Are you looking for the best spot to grab a bite in Downtown San Diego? No problem our team has compiled a complete guide of our 12 favorite restaurants in Downtown. Whether you are looking for seafood, American fare, or an Italian meal, you will find the perfect place to eat because there is something for everyone in this city. Continue reading for our 12 recomendations:
1. Water Grill San Diego
This is a sophisticated seafood restaurant with extensive raw-bar options & a menu updated daily. Water Grill is located in the Gaslamp quarter. If you want some upscale seafood and a nice glass of red wine, this is the place for you.
This is one of the best restaurants in San Diego. It is ideal for special occasions, romantic dates, or business dinners. At this restaurant, guests can indulge in delectable starters such as Clam Chowder, Crisp Calamari, and Wild Spanish Octopus.
Additionally, the menu boasts specialty sushi rolls like the King Crab California Roll and Spicy Lobster Roll, which are perfect for getting your appetite going. A Raw Bar is also available for diners who love caviar, oysters, and other types of seafood.
2.Trattoria Don Pietro – Sicilian Italian Cuisine
If you want to enjoy delicious Italian cuisine and start your meal with some of the finest red wines, this is the place you are looking for. Trattoria Don Pietro is an upscale restaurant with a mouthwatering menu filled with classic Italian dishes. The space has elegant decor and a cozy ambiance, which makes it perfect for special occasions.
This restaurant also offers a modern Italian venue with outdoor dining featuring traditional pasta, pizzas & desserts.
3. The Melting Pot
The Melting Pot Restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego offers a unique dining experience for bringing people together. This restaurant is known for its multi-course fondue menu that is both delicious and interactive. The concept behind The Melting Pot is to encourage guests to take their time while dining, savoring each course and enjoying the company of their companions.
You will get various options, including cheese fondue, perfect for sharing as an appetizer. You can choose from classic cheese blends or a unique flavor combination like their Spinach Artichoke Cheese Fondue.
The main course includes options like steak, seafood, and chicken, which are then cooked in a pot of flavorful broth at the table. Vegetarian options are also available for those who prefer meat-free options. But the show’s real star at The Melting Pot is the dessert fondue. You can indulge in melted chocolate with various dipping options such as strawberries, marshmallows, and pound cake.
4. STK Steakhouse
STK San Diego seamlessly combines two distinct concepts—the modern steakhouse and a trendy lounge. The restaurant features theatrical lighting highlighting each table, while its large windows offer patrons a view of the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter.
Additionally, a talented DJ creates a lively atmosphere throughout the space, adding to its upbeat ambiance. STK San Diego is conveniently located at the Andaz San Diego, in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. You can enjoy a variety of dishes that range from simple to sophisticated at this restaurant.
5. Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant
Dobson’s Bar and Restaurant is a true hidden gem tucked away in the heart of Downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. For nearly four decades, it has been a go-to spot for business lunches and has welcomed numerous local and national celebrities. The restaurant’s namesake, Paul Dobson, is a renowned professional Bullfighter in the United States.
Dobson’s Bar and Restaurant offers a unique blend of California cuisine with a hint of Italian, French, Spanish, and Baja flavors. San Diego locals and Zagat reviewers agree that Dobson’s is one of the city’s top restaurants. Due to its limited seating and popularity, reservations are highly recommended to secure a spot at this sought-after dining destination.
6. Rustic Root
Rustic Root offers a dynamic rustic American cuisine rooted in tradition but also features an inventive modern twist. The menu highlights dishes made with high-quality ingredients and infused with seasonal flavors.
In addition to its delicious food, Rustic Root boasts a signature drink menu that focuses on timeless and iconic classics. You can enjoy playful drinks & cocktail shots, which are miniature versions of the classics finished with curated garnishes.
Whether you’re looking for innovative cuisine or a creative cocktail, Rustic Root delivers both in a sophisticated and inviting atmosphere.
7. Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine
If you’re looking for fresh, sustainably-sourced seafood in the Gaslamp Quarter, Lionfish is the perfect spot for you. It is located in the Pendry San Diego on 5th Avenue. Lionfish is a modern and innovative restaurant with fresh-catch cuisine and seasonal ingredients.
The restaurant is helmed by San Diego-native Chef JoJo Ruiz, who has studied under Michelin stars and celebrity chefs. Chef Ruiz has developed a network of local fishermen and produces growers, ensuring that Lionfish’s kitchen only uses the freshest and most seasonal ingredients available.
The two-story space at Lionfish is a unique and exciting addition to San Diego’s seafood restaurants, offering a hip, healthy, and eccentric menu that is not excessive.
8. Nobu San Diego
Nobu is a world-renowned restaurant that has gained acclaim for its award-winning “New Style” Japanese cuisine. With locations across the globe, including San Diego, Nobu continues to offer culinary adventures to its savvy diners.
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the mastermind behind the menu, has created legendary dishes, such as the Black Cod Miso and Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno, a must-try for anyone visiting the restaurant. If you want to splurge on a fantastic dining experience, Nobu is the place to go.
9. The Fish Market – San Diego
This restaurant is located on the bayfront. The Fish Market offers a variety of fresh and sustainable seafood plates with a focus on grilled fish. Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch or a romantic dinner, this restaurant is the perfect spot.
The outdoor seating area provides a beautiful bay view and a perfect ambiance to enjoy your meal. In addition to the restaurant, there is also a retail fish market on-site where you can purchase fresh seafood to cook at home.
So whether you’re a seafood lover or just looking for a unique dining experience, this restaurant is a must-visit destination in downtown San Diego.
10. Empanada Kitchen
If you’re looking for downtown san diego restaurants that provide a taste of Argentina in San Diego, look no further than this restaurant. Specializing in handmade, baked empanadas, this restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a gourmet experience on the go.
Empanadas are a staple in Argentine cuisine, and this restaurant prides itself on using the freshest ingredients to create delicious, authentic empanadas. From traditional beef and chicken to vegetarian and vegan options, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether grabbing a quick bite or ordering in for a group, these empanadas will satisfy your cravings and give you a taste of Argentine food culture.
11. The Lion’s Share
It is a cozy restaurant and bar that offers a unique experience of high-quality cocktails and an exotic meats menu. Whether looking for a great Happy Hour deal or a late-night meal, The Lion’s Share covers you.
The restaurant’s intimate ambiance and attention to detail make it a favorite among locals and visitors. The carefully crafted menu focuses on wild game, sustainable seafood, and locally-sourced ingredients. In addition to the food, it is also known for its extensive and inventive cocktail menu, featuring classic drinks with a twist and creative, original creations.
Whether you are in the mood for a perfectly crafted Old Fashioned or a whimsical concoction served in a unique glass, the bartenders at The Lion’s Share are sure to impress. So if you are looking for a unique and unforgettable dining experience in the heart of San Diego, head over to The Lion’s Share and indulge in their exotic meats and creative cocktails.
12. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
Elevate your dining experience at this sophisticated and refined fine-dining chain with a fantastic delectable seafood and steak menu. With a commitment to using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, every dish is meticulously prepared to delight your taste buds.
While indulging in a meal at this elegant restaurant, you can also savor the sounds of live jazz music in the cocktail lounge, adding to the ambiance of your dining experience.
Whether celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for a memorable night out, this fine-dining chain provides the perfect setting for an evening of refined and luxurious dining.
Thanks For Reading!
The downtown San Diego food scene is vibrant and eclectic, with various cuisines and dining experiences waiting. Whether you’re craving sushi or steak, there’s no shortage of restaurants featuring mouthwatering menu items in the area. Whether it’s upscale dining or simple seafood dishes, you’ll find many options when visiting one of these top downtown San Diego restaurants. If you find yourself in need of extra storage near San Diego, consider renting a storage unit from one of our many local facilities. Thanks for reading we hope you found the perfect restaurant in Downtown!