From five-star French cuisine to casual farm-to-table fare, San Diego’s dining scene is varied and enticing. For a fine-dining treat in the ultra-posh Fairmont Grand Del Mar hotel, reserve a table at the award-winning Addison, where Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef William Bradley cooks up artisanal ingredients under contemporary French influences. Elegantly plated dishes from the multi-course menus—choose from the Chef’s Tasting Menu or the Four-Course Menu—arrive at a steady tempo, and the service is impeccable.
For unbeatable views, opt for a waterfront experience at George’s at the Cove in La Jolla. The Ocean Terrace section at this spacious, multi-level temple to exceptional food and drink offers sweeping vistas, and arguably some of the best fish tacos in San Diego. Insider tip: On Sundays through Thursdays, there are no corkage fees. Taste chef Trey Foshee’s irresistible potatoes with garlic, roasted chicken, and strawberry figs (the latter sourced fresh from nearby Chino Farms).
Equally indulgent is Mister A’s in Bankers Hill, an elegant eatery with bay and skyline views close to downtown that has been on San Diego’s A-list of culinary destinations since opening in 1965. Toast Balboa Park’s glittering California Tower against a watercolor sunset from the wraparound balcony, and indulge in Wagyu beef consommé with foraged mushrooms.
Over in the hip and fashionable Gaslamp Quarter, Searsucker makes its mark with upbeat music and classic American fare, set against a contemporary laid-back atmosphere that’s more go-where-your-mood-takes-you dinner party than a fenced-in restaurant experience. The airy layout and design features glassed-enclosed kitchens that look out on an inviting dining room of distressed leather and exposed beam ceilings. Chef Brian Malarkey is also behind the stylish Little Italy restaurant Herb & Wood, casual farm-to-table café Green Acre, and Farmer and the Seahorse near Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.