Our Employees’ Top Six Places to Eat in San Diego

San Diego has so many restaurants (roughly 4,000 at last count) that it can become quite overwhelming to answer a fairly straightforward question like “What’s for dinner?” To help you narrow down the choices, we’ve enlisted our staff of insiders to share their top picks for local eateries, from a Normal Heights Mexican cantina to a Kearny Mesa Korean-barbecue joint.

Lynn Caron, F&B Director: Blanco Tacos & Tequila

Food & Beverage Director Lynn Caron recommends Blanco Tacos & Tequila, an airy Mexican eatery in Fashion Valley Mall known for burrito bowls, margaritas, and a poblano- and Anaheim chile-based guacamole. She has a favorite order at the indoor-outdoor taquería and tequilería, too: the nachos. “Get them topped with machaca and they finish them [with] hot melted cheese,” she suggests. 

Sammy Seidenburg, Conference Services Manager: Encontro 

Sammy Seidenburg, Conference Services Manager goes ga-ga for Encontro — a Paul Bastile-designed American destination in North Park. Their food is “TO DIE FOR,” he says, singling out the freshly baked bread, Brussels sprouts, and melt-in-your-mouth lava cake for special praise. It’s also worth perusing the wine list and 28-beer draft list and sampling the signature kombucha on tap.

Chuck Donk, Reservations Department: InsideOUT

For Chuck Donk, from the Reservations Department, the best local spot is the resto-bar InsideOUT. Situated in the fun and vibrant Hillcrest neighborhood, this indoor-outdoor restaurant serves three specific items that he can’t get enough of: avocado toast; the “killer” soup of the month; and a Manhattan topped with three dark cherries.

Manny Granilo, Director of Transportation: El Zarape Mexican Cantina

If you’re looking for home-style Mexican fare, visit Normal Heights’ El Zarape Mexican Cantina. Manny Granilo, our Director of Transportation, describes the pork-belly tacos as “the BEST I have ever eaten!” and speaks extremely highly of the Michelada (which also happens to be a favorite of TripAdvisor reviewers as well as locals).

Charleene Poissot, Director of Sales & Marketing: Cocina 35 

Charleene Poissot, our Director of Sales & Marketing, endorses downtown’s family-owned Cocina 35. Like many of the city’s food critics, she describes the Mexican eatery’s La Bomba chilaquiles as “the best in town,” and loves the delicious agua frescas, including cucumber- and strawberry-based varieties.

Keith Lawler, Front Office Manager: Tofu House

Keith Lawler, Front Office Manager, is all about Kearny Mesa’s Tofu House. “AMAZING!!!” he says of its signature beef-bulogi hotpot, which appears on the menu alongside fried dumplings, japchae, seafood noodle soup, and other Korean favorites.