8 San Diego Restaurants to Try in 2016 and James Beard Semifinalists

Bracero - James Beard Foundation Semifinalist

Locals have known this for a while, but the world is taking notice that San Diego’s amazing culinary scene is booming! Award-winning chefs are choosing San Diego to open their restaurants and serve up dishes highlighting every type of cuisine, including Cali-Baja, a culinary style unique to San Diego.

With so much culinary talent in the region, it’s no surprise that San Diego is showing up on national lists highlighting the country’s best food experiences.

San Diego’s James Beard Award Semifinalists

After receiving about 20,000 submissions, the James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee, composed of critics, writers, and editors, went to work and produced the list of semifinalists.

For 2016, the judges have honored San Diego with four nominations!

  • Best Chef: West – William Bradley, Addison at the Grand Del Mar
    Where: 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, CA 92130
  • Outstanding Wine Program – Addison at the Grand Del Mar
  • Outstanding Bar ProgramPolite Provisions
    Where: 4696 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92116
  • Best New RestaurantBracero – Cocina de Raíz
    Where: 1490 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Yelp’s Top Places to Eat

Love it or hate it, Yelp’s massive amount of data (reviews, stars, check-ins, etc.) helped it curate the review site’s annual list of Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016, and San Diego venues claimed 8 spots on this impressive list!

Here are the eight places in San Diego county that you need to try before December 31st!

  1. Tacos El Gordo
    Where: 689 H St, Chula Vista, CA 91910
  2. T Deli
    Where: 1469 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
  3. Oscar’s Mexican Seafood
    North Pacific Beach – 703 Turquoise Street, San Diego, CA 92109
    Pacific Beach – 746 Emerald Street, San Diego, CA 92109
    Hillcrest – 646 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
  4. Sushi Ota
    Where: 4529 Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
  5. Coop’s West Texas Barbeque
    Where: 2625 Lemon Grove Ave., Lemon Grove, CA. 91945
  6. Beach Break Cafe
    Where: 1802 South Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054
  7. Phil’s BBQ
    Point Loma – 3750 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego, CA 92110
    San Marcos – 579 Grand Avenue, San Marcos, CA 92078
    Santee – 9816 Mission Gorge Rd., Santee, CA 92071
  8. Yoshino Japanese Deli
    Where: 2913 State St, Carlsbad, CA 92008
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Brent Bernasconi

About Brent Bernasconi

I am a local San Diegan (though surprisingly, I do not know how to surf). While not at work, I enjoy biking, running, soccer, bocce ball, craft brew (I hope to make a batch of home brew one day), reading, movies, and a video game here and there. My goal is to set foot in as many states, countries and continents as I possibly can (I have hit 14 states, 9 countries, and 3 continents), though I will always call San Diego home. How would you describe your ideal San Diego day?So after a good night's sleep, first I would take the puppy for a nice long walk. Then I would pack the bicycle panniers with a picnic lunch for the wife and I and we would ride over to Mission Trails for some trail riding and then a lovely lunch under the shade by the river. After the ride home, a shower and a nap would follow. Once rested, we would head out to the Blind Lady and enjoy a local brew and some organic pizza.If you were invisible, where would you go?Area 51! I would love to know what they are doing that is so top secret.What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?So many choices, but if I have to pick one I would choose bikingrunningsoccerbocceball. Though sitting outside with a good book on a sunny day would come in close second.Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?Nothing could be better than a San Diego Craft Beer (Hess, Stone, Ballast Point, Automatic, and many many more) and a burger with onion rings and BBQ-sauce. Though you will often find me boiling some pasta with a glass of wine in my hand and Ratatouille on in the background.Latest music purchases for my iPod/MP3 player are…A few albums by Jonathan Coulton, the ultimate geek musician. If you get a chance, listen to Code Monkey.If you like, you can follow me on Twitter @bernasconi.

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