It’s no surprise that San Diego is one of the best food destinations in the country. It was ranked #1 on the Conde Nast list of Best American Cities for Foodies and came in at #9 on the 2018 WalletHub roundup of the Best Foodie Cities in America.
You already know it’s time to plan your next trip here. But, where should you eat when you arrive?
In a city of 1.4 million people, the options are truly endless. So, we’ve curated the can’t-miss list of 10 trendy restaurants in San Diego that every visitor needs to try.
Best for: the view
Location: 2550 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Mister A’s boasts one of the best views in San Diego from their 12th floor restaurant. The restaurant welcomes foodies but photography buffs will also enjoy the expansive vista of the San Diego skyline and the Pacific Ocean.
Whether you eat outside on the rooftop or indoors, make sure you dress to impress because a dress code is enforced. With the ever changing scenery beneath your feet, you may just be tempted to stay all day long!
Best for: a waterfront experience
Location: 880 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
This eatery quickly cemented itself as one of the most trendy restaurants in San Diego because they pair well-cooked food with iconic harbor views. C Level Lounge sits on stilts over the San Diego Bay and offers relaxing views of the skyline and Coronado. Seafood dominates the menu here and the extensive wine and cocktail lists round out a perfect night at this popular spot in San Diego.
Best for: good food
Location: 3001 Beech St., San Diego, CA 92102
No visit to the city is complete without a stop at this San Diego staple. Buona Forchetta lives by a simple motto: “Keeping it fresco, semplice e delizioso! (fresh, simple and delicious!)”
For authentic Italian cuisine and wood fired pizzas, this trendy restaurant in South Park is the place to be. Dine in a relaxed atmosphere under romantic lighting and make sure you don’t miss the house-made wine and delectable desserts.
Best for: a crowd pleaser
Location: 2266 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Fried chicken, happy hour, outdoor seating… what’s not to love at this trendy restaurant in San Diego? The Crack Shack has been making headlines since it debuted in Little Italy in 2015 and multiple locations have already popped up around the state due to the restaurant’s immediate success.
Best for: an exclusive experience
Location: 4764 Convoy St. Ste A, San Diego, CA. 92111
The trendiest places are always hard to get into, but this exclusive pick in San Diego raises the stakes.
Hidden Fish is a 13-seat restaurant that serves sushi omakase, meaning the menu is up to the chef. They offer only two options to guests: the 12-piece tasting menu or 18-piece premium experience. With fish sourced directly from the famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, you really can’t go wrong with either choice.
Best for: brunch
Location: 3752 Park Blvd. Suite 105C, San Diego, CA 92103
Great weekends usually include a long lazy brunch. In San Diego, pair your mimosas with innovative dishes at this trendy brunch spot.
On Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm, Trust is the place to be. Reviewers praise the impeccable service and a menu tempts weekend warriors with smoked salmon, mac & cheese, sticky buns, and more mouthwatering fare.
If you can’t make it in the mornings, stop by for $5 cocktails during the weekday happy hour from 5 to 6 pm instead.
Best for: the perfect Instagram pic
Location: 1909 India St, San Diego, CA 92101
If you didn’t take a picture of your night out, did you even go at all? Head to this photogenic steakhouse to try one of the best trendy restaurants in San Diego while also getting that perfect shot for the ‘gram.
Born & Raised took three years and more than six million dollars to go from idea to reality in San Diego. Once you step inside, you’ll see why. This classic steakhouse features cozy booths, a well-stocked bar, stunning chandeliers and plenty of marble and gold. Reminiscent of the 1920’s, the only thing better than their classic vibe is the restaurant’s mouthwatering dinner menu.
Best for: cocktail lovers
Location: 2210 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Herb & Wood is run by famed chef Brian Malarky, a Top Chef finalist and Food Network regular. The restaurant has been named one of America’s “10 Best Restaurants by USA Today” along with numerous accolades from Zagat, Eater, and the New York Times.
Stop by for open spaces, natural light, flowing greenery and of course: the food and drinks. Though this restaurant charms with a casual chic atmosphere, the cocktails still manage to steal the spotlight.
Best for: beer lovers
Location: 9045 Carroll Way, San Diego, CA 92121
Did you know there are almost 200 craft breweries in San Diego? The craft beer scene has exploded in the city and many breweries have incorporated restaurants as well.
San Diego Magazine taste tested the top names in the city and named the Ballast Point Fathom IPA as one of the 14 best beers of 2018. Try it at their trendy location in Miramar and stick around for dinner on the outdoor patio and an informative brewery tour as well.
Best for: a budget-friendly night out
Location: 1290 F Street, San Diego, CA
It’s no secret that hitting the most trendy restaurants in San Diego can also put a serious dent in your wallet. For the budget-conscious food lover, we have a solution.
Lola 55 is a colorful and bright Mexican eatery that delivers big flavors every day of the week. The prices may be low here, but the dishes won’t leave you disappointed. With tacos starting at only $2.75 each, this is bound to become your go-to spot for years to come.
Don’t Miss These 10 Trendy Restaurants in San Diego
Being on trend is never easy. In fact, the trendiest restaurant in San Diego changes constantly!
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on this list, the San Diego Eater uses a heat map to discover the most visited restaurant in the city every month so you can stay in the know and keep up with what’s hot right now in San Diego.
This city has staked its claim as one of the best foodie destinations in America and travelers are visiting from around the world. While you’re here, explore San Diego with the immersive Go Car guided tours to see the city in a unique and fun way. Whether you’re into shopping, history, or just the essential San Diego sites, these Go Car and scooter tours will take you there.
Work up an appetite and then top off a perfect day with a visit to only the trendiest restaurants in San Diego. Go Car does the planning for you, so you can simply choose your tour and join us today!