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The Hottest Restaurants in San Diego Right Now, December 2014

Hotness awaits.

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More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have just one question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot and what to try. And while the Eater 38 is a great resource that covers old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it's not a chronicle of the 'it' places of the moment.

Thus, we offer the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to highlight the newest openings that are generating serious buzz. Let's see who made the list in the latest Heatmap update.

Know of a brand new restaurant with a good amount of heat that should be added to the list? Send us a tip!

12/4/14: Added: Yakitori Taisho, Stella Public House, Double Standard

11/6/14: Added: Kettner Exchange, Iron Pig Alehouse, S&M Sausage and Meat

10/4/14: Added: Panama 66, UnderBelly North Park

9/4/14: Added: Carnitas' Snack Shack, Bottega Americano, OB Warehouse

8/7/14: Added: Común Kitchen & Tavern, Table No. 10

7/3/14: Added: The Patio on Goldfinch, Don Chido, Rare Form, Florent, Bijou, Tacos Perla

6/5/14: Added: COOKBOOK Tavola Calda, Common Theory Public House

5/1/14: Added: Ironside Fish & Oyster, Tidal

04/03/14: Added: Eddie V's, The Flight Path, Stone Tap Room

03/06/14: Added: Juniper & Ivy, Jsix, Juke

02/06/14: Added: Croce's Park West, Blue Ocean, Encore Champagne Bar & Dining Room, Cafe La Rue, Lucky Liu's, ACME Southern Kitchen

01/02/14: Added: Brabant Bar & Cafe, SEA180° Coastal Tavern

12/05/13: Added: Pizzeria Mozza at The Headquarters, Puesto at The Headquarters, MARKET Del Mar

11/07/13: Added: BO-beau Kitchen + Garden; Ballast Point Tasting Room and Kitchen; Waypoint Public

10/03/13: Added: Fogo de Chao; CUCINA enoteca; American Voodoo

08/01/13: Added: Sea & Smoke; Searsucker Del Mar; Bang Bang

07/11/13: Added: Southpaw Social Club, Tender Greens Downtown, Blue Ribbon Artisan Kitchen, The Hake

06/06/13: Added: Salt & Cleaver, Magnolia Tap & Kitchen, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station

05/02/13: Added: Queenstown Public House, Hubcap.

04/04/13: Added: The Haven Pizzeria, Amaya La Jolla.

03/07/13: Added: Soda & Swine, Great Maple, Heights Tavern, Project Pie.

02/07/13: Added: Eclipse Chocolat, Buona Forchetta and Fathom Bistro.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. UnderBelly

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3000 Upas St
San Diego, CA 92104

North Park's the lucky recipient of UnderBelly's second act, a larger show-stopper (that patio's a stunner) that gives the eatery room to expand its ramen offerings and add yakitori that goes beyond the traditional.

2. Panama 66

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1460 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 702-6373

This craft beer and food oasis in Balboa Park (adjacent to the San Diego Museum of Art) was instantly beloved by fans of the owners' other spots, Blind Lady Ale House and Tiger!Tiger!, but is forging its own path with the additional of signature cocktails and new menu items.

3. Juniper & Ivy

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2228 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(858) 481-3666
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Six months after opening in Little Italy, it's safe to say that San Diego has embraced Richard Blais' local debut, which has maintained a steady buzz. Diners are now waiting for the chef to unleash his tasting menu.

4. Puesto

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789 W Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 233-8880
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Puesto's downtown eatery has become the breakaway hit of The Headquarters development, with a stunning design and a menu that's anchored by their justly-popular tacos, but offers much more to try.

5. The Patio on Goldfinch

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4020 Goldfinch St
San Diego, CA

The instant and ongoing popularity of this Mission Hills eatery, The Patio's second location, establishes this restaurant group as one to watch in San Diego. Bonus points for their very own cheese cave.

6. Bottega Americano

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1195 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 236-8397
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Eaters are flocking to the East Village for this sparkling new market/restaurant-hybrid that offers a choose-your-own-adventure dining experience, Italian-style.

7. Común Kitchen & Tavern

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935 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

Chad White's East Village eatery is a breath of fresh air, with a borderless menu that highlights regional ingredients through the chef's diverse culinary sensibilities. His monthly collaboration dinners with guest chefs have become some of the city's hottest tickets.

8. Ironside Fish & Oyster

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1654 India St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 269-3033
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his Little Italy hotspot may look like a movie set, mixing high design with irreverent whimsy, but the well-prepared seafood focused menu gives the restaurant a solid anchor. The cocktails, as per usual with these pros, a compulsively drinkable.

9. Don Chido

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527 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 232-8226

Chef Antonio Friscia and his crew are behind the appealing menu at this new modern Mexican eatery in the Gaslamp, where a custom made, wood powered Santa Maria grill is the centerpiece of the kitchen.

10. OB Warehouse

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4839 Newport Ave
San Diego, CA 92107
(619) 222-1700
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The Cohn Restaurant Group's latest offering in Ocean Beach has a vintage industrial design and an eclectic, globally-inspired menu that is resonating with diners.

11. Table No. 10

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369 10th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

This restaurant is helping to drive the East Village's progressive dining scene via chef/owner Jason Gethin's thoughtful menu that highlights his modern cooking sensibilities and deft craft cocktails from bar manager Cory Alberto.

12. Kettner Exchange

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2001 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 255-2001
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The grandest opening in San Diego's dining neighborhood of the moment is a splashy two level venue for eating and drinking the restaurant's "progressive American cuisine" and approachable yet thoughtful cocktails.

13. Iron Pig Alehouse

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1520 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 412-4299
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A fine dining chef with a pedigree in Texas barbecue takes on legit slow-cooked smoked meats in a modern Pacific Beach tavern that boasts 40 taps of craft beer.

14. S&M Sausage and Meat

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4130 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 344-2177

The team behind Slater's 50/50 goes beyond their burger borders with a brand new meat palace that skews toward the exotic. Find rabbit sliders, bacon dipped in white chocolate and house made sausages that include alligator andouille and bison chipotle.

15. Yakitori Taisho

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5185 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92117
858-752-0468

This cozy 15-seat slip of an eatery, kin to to Yakitori Yakyudori, specializes in chicken-centric yakitori; all the best parts, including liver, heart, skin and wings are grilled to perfection here, plus exemplary renditions of braised beef tongue and Butashiso, or pork belly with shiso leaf. The menu also includes a few appetizers but really, it's all about the delicious meat on sticks.

16. Stella Public House

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1429 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-0808
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East Village's latest food entry, by way of Texas, is a farm-to-table pizzeria with a slew of craft beer taps. It shares a roof with sister concept Halcyon, an all-day dining spot with coffee, casual food, cocktails and dessert.

1. UnderBelly

3000 Upas St, San Diego, CA 92104

North Park's the lucky recipient of UnderBelly's second act, a larger show-stopper (that patio's a stunner) that gives the eatery room to expand its ramen offerings and add yakitori that goes beyond the traditional.

3000 Upas St
San Diego, CA 92104

2. Panama 66

1460 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

This craft beer and food oasis in Balboa Park (adjacent to the San Diego Museum of Art) was instantly beloved by fans of the owners' other spots, Blind Lady Ale House and Tiger!Tiger!, but is forging its own path with the additional of signature cocktails and new menu items.

1460 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101

3. Juniper & Ivy

2228 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Six months after opening in Little Italy, it's safe to say that San Diego has embraced Richard Blais' local debut, which has maintained a steady buzz. Diners are now waiting for the chef to unleash his tasting menu.

2228 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

4. Puesto

789 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Puesto's downtown eatery has become the breakaway hit of The Headquarters development, with a stunning design and a menu that's anchored by their justly-popular tacos, but offers much more to try.

789 W Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101

5. The Patio on Goldfinch

4020 Goldfinch St, San Diego, CA

The instant and ongoing popularity of this Mission Hills eatery, The Patio's second location, establishes this restaurant group as one to watch in San Diego. Bonus points for their very own cheese cave.

4020 Goldfinch St
San Diego, CA

6. Bottega Americano

1195 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Eaters are flocking to the East Village for this sparkling new market/restaurant-hybrid that offers a choose-your-own-adventure dining experience, Italian-style.

1195 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

7. Común Kitchen & Tavern

935 J St, San Diego, CA 92101

Chad White's East Village eatery is a breath of fresh air, with a borderless menu that highlights regional ingredients through the chef's diverse culinary sensibilities. His monthly collaboration dinners with guest chefs have become some of the city's hottest tickets.

935 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

8. Ironside Fish & Oyster

1654 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

his Little Italy hotspot may look like a movie set, mixing high design with irreverent whimsy, but the well-prepared seafood focused menu gives the restaurant a solid anchor. The cocktails, as per usual with these pros, a compulsively drinkable.

1654 India St
San Diego, CA 92101

9. Don Chido

527 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Chef Antonio Friscia and his crew are behind the appealing menu at this new modern Mexican eatery in the Gaslamp, where a custom made, wood powered Santa Maria grill is the centerpiece of the kitchen.

527 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

10. OB Warehouse

4839 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107

The Cohn Restaurant Group's latest offering in Ocean Beach has a vintage industrial design and an eclectic, globally-inspired menu that is resonating with diners.

4839 Newport Ave
San Diego, CA 92107

11. Table No. 10

369 10th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

This restaurant is helping to drive the East Village's progressive dining scene via chef/owner Jason Gethin's thoughtful menu that highlights his modern cooking sensibilities and deft craft cocktails from bar manager Cory Alberto.

369 10th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

12. Kettner Exchange

2001 Kettner Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101

The grandest opening in San Diego's dining neighborhood of the moment is a splashy two level venue for eating and drinking the restaurant's "progressive American cuisine" and approachable yet thoughtful cocktails.

2001 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101

13. Iron Pig Alehouse

1520 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

A fine dining chef with a pedigree in Texas barbecue takes on legit slow-cooked smoked meats in a modern Pacific Beach tavern that boasts 40 taps of craft beer.

1520 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109

14. S&M Sausage and Meat

4130 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103

The team behind Slater's 50/50 goes beyond their burger borders with a brand new meat palace that skews toward the exotic. Find rabbit sliders, bacon dipped in white chocolate and house made sausages that include alligator andouille and bison chipotle.

4130 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92103

15. Yakitori Taisho

5185 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92117

This cozy 15-seat slip of an eatery, kin to to Yakitori Yakyudori, specializes in chicken-centric yakitori; all the best parts, including liver, heart, skin and wings are grilled to perfection here, plus exemplary renditions of braised beef tongue and Butashiso, or pork belly with shiso leaf. The menu also includes a few appetizers but really, it's all about the delicious meat on sticks.

5185 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92117

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16. Stella Public House

1429 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

East Village's latest food entry, by way of Texas, is a farm-to-table pizzeria with a slew of craft beer taps. It shares a roof with sister concept Halcyon, an all-day dining spot with coffee, casual food, cocktails and dessert.

1429 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

Related Maps