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Here Are 11 of San Diego's Most Definitive Meat Dishes

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We're kicking off The Five Days of Meat with a rundown of some of San Diego's most iconic meat dishes. From longtime favorites to instant classics, this list represents some of the best expressions of meat on a plate that can be found locally.

Suggestions came in from Eater readers, friends of Eater, and Eater's own in-house meat lovers and run the gamut from raw beef to burgers, pork ribs and chicken soup.

Do yourself a solid this week and use The Five Days of Meat map as an eating guide for your very own protein-a-palooza. And add your ultimate meat dishes in the comments!

[Sab-E-Lee's Koy Nua/mmm-yoso's Flickr]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Aqui es Texcoco

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Specialist in barbacoa-style lamb, this Chula Vista eatery is revered for its savory barbecue platters and tacos featuring every cut of the animal, from lean and rib meat to tripe; go for the gusto and get a lamb head to share.

Juniper & Ivy

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The menu at this restaurant of the moment changes day to day, but a dish that's become a staple (with good reason) is their carne cruda asada, a crusty slab of toast slathered generously with cotija cheese and jalapeno-spiked beef tartare, topped with a parade of sunny-side up quail eggs.

Carnitas' Snack Shack

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Carnitas' Snack Shack knows a thing or two about meat, just ask the crowds that line up for their pork and beef-centric creations. The signature sandwich, The Triple Threat is a dangerously delicious combo of pulled pork, applewood-smoked bacon and a pork schniztel.

Coop's West Texas BBQ

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Owner Brad Cooper is a pro at smoking everything from brisket to chicken and hot links, but his pork rib tips, the juicy, meaty and cartilaginous ends of each slab, might just be the best thing to eat at this West Texas BBQ joint. On Tuesdays, a pound of tips goes for $9.99.

A.R. Valentien

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Perfection on a plate might just be this farm-to-table temple's charcuterie platter, which holds a slice each of expertly executed chicken liver pâté, short rib terrine and duck and pistachio pâté, plus accompanying housemade sauces and pickles.

Hodad's

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Guy Fieri made the lines here longer than ever, but locals still swear by the iconic bacon cheeseburger with its crisp bacon patty, which you can get at the OG Ocean Beach location or at their downtown and Petco Park outposts.

Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop

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A full-service butcher shop that hand-cuts steaks helps separate this East Village steakhouse from the pack but Eater readers say that the bison burger, available at lunch, is the standout. The house-ground bison patty is topped with white cheddar, roasted Anaheim peppers and cumin mayo.

Lourdes Mexican Food

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Eater readers swear that the homemade chicken soup, loaded with rice, avocado and cilantro, will cure whatever ails you. This Mexican family-owned eatery, with two locations in Escondido and an outpost in Cardiff, sells hundreds of bowls of the soup each day.

Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar

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Executive chef Jason Knibb's signature dish, his Jamaican jerk pork, helped introduce molecular cookery to San Diego diners and showed how it can elevate the dish when done thoughtfully. The thin sheets of spicy pepper gelatin that melt over crispy cubes of pork belly help to temper the richness of the meat.

CUCINA urbana

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Readers raved about the short rib pappardelle and the bucatini all'amatriciana at this popular Italian-inspired eatery, but dish that everyone holds dearest to their hearts in the giant meatball, a shareable red sauced sphere that's a must-order meat addition for the table.

The Original Sab-E-Lee

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There's a lot to get addicted to at this Linda Vista gem (with outposts in Santee and Rancho Penasquitos), but no dish is as hard to quit as their koy nua, or raw spicy beef, a fiery mix of beef "cooked" in lime juice with texture from raw onions, garlic and nubbins of roasted rice powder.

Aqui es Texcoco

Specialist in barbacoa-style lamb, this Chula Vista eatery is revered for its savory barbecue platters and tacos featuring every cut of the animal, from lean and rib meat to tripe; go for the gusto and get a lamb head to share.

Juniper & Ivy

The menu at this restaurant of the moment changes day to day, but a dish that's become a staple (with good reason) is their carne cruda asada, a crusty slab of toast slathered generously with cotija cheese and jalapeno-spiked beef tartare, topped with a parade of sunny-side up quail eggs.

Carnitas' Snack Shack

Carnitas' Snack Shack knows a thing or two about meat, just ask the crowds that line up for their pork and beef-centric creations. The signature sandwich, The Triple Threat is a dangerously delicious combo of pulled pork, applewood-smoked bacon and a pork schniztel.

Coop's West Texas BBQ

Owner Brad Cooper is a pro at smoking everything from brisket to chicken and hot links, but his pork rib tips, the juicy, meaty and cartilaginous ends of each slab, might just be the best thing to eat at this West Texas BBQ joint. On Tuesdays, a pound of tips goes for $9.99.

A.R. Valentien

Perfection on a plate might just be this farm-to-table temple's charcuterie platter, which holds a slice each of expertly executed chicken liver pâté, short rib terrine and duck and pistachio pâté, plus accompanying housemade sauces and pickles.

Hodad's

Guy Fieri made the lines here longer than ever, but locals still swear by the iconic bacon cheeseburger with its crisp bacon patty, which you can get at the OG Ocean Beach location or at their downtown and Petco Park outposts.

Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop

A full-service butcher shop that hand-cuts steaks helps separate this East Village steakhouse from the pack but Eater readers say that the bison burger, available at lunch, is the standout. The house-ground bison patty is topped with white cheddar, roasted Anaheim peppers and cumin mayo.

Lourdes Mexican Food

Eater readers swear that the homemade chicken soup, loaded with rice, avocado and cilantro, will cure whatever ails you. This Mexican family-owned eatery, with two locations in Escondido and an outpost in Cardiff, sells hundreds of bowls of the soup each day.

Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar

Executive chef Jason Knibb's signature dish, his Jamaican jerk pork, helped introduce molecular cookery to San Diego diners and showed how it can elevate the dish when done thoughtfully. The thin sheets of spicy pepper gelatin that melt over crispy cubes of pork belly help to temper the richness of the meat.

CUCINA urbana

Readers raved about the short rib pappardelle and the bucatini all'amatriciana at this popular Italian-inspired eatery, but dish that everyone holds dearest to their hearts in the giant meatball, a shareable red sauced sphere that's a must-order meat addition for the table.

The Original Sab-E-Lee

There's a lot to get addicted to at this Linda Vista gem (with outposts in Santee and Rancho Penasquitos), but no dish is as hard to quit as their koy nua, or raw spicy beef, a fiery mix of beef "cooked" in lime juice with texture from raw onions, garlic and nubbins of roasted rice powder.

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