La Jolla Shores is a picturesque area of La Jolla, located just to the north of La Jolla Village and a bit south of the beautiful Torrey Pines. With over a mile of prime sandy beach, a waterfront park complete with grassy fields, picnic tables, and a children’s playground, and all types of water activities, you can spend an entire day here relaxing and exploring. As everyone knows, a day at the beach can really work up an appetite so we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 La Jolla Shores restaurants for you. Why make the trek all the way to downtown San Diego when you can go straight from the sand to the bar? Or even dress up a little for a night out with these incredible restaurants right in La Jolla Shores! If you’d prefer to have someone take you around for a sampling of the best food and drinks from each, consider booking a San Diego Tour!
The Brick & Bell Café
This one is more of a café than a restaurant, but you can’t visit La Jolla Shores without a stop here. Whether it be for a coffee and pastry or a lunch order to-go for your day at Shores beach, it’s a great place for everyone. It’s a cute little spot with plenty of tables out front to sit and relax. They have a full espresso bar and are known for their scones. Try a sampling of the mini scones for only $1 each; the maple is our favorite! They also have great Acai Bowls and Bagel Breakfast Sandwiches. For lunch, we recommend the Turkey and Avocado Sandwich and the Spinach and Chicken Salad.
This cute little place has been around for over 45 years and is a local favorite! Known for their in-house roasted meats and house-made cookies, it’s a great spot to grab some lunch! Their sandwiches are all made fresh to order, and they have a good assortment of salads and a homemade soup-of-the-day. A few of our favorites are the Roast Pork Sandwich, the Grilled Jalapeno Popper Cheese Sandwich and the Turkey, Jack Cheese and Avocado Sandwich! Not to be missed are their homemade Oatmeal (made without flour) and Chocolate Chip cookies! They also have a great selection of “retro” candy and sodas in glass bottles that are nostalgia for many people. Order to-go or enjoy your food on their charming outdoor patio!
For a farm-to-table approach to breakfast or lunch, we recommend a stop here. Their espresso and coffee are ground in-house daily using their own blend of African and Central American Coffee Beans. They also juice Valencia Oranges for the freshest glass of orange juice around and partner with a local ranch for veggie-fed brown eggs. For breakfast, their Crispy Parmesan Risotto & Honey Cured Bacon Benedict or Pork Carnitas Chilaquiles are two of our favorites! The Pear & Pancetta Flatbread and Salmon, Shaved Fennel & Burrata Salad are not to be missed on their lunch menu. You can pair whatever you are eating with local California bubblies, wine or beer! If you’d like to bring your dog along, they have a special “doggie menu” just be sure to abide by their rule of “All Four on Floor Policy.”
Located only a short walk from the beach in the heart of La Jolla Shores, this quaint Italian spot offers comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, fine dining with dishes from all over Italy, and an extensive wine list! All their bread and pasta are fresh and homemade. If pasta is what you are craving they have a great fresh seafood pasta, Linguine Di Mare with mussels, clams, and shrimp in a white wine sauce. Another great dish is the Spaghetti Carbonara! If you’d prefer an entrée, their Vitello Paremese, veal scaloppini with mozzarella and fresh tomato sauce is amazing! Don’t forget to save room for dessert, they have perfected the Tiramisu, or you can choose another house-made treat from their menu!
If you are craving Japanese or Sushi, this is a great place for you. They have a diverse menu serving up everything from traditional rolls and sushi to Ramen, Udon Noodle Soup, and Yakisoba. We recommend starting with their Hamachi Kama and Seaweed Salad. If you are in the mood for sushi, they have some great combos with miso soup, sashimi or nigiri, and their specialty rolls. Their Albacore Special Roll is a favorite with spicy tuna and cucumber on the inside and albacore, avocado, garlic and ponzu sauce on the outside! Their Tonkotsu Ramen and Mori Spicy Yum Yum Yakisoba are great alternatives to sushi. Insiders tip is that they offer happy hour from 4:00 – 8:00 pm (20% off your check) and have a patio with heat lamps!
Enjoy a rustic Italian fine dining experience under their tree-lit outdoor patio or a quiet table inside their light and airy dining room which features an exhibition kitchen. Their executive chef has developed a menu inspired by recipes from all over Italy with an emphasis on local California farms and producers. One of our favorites that will keep us returning time and time again is the Saffron Risotto Balls, deliciously cheese stuffed and oh so flavorful. We recommend sharing one of their house-made salads like the Baby Field Greens with roasted cauliflower and then finishing with one of their fresh pastas. Their Short Rib filled Cannelloni and House-Made Ricotta-Spinach Basil Ravioli with lemon cream sauce are two we love! Don’t forget to save room for something sweet – they have an assortment of Gelato and Sorbetto as well as some amazingly delicious desserts!
Go straight from the sand to The Shores Restaurant located in the La Jolla Shores Hotel. They have a sustainable, fresh, coast-inspired seafood menu that compliments the beautiful San Diego oceanfront dining, perfect for a sunset view. With an open-air patio, bar and Pacific Ocean views, it’s not to be missed! Enjoy happy hour Sunday – Friday with their Eight for $8 food and drink menu or one of their weekly specials like the Tuesday Beer and Burger Night for $15 or Lobster Boil Dinner special on Thursday and Friday – a 3-course dinner featuring a steamed one-pound Maine Lobster that is served with sausage, clams, new potatoes, corn and drawn butter for only $42 per person!
This vibrantly decorated restaurant with bright colors and Mexican skull themed décor won’t disappoint on service, food or drinks! It’s a family owned and operated joint, and everyone seems happy to be at work and accommodating for whatever it is you need. They are known for their house-made blue corn tortillas that they use on their taco plates but have a full menu of Mexican specialties to choose from. Our favorites are the Baja Fried Fish Tacos (served with two tacos, rice, and beans) and the Braised Short Rib entrée. Don’t forget to save room for Churros served warm with Mexican chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream! Insiders tip is that they have happy hour Monday – Friday from 3:00 – 6:00 pm with food and drink specials and a great brunch on Sundays!
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week; they combine locally sourced, fresh and organic ingredients to create a delicious menu. They have a restaurant adorned with an eclectic mix of art, a full bar and plenty of outdoor seating. Try their Margherita pizza to start, a simple pizza with simple ingredients that boasts a mouthful of flavor from their wood-fired pizza oven. Their Mary’s Farm Organic Half Chicken is delicious and a portion large enough to share! If checking out their breakfast menu, we suggest the Barbarella Omelet or Pizza Max (served with smoked salmon and crème fraiche) both will leave you feeling satisfied and happy!
Known by the locals as an “extension of the beach”, this surfer-style spot offers great food, craft beer and wine and a hip outdoor patio with live music! Come with sand in your toes after a day at La Jolla beach or visit on the weekend for their brunch – you won’t be disappointed! If you want something on the lighter side, try their Traditional Ahi Poke Bowl or Blackened Shrimp Goddess Salad. If you’re famished from playing at the beach, The “One” Pound Burrito might be the perfect choice. Save room for an Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich that has chocolate chip cookies, vanilla bean ice cream and rainbow sprinkles!
If you’re a little farther South, fear not! These Pacific Beach brunch spots also are popular choices for locals and visitors alike!