Pacific Beach Dining
With its close proximity to the border, it's widely known that southern California has some of the best taco shops around. These small shops are usually family owned and have a blended Mexican and American taste in their menu items. Pacific Beach embraces this dining experience with a variety of taco shops that lets everyone choose their “favorite.”
|Average meal prices:
||$= $14 and under
Taco Surf not only serves up delicious tacos and burritos, but also doubles as a surf museum. The small restaurant is commonly visited by local professional surfers and those passing through Pacific Beach who make a point to get their burrito fix at here . The inside décor includes the walls and ceiling lined in surfboards, both vintage and new, as well as surf inspired artwork and signed photos from some of the sport's greatest names, all with words of thanks for the “best food in town.”
Taco Surf is located at Mission Boulevard in between Diamond and Emerald Streets.
If you are looking for a little more to your dining experience than grabbing a burrito to go, fear not, because Pacific Beach has much to offer in terms of finding food. Whether you are looking for a quick, casual, or nice meal, Pacific Beach has a large variety of restaurants and menu items to choose from. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner..you will never go hungry in PB.
Kono's is always a breakfast favorite with both locals and tourists in Pacific Beach. The restaurant serves their famous breakfast food (pancakes, eggs, omelettes, French toast, hashbrowns, breakfast burritos, etc.) “all day” and also offers a lunch menu (hamburgers, sandwiches, fries, etc.) Come early to grab a seat on their outside, ocean view deck because there is always a line winding around the corner outside this small eatery. Kono's is located right at the end of Garnet Avenue by the Crystal Pier and is open daily; M-F: 7 am-3 pm, Sat/Sun: 7 am-4 pm.
Zanzibar Coffee Bar and Gallery is always a hot spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a cappuccino and dessert. Located right on Garnet Avenue in the middle of PB, Zanzibar is a perfect meeting spot or place to hang out and enjoy the crowd. This restaurant also doubles as an art gallery, with ever changing paintings and photography covering the walls from local artists around southern California. The vibe in this coffee shop is hip and laid back and always full of good karma. From breakfast, lunch, or dinner, to any of its desserts or coffee specialties, the food here is absolutely delicious! Favorite menu items here include: Cinnamon French toast, Belgian waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, homemade granola with fresh fruit, toasted paninis and open faced sandwiches, specialty pizzas, salads, and of course coffee drinks, everything homemade, blended, and brewed from the Zanzibar kitchen. There is both inside and outside seating, but come early for breakfast because this is a PB favorite and tends to get crowded, especially on the weekends.
Zanzibar is open daily and is located at 976 Garnet Avenue
Quick and Casual Dining:
If you are looking for a quick eat to bring back to the beach or a place to sit down and have a few margaritas, there are plenty options throughout PB that will cater to anyone's tastes.
For fast dining, try Fatburger or Pita Pit. Both are located on the corner of Mission Boulevard and Garnet by the Crystal Pier. Fatburger is known for its famous hamburgers and for “converting vegetarians since 1952.” The restaurant proudly serves the Pacific Beach area and satisfies its customers, both locals and curious tourists, with extra large hamburgers, chili, onion rings, French fries, and homemade ice cream shakes. Better come with an appetite, because you won't be leaving this place hungry.
Pita Pit is right next door to Fatburger , offering a quick and easy meal with a variety of pita filling options. Pitas are freshly made in front of you after you order them and you can say “when” whenever you want. There are plenty of vegetarian options here as well, making this little stop a good choice for the vegetarians that their neighboring Fatburger have yet to convert. Pita Pit is open daily and also delivers until 2 am for those late night pita cravings.
If you have a little more on your mind than burgers and pitas, there is a really good Italian pizzeria located up just a few blocks up Garnet Avenue. Filippi's Pizza Grotto embraces the Italian mindset, and appetite, with homemade Italian dishes and pizza that are too delicious to refuse. The pizza here is always a favorite, and the restaurant specializes in meat and sausage options to include in every meal. With a low key atmosphere and plenty of seating for both small and large crowds, Filippi's is always a great place to bring the family and friends. And make sure to order enough pizza so you have some for the next day-their pizza still tastes great cold!
Filippi's Pizza Grotto is located at 962 Garnet Avenue
Call: 858-483-6222 for hours and delivery
If Mexican food and margaritas are more what you had in mind after a day at the beach, head on over to Gringo's Cantina , right at the end of Garnet Avenue before the Crystal Pier. The food has a delicious Mexican-American blend and goes great with any of their specialty margaritas. Sizzling fajitas and any of their burritos or fish choices on the menu are must-haves here. And nothing beats the endless baskets of warm tortilla chips and fresh made salsa and queso. And of course Gringo's margarita side of the menu is nothing less than their food. The margaritas here come in two sizes, big and bigger. All choices can be blended or on the rocks, and if you aren't in the mood for food, at least come for a margarita, chips and qeuso, and a good time. Mondays are reserved for Margarita Monday where all margaritas are half off, and on Sunday brunch is served from 11 am-3 pm. Gringo's is a must for any Pacific Beach tourist, and a favorite with all the locals here.
For a lighter side to some of southern California 's favorite dining, try Zen 5 Sushi , also located on Garnet Avenue. Zen 5 offers the ultimate sushi dining experience with its “sushi rolls and reggae,” and an atmosphere that is casual but always lively. With a sushi bar that lines two walls and Samurai swords as décor, you know you have hit sushi haven upon entering this restaurant. And where else but southern California would a sushi restaurant play continuous reggae all night long as you dine on sushi with names like the Kamikaze or Rock n' Roll rolls. And speaking of the sushi here, Zen 5 serves up some of the freshest and top grade quality sushi and sashimi you will find. The menu options make it difficult to choose which rolls to order, so it works best to order a variety to split. Sushi orders are served on a large boat, enhancing this dining experience even more. Zen 5 Sushi is open daily and also offers happy hour every day from 5-7 pm with half off appetizers and hand rolls, as well as free sake with every large beer.
Zen 5 Sushi is located at 1130 Garnet Avenue
Jordan (JRDN) Restaurant offers a slightly upscale and swanky atmosphere to Pacific Beach 's acclimated casualty. With a full ocean view and an innovative architectural design, this restaurant and bar is nothing less than impressive. JRDN serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekends, with full menus that will satisfy any guest. This steak and seafood restaurant is top quality and focuses on making “food that tastes good” as well as looks good. JRDN changes up the pace and style in Pacific Beach, serving up dishes that are just as appealing. This stylish restaurant and bar has an attraction all its own in PB, and you will find no other dining like it at the beach.
JRDN Restaurant is open daily and is located oceanfront at the end of Felspar Street
Call: 858-270-JRDN to make reservations
Other restaurants to try:
Rafaela's Italian Restaurant for delicious homemade Italian food. Bring your own wine and sit outside on the patio or inside this beach cottage converted restaurant and enjoy the food and friendly service. Come early or plan to wait a bit as the restaurant tends to get crowded later into the night. Rafaela's is located at Cass Street and Tourmaline.
A good Thai restaurant to try in Pacific Beach is Kafe Yen. The restaurant serves many traditional Thai dishes and also offers a lunch special during the week. They have a variety of teas as well, and their cucumber infused water adds a refreshing twist to the meal. Kafe Yen's food is delicious and is a good place to enjoy a relaxing, casual meal.
Kafe Yen is located at the end of Garnet Avenue right before the Crystal Pier.
Before a night out, stop into Isola Lounge for some tapas and drinks to get you ready. Isola is a hip, classy restaurant and lounge that serves dinner, dessert, a variety of tapas as well as drinks. This is another of PB's more upscale restaurants, but don't let that deter you. Everyone is very friendly and the place is always full of energy. The food and drinks here are exceptional and reasonably priced.
Isola Lounge is located at 1269 Garnet Avenue.