As America’s Finest dining scene continues to explode, new restaurants are sprouting up across the city. Just in time to treat your lover(s) to a special meal, here are 22 Valentine’s Day breakfast, lunch and dinner options that have opened since November.
Duke’s La Jolla (opened in November)
From the savvy operators of Jake’s Del Mar comes this big new eatery on La Jolla’s tony Prospect Street, celebrating Hawaiian surf culture, glorious ocean views and “Pan-Pacific” menus by chef Anthony Sinsay.
1216 Prospect St., La Jolla
Ike’s Place (opened in November)
With sandwich shops across the West, this San Francisco-based chain chose Hillcrest’s The Hub center (formerly Uptown San Diego) to dole out creations built on seductive Dutch crunch bread.
1010 University Ave., Ste. 101, Hillcrest
Striders (opened in November)
The “Striders” at this double-decker luxury sports lounge in downtown’s Harbor Club towers are horses racing at tracks around the country. Yes, you can wager on them - at the only bar in the city to offer off-track betting - all while ordering from a casual menu and cheering for a Win, Place or Show on more than 150 HDTVs.
100 Harbor Dr., Ste. 101, Downtown
The Nolen (opened in November)
The private elevator soars 14 floors fast, giving this open-air lounge atop Sixth Avenue’s new Courtyard by Marriott allure galore, made possible by fab views, seven categories of cocktails and appetizing small plates.
453 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp
Vinavanti Urban Winery (opened in November)
That a Vinavanti “litro” is equivalent to a “wine growler” (only with 33 percent more wine) says plenty about Hillcrest’s new specialist in “natural wines” made with “minimal intervention.” There’s bruschetta, too.
1477 University Ave., Hillcrest
Baguette Bros. (opened in November)
Seems like sandwiches rule in 2016, notably at Kearny Mesa’s new Vietnamese bahn mi palace, where lengths of stuffed baguettes feature both traditional and “fusion” fillings. Don’t miss the wings and fries.
4698 Convoy St., Ste. 105, Kearny Mesa
Green China Grill (opened in November)
On Convoy Street, San Diego’s unofficial Asian Restaurant Row, this fun Chinese newbie offers a limited menu of treats like hand-pulled noodles in rich beef soups made in the famous Lanzhou style.
4688 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa
KINDRED (opened in December)
Being vegan in South Park got downright exciting with the arrival of KINDRED, which features an all-vegan menu of share plates and snacks designed to complement draft beers, house cocktails and kombucha on tap.
1503 30th St., South Park
Biga International (opened in December)
In the elegant, 1920s Fox building on Broadway at Sixth, new-to-San Diego chef/restaurateur Tae Dickey bakes excellent pizzas, Italian breads, desserts and more, and serves them amidst stylin’ de?cor.
950 Sixth Ave., Ste. C, Gaslamp
Madison (opened in December)
Some guests skip the lounge entry and access the cedar-paneled dining room by a tunnel, which is novel and fun. Consulting chef Mario Cassineri of downtown’s celebrated BICE Ristorante designed the sunny menu of Mediterranean and Southern California fare.
4622 Park Blvd., University Heights
Tender Greens (opened in November)
Endlessly branching out across the city and Southland, this salad source extraordinaire recently sprouted in Westfield Mission Valley to satisfy the appetites of its legions of veggie fans.
1640 Camino del Rio North, Ste. FS-7, Mission Valley
Tajima Ramen (opened in December)
The fourth entry in San Diego’s Tajima family, this off-Broadway location specializes in what Tajima fans love - signature handmade ramen noodles, Japanese-style tapas and international craft brews.
901 E St., East Village
Top of the Market (reopened in December)
This ritzy restaurant atop downtown’s The Fish Market ranks as new because it’s been completely redone due to a big fire last year. Handsome looks, fine cooking and a can’t-be-beat view lure us back.
750 N. Harbor Dr., Downtown
Bitter Brothers Brewing Co. (opened in January)
Yo ho, Bay Ho, it’s off to drink we go - to this new Morena Boulevard brewery and tasting room, where the suds are far from duds. IPAs are among the launch- time brews, as is a coffee-based porter.
4170 Morena Blvd., Bay Ho
Encontro (opened in January)
North Park’s new late-night hangout goes heavy on sandwiches and salads, and light on the wallet, with a deeply flavorful Italian sausage sammie going for eight bucks, and the “Kale Caesar” for nine.
3001 University Ave., North Park
Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream (opened in January)
This well-loved North Park institution has ventured to Garnet Avenue, where it serves the same 100-plus flavors of “Tropical Dreams super- premium ice cream” manufactured in Hawaii and bursting with butterfat.
1418 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach
Moonshine Beach & Cerveza Jack’s (Cerveza Jack’s opened in January; Moonshine Beach opening in March)
Designed as a twofer by club/restaurant impresario Ty Hauter, this high-stepping duo in P.B. is serving Mexican chow at Cerveza Jack’s (opened in January), and will soon feature new country acts and dancing next door at Moonshine Beach (opening in March), the coastal outpost of East Village’s wildly popular Moonshine Flats.
1165 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach
Rolled Up (opened in January)
If “burrito-sized fusion rolls” sound like your cup of green tea, try this new Hillcrest attraction from hot restaurateur James Markham, who invites guests to sample sake-miso marinated steak and other crafty fillings.
3884 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest
The Taco Stand (opened downtown in January; opening Encinitas in early 2016)
In downtown’s financial district, this first branch of La Jolla’s favorite taco joint offers a cheerful, south-of-the-border vibe perfect for savoring traditional burritos, tacos and sweet Coca-Cola imported from Mexico.
645 B St., Downtown, 619.546.0570
642 S. Coast Hwy., Encinitas
The Whet Noodle (opened in January)
After naming his Oceanside sushi joint Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub, Davin Waite showed restraint in titling his neighboring ramen house, which stars build- your-own noodle dishes and wily duck-fat carrots with walnut chimichurri.
1813 S. Coast Hwy., Oceanside
1919 (opening in February)
When the construction fences finally come down at 1919 Fifth Ave., the Gaslamp will boast its newest, perhaps most adventurous sports bar, sporting more than two dozen TV monitors and live music.
560 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp
Le Petit Bistrot (opening in February)
Up on the third floor of Plaza La Jolla - in the heart of the Village - a Florida-based chain’s new West Coast outpost serves traditional, uncomplicated French cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
7863 Girard Ave., Ste. 308, La Jolla
For more San Diego restaurant openings, click here.