15 Best Restaurants in Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego

Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego
Pgiam / iStock.com

The Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego is perfect if you want a mix of modern skyscrapers with a touch of history, fine dining, and great nightlife!

The famous Gaslamp Quarter has everything, from seafood to steakhouse and fine Italian dining.

Would you like to stick to old favorites or try something new?

Either way, you’ll find terrific food in the district.

Experience the lively neighborhood with a cocktail or a sophisticated meal.

San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter has everything for everyone.

It doesn’t matter if you are at a work convention, a traveling visitor, or visiting a Comic-Con.

There are numerous different restaurants and cuisines that making a short list is nearly impossible.

Nonetheless, here is the list of the best restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego.  

Café 21 Gaslamp

Located on 802 Fifth Ave, the Café 21 Gaslamp is a real gem in the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego.

The restaurant is innovative and aims to encourage its guests to experience food differently.

Café 21 Gaslamp focuses on small portions of food that enable you to mix different flavors and try various meals based on Azerbaijan’s culture.

This restaurant is unique mainly because it uses fresh ingredients to produce excellent dishes.

Most dishes use meat from hormone-free grass-fed animals, locally grown products, and antibiotic-free chickens.

The restaurant is famous for its sourdough bread, and the brunch at Café 21 Gaslamp is a huge attraction!

Imagine trying different meals on tiny plates while mixing flavors from Azerbaijani culture with the Californian taste.

Customers describe it as “the brunch place to be.”

Café 21 Gaslamp is a great place to try lamb kofta omelet, cheese mezze boards, and walnut dill yogurt!

If you love mixing flavors from the east and the west, swing by at Café 21 Gaslamp, San Diego, for brunch.

Cafe 21 Gaslamp - San Diego, CA
Specialties: As one of the most innovative restaurants in San Diego, we are committed to changing the way our guests think about food. Everything we do is made from scratch and with love. From our signature breads to our fruit-infused sangrias, something is always cooking at Cafe 21 San Diego. We o…

STK San Diego



Maybe you’ve already heard of STK, the famous restaurant across the United States and Europe.

The restaurant is famous for the high-quality food that differs from salads, seafood, chops, food bits, and special happy hour offers.

While in San Diego, don’t miss the date night specials that include meals for two people at fantastic prices.

This steakhouse blends the chic lounge and the steakhouse feeling while offering a dynamic fine dining experience.

STK has a DJ in every venue that will lift the atmosphere and complete the experience.

Also, if you plan to visit STK San Diego, you must try out the weekend brunch and happy hour cocktails that come at a silly price.

Steakhouse San Diego is the perfect place for anybody who likes quality food!  

STK Steakhouse - San Diego, CA
Delivery & Pickup Options - 1754 reviews of STK Steakhouse “I have been waiting... and waiting... and waiting for this restaurant to finally open. For over a year anytime I walked by the Andaz hotel I would peer over to see if there was any progress with the building of the STK San Diego location. T…

Metl Bar & Restaurant

If you go up 748 Fifth Ave in San Diego, you will bump into the Metl Bar Restaurant – Gaslamp.

The Metl Bar Restaurant is a fun rock-themed place that offers many crafted cocktails, fried food, and alcohol-infused ice cream.

This restaurant is one of the industry’s favorites mainly because of the Southern food and the skillfully unique crafted cocktails.

Also, where else would you find alcohol-infused ice cream?

You can choose from many different alcoholic drinks and enjoy the unique taste of the ice cream made from your favorite liquor.

If you love ice cream, alcohol, and comfort food, check out Metl Bar Restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Metl Bar & Restaurant - San Diego, CA
Specialties: Cocktail & Dessert Bar & Restaurant. Specializing in Boozy cocktail ice creams & cakes, craft cocktails and delicious comfort food. Dine-in, takeout or delivery

Osteria Panevino

Fourth on the list is the oldest Italian restaurant in Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego – Osteria Panevino!

Starting from the 1990s, this restaurant has served one of the best Italian dishes such as osso buco Milanese and freshly made pasta.

Osteria Panevino has won many awards for the best Italian restaurant in Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego.

Likewise, it’s the gold winner for the best family restaurant.

Prepare shock your taste buds.

According to the restaurant’s customers, this place has the best Italian chef in town!

The restaurant offers many gluten-free meals and a full-service bar with happy hour.

Osteria Panevino is an excellent choice for anyone who likes Italian cuisine, charismatic people, and a welcoming environment.

Osteria Panevino - San Diego, CA
Specialties: Osteria Panevino is the oldest restaurant in all of the Gaslamp Quarter that features the best Italian cuisine that San Diego has to offer, winning the gold awards for best family restaurant in San Diego, and best Italian Cuisine in San Diego that will surely have your taste buds blown…

Nobu San Diego

In the heart of the incredible Gaslamp district, there is a Japanese restaurant that will make you fall in love.

The Nobu restaurant provides one of the best Japanese dishes with a Peruvian taste.

The restaurant is insanely famous and has a ton of great reviews.

Nobu’s popularity mainly revolves around the fact that the guests get to create their menu.

When deciding what to eat in Nobu, you get to tell the chef what you like and don’t like, and he will prepare the meal according to your wishes.

This experience is called the “Chef’s Table.”

All Nobu restaurants in Europe, Asia, and the United States use this well-established service.

Nobu is the perfect place for creating custom-made extraordinary Japanese dishes.

Nobu San Diego - San Diego, CA
Specialties: World renowned for its award winning “New Style” Japanese cuisine, Nobu continues to offer savvy diners across the globe a culinary adventure. Our San Diego location is yet another canvas for Chef Nobu Matsuhisa to display his legendary dishes, such as the Black Cod Miso and Yellowtail…

Karina’s Cantina Gaslamp

This stylish little restaurant opened in 2021 on 755 Fifth Ave, San Diego.

Karina’s Cantina specializes mainly in traditional seafood dishes originating from Mexico.

One of the specialties is Karina’s ceviche and tuna sashimi with mango and jalapeno.

The restaurant features warmth, charming aromas of traditional Mexican foods, portraits of famous Mexican superstars, and delightful Mexican music.

Every Karina’s Cantina restaurant brings a little of Mexico and fills your soul with joy, music, and fantastic seafood recipes.

If you love Mexican cuisine and want to experience a complete Mexican ambient, Karina’s Cantina in Gaslamp is the perfect place!

Karina’s Cantina Gaslamp photos
Dining room

The Butcher’s Cut Steakhouse


The Butcher’s Cut is a renowned steakhouse on 644 Fifth Ave, Gaslamp, San Diego.

The place is famous for its prime cuts; visitors can even see their exposed meat locker.

Since the late 90s, it has offered the perfect mix of fresh and seasonal ingredients while delivering the best grill in town.

The Butcher’s Cut has all sorts of meats certified by USDA Prime, GMO-free, and humanely raised.

You can find anything in this steakhouse.

Enjoy their tomahawk to prime porterhouse steaks, dried for at least 21 days!

The only thing you need to do is eat meat.

Visiting the Butcher’s Cut is an extraordinary experience that will make you want to come back soon.

Butcher’s Cut - San Diego, CA
Specialties: The newest grill and steakhouse in the Gaslamp! The Butcher’s Cut is like no others in San Diego! New, trendy, and chic restaurant with a rustic and modern coastal feel. The newly installed glass meat locker on the restaurant floor is a spectacle one must experience in person. The Butch…

La Puerta San Diego

On 560 Fourth Ave, San Diego, you will find the perfect combination of the three T’s: Tequila, Tacos, and Tunes!

La Puerta is a Mexican restaurant that offers a chill atmosphere, great family recipes, drinks, and a great DJ during late-night hours.  

The greatest thing is that every meal is fresh, and there are no artificial enhancers in La Puerta’s meals.

If you want to enjoy Carne Asada tacos and fresh-squeezed margarita, La Puerta is your perfect choice.

The restaurant is affordable, comfortable, and offers one of the best Mexican dishes in the Gaslamp Quarter.

La Puerta - San Diego, CA
Specialties: Tequila, Mezcal, Agave Spirits, Frozen Mojitos, Street Tacos, Insane Guacamole, Carne Asada Fries,Surf and Turf Fries, Ice Cold Beer, Rock n’ Roll Music, Local Crowds, After 10pm Food and Drink Specials, Classic Rock and Good Bar Music, Cochinita Pibil, Friendly Guests, Attentive Sta…

Le Parfait Paris

Every place that can make you feel like Paris is a place worth mentioning!

Le Parfait Paris is a French bakery on 555 G Street in Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego.

The place serves pastries and light dishes while providing a sophisticated and welcoming environment.

Their menu, besides the pastries, offers bistro fare such as smoked salmon tartare, steak frites, baked brie, and a vast collection of French and Californian wines.

Finally, you could end your meal with their lovely macarons.

Le Parfait Paris is an award-winning bakery that you should put on your must-do list in San Diego.  

Parfait Paris - San Diego, CA
Specialties: Award winning authentic French pastries & desserts. Voted Best Bakery, Best French, Best Brunch and Best dessert of 2015, 2016, 2017,2019! Serving Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner, we are also open late for all your dessert cravings! Established in 2014. Driven by the passion of Fre…

Cafe Sevilla of San Diego

Café Sevilla is a Spanish restaurant located on 353 Fifth Ave, Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego.

Since 1987, the restaurant has existed in the heart of San Diego, Costa Mesa, and Long Beach.

Café Sevilla consists of a restaurant, tapas bar, and a nightclub.

All three parts of this place provide the most genuine Spanish atmosphere while offering a tasteful and fun dining experience.

All Spanish lovers enjoy the fantastic seafood, paellas, and meat dishes alongside a cup of traditional sangria.

To enjoy Gypsy Kings' music, Flamenco shows, and tapas, you must visit Café Sevilla in downtown San Diego!

Cafe Sevilla - San Diego, CA
Specialties: Cafe Sevilla has been dedicated to providing the true essence of Spanish culture, music & cuisine since 1987. Located in the heart of downtown San Diego in the Gaslamp, Cafe Sevilla is proud to offer the most authentic Spanish ambiance in their tapas bar, restaurant & nightclub. Cafe…

Werewolf

Werewolf is one of the most fun places to hang out with your friends in San Diego.

Located on 627 Fourth Ave in the Gaslamp Quarter, Werewolf is famous for its mimosas and champagne drinks during weekend brunches.

As its name suggests, Werewolf features a unique night menu that they serve only from 3:00 p.m. until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

The night menu includes appetizers, elevated cocktails, burgers, and burritos–everything you need during a night out in town.  

Aside from the great food and drinks, Werewolf organizes fun karaoke nights you can enjoy with your friends!

Werewolf - San Diego, CA
Specialties: Burgers, Wings, Salads, Appetizers, Tacos, Breakfast on Weekends, Beer, Booze, Sports Established in 2014. Werewolf was established by two cousins who also jointly own The Waterfront, San Diego’s Oldest Tavern. Growing up in the bar business taught them two things: 1. Peanut Butter a…

Barleymash

Do you sometimes daydream about a Bloody Mary Bar?

Well, you can try it every weekend at Barleymash!

This American restaurant is on 600 Fifth Ave in Gaslamp, San Diego.

The place is famous for its flatbread pizza, craft beer, and bourbon.

You can also stay for the huge TVs that play sports, fantastic DJs, and a Thursday karaoke night in the lower-level speakeasy.

Barleymash is the ultimate American experience where you can drink, eat and relax after a long day at work!

Barleymash - San Diego, CA
3031 reviews of Barleymash “barleymash (yes, they spell their spot with a lower case b, lol) did a complete 180 to the space which was once Whiskey Girl (and good ole Buffalo Joe’s if you’ve been hanging around the Gaslamp for as long as I have...wow I’m getting old). I got to enjoy all the newne…

Bang Bang

Bang Bang is a unique Japanese restaurant.

You can see this uniqueness in the tunneled entrance and the three separate spaces within the restaurant.

Established in 2013, the restaurant got an upgrade and re-opened in 2021.

Bang Bang has a signature style: sushi, sake, and music, giving you the ultimate experience you will never forget.  

The owners understood music's power, so they provide guests with some of the best music producers and underground artists.

When the night gets late, this place turns into the ultimate nightclub in San Diego.

Remarkably, this place also loves themed bathroom stalls.

The women’s bathroom is filled with pictures of Ryan Gosling!  

Bang Bang - San Diego, CA
Established in 2013. Opened in the Gaslamp of San Diego in 2013.

Saltwater Seafood and Steak

Walking down Fifth Ave in San Diego, right on 565, you will find the Saltwater Seafood and Steak Restaurant.

The restaurant specializes in seafood and provides the ultimate oysters, caviar, and cuts of filet dishes.

Aside from delicious cocktails, the happy hour menu involves fish tacos and lobster mac and cheese, which you must try at least once.

The luxury setting of the restaurant will make you feel like you are in Venice.

If you are a lover of fine dining, seafood specialties, and a luxury environment, Saltwater is the perfect place to visit!

Saltwater photos
Scallops


Greystone Prime Steakhouse

The Greystone Prime Steakhouse is not your average steakhouse.

Customers voted this place the best steakhouse in San Diego and California.

Besides bringing the Vegas vibe into San Diego, Greystone Prime Steakhouse has an incredible menu that involves Angus steak, USDA prime steaks, and many international hand-cut Wagyu.  

If you want beef that melts inside your mouth, head to Greystone Prime Steakhouse on 658 Fifth Ave, Gaslamp, San Diego.

The restaurant also takes pride in their wine pairings.

Their wine list will complement every meal and satisfy your taste buds.

Likewise, their fantastic menu of beef and poultry dishes, wines, hand-crafted pasta, and many gluten-free/vegetarian options will leave everyone full.

Greystone has the perfect ambiance to host your anniversary party, romantic date, or an unforgettable Friday night.

Greystone Prime Steakhouse & Seafood photos
Gluten free dinner in the Gaslamp. Voted Best Steakhouse in CA

Final Thoughts

The Gaslamp District has many places where you get to eat, drink and experience different cultures.

There is a bit for everyone, from fine Italian dining to vivid Mexican bars and Japanese restaurants with the latest music industry names.

If you can't decide where to eat in San Diego, take a quick look at this list of the best restaurants in Gaslamp Quarter!