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San Diego’s Best Hidden Gem Restaurants

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San Diego attracts year-round tourists for many reasons; some come for the sea and sunshine, others for our world renowned chefs and award winning eateries. Foodies rejoice, because we have put together the top 10 undiscovered gems in San Diego that are serving up culinary classics and unique plates that will have your taste buds yearning for more. Book that plane ticket and grab an affordable hotel room near Little Italy in Downtown San Diego just in time to make your reservation at one of these amazing establishments:

  1. Carnitas Snack Shack | 2632 University Ave., North Park | $No reservation required here, just farm fresh food that’s established quite the reputation. One look at their menu and you’ll be torn between ordering a classic pulled pork sandwich or experimenting with the Triple Threat Pork Sandwich complete with pork loin schnitzel and Shack Aioli.
  2. Monello | 750 West Fir Street, Little Italy | $$For once we actually have classic Italian food made the Italian way. This small restaurant hosts a daily Milanese Aperitivo from 4 to 7 p.m. in the bar and patio, where you can order classic Italian cocktails and enjoy small plates on the house.
  3. Farm House | 2121 Adams Ave., University Heights | $$$This is the place to go for affordable and charming rustic French cuisine. Their food is made fresh in house every day and changes with the seasons. Right now stop in for almond panna cotta or dare to try the Escargot risotto.
  4. Sushi Ota | 4529 Mission Bay Dr., Pacific Beach | $$-$$$This small hole-in-the-wall sushi joint is famed among locals but scarcely talked about in media. Even if you plan on staying at an affordable hotel in downtown San Diego, put this Pacific Beach restaurant on your to-do list. Order fresh melt-in-your-mouth sashimi or salmon belly from their authentic Japanese menu.
  5. Brooklyn Girl | 4033 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills | $-$$Craft beer, seasonal food, affordable prices, cool location. Need to hear more? Stop by at 5 p.m. to grab a seat at their new oyster bar for fresh oysters, mussels, clams, crab, lobster and more! Pair it up with their recommended beer or wine and you’re ready for a mouthful of San Diego’s best shellfish.
  6. Jayne’s Gastropub | 4677 30th St., University Heights | $$-$$$San Diegans are glad to see Jayne’s back open after their extended holiday break. Their eclectic and diverse menu attracts people with different palates. Order up fish n’ chips, a white bean crostini or a panko-crusted salmon and wash it all down with a cold craft beer.
  7. Banker’s Hill Bar & Restaurant | 2202 4th Ave., Banker’s Hill | $$-$$$Reservations are recommended but bar seating is first come first serve. If you snag a seat you can enjoy their weekday happy hour from 4:30- 6:30 p.m. and again from 9:30 to 11p.m. Just don’t leave without ordering up their truffle fries, pork tacos or duck confit.
  8. The Smoking Goat | 3408 30th St., North Park | $$$This is the one place to get classic French and American cuisine in an unpretentious setting. Their charming home-styledécor really sets the mood for your entrée. You’ll be disappointed if you don’t try the pork chop with cheesy creamy polenta and a side of duck fat fries.
  9. Super Cocina | 3627 University Ave., Normal Heights | $Family style Mexican food made to order. Don’t visit this small restaurant expecting the cooks to churn out mass produced tacos. Here is where you’ll taste long-standing family recipes straight from their hometown. Their simple and well-prepared plates will leave you with the lingering taste of Mexican food done right.
  10. Addison | 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, Del Mar | $$$$Okay, you may have heard of this restaurant because it’s been touted as San Diego culinary pride and joy, which is why we had to put it on this list. The five star French dining experience at this Del Mar restaurant doesn’t come cheap, but world renowned Chef William Bradley makes sure you get your money’s worth.

If you’re trying to scrape some money together and enjoy a lavish meal, try saving money on your hotel stay. Book a cheap hotel room in San Diego at Pacific Inn today and you could save up to 15% off already cheap prices! We’re conveniently located next to many of these great restaurants and other major San Diego attractions like Old Town, home to more upstanding traditional Mexican cuisine. Click here to learn more about our affordable lodging near Old Town and the plethora of dining and shopping options available. To speak with a reservations specialist directly, dial 1-800-571-2933 now!

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