Posted on Feb. 1, 2017
Blessed with beautiful beaches and a mild climate, San Diego is also home to terrific restaurants that benefit from our local bounty. You voted for your favorites and we’ve added a few of our own top picks for the best the region has to offer. Photography by Vincent Knakal
Hands-on chef/owner Jeffrey Strauss serves exquisite French-inspired cuisine with an American flair. Housed in a
casual-yet-elegant dining room with modernist paintings, Pamplemousse (French for grapefruit) is known for its beautiful presentations of seafood, meat, and game dishes using local fresh ingredients.
514 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach, 858.792.9090, pgrille.com
Crush Solana Beach
Who doesn’t love a great meatball? Crush serves an assortment of Italian dishes, pastas, and pizza. The intimate, comfortable dining room is a special spot to share a meal with family and friends. The extensive wine list centers on Italian and California labels with many bottles on display.
437 Hwy 101 #112, Solana Beach, 858.481.2787, solanabeachcrush.com
The Grill at Torrey Pines
With a view of the iconic Torrey Pines Golf Course, The Grill is a popular dining and bar destination at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Locals and visitors can lounge beside cozy fire pits, taste local craft beers, and enjoy meals from the restaurant’s custom-built wood-burning suite.
11480 N. Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, 858.777.6641, thegrillattorreypines.com
Bob’s Steak & Chop House
Since it first debuted in Dallas in 1993, Bob’s Steak & Chop House has built a reputation for its prime steaks, big portions, stiff drinks, and generous wine pours. The new La Costa location stays true to its large, delicious roots.
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, 2100 Costa Del Mar Rd., Carlsbad, 760.929.6346, bobs-steakandchop.com
Inspired by the Basque region on the French-Spanish border, French Master Chef Patrick Ponsaty’s menu infuses SoCal flavor with locally-sourced ingredients. The warm, chic interior is as intimate as it is beautiful.
6106 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, 858.771.1871, ponsatys.com
Liberty Public Market
Open seven days a week, this vibrant Point Loma marketplace features dozens of artisans and their prepared foods, beer, wine, specialty cocktails, produce, fish, desserts, and crafts, in addition to a test kitchen, pop up dinners, and events.
2820 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego, 619.487.9346, libertypublicmarket.com
Decoy Dockside Dining
A catalyst to San Marcos’ reinvention, Decoy offers lovely lake views and a menu that features a medley of Mediterranean and New American dishes in a hip, upscale setting.
Lakehouse Hotel & Resort, 1025 La Bonita Dr., San Marcos, 760.744.0120, decoydockside.com
Campfire in Carlsbad, featuring wood-fired American fare and inventive cocktails, is red hot. From charred oysters to roasted vegetables and grilled flat-iron or fish, this is the place to gather. Don’t forget the s’mores.
2725 State St., Carlsbad, 760.637.5121, thisiscampfire.com
Stake Chophouse & Bar
In the heart of Coronado, Stake offers a modern take on the classic chophouse. Celebrate and indulge in shareable filets, chops, and dry-aged prime steak; an expansive selection of ice-cold shellfish and crudo; wood fire-roasted side dishes; and more.
1309 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.522.0077, stakechophouse.com
This cherished Rancho Santa Fe restaurant has been the destination for celebratory occasions for more than
three decades. Guests return time and again for Chef Martin Woesle’s famous Wiener Schnitzel and Salad of Maine Lobster, enjoyed in the warmly-decorated dining room or on the quaint courtyard patio.
6009 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, 858.756.3085, millefleurs.com
Market Restaurant + Bar
Memories are made at Executive Chef Carl Schroeder’s Del Mar restaurant, where rotating selections consist of Yellowfin Tuna Two Ways, Spice Roasted Golden Spotted Bass & Basil Gnocchi, and even a full sushi menu.
For sips, house cocktails include the Ruby Red Cosmo, Spicy Don, and Market Mule.
3702 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, 858.523.0007, marketdelmar.com
Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s signature restaurant, Addison, features San Diego’s most decorated chef, Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef William Bradley, and his seasonal menu combining local ingredients with contemporary French influences. For a dazzling dining experience, consider Collections By Addison, in which Bradley personally selects chefs from across the nation to join him in crafting incomparable dinners.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar, 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, 858.314.1900, addisondelmar.com
Herringbone La Jolla
Its newest happy hour offering, Oyster Hour, offered 7 days a week from 4-6pm, features $1 oysters with discounted bites and crafted cocktails in the bar and lounge. Sip the La Jolla Aviation (Bulldog Gin, Maraschino, Crème Yvette, Lemon), among other tasty tipples.
7837 Herschel Ave., La Jolla, 858.459.0221, herringboneeats.com
An unparalleled wine experience awaits, where an award-winning list of nearly 3,500 selections meets a world-class environment and knowledgeable service.
5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, 858.314.1900, addisondelmar.com
The Cork & Craft
It’s a bit off the beaten path, but the most diverse and constantly rotating tap list in town is at The Cork & Craft in Rancho Bernardo. They make their own (good) beer, but their guest taps feature so many hard-to-find, diverse, and avant- garde offerings that it makes for tough decisions.
16990 Via Tazon, San Diego, 858.618.2463, thecorkandcraft.com
Nestled in the La Jolla Shores neighborhood for more than 26 years, Piatti has delighted guests on its enchanting, tree-covered patios with menu creations developed by Executive Chef Pepe Ccapatina, who has been on board since its inception.
2182 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, 858.454.1589, piatti.com
Solace & The Moonlight Lounge
The food and the cool ambience keep us coming back for more, but what’s truly impressive about Solace & The Moonlight Lounge is chef/owner Matt Gordon and wife Young-Mi’s commitment to ensuring that the delicious food we consume is carefully sourced and rid of artificial, overly-processed ingredients. They care, and it shows.
25 East E St., Encinitas, 760.753.2433, eatatsolace.com
Located within The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe in the heart of the Ranch, Morada celebrates the property’s storied past with elegant equestrian elements. The restaurant recently welcomed Executive Chef Casey Thompson, who is currently updating the menu by blending her Texas roots with SoCal’s bounty.
5951 Linea Del Cielo, Rancho Santa Fe, 858.756.1131, theinnatrsf.com
Truluck’s Seafood, Steak & Crab House
Committed to serving the freshest Florida stone crab, the team at Truluck’s owns their own fisheries. Menu highlights also include Miso-Glazed Sea Bass and Whole Fish of the Day, but make sure to save room for dessert — you won’t regret it.
8990 University Center Lane, San Diego, 858.453.2583, trulucks.com
The Fish Market, Solana Beach
A seafood mainstay that never disappoints, The Fish Market offers an extensive menu featuring fresh fish broiled just inches over mesquite wood, seafood cocktails, smoked fish, shellfish specialties, chowders and cioppino, and more.
640 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach, 858.755.2277, thefishmarket.com
Casa de Bandini
Taco Loco, anyone? With its vibrant décor and menu filled with shareable, traditional Mexican cuisine, Casa de Bandini is a favorite for families and celebratory meals, complete with mariachi entertainment, hot-off-the-grill homemade tortillas, and giant margaritas.
Forum Carlsbad, 1901 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad, 760.634.3443, casadebandini.com
Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza
Offering gourmet salads, shareable tapas, woodfired pizzas, and an array of impressive entrees, Sammy’s is the perfect family-friendly restaurant sure to satisfy all palates.
Multiple locations, sammyspizza.com
No words will truly do them justice. We’ll simply say that these restaurants offer breathtaking vistas to match their inspired cuisine.
2000 Spindrift Dr., La Jolla 858.459.7222, marineroom.com
Bertrand at Mister A’s
2550 Fifth Ave., San Diego 619.239.1377, asrestaurant.com
Pacific Coast Grill
2526 S. Coast Hwy 101, Cardiff 760.479.0721, pacificcoastgrill.com
Eddie V’s, La Jolla
1270 Prospect St, La Jolla 858.459.5500, eddiev.com
Grater Grilled Cheese Del Mar
What started as a food truck in 2011 has expanded to an eatery with locations in La Jolla and Mission Valley, and a Del Mar location is slated to open this spring. We can’t wait to sink our teeth into their creations celebrating all things grilled and cheesy.
Del Mar Highlands Town Center, gratergrilledcheese.com
The Crack Shack Encinitas
Celebrity chef Richard Blais’ fried chicken and egg-centric eatery was quickly embraced when it opened in Little Italy in 2015. A second location in Encinitas will feature a bocce ball court, picnic-style dining, wrap-around bar, and sandbox for the kiddos.
407 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas, crack-shack.com
A new luxury brand from Montage Hotels & Resorts, Pendry San Diego is poised to deliver a culinary and entertainment hub in the heart of downtown San Diego. Opening February 3, the hotel will feature six dining and entertainment venues anchored by Lionfish, where Executive Chef Jose “JoJo” Ruiz will offer sushi, seafood, and distinctly San Diego-inspired dishes in a two-floor dining room. Open for dinner only.
435 5th Ave., San Diego, 619.738.7200, lionfishsd.com
It actually just opened. Elixir is an organic juice and food offering by Randy Gruber, proprietor of Del Mar neighborhood favorite Americana Restaurant. Catering to those on the go, Elixir offers cold pressed juices, wellness shots, smoothies, acai and pitaya bowls, superfood oatmeal, and more. On tap: kombucha, cold brew coffee, and iced tea.
1446 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 858.793.4663, elixirdelmar.com
Top Choice Fish Market & Eatery
Seafood aficionados rejoice! Cele-brating its 50th anniversary this year, Carlsbad’s Tip Top Meats is preparing to debut a new seafood concept. Taking over an adjacent produce market, Top Choice will feature a retail marketplace and sit-down restaurant, allowing diners to enjoy the ocean-fare equivalent of the top-quality food we’ve already come to know and love from founder “Big John” Haedrich.
6118 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, 760.438. 2620, topchoicefish.com
Happy Hour Drinks
Place To Take Out-of-Towners
San Diego Tradition/Establishment
Bertrand at Mister A’s
Addison, Fairmont Grand Del Mar
A.R. Valentien, The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Waters Fine Foods & Catering
Giuseppe Restaurants & Fine Catering
Champagne French Bakery
Thyme in the Ranch
Union Kitchen & Tap
Taste of Thai
Iron Pig Alehouse
Casa de Bandini
Waters Fine Foods
Splash Wine Lounge & Bistro
Grater Grilled Cheese
Devilicious Food Truck
Besta-Wan Pizza House