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Diners' Choice: Neighborhood gem restaurants in San Diego

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for the best restaurants that are the best neighborhood gems 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 Public House 131 restaurant
4.8
4.8 (29)
$30 and under
American
Scripps Ranch
About the restaurant
Welcome to Public House 131 our Chef Shahob Pourteymoor has designed a menu full of your pub favorites all made from scratch in house and sourced locally whenever possible or when seasons allow. We are located in beautiful Scripps Ranch and offer a wonderful outdoor dining experience. Our Craft cocktails are our specialty and our tap list includes close to 20 local San Diego beers.
Top review
Dorothyvip
Dined on Jun 15, 2024
Great food, custom cocktails, and draft beer variety
A photo of Pummaro restaurant
4.8
4.8 (16)
$30 and under
Italian
Point Loma
About the restaurant
Coming Soon!Pummarò is not only Pizzeria in San Diego but also Restaurant. Our Chef features a full and authentic Italian menu. Appetizers, Salads, Pasta, Entrees and Dolci!

Everything that comes out from our kitchen is homemade and cooked from scratch.

Pummarò is family owned and we take pride in using our family's traditional recipes.

From our great grandmas directly to your table!

Fresh and organic salads with homemade dressings. Tasty appetizers perfect to share with the ones you love.

Made to order fresh Pasta dishes. Signature traditional Italian Entrees and last but not least our homemade desserts! Our "Dolci" are definetly something you don't want to miss!

Pummarò Pizzeria has a full bar and a large selection of domestic and Italian wines and beers!

Check out our signature cocktail list that features the best drinks to start you dinner with!

Start your Italian food journey at Pummarò Pizzeria in San Diego!
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined on May 19, 2024
Great price, great pizza, great service, great atmosphere.
A photo of Arrivederci restaurant
4.7
4.7 (58)
$31 to $50
Italian
Hillcrest
About the restaurant
Arrivederci Ristorante is an authentic Italian restaurant. Arrivederci means hello. The restaurant's name refers to Italian hospitality offered here. It has a decent semi-formal ambiance. The walls are decorated with paintings gathered from different parts of Europe. Antique lamps are hung from the ceilings to add a rustic appeal. Arrivederci specializes in preparing all dishes with authentic Italian recipes and ingredients. Grigliata vegetariana is prepared with a variety of assorted grilled vegetables. Rigatoni amatriciana is prepared with tabular pasta soaked in rich sauce, prepared with tomatoes and romano cheese. Italian bacon topping enhances the flavor. Pollo al funghi is the traditional chicken meal. The boneless breast of chicken is topped with mushrooms. The ingredients are cooked in wine sauce. Arrivederci serves Italian wines and beers.
Top review
MattBvip
Dined on Jun 9, 2024
Always an amazing time at Arrivederci! The service is classic, the food so tasty, and it’s a wonderful local spot!
A photo of Bay Park Fish Company restaurant
4.7
4.7 (308)
$30 and under
Seafood
Bay Park
About the restaurant
WE ARE OPEN!

Founded by two fishing buddies in 2005, Bay Park Fish Company has become a local hot spot for the freshest seafood in San Diego. Our menu features the freshest of locally sourced seafood. We are proud to be located in this quaint little neighborhood in San Diego & proud to support local fishermen.

For limited capacity dine-in, and take-out! We are excited to invite you back in! The health and safety of our staff and customers is our top priority. Please be assured that we are implementing all necessary health & safety measures as outlined in the published COVID-19 Restaurant Operating Protocol. Face covering is required to enter the restaurant at this time. You are permitted to remove your face covering once you are seated, and for the duration of time you are at the table.
Please be patient and understanding with our staff, we are all putting forth our best efforts to provide the best experience under this new normal!
Top review
Balko
Dined on Jun 16, 2024
Food and service is always good here. Everything is top notch
A photo of Patisserie Melanie restaurant
4.7
4.7 (50)
$31 to $50
French
North Park
About the restaurant
Pâtisserie Mélanie offers a taste of Paris in our little corner in North Park. Helmed by Le Cordon Bleu Paris graduate Chef Melanie Dunn, we offer a wide variety of French pastries, coffees drinks, teas, brunch and lunch. At night, join us for elevated bistro fare and a curated selection of French wines, beer and cider.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
North Park’s best kept secret: this fine patisserie serves dinner, transforming the minimalist patisserie decor with tables, white tableclothes, candles, fresh flowers and so forth into a venue for fine dining. And the dining is memorable. My wife and I agree, this was the finest restaurant meal we’ve had since we moved to SD four years ago. Chef Brad is a gem. Waitstaff is knowledgeable, efficient, friendly, and professional. Don’t be afraid to try anything. Every bite was delicious. Just go and enjoy! Ruth and Ron
A photo of Aromi Italian Cuisine restaurant
4.6
4.6 (186)
$30 and under
Italian
La Mesa
About the restaurant
Discover Aromi, where Italian authenticity meets affordability. Our casual Italian restaurant offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, serving up delicious dishes bursting with flavors at budget-friendly prices. From traditional pasta classics to mouthwatering entrees, Aromi ensures an unforgettable dining experience that won't break the bank.
Top review
Susanvip
Dined on Jun 15, 2024
LOVE LOVE LOVE Aromi. Always great service, delicious food and fun atmosphere! Nino explained the specials and checked on us often. He even remembered us as recurring patrons. Will definitely be back again soon. It’s our go to Italian neighborhood restaurant!
A photo of Smokin J's BBQ - Gaslamp restaurant
4.6
4.6 (22)
$30 and under
Barbecue
Downtown
About the restaurant
Grab your partner and hitch up that wagon, Smokin J's BBQ is now open in the Gaslamp Quarter! Located 5 minutes from the Convention Center, and a mere 10 minutes from Petco Park or the Rady Shell by foot, we are your new favorite spot for slow-smoked brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and craft beer. Smokin J's BBQ won Reader Magazine's poll for Best BBQ in San Diego in 2022 and at our spot in the Gaslamp Quarter we strive to create a warm and inviting atmosphere perfect for date nights, family outings, Sunday football, weekend brunch, or for anytime you want eat a great meal with great people. Open for lunch, dinner, and breakfast on the weekends, we offer plenty of indoor seating, a spacious bar, and patio seating.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 16, 2024
Overall it was a good experience. the staff was amazing and attentive. Only downside a family at a nearby table allowed their children to yell and shriek without any intervention.
A photo of Ambrogio15 Del Mar restaurant
4.5
4.5 (200)
$30 and under
Italian
Carmel Valley
About the restaurant
Ambrogio15 Del Mar is a more upscale, but still casual version than our Pacific Beach Restaurant. We will have gourmet Pizzas developed by our partnership with Michelin-starred Milanese chef Silvio Salmoiraghi, his partner Choi Cheolhyeok, and gastronome Paolo Tucci. Additionally, we will also offer a five-course gourmet tasting menu for 15-20 diners at a time featuring Italian dishes and global meat and seafood entrees, with a vast menu of natural Italian wines and French Champagnes.
Top review
ChristineS
Dined on May 29, 2024
THANK YOU, AMBROGIO15 DEL MAR: My superb dinner & outstanding sommelier-led wine tasting session provided a perfect evening. The shaved zucchini wrapped around a dollop of burrata, atop a delectable slice of yellow tomato, laced with a lemon-citrus light vinaigrette was extraordinary. The carpaccio with arugula and a smattering of burrata (or ricotta?) was also a perfect complement to the wines. The food and wines were matched in excellence by the perfect restaurant service team and the delightful and knowledgeable DOCG Italian sommelier. I highly recommend Ambrogio15 Del Mar for an outstanding evening of excellent food, wine, and a great service team.
A photo of CUCINA CAPRESE PIZZERIA & TRATTORIA restaurant
4.5
4.5 (95)
$30 and under
Italian
Old Town
About the restaurant
From My Heart and Soul to Your Table...
Chef Giuseppe Monaco, Born in Capri, Italy where his passion for cooking took root starting from Mamma Rosa & Papa Giovanni… Giuseppe was trained in Culinary School in Capri, Italy and has over 30 years experience—Let Giuseppe take you to his home with the finest Italian meal you have ever had!

Cucina Caprese is a restaurant that uses traditional Italian culinary techniques including il Forno a Legna –old style wood-fired oven– cooking. We use seasonal, local and organic ingredients as well as meats, cheeses and extra virgin olive oil(EVOO) imported from Italy.

Our dough is prepared the authentic way of old Napoli–made only with special ‘OO Flour’, yeast, and water (no sugar oil, or vinegar). Our pizza is then prepared the traditional Neapolitan way, il Forno a Legna, in a wood-fired pizza oven on the side made to order!
Top review
Alphacatvip
Dined on Jun 2, 2024
The chef/owner always remembers us and greets us enthusiastically. This place is a gem. The food is not your average Americanized Italian food; you think you’re in Florence when you eat here.
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