still masters the art of their globally-inspired neo-Neapolitan pies in a bright, modern and welcoming setting. 

Original 40 Brewing 

The Original 40 has a uniquely vintage design with a fresh, contemporary touch. Once you walk in to their place, a light fresh and comfortable feeling will welcome you. This ambience is what makes Original 40 brewery effortlessly home to North Park locals. The distinct look and feel was created in collaboration with Tijuana-based firm Duhagon Design. The Original 40 is located on University Ave. 

URBN  

Another loved pizzeria in the neighborhood is URBN. This industrial restaurant focuses in serving their Neapolitan goodness pizzas and new Haven-style pizzas which are coal-fired & thin-crusted. URBN also serves a local draught beer and craft cocktail that makes it a good spot to hangout. 

Breakfast Republic 

Have brunch like a king, dine in with Breakfast Republic. They have great egg, pancakes, French toast, and vegan plates to serve. If you’re unable to pick with their overloaded menu, the egg benedicts are to die for and very filling. 

They can also be found in other neighborhoods such as Liberty Station, Encinitas, East Village, Ocean Beach, Carmel Valley, Pacific Beach, Mission Valley, Irvine, and Costa Mesa. 

woman sitting on chair near window 

Ocean Beach 

Found just north of Point Loma, Ocean Beach seems like one of the last few quintessential SoCal beach towns. Crowded with outdoor cafés, surf shops, yoga studios, and a dog beach, Ocean Beach is a carefree area where you’ll find a lot of people walking around in flip-flops and board shorts. There are a few bistros and boutiques if you’d like to take a break from burgers and fish tacos.  

Here are the best restaurants in San Diego to dine in, Ocean Beach neigborhood: 

Mike’s Taco Club 

If you’re in a rush and can only visit one place in Ocean Beach, head straight to Mike’s Taco Club. They are the number one place locals recommend when you visit OB. They are appropriately quirky and down-to-earth, super close to the water, and they serve phenomenal tacos. Food is served with the right amount of salt, packed with flavor, and absolutely satisfying. Their fish tacos are a must try but if you don’t like fish, they also have steak and veggie tacos. Either you’re on the lookout for a late breakfast or post-surfing dinner, they are always a good choice. 

OB Noodle House & Sake Bar 

Another local pick, OB Noodle House & Sake Bar is one of the best restaurants in Ocean Beach if you want to have an affordable, appetizing lunch or dinner. If you’re down for a bowl of pho or bun vermicelli noodles near the waters, then you’re in the right spot. Their spicy garlic wings are also a must try.

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