The Most Famous Restaurants in San Diego

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!

The OpenTable Team
Restaurants:The Red Door, Godfather Restaurant, Baci Restaurant - San Diego
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Italian
Neighborhoods:Mission Hills, Kearny Mesa, Old Town
Party Size
For 2
Date
Time
7:00 PM

The Red Door

$$$$·Italian·
Mission Hills
2,275 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies

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 responsibly-sourced products ...

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Fit for Foodies in San Diego

Godfather Restaurant

$$$$·Italian·
Kearny Mesa
1,042 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Authentic

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 best-known restauran...

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Special Occasion in San Diego
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Baci Restaurant - San Diego

$$$$·Italian·
Old Town
1,394 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Neighborhood Gem

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 tablecloths and graciou...

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Best Overall in San Diego
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The WineSellar & Brasserie

$$$$·French·
Sorrento Mesa
782 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Notable Wine List
  • Special Occasion

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 Brasserie is the city’s p...

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Notable Wine List in San Diego
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The French Gourmet

$$$$·French·
Pacific Beach
1,152 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Brunch
  • Neighborhood Gem

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 for breakfast, lunch...

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Great for Brunch in San Diego
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Bleu Boheme

$$$$·French·
Kensington
2,899 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion

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 France’s past generations...

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French in San Diego
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SEA180 Coastal Tavern

$$$$·Seafood·
Imperial Beach
2,418 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 Islands, South Bay an...

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Experiences available
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The Fishery

$$$$·Seafood·
Pacific Beach
1,917 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion

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’ with a simple yet ser...

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Seafood in San Diego
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El Agave

$$$$·Mexican·
Old Town
1,674 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Special Occasion

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 visitors alike. The restau...

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Mexican in San Diego

NINE-TEN

$$$$·Californian·
La Jolla
2,329 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Creative Cuisine

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 commitment to innovati...

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Californian in San Diego
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Experiences available
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AVANT

$$$$·Contemporary French·
Poway / Rancho Bernardo
1,207 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Fit for Foodies

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 draws on the best of win...

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AR Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines

$$$$·Farm-to-table·
La Jolla
1,625 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

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 movement in San Diego...

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Best Ambiance in San Diego
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Farmer's Bottega Restaurant

$$$$·American·
Mission Hills
1,110 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date

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-fashioned charm. Guest...

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American in San Diego

The Marine Room

$$$$·Seafood·
La Jolla
6,171 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion

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 dine when you are in th...

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Seafood in San Diego
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The Lion's Share

$$$$·Wild Game·
Downtown / Gaslamp
941 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Romantic

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 that are rarely foun...

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Late Night Find in San Diego
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Nobu San Diego

$$$$·Cocktail Bar·
Downtown / Gaslamp
2,964 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Hot Spot

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 food in the country. The...

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