2016 San Diego’s Best Restaurants
Whether it’s a decadent dining experience or the best spot for a local microbrew you seek, here’s a definitive list of the best San Diego has to offer.
To see our San Diego Best Restaurants Readers’ Choice, click here.
Long Anticipated Opening
Duke’s La Jolla
We’ve expressed our enthusiasm on this one (click here for our restaurant review). Suffice it to say, we’re looking forward to many memorable meals with Chef Sinsay.
Casual Festive Dining
Casa de Bandini
Our go-to spot for casual celebrations, Casa de Bandini is the perfect place to bring your party of 20 to enjoy award-winning Mexican cuisine amid vibrant décor and head-swaying mariachi entertainment.
This family-run gem in Leucadia (with a second location in Hillcrest) serves up Japanese comfort food (takoyaki, potato croquettes, ochazuke) with a smile. Add to that an impressive array of sake, along with anime and reggae tunes, and we’re happy as a clam — or maybe a baked bay scallop.
Simply put: Addison has earned both the highly coveted Forbes Five-Star Award and AAA Five Diamond — the first and only restaurant in San Diego to receive these designations. 858.314.1900, addisondelmar.com
Where To See & Be Seen
It’s where the pretty people who have great taste in cuisine and décor gather.
Happy Hour Scene
Union has seemingly been the Encinitas hotspot for some after-work decompression since it opened its doors in 2011. The industrial, open architecture gives it the laid-back vibe that draws passers-by in for a beer or a bite, and then keeps them coming back for more.
Solace & The Moonlight Lounge
Calories don’t count on birthdays, holidays, or when you order up the heavenly cinnamon roll on Solace’s weekend brunch menu. Thank goodness, as you wouldn’t want to skimp on that heaping dollop of perfect frosting.
Sweeping views of the Pacific abound from Eddie V’s La Jolla location, where the finest seafood and steaks are paired with an impressive wine list and live jazz in a sparkling, sophisticated environment.
Upscale Bar Scene
A tequila menu that reads like a novel, farm-to-table small bites and large plates to satisfy all tastes and appetites, and a gorgeous setting within the Rancho Valencia Resort makes it no wonder why this is a favorite local spot to meet up with friends and grab a spectacular cocktail.
Best of Del Mar
Market Restaurant + Bar
In a location where previous restaurants have historically struggled with longevity, Market has firmly established itself as a must-visit Del Mar culinary destination for its chic bar scene (where it’s not unheard of to catch a local celebrity tucking into a craft cocktail) and Chef Carl Schroeder’s daily-changing, creative, and decadent menu.
Best of Solana Beach
There’s no arguing that Pamplemousse Grille has become synonymous with post-racetrack dining, but Chef Jeffrey Strauss’ spectacular, mouth-watering French/Contemporary American cuisine makes it the Solana Beach superlative year-round.
Best of Cardiff
Pacific Coast Grill
We think the delicious food (we’re partial to the Surf & Turf Burger), an unimpeded, 180-degree view of Cardiff Reef, and an extensive wine list featuring limited production coastal wines make PCG a Cardiff standout. The private Reef Room upstairs is a perfect spot for a meeting or small group gathering for up to 12, and is even outfitted with a flat screen TV with Wi-Fi access.
Best of La Jolla
The Lodge at Torrey Pines’ Executive Chef Jeff Jackson draws inspiration from the best local provisions available each season, and his menu changes regularly depending on what’s available from area growers, ranchers, and fishermen.
Rancho Santa Fe Tradition
For more than 30 years and counting, Mille Fleurs welcomes loyal guests who return time and again to celebrate special occasions or enjoy the true pleasure of a sumptuous meal together.
Duke’s La Jolla, Addison, Union, Eddie V’s, Market Restaurant + Bar, Pamplemousse Grille, A.R. Valentien, Mille Fleurs: Photography by Vincent Knakal