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Diners' Choice: Innovative restaurants in San Diego

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for the best restaurants that are fit for foodies 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 The Plot restaurant
4.9
4.9 (754)
$30 and under
Vegetarian / Vegan
Oceanside
About the restaurant
The Plot is a haven for culinary enthusiasts, where creative chefs transform locally sourced ingredients into stunningly plant-forward dishes. Indulge in a full-service dining experience in the evenings and for brunch, or opt for a casual lunch on weekdays. Enjoy our beautiful dining room or immerse yourself amongst the plants in our bountiful patio gardens. The Plot team is led by Jessica and Davin Waite, who have been at the forefront of San Diego's culinary scene for over a decade, gaining a loyal following for their inventive and sustainable approach to seafood and plant-based dishes, gaining the attention of critics and culinary innovators far and wide.

Top review
Edenvip
Dined 4 days ago
We love this place! Great food, friendly service, pretty decor and ambiance. For brunch we tried the Crepe special and it was delicious. We also had the sausage and biscuits and breakfast burrito, and both were very tasty. Every time we're in the area, we always make sure to stop here.
A photo of Youngblood restaurant
4.9
4.9 (923)
$50 and over
Speakeasy
Downtown
About the restaurant
A curated 90 minute, three course cocktail experience akin to none. $67 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are accepted as early as a month in advance for groups of 4 or less. Large party reservations can be made through our reservations team at info@neighborhoodsd.com

Come find us.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
We didn’t dine at youngblood but we experienced the 3 course cocktails at the speakeasy! Andrea our bartender was very knowledgeable and very outgoing! When we had concerns about one of the cocktails, she immediately fixed the issue. Q (i believe his name was) , the bar back/busser was also very attentive. The ambiance was great, it’s a very very intimate space but it was so beautiful . Highly impressed!
A photo of Ambrogio by Acquerello restaurant
4.8
4.8 (73)
$50 and over
Contemporary Italian
La Jolla
About the restaurant
Experience Michelin Star Chef Silvio Salmoiraghi’s Iconic 8 Course Tasting Menus in our charming La Jolla restaurant.

Signature Tasting Menu - $159 per person
Vegetarian Tasting Menu - $139 per person

* Have a glance at Chef Salmoiraghi's cuisine by enjoying a shorter version of his famous Tasting Menu. For $99, available only Tuesday through Thursday, you will be able to experience our cuisine on your busy weekday with our 4 Course Dinner. *

At Ambrogio by Acquerello we seek to operate within the frame of a New Italian Cuisine. Italy, France, Korea, Japan and California: the five places that define our cuisine and allow us to create a unique set of masterpieces where the traditional flavors of Milan typical foods meet the exoticism of Pacific Asian influences.

All reservations require a $20 per person deposit fully refundable up to 24 hours in advance.

We gently require a 48 hour notice for allergies and dietary restrictions. A full Vegan Menu is available only upon request.
Top review
DavidHvip
Dined 3 days ago
We’re visiting from the East Coast and this was truly an amazing dining experience. It’s very expensive but is what you would expect for this type of dining. Everything was beautifully prepared, presented and explained. Would definitely recommend “Through the Looking Glass” wine pairing. The wine pairings were perfect for each course! Would definitely recommend and would come again when visiting to enjoy a special dining experience.
A photo of Boujiemana restaurant
4.8
4.8 (56)
$30 and under
Mediterranean
Serra Mesa
About the restaurant
BoujieMana brings to life the exquisite ingredients from across the Mediterranean and creates timeless dishes. From charcuterie and bubbles with friends to a perfect aged steak as displayed on campus, you’re sure to find exactly what you want.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Our first time visiting and all I have to say is… amazing! Food and service was great. Highly recommended and will come back again.
A photo of ARTIFACT at Mingei restaurant
4.7
4.7 (764)
$31 to $50
International
Downtown
About the restaurant
ARTIFACT is a full-service restaurant featuring craft cooking inspired by ancient methods, spices and botanicals located inside the beautiful Mingei Museum at Balboa Park . Offering indoor, outdoor courtyard, and bar seating for lunch Tuesday-Saturday.

Crafted by Tim Kolanko, Executive Chef, Urban Kitchen Group, and Tony Coito, ARTIFACT’s Chef de Cuisine, will be a nod to Mingei’s changing international exhibitions in an environment filled with functional, innovative art and design by Jennifer Luce, Founder and Principal of LUCE et studio, who led the design and renovation project.
ARTIFACT and CRAFT CAFE at Mingei-the latest additions to restaurateur Tracy Borkum and Executive Chef Tim Kolanko’s CUCINA family of restaurants. An Urban Kitchen Group Concept. CUCINA urbana, enoteca, sorella, UKG Catering, Urban Kitchen at The Ready Shell at Jacobs Park
Follow the journey on social media @Dine.Mingei
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
My meal was delicious and I’d like to go back soon to try more menu items.
A photo of MOTHERSHIP restaurant
4.6
4.6 (153)
$30 and under
Tapas / Small Plates
North Park
About the restaurant
Tropical space adventure in South Park! Exotic cocktails. Interplanetary fusion small plates. Named Best Bars In America by Esquire Magazine - 2023.

Reservations offer 90-minute experience like no other, venturing towards the outer limits of the tropical flavor galaxy!

WALK INS WELCOME - Walk-in tables are available daily. Early arrival is encouraged and there is a paging system in the event of a waitlist.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 11, 2024
We had a great time the bathrooms are very cool and all happy hour drinks were interesting and a good value.
A photo of The Space Pad restaurant
4.5
4.5 (18)
$30 and under
Speakeasy
Oceanside
About the restaurant
At The Space Pad expect to find cocktails with flavored smoke bubbles floating on top of your drink, cocktails that look like a lava lamp in your hand, change color as you drink, fruit suspensions, and spherified cocktails that you actually eat rather than drink, similar to giant boba pods each individually filled with cocktail ingredients that bursts with flavor and booze when you bite into it.

Reservations offer a 90-minute experience. WALK-INS WELCOME - Reservations not available? We always set aside space to accommodate walk-ins, first come, first served. And before or after your experience at The Space Pad you're welcome to join us at Kilowatt Brewing for our award winning craft beers, hard seltzers, adult slushies, and a bite to eat!
Top review
Andy
Dined on Jun 7, 2024
Went here for my wife's birthday, drinks were fantastic, food was great, atmosphere/decoration was perfect t and bartender Mario was the best! Highly recommend thus place. Very small so make reservation, walk ins only if bot busy.
A photo of Yummy Sushi restaurant
4.3
4.3 (229)
$31 to $50
Asian
Coronado
About the restaurant
Hello, we are Yummy Coronado. We have been a family owned restaurant for over 15 years providing Japanese and Korean cuisine prepared with love to the Crown Town community.

We offer indoor seating sushi bar seating and outdoor seating which overlooks the beautiful Coronado beach and the notable Hotel Del. We are happy to announce we have an All You Can Eat menu now as well as A La Carte.


Thank you for choosing Yummy Sushi Coronado. We look forward to serving you.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 22, 2024
Food was sooooo good ! I will definitely be going back here
A photo of 7MILE Kitchen restaurant
3.8
3.8 (297)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Carlsbad
About the restaurant
Named for Carlsbad's seven miles of coastline, 7 Mile Kitchen features wood-fired pizzas and gourmet burgers. Keeping in mind San Diego’s love for craft beers, 7 Mile features rotating taps of many of the local favorites. Dessert is a must in this restaurant, which has a gelato bar and fire pit s'mores.

Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 1 day ago
I've eaten here before on our last couple of trips to Carlsbad. The food always consistently good. This time I tried the cauliflower crust Margherita Pizza, surprisingly delicious.
A photo of CIELO ROOFTOP LOUNGE restaurant
3.5
3.5 (43)
$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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