Wherever you are in San Diego, you'll have few problems finding somewhere to
good food in a fun atmosphere at reasonable prices. Everything from crusty coffee shops to stylish ethnic restaurants is in copious supply, with seafood at its best around Mission Beach and the Gaslamp District, and the latter home to the greatest concentration of restaurants, aimed at both tourists and locals alike.
Anthony's Star of the Sea Room
1360 N Harbor Drive, downtown tel 619/232-7408. Pricey Franco-California-style preparations of seafood, justly famed for its freshness and variety, served on a terrace on the waterfront.
748 5th Ave, downtown tel 619/239-3222. This romantic, moon-adorned restaurant serves up wonderful, familiar Italian dishes to a relaxed artsy crowd.
3928 Twiggs St, Old Town tel 619/295-2343. A far cry from the area's many touristy Mexican restaurants, offering low-priced, authentic cooking from all over Latin America.
222 Island Ave at 2nd Ave, downtown tel 619/236-9902. Industrially decorated cafAŠ serving some of the city's best breakfasts and lunches - mainly fresh twists on staples like sandwiches, burgers and salads - and at reasonable prices. Open daily 7am-1.45pm.
Chilango's Mexican Grill
142 University Ave, Hillcrest tel 619/294-8646. Gourmet food for under $8, with solid emphasis on Mexican-vegetarian cooking. Tiny storefront locale is popular with locals and packed to the rafters in the evenings.
425 Robinson Ave, Hillcrest tel 619/295-2510. Old-fashioned American staples at low prices, with a fair selection of homemade desserts.
Croce's Restaurant and Jazz Bar
802 5th Ave, downtown tel 619/233-4355. Devoted to the life and work of folk-rock troubadour Jim Croce, with a pricey but excellent range of pastas and salads; the Sunday jazz brunch is renowned for its tasty mix of music and munchies.
Filippi's Pizza Grotto
1747 India St at Date St, Little Italy tel 619/232-5094. Great pizzas and a handful of scrumptious pasta dishes served in a convivial small room at the back of a Little Italy grocery.
Fio's Cucina Italiana
801 5th Ave at F St, downtown tel 619/234-3467. Stylish, high-priced Italian cuisine aimed for business clientele and special events.
1449 University Ave, Hillcrest tel 619/299-7203. A good spot to enjoy quality, reasonably priced Japanese cuisine, and especially good for combo platters.
704 Garnet Ave, Pacific Beach tel 858/483-1669. Crowded, tourist-centric place for breakfast or lunch on the boardwalk. Serves inexpensive, hefty portions of eggs, sandwiches, hamburgers and other all-American favorites.
Living Room Coffeehouse
1010 Prospect St, La Jolla tel 858/459-1187. Great sandwiches, soups, quiches and pastries in a living room-like setting - a bit comfier than its other three San Diego locations.
Mexican Village Restaurant
120 Orange Ave, Coronado tel 935/435-1822. Good for cheap, south-of-the-border staples and renowned for its authentic music and mind-numbing margaritas.
Mission CafAŠ and Coffeehouse
3795 Mission Blvd, Mission Beach tel 858/488-9060. Mexican breakfasts and lunch offerings, plus beer, specialty coffees, shakes and smoothies. Open late.
Point Loma Seafoods
2805 Emerson St, Ocean Beach tel 619/223-1109. Fast, inexpensive counter serving San Diego's freshest fish'n'chips and oversized sandwiches. Often crowded, especially on weekends.
770 4th Ave, just outside of Horton Plaza tel 619/230-8888. California cuisine in a Mediterranean-style atmosphere. Pizza, pasta, salads, seafood and chicken are the highlights, along with local favorites like rich, messy sundaes.
Taste of Thai
527 University Ave, Hillcrest tel 619/291-7525. Terrific Thai for reasonable prices in the center of Hillcrest; expect a wait on weekends.
Other useful information
for tourists (each section contains more specific sub-sections):