The Best Cheap Eats in San Diego

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 our Tastemakers List. 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!

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

Steamy Piggy

$$$$·Chinese·
Kearny Mesa
57 reviews
  • Casual
  • Creative Cuisine
  • 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 dumplings and baos, made ...

Read more
Not available on OpenTable
View More Info

Wild Note Cafe

$$$$·Californian·
Solana Beach
281 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Pre/post Theatre

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 trendy Cedros Design D...

Read more
Not available on OpenTable
View More Info

Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Mission Hills
839 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Great for Brunch

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 wide variety of drink s...

Read more
Great for Brunch in San Diego
Experiences available
View Experiences

Blanco Tacos + Tequila - Fashion Valley

$$$$·Mexican·
Mission Valley
305 reviews
  • Casual
  • Great for Lunch
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

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 Blanco happy hour. T...

Read more
Mexican in San Diego

Brigantine Point Loma

$$$$·Seafood·
Point Loma
1,464 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • 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 specials. Try an oyste...

Read more

Dobson's Bar & Restaurant

$$$$·Californian·
Downtown / Gaslamp
1,058 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Bar Seating
  • Neighborhood Gem

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 and cozy spot is an exc...

Read more
Californian in San Diego

Bernini's Bistro

$$$$·Contemporary American·
La Jolla
107 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Great for Lunch

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 bar menu features a lo...

Read more
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Dunedin New Zealand Eats

$$$$·Burgers·
North Park
145 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for Groups

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 for the daily happy ho...

Read more
Outdoor Dining in San Diego
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Blind Burro

$$$$·Mexican / Southwestern·
Downtown / Gaslamp
563 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Vibrant Bar Scene

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 specials, the daily happ...

Read more
Great for Lunch in San Diego

The Henry - Coronado

$$$$·American·
Coronado
753 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies

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 and a few cheap eats...

Read more
American in San Diego

Ki's Restaurant

$$$$·Californian·
Cardiff By The Sea
657 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

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 best cheap eats in San...

Read more
Scenic View in San Diego

Brigantine Poway

$$$$·Seafood·
Poway / Rancho Bernardo
938 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Birthdays
  • Great for Lunch

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 shell crab BLT with pork...

Read more

Suckerfree Southern Plate & Bar

$$$$·Southern·
Downtown / Gaslamp
130 reviews
  • Hot Spot
  • Comfort Food
  • Creative Cuisine

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 the accurately-named “S...

Read more
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

West Coast Tavern

$$$$·Comfort Food·
North Park
211 reviews
  • Happy Hour
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Neighborhood Gem

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 places for cheap eats in ...

Read more
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Valentina

$$$$·Contemporary European·
Encinitas
729 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies

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, meatballs and marin...

Read more

THE LOT - La Jolla

$$$$·Continental·
La Jolla
529 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Casual
  • Good for Groups

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 the restaurant's fun ha...

Read more
Great for Brunch in San Diego

Gaslamp Fish House

$$$$·Seafood·
Downtown / Gaslamp
834 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Special Occasion

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 stroll around San Diego...

Read more

Little Frenchie

$$$$·French·
Coronado
353 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem

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 the Parisian bistro w...

Read more
Great for Brunch in San Diego
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Kairoa Brewing Company

$$$$·Brewery·
University Heights
103 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Bar Seating

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 dishes like fried green ...

Read more
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Rustic Root- Rooftop

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Downtown / Gaslamp
54 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Great for Brunch
  • Good for a Date

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 in some of the most be...

Read more
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability