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 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!

Restaurants:Steamy Piggy, Wild Note Cafe, Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:Chinese, Californian, Contemporary American
Neighborhoods:Kearny Mesa, Solana Beach, Mission Hills

Steamy Piggy

$$$$·Chinese·
Kearny Mesa
56 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Great for Lunch
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
Not available on OpenTable
View More Info

Wild Note Cafe

$$$$·Californian·
Solana Beach
281 reviews
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Live Music
  • Neighborhood Gem
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
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Mission Hills
540 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Brunch
  • 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
92% recommended
Contemporary American in San Diego

Blanco Tacos + Tequila - Fashion Valley

$$$$·Mexican·
Mission Valley
183 reviews
  • Casual
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fun
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
Great for Lunch in San Diego

Brigantine Point Loma

$$$$·Seafood·
Point Loma
1,296 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Good for a Date
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
95% recommended

Dobson's Bar & Restaurant

$$$$·Californian·
Downtown / Gaslamp
966 reviews
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Good for a Date
  • Bar Seating
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
97% recommended
Hot Spot in San Diego

Bernini's Bistro

$$$$·Contemporary American·
La Jolla
107 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
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Dunedin New Zealand Eats

$$$$·Burgers·
North Park
91 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
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
100% recommended
Best Ambiance in San Diego
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Blind Burro

$$$$·Mexican / Southwestern·
Downtown / Gaslamp
489 reviews
  • Bar Seating
  • Good for Groups
  • Happy Hour
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
91% recommended
Hot Spot in San Diego

The Henry - Coronado

$$$$·American·
Coronado
343 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Great for Lunch
  • Neighborhood Gem
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
95% recommended
American in San Diego

Ki's Restaurant

$$$$·Californian·
Cardiff By The Sea
532 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Healthy
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
100% recommended
Californian in San Diego

Brigantine Poway

$$$$·Seafood·
Poway / Rancho Bernardo
818 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Birthdays
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
92% recommended

Suckerfree Southern Plate & Bar

$$$$·Southern·
Downtown / Gaslamp
117 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Casual
  • Authentic
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
84% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
View More Info

West Coast Tavern

$$$$·Comfort Food·
North Park
211 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for Groups
  • Happy Hour
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
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Valentina

$$$$·Contemporary European·
Encinitas
341 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for a Date
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
Fit for Foodies in North San Diego

THE LOT - La Jolla

$$$$·Continental·
La Jolla
507 reviews
  • Good for Groups
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Bar Seating
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
85% recommended
Good for Groups in San Diego

Gaslamp Fish House

$$$$·Seafood·
Downtown / Gaslamp
697 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
  • Bar Seating
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
234 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • 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 tRead more
92% recommended
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
  • Great Beer
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
100% recommended
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 Groups
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
100% recommended
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability
Discover our curated lists