San Diego's Best Restaurants: Locally Sourced, Sustainable and Spectacular

Don’t be fooled by San Diego’s casual vibe. The culinary scene is hot and easily rivals that of any major metropolitan city. San Diego is not just about fish tacos (though eat as many as you can while visiting) and you don’t always need to check your flip flops at the door to enjoy a meal of a lifetime.

Locally-sourced, farm-to-table, organic and sustainable are buzz words you see on menus, but it’s not just hype. San Diego chefs are active in social media, show genuine concern for the environment as well as customers, and often work together to promote charitable causes. A few have been featured on TV shows such as NINE-TEN’s Jason Knibb on Iron Chef and Herringbone’s Brian Malarkey on Top Chef. Our chefs are a force to be reckoned with.

Ambiance varies by place. Traditional Craftsman-style architecture gives A.R. Valentien a cozy Southern California feel while the eclectic, but rustic flair of Brian Malarkey’s Herringbone may overload your senses (in a good way). Ocean views are common as are spectacular values at happy hour. Speaking of getting happy, craft beers, specialty cocktails and award-winning wine lists are the norm. Can’t find a sitter? Not to worry as kids are welcome, too.

Whatever you happen to be craving, you can find it in San Diego.



NINE-TEN offers an "Evolving California Cuisine" menu dictated by fresh products discovered during daily excursions to local artisan providers. Go for breakfast, lunch or dinner and sit inside the casually elegant interior or people watch from...  Read More



Truluck's La Jolla has been recognized by many of San Diego's local publications for a good reason. Come hungry, because you'll want it all from crab claws to Lobster Bisque to perfectly cooked prime cuts of steak with sauce choices such as...  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

The Marine Room
Photo courtesy of The Marine Room


Perhaps best known for its setting right on the beach, so close to the water that at particularly high tides the waves crash on the windows, the Marine Room also happens to serve fine, globally-influenced cuisine. Start with the signature...  Read More



With a farm-to-table approach, Whisknladle succeeds in making simple food taste extraordinary. The menu changes with the season and is void of fuss. Everything is made from scratch, including the tonics and purees for the artisanal cocktails....  Read More

Balboa Park


Bertrand at Mr. A's just might be one of the best places to enjoy a skyline view of Downtown San Diego, Coronado, Balboa Park and Point Loma, with the occasional plane landing or taking off from the airport. Imagine the sunset at dinner time:...  Read More

A.R. Valentien
Photo courtesy of The Lodge at Torrey Pines


As the signature restaurant in The Lodge at Torrey Pines, A.R. Valentien is a tribute to Southern California heritage. Executive Chef Jeff Jackson features dishes with basic ingredients, minimal handling and simple combinations in order to...  Read More



Herringbone, the fifth of Brian Malarkey's San Diego empire, has become a popular spot in La Jolla for lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night fun. The farm-to-sea concept menu is divided up into sections hot, cold, greens, crusts (pizza),...  Read More



Dramatically situated on Prospect Street in La Jolla overlooking the blue Pacific, George's at the Cove combines exceptional cuisine and service with spectacular views from every level of the multi-tiered restaurant. Dine in the contemporary...  Read More

Photo courtesy of The Grand Del Mar Resort San Diego


Exquisite seasonal dining awaits at Addison, Southern California's only five star/five diamond restaurant. Appropriately located in the opulent The Grand Del Mar, Addison makes the top of our list. Be prepared for artistically prepared, modern...  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