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Outdoor dining patio at Hello Betty in Oceanside Hello Betty/Facebook

Where to Dine Outdoors in San Diego

Find local restaurants with top-notch patios

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San Diego’s near-perfect weather makes the region a prime place for outdoor dining and local restaurants are taking full advantage of their patios or parklets to seat diners. But dining al fresco isn’t all the same across the county — some spots offer unparalleled views while others are renowned for premium people watching.

A number of San Diego restaurants have resumed both indoor and outdoor dining. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit San Diego’s coronavirus tracker. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with on-site dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Hello Betty

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211 Mission Ave
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 722-1008
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Oceanside’s answer to outdoor dining can be found at Hello Betty’s rooftop patio. Beach vibes are reflected in the decor as well as menu which focuses Baja and Southern California favorites like fish tacos and oysters.

2. Jeune et Jolie

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2659 State St
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 637-5266
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With new executive chef Eric Bost at the helm, the award-winning Carlsbad restaurant has reopened for outdoor dining on its charming extended patio space for “Starry Night”, Bost’s five-course prix fixe menu that changes every two weeks.

Starry Night dining patio at Jeune et Jolie in Carlsbad Courtesy photo

3. Valentina

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810 N Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 943-6686
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There’s a charming patio and solid wine list at this dinner restaurant in Encinitas. Early day fan favorites from the concise menu of modern European classics include steak frites, mussels al vino, and pulpo con papas

Street view of Valentina in Encinitas Valentina

4. Gravity Heights

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9920 Pacific Heights Blvd
San Diego, CA 92121
(858) 283-8206
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Sorrento Valley’s brewpub has a stellar outdoor garden complete with fire pits, abundant seating, and oversized games like Jenga and Connect Four, perfect for Sunday Funday. Food-wise executive chef Keith Voight does killer pizzas and dirty fries, among other bites. Drinks-wise, there’s kombucha, cider, wine, and of course beer, including a $10 Brewers Choice Flight.

Outdoor patio at Gravity Heights brewpub Haley Hill Photography

5. George's at the Cove

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1250 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-4244
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With its picture postcard views of La Jolla Cove, Scripps Pier and the bluffs at Torrey Pines, the aptly named Ocean Terrace at George’s is considered a quintessential dining San Diego experience. Whether it’s a light lunch, sundowners or even a special occasion dinner – the fish tacos never disappoint.

Ocean view at George’s Ocean Terrace George’s at the Cove

6. Mermaids & Cowboys

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1251 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 999-0205
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Mermaids and Cowboys is a newcomer in the restaurant scene and its patio game offers of La Jolla from its Prospect Street location. Currently the patio service is BYOB (bring your own blanket) as a spot to enjoy the restaurant’s sustainably caught seafood menu dishes alongside handcut steaks by Executive Chef Chris Barre.

Front patio at Mermaids & Cowboys in La Jolla Mermaids & Cowboys/Facebook

7. JRDN Restaurant

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723 Felspar St
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 270-2323
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Tower23’s signature restaurant focuses on seasonal California cuisine (plus Japanese and Baja influences) small plates here are designed to be shared family-style. The patio is the place to be for interrupted views of the boardwalk.

Oceanfront patio at JRDN at Tower23 Hotel Courtesy Photo

8. Kairoa Brewing Company

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4601 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 295-1355
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This Kiwi brew pub puts its rooftop bar to good use for folks looking to brunch, day drink, or catch their special five-course Sunset Supper series. The house beers and rotating guest taps are solid; food-wise try the fish and chips or New Zealand ‘cheese and seaboard’ with NZ brie and smoked sea bream.

Rooftop patio at Kairoa Brewing Company Haley Hill Photography

9. Fort Oak

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1011 Fort Stockton Dr
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 722-3398
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Reservations are still a hot commodity (especially on weekends) at Trust Group’s handsome restaurant and cocktail bar in Mission Hills so if you spaced booking ahead make a beeline for the outside patio. It’s a great spot for brunch or Monday night happy hour featuring $1 oysters all served with a side of people watching. 

Front dining patio at Fort Oak Paula Watts

10. Starlite

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3175 India St
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 358-9766
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The retro dining room at this midtown haunt has earned a slew of accolades (and fans) over the years, but the moodily lit back patio deserves some love of its own. When COVID restrictions are lifted, swing by for happy hour specials or catch the late-night menu (10 p.m. to 12 a.m., Sunday through Thursday) for cocktails and a Starlite burger.

Rooftop patio at Starlite bar Starlite

11. Mister A's

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2550 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 239-1377
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With wow-factor views and classic French and modern American cuisine, Mister A’s is a San Diego dining institution. But the iconic penthouse restaurant doesn’t have to be saved for special occasions. Get a taste of the high life during cocktail hour with drink specials and light bar bites on the patio, Sunday through Thursday.

Rooftop patio at Mister A’s Mister A’s

12. Carruth Cellars Wine Garden

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2215 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(858) 847-9463
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Share a bottle of wine and a build-your-own cheese board with friends on this darling wine garden lined with olive trees and decked out with string lights. Winemaker Adam Carruth’s Little Italy gem serves around 10 selections, including a Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir and Lake County Sauvignon Blanc. Can’t decide? Try a tasting flight. 

Outdoor patio at Carruth Cellars Carruth Cellars

13. Kettner Exchange

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2001 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 255-2001
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Anchored by a beautiful olive tree, KEX’s buzzy rooftop patio has plenty of seating - from benches to cabanas and non-traditional options (read: giant swing) for laid-back Sunday brunches and dressy evenings out.

Rooftop patio at Kettner Exchange Kettner Exchange

14. Born and Raised

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1909 India St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 202-4577
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It doesn’t get more glamorous in San Diego than sipping cocktails on the teak (and very sexy) rooftop at Consortium’s see-and-be-seen steakhouse. Come for drinks at the bar or dinner framed by San Diego skyline views. Side note: the coveted corner table up here is the best seat in the house.

The roooftop patio at Born & Raised is shown at nigh with columns made to look like trees with twinkling lights and a black and white striped floor. Chairs around circular tables have pink upholstery with brass legs. Zack Benson

15. SEA180

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800 Seacoast Dr
Imperial Beach, CA 91932
(619) 631-4949
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No other restaurant patio places the diner squarely between Downtown San Diego and the Mexican border, while still staying on by the shore. But Sea180 does just that while serving a fine dining menu filled with items like grilled Spanish octopus and shrimp enchiladas.

Beachfront patio at SEA180 Sea180/Facebook

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1. Hello Betty

211 Mission Ave, Oceanside, CA 92054

Oceanside’s answer to outdoor dining can be found at Hello Betty’s rooftop patio. Beach vibes are reflected in the decor as well as menu which focuses Baja and Southern California favorites like fish tacos and oysters.

211 Mission Ave
Oceanside, CA 92054

2. Jeune et Jolie

2659 State St, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Starry Night dining patio at Jeune et Jolie in Carlsbad Courtesy photo

With new executive chef Eric Bost at the helm, the award-winning Carlsbad restaurant has reopened for outdoor dining on its charming extended patio space for “Starry Night”, Bost’s five-course prix fixe menu that changes every two weeks.

2659 State St
Carlsbad, CA 92008

3. Valentina

810 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Street view of Valentina in Encinitas Valentina

There’s a charming patio and solid wine list at this dinner restaurant in Encinitas. Early day fan favorites from the concise menu of modern European classics include steak frites, mussels al vino, and pulpo con papas

810 N Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

4. Gravity Heights

9920 Pacific Heights Blvd, San Diego, CA 92121
Outdoor patio at Gravity Heights brewpub Haley Hill Photography

Sorrento Valley’s brewpub has a stellar outdoor garden complete with fire pits, abundant seating, and oversized games like Jenga and Connect Four, perfect for Sunday Funday. Food-wise executive chef Keith Voight does killer pizzas and dirty fries, among other bites. Drinks-wise, there’s kombucha, cider, wine, and of course beer, including a $10 Brewers Choice Flight.

9920 Pacific Heights Blvd
San Diego, CA 92121

5. George's at the Cove

1250 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Ocean view at George’s Ocean Terrace George’s at the Cove

With its picture postcard views of La Jolla Cove, Scripps Pier and the bluffs at Torrey Pines, the aptly named Ocean Terrace at George’s is considered a quintessential dining San Diego experience. Whether it’s a light lunch, sundowners or even a special occasion dinner – the fish tacos never disappoint.

1250 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037

6. Mermaids & Cowboys

1251 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Front patio at Mermaids & Cowboys in La Jolla Mermaids & Cowboys/Facebook

Mermaids and Cowboys is a newcomer in the restaurant scene and its patio game offers of La Jolla from its Prospect Street location. Currently the patio service is BYOB (bring your own blanket) as a spot to enjoy the restaurant’s sustainably caught seafood menu dishes alongside handcut steaks by Executive Chef Chris Barre.

1251 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037

7. JRDN Restaurant

723 Felspar St, San Diego, CA 92109
Oceanfront patio at JRDN at Tower23 Hotel Courtesy Photo

Tower23’s signature restaurant focuses on seasonal California cuisine (plus Japanese and Baja influences) small plates here are designed to be shared family-style. The patio is the place to be for interrupted views of the boardwalk.

723 Felspar St
San Diego, CA 92109

8. Kairoa Brewing Company

4601 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116
Rooftop patio at Kairoa Brewing Company Haley Hill Photography

This Kiwi brew pub puts its rooftop bar to good use for folks looking to brunch, day drink, or catch their special five-course Sunset Supper series. The house beers and rotating guest taps are solid; food-wise try the fish and chips or New Zealand ‘cheese and seaboard’ with NZ brie and smoked sea bream.

4601 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92116

9. Fort Oak

1011 Fort Stockton Dr, San Diego, CA 92103
Front dining patio at Fort Oak Paula Watts

Reservations are still a hot commodity (especially on weekends) at Trust Group’s handsome restaurant and cocktail bar in Mission Hills so if you spaced booking ahead make a beeline for the outside patio. It’s a great spot for brunch or Monday night happy hour featuring $1 oysters all served with a side of people watching. 

1011 Fort Stockton Dr
San Diego, CA 92103

10. Starlite

3175 India St, San Diego, CA 92103
Rooftop patio at Starlite bar Starlite

The retro dining room at this midtown haunt has earned a slew of accolades (and fans) over the years, but the moodily lit back patio deserves some love of its own. When COVID restrictions are lifted, swing by for happy hour specials or catch the late-night menu (10 p.m. to 12 a.m., Sunday through Thursday) for cocktails and a Starlite burger.

3175 India St
San Diego, CA 92103

11. Mister A's

2550 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Rooftop patio at Mister A’s Mister A’s

With wow-factor views and classic French and modern American cuisine, Mister A’s is a San Diego dining institution. But the iconic penthouse restaurant doesn’t have to be saved for special occasions. Get a taste of the high life during cocktail hour with drink specials and light bar bites on the patio, Sunday through Thursday.

2550 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

12. Carruth Cellars Wine Garden

2215 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Outdoor patio at Carruth Cellars Carruth Cellars

Share a bottle of wine and a build-your-own cheese board with friends on this darling wine garden lined with olive trees and decked out with string lights. Winemaker Adam Carruth’s Little Italy gem serves around 10 selections, including a Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir and Lake County Sauvignon Blanc. Can’t decide? Try a tasting flight. 

2215 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

13. Kettner Exchange

2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Rooftop patio at Kettner Exchange Kettner Exchange

Anchored by a beautiful olive tree, KEX’s buzzy rooftop patio has plenty of seating - from benches to cabanas and non-traditional options (read: giant swing) for laid-back Sunday brunches and dressy evenings out.

2001 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

14. Born and Raised

1909 India St, San Diego, CA 92101
The roooftop patio at Born & Raised is shown at nigh with columns made to look like trees with twinkling lights and a black and white striped floor. Chairs around circular tables have pink upholstery with brass legs. Zack Benson

It doesn’t get more glamorous in San Diego than sipping cocktails on the teak (and very sexy) rooftop at Consortium’s see-and-be-seen steakhouse. Come for drinks at the bar or dinner framed by San Diego skyline views. Side note: the coveted corner table up here is the best seat in the house.

1909 India St
San Diego, CA 92101

15. SEA180

800 Seacoast Dr, Imperial Beach, CA 91932
Beachfront patio at SEA180 Sea180/Facebook

No other restaurant patio places the diner squarely between Downtown San Diego and the Mexican border, while still staying on by the shore. But Sea180 does just that while serving a fine dining menu filled with items like grilled Spanish octopus and shrimp enchiladas.

800 Seacoast Dr
Imperial Beach, CA 91932

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