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Diners' Choice: Hot spot restaurants in San Diego

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OpenTable
Updated July 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that are the best hot spots 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 Kettner Exchange restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1222)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Little Italy
About the restaurant
Kettner Exchange boasts two levels of indoor/outdoor drinking and dining and Little Italy’s only rooftop patio with spanning harbor views. We feature Progressive American cuisine from critically acclaimed Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski. In 2019, Kettner Exchange was named to Michelin Guide's prestigious Bib Gourmand list. Kettner Exchange has proudly maintained this award every year thereafter. Originally introduced in 1997, the Bib Gourmand category highlights restaurants that serve high-quality meals which include two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less.


Top review
Anniervip
Dined 2 days ago
Every time we come here we are blown away by flavor! I love being able to share small plates and talk about how delicious it all is. Service is always amazing, our server Zach made us laugh and we felt taken care of. Cocktails are on point and you can tell the bar staff focus on intentionality in the ingredients. Love it all!
A photo of Le Papagayo Carlsbad restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1022)
$31 to $50
Californian
Carlsbad
About the restaurant
At Le Papagayo Carlsbad Village you can expect live music nightly blended with the best in Coastal/Mediterranean/New American food and cocktails. With a full bar and service from 8am-10pm nightly you'll have ample opportunity to enjoy the newest addition to Carlsbad Village. Located conveniently off Carlsbad Village Dr. we are a short walk from State St and just off the freeway for easy access from either direction. We have a large public parking lot directly in front of the restaurant along with assigned parking off to the north end. Please come in and enjoy breakfast/lunch or dinner any day or night of the week and don't hesitate to call to see who's performing today :)
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Great restaurant which is kid and dog friendly. Food was tasty and well presented. Great atmosphere with a live band. Make sure to get the bread basket.
A photo of Books + Records restaurant
4.6
4.6 (277)
$31 to $50
American
Banker's Hill
About the restaurant
Global inspired American cuisine, craft cocktails, and weekend brunch in an upbeat atmosphere, with live music most nights.
Top review
TaraK
Dined 4 days ago
Came here Sunday night for my friend's birthday. Parking was actually a breeze. We parked directly around the corner and it was metered parking. I thought it would've been challenging on a weekend. We arrived 20min before our rsvp and were greeted by 2 friendly hosts. They allowed us to sit at the bar for happy hour until we could be sat for our rsvp. It was rather busy inside so it took a bit of time for the bartender to take our order which we didn't mind as we were not in a rush. We ordered the Mac n cheese + steak tartare and my friend got the Ube cocktail. I don't drink much anymore but had a sip of her drink and thought it was delicious, not too strong and the lemon twist complimented it perfectly. Never thought to pair lemon with Ube. By the time our apps arrived, we were told we could sit down in the dining room. It was very cutely decorated. The tables for 2 were a little smaller than I'd like so we waited to order more items. Our server was friendly and prompt and she kept our eaters full and frequently checked up on us + offered great recommendations. The Mac was my favorite and the breadcrumb topping was perfect! It was rich and indulgent without being too heavy. The steak tartare was also delicious although I didn't care for the bread that was served with it. I think it would've been best with some sort of chips like taro chips. I just felt the bread was a weird combo. We also ordered the trout and loved the pineapple with it. The way they cooked the skin crispy was perfect! Highly recommend, 10/10. We also enjoyed the carrot cake. Carrot is my favorite so I'm a bit picky. The server recommended it so we took her up on that! I loved the caramelization on top + cream cheese frosting. It had a deeper ginger flavor to it which I appreciated so if you love ginger, I think you really appreciate this cake. Will definitely come back to try more items and order that Mac once again! Thx for a great experience!
A photo of Yummy Sushi restaurant
4.5
4.5 (229)
$31 to $50
Asian
Coronado
About the restaurant
Hello, we are Yummy Coronado. We have been a family owned restaurant for over 15 years providing Japanese and Korean cuisine prepared with love to the Crown Town community.

We offer indoor seating sushi bar seating and outdoor seating which overlooks the beautiful Coronado beach and the notable Hotel Del. We are happy to announce we have an All You Can Eat menu now as well as A La Carte.


Thank you for choosing Yummy Sushi Coronado. We look forward to serving you.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 22, 2024
Food was sooooo good ! I will definitely be going back here
A photo of My Yard Live Beer Co restaurant
4.5
4.5 (687)
$30 and under
Comfort Food
San Marcos
About the restaurant
The “My Yard Live Beer Co.” experience brings together all the elements of a brewery, family-friendly restaurant, community center, park, and a one-of-a-kind live entertainment and events venue. For the young, or young at heart, MYL Beer Co. combines the comforts of your own fantasy backyard with the convenience of a brewery and full-service restaurant. Enjoy our house-smoked meats, or our beers which have medaled at both the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. My Yard Live Beer Co. has something for everyone!

We also offer an amazing indoor/outdoor bar, walk-up bar service, open seating at the fire pit with a view of the band cabana, and seating throughout the rest of the venue.

MYL Beer Co. can create a semi-private or private event experience including seated or buffet-style scratch kitchen catering, open bar/drink packages, and entertainment booking. For more information please visit https://www.opentable.com/private-dining/restaurant/1047

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 16, 2024
Fantastic experience. Love the place! We're from AZ, our first time there Friday. Had such a good time we had to come back Saturday.
A photo of The Landings restaurant
4.5
4.5 (255)
$30 and under
American
Carlsbad
About the restaurant
The Landings Gastropub is not your typical airport restaurant or bar. We pride ourselves on our focus on quality, service, creativity and atmosphere. Everything from our unique cocktails to our pub-inspired menu and carefully curated craft beer list are locally-sourced and of the highest quality. Both our dining room and large patio have a panoramic view of the Palomar Airport runway. Bring the family, enjoy a cocktail and watch the planes come and go.

We accept reservations for groups up to 8 people. Please call for larger parties.

Please note: For Friday and Saturday concert nights, we enforce a $30/person minimum to cover the cost of the bands.

Top review
GinnyHvip
Dined 5 days ago
We had a really fun night at The Landings Friday night. Especially enjoyed the music of Cadillac Fringe and will look forward to seeing them again! Dancing, good food and service from Andrea made the evening special!
A photo of Le Papagayo Encinitas restaurant
4.4
4.4 (2199)
$30 and under
American
Encinitas
About the restaurant
Le Papagayo blends New American and Pacific Coast cuisine to create an amazing fine dining experience. The Chef and Myself combine the freshest of local ingredients and flavor to create a unique character for each meal created from scratch.




Dining at Le Papagayo is a full experience that will delight all your senses.




Amazing food and a warm and inviting dining room which looks like an art gallery are all part of the experience.




We also offer a heated patio and unplugged live music every night.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jul 10, 2024
The staff was fantastic! Perfect balance of serious and fun. Also - we were the last table to close for the night and the staff was super respectful! Thank you!!!
A photo of Mr. Tempo Gaslamp restaurant
4.0
4 (183)
$30 and under
Mexican
Downtown
About the restaurant
Mr. Tempo a unique experience brought by the successful restaurateur Jorge Cueva also known as MR. TEMPO! Enjoy a variety of unique and delicious dishes from seafood, sushi, steak, tacos and more. Our specialty is margaritas and cocktails. #maschingon
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Great service! Food is good. Way tooooo noisy! The kind of noise that is not so pleasant as there’s so many things/ band or music going on. We rushed to finish our food and left as we cant even talk and hear each other. I guess that is the style so people wont stay long? But over all food was satisfying!
A photo of CIELO ROOFTOP LOUNGE restaurant
3.2
3.2 (48)
$30 and under
Hibachi
Downtown
About the restaurant
CEILO ROOFTOP LOUNGE is the newest hottest addition to Gaslamp San Diego Rooftops. Located on the 5th floor of Mr.Tempo’s at 701 6th ave (pink entrance) San Diego ca 92101. This 5,000 square foot speakeasy rooftop lounge & bar will feature Latin and Asian seafood tapas along with a craft beverage bar program. Tequila Del Cielo, a rooftop bar and restaurant featuring skyline views of downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bridge. The open air bar offers many Instagram able moments from our jungle disco entrance to our Tulum handmade swing there’s many photos and memories to be made. Tequila Del Cielo accommodates 200 guests for any occasion from bridal showers to venue buy outs for holiday parties. Tequila Del Cielo is open Thursday to Saturday from 5pm-12am and Sunday from 11am to 6pm.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 6 days ago
Nestled high above the vibrant city of San Diego, this rooftop bar and restaurant is a true gem. The ambiance is chic and inviting. Just a photo shoot waiting to happen. The menu is a crafted culinary delight. The cocktail menu is equally impressive. The specialty drinks are as beautiful as they are flavorful. Sipping on a signature cocktail while taking in the stunning sunset views is an experience like no other. The staff is friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable, ensuring that every guest feels like a VIP. Whether you're looking for a romantic date night spot, a place to celebrate a special occasion, or simply want to unwind with friends over drinks and delicious food, this rooftop bar and restaurant is the perfect destination. A must-visit for anyone looking to elevate their dining experience in San Diego
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