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Diners' Choice: Hot spot restaurants in San Diego

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OpenTable
Updated May 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that are the best hot spots in San Diego? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Fortunate Son restaurant
4.8
4.8 (149)
$30 and under
Chinese
North Park
About the restaurant
“Among my chef friends and the epicurean elites, aka “foodies”, the conversation around great Chinese food was always centered around authenticity, with classic American Chinese takeout dishes not considered authentic. But, having grown up in the Chinese American restaurant my parents have worked at for the past 25 years, I’ve always seen it as a by-product of enormous creativity and ingenuity of Chinese Immigrants. They adapted to what was available to them in the early 20th century and created some of the most iconic dishes in the history of this country,
Top review
LauraT
Dined on May 16, 2024
Food was even better than I expected! Would love to go back.
A photo of La Bamba Room restaurant
4.8
4.8 (44)
$30 and under
Mexican
Barrio Logan
About the restaurant
La Bamba boasts 2,000-square-foot, vintage lighting and orange crushed velvet swivel chairs from Becerra’s grandmother’s home, a menu banking on the south-of-the-border classics that defined his childhood, and custom speakers whispering jazzy, soulful, sometimes reggae sweet nothings.

La Bamba Room, whose namesake is partially inspired by a 1987 musical drama, will mostly play vinyl with assistance from a custom-made jukebox and a DJ booth made from salvaged pieces from grandma’s home bar.

“La Bamba Room is… An ode to my family… A love letter to my childhood… It’s a shot straight from my heart, Like a bullet out of a gun!” -Ernie “Pio” Becerra III

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Apr 28, 2024
Great Spot! Love the decor. Just walking through the gold gate was already a vibe. Ms. Bre the hostess / waitress was non stop! Incredible service and very polite. My table was ready soon as I arrived! Food and drinks came out quickly. I try the empanadas/ Tacos de beef and the olives! Good portions- can definitely share and it was all very tasty!!! Def would go back for drinks and appetizers. The MUSIC !!! They took it back- was jamming !!! great great music!!!
A photo of My Yard Live Beer Co restaurant
4.6
4.6 (670)
$30 and under
Comfort Food
San Marcos
About the restaurant
The “My Yard Live Beer Co.” experience brings together all the elements of a brewery, family-friendly restaurant, community center, park, and a one-of-a-kind live entertainment and events venue. For the young, or young at heart, MYL Beer Co. combines the comforts of your own fantasy backyard with the convenience of a brewery and full-service restaurant. Enjoy our house-smoked meats, or our beers which have medaled at both the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. My Yard Live Beer Co. has something for everyone!

We also offer an amazing indoor/outdoor bar, walk-up bar service, open seating at the fire pit with a view of the band cabana, and seating throughout the rest of the venue.

MYL Beer Co. can create a semi-private or private event experience including seated or buffet-style scratch kitchen catering, open bar/drink packages, and entertainment booking. For more information please visit https://www.opentable.com/private-dining/restaurant/1047

Top review
ccboat
Dined on May 20, 2024
We had a great server and the food was really good. Everyone enjoyed the experience. Would recommend this restaurant. Great place for young kids.
A photo of Le Papagayo Carlsbad restaurant
4.5
4.5 (998)
$31 to $50
Californian
Carlsbad
About the restaurant
At Le Papagayo Carlsbad Village you can expect live music nightly blended with the best in Coastal/Mediterranean/New American food and cocktails. With a full bar and service from 8am-10pm nightly you'll have ample opportunity to enjoy the newest addition to Carlsbad Village. Located conveniently off Carlsbad Village Dr. we are a short walk from State St and just off the freeway for easy access from either direction. We have a large public parking lot directly in front of the restaurant along with assigned parking off to the north end. Please come in and enjoy breakfast/lunch or dinner any day or night of the week and don't hesitate to call to see who's performing today :)
Top review
SherylD
Dined 5 days ago
Chris Torres on guitar is fabulous. The food is good and the atmosphere is good. Rather chilly inside with all the doors and windows open unfortunately. Might be better to sit outside underneath the heater…
A photo of Books + Records restaurant
4.5
4.5 (223)
$31 to $50
American
Banker's Hill
About the restaurant
Global inspired American cuisine, craft cocktails, and weekend brunch in an upbeat atmosphere, with live music most nights.
Top review
MaryannCvip
Dined 4 days ago
Dope vibe. Great food. Definitely coming back with friends.
A photo of Guadalajara Mexican Grill restaurant
4.4
4.4 (31)
$30 and under
Mexican
Temecula
About the restaurant
OUR STORY:
Founded in 1986 the Solano family opened Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant in Lake Elsinore, California. Eleven years later in 1997, we opened our second location Guadalajara Mexican Grill and Cantina in Temecula, California. At Guadalajara’s, we take real pride in providing the freshest ingredients to ensure high-quality Mexican food. We pride ourselves in having generous portions, a festive environment, and the best margaritas in town!

Top review
crystal
Dined on Apr 21, 2024
Food was excellent as well as the portions. Service was pleasant and the Sunday DJ Cafe made the atmosphere fun.
A photo of BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse - Mission Valley restaurant
4.3
4.3 (38)
$30 and under
American
Mission Valley
About the restaurant
Time counts at BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse. Since our humble beginnings back in 1978, we've continued to refine our brewhouse experience to make BJ's a place where you can make the most of any meal. We want BJ's to be a place where the moment you leave is the moment you plan on coming back. We pride ourselves in our craft and attention to detail. Our guests come here for our award-winning handcrafted beer. They come here for the Southern California twist we've put on the Chicago-style deep dish pizza. And they come here for our Pizookies®, our world-renowned dessert. But above all we know people come here to make their good times better. So in many ways we haven't just crafted a brand, but a mindset. And our guests are the reason for this. And it's because of them we're continually striving to make sure every moment they choose to spend with us counts. Welcome to BJ's, a restaurant with a Brewhouse soul.
Top review
Premonsdaydinpvip
Dined on Mar 31, 2024
Our server was amazing! The pizookie desserts were our favorite!
A photo of The Landings restaurant
4.3
4.3 (240)
$30 and under
American
Carlsbad
About the restaurant
The Landings Gastropub is not your typical airport restaurant or bar. We pride ourselves on our focus on quality, service, creativity and atmosphere. Everything from our unique cocktails to our pub-inspired menu and carefully curated craft beer list are locally-sourced and of the highest quality. Both our dining room and large patio have a panoramic view of the Palomar Airport runway. Bring the family, enjoy a cocktail and watch the planes come and go.

We accept reservations for groups up to 8 people. Please call for larger parties.

Please note: For Friday and Saturday concert nights, we enforce a $30/person minimum to cover the cost of the bands.

Top review
GinnyHvip
Dined on May 18, 2024
Saw the Sticky Sweets for the first time and the lead singer was very entertaining and talented! We danced all three sets! And had a wonderful time! Horacio was our server he’s the best and the Pasta with Shrimp was delicious! We look forward to returning soon!
A photo of Sago restaurant
4.1
4.1 (43)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Encinitas
About the restaurant
SAGO is a new and exciting dining and nightlife concept, steps from Encinitas beaches. Looking forward to greeting our guests and giving them and outstanding experience.
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined on May 16, 2024
We thoroughly enjoyed our night at Sago! Natalie, our server/hostess went out of her way to make us feel welcomed. She politely let us know that their menu was being revamped, and pointed out some of her favorite items. Our food came out timely, and it was delicious. We especially enjoyed the Chef visiting our table and suggesting the roasted chicken. It was amazing!! Their cocktail menu is on point as well! We'll definitely be back! Sago's entire vibe is worth a visit.
A photo of CIELO ROOFTOP LOUNGE restaurant
3.7
3.7 (42)
$30 and under
Hibachi
Downtown
About the restaurant
CEILO ROOFTOP LOUNGE is the newest hottest addition to Gaslamp San Diego Rooftops. Located on the 5th floor of Mr.Tempo’s at 701 6th ave (pink entrance) San Diego ca 92101. This 5,000 square foot speakeasy rooftop lounge & bar will feature Latin and Asian seafood tapas along with a craft beverage bar program. Tequila Del Cielo, a rooftop bar and restaurant featuring skyline views of downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bridge. The open air bar offers many Instagram able moments from our jungle disco entrance to our Tulum handmade swing there’s many photos and memories to be made. Tequila Del Cielo accommodates 200 guests for any occasion from bridal showers to venue buy outs for holiday parties. Tequila Del Cielo is open Thursday to Saturday from 5pm-12am and Sunday from 11am to 6pm.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 19, 2024
When we arrived for the Glow Party that was supposed to start at 9:30pm. We were told it was changed to 11:00pm. They were late putting out the party glow favors. They need wait staff, we had to ask to get any service, I did have a table reservation but it didn’t matter, they never asked. We had to print out our tickets from Vettix but no one asked for it to scan it. It was very unorganized and the felmale DJ/Photographer barely spoke english and she didn’t do a good job. Need a better DJ for the future she wasn’t prepared.
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