Vino! Vino! walking tour is a great way to get to know Little Italy, San Diego - one of the chicest neighborhoods in the Downtown area. With many unique boutiques, historic buildings, and luxury...
In the world of dining, there's no higher honor for a restaurant than a Michelin star. And San Diego now boasts five establishments with that esteemed distinction — including one that has earned Michelin's top global honor of three stars. Check out the lineup of local Michelin-starred restaurants — plus those that have earned Michelin's likewise prestigious "Bib Gourmand" designation for quality plus value.
Where:5200 Grand del Mar Way, San Diego, CA 92130
With the announcement of its third star in 2022, Addison, at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, became one of just seven restaurants in the state to boast Michelin's highest honor, and the only one in Southern California. The restaurant specializes in California gastronomy under the guidance of acclaimed Chef William Bradley. Michelin's inspectors said Bradley's cooking has been instrumental in "transforming this Southern Californian oasis into a world-class dining destination," and praised his "masterful control over technique, flavors and textures."
Where:222 N. Pacific St., Oceanside, CA 92056
Chef Roberto Alcocer's much-buzzed restaurant near the Oceanside Pier pays tribute to Baja California's vineyard-studded Guadalupe Valley, "which furnishes the restaurant’s wine list and serves as inspiration for Chef Alcocer’s refined, modern expression of Mexican cuisine," Michelin inspectors said. They praised the four-course prix fixe meal, which "might start with a fluffy tamal made with creamy requeson cheese, paired with earthy mole and bright herbs." The recognition is a major coup for Alcocer, who moved to San Diego County from Baja in 2021 with the express purpose of earning a Michelin star.
Where:2659 State St, Carlsbad, CA 92008
This Carlsbad favorite (whose name translates from the French as "young and beautiful") has made a big splash under the guidance of owner John Resnick — who also opened the nearby Campfire — and Executive Chef Eric Bost. Michelin calls Jeune et Jolie an "appealing and well-orchestrated French restaurant oozing with style and elegance at every turn."
Where:2121 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Chef Soichi Kadoya, who presides over this intimate Japanese restaurant in University Heights, is the former chef at the likewise Michelin-starred Sushi Tadokoro. His namesake restaurant is centered on a chef-driven experience as characterized by the Japanese term omakase, which translates as "I leave it up to you." Michelin says the sushi here "leans straightforward," adding that it is "impressive and flaunts much skill."
Where:2244 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110
San Diego's Old Town earns its first Michelin star thanks to the inspired guidance of Sushi Tadokoro chef/owner Takeaki Tadokoro and young chef Tatsuro Tsuchiya. The restaurant "takes great pleasure in providing diners with a delightful dining experience," Michelin's inspectors said, adding: "Attention to detail is a hallmark, as sauces are homemade and the fish of the day rests within a wood box awaiting very special treatment."
Where: 3772 30th St., San Diego, CA 92104
One of just 10 restaurants statewide to make their Bib Gourmand debuts in the 2023 Michelin California Guide, Mabel's (named for a beloved dog) styles itself as a "ginoteria" as well as a champion of Iberian-style seafood. The place has made a splash in its North Park neighborhood and beyond by virtue of its local seafood dishes (including such inventive specialties as Swordfish Schnitzel) and its gin-forward cocktail offerings. The Michelin representatives said: "A focused menu highlights excellent local seafood with a simple-yet-satisfying approach that blends Californian and Iberian cuisine, and the results are undeniably delicious."
Where:1195 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Presided over by Chef Travis Swikard, this East Village restaurant takes its name from the Greek term kallos, referring to a thing of beauty. Michelin's inspectors seem to agree. They say the cuisine at Callie "takes advantage of the best ingredients SoCal has to offer in highly shareable dishes featuring the bold, sunny flavors of the Mediterranean."
Where:4161 Voltaire St, San Diego, CA 92107
Point Loma plants its Michelin flag with this intimate but convivial neighborhood trattoria. The Michelin people make a point of advising that "those on a quest for indulgence should look no further than the truffled gnocchi with a cream sauce, served in its own copper pot."
Where:2233 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
This Barrio Logan eatery is an Italian-cuisine favorite. And it lives up to the term "homey": The restaurant is set in a converted house. Michelin says the "adorable osteria" is a "true family operation, noting that the wife-and-husband team of Francesca Penoncelli and Mario Casineri run the kitchen.
Where:232 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
This Balinese-inspired restaurant in coastal North County prides itself on mixing Southeast Asian flavors with a Western flair. Michelin's inspectors enthuse that "you'll find some serious Indonesian cooking here." And they praise such dishes as the charred eggplant with smoked tomato sambal and crispy fried shallots, "a textural and flavor-forward delight."
Where:550 W Date St, San Diego, CA 92101
The folks at Consortium Holdings, the maverick restaurant group behind this breakfast-and-brunch-only establishment in Little Italy, don't take themselves too seriously. The place's amusingly eye-straining homepage advises, "We don't make websites. We make breakfast." But Morning Glory wins earnest praise from Michelin for its "familiar-seeming favorites and of-the-moment meals — hello, avocado toast and shakshuka."
Where:2725 State St, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Carlsbad in coastal North County has always been a lovely seaside town. But no one claimed it as a modern, groundbreaking place to eat or drink – until Campfire. It's an ode to fire and smoke – the place even has a teepee out back. Try the brisket plate with furikake (Japanese spice mix), or any of the mind-bending craft cocktails from the bar.
Where:505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101
Classic Italian blends seamlessly with laid-back California modern at this beloved Bankers Hill eatery. The ingredients are top-notch, the preparation masterful, and the environment warm and welcoming. The extensive wine list is available at retail level, so when you find one you like, you can take a bottle to go.
Where:2228 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
The stunningJuniper & Ivy sits in a 90-year-old converted warehouse. It's a true standout, with its mod artwork, oversized curvaceous booths, an exhibition kitchen, upscale counter dining and a lively bar scene for craft cocktails. Guided by chef and James Beard Award nominee Anthony Wells (who succeeded the celebrated Richard Blais here), the restaurant touts "a chef-driven menu that uses hand-selected, seasonal ingredients crafted with precision, passion, and creativity."
Where:2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Kettner Exchange features progressive American cuisine from Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski. The menu changes seasonally and is complemented by a cocktail menu and a selection of 32 beers on tap. The open-air rooftop lounge overlooking Little Italy offers a unique variety of libations, including boutique wines, craft and classic cocktail decanters and self-serve beer taps located right inside private cabanas.
Where:1290 F St, San Diego, CA 92101
LOLA 55, in Downtown San Diego's East Village, offers a taco-focused menu, relying on locally sourced ingredients at affordable prices. To complement the chef's selection of tacos, there's also a full bar stocked with mezcals, tequilas and agua frescas.
Where:2820 Roosevelt Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
Fresh, simple and hand-made is the name of the game at this Italian treasure, which pays very close attention to seasonal produce (easier to do when you grow many of your own vegetables, as Solare does). In addition to its Bib Gourmand status, Solare is one of just 13 restaurants worldwide to have earned the prestigious Tre Gamberi award — similar to the Michelin star system — from Gambero Rosso.
In addition to its starred and Bib Gourmand selections, Michelin adds "new discoveries" every year to its California Guide.
Where: 2469 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92102
Michelin's inspectors were wowed by Chef Jonathan Bautista's cooking as well as the surroundings at this Vietnamese-French restaurant, which opened last winter and is named for a beautifully multihued bird. Kingfisher "makes a splash in its stunning Golden Hill location, which offers no shortage of charm," the inspectors wrote, praising the "mouth-watering menu of inspired Vietnamese cooking."
Dine in at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse and receive a complimentary cheesecake or butter cake when you Show Your Convention Badge.
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