After combing through numerous websites, blogs and local reviews, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best restaurants in a variety of price points and cuisines that are all right around the San Diego Convention Center and CEC 2015. With so much to choose from, we had to narrow it down somehow!
Address: 520 Front St.
What the critics say: The owner has wisely stuck to what he knows best—keeping a signature light touch on his piano and his restaurant’s stove top, where fresh ingredients become classic breakfast fare that satisfies the modern soul.
Address: 560 4th Ave.
What the critics say: I love this place it is never a disappointment! The staff is always so friendly and the food is amazing. I recommend the carne asada quesadilla and the salsa is delicious!
Address: 400 J St.
What the critics say: Considered not only one of San Diego’s best seafood restaurants, but one of the country’s best seafood restaurants, the Seafood Room is a true establishment with a reputation for VIP-worthy fare. If sleek and sophisticated is your game, this is the place to go.
Address: 327 4th Ave.
What the critics say: From the moment you set your foot inside the restaurant, you are transported. The ambiance, lighting, decor, the music, pictures on the walls, muted sound of creek-running water, and statues of Buddha – all of it puts you in a different mood. And then, to our delight, the food perfectly matched the overall atmosphere.
Cuisine: Pacific Rim
Address: 8670 Genesee Ave.
What the critics say: The internationally-acclaimed restaurant is known for its unique and creative menu, a sensational adventure in bold flavors, and its sincere and engaging hospitality that is a welcome escape from the ordinary dining experience.
Address: 340 5th Ave.
What the critics say: The premise at the Gaslamp Strip Club is simple. Choose from a variety of raw steak, chicken and seafood, order a salad and a couple of family-style side dishes, and head toward the grill. Yes folks, you have to cook your own food here at this hot-spot, but that’s part of the hook. Cleverly posted directions ensure that even novices can come away with a feeling of accomplishment.
Address: 314 5th Ave.
What the critics say: It’s rare to find the kind of brilliant fusion of old world and new world that Masala delivers. The chef has created a restaurant where earthy colors drape modern designs, time-honored spices meet exotic presentation, and India and America collaborate to throw a celebration of the five senses.
Cuisine: Pub Food, English/Irish
Address: 554 4th Ave.
What the critics say: This raucous pub is a replica of a nineteenth-century Irish public house. The menu mixes traditional fare with adventurous experiments. This is a good place to nibble on fish ‘n’ chips or to sup on hearty lamb shank stew. The bar is nearly always full and the crowd energetic. Live music adds to the upbeat scene.
Cuisine: Coffee, Sandwiches/Subs, Breakfast
Address: 101 Market St.
What the critics say: “Part of my morning routine for the last 5 years!,” “Literally stop by every morning. It’s a must!,” “Love, love, love this coffee shop and service is outstanding!”
Address: 425 Island Ave.
What the critics say: For high-end Italian, you still go to Bice. I was in a great mood when the risotto-with-lamb-stew special arrived – a delicious ladle of lamb umami right in the center of indulgent-creamy Italian rice. Kudos to the amiable Cheese Bar staff, lead-off hitting for his menu, at the top of my tasty order.