10 Best San Diego Value Restaurants: Get More Than You Pay For

You work hard for your money and we know how disappointing it is to feel let down at a restaurant. That moment when you glance at the check shouldn't always cause heart palpitations, though a splurge is nice every once in a while. We've scoured the restaurant choices in San Diego to bring you the best value choices. Chain restaurants are noticeably absent, but we figure their offerings are familiar enough to most people.

For those who crave a nice, sit-down meal in a trendy restaurant CUCINA Urbana is considered good value (unless you're ordering expensive wine--then we can't help you). The food is on par with other high-end restaurants in town, but without stuffiness and expense. We also love the contemporary decor and festive atmosphere.

You can't visit San Diego without trying our signature fish taco. Though Oscar's Mexican Seafood is new, the heaving fish tacos burst with flavor in this pretty much standing-room-only joint. Fish tacos are a mere $2.00 ($.99 during happy hour). Bring cash (no credit cards are accepted) and your appetite.

Whether it's finger-licking barbecue, Mexican food, burgers seen on TV, pizza or gigantic breakfast burritos, it can be found at a price that will keep you and your banker happy.

Phil's BBQ is an institution with mouth-watering barbecued meats worth waiting for. Meat falls off the bones and even onion rings carry the perfect ratio of crunch to flavor. It's Sports Arena location is void of views and character, barbecue...  Read More

Pacific Beach
Kono's Cafe

This Hawaiian-themed, no-frills eatery is revered for its hearty portions, low prices and amiable atmosphere. Late-risers appreciate that breakfast is served from open to close, and burgers get raves as well. If you're lucky, you'll snag a table...  Read More

Filippi's Pizza Grotto

Family-owned and operated since 1950, Filippi's Pizza Grotto is a go-to spot for Italian food in Little Italy. This casual restaurant is famous for mouth-watering pizzas (locals rave about the cheese) and monumental meatball subs. There can be a...  Read More

Barrio Logan isn't really one of San Diego's tourist hot spots but some locals argue that Las Cuatro Milpas is the one place to take out of town guests for Mexican food. There is almost always a line--that can take up to an hour at lunch. The...  Read More

Small and unassuming, El Pescador Fish Market in La Jolla has been a local favorite for over 30 years. Place an order to-go, pick up some fresh fish from the market or dine in. El Pescador is known for it's fish sandwiches, with swordfish and...  Read More

Balboa Park
The Mission

This is one place where waiting for a table proves worthwhile - The Mission is the local favorite for hearty, unusual breakfasts and lunches. Fill up on Chino-Latino and American dishes like the Zen Breakfast (scrambled egg whites, braised tofu,...  Read More

It hasn't been around that long but some are already claiming that Oscar's Mexican Seafood is the best Mexican in San Diego. A hole in the wall near a smoke shop and a dive bar, this gem is casual with a to-go atmosphere and very little seating....  Read More

Hash House A Go Go

Modern diner Hash House A Go Go specializes in BIG "Twisted Farm Food" so bring your appetite. For breakfast or brunch (served a la carte), indulge in a plate of hash with meatloaf, salmon, or corned beef. Try flapjacks such as the traditional...  Read More

CUCINA Urbana, located in Banker's Hill, is a California inspired Italian Kitchen and Wine Shop. Enjoy favorites such as pizza, Stuffed Fried Squash Blossoms, and Veal Piccata while dining traditionally or family-style. Locally-sourced and...  Read More

Recently featured on Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" Hodad's serves up huge, juicy, gourmet burgers without attitude. The atmosphere is dive-like with license plates and memorabilia lining the walls and blaring music to set the...  Read More


Meet Katie Dillon

Katie Dillon originally moved to the seaside community of La Jolla to attend UC San Diego. When the opportunity presented itself, she and her husband set off for a 7 year stint overseas as...  More About Katie

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