The Best Places for Outdoor Dining in San Diego

Outdoor dining has always been popular in and around San Diego, but this is even more so the case today with the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc.  It doesn’t matter if you’re dining outdoors for the atmosphere, safety, or both, nothing changes the fact that you want to spend your money wisely while filling your stomach. And that’s why you want to learn as much as you can about the best places for outdoor dining in San Diego.

Your Options for San Diego Outdoor Dining During Covid

Here’s the good thing: there is no shortage of options for outdoor dining in San Diego. No matter where you go in the city or what type of food you want to eat, there are restaurants that are sure to accommodate your needs. However, there’s something you need to remember: the best outdoor dining in San Diego for you may not be the best for the next person, and vice versa.

Is Outdoor Dining Allowed in San Diego?

San Diego outdoor dining has long been a favorite of both local residents and tourists, but everything changed when the pandemic took over the city, state, and country. Currently, outdoor dining is permitted in San Diego. While there may be some restrictions, this option is now available to you. Of course, that could change in the future based on the impact of the pandemic on the local area.

Can You Dine in Restaurants in San Diego?

At the current time, indoor dining remains restricted in San Diego. However, with case numbers improving and vaccinations on the rise, this may change in the near future. If you have questions about indoor dining, it’s best to call your preferred restaurant and advance and check with local health authorities. 

Where are the Best Places for Outdoor Dining in San Diego?

One thing you know for sure is that there are plenty of outdoor dining restaurants in San Diego. You’ll never struggle to find a few options to compare. But of course, just because a restaurant offers outdoor dining doesn’t mean that you want to eat there. You only want to spend your money on the “best of the best.” Before we share some of the best places for outdoor patio dining in San Diego, here are some questions to answer:

  • What type of food are you interested in eating? From fine dining to casual, from seafood to Italian food, your options are nearly unlimited.
  • Do you have a location preference? Maybe you’re interested in outdoor dining in Gaslamp of San Diego. Or maybe outdoor dining in Little Italy San Diego is the right choice for you. Choose your location wisely.
  • What’s your budget? For many, this is the most important question. You want good food, but you don’t want to break the bank. In this case, broaden your search area, such as to target the best outdoor dining in north county San Diego. 

With that out of the way, it’s time for a list of the best places for outdoor dining in San Diego. Here are six can’t miss choices (in no particular order):

Vintana Wine + Dine

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Vintana Wine + Dine is where fine dining and exquisite views come together. The menu doesn’t disappoint, with favorites such as filet mignon and lobster mac ’n’ cheese calling you in. If you think the menu is exciting, take the time to soak in the views. With panoramic city and mountain views, you’ll find it difficult to focus on your food—until it arrives, of course! 

Trilogy Sanctuary

 

 
 
 
 
 
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When you’re seeking a quick bite to eat, without giving up anything in regards to quality and test, Trilogy Sanctuary is an excellent choice. Stop by this rooftop cafe for organic and vegan favorites, ranging from smoothies to grain bowls and everything in between.  While you’re eating, you’ll enjoy ocean views and the cool breeze. Add this to the opportunity to partake in aerial yoga classes and you have a true outdoor dining winner. 

Rustic Root

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Are you seeking all the action that the Gaslamp of San Diego has to offer? Well, look no further. Rustic Root is where you want to be. The open-air deck is as unique as they come, thanks to life-size animal topiaries and views that never seem to end. Along with that, you’ll love the selection of food and drinks. You won’t be disappointed with the craft cocktail shots, wine selection, or any of the shareable items. 

Oceana Coastal Kitchen

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Located inside the Catamaran Resort Hotel, there’s a lot to like about Oceana Coastal Kitchen. It all starts with the panoramic view of beautiful Mission Bay. You could soak in the views for hours on end and never get bored. As for the food, it’s one of the best seafood restaurants in the city. 

A.R. Valentien

 

 
 
 
 
 
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With its location inside The Lodge at Torrey Pines, the atmosphere at A.R. Valentien is second to none. The California craftsman design will draw you in as you sit down, but the breathtaking golf course views are what will keep you around. That and the vast food and drink menu. 

Louisiana Purchase

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Located in the North Park area of San Diego, this cajun and creole style restaurant is one of the most unique in the city. While the Louisiana home-style cuisines attract many diners, the French Quarter atmosphere helps bring them back. If you plan on sitting down at Louisiana Purchase for a bite, try the crawfish birria tacos, fried snow crab legs, or the spicy chicken skillet. As for the drink menu, top choices include cherry lime Ricky, strong island, and French Margarita (it’s the best you’ll ever have).

Do I Have Other Options?

If outdoor dining in San Diego doesn’t suit your fancy, you still have options. Most notably, call ahead for takeout or opt for delivery. Either way, it’s quick and efficient to get your food, without taking any risks with your health.  And of course, there are plenty of speciality options to consider, such as San Diego cake delivery and ice cream to go. 

As indoor dining opens back up and outdoor dining capacity increases, you can revisit both of these options to determine if you’re comfortable taking the leap back to normalcy. 

Final Thoughts

With so many San Diego and La Jolla restaurants to choose from, you should be able to find one that suits your taste buds and budget. Even though San Diego outdoor dining during COVID has been a challenge at times, things are looking up. Now may be the time to venture outdoors for your next meal!

 

About the author: Chris Bibey is a professional writer who loves creating travel, finance, and entertainment-related content. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Banner photo by BommaritoArt.com.

 

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