This guide details the best San Diego foods everyone should try. The city's stunning seaside and surrounding farmland makes it a special holiday destination for foodies. California's second-most populous city is just 16 miles from the Mexican border. This location has given rise to a delicious style of cuisine that combines these 2 heritages.

    Known as Cali-Baja, the culinary mix of organic ingredients with great seafood and Mexican cooking traditions ensures a wide range of dishes you don't want to miss. Many of the meals on this list can only be found within San Diego's flourishing dining scene.

    1

    Fish tacos

    Don't miss this San Diego favourite

    Although fish tacos aren't the official dish of San Diego, their incredible popularity means they might as well be. With this dish putting a seafood spin on a Mexican classic, San Diego's access to prosperous farmland makes it easy for the city's restaurants to acquire all the freshest ingredients.

    Throughout the city, you'll find fish tacos being sold on basically every street. Be sure to try both fried and grilled options, which come complemented by trimmings such as shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and a healthy dose of fresh lime. To find the best spot, simply ask around as virtually everyone has an opinion on who makes the best fish tacos in town.

    2

    California-style pizza

    A slice like you've never had before

    California-style pizza might not have the same reputation as varieties from New York or Chicago, but you’ll come across it everywhere along the Pacific Coast. Standing out from most options, this style of pizza offers a particularly thin crust that’s topped with a range of healthy and locally produced ingredients.

    Across a range of traditional and unexpected toppings, it’s not usual to find pizzas served with everything from goat cheese and artichokes to avocado and peanut sauce. If you consider yourself a pizza-connoisseur, you might be a little sceptical. Order a California-style pizza and find out why it’s so popular in this part of the world.

    3

    Oysters

    Sample the city’s luxurious seafood options

    Like any good city by the sea, oysters are one of the main attractions when it comes to dining in San Diego. On menus across the city, you'll get to taste plenty of the top varieties pulled from nearby waters, with Bluepoints and Kumamotos appearing at virtually every raw bar.

    It’s not unusual to come across Baja-style oysters too, which are served with Mexican culinary accents such as garlic, chilli, and a huge serving of fresh lime. Plus, many of the top establishments also offer tasty Rockefeller-style oysters, which are baked with butter, parsley, green herbs and breadcrumbs.

    4

    California carne asada burrito

    Enjoy a burrito with a distinctly San Diego twist

    Carne asada burritos are a local favourite that must be close to the top of your must-taste list during a visit to San Diego. Also known as a California-style burrito, this dish features a flour tortilla toasted on the grill with thinly cut strips of marinated steak, chunky guacamole, and sour cream.

    However, the addition of French fries inside the burrito is what makes this a San Diego special. As you explore different taco shops, you’ll quickly discover that carne asada burritos are available practically everywhere.

    5

    Clam chowder

    Try this novel soup variety that you won’t find anywhere else

    Although many states in the USA have put their own spin on clam chowder, this California-style soup borrows from the New England version with an extra interesting twist. Made from fresh clams, potatoes, and onions, clam chowder found in San Diego is frequently served inside a sourdough bread bowl.

    This way, you can dip your soup with bread that’s straight from the oven. While this style of clam chowder believed to have originated in San Francisco, you can find a range of San Diego restaurants serving their signature versions.

    6

    Sushi burrito

    A Japanese staple, but not as you know it

    Over the last few years, the sushi burrito has been one of the weirder food crazes to take over San Diego. With numerous restaurants and fast-food outlets popping up with their own take on this fusion of Japanese and American flavours, the name doesn’t leave much to the imagination.

    Rather than having your sushi chopped up into small pieces, a sushi burrito is a long, single roll that sees your fresh vegetables combined with a choice of fish, such as tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, or teriyaki chicken. Then, it’s served in a seaweed wrap, conveniently sliced, and packaged like a burrito.

    7

    Ceviche

    A Peruvian classic with a refreshing change

    As the best-quality ceviche relies on having access to fresh seafood, seeking out this dish in San Diego is a good choice. While it originated in Peru, like many other great South American dishes, San Diego has a Baja-inspired version that’s just as good.

    Instead of the classic Peruvian flavours found in a standard ceviche, the Baja-style throws in a mix of authentic Mexican sweetness. You’ll find that sweet potatoes and corn have been replaced with the likes of avocado, tomatoes, and cucumber. These extra refreshing flavours are a welcome respite whenever the sun is shining in San Diego.

    8

    Sea urchins

    Avoid the prickles and let your taste buds run wild

    If you’ve never worked up the courage to taste sea urchins, San Diego is the place to give them a try. Also known as uni, sea urchins might not look like the most appetising meal on the surface. But when prepared properly, they are unlike anything you've ever eaten before.

    Most people find that sea urchins have a buttery flavour when you eat them out of the shell. Plus, they pair especially well with a glass of wine. In San Diego, you can often find them being cooked up at farmers' markets, having been plucked from the sea that very morning.

    9

    Surf ‘n’ turf

    Dine on the perfect combination of steak and lobster

    Although the exact origin of surf ‘n’ turf continues to be disputed, we do know that it became remarkably popular along the American coastline during the 1960s. In fact, it was initially regarded as a reasonably cheap way for families to enjoy both steak and seafood in the same setting.

    However, the dish took on a story of its own as it spread across the country. Naturally, San Diego’s prime position along the sea makes it the ideal place to order a surf ‘n’ turf. While the combination of steak and lobster sounds a little strange, you might be surprised just how well the flavours go together.

    10

    Korean BBQ

    Drink and dine with an array of roasted meats and Korean side dishes

    One of the things you'll notice when you wander through San Diego is the sheer number of Korean BBQ restaurants. This is due to several waves of Korean migration to California that started in the 1900s.

    You can find some of the best restaurants along Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa. Enjoy a seemingly endless selection of roast meats and dipping sauces, served with much-loved side dishes like kimchi and bean sprouts. Grab your friends and choose any Korean BBQ restaurant for cheap drinks and all-you-can-eat sessions. It's bound to be a memorable night out in San Diego.

    Hudson Brown |Katkı Sunan Yazar

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