Having a tough time keeping up with all the new dining options? Welcome to the Opening Report, a curated roundup of recent restaurant openings big and small across San Diego. We begin 2023 with a collection of fresh spots that will be regularly updated; revisit last year’s extensive lineup here.
Did we miss a spot? Drop a note at the tipline and we’ll consider it for the next update.
MAY 9, 2023
LEMON GROVE— East County has a new Italian entry in AnniVenti La Trattoria, opened by three brothers and named after their family’s original restaurant in Palermo, Italy where the siblings once worked. The Gagliano’s menu starts with antipasti, including breaded burrata served with pistachio pesto and fried calamari, and extends to pizza, calzone, pasta like gnocchi alla Sorrentina and entrees ranging from roast chicken to filet mignon. 8099 Broadway.
MISSION BAY— The beachside Bahia Resort Hotel has unveiled an all-day waterfront restaurant whose nautical design provides a backdrop for California cuisine created by new executive chef Bryan Stuppy. Dockside 1953, named in honor of the resort’s founding 70 years ago, will launch a new lunch menu on May 15 and new brunch offerings on May 26,. Situated steps from the beach and the marina, with fire pits warming its outdoor patio, the menu includes rockfish ceviche, a grand seafood tower, steak au poivre, shrimp arrabbiata, and a local catch of the day provided by nearby TunaVille Market and Grocery. 998 W Mission Bay Drive.
OCEAN BEACH— The Shop, a popular pizzeria in Rancho Bernardo and one of Eater’s essential pizza spots, is now serving at its second location which focuses on wine from lesser-known regions available by the glass, flight, bottle, or to-go. Its full menu has transferred down, including its renowned deep-dish pies plus thin crust pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and handmade pasta. Open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Tuesdays, the restaurant and wine bar is hosting a grand opening party on May 20, with free slices of pizza for the first 200 guests and a raffle to win free pizza for a year. 1929 Cable Street.
MISSION VALLEY— Clairemont’s crowd-pleasing Cuban restaurant Havana Grill has opened a larger location at Westfield Mission Valley, where its menu of favorites includes classic dishes like ropa vieja, arroz con pollo as well as standout Cuban sandwiches. The new counter-service restaurant, which has a full bar, also holds a bakery where the family-owned establishment is making its own Cuban pastries and desserts. 1652 Camino Del Rio N.
PACIFIC BEACH— It’s Pudum is a new pickup-only shop that specializes in pudim, a traditional Brazilian dessert similar to flan. Taking online orders for its pudim in individual or family-sized portions, with flavor options like coconut and passion fruit, the buisiness also features other Brazilian desserts like quindim and brigadeirao. 1050 Hornblend Street.
MARCH 29, 2023
UNIVERSITY CITY— A newly-refreshed Mexican restaurant has landed at Campus Point by Alexandria. Casa is the latest restaurant to open under the umbrella of Bottle Boon, the hospitality company that took over operations of the nearby Green Acre in 2020 and has a highly-anticipated tapas restaurant and wine bar coming to North Park. Run by Dan Valerino and Joe Bower, with Bower leading all things culinary, its menu features tacos like al pastor and garlic shrimp rojo on flour tortillas from Gabriel Tortilleria in Sherman Heights and tortas sandwiched with shredded beef and ham or soyrizo and black bean as well as salads, sides, and homemade agua frescas. Currently open for lunch, it’ll eventually add extended hours, an espresso bar, and a margarita program. 4242 Campus Point Court.
SORRENTO VALLEY— Dot & Dough and Fika Fika Creamery have opened side-by-side at the new Mercato at Sorrento food hall. Both hailing from the LA area, Dot & Dough specializes in mochi doughnuts in flavors like rainbow taro and matcha white chocolate as well as made-to-order malasadas; both the doughnuts and malasadas can also come with fillings like taro, ube, and Belgian chocolate. The stand also offers coffee, boba drinks, and smoothies. Fika Fika Creamery’s artisanal scoops and pints are inspired by Asian ingredients and popular boba shop beverages, with flavors ranging from Hokkaido milk tea and brown sugar milk to young coconut ube and strawberry Pocky. 9450 Scranton Road.
KEARNY MESA— Just opened inside the food hall at H Mart Balboa, Jaws TPK is part of an immensely successful South Korean chain that focuses on street food. The stall is offering set menus that include tteokbokki, or spicy rice cake soup, paired with soondae and deep fried seafood and vegetables along with a wide variety of gimbap, seaweed rice rolls wrapped around fillings like tuna mayo, bulgogi, and fried shrimp. 7725 Balboa Avenue.
CARLSBAD— The newest arrival at the Forum Carlsbad shopping center is Kaiseki Sushi, a sushi and seafood restaurant from Wild Thyme Restaurant Group, which operates Kai Modern Japanese Bistro in Huntington Beach as well as Newport Beach’s Shorebird Coastal Eatery. Sushi chefs Tin Nguyen and Jon Kim (Nobu) are behind a menu that includes hot and cold appetizers and plates like tuna truffle tataki along with a wide selection of nigiri, sashimi, temaki (hand rolls), and signature rolls like the spicy yellowtail roll and shrimp crunchy roll. 1935 Calle Barcelona. Suite 172.
OCEANSIDE— Continuing its expansion in the San Diego area, the late-night pop-up turned mega-hit Dave’s Hot Chicken has a new spot that joins its existing locations in Pacific Beach, Encinitas, and Mira Mesa, El Cajon, and Escondido. Open at 11 a.m. daily and staying open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, the fast-casual restaurant serves up its famous chicken tenders and sandwiches in a range of heat levels. 4201 Oceanside Blvd., Suite A.
MARCH 9, 2023
CARLSBAD— The Grand Restaurant Group (Bellamy’s, Nick & G’s) has turned the former Ignite Bistro space into a new outpost of Alejandra’s Fine Mexican Food & Cantina. At 5,600-square-feet, the sprawling North County restaurant includes two bars and multiple indoor and outdoor seating areas where executive chef Diego Arriaga is doing a menu of traditional and modern Mexican cuisine that includes sea achiote-marinated whole fish and shrimp aguachile as well as chile-garlic skirt steak, chicken mole, and crispy duck. Alejandra’s just debuted a weekday happy hour that includes specials on margaritas as well as appetizers like fresh oysters, nachos, and tostadas. 6996 El Camino Real.
LA JOLLA— Urban Kitchen Group (Cucina Urbana, Gold Finch) has opened a garden cafe at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Called the Kitchen, the daytime spot offers a full-service menu that highlights the Mediterranean, ranging from Turkish-poached eggs and sweet and savory buckwheat crepes to swordfish kebabs and lamb bulger burgers. Later this spring, chef/partner Tim Kolanko and executive chef Jeff Armstrong will turn a private event space at the museum into a lunchtime pop-up featuring four-course tasting menus. 700 Prospect Street.
BARRIO LOGAN— Landing on Logan Avenue is Fish Guts, a seafood spot specializing in tacos made with locally-caught fish. Operating for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, its taco menu includes Baja-style fish, a twist on al pastor made with chile-marinated salmon, and coconut-crusted shrimp along with ceviche and smoked fish dip. There are also agave wine-based margaritas, like the Pepino Santo made with cucumber hoja santa syrup, and citrus. 2222 Logan Avenue.
UTC— LA’s Silverlake Ramen has launched its second San Diego location at Westfield UTC. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., the noodle shop is cooking up its signature ramen, including the Blaze, which has a spicy and creamy pork base, and its garlic truffle ramen. The menu extends to sushi rolls, rice bowls, and appetizers like gyoza and karaage. 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, E7.
UTC— Also new to Westfield UTC is Pazza Market & Cucina, an all-day Italian restaurant that includes a wine shop and marketplace selling gourmet goods as well as ready-made, take-home meals from its sit-down menu, which ranges from handmade pasta and sauces such as gemelli al pesto and pappardelle al funghi to pizza, soups, salads, and desserts. 4577 La Jolla Village Drive.
JANUARY 31, 2023
GASLAMP— A crowd-drawing NYC pizzeria with a controversial past, Prince Street Pizza is now baking up slices and whole pies of its signature Sicilian square pizzas like the Spicy Spring with fra diavolo sauce and spicy pepperoni and Neapolitan-style rounds as well as salads at its new downtown takeout shop that’s open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The store is now also accepting pickup orders as well as doing delivery through UberEats and Postmates. 415 Market Street.
POWAY— Ju Feng Yuan Dumpling Cafe is a recently-opened Chinese restaurant that specializes in a variety of dumplings including xiao long bao, or soup dumplings that come with assorted fillings like pork and chicken, as well as boiled dumplings, pan fried dumplings, won tons, and dessert dumplings shaped like cartoon characters. Open Wednesday through Monday for lunch and dinner, the cafe’s opening menu extends to chow mein, fried rice, and assorted entrees. 12265 Scripps Poway Pkwy Ste B109.
COLLEGE AREA— Located conveniently close to SDSU is a new Filipino food spot, Adobo House, that does a streamlined menu of burnt coconut rice bowls topped with a fried egg and a choice of chicken adobo, pork adobo, or bistek with caramelized onions with sides like adobo chicken wings, lumpia, and tortang talong, also known as eggplant omelet. 6784 El Cajon Blvd Ste J.
LITTLE ITALY— The latest addition to the Little Italy Food Hall, open daily at noon, is Sweet Petite Confections, a gourmet confectionery with another location in the Clairemont area. Chocolatier Michelle Lomelin has a background in fashion design, and creates unique treats like bonbons, caramels, chocolate barks, cookies, and more with seasonality in mind. 550 West Date Street, Suite B.
CARMEL VALLEY— The entire bean-to-bar process, from roasting cacao to tempering chocolate, is on display at Seabreeze Craft Chocolates where owner and chocolatier Jim Lantry holds chocolate-making classes and turns out single-origin chocolate bars, truffles, bonbons, and chocolate-nut spreads along with loose leaf tea made from cacao husks and ground cacao nibs. 3840 Valley Centre Drive, Suite 604.
JANUARY 3, 2023
BANKERS HILL— North Park Beer Co. has branched out with a new taproom and kitchen, open daily from 11 a.m. on, where the 24-tap bar is stocked with a large selection of the brewery’s beers including its award-winning Hop-Fu as well as guest beers, wine, hard kombucha, and cider. The full-service kitchen is serving up a brand new food menu that ranges from shareables like hand-cut French fries with beer cheese fondue and Thai-style or Buffalo chicken wings to salads and bun-based dishes like smashburgers, vegan burgers, and Nashville hot chicken sandwiches. 3095 Fifth Avenue.
KEARNY MESA— Convoy’s omakase sushi spot Hidden Fish has launched an adjacent restaurant called Hitokuchi, a sleek sake lounge featuring a menu split into raw bites like king crab and uni milk bread toast and amberjack crudo in yuzu ponzu and hot bites that include miso-sake Chilean sea bass with butter-dashi spinach, a rice bowl with Sichuan pepper broth-braised pork belly, and a creamy dish of lobster with Thai basil. 4764 Convoy Street.
PACIFIC BEACH— Mati’s Kitchen, a popular food truck from Southeast San Diego, has established its first storefront near the boardwalk. Mati’s Birria + Beer specializes in slow-braised Mexican birria, which is offered in tortas, tacos, quesadillas, flautas, and crunchwraps, with birria grilled cheese and birria chilaquiles available on weekends. There’s even a vegan version of birria made with mushrooms. The restaurant’s Taco Tuesday deals include two birria tacos for $5 and $5 Mexican lagers. 4150 Mission Boulevard.
LIBERTY STATION— The Sushi Stand is a recent addition to the Liberty Public Market, where it packs its specialty sushi rolls into convenient and portable boxes that are perfect for picnicking. Priced at $17.50, its popular rolls include the I See Fire roll with seared salmon and shrimp tempura and the Black and Yellow roll with spicy tuna, shishito tempura, and seared yellowtail. 2820 Historic Decatur Road.
SORRENTO VALLEY— Daru Indian Gastropub’s menu of street food and fusion dishes spans small plates like masala fries, fish and chips, and tandoori-grilled prawns as well as pizzas topped with paneer or chicken tikka. There’s also kati rolls, or paratha bread wraps featuring mutton, chicken, or chickpeas, along with homemade desserts like mango lassi and saffron ice cream. 9430 Scranton Road.