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Best Restaurants in San Diego

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Due to an influx of creative, young chefs who often incorporate the bounty of local farms and ranches into their menus, the fine dining scene of San Diego is very diverse, and includes terrific seafood, frequently featured in California cuisine and Italian fare, along with eclectic fusion food that has carved out a substantial niche, as well.

Oceanaire Seafood Room

Average price: $15-$50
Recommended For: Romantic, Business
Address: 400 J St, at Fourth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, Downtown, San Diego Phone: (619)858-2277

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With an emphasis on simplicity, seasonal preparations and regionally inspired dishes, the popular Oceanaire features top local products as well as fish brought in daily from around the globe. As chic and elegant as a Titanic-style luxury liner, featuring a retro-nautical decor and a dramatic staircase, the Oceanaire offers the perfect setting to enjoy the freshest seafood. The restaurant offers eclectic menu which incorporates elements of Pacific Rim, Italian, classic French, and Asian cuisine. Those who favor simplicity may have the catch-of-the-day simply grilled or broiled. Non-fish eaters will enjoy top-quality prime beef, chicken, and pork.

The Oceanaire is the dining establishment where exceptional seafood meets exceptional service. Attentive and knowledgeable staff will delight you with exceptional service and guide you through the wide variety of items on the menu.

Nothing reveals the delightful flavor of fresh fish like the perfect wine. The tradition of pairing great wines with great food is brought to life at The Oceanaire. Here the wine stewards will help you select the perfect wine that best compliments your meal.


Average price: Main courses $29-$54, sushi $6-$14
Recommended For: Romantic, Business, Get-Together with Friends
Address: 207 Fifth Ave, at L St., Gaslamp Quarter, Downtown, San Diego Phone: (619)814-4124

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Much more than just an excellent Japanese Sushi Bar, Nobu Gourmet Japanese Restaurant offers a wide selection of authentic Japanese appetizers and entrees, catering to the true Japanese palate. What distinguishes it from any other Japanese restaurant in San Diego is its expert staff, wide selection of traditional Japanese cuisine, and long tradition of quality and dedication to the customers.

Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is known for his creative, celebrity-approved sushi and Asian fusion cuisine. Matsuhisa is a real master of beautiful presentations who artistically blends the textures and flavors. House specialties include the broiled black cod with miso and the Sino-Latino scallops tiradito. When in doubt what to order, entrust yourself to the chef with the omakase tasting menu.

Not only is Nobu a great place to enjoy fine Japanese cuisine, but also an excellent gathering place to meet friends, watch sports, and participate in the many ongoing fun activities featured in the Nobu Bar. The restaurant features a formal Tatami Room and an intimate fireside area for those special occasions where privacy is desired. Nobu also has a heated outdoor patio dining area.


Average price: Main courses $19-$28
Recommended For: Romance, Friendly Get-Together
Address: 1337 India St., San Diego, between A and Ash Sts., Downtown, San Diego Phone: (619) 595-0300

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San Diego boasts many supper clubs, but no club or restaurant can compare with the smashing success of Anthology. Both a fine-dining establishment and a world-class live music venue, Anthology welcomes the visitors to enjoy a savory evening of fine cuisine, offering a modern American menu created by James Beard-award winner Bradley Ogden, with emphasis on farm fresh, locally grown ingredients. Not only is Anthology the restaurant where excellent food is served, but also a sophisticated, acoustically excellent concert hall where you can enjoy jazz, blues and world music.

You can join the main floor action by dining at the community table or sit gathered with your friends in one of the premium booths. Or engage in a more casual vibe in the Bar and Lounge where you can sample mouthwatering morsels that include: Shelton Farms Chicken Lollipops with Granny Smith Apple Slaw, Spiced Chili Glaze and Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese Dip and Yellowfin Tuna Crudo with Crisp Crispy Menlo Wrapper, Jalapeno, California Citrus, Yuzu Avocado Emulsion, all for $10 and under!

Island Prime Restaurant

Average price: $31-$40
Recommended For: Romance, Families with Children
Address: 880 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: (619) 298-6802

Nestled atop San Diego Bay overlooking the city skyline, Island Prime Restaurant welcomes to experience quintessential San Diego. Located on the edge of Harbor Island, Island Prime's stilt-supported structure extends out over the bay, giving diners the sense as if they were floating along on a dinner cruise. This is a perfect place to enjoy relaxing comfortable dining experience along with excellent food and service. And the view is simply unbelievable! If the weather permits, ask for a table on the water on the patio. They have plenty of outdoor heaters.

The interior of Island Prime's is sumptuous, done in earth tones, with sleek glass, dark wood and polished stone. Warm lighting accentuates the rustic textures with large, fresh flower arrangements filled with lilies and other exotic flora. To the left, in a section of its own, is C-Level Lounge, Island Prime’s more casual counterpart, with its own kitchen, its own menu, and even its own staff. The only thing the two restaurants share is the bar, which offers a wide selection of cocktails such as the Ricky Ricardo mojito and the Skyline Martini.

Chef Deborah Scott’s retro, yet sophisticated menu features steaks, seafood, and other diversely decadent dishes. Appetizers include lobster tostada, lobster sherry bisque and lobster Fontina grilled with cheese. As for main courses, we recommend the filet mignon trio with wild mushrooms, Gorgonzola and blue crab, and the hazelnut-crusted scallops. Scott offers healthy items like her everything-crusted ahi, sushi-grade yellow fin seared rare and dusted in a mélange of spices, served with rice, pineapple and ginger.

If you are a sweet-tooth, treat yourself to Crème Brûlée trio served on a square plate. The first dish has a blueberry crème brûlée with a soft chocolate cookie on top; the second, a cherry crème with a crumbly almond cookie; and the third is a classic vanilla. The blueberry and cherry custards both have fresh fruits mixed in, and all have the smooth texture and rich flavor. If you love bananas, don't miss chocolate-dipped frozen banana, chocolate-topped banana bread pudding and peanut butter ice cream with caramelized bananas.

Featuring the nostalgic cuisine and the breath-taking view, Island Prime will surely keep you coming back for more.

Cafe Chloe

Average price: $21-$30
Recommended For: Romantic
Address: 721 Ninth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101-6481 Phone: (619) 232-3242

This little gem of an eatery on the corner of Ninth Avenue and G Street has all the looks and smells of an upscale sidewalk bistro in Paris. The charming French restaurant is slightly off the beaten path of tourists and creates some really amazing food. Whether having breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner, Cafe Chloe will transport you to the far away cafes of Paris for a meal to remember.

The dining atmosphere is very cafe style with small tables and very intimate. They also offer al fresco dining. Small round tables line the rod iron fence on either side of the corner entrance. Inside, colorful French prints hang in the small dining room, featuring a half-circle bar hiding brass coffee machines and wine bottles.

Though Cafe Chloe's menu is in French, you can also find gourmet macaroni and cheese and French fries. Among the restaurant's signature dishes are perfectly prepared French steak frites or herbed chicken with macaroni and pancetta gratin. All of their entrees use seasonal ingredients, all-natural Brandt beef and free range Jidori chicken. Breakfast and brunch offer gourmet teas and rotating cheese selections which are well-paired with seasoned crostinis and assorted tapenades.

But don't forget to leave room for dessert, a good thing considering the homemade ice cream and bread pudding which are not to be missed.

Bertrand at Mister A's Restaurant

Average price: Main courses $13-$27 lunch, $28-$45 dinner
Recommended For: Romantic, Business
Address: 2550 Fifth Ave, at Laurel Street, Hillcrest, San Diego Phone: (619) 239-1377

Perched atop a skyscraper on the edge of downtown, Bertrand at Mister A’s Restaurant offers one of the most outstanding dining experiences along with the most spectacular views in San Diego. From the windows of the restaurant you can see the beautiful San Diego skyline, with views of San Diego Bay, Balboa Park, Coronado, Point Loma and even the world’s famous San Diego Zoo. Modern American cuisine with French and Mediterranean influences elegantly compliments the cosmopolitan backdrop. The seasonal menu incorporates the utmost quality meats and fish, including such signature dishes as veal medallions, bouillabaisse, and Maine lobster strudel. And the wine list is extensive and impressive.

Elegant, bright and sophisticated, with an array of modern art, Bertrand at Mister A's Restaurant offers an indulgent dining experience and always impeccable service. The main dining room offers a premier dining experience, while a more casual, although no less delicious, menu is served in the patio and bar. You can also enjoy an inspiring San Diego sunset and unsurpassed vistas from the outdoor, wrap around balcony of the restaurant.

Baci Ristorante

Average price: $25-$50
Recommended For: Romantic, Business
Address: 1955 Morena Blvd., San Diego, CA 92110 Phone: (619) 275-2094

One of the best Italian restaurants in San Diego, charming and welcoming Baci Ristorante offers fabulous cuisine, an extensive wine list, elegant patio setting, and romantic main dining room. All this has made Baci a consistent favorite among locals for more than 30 years. At the Baci Ristorante the menu is classic, celebrating Northern and Southern Italian cuisine, which showcases the brilliance of fresh seafood, succulent meat, and rich flavors. Specialties include classic pasta dishes, veal, and fresh seafood, with especially tempting daily specials offered by Executive Chef Domenico Alioto.

While the menu is classic, the decor is subtly modern, with touches of Italian rusticity mixed with modern sophistication. Still, Baci Ristorante does offer diners a hint of old world Italian charm, featuring plush booths, white tablecloths, and gracious servers dressed in tuxedos. The elegant dining room is surrounded by art deco accents and crisp white linens, and the rich, mahogany bar sets an elegant yet unassuming tone. Or you may dine al fresco on the romantic patio with the same comfort and pleasure. No matter where you sit, you are sure to have a decadent and delightful meal.