My Favourite Places To Eat In San Diego

Where To Eat In San Diego?

Are you looking for places to eat in San Diego? My recommendations are divided by location, so it’s easy for you to pick your meals based on where you are staying. Most of the places I ate were mainly cheap eats and places a fellow foodie would class as value for money! I have been completely honest in my opinion so take it as you wish. Now, let’s cut to the food chase!

Where To Eat at Ocean Beach?

The Holding Company $$

Food infusions, gourmet, cocktails
Places to eat in San Diego

The Holding Company – Taco Tuesday

When you walk up the stairs you’ll notice the beautiful medley of smells coming from the kitchen and the rustic ambience from the moving clock walls through to the rooftop bar! It’s not the cheapest of places, but the quality of ingredients and service makes it good value for money. I went on their Taco Tuesday/Thursday and ordered the 6 tacos for $2 each (+TAX… don’t forget). My favourite was the Pork Adobada, onion, salsa roja and pineapple! A modern take on the classic el pastor taco. Drinks are not cheap, but with the rooftop bar, on a sunny San Diego day overlooking the surfers, it would be rude not to have a beer with your tacos. As we are on the subject of drinks, the Holding Company is a fun place to head in the evenings with your new travel buddies. Make sure you treat yourself to the peanut butter Jameson shot… it’s unreal (if you like creamy peanut butter). This was one of my favourite places to eat In San Diego

Mikes Tacos $

Mexican, Tacos, Burritos. 
Mike's Fishes Tacos

Mike’s Tacos – Fish Tacos

There is a lot of hype around this place and with the great reviews on Yelp I had to come and check it out! Now, the tacos and burritos were good. Filling, tasty and fresh, which is what I would expect to make a feature on a website. But, I wouldn’t rave about the tacos and burritos as the BEST I have ever had. Far from it. But, they were good value for money (especially on Taco Tuesday) and filled a hungry surfer. With each burrito, you get a choice of 3 sauces. My favourite was the white cilantro – it has a good kick to it and works well with the refreshing salsa inside. I cannot remember what the other two were but I am sure they were equally as good.

Hodad’s $$

American, Burgers, big portions. 
Hodad's burgers & onion rings

Hodad’s burgers & onion rings

If it’s the classic taste of America you want, Hodad’s is where it’s at! With their unique sticker wallpaper design, campervan seating table and a good range of craft beers, it’s a pretty cool place to grab a juicy burger and beer. I would recommend going for lunch so you don’t have to queue. You might have to wait 20-30mins in the evenings, especially at the weekend. The portions are big, so go hungry. I ordered the classic double bacon cheeseburger with super crispy onion rings and their house craft beer, which went down far too easily! I have to admit, I was defeated by the size and took the remaining 4 onion rings back to the USA hostel. On the walk back to the hostel (which is super close) a homeless man asked me for some spare change. I’m not too keen on giving money as you never know where it ends up and I always offer food or even to buy them food. This time, I offered the man my onion rings and his response was excellent “no thanks, I’ve been eating those for 15 years!”

OB Smoothie Bar $

Juices, Smoothies, Sandwiches.
Ocean Beach Acai Bowl

Ocean Beach Acai Bowl

After hearing about how amazing these Acai bowls were, I had to come and taste them for myself. You get two size choices, small or LARGE! I went for the small and there was a generous serving of fruit on top of the bowl – bananas, strawberries, granola, honey and frozen acai. Now, it was very refreshing and tasty but I wouldn’t say it was the best I’ve had… It was hard to dig past the heaps of fruit to get to the smoothie and it wasn’t as thick as I had hoped. Personally, I think they need a wider bowl not taller to make it easy to mix the different textures together. I think I could easily open my own smoothie bowl shack with this recipe. I did also try their green juice, which was very refreshing and good value for money.

Plant Power Fast Food $

All plant-based, drinks, fast food.
Places to eat in San Diego

Plant Power Fast Food – Wings

Places to eat In San Diego for vegans or plant-based foodies! For vegans and non-vegans like myself, this place is definitely worth eating at. It’s a 15 min walk from the USA hostel and is so worth it! I had their buffalo wings made from soya beans which were fried and covered in a spicy buffalo sauce on a bed of lettuce along with their loaded fries (fake cheese and fried onions). I didn’t get a photo as I was super hungry but you can see what they serve here Other places I ate during my stay in Ocean Beach
  • BO-beau kitchen – French cuisine
  • The Joint – Good place for Sushi and Asian cuisine.
  • Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill – Great seafood. I recommend the Opah sandwich and battered snapper taco

Where To Eat in Pacific Beach & La Jolla?

Oscars Mexican Seafood $

Mexican, Tacos, Burritos. 
Places to eat in San Diego - Oscars Mexican Seafood.

Oscars Mexican Seafood.

Located in 4 areas of San Diego, it’s easy to try Oscars Mexican Seafood. I went to the one on Pacific beach – the perfect snack after a day on the beach. Make sure you visit on a Monday for a $1 fish taco! You are allowed up to 5 fish tacos for that price. It’s also opposite the California Dreams Hostel which is highly rated for its rooms and location.

The Taco Stand $

Tacos, Tacos, Tacos! 
The Taco Stand

The Taco Stand

Everyone in San Diego says the same thing “you need to go to The Taco Stand – the best tacos in the area.” So, I went and guess what? They were not wrong! Value for money, simple flavours, hand made tortillas and well presented (for the ‘Gram). I went for the classic, al pastor (pork), taco baja (battered fish taco) and carne asada (grilled steak) with each taco costing from $2.99 – $3.99 + TAX. What’s the al pastor?  For a British person, it looks like a 2 am night out donna kebab but it’s much more than that my friend. It’s a taco made with spit-grilled layered pork, chillies, spices, onions and pineapple on top. It’s then slow- cooked with a gas flame on a vertical rotisserie. It was originally introduced by Lebanese textile merchants in the 1950s as lamb shawarmas and repurposed into pork tacos by Mexicans. Don’t knock it until you try it… unless you’re vegetarian.

Shorehouse Kitchen $$

Coffee, Burritos, Brunch. 
Breakfast Burrito in La Jolla

Breakfast Burrito

After an early morning surf with only 2 hours sleep from watching England lose to South Africa in the world cup final (gutting but the best team did win), I was taken by two locals to this breakfast spot in La Jolla. The breakfast burrito was recommended and it didn’t disappoint. Wrapped in a soft (handmade I believe) tortilla, with scrambled egg, crispy streaky bacon, peppers, salsa and a hash brown. This hit my post-surf hunger and it’s only a 10-minute walk from the main beach. Other places I ate during my stay in Pacific Beach & La Jolla
  • Pacific Beach Fish Shop – seafood and chips.
  • Costa Brava – Try the paella!!
  • Kono’s Cafe – cheap breakfast and lunch.
I hope my post on Places To Eat In San Diego was super helpful and if you have any questions, do get in touch on Instagram. Have a great time on the west coast!
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About Biffen

Biffen's Kitchen Owner


I’m Biff and I left my London office job in 2019 to set up my own street food van by the surfing beach, Croyde. Come on down to try my latest surf-inspired street food creations! Don’t worry if you cannot make it, all my recipes are on my website.


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