From Wine Bars and Butcher Shops to Chinese Takeout and Shi-Shi Steakhouses, Dine at These New SD Restaurants
San Diego’s burgeoning culinary scene is no secret. The SoCal city is home to a diverse medley of restaurants—from tiny (but delicious) taco stands to swanky steakhouses and everything in between. And just when you thought the dining couldn’t get much better…BOOM. Here are 17 of San Diego’s newest restaurants that we’re absolutely fawning over. New San Diego Restaurants
1 | Ember & Rye New San Diego Restaurants
As part of its $50 million renovation, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa recently added three new dining concepts—one of them being a new signature restaurant. Ember & Rye was created in collaboration with Chef Richard Blais, which he likens to a “not-your-parents’ country club meets modern steakhouse.” Highlights of the concept include a well-stocked whiskey library, an outdoor terrace with views of the Aviara Golf Course, an outdoor grilling station, fire pits and an enticing menu of vintage steaks, fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables.
2 | The Waverly New San Diego Restaurants
Restaurant group SDCM is at it again with a boho-chic concept that embodies the breezy, laid-back aura of Cardiff. The Waverly is a full-service restaurant and bar with an all-star team (including Michelin Bib Gourmand Award-winning Chef Brian Redzikowski) pulling all the strings. The space combines coastal charm with brassy accents and hues of pastel pink and emerald green, while the walls are dressed with custom artwork by Australian artist Jai Vasicek. This North County addition is a treat for the taste buds but most importantly, a feast for the eyes.
3 | Sky Deck New San Diego Restaurants
Occupying 25,000 square feet above Jimbo’s, the Sky Deck at Del Mar Highlands Town Center is set to be a gastronomic experience unlike any other. The main space will feature a central cocktail bar and eight to 10 curated restaurants with cuisine ranging from Thai, Japanese and Italian to Mexican, Greek and French. Follow the spiral staircase up to the second level and you’ll discover an outdoor brewer’s deck with a selection of local brews and sweeping views of Carmel Valley. Stay tuned for details on the Sky Deck’s grand opening!
The Wise Ox, Trust Restaurant Group’s latest concept, is a rebrand of former butcher shop The Heart & Trotter. Patrons can still expect fresh cuts of beef, pork, poultry and seafood as well as house-made sausages and marinated, ready-to-cook meats. But to amp things up, the Trust team created an on-site eatery, featuring a menu of all charcuterie, custom sandwiches, weekend specials and prepared foods.
The all-new Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas is set to open its doors this March! This stunning hotel, perched on the coastal bluffs above Grandview and South Ponto Beaches, will feature 130 garden and ocean-view rooms and an on-site, indoor/outdoor restaurant named VAGA. San Diego native and local chef Claudette Zepeda is set to take the culinary reins, crafting dishes that commemorate a medley of local and sustainably sourced ingredients.
6 | Civico by the Park New San Diego Restaurants
The brothers behind Il Dandy refined the concept to mirror their successful Little Italy establishment, Civico 1845. Civico by the Park now offers a Calabrian-inspired dining experience with a menu of traditional and vegan southern Italian dishes like fresh pastas, Roman-style pizzas, classic cocktails and an extensive wine list.
7 | Cork & Knife New San Diego Restaurants
Fact: the more wine shops, the better! If you love sampling new reds, whites and rosés, this new wine and tapas bar is about to be your go-to. With a focus on small production wines and a menu of tasty tapas, Cork & Knife gives the local wineries a run for their money. Browse through the wine shop and then grab a seat at DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant (adjacent to the wine store) for some small plates, such as artisan meats and cheeses, grilled artichokes with chimichurri and chorizo-stuffed piquillo peppers.
8 | Teriyaki & Bao
Late last year, the creators of popular Asian fusion restaurant Harumama opened Teriyaki & Bao—a sister restaurant in Carlsbad. The spinoff location offers the same cute character buns you’d find at Harumama (and on Instagram), plus a new DIY component. At Teriyaki & Bao, guests can use a cast-iron skillet to cook up meats and vegetables in teriyaki sauce!
Featuring creations by acclaimed celebrity chef Akira Back, Lumi is a swanky, rooftop venue with innovative Peruvian-Japanese fare. Chef Akira Back, whose portfolio of restaurants runs the global gamut, is known for his Korean heritage, which you’ll find incorporated into a variety of dishes. As for the space, prepare to be wooed. The outdoor bar area is composed of large granite boulders with lush greenery overhead, and all of the seating is in the open air. This is an al fresco adventure you need to embark on.
10 | Fortunate Son
In August 2020, Consortium Holdings opened Fortunate Son, which used to be Soda & Swine. This new modern Chinese restaurant in North Park features an array of not-so-traditional Chinese favorites, including plates like crab rangoon wontons, egg foo young with gravy and beef & shishito peppers. The entire concept is based around takeout, but the 38-seat restaurant plays host to some pretty elaborate decor with vintage Chinese porcelain and panel screens, a gilded archway entrance and a 10-foot fire-breathing dragon sculpture.
11 | Huntress
When it comes to fine dining, Huntress spares no expense. The 7,000-square-foot, bi-level luxury steakhouse and whiskey society is as posh as it gets. Think high-end meat and seafood selections, rare Japanese whiskies, polished brass fixtures and warm, seductive lighting. It’s safe to say that hospitality company RMD Group hit this nail right on the head.
12 | Le Papagayo
Considered one of the most popular restaurants in all of North County, Le Papagayo has extended its roots to Carlsbad Village with a second location. This new (and bigger) spot was formerly occupied by Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers, but now the 5,500-square-foot space is home to Mediterranean-New American cuisine, a live music venue and a quaint art gallery all wrapped up into one.
13 | Shake & Muddle
In the heart of Chula Vista lies Shake & Muddle—a patio-based restaurant and mixology bar, offering a fusion of crafty cocktails along with zesty appetizers, shareable plates and homestyle comfort foods. The space is also known for weekly music, fire pits, sports viewing and heated patio seating.
14 | Monarch Ocean Pub New San Diego Restaurants
Atop Del Mar Plaza sits Monarch Ocean Pub—a 180-degree ocean-view restaurant with premium beach-house vibes. Monarch is the perfect spot for an al fresco meal because 75% of the venue is open air. The menu is chock-full of American comfort foods like the lobster & shrimp roll, mushroom + burrata flatbread and short rib pastrami sandwich (to name a few). It’s safe to say you’ll enjoy the food as much as the view.
15 | El Avocado New San Diego Restaurants
Plant-based is what this scratch-made vegan eatery is all about. Dig into soups, toasts, organic salads, wraps, sandwiches, pastries, gelato and more. The fast-casual, quaint atmosphere makes El Avocado a great pit stop for lunch!
16 | Corner Pizza
Get a taste of Williamsburg-style Brooklyn pizza at this pizzeria, raw bar, wine house and beer garden. Yes, Corner Pizza does it all (and really well). One of our favorite creations from this Encinitas eatery is the Killer Bee pizza: tomato sauce, mozzarella, gorgonzola, soppressata, pepperoni, rosemary and chili honey! Pair your pie with a crisp glass of wine and don’t look back.
17 | Mariscos NoMar
Mexican food may not be hard to come by in San Diego, but vegan Mexican? That’s a tough one. Luckily for vegetarians and vegans who love that south-of-the-border spice, Mariscos NoMar is a 100% plant-based cevicheria! Recently a part of La Mesa’s Grossmont Center, this local gem serves up zesty bites like ceviche, aguachile and a selection of specialty tacos.