With one of San Diego’s most varied dining scenes, La Jolla’s restaurants offer everything from shrimp Po Boy sandwiches to street tacos to the finest dining in town. Here are some of the best places to eat west of “the 5” in La Jolla and Bird Rock.Read More
Where to Eat in La Jolla
One of San Diego’s most varied dining scenes has something for everyone
1. Galaxy Taco
Galaxy Taco has an expansive Mexican menu that hinges on quality ingredients. What many might not know is that the restaurant makes its masa from heirloom blue corn from Oaxacan farms that is then nixtamalized in-house—laborious sourcing that is unique to Galaxy Taco.
2. The Marine Room
One of La Jolla’s crown jewel destinations for a special night out, The Marine Room specializes in upscale seafood and is famed for its glass-walled dining room that juts out into the water so much that waves crash on it during high tide.
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3. Cusp Dining & Drinks
Cusp’s Ingrid Funes, who has been at the helm for a few years now, presents a globally-inspired finer dining menu that draws from the bounty of San Diego’s farms and waters.
4. George's at the Cove
One of the clear mainstays of La Jolla dining is the juggernaut that is George’s—at once an upscale craft cocktail bar, fine dining destination restaurant and casual outdoor spot with sprawling views.
5. Sicilia Bella
Sicilia Bella doubles as a market and down-home Italian cooking restaurant—guests love both their take-out and fresh pasta dine-in options.
6. NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar
Another mainstay of La Jolla’s dining scene is Nine-Ten, which in addition to boasting some of the best fine dining in San Diego also has one of the best wine lists.
7. Whisknladle Bistro & Bar
With a varied menu hitting all different types of cuisines from around the globe, Whisknladle specializes in approachable, quality cooking with a menu that offers someone for everyone. Guests particularly love the fried chicken sandwich.
8. Puesto La Jolla
The La Jolla outpost of Puesto is a bit smaller than some of the others but packs the same punch in offering quality Mexican food with inventive, modern twists. Lesser-known is that they have recently ramped up their dessert options.
Catania serves a variety of Italian dishes from crudos to pizzas in a beautiful indoor-outdoor rooftop perch with ocean views.
10. Parakeet Cafe
Healthy is the word at Parakeet Cafe, where smoothies, health-oriented breakfast foods and other delights can be had in a very Instagram-friendly environment.
11. Isola Pizza Bar
Neapolitan-style pizza is the main draw at Isola’s multiple locations, but regulars know their rotating pasta specials are also well worth a try. The restaurant also imports wine made in Italy by the owner’s family.
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12. The Cottage La Jolla
If you know, then you know. Breakfast and brunch is the name of the game at this extremely popular and cozy restaurant in downtown La Jolla.
Omakase is the specialty of Himitsu’s chef, who is a longtime protege of his counterparts at Sushi Ota. A more casual a la carte menu is available for those who sit on the outdoor patio.
14. Trilogy Sanctuary
Vegan and vegetarian food are served in a beautiful rooftop environment at Trilogy Sanctuary. Come for a yoga class and make sure to stay for the food afterwards.
15. Sugar and Scribe Bakery
Breakfast, lunch and takeout baked goods make up the menu at Sugar and Scribe, which is extremely popular during breakfast and lunch hours. It’s worth a visit even just to peruse the various baked goods made fresh every day.
16. El Pescador Fish Market
As the name implies, El Pescador doubles as a fish market and sit-down restaurant. Everything from grilled fish to poke to grilled clams is not only on the menu but also made to perfection.
17. The Taco Stand
TJ-style street taco spot The Taco Stand’s original location continues to be a smash hit in La Jolla. First-timers should go for the adobada wrapped in a fresh corn tortilla.
18. The Promiscuous Fork
Sandwiches, burgers and Southern food are what’s on the menu at this decadent lunch restaurant. Pro-tip: call ahead to place an order as it can get crowded come lunch time.
19. Wayfarer Bread & Pastry
The best of the best of San Diego’s baking scene is in Bird Rock, where Crystal White owns and operates Wayfarer. Far beyond baked goods, which are excellent, Wayfarer also hosts a breakfast and lunch menu alongside a weekly pizza night.