There is a serious foodie and craft beer scene in San Diego. It’s strong and diverse. Robust and evolving. You’ll find flavors and styles from across the globe as well as many local options—from the most sophisticated restaurants—to grab-n-go gourmet food trucks. San Diego has the unique combination of local ingredients, cultures, cuisines and beachfront property to ensure that every ingredient on every plate is as special as the city it’s served in. From farm-to-table to ocean-to-table to oyster stouts and everything in-between, each neighborhood from Carlsbad to downtown San Diego to La Jolla, has a distinctive culinary flavor.
And… San Diegans love nothing more than to celebrate food and drink. Everything from Taste of Downtown, to the Spirits by the Bay Festival, Restaurant Week, Beer Week and San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival – the culinary adventures are often. With a podcast dedicated to local happy hours, this city is serious about two things: its world-renowned legacy of craft beer and its fish tacos. And the food trucks? They range from showcasing the art of the perfect grilled cheese sandwich to Eastern European cuisine to gourmet sandwiches and finger-licking BBQ. With social media pages dedicated to tracking where they’ll be next, food trucks are redefining “fast food” for on-the-go locals.
Known for its Old Town Mexican food and staggeringly fresh seafood, you may be surprised to learn that the city’s walkable Little Italy has become a prime culinary attraction, with an assortment of cuisine and sidewalk cafes, (not just Italian food!) dotting the sidewalks. Sure, you can find a great plate of pasta or two, but this foodie district is very much a melting pot of cultures, with everything from organic coffee shops to delectable fried chicken sandwiches.
Best Restaurants in San Diego
- Born & Raised – Little Italy
- Trust – Hillcrest
- BIGA – Gaslamp Quarter
- San Diego Poke Company – Mission Valley
Craft Breweries in San Diego
Karl Strauss himself launched the modern beer industry in San Diego back in 1989. Today, San Diego holds the unofficial status as “the capital of craft” with more than 130 breweries and brewpubs in the county. Beer lovers can drink a new variety a day for a year, and rarely drink the same brew twice. It even has its own creation – the West Coast-Style IPA – known for its powerful, hoppy flavor. Yes, the world of craft brewing here is like a subculture filled with barrel-aged stouts, IPAs and India Pale Ales for miles.
Brewpubs throughout San Diego thoughtfully combine great beer with great food, and it’s not uncommon for brewers to partner with food trucks to go along with a pint of San Diego’s finest.
Many local breweries make sampling these award-winning brews fun and educational, giving beer enthusiasts the opportunity to learn about the process of making great beer from the brewers themselves. San Diego also offers a host of guided tours, which are also a great way to experience a host of guided tours. Ballast Point has its research and development brewery here, where you can sample three of its new brews for only $5.
Other notable beer pioneers based in San Diego include:
Tasting beer from the source has never been so much fun. Want to lie down in a beautiful San Diego apartment after a big meal? Click below to see all our resort-style apartments in San Diego.