San Diego may be known for its beautiful beaches, but our coastal city also holds a special place in the hearts of its foodies. Whether you’re in the mood for a juicy burger in East Village, upscale seafood in Little Italy, or an authentic Italian experience in Point Loma, San Diego has more than enough menus to keep you salivating. Read on to find the best San Diego neighborhoods worth sinking your teeth into.
1. Little Italy
Little Italy is more than just your selection of great Italian food. Once home to San Diego’s tuna fishing industry now dwells urban wineries, boutique shops, patio cafes, and not to mention one of San Diego’s top farmers’ markets, Little Italy Mercato. While this area can count on its locals loving restaurants like Filippi’s Pizza, Buon Appetito, and Bencotto, this downtown neighborhood also claims the hearts of fine diners. Looking for a date night? Try a seafood dinner in the quirky ambiance of Ironside. After, head to Extraordinary Desserts for a decadent experience sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
2. East Village
East Village is drawing in more than just Padre’s fans. While the famous Petco Park is a huge attraction in East Village, this little slice of downtown has more to offer than ballpark dogs and Cracker Jacks. Featuring an eclectic mix of Thai, Cajun, Mexican, and vegan fare, you’ll never run out of options to choose from. If you’re looking for a burger that stands out, try The Neighborhood. This spot is a popular locale for pub style food and craft beer. Walk towards the back of the restaurant to find a false wall of kegs that lead to a speakeasy, The Nobel Experiment.
3. Liberty Station
Liberty Station in Point Loma is a haven for artisan shopping, art galleries, and plenty of restaurants. In the mood for Italian? A visit to Buona Forchetta will get you as close as you can to Italy without leaving the country. Much of the staff speak Italian and have the knowledge needed for an authentic Italian dining experience, ranging from wine pairings to fresh homemade pasta. For one of the best brunch spots in San Diego, try Breakfast Republic offering a variety of delicious benedicts, omelets, and an adventurous selection of French toasts. For those opting for something lighter, Tender Greens is amongst locals’ favorite greener options. If you can’t decide on what to eat, there’s always plenty to choose from at Liberty Public Market!
4. The Gaslamp District
San Diego’s Downtown Gaslamp District is bustling with dining options. Walk down Fifth Avenue to find shopping and restaurants loved by locals including the Old Spaghetti Factory, Taka Sushi, and Barley Mash. This lively neighborhood also has a lot to offer in entertainment with diverse shows in drama, comedy, and music to the nightlife San Diegans best know it for. For a unique nightlife experience, drop by Vin de Syrah, San Diego’s only Alice in Wonderland themed lounge hidden below Fifth Avenue.
5. North Park
Vegans and kombucha lovers need not worry: North Park is here! Considered one of the best hipster hubs in the US by Forbes Magazine, this eclectic district is home to some of San Diego’s most trendy coffee shops, boutiques, and sushi lounges. A haven for craft beer, North Park houses many local bars and breweries hosting independent live music and, at some venues, Pacman. Don’t miss the North Park Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 3- 7:30pm. Choose from a wide selection of fresh produce, globally-inspired bites, gifts, and unique clothing all year round. On the hunt for more quirky restaurants? Check out the neighborhood of South Park for more dining options in a similar urban setting.