Best Restaurants in San Diego

Two women enjoy Taco Tuesday at one of San Diego CA's Mexican restaurants, smiling at a table full of food and drinks.

Southern California, and in particular San Diego, is full of some amazing restaurants. Next time you’re in the San Diego area, satisfy your inner foodie with these incredible restaurants offering everything from classic cuisines to daring new delicacies.

 

 

The Grass Skirt (Best Vibes / Atmosphere)

Top Dish: Grass Skirt Poke Bowl, Thai Crispy Rice Salad
Top Drink: Boozin’ Susan’s World Famous Chi Chi

The Grass Skirt has some of the best vibes in all of San Diego, serving up Southeast Asian cuisine and tiki-style cocktails.

Just walking into this place takes the edge off. While you may struggle to find the entrance, the folks at Good Time Poke next door will gladly help you out.

 

El Paisa (Best Mexican Food)

Image result for el paisa san diego

Top Dish: Street tacos
Top Drink: Horchata

El Paisa serves some fairly authentic Mexican dishes, including street-style tacos with lengua and cabeza. Si no comprende, look it up!

They also have fuller tacos, burritos, tostadas, tortas, and much more. Furthermore, they honor Taco Tuesday featuring discounted tacos, which scores massive points.

El Paisa is highly recommended if you want casual Mexican food in San Diego, and there are even more great restaurants within walking distance—just in case you don’t get your fill.

 

Crack Shack (Best Chicken)

Logo for The Crack Shack restaurant in San Diego with illustration of a chicken breaking out of an eggshell.

Top Dish: Fried chicken meals (various sizes); deviled eggs
Top Drink: Figueroa Mountain Lager, Jack Rosen Crack Shack Whiskey Sour

As soon as the dishes at Crack Shack hit your table, you won’t care if the chicken or egg came first—this SoCal fare is too good to resist diving right in. What’s more, family-sized flock meals and gluten-free options ensure everyone in your group gets to chow down.

Craft beers and a laid-back atmosphere—complete with lawn games—make Crack Shack one of the top restaurants in San Diego for group dining.

Fried chicken lovers can snack on nuggets, bone-in jidori fried platters, or sandwiches, while those looking to fuel up with something healthier will love the bowl options.

 

Pizza Port (Best Pizza Joint)

Black and white logo for Pizza Port Brewing Company featuring draft beer illustration, restaurant locations, and tagline "Tasty Grub & Grog."

Top Dish: Beer Buddies, Pizza San Francisco
Top Drink: Pizza Port Solana Beach Riggity Wrecked IPA

When cravings for classics hit, nothing beats pizza—but Pizza Port offers plenty for those in a more daring mood, from their signature wholegrain beer crust to unique and traditional topping combos.

Bar food rounds out the menu with choices like mac & cheese bites or baked chicken wings. Additionally, you can order their popular beer crust all on its own, brushed with a generous coating of garlic or cajun spices.

 

Slater’s 50/50 (Best Burger)

Black and white logo for Slaters 50 50 in San Diego with tagline Bacon, Burgers, Beer.

Top Dish: Sriracha Burger, Best Damn Bacon Cheeseburger
Top Drink: Rotating Beer Selection

While plenty of restaurants in San Diego sling great burgers, you won’t find any better than Slater’s 50/50.  Every burger comes with fries and Slater’s very own Bacon Ketchup, and those steering clear of meat can now sub out traditional patties for an Impossible Burger.

The Best Damn Bacon Cheeseburger earns its title and then some in Slater’s upgraded classic. Alternatively, you can go rogue with the Peanut Butter and Jellousy, a savory-sweet combo of bacon, natural PB, and strawberry jelly.

Slater’s drink menu is just as creative, serving up everything from housemade lemonade or draft root beer to fully-loaded milkshakes.  On draft, you’ll find over 1,000 beers in rotation throughout any given year.

 

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For more food and travel recommendations, check out the best restaurants in New York or Portland, or the coolest places to travel this year.