Why live life on a strict diet when a lifestyle of gourmet indulgence is so much more fun? Besides, San Diego hardly makes it easy to resist those insistent carb cravings, as new irresistible restaurants seem to open up all across the county, every weekend.
Sure, it’s important to look svelte and stylish at the season’s hottest pool parties, but summer is also a busy time for entertaining friends and escaping on much-needed staycations. Find a happy medium in visiting the best new restaurants in town, while perhaps refraining from ordering that fourth cocktail and second dessert. Just a little tip from one calorie-conscious foodie to another.
As summer heats up, make reservations at one of the many new San Diego restaurants, including Burlap, Café Sevilla, Union Kitchen + Tap, Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen, Company Pub and Kitchen, The Range Kitchen & Cocktails and more. I hope you’re hungry; it’s going to be a flavor-packed adventure through to the fall.
Discover the best new restaurants to try this summer in San Diego.
Burlap in Del Mar
When celebrity chef Brian Malarkey, nightlife mogul James Brennan, and designer extraordinaire Thomas Schoos collaborated on their first project Searsucker, San Diego was put on the map in a major way. And now, the trio is back in action, debuting Burlap, a new restaurant and lounge serving “Asian Cowboy” cuisine in an eclectic environment that offers the perfect mix of global sophistication and local cool. While I toured the new digs, Brian Malarkey explained that Thomas Schoos designed Searsucker to represent Malarkey’s own “Urban Cowboy” roots, and that Burlap is now a reflection of the acclaimed designer’s personal world, hand-built with hundreds of artifacts Schoos collected while traveling across the globe. Read the full review of Burlap Del Mar. (pictured)
Café Sevilla in Gaslamp Quarter
After 20 years on Fourth Avenue, Sevilla temporary closed doors last winter to build a bigger and better venue on Fifth. If you’ve missed Spanish tapas, Flamenco dinner shows, and Salsa dance lessons, go check out the new Café Sevilla, which is now open as of July 11. Sevilla remains the same in concept and vibe, yet is now housed in a new three-story venue that radiates with warmth and personality and shines with contemporary appeal without losing its authentic Spanish roots. Many décor highlights, from vintage maps and wall fixtures to the wood framing, were transferred to Fifth from Fourth, while cultural artifacts were imported from Spain. For a taste of Sevilla flavor, remember the made-to-share tapas, including Green Mussels Escabeche marinated in olive oil and lemon then topped with fresh Serrano pepper salsa; and Seafood Crepes stuffed with clams, shrimp, and scallops doused in a light lobster saffron sauce. Read the full review of Café Sevilla in San Diego.
Union Kitchen + Tap in Encinitas
Union is the hottest restaurant and bar to ever the Coast Highway 101 in downtown Encinitas. In addition to a strong neighborhood vibe, Union raises the standards of décor and atmosphere in North County. While many Encinitas restaurants serve delicious food, let’s face it, few venues think outside the box in terms of design and attitude. Union offers a spacious, industrial setting, filled with vibrant art, vintage light fixtures, and a warehouse-style door that pulls up to look onto 101 outside. Similar to Basic in East Village, Union is a laidback spot with understated style that appeals to a wide demographic. Union serves New American food, paired with local craft beer, boutique wines, and handcrafted cocktails. What’s better, if you ride the Coaster to Union, you get 20% off your tab. Learn more about Union in Encinitas. (pictured)
Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen in Oceanside
Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen is a new gastropub located on a remote residential street just off S. Coast Highway 101 in Oceanside. And if you can find it, it’s worthy of your time and attention. An old wooden raft suspends from the ceiling, overlooking a central bar and casual dining room with rustic reclaimed décor. Chef Mario Moser created a straightforward menu full of Light Fare, Local Fare, Piggybacks, and Sweet Stuff, that pairs well with their selection of local craft beer and fine wines behind the bar. Start off with the Charcuterie Plate, with Salumi, prosciutto, pickled spring onions, Dijon, and olive oil bread; or the Artisan Cheese Place and Organic Greens Salad. Eat local with Steak and Fries, Chicken and Dumplings, or Molasis Braised Pork Belly with collards, caramelized apple and spoon bread. Add on some Piggybacks, like Mac & Cheese or Southern Pickles. Learn more at Flying Pig in Oceanside.
Company Pub and Kitchen in Poway
Brand new to downtown Poway, Company Pub and Kitchen operates on the understanding that, at the end of the day, all we really want is to be surrounded by great company. This new spot claims to bring the experience of a true gastropub, with the partnership of a friendly local pub and the comfort cuisine we all crave, presented with a contemporary twist. Fun menu items range from Crab Toast and Chicken Lollipops to Minted Lamb Sandwich, Mother Earth Panini, Pan-Seared Duck, and Fish & Chips. Learn more about Company in Poway.
The Range Kitchen & Cocktails in Hillcrest
It seems there is a new dining hot spot opening doors every week in Hillcrest. The latest on the scene is The Range Kitchen & Cocktails, a second story venue overlooking University Avenue that plans to open in time for the 2011 Pride. The Range will serve a unique take on comfort food, featuring such items as the Walnut, Pear and Blue Cheese Salad, The Range Burger, Potato Chip Fried Chicken, Beef Brisket, and Chicken Pot Pie. The Range is next to The Ruby Room, and we’ve heard rumors of exciting partnership activities. Learn more about The Range in Hillcrest.
Bottlecraft & 98 bottles in Little Italy
With San Diego already recognized as a landmark for some of the top craft breweries in the nation, Little Italy is ‘hopping’ on board and fast becoming a niche haven for local craft beer lovers. With the opening of Bottlecraft, a tasting room and beer shop, and 98 bottles, a boutique retail and entertainment lounge; Little Italy is welcoming the world of craft beer. First to open, Bottlecraft offers a rustic tasting room, monthly events, and a diverse selection of craft brews from San Diego and around the world, including Iron Fist, Port + Lost Abbey, Ballast Point, Stone, Karl Strauss, Green Flash and more. Learn more about Bottlecraft and 98 bottles.
Knotty Barrel in East Village
New to East Village just in time for summer baseball season at Petco Park, Knotty Barrel is a chill gastropub built around the things San Diegans love: good food, killer drinks, and a key location. Nosh on their Parmesan Truffle Fries, Battered Jalapenos & Baby Artichokes, or the salmon burgers, Bison Burger and the signature Knotty Burger. Pair your dish with a local brew, such as the Green Flash Trippel Belgian Style Ale from Vista, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA from San Diego, or Stone Ruination IPA from Escondido. Learn more about Knotty Barrel in East Village.
Ciro’s Pizzeria & Beerhouse in Pacific Beach
The brains behind downtown Ciro’s partnered with PB pros at Olde City Grill to create new Garnet Avenue hot spot, Ciro’s Pizzeria & Beerhouse. The casual restaurant serves Ciro’s signature New York-style pizza, in addition to Olde City Grill’s infamous Philadelphia-style cheesesteaks, and a wide selection of draft and bottle beers. And we’re not just talking about Bud Lights; Ciro’s Pizzeria & Beerhouse offers more than 22 tap handles ranging from local brew Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point to Belgian favorites Duvel and Delerium Tremens. There is also a new Ciro’s Pizzeria & Wine House coming soon to Hillcrest. Learn more about Ciro’s in Pacific Beach.
More new San Diego restaurants to try include Local Habit in Hillcrest, Escape Fish Bar in Gaslamp Quarter, The Joint in Ocean Beach, Eddie V’s in La Jolla, Mama Jamaica Café & Grill in Kearny Mesa, Bootlegger in East Village, Rimel’s Rotisserie in Del Mar, The Counter in Del Mar, Urban Plate in Del Mar, Mia Francesca in Del Mar and more.