Looking to make sure eating out in San Diego County is worth it? Yelp recently released two lists for the Top 50 Places to Eat in San Diego and Top 50 in North County. Popular local favorites you might already eat at appear on the list as well as unassuming places with unforgettable eats.
If you're looking for top-notch baked goods, Yelp also named this San Diego bakery as the no. 1 bakery in the entire U.S. Who knew a beach town would have the best-ranked bread?
From empanadas, sushi, coffee, Vietnamese to Scandinavian, this border town has much more than expected. Topping the list as No. 1 is a completely vegan and authentic Vietnamese restaurant, boasting more than 100 meat-free options, speaking to the culinary genius of this town.
Grab a notepad and a friend who knows how to enjoy good food, you're going to want to order a plate at these eateries in America's Finest City.
How Does Yelp Rank the Restaurants?
Yelp scoured for businesses under their site's restaurant category located in and around the San Diego area, then ranked those businesses through a number of factors, including the total amount of reviews and the ratings within them. Then, they made sure all businesses were marked open on Yelp and had passing health scores as of May 11.
Top 50 Places to Eat in City of San Diego
1. Thanh Tinh Chay (City Heights)
Cuisine: Vietnamese, vegan
What Yelpers Like: Banh mi sandwiches, BBQ pork, beef noodle soup
What Yelpers Say: "This was hands down the best restaurant my family and I visited on our trip to San Diego, and I would highly recommend it to vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike!" Andrea S. wrote.
Protip: They give free dessert with every order!
2. Crafted Greens (El Cajon)
Cuisine: Sandwiches, salads, flat breads
What Yelpers Like: Chimichurri grass fed steak sandwich, Cajun seared tuna BLT sandwich, spicy Asian salad
What Yelpers Say: "Came back for their Guacamole Greens and their Mac and cheese! Both were heavenly. Um I'm still shocked that for my salad they gave me half an avocado and so much steak on the side when I added it on! The steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare when I asked for it and the salad was filling and delicious. I truly think Crafted Greens is the best spot in San Diego for healthy delicious food. The service is always unmatched and I'm glad I was able to dine here again and write another review because they deserve it!" Vivian T. said.
3. Gelati & Peccati (North Park)
Cuisine: Gelato, pizza
What Yelpers Like: Honey lavender gelato, spicy salami pizza, mashed potato pizza
What Yelpers Say: "I'm overdue for a review. I have discovered one of my favorite pizza and gelato places and coming here is such a sinful treat! There definitely is something special about real Italians making real ROMAN style pizza. Roman style? it's not like Chicago or New York, so don't compare," Jane A. said.
4. Beyer Deli (Otay Mesa)
Cuisine: Deli sandwiches, salads
What Yelpers Like: The New Yorker, man handler sandwich, raging bull sandwich
What Yelpers Say: "Food... Amazing! Customer service... Amazing! Price... Affordable! Experience... Best you will ever have! Family owned business that takes cares for its neighborhood and stands strong with our First Responders. Do yourself a favor by visiting this establishment. It will not disappoint," wrote Jonathan G.
5. De Cabeza (Chula Vista)
What Yelpers Like: Chorizo verde taco, flan, chilaquiles
What Yelpers Say: "Wow!!!! This place is definitely worth the 5 stars!! I was skeptical at first but yes from the service to the food and the drinks definitely 5 stars. The flautas were the best I've ever had!! The shell was crispy and flavorful. The salsa and sauce was perfect," Curt T. said.
6. R&G Salumeria Wine Bar (Little Italy)
R&G Salumeria Wine Bar
Cuisine: Italian, wine bars, cocktail bars
What Yelpers Like: Lasagna, charcuterie board, lobster bisque
What Yelpers Say: "This meal was as incredible as the company, each and everything we ordered at our large table was absolute perfection. The layers of flavor of each item. When food is cooked with love, you can taste it! A must try is the dessert menu. I don't even usually love tiramisu, but it was Incredible. As good as it was, the homemade limoncello was other worldly! Truly a masterpiece in each bite. This is a must dine in downtown San Diego. I would go back each and every trip!" Brooke W. wrote.
7. Adrian's Surf N' Turf Grill (Clairemont Mesa)
Cuisine: Seafood, steakhouses, sandwiches
What Yelpers Like: Fish and chips, coconut shrimp, ahi sashimi tacos
What Yelpers Say: "If you plan to visit and are a seafood lover, you must and ABSOLUTELY MUST try the 3 Mini Ahi Sashimi Tacos! Perfectly fried Crispy Wonton Taco Shell, pan seared tuna with the beautiful raw red center, Adrian's tangy vegetable slaw, fresh sliced avocados which brings it to another level, the wakame seaweed that adds the salty and umami, and the dark eel-sauce that ties this dish all together!" Jason B. wrote.
8. Cesarina (Point Loma)
Cuisine: Italian, breakfast & brunch, wine bars
What Yelpers Like: Squash blossoms, spaghetti allo scoglio, vegan pesto pasta
What Yelpers Say: "I still think about the caprese salad. Hands down THE BEST I've ever had. Loved the added capers in this. We split two different pastas, which were both good. You can tell it's all freshly made. YOU HAVE TO ORDER THE TIRASIMÚ!!!! It's made at the table in front of you. Heavenly," wrote Meeghan H.
9. Soichi Sushi (North Park)
Cuisine: Sushi bars, Japanese, seafood
What Yelpers Like: Chopped fatty tuna, toro, Chilean sea bass special
What Yelpers Say: "The fatty toro was also another standout piece to me. The service the entire night was great and Chef Soichi was very welcoming to all of the customers. The chefs would take shots with the customers and I loved the homey feeling of the sushi bar. Highly recommend trying out this omakase experience and I will definitely be back if I can get another reservation!" wrote Brandon D.
Note: Soichi Sushi has received one Michelin Star rating.
10. Classics Malt Shop (Point Loma)
Cuisine: American (Traditional), ice cream and frozen yogurt, hot dogs
What Yelpers Like: Bacon cheeseburger, caliente burger, banana split
What Yelpers Say: "They have an array of ice cream based drinks, including old fashioned cream sodas that we've never had anywhere else. It's a mix of ice cream and soda blended together, followed with a dollop of ice cream and sprite or syrup on top. Do yourself a favor and order the strawberry one!" wrote Bob S.
11. Taste Of Denmark (Hillcrest)
12. Donny’s Cafe (Bonita)
13. Fernandez Restaurant (Imperial Beach)
14. It’s Raw Poke Shop (Ocean Beach)
15. Mad Munch Grilled Cheezer (Ocean Beach)
16. Siamo Napoli (North Park)
17. Mariscos Mi Gusto Es (City Heights)
18. Rollin Roots (Miramar)
19. Mom’s Pizza and Pasta (Sorrento Valley)
20. Bud & Rob’s New Orleans Bistro (Downtown)
21. Pepper Farm Deli (Santee)
22. Soup Du Jour (Serra Mesa)
23. Common Stock (Hillcrest)
24. The Butcher’s Grill House (Pacific Beach)
25. Northside Shack (Point Loma)
26. El Viejón Seafood (Kearny Mesa)
27. Bravo Cafe & Yogurt (Spring Valley)
28. PB Poke House (Pacific Beach)
29. Pizza e Birra (Little Italy)
30. Chiefy Cafe (Downtown)
31. Mary’s Gourmet Salads (La Jolla)
32. Shawarma Guys (South Park)
33. Jaunt Coffee Roasters (Miramar)
34. RoVino Rotisserie + Wine (Little Italy)
35. Ali’s Chicken & Waffles (City Heights)
36. La Perla Cocina Mexicana 3 (Point Loma)
37. Empanada Kitchen (Downtown)
38. The Empanada Spot (Chula Vista)
39. Famous Waffle Sandwich (Kearny Mesa)
40. HiroNori Craft Ramen (Hillcrest)
41. Humble Bean Cafe (Bay Park)
42. Tahini (Clairemont Mesa)
43. Roxys Tacos (Downtown)
44. Coal Bros Taqueria (Downtown)
45. Grains (University Heights)
46. Tavola Nostra Pizzeria e Cucina (Hillcrest)
47. Jane’s Cafe (Mission Valley)
48. Medina Moroccan-Baja Kitchen (North Park)
49. Konito’s Cafe (Pacific Beach)
50. Baba Kabob (Mira Mesa)
Top 50 Places to Eat in North County San Diego
1. Sunny Side Kitchen (Escondido)
Cuisine: Sandwiches, coffee & tea, breakfast & brunch
What Yelpers Like: Breakfast sandwich, meatloaf panini, Tuscan chicken panini
What Yelpers Say: "This place always makes me feel like I'm back home in my grandma's kitchen. The owners are so nice and everything they do is so good," wrote Felina V.
2. Come On Over Cafe (Oceanside)
Cuisine: Cafes, sandwiches, coffee & tea
What Yelpers Like: Breakfast bagel, tuna melt, avocado toast
What Yelpers Say: "This place is just wonderful. It's tucked away in a business park where you wouldn't expect a cute little restaurant to be. The service is amazing and the food is delicious. Last time I went I got a croissant sandwich and it was fabulous and my son had the delicious Grilled Cheese with Bacon," Linda K. wrote.
3. Everest Himalayan Cuisine (Encinitas)
Everest Himalayan Cuisine
Cuisine: Himalayan/Nepalese, Indian, halal
What Yelpers Like: Chicken tikka masala, butter chicken, Himalayan biryani
What Yelpers Say: "This place doesn't disappoint. We always order the chicken tikka masala, the vegetable korma (coconut curry) and garlic naan. The palak paneer is always good too. The badami naan is also good and the chicken Korma as well. I haven't had anything that I didn't like!" wrote Coco S.
4. Greens Please Wellness Kitchen (San Diego)
Greens Please Wellness Kitchen
Cuisine: Juice bars & smoothies, vegan, gluten-free
What Yelpers Like: Mediterranean quinoa bowl, Southwestern chickpea bowl, acai bowl
What Yelpers Say: "Wow!! Can't say enough good things about Greensplease! I was home at my moms house for less than a week and got this 2 times for lunch. The Mediterranean bowl was my favorite. It's filling and so healthy," wrote Sarah H.
5. Yoshino Japanese Deli (Carlsbad)
Cuisine: Japanese, sushi bars, delis
What Yelpers Like: Spicy salmon, poke bowls, Lahaina roll
What Yelpers Say: "Delicious Poke bowls at a good price. Cute little shop with ordering window. Very nice menu with a variety of rolls and Poke bowls. If you haven't had a Poke bowl before, this is the place to go. Very traditional and closest to Hawaii you'll get in San Diego," wrote Ryan S.
6. Gonzo Ramen (Carlsbad)
7. 508 Tavern (Vista)
8. Mr. Bibi (Oceanside)
9. 101 Bagels & Subs (Oceanside)
10. Full Metal Burgers (Oceanside)
11. Tandoori Palace (Encinitas)
12. Bologna Gourmet (Carlsbad)
13. 2051 Cucina Italiana (Carlsbad)
14. The Plot (Oceanside)
15. EscoGelato (Escondido)
16. Tamales Jovita (Escondido)
17. Elena’s Cafe French Crepes (Oceanside)
18. PITA 22 (San Diego)
19. Brown Cup Cafe & Lounge (Oceanside)
20. Elmisa Cafe (San Diego)
21. PizzaManiac (Vista)
22. American Heroes & Brew (Carlsbad)
23. Tropical Juices & Deli (Vista)
24. Pho Saigon Express (Escondido)
25. Peachy’s Market & Grill (Encinitas)
26. Curry Craft (San Marcos)
27. Jeune Et Jolie (Carlsbad)
28. Flavor of Himalaya (San Marcos)
29. Papa Duke’s Deli & Grill (Poway)
30. Irina’s Bar and Grill (Oceanside)
31. Don’s Country Kitchen (Oceanside)
32. Agrusa’s Super Sandwiches (Escondido)
33. Corner Grill (Vista)
34. Sunshine Kitchen (Oceanside)
35. Baba Kabob (Poway)
36. Eat Your Heart Out II (Poway)
37. Pho Truc Xanh (Escondido)
38. Cocina Del Carmen (Vista)
39. Son Tra Sandwiches (Escondido)
40. O’side Sports Bar & Grill (Oceanside)
41. Market Restaurant + Bar (Del Mar)
42. Connie’s (Vista)
43. Alice’s Italian Gourmet (Encinitas)
44. Beach Break Cafe (Oceanside)
45. Sinaloa Mexican & Seafood (Oceanside)
46. The Rib Shack (Fallbrook)
47. Oi Asian Fusion (San Diego)
48. Eugenio Italian Ristorante (San Marcos)
49. Tina’s Deli (San Marcos)
50. Del Lusso (Carlsbad)