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The Best Cheap Eats in San Diego

The OpenTable Team

The city of San Diego - made famous by Ron Burgundy, Tony Gwynn, and many others - stands out as one of the finest American destinations, with fantastic weather, coastal culture and plenty of cuisine for all tastes. The top cheap eats in San Diego deliver the natives, locals, and visitors to the city with hearty, American fusion food at inexpensive prices. But where are the smartest, savviest San Diego diners headed out to when they're looking for the best cheap eats in San Diego? Welcome to the Tastemaker 20. Here, we've gathered together the best, most inexpensive bars and restaurants in San Diego, collected from the in-the-know San Diego diners. With everything from taco joints and fish shacks to downtown hot spots, the cheap eats in San Diego have something for everyone. Grab a table there tonight!

Restaurants:Steamy Piggy, Wild Note Cafe, Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:Chinese, Californian, Contemporary American
Neighborhoods:Kearny Mesa, Solana Beach, Mission Hills
For 2 people today
Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM

Steamy Piggy

$$$$·Chinese·
Kearny Mesa
37 reviews
  • Casual
  • Great for Lunch
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
Inside the pink walls of the Convoy Street local favorite called Steamy Piggy are some of the best cheap eats in San Diego. This friendly and cozy spot specializes in steamed dumplRead more
88% recommended

Wild Note Cafe

$$$$·Californian·
Solana Beach
263 reviews
  • Casual
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Live Music
This artful beach-side bistro is a colorful spot for some of the best cheap eats in San Diego. It's also in an excellent place for a San Diego stroll, right in the middle of the trRead more
100% recommended
Californian in San Diego
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Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Mission Hills
420 reviews
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
This light and airy Mission Hills bistro is a lively kitchen and bar with one of the best cheap eats in San Diego menus. The daily happy hour is a local favorite. Select from a widRead more
90% recommended
Best Value in San Diego

Blanco Tacos + Tequila - Fashion Valley

$$$$·Mexican·
Mission Valley
124 reviews
  • Casual
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Happy Hour
In the middle of the beautiful Mission Valley, Blanco Tacos + Tequila is a light and airy taste of Southern California. Stop in for some of the best cheap eats in San Diego at the Read more
95% recommended
Mexican in San Diego

Brigantine Point Loma

$$$$·Seafood·
Point Loma
1,221 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
Overlooking the beautiful America's Cup Harbor, Brigantine Point is an upscale oyster bar with some of the best cheap eats in San Diego. Stop in for the daily seafood oyster bar spRead more
90% recommended

Dobson's Bar & Restaurant

$$$$·Californian·
Downtown / Gaslamp
929 reviews
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Special Occasion
  • Authentic
One of the most historic dining spots in San Diego, Dobson's is a prime spot downtown for some cheap local eats. Around the corner from the famous Balboa Theater, this colorful andRead more
100% recommended
Californian in San Diego

Bernini's Bistro

$$$$·Contemporary American·
La Jolla
96 reviews
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
The village of La Jolla is home to Bernini's Bistro, a relaxed and classic spot off of Fay Avenue. Grab a seat on the sunny patio or at the bar for a few quick bites. The Bistro baRead more
100% recommended

Dunedin New Zealand Eats

$$$$·Burgers·
North Park
47 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
With fascinating Kiwi dishes and some of the best cheap eats in San Diego, Dunedin New Zealand is one of the more fascinating spots in town. Trek out to this North Park location foRead more
95% recommended

Blind Burro

$$$$·Mexican / Southwestern·
Downtown / Gaslamp
459 reviews
  • Casual
  • People Watching
  • Bar Seating
The Blind Burro is one of the more creative and colorful places in the city. It's also one of the best places for cheap eats in San Diego. A lively spot with plenty of Mexican specRead more

The Henry - Coronado

$$$$·American·
Coronado
113 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual
This bright and lively spot in the heart of Coronado, the Henry is an excellent option for cheap eats in San Diego. Grab a seat on the outdoor patio for some prime people watching Read more
92% recommended
American in San Diego
Table for 2 today

Ki's Restaurant

$$$$·Californian·
Cardiff By The Sea
456 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Healthy
  • Casual
For a homely restaurant feeling, there's no better spot in San Diego than Ki's restaurant. Right on the water in Cardiff, Ki's is a prime place for amazing views and some of the beRead more
93% recommended
Best Value in San Diego

Brigantine Poway

$$$$·Seafood·
Poway / Rancho Bernardo
753 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Cozy
  • Good for Anniversaries
This classic San Diego seafood spot is one of the best places in town for cheap eats. Head out to the Poway location for some of the o.classic seafood sandwiches. Try the soft shelRead more
84% recommended

Suckerfree Southern Plate & Bar

$$$$·Southern·
Downtown / Gaslamp
96 reviews
  • Casual
  • Comfort Food
  • Fun
The name is accurate. Suckerfree is a fun, friendly “Southern Plate” bar in the Gaslamp with some of the best cheap eats in San Diego. Some of the restaurant's must-eats are on theRead more

West Coast Tavern

$$$$·Comfort Food·
North Park
196 reviews
  • Happy Hour
  • Live Music
  • Bar Seating
In the heart of San Diego's fun North Park neighborhood, the West Coast Tavern is a relaxed spot for some dinner and drinks with friends or family. It's also one of the best placeRead more
89% recommended
Hot Spot in San Diego

Valentina

$$$$·Contemporary European·
Encinitas
121 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
Right off the North Coast Highway in the town of Encinitas, Valentina is a superb, creative spot for cheap eats in San Diego. To start, try some of the shareable fries with aioli,Read more
96% recommended
Neighborhood Gem in North San Diego

THE LOT - La Jolla

$$$$·Contemporary American·
La Jolla
414 reviews
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
Movies and cheap eats equal an unbeatable evening in San Diego. Hit up both at THE LOT in Liberty Station. Take in the latest blockbusters or an Oscar-worthy favorite alongside theRead more
86% recommended

Gaslamp Fish House

$$$$·Seafood·
Downtown / Gaslamp
620 reviews
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
One of the best seafood menus in town and a local-favorite happy hour make the Gaslamp Fish House a stop spot for cheap eats in San Diego. This is a top spot for dinner after a strRead more

Little Frenchie

$$$$·French·
Coronado
164 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
The comfortable and creative Little Frenchie bistro and wine bar is an entertaining spot for some of the best cheap eats in San Diego. Head out to this Coronado favorite to enjoy tRead more
96% recommended
French in San Diego

Kairoa Brewing Company

$$$$·Brewery·
University Heights
88 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Bar Seating
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
Head out to San Diego's University district for a few beers and some good times at the Kairoa Brewing Company brewery and restaurant. Select from the “From the Earth” menu for dishRead more
Vibrant Bar Scene in San Diego

Rustic Root- Rooftop

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Downtown / Gaslamp
45 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for Birthdays
In the heart of San Diego's spectacular gaslamp quarter, the Rustic Root is a prime spot for some of the best cheap eats in San Diego. Head up to this superb rooftop bar to take inRead more
97% recommended
Great for Brunch in San Diego
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