Sunsets over the Ocean and Award-Winning Cuisine in Del Mar

Del Mar may be small in size but restaurant choices are big. Most of the restaurants do a great job of maximizing ocean breezes and casual beach vibe. A majority of these restaurants have been local institutions for years.

On the east side of the freeway near affluent Rancho Santa Fe, Market Restaurant and Bar earns consistently positive reviews for chef creativity, outstanding seasonal cuisine and top notch customer service. Guests love the complimentary amuse bouche, sushi and other favorites.

On the totally other end of the spectrum, go for a solid sandwich to take to the beach or eat on a sun-soaked patio at Board and Brew, which has been around since the 1970s. The sandwich menu (and secret sauce) is such a winner that it hasn't changed much over the years, other than the addition of craft beer... and who can argue with that?

For a beachfront meal, try Jake's Del Mar. In addition to the interior (now appropriately coastal-themed), they also renovated the menu to include favorites like ahi tacos, the Jake's bistro burger and, of course, the famous Hula pie.

The only difficult decision is where to go, so we're here to help by outlining 10 awesome picks.

CUCINA enoteca Del Mar is only a few years old but very popular with Del Mar residents. Hospitality veteran Tracey Borkum's latest project involves a 7000 square foot restaurant and wine shop just east of the I-5 in Flower Hill Promenadel. The...  Read More

Fabulous ocean views, a lively bar scene, an award-winning wine list, and a well-conceived menu have catapulted Pacifica Del Mar to the top of the metro San Diego restaurant heap. The menu is varied, emphasizing seafood dishes such as arborio...  Read More

Del Mar Rendezvous

Del Mar Rendezvous was created by the people behind San Diego's famous Dumpling Inn and is a higher-end Chinese food option located in Del Mar Plaza. The menu has over 100 dishes on it and a wide array of Chinese fare complimented by a modern...  Read More

Brigantine Del Mar

The Brigantine has been a local favorite for decades. Perhaps the most famous dish on the menu is the fish tacos, which are beer-battered and covered in cheddar cheese and ranch dressing. Or, order from the famous oyster bar paired with a...  Read More

PrepKitchen has several locations all over San Diego, including this one. It's popular for simple, locally-sourced ingredients and great artisanal cocktails. Locals rave about the shared plates including charred octopus with chorizo and fava...  Read More

Cafe Secret specializes in delicious and reasonably-priced seafood-based, Peruvian cuisine. Beautifully-plated food is served in a relaxed and welcoming setting. Whether you are in the mood to indulge in something new or just want to enjoy some...  Read More

Jake's Del Mar
Photo courtesy of Jake's Del Mar

Jake's Del Mar has been popular with residents and visitors for many years. The restaurant is located right on the sand and open daily for lunch, happy hour, and dinner as well as Sunday brunch. Jake's also has a very large selection of...  Read More

Board & Brew has been a staple in Del Mar since 1979. The local favorite serves simple sandwiches with no preservatives, no substitutes and no frozen meats. The secret sauce is another hook that tastes good on any sandwich. But try the Baja...  Read More

KITCHEN 1540 is an award-winning restaurant located in the L'Auberge Del Mar, one of San Diego's luxury boutique hotels. But, this isn't your standard hotel restaurant. The menu here is eclectic and infused with Chef Brandon Fortune's Southern...  Read More

Market Restaurant & Bar

Market's decor in an earthy palette of persimmon, sage and chocolate is perfectly suited to chef Carl Schroeder's inventive Asian-tinged cooking. Fresh fruits and vegetables play a prominent role in virtually every dish, from the sushi menu...  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