A College Student's Ultimate Guide To San Diego's Best Restaurants
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A College Student's Ultimate Guide To San Diego's Best Restaurants

Ballin' on a budget.

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A College Student's Ultimate Guide To San Diego's Best Restaurants
Pixabay

San Diego might be known for our endless array of Authentic Mexican food, but I've ventured far beyond street tacos & tequila to find some of the city's greatest gems.


1. Breakfast Republic

Pancake Flights & French Toast Samplers? Uh yes, I'll have one of each, please. Aside from their endless variation of sweet flavors, you can find any savory meal to pair with as well. My Favorite: French Toast Sampler w/ S'mores, Mr. Presley, & Brioche

2. Hash House A Go Go

Oh My Gosh. All I have to say is you better be hungry. The flavors and portions don't run small at this house. My Favorite: The Big O Sage Fried Chicken & Waffle Tower

3. Richard Walker's Pancake House

San Diegans love their pancakes, so be prepared for a line out the door upon your arrival. Looking for the best pancakes in town? Ask Richard. My Favorite: World Famous Baked apple pie pancake

4. The Cottage

This perfect little picket-fenced restaurant will make you never want to leave. Located in beautiful La Jolla, the menu is packed with an array of sweet & salty treats that are sure to satisfy your cravings. My Favorite: California Benedict + Stuffed French Toast (Pro-tip: ask your server if you can have half of both to get the best of both worlds!)

5. Snooze

I challenge you to go here without ordering one of everything off the menu. This retro brunch spot will blow your mind. My Favorite: Cinnamon Roll Pancake

6. Kono's Cafe

This popular breakfast joint sits right on the boardwalk of Pacific Beach. This classic spot serves traditional American Breaks but something about it just feels like home. My Favorite: Big Breakfast #1

7. Rustic Root

On top of their phenomenal menu, the vibe and decor of this restaurant will amaze you. Located in the heart of Gaslamp, it's the perfect spot for your Saturday night (or Sunday morning). Did I mention there is a rooftop bar?! My Favorite: Firecracker Shrimp + Sticky Pork Belly

8. Lucha Libre

Looking for the best tacos or burrito you've had yet? Stop by this glammed out taco shop for the real San Diego experience. My Favorite: Queso Taco/ Surf & Turf Taco

9. Blenders

SDSU student might argue it's the best hangover spot in San Diego. If you're looking for the best smoothie & sandwich combo, this is your spot. My Favorite: Acai Bowl & Build-Your-Own Sandwich

10. Fruittitude

This fresh & fit cafe holds what I believe to be one of the best Acai bowls in San Diego. Located in La Jolla, it's a perfect beach snack. My Favorite: Peanut Butter Acai Bowl

11. City Tacos

This hole-in-the-wall taco shop has everything you'd want and more! Their spin on tacos will blow your mind, plus tacos are $3 on Taco Tuesday! My Favorite: The Camaron Taco

12. Banbu Sushi

Endless specialty rolls & a great patio for relaxing. If you want the freshest, tastiest sushi by the Pacific, this is your place. My Favorite: Double Pleasure Roll

13. Puesto

Another restaurant that's vibe brings life to the table. Did I mention you can get guacamole with bacon in it?! My Favorite: Filet Mignon Taco

14. Rubicon Deli

Take every sandwich you've ever dreamed of and squish them all together. That's rubicon for you. My Favorite: Rich Boy

15. Cody's

The menu is smaller but each item is made with perfection. The view of the ocean will leave you there all day long. My Favorite: Veggie Hash

16. Fig Tree Cafe

Looking for fresh? This cute hillcrest cafe is sure to please you. The menu is practically endless with delicious options for even the worst picky eater. My Favorite: Breakfast Sushi + Acai Antioxidant Shot

17. Crushed

The food is to die for but the drinks are worth living for. Choose from a beer or mimosa flight to spice up your happy hour. My Favorite: The SoCal

18. Don Chido

Right next door to Rustic Root sits the coolest, modern Mexican restaurant you've ever seen. With a menu full of street tacos & salsa choices, you along with your margarita are definitely here to stay. My Favorite: Carne Asada Street Tacos (Pro-Tip: Get the mini churros for dessert, you'll thank me later).


19. Island Prime

If you're looking for the best ocean view in San Diego, this is your place. Literally, you're sitting on top of the pacific. You might have to save up to dine at 5-star restaurant on a college budget, but the food is more than worth it. My Favorite: Seared Ahi Stack + '1855 Filet Mignon w/ side of wild mushrooms

20. Crack Shack

Another restaurant that will charm you with their cool atmosphere is this fried chicken joint. Don't scroll just yet, this place will change the way you look at fried chicken forever. If that's not your style, their soft serve will change your life. My favorite: Horchata Soft Serve w/ Brownie Bites & Candied Bacon

21. Donut Bar

It's practically a given that you can't go to San Diego without stopping by Donut Bar. The famous donut shop has some of the most decadent filled donuts you won't even have time to feel guilty about it. My favorite: All of them.


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