Rich with bars, art galleries, shopping, and hotels, San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter has so many restaurants that finding the perfect one for date night, or a meal with family or friends can be difficult. Sometimes regarded as an area just for tourists and conference attendees, I’d disagree. Use my handy guide to help you find all the neighborhood gens. And be sure to let me know in my comments below if I missed one of your favorites.
MY restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter
LIONFISH COASTAL CUISINE
Lionfish Coastal Cuisine is one of the best seafood restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter. They offer seasonal shareable dishes which gives you a chance to try lots of items from the menu. The food is consistently delicious, and they feature locally sourced ingredients and sustainable seafood from Chef “JoJo” Ruiz. If you love seafood, get the big eye tuna tartare, broiled big glory bay salmon, albacore nigiri and geisha roll. The vibes are energic and elegant. Located in the Pendry San Diego.
Innovative sushi dishes, craft cocktails and rooftop vibes are on show at Lumi by Michelin-starred celebrity chef Akira Back. With rooftop skyline views of San Diego, they serve innovative Japanese fare and sushi. I’d give you recommendations on what to order, but the list would be long, and the fresh season menu is ever-changing. You will also find Akira Back restaurants in Toronto, Bangkok, Vietnam, Singapore, New Delhi, and Jakarta.
The menu at Lavo features classic Italian dishes with a modern twist, such as “The Meatball”, a one-pound wagyu meatball served with marinara and fresh whipped ricotta. The restaurant’s decor is attentive, and the attentive service creates an upscale ambiance that perfectly complements their delicious food. The cocktails are every bit as creative as the dishes – the Flauto e Perla is served in a Chambong glass with lychee caviar, and the Buona Notte is a must-get!
LOU & MICKEYS
Lou & Mickey’s is no ordinary steakhouse – it’s a fine dining experience with quality meats and impeccable service. From the minute you enter, you get the ambiance of a classic and timeless American steakhouse experience. To maintain quality, they have their own dry aging room that is visible from the back of the restaurant – just seeing the magnificent 60-day porterhouse is spectacular. The attention to detail is evident from their 18 years of consistently preparing and serving the choicest cuts, publishing a raw bar menu daily, and proudly displaying photos on the walls of their founders and neighborhood. Easily on of the best restaurants in Gaslamp Quarter San Diego.
MEZE GREEK FUSION
Lamb shanks, humus, souvlaki, and other Greek dishes are on the menu at Mezé Greek Fusion. Their modern Greek fusion dishes have a Southern California twist. Enjoy the tastes of Greece at their three floors, outdoor patio, private dining room, and trendy bar area. make sure you save room for the baklava cheesecake (it’s homemade and I promise you won’t want to share it)
Italian food this good instantly sends me into food heaven – OperaCaffe started as a restaurant in downtown Florence, to the Gaslamp Quarter – and you can taste the focus on quality ingredients in every dish. I’d recommend the Burrata Sorrentina (burrata cheese, tomatoes, pesto, arugula, and toasted bread), and Ravioli porcini e crema di tartufo (ravioli stuffed with porcini mushrooms in the most decadent and delicious mushroom and truffle sauce).
THE MELTING POT
Fondue is a romantic adventure that everyone can enjoy and there’s nothing better than huddling around the table at The Melting Pot. A four-course meal starts with cheese fondue and a starter salad. They have a huge entrée choice (with filet mignon, salmon, shrimp, tuna, duck, and more), and you get to choose the broth. Just save room for the Bananas Foster, Flaming Turtle or Yin & Yang for dessert .
The Desmond is located in Kimpton Alma San Diego, and selecting their three or five-course tasting menu is the best way to enjoy their seasonal menus. Chef Jason Neroni from the acclaimed restaurant The Rose in Venice has a seasonal menu with a focus on seafood, California cuisine, and craft cocktails. The decor is stylish and sophisticated – the food is truly delicious – and the service and recommendations were impeccable.
other places to eat in the gaslamp quarter
- Havana 1920 – they have a great happy hour
Let me know in my comments below if I missed one of your favorite best restaurants in Gaslamp Quarter San Diego.
Several of these restaurants also made it onto my list of San Diego happy hours.