There is so much more to San Diego than beaches – not that this isn’t enough to justify a trip. This perpetually sunny city in Southern California is also known for its incredible food. Cuisine in San Diego hones in on the freshest seafood in the country alongside ingredients plucked from local farms. After all, San Diego County holds the monopoly on the volume of farms.
Influences from Mexico and Southeast Asia bring a tantalizing twist to the food scene, with a bounty of fish tacos and sushi eats scattered throughout the city. This is where to seek the sunshine and best food in San Diego.
Most Beautiful Beaches in San Diego
San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline is divided into 31 glorious beaches with plenty of options to cater to all interests.
Just north of La Jolla Cove, the beach frequented by sea lions, Torrey Pines State Beach is the number one destination for hikers and wildlife enthusiasts. This state park is best visited in tandem with Sbicca, an oceanside bistro with a roof terrace devoted to the classic dishes of Southern California.
With gentle waves and excellent amenities, Fletcher Cove Beach Park is the best San Diego beach for families with children. Visit in conjunction with the urban winery Carruth Cellars where tastings and tours operate. Grapes are sourced from Northern California before being fermented, aged, and bottled on-site in San Diego ready for purchase.
Bordered by sand dunes, South Ponto Beach is one of the wildest and most secluded options. Round off a windswept stroll with Peruvian ceviche and imported wines from Argentina and Chile at Q'ero Restaurant.
Where to Eat in San Diego
Whet your appetite with a sample of where you can connect with San Diego’s remarkable food culture.
Addison – for immersive fine dining
As the only restaurant in San Diego to lay claim to three Michelin stars, Addison in Carmel Valley is a must for food-minded travelers. Former sous-chef Jonathan Brambila recently rose to chef de cuisine in light of Stefani De Palma’s departure, joining executive chef William Bradley.
Dining at Addison is an experience, with the tasting menu spanning upwards of 11 courses. While showcasing the allure of California gastronomy, the seasonal menu reflects trends in New French cooking with a thoughtful wine pairing to draw out the finer flavors. As this popular destination books out months in advance, careful planning is essential.
The Fishery – for ocean-fresh seafood and shellfish
Conveniently located in Pacific Beach, the Fishery evolved from a fish market and distribution hub into this long stay on Cass Street. Founded by a fisherman, the menu focuses on sustainably caught and in-season seafood. Visit in summer for the chance to dine on scallop ceviche drenched in citrus juices while winter is the time for warming clam chowder. The house specialty, salt spring mussels, as well as oyster towers are available year-round.
Soichi – for gourmet sushi
Traditional sushi and sashimi is artistically presented at this Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant in University Heights. However, for the full gastronomic experience, you will want to order an omakase, of which there are three variations available. The principal offering comprises eight courses handpicked by Chef Soichi. Concluded with homemade ice cream, the tasting menu is enhanced with a sake pairing. As with Addison, advance planning is crucial to secure a table.
This is only a taste of what awaits you in San Diego. Contact me and we will formulate your bespoke food and wine itinerary.
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