clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Where to Get Lunch Downtown

Looking for tacos or an upscale power lunch? This list covers it all

View as Map

Downtown San Diego is flush with dining options, but not all of them pass muster. It can be confusing to know which is better-suited for tourists and which will satiate a hungry downtown office worker, so here are 13 downtown eateries that satisfy everything from power lunches to street tacos.

Read More
Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

Copy Link

Long an East Coast staple, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse recently landed its first West Coast location in San Diego. It is for a very specific kind of lunching: expensive and of the power-kind. Those with deep pockets, a love for steak and/or a corporate card can hardly do better than a working lunch at this high-end steakhouse chain restaurant.

Puesto at the Headquarters

Copy Link

Tucked away in the Headquarters is Puesto’s downtown location, which is just as good for takeout as it is for dining in and having a boozy lunch. Ample indoor and outdoor seating compliment its street taco-heavy menu.

Tender Greens

Copy Link

Ask anyone what their favorite to-go lunch spot in San Diego is and it’s likely a lot of “Tender Greens” will pop up. The popular fast casual chain specializes in a variety of proteins, vegetables and salads on a mixed plate.

Freshii

Copy Link

Canadian fast-casual healthy brand Freshii recently entered the San Diego market with a sprawling menu of signature and customizable bowls, burritos, salads, wraps, soups, smoothies and juices as well as frozen yogurt and breakfast. The eatery also offers pre-packaged daily meal boxes and has multiple delivery options.

Courtesy photo

Tacos el Cabron

Copy Link

Tacos el Cabron was opened by an Argentine man who had spent five years living in Tijuana eating and loving tacos before opening up shop in San Diego. Favorites include anything with shrimp—be it a shrimp taco or a surf and turf with carne asada, and for vegetarians, the portobello taco is a hit. The adobada is also popular, as is the classic carne asada.

Tocaya Organica - San Diego

Copy Link

This Los Angeles Mexican chain restaurant offering tacos, burritos, salads and bowls recently opened downtown with a variety of delivery options, to boot.

Tocaya Organica Viven Best/Day Dream Republic

Curadero

Copy Link

Curadero’s sit-down restaurant is well worth a visit for those craving Mexican food, but for workers on-the-go who want something faster, their taco window is ideal for lunch time.

San Telmo Argentine Cafe

Copy Link

Opened in 2018 is San Telmo Argentine Cafe, which serves Argentinian sandwiches and empanadas in a casual storefront—ideal for grabbing-and-going or sitting down at one of the many tables in the back of the restaurant.

Italian hotspot Biga offers a pared-down menu for lunch-goers that includes two highlights: a stacked pizza menu and build-your-own-pasta made with fresh pasta.

Biga

Water Grill San Diego

Copy Link

Upscale seafood lovers can take their working lunches to Water Grill, which is a mainstay of San Diego’s upscale downtown dining scene.

water grill

Veggilish

Copy Link

This vegetarian cafe specializes in salads, bowls, smoothies and other fresh and healthy items. Delivery and takeout is also available.

Lola 55

Copy Link

Fast-casual-yet-upscale Mexican joint Lola 55 recently opened in the IDEA1 building and, with its counter-only service and stylish seating, is deal for lunchtime taco dining.

Sam Wells

BESHOCK Ramen

Copy Link

BESHOCK pulls double duty as a ramen shop and a sake bar, with impressive options on both sides of the menu thanks to sake master and owner Ayaka Ito. Her broth is made from a lighter, proprietary mix of pork, chicken and vegetables simmered for 10 hours. There are chicken and soy-based ramens, as well.

beshock sake

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

Long an East Coast staple, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse recently landed its first West Coast location in San Diego. It is for a very specific kind of lunching: expensive and of the power-kind. Those with deep pockets, a love for steak and/or a corporate card can hardly do better than a working lunch at this high-end steakhouse chain restaurant.

Puesto at the Headquarters

Tucked away in the Headquarters is Puesto’s downtown location, which is just as good for takeout as it is for dining in and having a boozy lunch. Ample indoor and outdoor seating compliment its street taco-heavy menu.

Tender Greens

Ask anyone what their favorite to-go lunch spot in San Diego is and it’s likely a lot of “Tender Greens” will pop up. The popular fast casual chain specializes in a variety of proteins, vegetables and salads on a mixed plate.

Freshii

Canadian fast-casual healthy brand Freshii recently entered the San Diego market with a sprawling menu of signature and customizable bowls, burritos, salads, wraps, soups, smoothies and juices as well as frozen yogurt and breakfast. The eatery also offers pre-packaged daily meal boxes and has multiple delivery options.

Courtesy photo

Tacos el Cabron

Tacos el Cabron was opened by an Argentine man who had spent five years living in Tijuana eating and loving tacos before opening up shop in San Diego. Favorites include anything with shrimp—be it a shrimp taco or a surf and turf with carne asada, and for vegetarians, the portobello taco is a hit. The adobada is also popular, as is the classic carne asada.

Tocaya Organica - San Diego

This Los Angeles Mexican chain restaurant offering tacos, burritos, salads and bowls recently opened downtown with a variety of delivery options, to boot.

Tocaya Organica Viven Best/Day Dream Republic

Curadero

Curadero’s sit-down restaurant is well worth a visit for those craving Mexican food, but for workers on-the-go who want something faster, their taco window is ideal for lunch time.

San Telmo Argentine Cafe

Opened in 2018 is San Telmo Argentine Cafe, which serves Argentinian sandwiches and empanadas in a casual storefront—ideal for grabbing-and-going or sitting down at one of the many tables in the back of the restaurant.

Biga

Italian hotspot Biga offers a pared-down menu for lunch-goers that includes two highlights: a stacked pizza menu and build-your-own-pasta made with fresh pasta.

Biga

Water Grill San Diego

Upscale seafood lovers can take their working lunches to Water Grill, which is a mainstay of San Diego’s upscale downtown dining scene.

water grill

Veggilish

This vegetarian cafe specializes in salads, bowls, smoothies and other fresh and healthy items. Delivery and takeout is also available.

Lola 55

Fast-casual-yet-upscale Mexican joint Lola 55 recently opened in the IDEA1 building and, with its counter-only service and stylish seating, is deal for lunchtime taco dining.

Sam Wells

BESHOCK Ramen

BESHOCK pulls double duty as a ramen shop and a sake bar, with impressive options on both sides of the menu thanks to sake master and owner Ayaka Ito. Her broth is made from a lighter, proprietary mix of pork, chicken and vegetables simmered for 10 hours. There are chicken and soy-based ramens, as well.

beshock sake

Related Maps