The 5 Best Places to Eat in San Diego

Sometimes we eat at Michelin star restaurants. Sometimes, we eat at the taco stand down the street. But regardless of how much we spend, or how fancy the place, we always eat well wherever we travel. Food is an important consideration when we decide where to go, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that San Diego is on the top of our list of favorite destinations as a family. Mexican food abound, fresh seafood at a fingers touch, and lots of great Italian in Little Italy. My husband is a foodie, and when he discovered Sam the Cooking Guy was in San Diego, he was excited to start our vacation. But we found so much more. After several trips, I polled the family and here are our top five places to grab a bite in San Diego, California.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that allows me to earn a small commission at no cost to you. I only link to products I would or have used myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. You can read the full disclaimer here.

Food from Breakfast Republic, 3 different types of pancakes, the perfect coffee cup, stuffed French toast

The Best Breakfast: Breakfast Republic

Address: 707 G St, San Diego, CA 92101

Hours: 7 AM – 3 PM, 7 Days a Week

Price Point: $10 – $25 an entrée

Usually to save money on vacation, we save at breakfast, getting hotel breakfast or Starbucks. But occasionally we like to splurge on a good, big breakfast. Breakfast Republic was our favorite. They are known for their amazing pancakes, and the line can go around the block to get in. My oldest got the trio, and after at first thinking he couldn’t eat it all, he managed to down every last crumb because each pancake variety was better than the last. My daughter and I shared the Mr. Presley French Toast stuffed with peanut butter and topped with bananas foster and bacon. We later wished we had each gotten our own. My husband’s favorite feature may have been the coffee cup that measured the level of coffee to when one could speak to him. It seemed to be very accurate.

Food from The Fish Market, scallops with linguini, fresh grilled fish with fries, crab roll

The Best Seafood Dishes: The Fish Market

Address: 750 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Hours: 11:30 AM – 8:30 PM, 7 Days a Week

Price Point: $20 – $50 an entrée, more for lobster and crab

We are a seafood loving family so for us to say this is one of the best places for seafood we have been to, you know it’s serious. This restaurant is along the waterfront in San Diego, and has both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as both a nice lunch menu and full dinner sized entrees. My kids love the fish and chips. The waitress recommended I do the shrimp and linguine but replace it with scallops. It was the most rich, decent dish and I absolutely loved it. Apparently it’s so popular a substitution, that it may be on the menu soon. My husband just loves a white fish grilled, and it was so smooth and flaky, just as he likes it. This is on the pricier side, but it’s one of the best meals you’ll get, and it comes with a fantastic view.

Tacos from Tacos Al Gordo

Best Cheap Eats: Tacos Al Gordo

Address: Multiple Locations

Hours: Generally 10 AM – 2 AM Weekdays, 10 AM – 4 AM Weekends

Price Point: $3 – $4 a taco

On the other end of the spectrum in terms of costs is Tacos Al Gordo. Based on the street tacos in Mexico, you get authentic tacos in fresh corn tortillas. Nothing fancy here but that’s what you want. You get tacos suadero, tripa, or just plain chicken or carne asada. Nothing but a little cilantro and onions, and some salsas if you dare to add them. Add on a drink and you are set. My husband and oldest can put away 3-4 while my daughter and I usually get away with 2.

Food from Not Not Tacos, my daughter with three tacos, my husband with Sam the Cooking Guy, Mashed Potato Taco with Tater Tots
If you are lucky, you might even get to meet Sam the Cooking Guy!

Most Creative: Not Not Tacos

Address: 550 W Date St Suite B, San Diego, CA 92101

Hours: 11 AM – 9 PM Weekdays, 11 AM – 10 PM Weekends

Price Point: $5 – $7 a taco

Another taco place, but it’s not your typical tacos. This place was created by the YouTube personality, Sam the Cooking Guy. He loved the concept of the taco and decided, what if I filled them with non-traditional ingredients? Here you can get a mashed potato taco (filled with mashed potatoes, sour cream, green onions and crushed potato chips). My daughter loved the smokey pork and macaroni taco, and I loved the baja fish taco and the Korean short rib taco. My spicy husband got the Nashville Hot Chicken. They are not NOT tacos. Go for a fun, unique experience. And get the two taco and tater tots combo. Trust me, you’ll be happy.

Ice Cream from Bobboi Natural Gelato

Best Dessert: Bobboi Natural Gelato

Address: Multiple Locations

Hours: 12 PM – 9 PM Weekdays, 12 PM – 10 PM Weekends

Price Point: $5 – $8 a cone or cup

What is vacation without a little dessert? For us, vacation is always about indulging a little bit. But we discovered Bobboi Natural Gelato one of our first days in San Diego in our first trip and fell in love. First off this is true gelato, not ice cream. It’s all natural and all organic. Here you’ll find some amazing, unique flavors such as lavender, bananas and honey, and pomegranate. Sure you can get chocolate too if you are traditional. Whatever flavor you choose, it will be amazing and fresh. For those of you who have trouble with ice cream, have no fear they always have a vegan option. There are several locations in the area.

Before I met my husband, I didn’t generally explore food cuisines much outside what I knew. My foodie husband introduced me to a world of new foods that I love. Now, when we travel, I put him in charge of researching the food ahead of time. He found most of these places and we all love his choices. But really, it’s hard to go wrong in San Diego. So make sure to mark down these places and get a good meal when you are in San Diego or a sweet treat. How can you go wrong?

The 5 best places to eat in San Deigo

Editor: SKS

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