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The Must Try Signature Dishes of San Diego

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Last Updated on May 20, 2017 by Corinne Schmitt

It’s the U.S. capitol of sunshine and flip-flop weather, but San Diego is also known for its food. This laid-back West Coast city is brimming with excellent restaurants and people who are passionate about eating. If you’re planning a visit to one of the luxury or beachside hotels in San Diego, there are a few dishes that are must-tries for an authentic taste of the town.

Signature Dishes of San Diego
jpellgen / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Fish Tacos

It’s no wonder a city located right up against the Pacific Ocean is known for some of the freshest seafood in the United States. The signature dish? Fish tacos. Check out Tin Fish, a staple located in the city’s historic Gaslamp District. Their fish tacos are served fried or grilled alongside heaping helpings of fries and slaw for a complete and filling meal. Another standout is Escape Bar, which accents its tacos with local produce like radishes and watercress. There are many great San Diego hotels right around Tin Fish and Escape Bar, like the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter or the Hotel Indigo Gaslamp Quarter, so it’s a short walk to your choice of mouthwatering seafood.

Signature Dishes of San Diego
Oleg. / Foter / CC BY

California Burrito

This Tex Mex evolution combines fresh Californian ingredients with the heartiness of a traditional burrito. One place you should definitely try is Lolita’s Taco Shop, which is a top contender for the best California burrito in town. Stuffed with potatoes and meat, the burritos at Lolita’s pack a big punch. MXN‘s California Burrito weighs a full one pound and is filled with your choice of meat, cheese, salsa and hand-sliced potatoes. For some authentic local culture, check out the chain’s flagship location on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach. The Pacific Terrace Hotel is nearby, which means if you’re staying there, you can take your burrito to go and enjoy it on your room’s outdoor terrace.

Signature Dishes of San Diego
foilman / Foter / CC BY-SA

Crab Sandwich

A definite standout in San Diego is the crab sandwich. The most famous one in town can be found at Point Loma Seafood’s. Located on the banks of the Americas Cup Harbor, the restaurant is known for its crowd-favorite crab sandwich, which is served simply on fresh-baked sourdough bread with a smear of tartar sauce, allowing the freshness of the crab to speak for itself. You can taste a different version at Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill, which grills soft-shell crabs to order, then serves them up on boleo rolls with lettuce, tomato, tartar sauce and optional avocado.

People might travel to San Diego to surf, sail or soak up the rays, but this sunny oasis is also one of the most exciting culinary capitals in the states. Come visit with a big appetite and an open mind, and you’ll leave feeling full, happy and eager to come back for more.

2 thoughts on “The Must Try Signature Dishes of San Diego”

  1. What a great post! I have pinned! I am a foodie who loves to travel and LOVE San Diego. Thanks for sharing.


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