This will make your mouth water: six San Diego-area restaurants -- from a healthy organic eatery to an empanada shop -- have been named among the top 100 in the United States to grab some grub.
Yelp released its list of the "Top 100 Places Eat in the U.S." Tuesday and, for the second year in a row, San Diego restaurants nabbed 6 percent of the rankings.
The annual list highlights delicious dining destinations across the nation based on reviews written by Yelp users, including both the ratings and volume of those reviews.
This year, the local eateries that made the cut vary widely in culinary specialties. Foodies will find an organic eatery known for its greens, a beloved taco shop, a phenomenal pho spot, a Creole-inspired bistro, a Middle Eastern restaurant, and an empanada kitchen.
For 2019, the tasty lineup names these local spots, listed in order of ranking:
- No. 17: Crafted Greens (El Cajon)
- No. 29: Chuy’s Taco Shop (San Diego)
- No. 69: Tahini (San Diego)
- No. 72: Bud & Rob’s New Orleans Bistro (San Diego)
- No. 75: Pho Guys (Vista)
- No. 94: Empanada Kitchen (San Diego)
Crafted Greens, located at 745 Jamacha Rd. in El Cajon, offers healthy dishes with ingredients sourced from local farms. The menu includes salads like the Nicoise with Ahi and Guacamole Greens, plus sandwiches, flatbreads, soups and plates boasting a choice of protein like grass-fed steak and two hot or cold sides. The restaurant is open daily starting at 11 a.m.
Representing for the stellar Mexican food in San Diego is Chuy’s Taco Shop, located at 6663 El Cajon Blvd., near Montezuma Road. Yelp users rave about the generous portions and fair prices here, with standouts like carne asada fries and chips on the menu, as well as tortas, giant burritos and, of course, tacos. This shop opens daily at 7:30 a.m., and at 8 a.m. Sundays.
Tahini specializes in Middle Eastern street food, with shawarma bowls and housemade sauces taking the spotlight. Falafel, chicken or steak shawarma comes in either fresh-baked pita, bowl or salad form, and specialty sauces include Cilantro Tahini, Cucumber Yogurt and Garlic Sauce, to name a few. Tahini is located at 9119 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. in Kearny Mesa; it’s open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Inspired by Creole cuisine from The Big Easy is Bud & Rob’s New Orleans Bistro, located at 815 F. St. in downtown’s East Village. Yelpers praised the food’s authenticity, including items like the Seafood & Sausage Gumbo, Po Boy Sandwiches, and Fried Catfish. The bistro is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; it reopens for dinner from 3:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. On Saturdays, it’s open from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It is closed Sunday and Monday.
Up in Vista, foodies will find phenomenal pho (say that three times fast) at Pho Guys, located at 1876 Hacienda Dr. In addition to hearty pho dishes built around star ingredients like filet mignon, oxtail, and shrimp, Yelp users seemed to be drawn to the egg rolls and spring rolls too. This eatery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; it’s closed on Sunday. Bonus: there's a drive-thru here.
Finally, those hankering for Argentine eats can try Empanada Kitchen at 819 C St., also in San Diego’s East Village. The menu boasts empanadas of all varieties – from traditional beef to a Sweet Corn & Basil option – at $3.50 to $4.50 a pop. Yelpers seem particularly pleased with the dough used for the empanadas here, with one patron describing the “doughy, flakey crust” as something that “melts in your mouth.” This eatery is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. On Sundays, fans can find Empanada Kitchen at the La Jolla Open Aire Market.
According to Yelp, the San Diego-area restaurants are in good company. Here's a peek at the eateries across the U.S. that earned the top 10 spots on this year's list:
- Bangers & Brews (Bend, Oregon)
- Tender Smokehouse (Celina, Texas)
- Ciao! Pizza & Pasta (Chelsea, Massachusetts)
- Gyromania (Santa Clarita, California)
- BROKEN MOUTH - Lee's Homestyle (Los Angeles)
- Bajamar Seafood & Tacos (Las Vegas)
- Tommy Tamale Market & Cafe (Grapevine, Texas)
- Xicamiti La Taquería Bistro (Golden, Colorado)
- ACHILLES -(Santa Clara, California)
- Yardie Spice (Homestead, Florida)
For a look at all 100 places, click here.
Last year, six San Diego County restaurants made Yelp's Top 100 list, too. Those spots were: Yoshino Japanese Deli (No. 23); T Deli (No. 42); Sunny Side Kitchen (No. 45); Beyer Deli (No. 59); Pizzamaniac (No. 87); Classics Malt Shop (No. 95).
Now, let's eat, San Diego.