All of the San Diego Classics, Such as Hodad’s and California Burritos, Plus a Few Hidden Gems
Written By: Jed Cartojano Your Guide to San Diego’s Food Scene from Jed Cartojano of Daily Food Feed
Photographed By: Valerie Kon
Simply said, I love food. But it’s not just the food I love, either. I love everything about it. I love how it makes me feel. I love the way it looks. Most of all, I love how food brings people together. This is why @dailyfoodfeed exists on Instagram today.
I started @dailyfoodfeed at the end of March 2015. Since then, @dailyfoodfeed has grown to over 170, 000 followers and is now one of the most followed food accounts on Instagram. Every day, I post photos of my food journey throughout Southern California and elsewhere. My followers share my love for food. They know a good bite when they see it, and they share my posts with friends and family as inspiration for their future meals. Seeing the @dailyfoodfeed community grow and seeing people come together with the common love of food is the most rewarding part of running this Instagram account.
I don’t get to feature San Diego eateries as often as I would like to, but San Diego has a special place in my heart. I lived in San Diego for over seven years, graduating from San Diego State University and starting my career in marketing in San Diego shortly after. One thing I know that holds true from my old stomping grounds is the constant evolution of the San Diego food scene. Here are my top 15 San Diego eateries I love visiting for good eats and epic #foodporn!
This is a must-have for anyone in San Diego, local or tourist. Phil’s BBQ is an institution in San Diego and I somehow, almost always, find a way to brave the long lines whenever I’m in town for a taste of their BBQ ribs and chicken. Pro tip: If you’re with a small party, skip the lines and look for bar seating where you can order food from there. And, maybe have a drink or two, since you’re there already.
3750 Sports Arena Blvd
San Diego, CA 92110
SuperNatural Sandwiches in Miramar is the place to go for fast, seafood-inspired sandwiches. Their sandwiches are as delicious as they look. One of my favorites has to be the Chimera, a Korean steak and shrimp melt, and you can’t go wrong with the Cthulhu, a classic lobster roll with umami butter.
7094 Miramar Rd Ste 105
San Diego, CA 92121
Snooze in Hillcrest is one of those places I crave every Sunday morning. Not only are the breakfast and brunch dishes they serve absolutely mouthwatering, but the overall ambiance inside the colorful, lively restaurant always makes you feel like it’s Sunday morning any day of the week. If you’re into savory brunch dishes like I am, get the chilaquiles benedict with barbacoa beef over corn tortillas with melted cheese and ranchero sauce, topped with a poached egg, roasted poblano hollandaise, pico de gallo and cotija cheese.
3940 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
If anyone knows @dailyfoodfeed, they would know that I love donuts. My favorite in San Diego still has to be Donut Bar. They’re fun and inventive with their donuts without sacrificing quality. I’m a sucker for Pop-Tarts, so it’s hard for me to resist the Big Poppa-Tart donut, an iced donut stuffed with a whole Pop-Tart. Their menu changes almost daily with the donuts they offer, so check their social networks to see what they have for the day. And get there early for picks on the best selections. Once they’re sold out for the day, you’re S.O.L.
631 B St
San Diego, CA 92101
Hodad’s is one of those places in San Diego to just get a good ol’ burger, fries, shake or beer (or, even better, all three). But there’s something about their burgers that keeps me coming back for more. The most intense and intimidating on the menu, but a definite “before-you-die” treat, is their Double Bacon Cheeseburger. Don’t let the name fool you into thinking this is your average double bacon. This thing is massive and can easily be shared by two people. That is, if you’re into sharing. Me? Not so much.
5010 Newport Ave
Ocean Beach, CA 92017
Having gone to college at San Diego State University, this taco shop holds a special place in my heart (or rather, stomach). I always come back for the Sigma Pi, a California burrito wrapped in a quesadilla. That’s right. Carne asada, guac, sour cream, pico de gallo and fries all rolled into a cheddar cheese quesadilla. You’re welcome.
5119 College Ave
San Diego, CA 92115
Basic in East Village is the home of my favorite pizza in San Diego but don’t worry, it’s far from basic. Maybe it’s the craft cocktails and beers paired with their thin-crust brick oven pizza that gives it this edge, or maybe it’s their amazing Mashed pizza, a white sauce pie with mozz, mashed potato and bacon. Either way, you can’t go wrong with spending some time here for great drinks and pizza.
410 10th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
San Diego is home to some of the best ramen found in all of California. My favorite is Rakiraki in the Convoy District, where you’ll find a selection of San Diego’s best Asian eateries. They have the perfect balance of bringing traditional Japanese ramen to the modern American palate. You might venture here to try their ramen burger, but you’ll definitely come back for their spicy miso ramen with underbelly and insanely addictive chicken karaage.
4646 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
One of my favorite innovative eateries in North Park is Carnitas’ Snack Shack. They use quality, local ingredients in their pork-centric dishes that you can really taste. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but my go-to has to be the Triple Threat pork sandwich made with a trio of pork—chicken-fried pork cutlet, pulled pork and applewood-smoked bacon—nestled between a Kaiser roll.
2632 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
Sushi Ota in Pacific Beach is by far the best sushi I’ve ever had. I’ve been known to crave this from afar and make as much as a two-and-a-half hour drive on top of waiting for an available table just for a taste. The best seat in the house is at the sushi bar for omakase, but there’s something about the quality of sushi combined with its preparation here that makes pretty much any sushi order from any seat a surefire hit. One suggestion: Splurge on the otoro. It’s worth it.
4529 Mission Bay Dr
San Diego, CA 92109
F E E D I N G /// Frenzy: Daily Food Feed’s Guide to the San Diego Food Scene.