What’s new this winter in San Diego?
San Diego’s food scene is an ever-expanding universe of endless delights. Here’s a sampling of the latest and greatest, to help you get a taste of everything novel, delicious, and exciting. Time to get out there and sample the new and now.
Where: 3888 4th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
The crust runs deep at this Chicago-style pizzeria’s first San Diego location, recently unveiled in Hillcrest. There are thin-crust pizzas, salads, and piadina flatbread sandwiches. But the main event here is epically thick-crusted pie with toppings like chicken tikka masala, spinach pesto, vegan veggies, and plenty more for meat lovers.
Where: 131 D Street, Encinitas, CA, 92024
Celebrity chef Brian Malarkey lent his touch to Encinitas this fall with this coastal wood-fired eatery. The eye-catching art deco space is equipped with an oyster and raw bar to augment a menu of seafood mains like whole branzino and Maine lobster, plus housemade pizza, pasta, and decadent desserts. Butterscotch budino, anyone?
Where: 3707 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
The rich flavors of Southern Mexican cuisine recently landed in Hillcrest in this upscale Oaxacan-inspired restaurant. For lunch and dinner, options range from salmon en adobo to grilled octopus and braised lamb birria. On weekdays at happy hour, a taco cart serves hand-pressed tortillas along side Baja craft beer and vino from the wine region south of the border, Valle de Guadalupe.
Where: 4853 Convoy Street, San Diego, CA 92111
It works with crepes, so why not Belgian waffles? Fold one like a taco and stuff it with sweet or savory fillings like chocolate and peanut butter, mango and cream cheese, ham and cheese, or fried chicken. It’s all the rage in the Philippines, where this chain got its start.
Where: 2632 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
This walk-up window serves up the beautifully simple $6 Dirty Flat Top burgers that made its parent restaurant, The Friendly, an instant classic. There’s a comfy heated patio to take grilled burgers topped with things like butter-braised onions, American cheese, and garlic aioli. No modifications are allowed—but they’re not hardly necessary with this timeless formula.
Where: 4633 Convoy St, Suite 107, San Diego, CA 92111
Add this to the ever-expanding list of inventive Asian desserts to try. Bubble tea and waffles from this Chinese chain with three San Diego locations. You may have had bubble tea, but Happy Lemon is the only place you can find their proprietary whipped, cheesecake-style topping.
Where: 511 F Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Tacos El Gordo’s Tijuana-style tacos have become the stuff of legend in San Diego. At long last it is no longer necessary to make the trek to Chula Vista (or TJ) to feast on their mouthwatering tacos, quesadillas and other antojitos. The family-owned taqueria has just opened shop in downtown San Diego. The queues that are sure to follow will give you ample time to decide just how many adobada, carne asada, or suadero tacos to order. (Err on the side of more!)
Where: 12925 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130
The shopping center’s crown jewel is this new collection of 10 restaurants and at least one cocktail bar situated in a stunning airy, light-filled indoor-outdoor space. Modeled after the Barcelona dining destination El Nacional, this public market is part of a larger renovation of the shopping center that also adds dozens of retailers like fitness studios and boutiques for a holistic shopping and lifestyle experience. Opening winter 2020.
The Hold Fast
Where: 2816 Historic Decatur Road, San Diego, CA 92106
A new addition coming soon to Liberty Public Market. This stall’s sushi hand rolls are made with strictly local and sustainable seafood. Chef Rob Ruiz is expanding on the ocean-minded approach to seafood he perfected at his much-lauded Carlsbad restaurant The Land and Water Company.
The downtown neighborhood Barrio Logan is slated to be the newest home of this beloved soul food chain. By the end of winter, the L.A. born establishment will be serving up its namesake fried chicken and waffles. Plus, you can order other hearty comfort foods like biscuits and gravy, corn bread, mac and cheese, and greens.