The Magical Melting Pot: San Diego’s Best World Cuisines

As both a coastal city with an active port and a border town with a strong sense of international identity, San Diego has long been a rich blend of global cultures. Not only does that make its residents some of the most diverse in the nation, but it also means that our world cuisines are incredibly varied, deeply authentic, and nothing short of mind-blowingly delicious. No matter what you’d like to eat, you’ll find it here, and in fine form. Hungry? Take a look at some of our favorite places to grab a bite with a multicultural flair.

Mexican

We’ll start with what’s arguably the most prevalent food scene in the city. Thanks to the fact that Downtown San Diego is only about a half-hour’s drive from Tijuana, it isn’t surprising that we have some of the best Mexican food available anywhere in the country. Old Town in particular is brimming with excellent restaurants. Here are some of our favorites: 


Photo credit: @casaguadalajara

Spanish

Spanish food is truly an experience. While Spanish influence certainly shows up strongly in the traditions of many Central and South American styles, true old-country cooking is in a class by itself. Expect smoky flavors, incredibly fresh ingredients, and some of the finest expressions of seafood that exist.


Photo credit: @sevillasd

Italian

Pretty much everyone loves Italian food. Satisfying pastas, simmered sauces, masterfully-prepared meats and vegetables — there’s truly something for everyone. If you’re a fan of continental cooking, you’ll find no end of exceptional examples here. The appropriately named Little Italy neighborhood is a great place to start.


Photo credit: @solaresandiego

Mediterranean

Although closely related to both Spanish and Italian cuisines, Mediterranean food has a depth of flavors all its own. Encompassing Greek, northern African, Turkish, western Russian and Portuguese profiles, the emphasis is on taste, freshness, and harmony of ingredients. The Mediterranean diet has also been shown to be one of the world’s healthiest, so guilt isn’t on the menu.


Photo credit: @thecafeathena

Indian

Few global menus incorporate the depth of flavor that India’s do. Intensely flavored spices, rich sauces, and aromatic herbs infuse every aspect of the culture’s cuisine. It’s all accompanied by fragrant rice varieties and savory sides that are completely unique to the regional style. Once you try it, you crave it.


Photo credit: @bombaycoast

Pan-Asian

The influence of various Asian cultures on the food traditions of San Diego simply cannot be understated. Some of the earliest immigrants to the area came to our shores from China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand. The immensely delicious dishes of these cultures remain a part of San Diego’s melting pot today. The Convoy Street thoroughfare in particular is home to a high concentration of exemplary pan-Asian restaurants.


Photo credit: @rakirakiramen

Fun Fact

Hungry for more? If you’re staying with us in Point Loma, you’ll find a huge Portuguese community that was originally founded by tuna-boat fishermen and their families. The community has grown so much that they hold an annual Portuguese Festa here, and you’ll find a Portuguese food hall and market just down the road from us open year round. Stop by and grab some authentic ingredients and traditional favorites, including malasadas (fried dough), soups, and more.

Book Your Foodie Getaway

Getting hungry? Plan your San Diego stay and try out all these eateries for yourself — just make sure to check out special offers before you book.