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Diners' Choice: Neighborhood gem restaurants in San Diego

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OpenTable
Updated May 05, 2024

Looking for the best restaurants that are the best neighborhood gems in San Diego? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Arrivederci restaurant
4.8
4.8 (53)
$31 to $50
Italian
Hillcrest
About the restaurant
Arrivederci Ristorante is an authentic Italian restaurant. Arrivederci means hello. The restaurant's name refers to Italian hospitality offered here. It has a decent semi-formal ambiance. The walls are decorated with paintings gathered from different parts of Europe. Antique lamps are hung from the ceilings to add a rustic appeal. Arrivederci specializes in preparing all dishes with authentic Italian recipes and ingredients. Grigliata vegetariana is prepared with a variety of assorted grilled vegetables. Rigatoni amatriciana is prepared with tabular pasta soaked in rich sauce, prepared with tomatoes and romano cheese. Italian bacon topping enhances the flavor. Pollo al funghi is the traditional chicken meal. The boneless breast of chicken is topped with mushrooms. The ingredients are cooked in wine sauce. Arrivederci serves Italian wines and beers.
Top review
Greg
Dined on May 8, 2024
This place is the best, hands down! I've been twice after it was recommended by a friend and will find a way to go back as much as possible.
A photo of Sorrento Ristorante restaurant
4.7
4.7 (20)
$31 to $50
Italian
Little Italy
About the restaurant
Sorrento Ristorante offers traditional Italian cuisines in its warm and hospitable ambiance. The restaurant is decorated with simplicity. Washed in decent shades of brown, it has a decorate ceiling. Tiny bulbs hang from the ceiling to create a romantic environment. Large pillars in the dining room are decorated with fresh flower arrangements and glasswork. The restaurant has a native Italian staff. It has a beautiful outdoor patio, serving the warmth of San Diego nights. Sorrento Ristorante is popular for its variety of authentic Italian dips and sauces. Guests can customize their meals by pairing up the sauces with their main meals. Pesto sauce makes a nice combination with all pastas. Chocolate mousse is served with chopped dark chocolate chunks and white chocolate cream topping. The lightly tossed bleu cheese is prepared in the craft kitchen. The bar at Sorrento Ristorante serves Italian wines and beer.
Top review
amplcswvip
Dined on May 3, 2024
Had the artichoke and olive salad - Wow! the flavors were wonderful and the portion size very large. Next, we ordered Cioppino (fish soup) which is a favorite of both my husband and I. It was filled with a delightful assortment of fresh fish, mussels, clams, octopus, squid, white fish and shrimp all simmered in a savory tomato broth and accompanied by two pieces of toasted bread. Highly recommend this entree if you are a fish lover.
A photo of Bay Park Fish Company restaurant
4.7
4.7 (305)
$30 and under
Seafood
Bay Park
About the restaurant
WE ARE OPEN!

Founded by two fishing buddies in 2005, Bay Park Fish Company has become a local hot spot for the freshest seafood in San Diego. Our menu features the freshest of locally sourced seafood. We are proud to be located in this quaint little neighborhood in San Diego & proud to support local fishermen.

For limited capacity dine-in, and take-out! We are excited to invite you back in! The health and safety of our staff and customers is our top priority. Please be assured that we are implementing all necessary health & safety measures as outlined in the published COVID-19 Restaurant Operating Protocol. Face covering is required to enter the restaurant at this time. You are permitted to remove your face covering once you are seated, and for the duration of time you are at the table.
Please be patient and understanding with our staff, we are all putting forth our best efforts to provide the best experience under this new normal!

Top review
Kidbonzvip
Dined on May 3, 2024
Our go to fish restaurant in San Diego, especially when we are entertaining guests from out of town.
A photo of Pomodoro Ristorante Italiano restaurant
4.7
4.7 (36)
$30 and under
Italian
Point Loma
About the restaurant
Pomodoro features a rustic yet refined atmosphere, exquisite food presentations and a knowledgeable and friendly staff. Blending classic and contemporary Italian cuisine, Italian music and a colorful "Tomato Inspired" décor. Along the wall, a large wine rack houses many bottles and vintages, our wine list is designed to perfectly compliment your meal. Guests will indulge in the flavor of a true Italian experience the minute they step foot in Pomodoro, located in the heart of Point Loma, San Diego.
Top review
MarieKvip
Dined on Apr 28, 2024
Absolutely fabulous every time. Always fresh and very tasteful.
A photo of Patisserie Melanie restaurant
4.7
4.7 (42)
$31 to $50
French
North Park
About the restaurant
Pâtisserie Mélanie offers a taste of Paris in our little corner in North Park. Helmed by Le Cordon Bleu Paris graduate Chef Melanie Dunn, we offer a wide variety of French pastries, coffees drinks, teas, brunch and lunch. At night, join us for elevated bistro fare and a curated selection of French wines, beer and cider.
Top review
RGB3
Dined 2 days ago
Absolutely incredible experience!! Food and service were both amazing. Limited menu, but the food was top notch! We will be back soon.
A photo of Gyu-Kaku - Downtown San Diego restaurant
4.6
4.6 (244)
$31 to $50
Japanese
Downtown
About the restaurant
Founded in Tokyo in 1996, Gyu-Kaku has become the world’s #1 Japanese BBQ brand! Thanks to our devoted fans we have reached over 700 locations worldwide. Each day, hundreds of thousands of people gather around the table-top smokeless grill, a centerpiece of our dining concept, enjoying selections of premium meats, just off the grill, and other freshly prepared foods from our kitchens, inspiring laughter, conversation, and a magical dining experience.

Our authentic yakiniku (grilled barbeque) dining experience crowns you the chef. Share a variety of delicious appetizers and premium cooked meats over a flaming grill, paired with Japanese sake, frosty cold beers, or other alcoholic and non-alcoholic options of your choice. We're the perfect spot to enjoy time with friends and family, organize an office party, or to spend quality time with your significant other!

Before you go, don't forget to taste our best-seller Harami Skirt Steak or Prime Kalbi Short Rib among other must-try dishes!

Top review
DianaP
Dined 6 days ago
We had a great time celebrating my daughter’s graduation- party of 9. Service was top notch. Food portions were generous. It was paced well and we never felt rushed. Flavors were spot on and delicious. Definitely recommend this place.
A photo of CUCINA CAPRESE PIZZERIA & TRATTORIA restaurant
4.6
4.6 (93)
$30 and under
Italian
Old Town
About the restaurant
From My Heart and Soul to Your Table...
Chef Giuseppe Monaco, Born in Capri, Italy where his passion for cooking took root starting from Mamma Rosa & Papa Giovanni… Giuseppe was trained in Culinary School in Capri, Italy and has over 30 years experience—Let Giuseppe take you to his home with the finest Italian meal you have ever had!

Cucina Caprese is a restaurant that uses traditional Italian culinary techniques including il Forno a Legna –old style wood-fired oven– cooking. We use seasonal, local and organic ingredients as well as meats, cheeses and extra virgin olive oil(EVOO) imported from Italy.

Our dough is prepared the authentic way of old Napoli–made only with special ‘OO Flour’, yeast, and water (no sugar oil, or vinegar). Our pizza is then prepared the traditional Neapolitan way, il Forno a Legna, in a wood-fired pizza oven on the side made to order!

Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined on May 3, 2024
Delicious food and great service! Pizza is always the best here. Oh, my husband and I were fighting over the croutons on their Caesar Salad 😄 so good! We will keep coming back to this place!
A photo of BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse - Mission Valley restaurant
4.5
4.5 (37)
$30 and under
American
Mission Valley
About the restaurant
Time counts at BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse. Since our humble beginnings back in 1978, we've continued to refine our brewhouse experience to make BJ's a place where you can make the most of any meal. We want BJ's to be a place where the moment you leave is the moment you plan on coming back. We pride ourselves in our craft and attention to detail. Our guests come here for our award-winning handcrafted beer. They come here for the Southern California twist we've put on the Chicago-style deep dish pizza. And they come here for our Pizookies®, our world-renowned dessert. But above all we know people come here to make their good times better. So in many ways we haven't just crafted a brand, but a mindset. And our guests are the reason for this. And it's because of them we're continually striving to make sure every moment they choose to spend with us counts. Welcome to BJ's, a restaurant with a Brewhouse soul.
Top review
Premonsdaydinpvip
Dined on Mar 31, 2024
Our server was amazing! The pizookie desserts were our favorite!
A photo of Petrini's restaurant
4.4
4.4 (397)
$30 and under
Italian
Little Italy
About the restaurant
Petrini's, in the heart of San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood, serves homemade Italian dishes with a traditional authentic dishes. If you go to Music box, stop by for a dinner and a cup of wine before the show. We offer Brunch, Lunch and Dinner menus 7 days a week.

The diablo shrimp in spicy wing sauce with lemon and cream, served with garlic cheese bread makes the perfect starter to your meal. Some of Petrini's' specialty entrée dishes include the smoked salmon alfredo sautéed with tomatoes and basil, garlic and rosemary served with spaghetti with tangy Pomodoro sauce and the baked white fish coated in seasoned bread crumbs in wine, butter and garlic sauce with Tuscan vegetables. Handhelds, such as the classic meatball hoagie, the vegetarian caponata sandwich with tomato-stewed eggplant and the craft-your-own pizzas, are other diner favorites.
For a sweet end to your meal at Petrini's, enjoy a homemade classic Italian dessert, the layered tiramisu cake.

Top review
DanKvip
Dined on May 9, 2024
Great food! Great service! authentic as ever… from a long time chicago Italian
A photo of Mustangs & Burros at Estancia La Jolla restaurant
4.3
4.3 (153)
$31 to $50
Regional Mexican (Baja Med)
Torrey Pines
About the restaurant
Set in a hacienda haven, Mustangs & Burros, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa’s signature restaurant, features Baja coastal inspired cuisine with a southern California twist. With a relaxed sense of community, this La Jolla eatery and bar sources seasonal ingredients from San Diego to create dishes and shareable plates for friends and family to enjoy accompanied by refreshing craft cocktails. Dine in either the spacious patio or charming Secret Garden, both accented by large, inviting fireplaces.
Top review
lsl3
Dined on May 5, 2024
Great menu/food, comfortable/cozy atmosphere, conscientious service On our reservation we’d noted anniversary & they sent us two flutes of complimentary champagne in celebration—unexpected& thoughtful!
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