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Where to Get Lunch Downtown

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

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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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

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901 Bayfront Ct Suite 105
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 272-5060
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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.

2. Puesto at the Headquarters

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7079, 789 W Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 233-8880
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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.

3. Tender Greens

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110 West Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 795-2353
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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.

4. Freshii

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119 Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
(858) 380-4470
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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

5. Tacos el Cabron

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532 Fourth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 501-7752
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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.

6. Tocaya Organica - San Diego

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755 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 343-2898
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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

7. Curadero

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5101 1047 Fifth Avenue #100
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 515-3003
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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.

8. San Telmo Argentine Cafe

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531 Broadway suite b
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 255-9598

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.

9. Biga

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950 6th Ave C
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 794-0444
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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

10. Water Grill San Diego

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615 J St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 717-6992
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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

11. Veggilish

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USA, 1146 7th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 798-3381
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This vegetarian cafe specializes in salads, bowls, smoothies and other fresh and healthy items. Delivery and takeout is also available.

12. Lola 55

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1290 F St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 542-9155
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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

13. BESHOCK Ramen

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1288 Market St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 501-9612
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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

1. Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

901 Bayfront Ct Suite 105, San Diego, CA 92101

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.

901 Bayfront Ct Suite 105
San Diego, CA 92101

2. Puesto at the Headquarters

7079, 789 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

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.

7079, 789 W Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101

3. Tender Greens

110 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101

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.

110 West Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101

4. Freshii

119 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
Courtesy photo

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.

119 Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101

5. Tacos el Cabron

532 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

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.

532 Fourth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

6. Tocaya Organica - San Diego

755 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Tocaya Organica Viven Best/Day Dream Republic

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

755 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

7. Curadero

5101 1047 Fifth Avenue #100, San Diego, CA 92101

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.

5101 1047 Fifth Avenue #100
San Diego, CA 92101

8. San Telmo Argentine Cafe

531 Broadway suite b, San Diego, CA 92101

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.

531 Broadway suite b
San Diego, CA 92101

9. Biga

950 6th Ave C, San Diego, CA 92101
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.

950 6th Ave C
San Diego, CA 92101

10. Water Grill San Diego

615 J St, San Diego, CA 92101
water grill

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

615 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

11. Veggilish

USA, 1146 7th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

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

USA, 1146 7th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

12. Lola 55

1290 F St, San Diego, CA 92101
Sam Wells

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.

1290 F St
San Diego, CA 92101

13. BESHOCK Ramen

1288 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101
beshock sake

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.

1288 Market St
San Diego, CA 92101

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