In the mood for some new food and drink options in San Diego? PACIFIC has you covered with this list of the 14 best and brightest new openings from Oceanside to Coronado and everything in between.
With celebrity-backed, upscale barbecue bringing serious star power (International Smoke, a collaboration from celeb chef Michael Mina and food and lifestyle guru Ayesha Curry) and Instagram-ready sweet treats (3TEN Churro Bar), there’s something for just about every taste.
3TEN Churro Bar, Mira Mesa
In July, restaurateurs Barry Tu, McKenzie Cox and Randy Corrigan opened this dessert bar in the Mira Mesa West shopping center. The trio operate several Broken Yolk Café restaurants in Southern California and Las Vegas. Corrigan’s mom hails from Mexico City and this restaurant is an homage to growing up eating churros. Churros, with flavors including chocolate Oreo, white chocolate coconut and caramel chocolate peanut butter cup, start at $1.45 and range up to $11.95 for a flight of six. The churros are also available in ice cream sundaes in bite-size form.
8111 Mira Mesa Blvd., Mira Mesa, 858.800.1068, churrobar.com
The Carté Hotel, Little Italy
Scheduled to open in early August, this 16-floor, 246-room hotel in Little Italy is part of Hilton’s luxury Curio collection. The hotel has two dining venues. Watercolors is a full-service, all-day sea-to-table restaurant featuring locally caught seafood and produce from farms in the San Diego region. Above Ash is a rooftop bar, serving craft cocktails and locally inspired cuisine served under a handcrafted copper roof.
401 West Ash St., Little Italy, 619.546.9600, cartehotel.com
Casero Taqueria, Carlsbad
On July 4, Encinitas business partners Craig Applegate and Clayton Wheeler opened this first-of-its-kind, fast-casual Baja-inspired taco restaurant and bar in the new Square at Bressi Ranch shopping center. The 5,000-square-foot, 155-seat restaurant and bar specializes in tacos served a la carte or in family-style platters that serve three to four people. Tortillas are made in-house all day in the exhibition kitchen and the bar serves a variety of tequila and mezcal cocktails.
2675 Gateway Dr., Ste. 195, Carlsbad, 760.405.4195, caserotaqueria.com
Ciccia Osteria, Barrio Logan
Married Italian chefs Francesca Penoncelli and Mario Cassineri, former partners in the now-closed BiCE in the Gaslamp Quarter, opened their own “mom and pop” seasonal Italian bistro in Barrio Logan in June. The fast-casual location serves housemade pastas, meat and fish dishes, antipasti, salads and appetizers that change with what’s available at the markets daily. Mostly Italian wines are sold by the glass, carafe or bottle.
2233 Logan Ave., Barrio Logan, 619.674.4069, cicciasandiego.com
Feast & Fareway, Coronado
A joint endeavor between Rise & Shine Restaurant Group owner/founder, Johan Engman, John Rudolph of Harry’s Coffee Shop and Tom Penn of Real Restaurant Solutions, Feast & Fareway is the new all-day restaurant at the Coronado Golf Course. The menu features breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus grab-and-go and catering options for both golfers and locals. Specialties include duck confit mac ‘n’ cheese and Hill meat braised pork shank with smoked peach sauce.
2000 Visalia Row, Coronado, 619.996.3322, feastandfarewaycoronado.com
The Holding Company, Ocean Beach
In July, the owners of the Original OB Noodle House opened this three-story entertainment and restaurant venue in the former Gallagher’s Irish Pub space. The former pub space on the ground floor is a music venue and bar presenting live music three to five nights a week. The second floor is a restaurant, with patio and another bar. There’s also a rooftop lounge.
5046 Newport Ave., Ocean Beach, 619.341.5898, thcob.com
International Smoke, Del Mar
Famed Bay Area chef Michael Mina and cookbook author/Food Network star (not to mention wife of NBA star Stephen Curry) Ayesha Curry opened the fourth location of this globally inspired restaurant on July 19 at the One Paseo mixed-use community in Del Mar. The menu features foods prepared with fire, grilling and smoking techniques. Dishes include falafel, curry cornbread, chicken karaage, Wagyu shaking beef and St. Louis-style smoked pork ribs. The 350-seat restaurant is the fourth location for the San Francisco-based chain.
3387 Del Mar Heights Rd., Del Mar, 619.331.4528, internationalsmoke.com
Live Culture Café, Leucadia
Open since March in the former Yocadia Creamery, Chef Michael ZonFrilli’s restaurant specializes in food and drinks prepared with live bacteria cultures, like ZonFrilli’s own Bambucha Kombucha on tap, sandwiches with sourdough bread and live culture frozen yogurt and vegan-cultured coconut milk soft-serve. The 25-seat restaurant is open all day and presents live music on the patio on the weekends.
1076 N. Coast Hwy., Leucadia, 760.274.7215, liveculturecafe.com
The Modern Vegan, North Park
This Las Vegas-born vegan mecca, known for serving a menu with more than 100 items, opened its second location June 8 in North Park. Owner Gia Schultz said on Instagram that she decided to open the 3,200-square-foot San Diego location because so many of the customers at her Las Vegas flagship restaurant were driving in from San Diego. Specialties include chick’n and waffles, Canadian poutine and a deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
4332 30th St., North Park, 619.310.5712, tmvrestaurants.com
Orfila Vineyards and Winery Tasting Room, Oceanside
Escondido’s Orfila Vineyards and Winery opened a luxurious tasting room and restaurant in January near Oceanside Pier. Orfila’s award-winning wines are paired with dishes by chef Luke Morganstern that include small and medium-size shared plates, tortilla flatbreads, charcuterie and cheese plates and sweets.
221 N. Cleveland St., Oceanside, 760.755.7040, orfila.com/Oceanside-tasting-room
The Original 40 Brewing Company, North Park
The founders of U-31 Bar in North Park, Steve and Patricia Billings, and partner Sarah Devine opened this neighborhood brewpub in June just across the street from U-31. The name comes from the original 40 acres that were purchased to develop North Park in 1893. The 4,000-square-foot property features a brewery headed by former Groundswell and Pizza Port brewer Chris Gillogly and an 85-seat restaurant with 26 beers on tap. The limited menu includes salads, snacks, shared plates, a burger, crisped salmon and bavette steak.
3117 University Ave., North Park, 619.255.7380, original40brewing.com
Pachamama, Normal Heights
Pachamama is the goddess of the Andes, also known as Mother Earth. A new fast-casual organic restaurant in her name, scheduled to open in August, will be serving the cuisine of many of the countries that the Andres run through, including Argentina, Chile, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia. Owned by Argentinian Victoria Vannucci and run by chef de cuisine Ernesto Moreno, the restaurant will serve a mostly plant-based all-day menu of entrees, bites, wraps, salads, breakfast items, pastries and grain, veggie and protein bowls.
3739 Adams Ave., Normal Heights, whoispachamama.com
The former 1500 Ocean restaurant at the Hotel Del Coronado reopened in July as Seréa, a “sea-to-table” concept overseen by executive chef JoJo Ruiz (of Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine). Seréa specializes in serving whole, locally caught seafood from the region’s fishermen and aquafarms. Menu highlights include lobster croquettes with caviar, Pacific shrimp al ajillo, charcoal-grilled octopus, local halibut ceviche, San Diego sea urchin and glazed California black cod.
At the Hotel Del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.435.6611, sereasandiego.com
Sign of the Whale, Gaslamp
This new American comfort food restaurant opened in July in the former Florent and Old City Hall space in the Gaslamp. Chef Anthony Bruno’s seafood-centric menu offers a mix of small plates, soups, salads, flatbreads, burgers, sandwiches and plated entrees such as seafood saffron risotto, lobster and shrimp ravioli, peppercorn-crusted New York strip steak and Frenched pork chop.
672 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.756.7333, signofthewhaleca.com