The Best Restaurants in San Diego With Outdoor Seating
July 5, 2019
In summer and fall, when the weather’s warm in San Diego, what can be better than enjoying a meal on the patio or deck of your favorite restaurant? Whether you’re working on your tan or you’re simply into people-watching, here are some of the city’s best restaurants with outdoor seating, including rooftop spots with picturesque views and beachfront hangouts just steps from the sand.
The Patio on Lamont
With patio in the name, this eatery is all about alfresco dining. Just a few blocks from the beach, The Patio on Lamont serves sustainably sourced small plates and cocktails in a cozy patio lit by fairy lights at night. On chilly evenings, heaters keep you warm. Try the Kanpacho Crudo and Hot Rueben Flatbread to share or the vegan paella made with saffron risotto. And don’t miss all-day happy hour on Mondays, with special pricing on food and drinks from morning to close. The open-air patio is also dog-friendly.
Lahaina Beach House
If a few blocks away is too far from the beach, head to Lahaina Beach House. A boardwalk favorite, this cash-only restaurant and bar offers standard fare like burgers and tacos just steps from the sand. But don’t be disappointed if you can’t find a seat right away on the popular wooden deck. It fills up fast until sunset, so grab a pitcher of beer or margaritas and wait it out. The view is worth it.
OB Surf Lodge
Travel back in time to the glory days of 1960s SoCal surf culture at OB Surf Lodge, which offers patio seating with ocean views. The menu changes daily according to what’s fresh and in season, including a variety of eggs benedict styles and scrambles for breakfast, flatbreads for lunch, and everything from slow-roasted pork shoulder to crab fettuccini for dinner. OB Surf Lodge is certified as an Ocean Friendly restaurant by The Surfrider Foundation.
Feast on ramen, rice bowls, and baos at North Park’s Underbelly, a larger extension of its Little Italy predecessor. Be ready to cozy up to fellow patrons thanks to communal seating in an industrial-chic space with a crackling fire nearby. The beer list—as impressive as the food—is sourced from local Cali breweries and the menu is vegan-friendly with gluten-free options.
Fresh fish and craft beer come together at Beerfish, another North Park spot with outside patio dining. With 30 craft beers on tap and seafood specialties like Oyster Po’Boy Sliders, Shrimp Louis, Ceviche, and a variety of tacos, Beerfish is a haven for beer and seafood lovers. The outdoor space comprises 1,300 square feet and offers picnic-style tables for social dining under the sun.
Reminiscent of a Parisian street café, Café Madeleine in South Park serves crêpes, pastries, panini, and espresso drinks in a French-inspired indoor-outdoor space. Dogs are also welcome on the outdoor patio, and be sure to get there early if you prefer your croissant straight from the oven.
Liberty Public Market
If nobody in your group can decide on a cuisine, opt for variety at Liberty Public Market. Choose from a wide array of options, from Peruvian to Thai, and take your dish to the 3,000-square-foot patio, complete with a lush lawn area. Liberty Public Market is also home to San Diego’s largest indoor art exhibit inside its 25,000 square-foot historic building.
This restaurant and lounge run by Matthew Ramon of Mo’s Universe group, which also runs Hillcrest Brewing Company and Gossip Grill, has a lot of wow factor at first glance. From its floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking University Avenue to its airy atrium, which has a dazzling water feature and ample seating across a terraced area, insideOUT begs you to sit and lounge for hours. The menu is mostly Mediterranean, with dishes such as Papas Bravas, Grilled Spanish Octopus, Seared Branzino, and Moroccan Meatballs. There’s also a brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.
Quartyard, an urban park and event venue, is constructed from repurposed shipping containers in the East Village pocket of downtown San Diego. In addition to its eatery, which serves everything from burgers and buffalo wings to brunch items on Sundays, Quartyard is also home to a dog run, a coffee house, art installations, and a diverse music program. The craft beer garden features more than 20 beers on tap as well as cocktails.
Dine on organic and vegan fare while taking in spectacular ocean views at La Jolla’s Trilogy Sanctuary, a yoga studio/spiritual healing center/rooftop café. Every item on the menu is plant-based, including fresh cold-pressed juice, superfood smoothies, and entrees such as falafel tacos, mac n cheeze (made from cashew cheeze), portobello mushroom enchiladas, beet burgers, and macrobiotic bowls.
Written by Erica Garza for Knockaround.