This list is very in progress, but this is v1. Let me know how I can make it better. If you don’t know another way to ping me, try twitter.
General Lunch / Dinner Places
Bahn Thai — my favorite Thai place, I think it ranks better than nearly every meal I had in Thailand.
Bobboi’s — really good gelato. Better than any gelato I had in Italy.
Phil’s BBQ — some of my favorite beef ribs ever. Multiple locations. The line can get pretty long though, either go early or expect it to be a lot of time.
Monello — pasta joint in little Italy. Famous for their cheese wheel pasta; they have a different pasta special every week that involves taking. Also pretty close to a Salt and Straw for dessert!
Hash House a Go Go — High quality food and MASSIVE portions. I enjoy it a lot.
Elixir — one of my favorite chai lattes, also has generally good coffee
Crack Shack — Yummy fried chicken sandwiches. Pretty close to the airport, so a good stop on your way in/out of San Diego
El Pescador Fish Market — love their fish sandwiches. Across the street from The Taco Stand if you want to do different items between the same party for lunch.
The Taco Stand — a bit white-washed/non-authentic for a taco stand, but consistently one of my favorites. California burritos are great.
City Tacos — really good for their interesting taco specials. They have unique meats, mango tacos, and lots of other interesting tacos
Puesto — pricer tacos, but like City Tacos, has some very interesting choices that you don’t find elsewhere
Tacos El Gordo — very famous SD taco joint, known for the al pastor tacos. Kind of a drive to get there, but good experience.
Oscar’s Mexican Seafood — really good fish tacos. I have a preference for the one on Emerald St. It’s also a block or so from a stretch of beach I like.
Vallarta’s — not know to be top quality, but still good and open 24/7. Recommend that you get their “Christian Fries” which is a large plate of carne asada fries with various toppings.
Sugar and Scribe — Irish brunch place, beyond high quality brunch food, it has some interesting Irish breakfast choices. The pot pies are pretty good
The Cottage — A lot of people rave about this place. TBH, I find it good but not excellent. It’s right next to Sugar and Scribe, so you can go to both and compare wait times.
Breakfast Republic — Really love some of their egg scrabbles, as well as their potato and brussel sprout side dish.
The Broken Yolk — There’s actually a breakfast item not listed on the menu that they will generally make for you if you ask: “chicken and waffle eggs benedict.” I think it’s pretty good. They also have very good mimosas and french toast
The Marine Room — Pricey, usually requires reservations. If you can get a spot though, the food is good and you have seats literally on the waterfront. During certain times during the year the waves will splash up against the windows while you eat.
Cody’s La Jolla — overall good quality, nothing particularly stand out to others on the list. However, it’s by the shore so some nice outdoor seating, and is right next to Bobboi