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A platter of raw oysters with lemon wedges and sauces.
Oysters at Sandpiper.
Crave Imagery

The Hottest Restaurants in San Diego, June 2022

The latest lineup includes newer additions to La Jolla and Mission Hills

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Oysters at Sandpiper.
| Crave Imagery

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? And while the restaurant industry is still being affected by the pandemic, new restaurants continue to persevere and are managing to open their doors to diners eager to get back to dining out.

Note: map points are not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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1. Valle Restaurant

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201 N Myers St
Oceanside, CA 92054

Chef Roberto Alcocer of the Valle de Guadalupe’s acclaimed Malva Cocina de Baja California has transported a taste of the region to Oceanside where his first stateside restaurant anchors the Mission Pacific hotel. Offering a four-course tasting menu as well as an a la carte option, the fine-dining restaurant features dishes straight from Malva’s menu, made with ingredients from Baja and Southern California. A new wine dinners series features prominent winemakers from the Valle.

A long banquette flanked by plants with a painting of the Valle de Guadalupe hanging on the wall behind it.
Dining room at Valle.
Kimberly Motos

2. Matsu

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626 S Tremont St
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 681-6152
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Chef William Eick’s fine dining take on modern Japanese cuisine, which started as a pop-up before opening in its own intimate space in Oceanside’s Tremont District, spotlights progressive dishes that combine Japanese technique with Southern California ingredients. Featuring elaborate multi-course menus, including an 11-course chef’s counter tasting, Matsu is now offering an eight-course vegan omakase option that can be requested when diners make a reservation.

A matcha ice cream waffle on a large dish.
A dessert course at Matsu.
Matsu

3. Vaga

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2100 N Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 452-3500
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Founding chef Claudette Zepeda’s deeply personal menu reflects the diversity of food the chef has discovered while living and cooking in her hometown of San Diego, with highlights like the crispy dan dan pastry and a lamb shank in pasilla curry. Zepeda has stepped away from the kitchen but will continue to collaborate with executive chef Ananda Bareño.

A circular pastry filled with seasoned ground meat in a sesame sauce.
Dan Dan pastry at Vaga.
Kimberly Motos

4. Waverly

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2005 San Elijo Ave
Cardiff, CA 92007
(760) 230-1682
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The first North County project for the group behind nighttime hot spots Kettner Exchange and the Grass Skirt, Waverly is a more relaxed restaurant that gives chef Brian Redizkowski the chance to create a daytime-focused menu that includes brunch plates, rice bowls, salads, and sandwiches.

5. Sky Deck

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3790 Townsgate Dr
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 793-5757
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Del Mar Highlands Town Center’s multi-restaurant collective spans a beer deck and central craft cocktail bar called Understory, plus other self-contained outposts from local favorites like Ambrogio15 (which introduced new pizzas and other dishes from a Michein-starred chef), KiinThai, and Le Parfait Paris as well as Bay Area transplant Marufuku Ramen.

Milano City of Gold pizza (Burrata, Saffron Bechamel, Breaded Veal Eye of Round Milanese Style, Bone Marrow, Raw Filet Mignon Tartare, Gremolata, 24k Gold Leaf).
Milano City of Gold pizza.
Ambrogio15

6. Qin West Noodle

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4353 La Jolla Village Dr Ste H30
San Diego, CA 92122
(858) 352-6219
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Drawing lines at peak meal times, this fast-casual Chinese transplant from the LA area landed at Westfield UTC bearing a quick-service menu that does serviceable versions of stir-fried classics, including chicken chow mein and beef fried rice, but excels more in its noodle-based regional specialties. Highlights range from noodles tossed with beef shank, pickled cabbage, peanuts, and lily flowers to cold dressed noodles with cucumber, and a beef noodle soup that can be customized with various noodle shapes.

People eating inside a modern restaurant.
Qin West Noodle UTC.
Candice Woo

7. Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill & Oysters

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2259 Avenida De La Playa
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 228-5655
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The George’s at the Cove team has replaced Galaxy Taco with a relaxed, upscale restaurant that brings fresh oysters to La Jolla Shores along with a flexible menu that includes wood-grilled meats like California squab, prime rib, and double-cut pork chops and accompanying sides.

A cocktail bar with an undersea mural on the back wall. Crave Imagery

8. Eastern Dynasty

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4690 Convoy St #109
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 836-1168
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Convoy Street has a Chinese restaurant addition that specializes in Cantonese cuisine with an extensive menu highlighted by barbecue meats, including roast duck and crispy skinned pork as well as fresh, live seafood ranging from whole steamed fish to lobster with ginger and scallion.

Plate of half a roast duck sliced from Eastern Dynasty.
Roast duck.
Candice Woo

9. Shancheng Lameizi

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4225 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111

The newest and fanciest hot pot restaurant to land in San Diego is part of well-known brand that has operating in China for more than two decades. Open daily for lunch and dinner, its specialty is spicy and numbing Sichuan hot pot, although milder broths are offered. Don’t miss the complimentary desserts, including freshly-fried sesame balls.

Tabletop hot pot with two different broths and plates of sliced meat. Candice Woo

10. La Clochette Du Coin

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4680 Cass St
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 412-5558
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This European-style cafe’s in-house bakery produces fresh-baked pastries and artisan breads that provide the foundation for an expanded menu that includes tartines, omelettes, salads and more in a charming, open-air atmosphere.

Two croissants garnished with a leaf-shaped cookie at La Clochette Du Coin. La Clochette Du Coin/Facebook

11. Swagyu Chop Shop & Burger - Pacific Beach

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966 Felspar St
San Diego, CA 92109

Chef Steve Brown has landed his wagyu beef butcher shop and burger combo in an expansive space in Pacific Beach. The recently-remodeled restaurant and bar now offers upscale dinner service (including his wagyu tasting menu experience) along with brunch.

Large patio filled with chairs and tables with a red sunshade overhead.
Swagyu Chop Shop & Burger
J.Dixx Photography

12. Wormwood

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4677 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 915-6706
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Celebrating absinthe and the spirit’s romantic history, this charming bistro and cocktail bar is earning early acclaim for its thoughtful menu, based on French classics refreshed with unexpected flavors and regional ingredients from Southern California and Baja.

A blue plate of sliced raw seafood in a chile sauce.
Scallop, octopus and kanpachi aguachile.
Arlene Ibarra

13. Wolf In The Woods

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1920 Fort Stockton Dr
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 234-2597
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Its Mission Hills neighbors are thrilled that this long-awaited restaurant has finally opened. The cozy, wine-focused space features a New Mexican-inspired design and serves an eclectic menu of snacks and tapas from executive chef Carmine Lopez (Great Maple) that includes yellowtail aguachile, harissa octopus, and citrus-cured salmon.

14. Tuetano Taqueria

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2548 Congress St
San Diego, CA 92110

After shuttering her original San Ysidro shop last fall, chef Priscilla Curiel is now cooking up her acclaimed birria at the Old Town Urban Market. With ample patio seating, the counter-service spot is serving up the spiced, slow-stewed beef in quesadillas, tortas, and her acclaimed birria tacos topped with roasted bone marrow.

A birria taco topped with bone marrow with consome and salsa on the side. Candice Woo

15. Menya Ultra Hillcrest

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690 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 782-9060
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Ramen master Takashi Endo’s latest noodle shop is the fresh spot for items like shio tonkotsu ajitama ramen, and Nagoya-style karaage. The Hillcrest location is also the only spot to feature his latest vegan versions of shio and miso ramen.

A bowl of ramen topped with mushrooms, green onions, and carrots at Menya Ultra in Hillcrest.
Vegan shio ramen
Menya Ultra

16. Verbena Kitchen

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3043 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 269-5776
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Veteran local chef Ronnie Schwandt’s first solo restaurant serves dinner Wednesday through Saturday as well as Sunday brunch. The cozy North Park spot’s current seasonal menu includes an ever-changing farmer’s market salad, Peruvian shrimp ceviche, and housemade cavatelli pasta with braised duck.

A tall creamy cocktail next to a plate of French toast with syrup being poured on top. Verbena Kitchen

17. Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado

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3302 32nd St
San Diego, CA 92104

After three years away, Grand Ole BBQ’s original spot in North Park is back and more grand than ever; the soaring space now features a larger patio along with an indoor dining area and bar. In addition to its accomplished Texas-style barbecue (and Argentine specialties on Sundays), the restaurant has expanded its menu to include more vegan options, sides, and desserts.

A casual dining room filled with picnic tables. Kimberly Motos

18. ARTIFACT at Mingei

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1439 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 704-7523
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The stunning renovation of the Mingei Museum includes sleek and modern new restaurant from well-established hospitality group behind Cucina Urbana. Situated among the museum’s collection, Artifact offers a transportive menu that spans the globe, with beautifully-presented dishes and accomplished cocktails. A new dinner experience, featuring a three course prix fixe menu or a la carte items is now offered on Thursday and Friday evenings. Rotating themes will correspond to the exhibits: April’s menu is inspired by Oaxaca.

A sleek and modern restaurant dining room and cocktail bar. Kimberly Motos

19. Juniper & Ivy

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2228 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 269-9036
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Recently honored as a James Beard Awards semifinalist in the Best Chef: California category, executive chef Anthony Wells has introduced several new dishes to the Little Italy restaurant’s spring menu including lamb meatballs with dill naan and white bean hummus, pork belly ravioli with snap peas, green garlic, and herb butter, and local halibut in a citrus vinaigrette with miso and sunflower seed crumble. Pastry chef Lindsay Sipress has also updated the signature “Yodel” dessert, which now features a dark chocolate base with cold brew “snow,” hazelnut brownie crumb, and dolce Frangelico ganache.

Three large ravioli on a plate with greens.
Pork belly ravioli.
Juniper & Ivy

20. Kingfisher

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2469 Broadway
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 432-1014
Visit Website

This long-awaited restaurant and bar is a welcome addition to Golden Hill, serving equally accomplished food and drinks inside a gleaming and elegant space. With classic Vietnamese cuisine as a starting point, the plates have been modernized by executive chef Jonathan Bautista while Asian flavors serve as inspiration for David Tye’s skillful cocktails.

A colorful dish of vegetables in curry sauce.
Sunchoke curry.
Kingfisher

21. Sovereign Thai Cuisine

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1460 J St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 310-5837
Visit Website

Located at the edge of Fault Line Park in the East Village, this Asian restaurant brings attention to Issan cuisine, the traditional food of the Thailand’s northeastern region. With partners that include alums of Thai Papaya and Sab-E-Lee, two local Thai standouts, its menu includes lesser-seen dishes like Thai-style fried chicken as well as curries, noodles, and more.

A plate of larb garnished with mint, chilies, and green onions at Sovereign Thai. Sovereign Thai/Facebook

22. Market on 8th

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41 E 8th St
National City, CA 91950
(619) 856-4538
Visit Website

South Bay’s thrilling food hall holds a diverse collection of cuisines, offering everything from Filipino, Thai, and Indonesian food to Southern barbecue. Built to service the local community and draw interested diners to downtown National City, the public market also houses a beer garden and tap station from Novo Brazil Brewing.

Exterior of building with Market on 8th sign. Kimberly Motos

1. Valle Restaurant

201 N Myers St, Oceanside, CA 92054
A long banquette flanked by plants with a painting of the Valle de Guadalupe hanging on the wall behind it.
Dining room at Valle.
Kimberly Motos

Chef Roberto Alcocer of the Valle de Guadalupe’s acclaimed Malva Cocina de Baja California has transported a taste of the region to Oceanside where his first stateside restaurant anchors the Mission Pacific hotel. Offering a four-course tasting menu as well as an a la carte option, the fine-dining restaurant features dishes straight from Malva’s menu, made with ingredients from Baja and Southern California. A new wine dinners series features prominent winemakers from the Valle.

201 N Myers St
Oceanside, CA 92054

2. Matsu

626 S Tremont St, Oceanside, CA 92054
A matcha ice cream waffle on a large dish.
A dessert course at Matsu.
Matsu

Chef William Eick’s fine dining take on modern Japanese cuisine, which started as a pop-up before opening in its own intimate space in Oceanside’s Tremont District, spotlights progressive dishes that combine Japanese technique with Southern California ingredients. Featuring elaborate multi-course menus, including an 11-course chef’s counter tasting, Matsu is now offering an eight-course vegan omakase option that can be requested when diners make a reservation.

626 S Tremont St
Oceanside, CA 92054

3. Vaga

2100 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
A circular pastry filled with seasoned ground meat in a sesame sauce.
Dan Dan pastry at Vaga.
Kimberly Motos

Founding chef Claudette Zepeda’s deeply personal menu reflects the diversity of food the chef has discovered while living and cooking in her hometown of San Diego, with highlights like the crispy dan dan pastry and a lamb shank in pasilla curry. Zepeda has stepped away from the kitchen but will continue to collaborate with executive chef Ananda Bareño.

2100 N Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

4. Waverly

2005 San Elijo Ave, Cardiff, CA 92007

The first North County project for the group behind nighttime hot spots Kettner Exchange and the Grass Skirt, Waverly is a more relaxed restaurant that gives chef Brian Redizkowski the chance to create a daytime-focused menu that includes brunch plates, rice bowls, salads, and sandwiches.

2005 San Elijo Ave
Cardiff, CA 92007

5. Sky Deck

3790 Townsgate Dr, San Diego, CA 92130
Milano City of Gold pizza (Burrata, Saffron Bechamel, Breaded Veal Eye of Round Milanese Style, Bone Marrow, Raw Filet Mignon Tartare, Gremolata, 24k Gold Leaf).
Milano City of Gold pizza.
Ambrogio15

Del Mar Highlands Town Center’s multi-restaurant collective spans a beer deck and central craft cocktail bar called Understory, plus other self-contained outposts from local favorites like Ambrogio15 (which introduced new pizzas and other dishes from a Michein-starred chef), KiinThai, and Le Parfait Paris as well as Bay Area transplant Marufuku Ramen.

3790 Townsgate Dr
San Diego, CA 92130

6. Qin West Noodle

4353 La Jolla Village Dr Ste H30, San Diego, CA 92122
People eating inside a modern restaurant.
Qin West Noodle UTC.
Candice Woo

Drawing lines at peak meal times, this fast-casual Chinese transplant from the LA area landed at Westfield UTC bearing a quick-service menu that does serviceable versions of stir-fried classics, including chicken chow mein and beef fried rice, but excels more in its noodle-based regional specialties. Highlights range from noodles tossed with beef shank, pickled cabbage, peanuts, and lily flowers to cold dressed noodles with cucumber, and a beef noodle soup that can be customized with various noodle shapes.

4353 La Jolla Village Dr Ste H30
San Diego, CA 92122

7. Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill & Oysters

2259 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037
A cocktail bar with an undersea mural on the back wall. Crave Imagery

The George’s at the Cove team has replaced Galaxy Taco with a relaxed, upscale restaurant that brings fresh oysters to La Jolla Shores along with a flexible menu that includes wood-grilled meats like California squab, prime rib, and double-cut pork chops and accompanying sides.

2259 Avenida De La Playa
La Jolla, CA 92037

8. Eastern Dynasty

4690 Convoy St #109, San Diego, CA 92111
Plate of half a roast duck sliced from Eastern Dynasty.
Roast duck.
Candice Woo

Convoy Street has a Chinese restaurant addition that specializes in Cantonese cuisine with an extensive menu highlighted by barbecue meats, including roast duck and crispy skinned pork as well as fresh, live seafood ranging from whole steamed fish to lobster with ginger and scallion.

4690 Convoy St #109
San Diego, CA 92111

9. Shancheng Lameizi

4225 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111
Tabletop hot pot with two different broths and plates of sliced meat. Candice Woo

The newest and fanciest hot pot restaurant to land in San Diego is part of well-known brand that has operating in China for more than two decades. Open daily for lunch and dinner, its specialty is spicy and numbing Sichuan hot pot, although milder broths are offered. Don’t miss the complimentary desserts, including freshly-fried sesame balls.

4225 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111

10. La Clochette Du Coin

4680 Cass St, San Diego, CA 92109
Two croissants garnished with a leaf-shaped cookie at La Clochette Du Coin. La Clochette Du Coin/Facebook

This European-style cafe’s in-house bakery produces fresh-baked pastries and artisan breads that provide the foundation for an expanded menu that includes tartines, omelettes, salads and more in a charming, open-air atmosphere.

4680 Cass St
San Diego, CA 92109

11. Swagyu Chop Shop & Burger - Pacific Beach

966 Felspar St, San Diego, CA 92109
Large patio filled with chairs and tables with a red sunshade overhead.
Swagyu Chop Shop & Burger
J.Dixx Photography

Chef Steve Brown has landed his wagyu beef butcher shop and burger combo in an expansive space in Pacific Beach. The recently-remodeled restaurant and bar now offers upscale dinner service (including his wagyu tasting menu experience) along with brunch.

966 Felspar St
San Diego, CA 92109

12. Wormwood

4677 30th St, San Diego, CA 92116
A blue plate of sliced raw seafood in a chile sauce.
Scallop, octopus and kanpachi aguachile.
Arlene Ibarra

Celebrating absinthe and the spirit’s romantic history, this charming bistro and cocktail bar is earning early acclaim for its thoughtful menu, based on French classics refreshed with unexpected flavors and regional ingredients from Southern California and Baja.

4677 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116

13. Wolf In The Woods

1920 Fort Stockton Dr, San Diego, CA 92103

Its Mission Hills neighbors are thrilled that this long-awaited restaurant has finally opened. The cozy, wine-focused space features a New Mexican-inspired design and serves an eclectic menu of snacks and tapas from executive chef Carmine Lopez (Great Maple) that includes yellowtail aguachile, harissa octopus, and citrus-cured salmon.

1920 Fort Stockton Dr
San Diego, CA 92103

14. Tuetano Taqueria

2548 Congress St, San Diego, CA 92110
A birria taco topped with bone marrow with consome and salsa on the side. Candice Woo

After shuttering her original San Ysidro shop last fall, chef Priscilla Curiel is now cooking up her acclaimed birria at the Old Town Urban Market. With ample patio seating, the counter-service spot is serving up the spiced, slow-stewed beef in quesadillas, tortas, and her acclaimed birria tacos topped with roasted bone marrow.

2548 Congress St
San Diego, CA 92110

15. Menya Ultra Hillcrest

690 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
A bowl of ramen topped with mushrooms, green onions, and carrots at Menya Ultra in Hillcrest.
Vegan shio ramen
Menya Ultra

Ramen master Takashi Endo’s latest noodle shop is the fresh spot for items like shio tonkotsu ajitama ramen, and Nagoya-style karaage. The Hillcrest location is also the only spot to feature his latest vegan versions of shio and miso ramen.

690 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

Related Maps

16. Verbena Kitchen

3043 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
A tall creamy cocktail next to a plate of French toast with syrup being poured on top. Verbena Kitchen

Veteran local chef Ronnie Schwandt’s first solo restaurant serves dinner Wednesday through Saturday as well as Sunday brunch. The cozy North Park spot’s current seasonal menu includes an ever-changing farmer’s market salad, Peruvian shrimp ceviche, and housemade cavatelli pasta with braised duck.

3043 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

17. Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado

3302 32nd St, San Diego, CA 92104
A casual dining room filled with picnic tables. Kimberly Motos

After three years away, Grand Ole BBQ’s original spot in North Park is back and more grand than ever; the soaring space now features a larger patio along with an indoor dining area and bar. In addition to its accomplished Texas-style barbecue (and Argentine specialties on Sundays), the restaurant has expanded its menu to include more vegan options, sides, and desserts.

3302 32nd St
San Diego, CA 92104

18. ARTIFACT at Mingei

1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
A sleek and modern restaurant dining room and cocktail bar. Kimberly Motos

The stunning renovation of the Mingei Museum includes sleek and modern new restaurant from well-established hospitality group behind Cucina Urbana. Situated among the museum’s collection, Artifact offers a transportive menu that spans the globe, with beautifully-presented dishes and accomplished cocktails. A new dinner experience, featuring a three course prix fixe menu or a la carte items is now offered on Thursday and Friday evenings. Rotating themes will correspond to the exhibits: April’s menu is inspired by Oaxaca.

1439 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101

19. Juniper & Ivy

2228 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Three large ravioli on a plate with greens.
Pork belly ravioli.
Juniper & Ivy

Recently honored as a James Beard Awards semifinalist in the Best Chef: California category, executive chef Anthony Wells has introduced several new dishes to the Little Italy restaurant’s spring menu including lamb meatballs with dill naan and white bean hummus, pork belly ravioli with snap peas, green garlic, and herb butter, and local halibut in a citrus vinaigrette with miso and sunflower seed crumble. Pastry chef Lindsay Sipress has also updated the signature “Yodel” dessert, which now features a dark chocolate base with cold brew “snow,” hazelnut brownie crumb, and dolce Frangelico ganache.

2228 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

20. Kingfisher

2469 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92102
A colorful dish of vegetables in curry sauce.
Sunchoke curry.
Kingfisher

This long-awaited restaurant and bar is a welcome addition to Golden Hill, serving equally accomplished food and drinks inside a gleaming and elegant space. With classic Vietnamese cuisine as a starting point, the plates have been modernized by executive chef Jonathan Bautista while Asian flavors serve as inspiration for David Tye’s skillful cocktails.

2469 Broadway
San Diego, CA 92102

21. Sovereign Thai Cuisine

1460 J St, San Diego, CA 92101
A plate of larb garnished with mint, chilies, and green onions at Sovereign Thai. Sovereign Thai/Facebook

Located at the edge of Fault Line Park in the East Village, this Asian restaurant brings attention to Issan cuisine, the traditional food of the Thailand’s northeastern region. With partners that include alums of Thai Papaya and Sab-E-Lee, two local Thai standouts, its menu includes lesser-seen dishes like Thai-style fried chicken as well as curries, noodles, and more.

1460 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

22. Market on 8th

41 E 8th St, National City, CA 91950
Exterior of building with Market on 8th sign. Kimberly Motos

South Bay’s thrilling food hall holds a diverse collection of cuisines, offering everything from Filipino, Thai, and Indonesian food to Southern barbecue. Built to service the local community and draw interested diners to downtown National City, the public market also houses a beer garden and tap station from Novo Brazil Brewing.

41 E 8th St
National City, CA 91950

Related Maps