San Diego - Restaurants

Cafe Chloe
721 9th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 232-3242
http://www.cafechloe.com/
A small, cozy spot in the East Village with a menu of updated bistro classics and a beloved brunch that manages to be untrendy yet totally stylish.

Blind Lady Ale House
3416 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 255-2491
http://www.blindladyalehouse.com/
At this beacon of the Normal Heights neighborhood is a quality lineup of beer, house-brewed and otherwise, and a local farm driven-menu of tasty pizzas and salads.

Yakyudori Yakitori & Ramen
4898 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 268-2888
Impeccably grilled meat on sticks, bowls of steaming ramen, plus the beer and sake make this Hillcrest transplant many a chefs' favorite late-night hangout.

Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza
897 S Coast Highway 101
Encinitas, CA
(760) 634-7671
http://blueribbonpizzeria.com/
Chef-owner Wade Hageman left the fine dining kitchen, but applies the same culinary sensibilities to Blue Ribbon's wood-fired pizza and small plates.

Kaito Sushi
130 N El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 634-2746
http://www.sushikaito.com/
Kaito Sushi inspires devotion and reverence from sushi purists who delight in owner Kazuo Morita's dedication to the freshest seafood and time-honored technique.

Carnitas' Snack Shack
2632 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 294-7675
http://carnitassnackshack.com/
2012's biggest success story, this pork-centric spot from Chef Hanis Cavin is bound to multiply this year, and inspire other chefs to venture out on their own.

The Original Sab-E-Lee
2405 Ulric St
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 650-6868
http://www.originalsab-e-lee.webs.com/
Flavor and heat co-mingle deliciously at this no-frills Thai joint. The curries and noodles are above par but the catfish or duck larb and raw beef salad are really something special.

Farm House Cafe
2121 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 269-9662
http://www.farmhousecafesd.com/
Chef-owner Olivier Bioteau turns out thoughtful, classic French food out of an impossibly small kitchen. Their Sunday brunch is among the best in town.

Sushi Ota
4529 Mission Bay Dr.
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 270-5670
Helmed by a venerable sushi master (request a seat in owner Ota-san's section of the sushi bar), the restaurant is unassuming, low-key and unquestionably authentic.

Super Cocina
3627 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 584-6244
http://supercocinasd.com/
Steam tables laden with authentic, home-style Mexican stews that taste like someone's grandma made them. About a dozen are offered daily.

George's At The Cove
1250 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-4244
http://www.georgesatthecove.com/
Chef Trey Foshee at George's California Modern is cited as a guiding force in the San Diego food culture and one of the first champions of local seafood.

Tender Greens
2400 Historic Decatur Rd
San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 226-6254
http://www.tendergreensfood.com/
The first San Diego location for Tender Greens - affordable, fresh salads, soups, sandwiches and specials. This is also where P. Balistreri salumi got its start.

Wine Vault And Bistro
3731 India St
San Diego, CA 92103
http://www.winevaultbistro.com/
Winemaker events, an ever-changing seasonal menu and prix fixe dinners that feel like a steal. Friday: $20, 3-courses; Saturday $30, 5-courses.

Cucina Urbana
505 Laurel St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 239-2222
http://www.cucinaurbana.com/
Three years after opening, this is still one of the toughest tables to get in town. The shareable, Italian-inspired menu is modern and accessible.

Searsucker
611 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 233-7327
http://www.searsucker.com/
The first of Brian Malarkey's restaurant empire to open and its flagship concept; Searsucker adds a needed food-worthy dining destination to the Gaslamp.

Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop
640 10th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 450-5880
http://www.thecowboystar.com/
An in-house butcher shop, skilled mixologists and a non-stuffy vibe set this steakhouse apart from its expense account counterparts. Try for a seat at Victor Jimenez's chef table.

Urban Solace
3823 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 295-6464
http://www.urbansolace.net/
Chef and owner Matt Gordon has established a loyal following for his unpretentious new American comfort food and popular Bluegrass Brunch.

Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant
2202 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 231-0222
http://bankershillsd.com/
San Diegans were glad to see Market's Carl Schroeder move down from North County for this more casual second spot.

El Pescador Fish Market
627 Pearl St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 456-2526
http://elpescadorfishmarket.com/home.htm
Just-plucked seafood and unfussy, simple preparations make El Pescador a winner. Hopefully, none of that will change with the market and cafe's move and expansion.

Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano
4207 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 260-1311
http://pizzeriabrunosd.com/
A wood-fired oven straight from Naples combined with equal care given to the dough, sauce and (minimal) toppings make for nearly spot-on traditional Neapolitan-style pizza.

Wa Dining OKAN
3860 Convoy St. Ste 110
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 279-0941
http://okanus.com/
Cozy, homestyle Japanese cuisine sourced with seasonal ingredients from adjacent Nijiya Market. Their set menu at lunch (served 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday) is a must.

Starlite
3175 India St
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 358-9766
http://www.starlitesandiego.com/
Responsible for kicking off the local craft cocktail scene. It's also a haven for late night eaters who still want good food - the kitchen's open until midnight every night.

Aqui Es Texcoco
1043 Broadway Ste. 108
Chula Vista, CA 91911
(619) 427-4045
http://aquiestexcoco.com/
Traditional Barbacoa-style lamb, stuffed into tacos and enchiladas or on top of sopes or tostadas. In any form, it's delicious - the Travel Channel's Andrew Zimmern agrees.

A.R. Valentien
11480 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92137
(858) 777-6635
http://www.arvalentien.com/
Chef Jeff Jackson heads up a highly-trained kitchen of farm-to-table devotees. Their Thursday night artisan table dinners are some of San Diego's most special dining experiences.

Que Huong
4134 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92105
(619) 281-6008
Don't order the pho at this City Heights Vietnamese joint. Instead, explore the vast menu of more exotic eats: snails in curry sauce, wild boar lettuce wraps and fish sauce or tamarind chicken wings.

Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar
910 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 964-5400
http://www.nine-ten.com/
Chef Jason Knibb's cuisine is innovative yet accessible; he combines modern cooking techniques with a good understanding of ingredients. In other words, he doesn't mess around.

Bencotto Italian Kitchen
750 W Fir St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 450-4786
http://www.lovebencotto.com/
Handmade pastas and quality Italy-sourced products, plus a sleek, contemporary setting, help distinguish this Little Italy eatery from the rest of the neighborhood.

Neighborhood
777 G St.
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 446-0002
http://www.neighborhoodsd.com/
The burgers at this East Village spot are as good as the craft beer that's served with it (yes, even without ketchup). It's bar food done better: steak tartar and deviled eggs with artichoke mousse.

The Fishery
5040 Cass St
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 272-9985
http://www.pacshell.com/
A local seafood distributor, market and restaurant in one. Chef Paul Arias does right by his product; his Tuesday tasting menu ($28 for 4 courses) is a good time to taste how.

Jayne's Gastropub
4677 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 563-1011
http://jaynesgastropub.com/
There are many gastropub wannabes but Jayne's is the real deal, boasting a British owner and a well-executed modern pub menu. The wine list is more interesting than most, cocktails too.

Whisknladle
1044 Wall Street
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 551-7575
http://www.whisknladle.com/
From-scratch cooking combined with a casual approach to fine dining. This group also runs the popular Prepkitchen locations.

Mariscos El Pescador
1008 Industrial Boulevard
Chula Vista, CA 91911
If fish tacos are San Diego's signature food item, this food truck is their shrine. Start with the traditional crispy fish version, then branch out into other seafood - shrimp, octopus, smoked marlin.

Addison at The Grand Del Mar
5200 Grand Del Mar Way
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 314-1900
http://www.addisondelmar.com/
One of the few splurge-worthy spots in town, Addison is the signature restaurant at the Grand Del Mar. Chef William Bradley's menu combines his French training with local ingredients and contemporary plating.

Romesco Baja Med Bistro
4346 Bonita Rd.
Bonita, CA 91902
(619) 479-8627
http://www.romescomexmed.com/
Javier Plascencia's only San Diego-based restaurant; worth a try for a taste of the Baja Med cuisine that the chef has helped to make world-famous.

Jsix Restaurant
616 J Street
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 531-8744
http://jsixsandiego.com/
Jsix's Christian Graves, who manages to successfully juggle his exec chef duties and his GM role, also finds time to make charcuterie and champion sustainable seafood and whole animal cookery.

Market Restaurant & Bar
3702 Via De La Valle
Del Mar, CA 92014
(858) 523-0007
http://www.marketdelmar.com/
Chef/owner Carl Schroeder has an enviable culinary resume and a solid reputation for his seasonal cuisine and thoughtful cooking style.

Tapenade
7612 Fay Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 551-7500
http://www.tapenaderestaurant.com/
This La Jolla institution, first opened in 1998, offers reliable service and traditional French Provencal food from chef Jean Michel Diot; their Bistro bar menu's one of the best values in town.