The Most Famous Restaurants in San Diego

The OpenTable Team

San Diego offers the quintessential Californian city with its constant sunshine, gorgeous beaches, and cool, coastal vibe. It has an overwhelming amount of things to do, from the world-famous San Diego Zoo and the pristine beaches to the grand historic districts and trendy nightclubs. You can hike along the cliffs of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, walk the sands of Coronado Beach or check out the gorgeous scenery at La Jolla Cove. Balboa Park provides the city’s cultural hub and boasts museums, theaters and gardens. You can also explore the military and maritime heritage with interactive and family-friendly museums. Foodies love visiting this Cali city to sample everything from street food and authentic fish tacos to fine dining. But where do the smartest, savviest diners consider the most famous restaurants San Diego has to offer? Welcome to the Tastemaker Lists. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. Book a table today!

Restaurants:The Red Door, Godfather Restaurant, Baci Restaurant - San Diego
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Italian
Neighborhoods:Mission Hills, Kearny Mesa, Old Town

The Red Door

$$$$·Italian·
Mission Hills
1,857 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
The Red Door, located on Washington Street in the Mission Hills neighborhood, is one of the most famous restaurants in San Diego. The eatery offers guests sustainable and responsibRead more
98% recommended
Best Service in San Diego

Godfather Restaurant

$$$$·Italian·
Kearny Mesa
662 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for a Date
The Godfather, a Balistreri restaurant, is an Italian hotspot in downtown San Diego. The restaurant provides authentic cuisine from the hills of Italy and is definitely one of the Read more
97% recommended
Romantic in San Diego

Baci Restaurant - San Diego

$$$$·Italian·
Old Town
1,254 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
Baci Restaurant is beloved by locals and definitely one of the most famous restaurants in San Diego. It offers diners a hint of old-world Italian charm, with cozy booths, white tabRead more
100% recommended
Best Overall in San Diego
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The WineSellar & Brasserie

$$$$·French·
Sorrento Mesa
705 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Notable Wine List
  • Quiet Conversation
Consistently ranked among OpenTable’s Top 10 local restaurants, The Brasserie is also one of the most famous restaurants in San Diego. Established in 1988, The WineSellar and BrassRead more
100% recommended
Best Food in San Diego
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The French Gourmet

$$$$·French·
Pacific Beach
1,048 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Great for Lunch
Located right in the heart of Pacific Beach, The French Gourmet is a snazzy place to bring a date or a group of colleagues to dinner - anyone you really want to impress! It’s open Read more
91% recommended
Great for Lunch in San Diego
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Bleu Boheme

$$$$·French·
Kensington
2,700 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
Located in Kensignton, right across from the Ward Canyon Neighborhood Park, Bleu Boheme is a casual elegant French restaurant that locals love. The design sparks a feeling of FrancRead more
97% recommended

SEA180 Coastal Tavern

$$$$·Seafood·
Imperial Beach
1,823 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion
SEA180 Coastal Tavern is definitely one of San Diego’s most famous restaurants! Located at one of San Diego’s most distinctive locales, it features sweeping views of the Coronado IRead more
89% recommended
Scenic View in San Diego
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The Fishery

$$$$·Seafood·
Pacific Beach
1,519 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for a Date
Hungry for some amazing seafood? Head to The Fishery Restaurant and Market, located just a few blocks from the ocean in North Pacific Beach. Their menu features ‘coastal cuisine’ wRead more
97% recommended
Seafood in San Diego
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El Agave

$$$$·Mexican·
Old Town
1,415 reviews
  • Authentic
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
El Agave features the true flavors of Mexico in San Diego! This is the city’s premier Mexican cuisine destination, established in 1996 and still very popular with locals and visitoRead more
96% recommended
Mexican in San Diego

NINE-TEN

$$$$·Californian·
La Jolla
2,117 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
NINE-TEN, located on Prospect Street in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, is a casually elegant eatery featuring globally-inspired, locally-sourced food. It has an ongoing coRead more
94% recommended
Californian in San Diego
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Top of the Market - San Diego

$$$$·Seafood·
Downtown / Gaslamp
2,873 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
Top of the Market serves contemporary American Seafood Cuisine in an upscale atmosphere. Located on North Harbor Drive in the Downtown Embarcadero neighborhood, it features breathtRead more
84% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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AVANT

$$$$·Californian·
Poway / Rancho Bernardo
1,042 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Creative Cuisine
AVANT Restaurant at Rancho Bernardo Inn is the Rancho Bernardo suburb, is one of the most elegant restaurants in town - and one of the most famous restaurants in San Diego! It drawRead more
86% recommended
Healthy in North San Diego
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AR Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines

$$$$·Farm-to-table·
La Jolla
1,303 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Scenic View
A.R. Valentien is the signature restaurant at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, the AAA Five Diamond resort in La Jolla. Executive Chef Jeff Jackson is synonymous with the farm-to-table mRead more
94% recommended
Best Food in San Diego
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Farmer's Bottega Restaurant

$$$$·American·
Mission Hills
870 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies
Farmers Bottega is another of the most famous restaurants in San Diego. It’s a farm-to-table spot located in the heart of Mission Hills, a charming neighborhood with lots of old-faRead more
92% recommended
American in San Diego
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The Marine Room

$$$$·Global, International·
La Jolla
5,930 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Scenic View
For a truly exquisite fine dining experience in town, head to The Marine Room in La Jolla! Located right on the surf with a glorious beachfront setting, it’s a perfect place to dinRead more
97% recommended
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Ocean Terrace - George's at the Cove

$$$$·American·
La Jolla
4,129 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion
George’s at the Cove is not only one of the most famous restaurants in San Diego, but it’s also one of the most famous in the world! They feature delicious food on the Ocean TerracRead more
88% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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The Lion's Share

$$$$·Wild Game·
Downtown / Gaslamp
822 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Creative Cuisine
Head to Lion’s Share for a delicious and totally unique meal at one of the most famous restaurants in San Diego! They serve modern American fare and the menu features exotic meats Read more
98% recommended
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Nobu San Diego

$$$$·Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service·
Downtown / Gaslamp
2,807 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Good for a Date
If you’re in the mood for an exceptional meal in San Diego, you can’t go wrong with Nobu. World-renowned for their “New Style” Japanese cuisine, Nobu features some of the best foodRead more
88% recommended
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El Jardin Cantina - Permanently Closed

$$$$·Mexican·
Point Loma
704 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Casual
  • Fun
Located on Sims Road in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego, El Jardin Cantina is the place to go for a fiesta-style meal and the very best in down-home Mexican hospitality. SRead more
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