Best Restaurants and Bars in San Diego

best-restaurants-bars-in-san-diego

Looking for the newest and best restaurants and bars in San Diego? Look no further than this list! We feature the latest and greatest restaurants and bars in San Diego, so you can be sure you’re always up-to-date on the hottest new spots or some older favorites.

If you think your restaurant or bar has what it takes to be featured on this list, please send us a detailed message here. There are no guarantees, but we’ll definitely come to try out your establishment! So what are you waiting for? Send us your restaurant or bar’s information today!

Best Restaurants & Bars in Little Italy

Best Restaurants & Bars in Ocean Beach

Best Restaurants & Bars in Mission Beach

Best Restaurants & Bars in Del Mar

Best Restaurants & Bars in Solana Beach

Best Restaurants & Bars in Encinitas

Best Restaurants & Bars in Cardiff

Best Restaurants & Bars in Oceanside

Best Restaurants & Bars in Carlsbad

Best Restaurants & Bars in Downtown San Diego / Bankers Hill

Best Restaurants & Bars in North Park & Mission Hills

Best Cocktail Bar in La Jolla – UTC Area

Best Cocktail Bar in Leucadia

1- Born & Raised

Opulence is abundant at Bone & Raised where mid-century art deco mixes with black and white photos of rap legends to create an elegant but edgy vibe. This upscale steakhouse is known for their dry-aged steaks and table side cart service. The 22oz Bone-In Ribeye is a must. Their open-air rooftop bar with spectacular views of Little Italy hosts happy hour weekdays from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. Dinner is served nightly with reservations highly recommended.

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2- Camino Riviera (Tulum-Inspired)

With dishes such as Whole Crispy Local Tilefish, Sonoma Lamb Shoulder Barbacoa, and Porkchop Anticucho, Camino Riviera specializes in one-of-a-kind Mexican cuisine with flavors straight from the Yucatan Coast. Inspired cocktails and an exotic ambience further evoke the Riviera Maya. Dinner is served nightly Tuesdays through Sundays until 10:00pm. The lounge remains open until 1:00am for late night fun. I recommend getting there before 10:30pm as the line can be quite long to get in on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

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3- Ironside

Little Italy was built by the fishing industry, and Ironside Fish & Oyster continues that story with its nautical decorations and fresh fish. Diners rave about their lobster rolls, Ironside seafood platters, and of course, the oysters. Open daily for lunch and dinner, it is located in a revamped historic warehouse.

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4- Morning Glory

With its kitschy pink and green décor and champagne vending machine, Morning Glory brings brunch to a whole new level with innovative dishes and cocktails. Morning Glory Fried Rice, Soufflé Pancakes, and Breakfast Dim Sum are standouts on the menu. Open daily at 8:00am, they accept walk-ins only.

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5- False Idol

Down a cool tunnel, in the back of Craft and Commerce, you will find False Idol, a hidden Tiki speakeasy. Slinging a variety of island themed cocktails, discover classics like the Mai Tai and the Painkiller along with the lesser known but just as potent Sidewinder’s Fang and Doctor Funk. A ceiling of colorful lanterns adds to the party feel. Open nightly from 5:00pm to midnight. Reservations are accepted.

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6- Seneca

Located on the 19th floor rooftop of the InterContinental Hotel with stunning views of the downtown bayfront, Seneca is a Roman Trattoria serving traditional Italian dishes including wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta. Try the mozzarella hand formed table side. Indoor and outdoor seating is available with an inviting and warm ambiance. Cocktails are categorized as Spritz, Long, Fix, Gin Down, and Whiskey & Agave Down. Serving lunch and dinner, reservations are strongly suggested.

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7- The Reading Club (Membership or special invite required)

The Reading Club is a private social club located on the rooftop of the InterContinental Hotel in downtown San Diego. Members enjoy their own restaurant and bar, outside terrace, meeting rooms, a wine vault, a library, and use of the gym and pool at the hotel. If you are interested in tantalizing conversations where each person learns from the other and value good food, good books, good work, relaxation, and relationships, then membership at The Reading Club is for you.

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8- Kettner Exchange

The award winning Kettner Exchange is named after San Diego’s founder William Kettner. Boasting two floors of indoor and outdoor dining, Kettner Exchange’s menu offers progressive small plates meant to be shared. Sonoma Lamb Szechuan Noodles, Spicy Shrimp, and Roasted Chinese Eggplant are crowd favorites. Rooftop cabanas are available for a more private dining experience, and special events include the coveted Chef’s Table with a multi-course dinner paired with amazing wines. Open for dinner every night except Monday with brunch on Sundays.

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9- Wolfie’s Carousel Bar

The centerpiece of Wolfie’s is an intricately designed rotating bar fashioned after an 18th century carousel. Instead of wooden horses, the bar is surrounded by plush seats which make a full rotation every 14 minutes. It’s plenty of time to enjoy a French cocktail, champagne, or wine. Their Parisian inspired menu features quintessential staples Escargot, Steak Frites, and Coq Au Vin. Enjoy dinner Tuesday through Sunday nights and brunch on the weekends.

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10- Underbelly

Bright neon accents give Underbelly a cyberpunk feel. Paying homage to the ramen gods of Tokyo, their menu features appetizers, ramen, bao, and bento boxes with a local twist. The Belly of the Beast, Chicken Confit, and Underbelly Ramen are customer favorites. Fresh cocktails with Japanese flavors compliment the food. Open daily in both their Little Italy and North Park locations.

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Best Restaurants & Bars in Ocean Beach

1- OB Noodle House Bar 1502

Sister restaurant to the Original OB Noodle House, OB Noodle House Bar 1502 is the place to go for pho. The large, dog-friendly patio is the ideal spot for a famous Peanut Butter Whiskey Shot, some Spicy Garlic Wings, and the 1502 Special Pho made with hormone free, grass-fed, American style Kobe Wagyu beef. Open daily for lunch and dinner, they take reservations for parties of 8 or more.

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2- The Holding Company

The Holding Company is a 21+ rock and roll bar and restaurant boasting 3 different floors, all with their own distinct personality. Enjoy live music on the 1st floor, a DJ on the 2ND, and amazing ocean views with fire pit seating on the 3rd. There is something for everyone on their varied menu tinged with an Asian flair. Try their Signature Towers, 88 ounces of your favorite adult beverage to share with the table.  Enjoy happy hour Tuesday through Friday from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, dinner nightly, and brunch Saturdays and Sundays. All ages are welcome at brunch.

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3- Wonderland Ocean Pub

Named after the first amusement park ever opened in San Diego, Wonderland’s concept is to provide a neighborly atmosphere with great, coastal-inspired food and thirst-quenching drinks at affordable prices. The service is always friendly and the ocean views are extraordinary. Indulge in a Wet Whistle, a combination of vodka, blueberry, basil, and fresh lemon juice while munching on the Mac Daddy Ahi Poke. You can’t go wrong. Wonderland is open daily with weekday specials and weekend brunch.

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Best Restaurants & Bars in Mission Beach

1 – Ms. B’s Coconut Club

Mrs. B’s Coconut Club is a revival of Mission Beach’s colorful past where circus-like tents and Hawaiian huts dotted the beachfront at the turn of the 20th century. Serving Caribbean-inspired food and drinks, their Jerk Chicken Wrap and Plantain Chips get high marks. Pair your brunch or dinner with the Havana Good Time, a mix of vodka, Pamplemousses, kombucha, house grapefruit and cucumber cordial, or try one of their Cane Spirit Flights for a taste of rum from around the world. Open daily for brunch, lunch, and dinner.

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2 – Moonshine Beach (Country Bar)

Grab your cowboy hat and head on down to Moonshine Beach for some beer, grub, and fantastic live music. This honky-tonk possesses a huge wooden dance floor to get your line dance on. Live entertainment including country concerts and a DJ spinning the latest tunes will get you on your feet. Their menu offers comfort food including chicken tenders, pulled pork sandwiches, and loaded fries. Let the good times roll on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

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Best Restaurants & Bars in Del Mar

1 – Monarch (Sunset Toast/Poem Nightly)

Sending out positive vibes from their gorgeous rooftop deck, Monarch Ocean Pub concentrates on California coastal cuisine using fresh and local ingredients. With both meat and seafood choices, popular items include the Short Rib Pastrami, Scallop and Pork Belly Chowder, and Roasted Wagyu Ribeye. Add a specialty cocktail such as the Marine Layer, a mixture of Four Roses whiskey, Montenegro Amaro Italian liqueur, lemon juice, ginger syrup, and bitters. Monarch serves lunch and dinner daily and a Sunday brunch. Reservations are not accepted.

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2 – The Market

Market Restaurant & Bar provides a top-notch dining experience starting with the amuse bouche and ending with dessert. The chef’s 3-course tasting menu changes daily to reflect what is currently in season. Gorgonzola Soufflé & Tart Cherry Compote, Pan Roasted Trout & Chardonnay Braised Artichokes, and Coconut Tapioca are delicious examples of what to expect. For sushi lovers, nigiri, sashimi, and specialty rolls are offered in the lounge along with craft cocktails and an extensive wine list. Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner. Reservations strongly suggested.

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3 – Poseidon

A nod to the sea god himself, Poseidon serves up fresh and sustainable seafood — all with a view. Guests have written many a glowing review, citing the triple threat of food, service and ambiance.

Speaking of food, Poseidon boasts an impressive brunch, lunch, dinner and even kids menu. This place is the real deal. A visit to this Del Mar favorite would not be complete without sipping on a cocktail or two. So stay for a while! Bonus: They’re open Tuesday-Sunday so you can get your fix 6 days a week.

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4 – Zel’s

Zel’s the place to nourish your body and soul. Their dinner menu features causal staples like burgers, salads but also more refined options like fresh fish. Join them for their happy hour 4-6 pm Sunday to Thursday and take advantage of reduced prices on appetizers and drinks.

But there’s more to Zel’s than its culinary concoction — their lineup of live music in Del Mar is just as impressive. Check out their website for a monthly schedule and get ready to groove with the best in town.

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Best Restaurants & Bars in Solana Beach

1 – Rare Society

You can almost hear Frank Sinatra crooning in the corner at Rare Society, a timeless Las Vegas style steakhouse. Start with the Oysters Rockefeller or a Grande Seafood Tower. Move on to a 20oz 40-Day Dry-Aged, Bone-In New York Strip and add on a wood grilled lobster for a scrumptious surf and turf. Indulge in The Rare Old Fashioned or one of their many progressive cocktails. Rare Society serves dinner Wednesday through Monday at their Solana Beach location and Wednesday through Sunday in University Heights.

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2 – Tavern (In the Belly Up)

Adjacent to the Belly Up is the Tavern, located in a hip corrugated metal hut. Papered in Scrojo poster art, the Tavern is just as cool as its infamous neighbor. Sip on a Red Hot Chili Margarita or a Tubi Doobie Do. Headliners include Braised Short Ribs, Dijon-Herb Crusted Salmon, and Butternut Squash Tacos.  Offering lunch and dinner daily, the Tavern is the place to belly up for food before a rocking show next door.

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Best Restaurants & Bars in Encinitas

1 – Biergarden Encinitas

Featuring an open-air design with plenty of outdoor seating, The Bier Garden is the spot to enjoy a frothy beer in the Encinitas sunshine. With 25 rotating taps of draft beer plus wine and craft cocktails, all the bases are covered. Their menu features tasty starters, salads, sandwiches, and burgers. Join the Mug Club and get mugged with your own beer mug and a 10% discount off all beers. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner daily.

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2 – Herb & Sea

Herb & Sea blends East Coast traditions with modern California ethos. Their menu is bright and colorful with raw bar, fresh seafood and flavorful meat selections. Roasted Oysters & Bone Marrow, Plancha Fired Whole Branzino, and Wood Grilled Steaks are delectable examples. The playful wine list focuses on new California wines. Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner and brunch on Sundays. Reservations recommended.

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3 – The Roxy Encinitas

Step back into the 1920’s at The Roxy, a restaurant and music venue with vintage style. Indulge in classic cocktails and share small plates with family and friends. Entrees are grouped by Coastal, Central Valley, and Mountains. Think Kale-fornia Salad, Baked Brie, and Falafel Burgers. Revel in live music 7 nights a week. Lunch and dinner served daily with brunch offered on the weekends.

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4 – Valentina

Named after the owner’s daughter, Valentina is a bistro and wine bar offering cuisine influenced by travels to Spain and the Mediterranean. Spanish Sashimi, Pulpo a la Gallega, Steak Tartare and Fries, and Arroz Negro are just a sampling of their eclectic menu. Over 120 wines are available from a variety of regions. Lunch and dinner are served 7 days a week with brunch on the weekend. Reservations are recommended but not necessary.

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5 – Shelter

The moon and stars shine at Shelter. DJ’s spin house music, and the retractable roof opens for a glorious view of the nighttime sky. Drink specialty cocktails or order bottle service for your private booth. The patio with a large fire pit offers a more intimate space for conversation. Open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays until 2:00am.

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Best Restaurants & Bars in Encinitas

1 – Waverly

With accents of emerald and gold, the Waverly is a breezy, all-day café serving a progressive American menu. Start your morning with the Kingston Cold Brew, made with Jamaican Rum, and the Funfetti Pancakes.  For lunch, the Pork Shoulder Rice Bowl is a popular pick. Seafood entrees include the Japanese River Crab and Alaskan Halibut. Jazz is played on select Wednesday evenings with a DJ on most Thursday through Saturday nights. Open every day except Monday.

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2 – Fish 101

Fish 101 is a casual, counter service restaurant with takeout available. Ocean-centric, you will find everything from burritos to tacos to bowls with your choice of Mahi, Baja Fish, Salmon, Shrimp, or Ahi. Customers love their healthy lifestyle choices. Serving lunch from 11:30am to 3:00pm and dinner 4:30pm to 8:30pm every day except Monday.

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3 – Pacific Coast Grill

Pacific Coast Grill offers stunning ocean views, delicious menu items & intelligent friendly service. There are two levels of dining at PCG with every seat in the house carefully planned to have an incredible ocean view for your enjoyment! The raw oyster bar and heated outdoor patio on level one will make you want more than just seafood. Upstairs features an ocean-facing bar and more indoor and outdoor seating with a beautiful patio to feel the breeze and watch sunsets nightly. There are rumors of expansion next door finally and we can’t wait to see what these purveyors come up with next. If you are looking to book a holiday party or oceanfront private event, this is the place. 

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Best Restaurants & Bars in Oceanside

1 – Wrench & the Rodent

Focusing on sustainability with a no waste philosophy, the Wrench & the Rodent Seabasstropub features a set sushi menu, daily specials, and an omakase, a chef’s selection of nigiri and sashimi courses. Popular Wrench Rolls include the Holiday in Cambodia with spicy tuna and cucumber, then topped with whitefish, Thai fish sauce, and scallion. Vegetarians will be pleased with the plant-based Rodent Rolls. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 4:00pm to 8:30pm.

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2 – Dija Mara

Bustling with industrial character, Dija Mara is a mix of Southeast Asian flavors, Western style and Japanese technique resulting in Balinese Fusion cuisine. Nasi Goreng, a dish of wok-fried rice, bay shrimp, confit chicken, and sunny egg, and the Pork Belly Skewers are highly recommended. Savor a Beets by Bali cocktail, a mixture of Beetroot-infused wine-based gin, honey, Galangal, lemon, long pepper, and egg white. Closed on Mondays. Open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday with a Sunday Brunch from 11:00am to 2:30pm. Reservations strongly recommended.

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3 – Matsu

Voted Best New and Best Japanese Restaurant 2022 by San Diego Magazine, Matsu is a sleek, fine-dining establishment treating its patrons to an exquisite 10-course tasting menu showcasing ingredients sourced both locally and directly from Japan. Elevate your meal with a wine pairing chosen by the chef. A Chef’s Counter is offered twice a night where you can experience an 11-course meal with the kitchen staff. Serving dinner Thursday through Monday. Prepaid reservations are required.

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Best Restaurants & Bars in Carlsbad

1 – Campfire

Taking its camp theme to heart, Campfire is where friends gather to enjoy honest food that has been grilled, smoked, or charred on their custom 12-foot wood burning hearth. Appetizers are referred to as kindling, thermos bottles are used to serve water, and they have s’mores for dessert. Start with oysters warmed over the coals with salted butter, bone marrow, and pickled mushrooms. Follow that with a main course of smoked brisket with coffee rub, polenta, and pickled green tomato or charred chicken with lentil ragout, bacon, turnips, and grapes. Open for dinner only Wednesday through Monday.

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2 – Jeune et Jolie

Juene et Jolie is a high-spirited French restaurant offering two dining experiences. Savor a 4-course tasting menu in their airy rose-colored dining room or Le Menu du Bar, an a la carte option, served in the lounge. The plating of dishes such as Lotte, a combination of monkfish, pork trotters, King Trumpet mushrooms, and sorrel, is beautiful. Reservations are strongly suggested for dinner served Wednesday through Sunday. The lounge and bar are walk-in only.

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3 – The Compass

A localvore’s dream, The Compass will please omnivores and vegans alike with their impressive menu and scratch kitchen. Come for brunch, lunch, dinner or late-night snacks and stay for the friendly service in a relaxed atmosphere. The draft beer list changes frequently with 14-20 beers on tap. Rumor has it that the Asian chicken salad is a winner. Or live a little and indulge in fries. Either way, don’t sleep on The Compass!

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Best Restaurants & Bars in Downtown San Diego / Bankers Hill

1 – El Dorado

If you are looking for a high-octane drink, then the El Dorado Cocktail Lounge is for you. Specialty cocktails like the Spicy Pepino, a blend of house infused serrano tequila, sugar, and lime, are served in a rustic, western-themed bar with a white buffalo head named Otis overlooking the dance floor. DJs entertain and get the masses grooving. Open nightly until 2:00am.

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2 – Neighborhood

Located within Neighborhood are two covert bars. Noble Experiment is an intimate cocktail bar with a gothic vibe behind a secret door, while Youngblood is an even smaller bar with attention to details like mood lighting and Parisian carpets. The cocktails in both are classic and strong. For the adventurous, let the bartenders create something based on your tastes. If you are hungry, Neighborhood is a craft beer burger bar in itself with Pierogies, Bolognese, and Caviar Bumps also on the menu. Open 7 nights a week, reservations are required for entrance to Noble Experiment and Youngblood.

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3 – Prohibition

Prohibition is exactly what it sounds like, a speakeasy straight out of the Great Gatsby era. Behind an unassuming door, this underground bar offers masterfully curated cocktails like the Cocktails I’m Sailing Away, Not A Morning Person, and the Banana Hammock. Live bands rotate nightly. Savvy people will find Prohibition welcoming on any night of the week. Dress code is enforced on Fridays and Saturdays, so leave the athletic wear at home. Reservations are not accepted.

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4 – American Junkie

Catering to the younger crowd, but entertaining for all ages, American Junkie is a gastropub in the historic Gaslamp District. A DJ-fueled environment (DJ Will Plaze on Thursday, Friday, Saturday) with a modern bar menu, find wings, burgers, hand-tossed pizzas, salads, and sandwiches to choose from. $5 tacos are offered on Junkie Tuesdays and $1 drafts on House Party Thursdays. Bottle service is available. Open Tuesday through Sunday. 

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5 – 50th floor in the Grand Manchester Hyatt

High above San Diego inside the Manchester Grand Hyatt is Top of the Hyatt. Take the elevator to the 40th floor for panoramic views of downtown and the Pacific Ocean, whimsical cocktails, and shared plates. Try the Strawberry Rhubarb Gimlet or the Top Floor Mule. Open nightly, late night happy hour is offered Monday through Thursdays from 7:00pm to 9:00pm with drink and food specials.

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6 – The Corner Draft House

Located on a corner in Banker’s Hill is The Corner Drafthouse, a neighborhood bar and eatery with over 70 beers on tap. Daily specials include Monday Night Football, Trivia Night and Bones & Brew. Their menu is full of mouthwatering appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and plates. Join their Mug Club for discounts on your favorite beer. Open daily for lunch and dinner with brunch on the weekends.

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7 – The Lion’s Share

Decorated with mounted antelope heads and fanciful portraits of animal headed figures, The Lion’s Share is an unpretentious establishment where you can leave your worries at the door. One of the Food Network’s 40 Best Bars in America for Food Lovers, their menu is on the wild side. Imagine Red Deer Sliders, a Sausage Board with elk, duck, and goat, and Boar Bolognese. Choose from over 40 different craft cocktails, beer, and wine. Hours are 4:00pm to 2:00am, Tuesday through Sunday. Food is served until 1:00am.

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8 – Cafe Sevilla

Visit Spain without leaving San Diego at Café Sevilla, a tapas bar, restaurant, and nightclub. Immense yourself in Spanish culture with their menu of over 30 award-winning tapas or go on their Journey through Spain, a 5-course tasting experience. Sip on refreshing sangria and a variety of Spanish wine. Dance to live Latin, Salsa, and Rumba music every night or enjoy the Flamenco Dinner Show on Saturday evenings. Serving dinner nightly with a late-night menu after 11:00pm, brunch is offered on weekends. Salsa classes on Wednesday nights 8pm, mention the flyer on their website for $5 entry fee. 

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9 – La Puerta

With a motto of Tacos, Tunes and TequilaLa Puerta guarantees authentic Sinaloa Mexican food without anything artificial. You won’t find bottled lime juice here; they squeeze fresh limes for their margaritas and specialty cocktails. You will find over 100 types of tequila, tacos especiales, papas fritas, 1lb burritos, quesadillas and more. Open 7 days a week in their OG San Diego location and 6 days a week in their new Mission Hills spot. No Patron is poured here!

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Best Restaurants & Bars in North Park & Mission Hills

1 – Polite Provisions

Polite Provisions manufactures local tonics, elixirs and cures in the form of cocktail concoctions and microbrews. Step into the apothecary setting and swill a Kentucky Buck, a combination of bourbon, lemon, strawberry, ginger beer, and Angostura bitters. In the mood for something sparkling? The Layover in Paris unites Absinthe, grapefruit, Pamplemousses, and sparkling rose. Serving drinks Monday through Sunday. Patrons must be 21 years or older.

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2 – Fortunate Son

Walk through an ornate, hand-carved gilded arch into the dining room of Fortunate Son featuring a floral ceiling, paper lanterns, and a fire-breathing dragon head. Utilizing Chinese spices and techniques including wok hei, traditional dishes have been enhanced with modern ingredients. Their Beef & Broccoli is made with American Wagyu beef and the Shrimp and Pork Dumplings are accompanied by black vinegar, soy dressing, chili oil, scallion, and cilantro. Open every night for dinner including takeout.

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3 – Seven Grand (Whiskey Bar)

A love of whiskey was the catalyst for Seven Grand. Serving cocktails and local brews only, their whiskey collection is one of the largest in the West. Become a member of the Whiskey Society and increase your knowledge of the spirit through educational tastings with Master Distillers and other experts. Shoot some pool, listen to live music, or just hang out with friends knowing you will be poured a good, stiff drink. Open daily from 4:00pm to 2:00am.

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5 – Fort Oak

Sleek and industrial, Fort Oak is housed in a former Ford dealership. The focus is on smokey, wood-fired dishes with the exception of their raw bar and grand seafood towers. A 7000lb custom grill and range in the exhibition kitchen is used to obtain the perfect sear on the Hearth Grilled Branzino and to fire up the 40-Day Dry-Aged Ribeye. Mondays are for oysters with $1 oysters, cocktail specials, and bubbly available on the patio from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Serving dinner Wednesday through Monday. Reservations recommended.

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6 – Cantina Mayahuel

Although Cantina Mayahuel offers a full bar, their expertise is in tequila and mezcal. You will definitely find a high-quality margarita here, but exploring, sipping and learning about tequila is part of the fun. Make sure to sample the cantina’s own brand, Don Lorenzo Reposado Reserva. Tacos, tortas and plates with old-world Mexican flavors are perfect accompaniments to the drinks. Get there early on Tuesdays and Fridays for their popular Chicken Mole. It often sells out. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00pm to 10:00pm. You must be 21+ to enter after 7:00pm.

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7 – Trust

Minimalist in design, Trust excels in bringing the community together with delicious small plates, artisan wines by the glass, cocktails made with simple ingredients, and hospitable service. Food is divided into four categories named Farm, Ocean, Ranch, and More. Share their Wood-Grilled Cauliflower, Albacore Tartare, and Braised Oxtail Raviolini, but don’t forget about dessert. Leave room for the Lemon Cheesecake with Sesame Ice Cream. Dinner is served Wednesday through Sunday. Brunch is available on the weekends.

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8 – Madison on Park

Winner of Best Cocktails and Best Design by San Diego Magazine two years in a row, Madison on Park is a stunning restaurant rooted in Mediterranean influences. A selection of creative drinks with names like Queen of Crowns and Mr. Nice Guy are offered alongside classic cocktails, bubbles, and wine. Popular dinner items include the Skirt Steak, their Famous Pork Chop, and Tuna Tartare. On the brunch menu, Waffle Churro Sticks and the Carnitas Stack get high marks. Closed on Mondays, dinner is served 5:00pm to 9:30pm Tuesday through Sunday. Brunch is available on weekends only with Live Jazz on Tuesday and Sunday nights.

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9 – La Puerta – Mission Hills

Opened in 2022, Mission Hills is the 2nd location for La Puerta. Amazing remodel from the previous restaurant featuring tons of tequila & mezcal to choose from. They make delicious & authentic tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and tortas. Closed on Mondays but LP offers a happy hour from 3 – 5pm Tuesday through Sunday. Guarantee it will be difficult to decide on a favorite salsa as both the red and green are to die for.

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10 – Wolf in the Woods

You won’t find a place quite like it anywhere else in the world. Old World meets New World at this restaurant with an inspired theme located in Mission Hills. It blends European, Native American and Hispanic cuisine and uses herbs sourced from an on-site garden. It doesn’t get fresher than that! We recommend you sink your teeth into their mini burger and immerse yourself in the symphony of flavor this dish offers.

Don’t be fooled by the humble footprint of this treasure trove. At 1,100 square feet — it’s best described as cozy. Yet what it lacks in size it makes up for in atmosphere. It feels personal, intimate, inviting and sophisticated while being accessible socially and financially.

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Best Cocktail Bar in La Jolla – UTC Area

1 – Raised by Wolves (Cocktails)

Walk into Raised by Wolves and you might think you are in a liquor retail store, but a secret bar exists on the other side of the fireplace. The spectacular décor is reminiscent of a 1920’s speakeasy with ornate, oak paneling and a fabulous frosted glass ceiling fixture over the round bar. Imbibe on exquisite drinks like the Trap Queen, Banana Cream Flip, and the Rainbow Cup. Specializing in rare spirits, this is a 21 and over establishment. Open daily, reservations are strongly suggested.

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1 – Nine-Ten

You haven’t had farm-to-table fare until you’ve patronized NINE-TEN. The concept is described as “evolving California cuisine,” with ingredients dictated by the seasonal harvest. In other words, “fresh” is the key theme, with produce thoughtfully sourced from local vendors. Savor breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Be sure to ask about their latest special events and offerings.

The atmosphere is an equal draw, with an interior with high ceilings and a modern vibe. Your eye is immediately drawn to the focal point — a vibrant and locally-inspired ocean and fauna wall panorama created by acclaimed artist Dana Montlac.

There’s no bad seat in the house. If outdoors is more your scene, avail yourself of the al fresco dining on the sidewalk patio or take in oceanside views on the terrace. They also offer private dining for special occasions.

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Best Cocktail Bar in Leucadia

1 – Le Papagayo

If you’re looking to take in a life-changing meal amidst a stunning backdrop, Le Papagayo is the place for you. Whether breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks or desserts and coffee, this unpretentious attraction will steal your heart. Here you’ll find everything from pancakes to pozole. The portions are generous and the service is just as impressive.

Sit on the patio for a different experience. Oh, and they offer live music most days of the week. Tell them we sent you!

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As mentioned at the beginning of the article; if you think your restaurant or bar has what it takes to be featured on this list, please send us a detailed message here. There are no guarantees, but we’ll definitely take a look! So what are you waiting for?  Send us your restaurant or bar’s information today!

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