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best restaurants in San Diego

Best of the Best Fancy

Critic’s Pick: Herb & Wood
Readers’ Pick: Juniper and Ivy
Runner-up: Lionfish


Best of the Best Casual

Critic’s Pick: Trust
Readers’ Pick: Whisknladle
Runner-up: Puesto


Best New Restaurant

Critic’s Pick: Born & Raised
Readers’ Pick: Born & Raised
Runner-up: Royale


Best Chef

Critic’s Pick: William Bradley (Addison)
Readers’ Pick: Accursio Lota (Solare)
Runner-up: Brian Malarkey (Herb & Wood, Farmer & the Seahorse)


Best Service

Critic’s Pick: Red O
Readers’ Pick: Solare
Runner-up: Barbusa


Best Happy Hour

Critic’s Pick: Donovan’s Steak & Chop House
Readers’ Pick: Lionfish
Runner-up: Madison


Best Bar Menu

Critic’s Pick: Barleymash
Readers’ Pick: El Chingon
Runner-up: Starlite


Best Cheap Eats

Critic’s Pick: The Friendly
Readers’ Pick: The Kebab Shop
Runner-up: The Crack Shack


Best Food Truck

Critic’s Pick: Mariscos Mi Gusto Es
Readers’ Pick: Mangia Mangia
Runner-up: Super Q


Best Hotel Restaurant

Critic’s Pick: Nine-Ten (at Grande Colonial)
Readers’ Pick: Lionfish (at Pendry)
Runner-up: Nine-Ten


Best Caterer

Critic’s Pick: Miho
Readers’ Pick: Kitchens for Good
Runner-up: The French Gourmet

Best Healthy Eats

Critic’s Pick: Tender Greens
Readers’ Pick: Tender Greens
Runner-up: Parakeet Café


Best Indulgent Eats

Critic’s Pick: The Crack Shack
Readers’ Pick: The Crack Shack
Runner-up: Extraordinary Desserts


Best Gluten-Free Menu

Critic’s Pick: True Food Kitchen
Readers’ Pick: Puesto
Runner-up: Bivouac Ciderworks


Best Breakfast/ Brunch

Critic’s Pick: Urban Solace
Readers’ Pick: Breakfast Republic
Runner-up: Snooze, an A.M. Eatery


Best Buffet

Critic’s Pick: Urban Plates
Readers’ Pick: Barona Resort & Casino
Runner-up: Viejas Casino & Resort


Best Bakery

Critic’s Pick: Prager Brothers Artisan Breads
Readers’ Pick: The French Gourmet
Runner-up: Donut Bar


Best Taco Shop

Critic’s Pick: Las Cuatro Milpas
Readers’ Pick: Puesto
Runner-up: The Taco Stand


Best Cheese Program

Critic’s Pick: Venissimo Cheese
Readers’ Pick: Venissimo Cheese
Runner-up: The Patio on Goldfinch


Best Desserts

Critic’s Pick: Michele Coulon Dessertier
Readers’ Pick: Extraordinary Desserts
Runner-up: Snoice


Best Late-Night Menu

Critic’s Pick: Starlite
Readers’ Pick: Starlite
Runner-up: Brian’s 24


Best Baja Restaurant

Critic’s Pick: Verde y Crema
Readers’ Pick: Deckman’s en el Mogor
Runner-up: Misión 19

Specific Cuisines

​Best French (Critic's Pick): Bistro du Marché | Photo: Justin McChesney-Wachs

Best Middle Eastern

Critic’s Pick: The Kebab Shop
Readers’ Pick: The Kebab Shop
Runner-up: Mezé Greek Fusion


Best Italian

Critic’s Pick: Bencotto Italian Kitchen
Readers’ Pick: Solare
Runner-up: Rovino Rotisserie + Wine


Best French

Critic’s Pick: Bistro du Marché
Readers’ Pick: The French Gourmet
Runner-up: Et Voilà!


Best Greek

Critic’s Pick: Olympic Cafe
Readers’ Pick: Olympic Cafe
Runner-up: Cafe Athena


Best Spanish

Critic’s Pick: Bar Bodega
Readers’ Pick: Costa Brava
Runner-up: Cafe Sevilla


Best Mexican

Critic’s Pick: Super Cocina Bar
Readers’ Pick: Puesto
Runner-up: Las Cuatro Milpas


Best Vietnamese

Critic’s Pick: Phuong Nga Banh Cuon
Readers’ Pick: Phuong Trang
Runner-up: Pho Ca Dao


Best Korean

Critic’s Pick: Buga
Readers’ Pick: Taegukgi Korean BBQ House
Runner-up: Manna Korean BBQ


Best Filipino

Critic’s Pick: Tita’s Kitchenette
Readers’ Pick: Tita’s Kitchenette
Runner-up: Zarlitos Family Restaurant


Best Russian

Critic’s Pick: Pomegranate
Readers’ Pick: Pomegranate
Runner-up: Pushkin


Best Ethiopian

Critic’s Pick: Awash
Readers’ Pick: Muzita Abyssinian Bistro
Runner-up: Awash

Best Japanese

Critic’s Pick: Wa Dining Okan
Readers’ Pick: Izakaya Masa
Runner-up: Sushi Ota


Best Chinese

Critic’s Pick: Village North
Readers’ Pick: Chin’s Szechwan
Runner-up: Dumpling Inn


Best Indian

Critic’s Pick: Masala Street
Readers’ Pick: Masala Street
Runner-up: Bombay Exotic Cuisine of India


Best Thai

Critic’s Pick: The Original Sab-e-Lee
Readers’ Pick: Supannee House of Thai
Runner-up: Bahn Thai

Best Japanese

Critic’s Pick: Wa Dining Okan
Readers’ Pick: Izakaya Masa
Runner-up: Sushi Ota


Best Peruvian

Critic’s Pick: Pisco Rotisserie & Cevicheria
Readers’ Pick: Pisco Rotisserie & Cevicheria
Runner-up: Café Secret


Best South American Steakhouse

Critic’s Pick: Puerto la Boca
Readers’ Pick: Rei do Gado
Runner-up: Puerto la Boca


Best Barbecue

Critic’s Pick: Grand Ole BBQ y Asado
Readers’ Pick: Phil’s BBQ
Runner-up: Grand Ole BBQ y Asado


Best Steakhouse

Critic’s Pick: Cowboy Star
Readers’ Pick: Cowboy Star
Runner-up: Born & Raised

Best Seafood

Critic’s Pick: George’s at the Cove
Readers’ Pick: Lionfish
Runner-up: Ironside Fish & Oyster and Water Grill (tie)


Best Southern Food

Critic’s Pick: Bud’s Louisiana Cafe
Readers’ Pick: Bud’s Louisiana Cafe
Runner-up: Urban Solace


Best Vegetarian/ Vegan Selection

Critic’s Pick: Kindred
Readers’ Pick: Plumeria
Runner-up: Kindred

Specific Dishes

Best Burger

Critic’s Pick: Raglan Public House
Readers’ Pick: Rocky’s Crown Pub
Runner-up: Burger Lounge


Best Veggie Burger

Critic’s Pick: Burger Lounge
Readers’ Pick: Burger Lounge
Runner-up: Plant Power


Best Pizza

Critic’s Pick: Buona Forchetta
Readers’ Pick: Bronx Pizza
Runner-up: Buona Forchetta


Best Sandwich

Critic’s Pick: The Grill at The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Readers’ Pick: Board & Brew
Runner-up: Havana 1920


Best Fries

Critic’s Pick: Raglan Public House
Readers’ Pick: The Kebab Shop
Runner-up: Searsucker


Best Salad

Critic’s Pick: Big Front Door
Readers’ Pick: Tender Greens and Urban Plates (tie)
Runner-up: Napizza


Best Chicken Wings

Critic’s Pick: Cross Street Chicken and Beer
Readers’ Pick: Dirty Birds
Runner-up: Wings-N-Things


Best Taco

Critic’s Pick: Puesto
Readers’ Pick: Puesto
Runner-up: Tacos el Gordo


Best Fish Taco

Critic’s Pick: Mitch’s Seafood
Readers’ Pick: Rubio’s
Runner-up: Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar

Best Chips and Salsa

Critic’s Pick: Cantina Mayahuel
Readers’ Pick: Puesto
Runner-up: El Chingon


Best Burrito

Critic’s Pick: Lolita’s Mexican Food
Readers’ Pick: Lucha Libre
Runner-up: Lolita’s Mexican Food


Best Sushi

Critic’s Pick: The Land & Water Co.
Readers’ Pick: Sushi Lounge
Runner-up: Sushi Ota


Best Poke

Critic’s Pick: It’s Raw Poke Shop
Readers’ Pick: Poki One N Half
Runner-up: Poké 123


Best Ramen

Critic’s Pick: Tajima
Readers’ Pick: Tajima
Runner-up: RakiRaki Ramen & Tsukemen


Best Pho

Critic’s Pick: Shank & Bone
Readers’ Pick: OB Noodle House
Runner-up: Pho Ca Dao


Best Donut

Critic’s Pick: Nomad Donuts
Readers’ Pick: Donut Bar
Runner-up: Nomad Donuts


Best Ice Cream

Critic’s Pick: Mariposa Ice Cream
Readers’ Pick: Salt & Straw
Runner-up: Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream


​Best Design (Critic's Pick): Born & Raised

Best Design

Critic’s Pick: Born & Raised
Readers’ Pick: Madison
Runner-up: Lionfish


Best Business Lunch

Critic’s Pick: The Grant Grill
Readers’ Pick: Searsucker
Runner-up: Red O


Best View (Urban)

Critic’s Pick: Mister A’s
Readers’ Pick: Mister A’s
Runner-up: The Pool House at Pendry San Diego


Best View (Water)

Critic’s Pick: The Marine Room
Readers’ Pick: Coasterra
Runner-up: The Marine Room


Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant

Critic’s Pick: Campfire
Readers’ Pick: Waypoint Public
Runner-up: Corvette Diner


Best Pet-Friendly Restaurant

Critic’s Pick: The Patio on Lamont
Readers’ Pick: The Patio on Lamont
Runner-up: The Crack Shack

Best Restaurant for Big Groups

Critic’s Pick: Coasterra
Readers’ Pick: Mezé Greek Fusion
Runner-up: Barbusa


Best Outdoor Patio

Critic’s Pick: Jaynes Gastropub
Readers’ Pick: The Crack Shack
Runner-up: Park & Rec


Best Special Occasion

Critic’s Pick: Addison
Readers’ Pick: Born & Raised
Runner-up: Mister A’s


Best Place to Watch the Game

Critic’s Pick: The Rabbit Hole
Readers’ Pick: Kaminski’s BBQ & Sports Lounge
Runner-up: Barleymash


Best Date Spot

Critic’s Pick: BO-beau Kitchen + Bar
Readers’ Pick: Catania
Runner-up: Madison


Best Diner

Critic’s Pick: Harry’s Coffee Shop
Readers’ Pick: Studio Diner
Runner-up: Corvette Diner



Best Wine List

Critic’s Pick: Addison
Readers’ Pick: Solare
Runner-up: Rovino Rotisserie + Wine


Best Wine Bar

Critic’s Pick: Wet Stone Wine Bar
Readers’ Pick: Rovino Rotisserie + Wine
Runner-up: Village Vino


Best New Brewery

Critic’s Pick: Wild Barrel
Readers’ Pick: Bivouac Ciderworks
Runner-up: Viewpoint Brewing Co.


Best Craft Beer Brand

Critic’s Pick: Eppig Brewing
Readers’ Pick: Modern Times
Runner-up: Ballast Point


Best Beer Selection

Critic’s Pick: Hamiltons Tavern
Readers’ Pick: Small Bar
Runner-up: Hamiltons Tavern


Best Brewpub

Critic’s Pick: Fall Brewing Company
Readers’ Pick: Karl Strauss
Runner-up: Ballast Point


Best Dive Bar

Critic’s Pick: Live Wire
Readers’ Pick: The Aero Club
Runner-up: Waterfront

Best Cocktails

Critic’s Pick: Craft & Commerce
Readers’ Pick: Madison
Runner-up: Prohibition


Best Margarita

Critic’s Pick: Ponces
Readers’ Pick: Barrio Star
Runner-up: Cantina Mayahuel


Best Bloody Mary

Critic’s Pick: Great Maple
Readers’ Pick: Small Bar
Runner-up: Café 21


Best Local Spirits

Critic’s Pick: Cutwater Spirits
Readers’ Pick: You & Yours Distilling Co.
Runner-up: Cutwater Spirits


Best Coffee

Critic’s Pick: Dark Horse Coffee Roasters
Readers’ Pick: Dark Horse Coffee Roasters
Runner-up: Parakeet Café


Best Juice Bar

Critic’s Pick: Northside Shack
Readers’ Pick: Juice Crafters
Runner-up: Nekter Juice Bar

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