Due to COVID-19, some information may have changed. Starting Dec. 1, 2020: Tours available Friday – Monday (closed Tuesday – Thursday).
With warm temperatures and panoramic ocean views year round, San Diego is the ideal endless summer destination. Locals and visitors alike indulge in San Diego’s diverse activities and bustling culinary scene. From farm-to-table freshness and seafood staples to authentic Mexican cuisine, San Diego has something to satisfy all palates. Now that your itinerary is set, here’s a round-up of some of the city’s most happening restaurants.
Located in the historic Gaslamp District, the Lazy Hippo is San Diego’s one-stop shop for all of your favorite breakfast plates. Swing by this quaint venue for a comforting meal or a cup of coffee as you read your favorite book. From decadent French toast and savory Eggs Benedict selections to authentic Mexican dishes and crisp salads, the eclectic fare at the Lazy Hippo is sure to satisfy your tastebuds.
Housed in one of La Jolla’s original beach cottages, Brockton Villa offers patrons a charming view of the world-famous La Jolla Cove. Let the crisp, salty air and the sound of the crashing waves be your backdrop as you indulge in one of Brockton Villa’s fresh, seasonal breakfast staples. If you can’t get enough of this sea-side, culinary oasis, be sure to try out their lunch and dinner menus which feature succulent blue crab bennies for breakfast, grilled Atlantic salmon on tomato sourdough for lunch, and, for dinner, their famous cioppino, teaming with the delicacies of the sea!
Located in the heart of Downtown San Diego, Searsucker is the ultimate brunch destination. The venue’s open concept design offers patrons indoor and outdoor dining options and makes it a hub for social dining. Sip on bottomless mimosas and playful cocktails as you “brunch” on fresh, local fare and enjoy live music. Be sure to check out all of the “happenings” like themed brunches and daily happy hour! Their menu of New American fare includes a wide array of munchies served individually or meant to share with friends such as artisanal cheese and charcuterie boards, pan-roasted sea bass and grandma’s meatballs with whipped ricotta!
Named one of the best new restaurants in the world by Conde Nast, Whisknladle takes the “back to basics approach” with their cuisine and prepares as much of their food from scratch as possible. With a commitment to serving patrons with the most seasonal ingredients authentic to Southern California, Whisknladle partners with local farms including: Suzie’s Farm, Chino Farms, and its own Milagro Farm to create some truly inspired farm-to-table fare. Try the roasted summer squash with basil aioli and parmesan as a starter and move your way into a hearty, homemade Pork Bolognese with hand-cut pappardelle and porcini mushrooms.
Known for their iconically hearty hamburger patties and creamy milkshakes, this family-owned burger joint is a must do for foodies, especially burger lovers. Hodad’s eclectic decor and loud and fun atmosphere make it a favorite for locals and visitors.
Named after legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku, Duke’s airy, two-story venue offers patrons stunning views of La Jolla Cove and serves traditional Hawaiin dishes with a modern twist like their take on ceviche with fresh fish and passion fruit and the banana leaf steamed fish and shrimp. Relaxed meets sophisticated at Duke’s making it an ideal lunch stop. So come on by and be a part of Duke’s ‘ohana.
Tacos, Tunes, and Tequila… that’s what La Puerta Restaurant and Tequila Bar is all about! Tucked into the Gaslamp Quarter, La Puerta is a festive dive that serves quality Mexican cuisine and specialty drinks. La Puerta’s Sinaola-inspired family recipes ensure that their dishes and drinks are prepared with fresh ingredients every day. After your meal, be sure to stick around for some live music!
Come as you are and indulge in La Jolla’s endless summer vibe at Shore Rider. Enjoy craft beers and tasty bites at this open-air, quintessential beachside hangout. Their straightforward menu of good, honest eats includes the juicy Beach Burger on brioche bun, nachos, ahi poke and all sorts of fish preparations.
SIT DOWN DINNER
Heralded as “the best seafood in Southern California” by USA Today and Zagat Guide, Water Grill serves patrons quality seafood and prime meats. The nautical inspired ambiance and palatable menu make the Water Grill an ideal destination to enjoy fresh, hip seafood.
Named one of Open Table’s “100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America,” The Marine Room offers patrons a unique, “dining on the surf” experience. Take in breathtaking views of the La Jolla surf and sunset as you enjoy some of the finest seafood that San Diego has to offer. The coastal flavors abound at this upscale, special event eatery like cashew coriander coated blue crab cake, fennel pollen butter basted lobster tail and a tantalizingly tart hibiscus meyer lemon tart for dessert.
SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH
From decadent gelato and crepes to handcrafted chocolates and desserts, Chocolate Creamerie is the perfect spot to satisfy your sweet tooth. For those craving to mix savory and sweet flavors, the cafe also serves fresh paninis, salads, and pasta dishes. Oh, and coffee lovers, be sure to indulge in their specialty espresso drinks!
Food Network Champion Chef Maeve’s Sugar and Scribe is stocked with tempting treats and savory bites. Sophisticated meets relaxed at this classic bakery. Stop by the bakery counter for their popular petit fours made with vanilla, blackberry, and almond or make a reservation at the establishment’s restaurant and dig into a long luxurious brunch. This full-service eatery is something you don’t want to miss!
OLD TOWN TROLLEY TOURS
No available tour dates in 2020. Please check back in 2021.
With staples like these within close proximity to Old Town Trolley’s Hop-On Hop-Off Tour stops within the heart of downtown, it’s no wonder San Diego has been put on the national dining map. On Old Town Trolley’s LaJolla & San Diego Beaches Day Tripper Tour, you’re a hop-skip-and a jump from all the beach area restaurants listed here as well.
Whether your San Diego itinerary is packed with activities or you’re more of a go-with-the-flow type of traveler, the city’s culinary scene is sure to accommodate your travel plans. Whether you take the original hop-on hop-off tour or the La Jolla beaches tour, foodies, prepare yourselves for a taste of paradise!