San Diego’s Top 10 Must-Try Foodie Favorites

We’ve all had that magical experience: we’re trying a new restaurant when an interesting dish catches our eye. We take a chance. Then once it arrives, we try it — and are immediately thrilled we gambled on a fresh flavor. So we want to tell everyone we know…”You HAVE to try this!” In the spirit of passing along the best bites, greatest plates and most exciting entrées in the city, here are our picks for the Top 10 “can’t miss” San Diego foods — presented in no particular order. 


Bali Hai’s Notorious Mai Tai (0.3 miles)

Photo: @balihairestaurant)

Located just a short 5-minute stroll from us, you’ll discover Bali Hai — the city’s most revered island restaurant. And while everything you can eat here is world-class, we’re going to focus on a beverage. The infamously powerful Mai Tai is the stuff of legend. A warning though: this Polynesian potable is so potent, they enforce a 2-drink maximum.

2230 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106


Breakfast Republic’s S’mores French Toast (2.4 miles)


(Reel: @breakfastrepublic)

Breakfast Republic offers decadently delicious twists on classic morning plates. So much so that they’ve won the Reader’s Choice award for “Best Breakfast” from San Diego Magazine. Every menu item is a winner, but you’ll want to try the S’Mores French Toast.

2865 Sims Road, Ste 106, San Diego, CA 92106   


Battle of the Burgers at Hodad’s vs. Rocky’s Crown Pub (3.2 miles / 6 miles)

(Images: @soldbyjon)

Every city has a friendly restaurant rivalry, and San Diego is no different. Locals are pretty evenly split between these two local legends over who has the better burger. The only way to know for sure? Try both beefy behemoths, and decide for yourself which is best.   

Hodad’s: 5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107

Rocky’s Crown Pub: 3786 Ingraham St, San Diego, CA 92109


Crack Shack’s Coop Deville (4.3 miles)

(Photo: @getcrackshacked)

This open-air Little Italy eatery may not have invented the chicken sandwich, but they’ve definitely perfected it. San Diegans come for miles around to get clucky with the Coop DeVille — a locally-sourced chicken breast sammie with pickled Fresno chilies, pickles, lime mayo and napa cabbage slaw, served hot and fresh on a bakery brioche bun.  

2266 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101


Lucha Libre’s Classic California Burrito (5.3 miles)

(Photo: @luchalibretacoshop)

The classic California Burrito is a thing of beauty; a decidedly SoCal twist on the south-of-the-border original stuffed with a little of everything (including French fries!). And while Ortiz’s Taco Shop in Point Loma and Nico’s Mexican Food of Ocean Beach both make excellent versions, our favorites come from Lucha Libre in Mission Hills. 

1810 W. Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103


Donut Bar’s Entire Menu (7 miles)


(Reel: @donutbarsd)

No less an authority than Forbes Magazine called this sweet stop “the gold standard of donut shops” — and for good reason. Their dazzlingly deep donut selection is the stuff of legend. You can’t go wrong here, but we’ve noticed the Maple Bacon Bar is almost always the first mouthwatering morsel to disappear from the display case every day.   


Las Cuatro Milpas’ Rolled Tacos (8.3 miles)

(Photo: @hillarystarbright)

Las Cuatro Milpas has been serving up delicious specialty Mexican food since 1933. Be prepared to stand in line for the mouthwatering rolled tacos, but they’re 100% worth the wait. Once you get to the counter, be sure to have your order ready — service moves FAST. Thankfully, their focused menu makes it easy to decide. 

1857 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113


The Shawarma Guys’ Chicken Shawarma Wrap (9 miles)


(Reel: @shawarmaguys_)

The simple shawarma is a Mediterranean masterpiece. And how good are these fantastic food-truck experts? The Shawarma Guys weren’t just voted the best in the city, nor the best in California. No — they were voted the #1 best restaurant in the COUNTRY on Yelp. You may not know it yet, but trust is: you’re here for the Chicken Shawarma Wrap. 

3012 Grape Street, San Diego, CA 92102


Tacos El Gordo’s Tijuana-Style Tacos (19.4 miles)

(Photo: @tacoselgordo_)

The closest thing you’ll find in town to Tijuana-style street tacos, Tacos El Gordo’s popular San Diego location is a must-stop on your local taco tour. This favorite local taqueria’s menu features always-fresh handmade corn tortillas, organic ingredients, and savory meats. Favorites include the suadero (beef brisket), adobada (tender spiced pork), and classic carne asada (grilled steak). You also have the option to build your own.

3265 Palm Ave, San Diego, CA 92154


Humphreys SoCAL Dining & Music’s Macadamia-Crusted Halibut (just steps away!)

Looking for the perfect plate right on-site? You’re in luck! The Macadamia-Crusted Halibut at our very own eatery is our signature dish and a local favorite. Every wild-caught filet is rolled in fresh Macadamias, cooked to perfection and served with succulent sides. The best part? You get to enjoy it overlooking the bay. 

2241 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106     


Start Your Foodie Tour at Humphreys

Planning to head to San Diego for a tasty tour this spring? Don’t forget to check out the latest Special Offers at Humphreys Half Moon Inn and get the best rates on your stay.