San Diego Smarts takes a look at 12 of the best restaurants in the city. Not only do we review San Diego's superlative world class cuisine, but we also look at restaurants that cater to a wide range of tastes--both gastronomical and otherwise.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
400 J Street
The Oceanaire Seafood Room was voted best restaurant of 2009 by San Diego Magazine. This upscale eatery is renowned for its exceptional service and its superb wine list. Oceanaire's inviting menu, which features seasonal ingredients like ahi tuna, spiny lobster, and Mexican white seabass, is the product of Executive Chef Sean P. Langlais. This restaurant is open seven-days a week and has valet parking.
Georges at the Cove
1250 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037
Georges at the Cove is three restaurants in one and each has a great view of the ocean. On the first floor is George's California Modern, the middle floor is home to George's Bar, and on the rooftop you'll find Ocean Terrace (think bistro). Executive Chef Trey Foshee's menu features a bevy of scrumptious and "intensely seasonal" seafood dishes.
3823 30th Street
The hip Urban Solace is located north of Downtown in the heart of North Park's "Restaurant Row." Urban Solace is dedicated to bringing a neighborhood dining experience to San Diego foodies. Executive Chef Matt Gordon's menu features classic and cutting edge American dishes. The restaurant also serves a marvelous array of wine, crafted beer, and cocktails. Don't forget to check out Sunday's Bluegrass Brunch.
5200 Grand Del Mar Way
If you had to describe Addison in one word it would be "elegant." The signature restaurant of the Grand Del Mar Resort, Addison's Executive Chef William Bradley infuses contemporary French cuisine with the best local ingredients. The dining area at the Addison has an old world atmosphere as well as a view of the resort's golf course. Addison's wine room is considered by many to be the best in San Diego.
Bertrand at Mister A's
2550 Fifth Avenue Twelfth Floor
Bertrand at Mister A's offers patrons an exquisite view of the city's skyline including Balboa Park, Coronado, and the San Diego Zoo. Chef Stephane Voitzwinklker has assembled a menu that mixes modern American Cuisine with French and Mediterranean nuisances. Bertrand is also known for its attentive staff and professional service.
111 Washington Street
Since 1997, Bronx Pizza has been offering hungry San Diegans some of the best in New York style thin crust pizza. Great atmosphere and friendly customer service highlight this pithy pizzeria. Keep in mind they only accept cash, they don't use pineapple, and they leave the salads at the supermarket. Bronx Pizza sells pizza by the slice as well as whole pies.
2965 Historic Decatur Road
Corvette Diner is a great family restaurant. This 1950's theme restaurant features Chef Daniel Diaz's all-American menu. Patrons can choose from delicious cheese burgers, skin-on fries, shakes, and even egg creams. As an added bonus, the waitresses wear poodle skirts and bouffant wigs. Even if the kids don't get the ancient 1950's references they will definitely love the arcade and fun center.
4116 Adams Avenue
There are four Burger Lounge locations in the San Diego area: La Jolla, Kensington (detailed info listed above), Coronado, and Little Italy. Don't be fooled into thinking this is just another burger chain. The Burger Lounge was voted 2009's "Best Local Hamburger Joint" by the readers of San Diego Magazine. The hip Burger Lounge utilizes the best ingredients and has a menu that appeals to both burger aficionados and health nuts.
Old Town Mexican Cafe
2489 San Diego Avenue
Old Town Mexican Cafe is not only one of the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego it's also one of the best restaurants of any kind. Open seven days a week from 7am to 2am, OTMC offers a wide variety of Mexican cuisine as well as the city's best margaritas. Look them up on the internet for weekly drink and dinner specials.
4698 Convoy Street
The stylish China Max offers adventurous diners some of the best seafood and Chinese cuisine in San Diego. This upscale and welcoming restaurant weaves traditional Cantonese gastronomy with Western and Asian influences. Some of their more exotic dishes include shark's fin, fried frog, and abalone. Their dim sum is served daily.
3845 4th Avenue
This Zagat rated restaurant offers some of the best nuova cucina Italiana (Italian food) in the city. Open for both pranzo (lunch) and cena (dinner), Arrivederci Ristorante offers exquisite insalate (salads), zuppe (soups) and secondi (entrees). This charming and fashionable restaurant also has a great vino (wine) list.
3750 Sports Arena Boulevard
Consistently voted San Diego's best barbecue, Phil's BBQ (named after restaurateur Phil Pace) satisfies its customers with great service, consistency, freshness, and quality. Phil uses his top secret BBQ sauce to prepare delicious mesquite grilled baby back ribs and succulent barbeque chicken and beef sandwiches. Phil's is strictly causal and keep in mind they are closed on Mondays.