Hottest Ways to Eat, Drink, Mix

Top San Diego restaurants offer nearly every type of cuisine imaginable. shares shares some favorites.

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Thee Bungalow: Thee Bungalow is located in a calm neighborhood in Ocean Beach, on the cusp of Point Loma. For over 30 years Thee Bungalow has mastered an old country bungalow atmosphere enhanced by specialty dishes such as the rack of lamb and roast duck. Fresh seafood and prime grade beef is also served; paired with a moderately priced global wine list and a full bar. Choose between four intimate dining rooms for a romantic evening, or reserve your own room for a small party. Ocean Beach locals fear to share this seaside secret with San Diego at large; from consistent, classic food to a high quality, friendly staff, Thee Bungalow never disappoints. (For more information visit )
Blue Point Coastal Cuisine: The first seafood and oyster bar to inhabit the Historic Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego isn’t your ordinary restaurant. Here it’s first class, all around with tantalizing appetizers including the Griddled Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Spicy Thai Calamari as well as famous lobster bisque and Manhattan Clam Chowder. (For more information visit )
Bistro 39 brings expert flavor to the Torrey Hills dining scene. Fusing California ingredients with East Coast flavor, Executive Chef Larry Difolco creates an out of the ordinary taste of American cuisine in the contemporary ambiance of the Hilton Garden Inn. Bistro 39 truly grants its diners a grand experience of fresh dishes and fine wines at any hour of the day, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch, and happy hour specials on a daily basis. Whether joining co-workers to watch the latest sports game or chatting with friends during happy hour, one thing remains true: Bistro 39 is not just another “hotel restaurant.” (For more information visit )
Island Prime: With a gorgeous view of the Pacific, San Diego Skyline and Coronado, Island Prime offers more than just a succulent menu selection. This Island-style restaurant offers tantalizing menu options such as the porcini dusted rack of Colorado lamb, served with Moroccan spiced tomato jam, du puy lentils, and a smoked tomato glace, as well as the indigo grill’s famous cedar plank roasted salmon, with cucumber salsa and black linguini. (For more information visit )
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The San Diego Keating Hotel launched their new restaurant the merK in winter 2009. Located beside Croce’s in downtown San Diego, the merK will add a sultry Italian flair to the already abundant Gaslamp dining options. The merK is the Keating Hotel’s latest local innovation in Italian style. The new San Diego merK restaurant will capture the essence and ambiance of fine dining while remaining a welcome, affordable environment. The merK’s interior design will mimic the unparalleled style of the Keating Hotel, with cutting-edge Italian passion enhanced with high-tech amenities. The merK restaurant will feature an open kitchen counter, chef viewing table, express pizzeria, premier boutique wine list, outside patio, nightclub lounge access, carnelian stone bars, glass wine bridge, steal wine vault, glowing red railings, ergonomic seating, and more. (For more information visit )
Nathan Coulon's Quarter Kitchen is the sizzling restaurant inside every local's favorite luxury boutique hotel - the Ivy. The sleek modern décor rivals the intricate gourmet cuisine in beauty and allure. Guests lounge in the plush 185-seat dining room, a coveted scene to be seen. The Quarter Kitchen isn't just a fine dining experience; it's a social scene showcasing San Diego's A-list guests. For unconventional creations in unparalleled atmosphere, step into the Ivy and dine in style at Quarter Kitchen. (For more information visit )
Soleil @k, a popular dining spot in downtown San Diego, is where the food-lovers go for modern, California cuisine emphasizing the region's harvest from both land and sea. Soleil @k features a sampling of new dishes including Star Ranch Grass-Fed Ribeye, Horseradish Crusted Black Sea Bass and Roaster Maple Leaf Duck. It also offers an extensive selection of regional wines, boasting more than 35 wines available by the glass. Soleil @k is well known in the local community for defining San Diego cuisine. There are floor to ceiling windows and glass panel doors that disappear into the wall to allow the breeze of fresh air into the restaurant, allowing guests to be a part of the crowd and festive activities surrounding the Gaslamp Quarter. (For more information visit )
Kemo Sabe is a staple in the Hillcrest dining scene, for vegetarians and carnivores both. Guests are greeted by the inspiring face of a Japanese Samurai which was carefully crafted with natural stone and earth marble. The impressive hand-made mosaic bar top represents a bonsai bush with color bursting flowers and vein branches. And, dancing atop the bar is a three-dimensional, life-size metal sculpture of the Shaman Kemo Sabe. (For more information visit )
Trattoria Acqua has claimed one of La Jolla’s luckiest lots, overlooking the cove and the Pacific. With views like that, at any other restaurant you’d forget the meal sitting in front of you— but not at Trattoria Acqua. Fresh seafood is prepared with Mediterranean flair, and displays an admirable range of undersea diversity. Orata (Halibut), Branzino (Seabass), Marmora (Purple Snapper), Royal Scampi, Accuga (Sardines), and Rombo (Turbot) are just some of the sea-faring creatures that might grace your plate in delicious fashion. The lobster ravioli with tomatoes and basil is remarkable, and the strawberry pancakes are worth saving room for. And of course, as in any fine Italian restaurant, wine is a requirement. (For more information visit )
Looking for a fun, hip party atmosphere for your dinner tonight? Look no further because Mister Tiki Mai Tai Lounge has everything you’re looking for! With a huge drink selection including choices like the Horny Monkey (Skyy vodka, Bacardi superior rum, dekuyper banana liqueur, pineapple juice, coconut cream) or the Suffering Bastard (Jim Bean black label bourbon, Plymouth gin, ginger ale and fresh lime) you’ll sit back, relax and enjoy the island atmosphere! (For more information visit )
The Prado at Balboa Park is one of the Cohn Restaurant Group's finest San Diego dining enterprises. A warm spirited and diverse crowd meets a truly eclectic atmosphere for lunch and dinner throughout the week. Majestic, historic charm and an innovative menu selection allure fine diners while technicolor excitement and garden patio comfort speak to families and tourists in the park plaza. The Prado patio follows a day at the San Diego Natural History Museum, The Prado dining room precedes an evening show at The Old Globe and a blend of both stands strong in solitude. (For more information visit )
A visit to Corvette Diner is the closest thing to a time warp you’ll ever experience. Like every fifties place you’ve ever eaten, the restaurant has beeboppin’ rock and roll dancing through the speakers, milkshakes and burgers, bazooka gum dropped off alongside the check, and of course, the token Corvette blasting through the wall—but Corvette Diner does it with style. The fifties rock is managed by an actual DJ, to whom you can give requests. (For more information visit )
Dakota Grill and Spirits is an upscale steak and seafood restaurant that maintains a casual, yet elegant atmosphere with live piano music Thursday through Saturday nights. Executive Chef Todd Nash’s award winning mesquite grilled steaks and fresh seafood are no secret in San Diego; the signature three course prime rib three-course dinner, choice of pork or beef prime rib, is a locally renowned Monday night dinner special. We recommend the beef prime rib, with horseradish cream and au jus; a choice of pressed salad, classic Caesar, or roasted garlic flat bred; and a choice of chocolate pecan torte or bananas foster split for dessert—all for $24.50. Can’t make it on a Monday? Enjoy woodstone oven pizzas, classic surf and turf, or signature barbeque baby back pork ribs any night of the week. (For more information visit )
Remarkably innovative Indigo Grill takes native cuisine to a whole different level. Instead of concentrating on one region, the restaurant’s chefs fuse indigenous dishes spanning the continent, from Alaska to Oaxaca. The rich-hued interior is a merging of symbols from these countless cultures, like totem poles and Indian hieroglyphics. But it’s in the entrees where the real originality sparks. The salmon with smoked Oaxacan cheese truly unites the north and the south. The "Good Things Growing" is a vegetarian’s dream, a mélange of mouthwatering meat-free delicacies. Other delicious choices are the wild blueberry-lacquered rack of lamb, the wild mushroom ravioli, and the pecan-crusted rainbow trout. Additionally, the bar specialized in tequilas and mescals, to assist with your spiritual visionary experience. (For more information visit )
The Fleetwood is your one-top East Village venue for fine dining, upscale sports bar atmosphere, and mellow lounge nightlife. Sit outside on the patio, relax inside the spacious dining room, or cozy up at an oversize half-booth table with your dinner party. Now open for lunch and dinner, trust the Fleetwood kitchen for all your culinary cravings. (For more information visit )
333 Pacific is located appropriately enough at 333 N. Pacific Street in Oceanside - literally a stone's throw from the pier. The Cohn's newest addition not only serves up innovative cuisine, but also a view that's second to none. Executive Chef Randy Miller infuses the menu of 333 Pacific with a style and flare uniquely California, yet worldly enough to appeal to even the most discriminating palettes. Indulge in seafood specialties such as grilled swordfish with potato croquettes, Mediterranean relish and mussel saffron emulsion, or Chef Miller's Tuna Poke Tacos with avocado salsa, macadamias and cucumber. (For more information visit )
The Tea Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Gardens is the optimal casual conclusion to a day at Balboa Park. Although classically elegant in presentation, the Tea Pavilion attracts a wide range of park goers with affordable, quality Asian inspired cuisine, arrayed teas, and calming views of the gardens. From a table inside the petite pavilion, or outside on the deck patio, guests enjoy magnificent views alongside sushi, Japanese noodles, rice bowls, soups and salads, sandwiches, and snacks. The Tea Pavilion has something for everyone; serving classic sandwiches with an Asian twist, such as the vegetable sandwich, with sprouts, lettuce, and Asian pesto. And as one may assume, the pavilion takes tea to the next level. Choose between green, oolong, white, and herbal teas, as well as slushies and traditional refreshments. We recommend the Green Dragon Chai Tea, a green tea spiced in authentic Himalayan tradition. (For more information visit )
Bleu Boheme is Phillipe Beltran's most recent venture and the first of three upcoming restaurants under Beltran Restaurant Concepts. The classic French Bistro is set apart by its countryside atmosphere; from the chalkboard menu that lines the walls to the wooden wine racks reaching up to the ceiling, Bleu exudes warmth and nostalgia most high-end French restaurants seem to lack. (For more information visit )
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