16 Best Restaurants in La Mesa, CA

Best Restaurants in La Mesa, CA
Trendsetter Images / shutterstock.com

You are never away from fun and excitement when you travel to the city of La Mesa in San Diego County, Southern California.

The city takes its name from the Spanish word that means "table."

La Mesa is a city plateau bordered by San Diego in the north and the west.

Its beginnings started in 1912; throughout the years, it became more famous for its role in the movie industry.

Part of what makes the city a Californian gem is its quaint but elegant setting.

At downtown La Mesa Boulevard, there's a variety of seasonal festivities up for your enjoyment.

In what's known as the Jewel of the Hills, La Mesa's food culture is also vast and diverse.

Its Asian, Mediterranean and European cuisine stand out among the rest.

With its tree-lined streets, commercial areas, and friendly atmosphere, eating at La Mesa is truly a delight.

Here are some of the best restaurants in La Mesa, California.

Signature Thai Cuisine

Dessert at Signature Thai Cuisine
Foursquare City Guide

Signature Thai Cuisine on Lake Murray Boulevard ensures you're eating fresh and boldly.

This traditional Thai restaurant combines mild and spicy flavors into its classic seafood and vegetable dishes.

It also has gluten-free and vegan dish options for those needing these specific meal specialties.

Noodles at Signature Thai Cuisine
Foursquare City Guide

Prepare yourself for a transformation into Thailand's best modern decor and layout.

With its luxurious furniture and dim lighting, Signature Thai Cuisine keeps you comfortable in your new food adventures.

Outside, there are patio dining options that don't take you away from traditional Thai elements, with a mix of American suburban vibes.

Brigantine Seafood Restaurant

Full meal at Brigantine Seafood Restaurant
Foursquare City Guide

If you want to enjoy luxurious seafood in La Mesa, check out Brigantine Seafood Restaurant on Fuerte Drive.

The restaurant has made its presence known through its world-famous fish tacos.

Likewise, it highlights surf and turf culture in San Diego through its dishes, such as the marinated grilled swordfish.

Dessert at Brigantine Seafood Restaurant
Foursquare City Guide

Since its establishment in 1969, the Brigantine Seafood Restaurant has changed the game of small plates and similar fare.

Moreover, its vintage casual atmosphere makes guests feel at home, whether with friends or family.

Enjoy a family-friendly dining experience in La Mesa at Brigantine.

Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill

Sushi at Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill
Foursquare City Guide

Taste a fusion of Japanese culture within an eco-chic environment at Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill.

This bar and grill is an ideal hang-out because of its fireside oasis patios.

With its variety of menu options for entrees and sake, you'll find a dish that suits your colorful palate.

You can never go wrong with the rolls and their diverse ingredients too.

Steak at Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill
Foursquare City Guide

The reality awaiting you at Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill should exceed your sushi expectations.

At the same time, feel refreshed with the snug outdoor seating and the fairytale lighting around the establishment at dinnertime.

Find the modern bar-front of Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill on Fletcher Parkway.

Himalayan Cuisine

Dumplings at Himalayan Cuisine
Foursquare City Guide

On El Cajon Boulevard, enjoy comfort food in a stylish, homey interior at Himalayan Cuisine.

You're traveling to Nepal, India, and Tibet when you walk inside this traditional restaurant.

Its homestyle main courses are all points of pride and joys of each respective country.

Relax inside its rustic and ethnic ceiling and walls.

Delicious meals at Himalayan Cuisine
Foursquare City Guide

Every bite explodes with flavor and uniqueness.

From its chicken to lamb dishes, you should enjoy a Himalayan twist to its food.

Share large portions with friends and family around the booths, where your privacy is guaranteed.

At La Mesa, every mealtime can become a significant memory, and Himalayan Cuisine can help you.

La Mesa Bistro & Bakery

Sandwich at La Mesa Bistro & Bakery
Foursquare City Guide

Do you want something else besides fine dining?

Try out La Mesa Bistro & Bakery, which serves casual breakfasts and lunches daily.

This cafe specializes in baked bread alongside your heavy meal plates.

Stay healthy and energized for the day with a healthy acai bowl, or keep your early mornings sweet with buttermilk pancakes.

There's fun for everyone, including your picky-eater family members and little ones.

Leafy meal at La Mesa Bistro & Bakery
Foursquare City Guide

For some lunchtime goodness, go for gourmet sandwiches or some Mexican quesadillas.

It will transport you to a bountiful countryside with its minimalistic interior decor and artistic walls.

La Mesa Bistro & Bakery is on La Mesa Boulevard, ready to serve your daylights and afternoons.

BO-beau Kitchen + Garden

Leafy meal at BO-beau Kitchen + Garden
Foursquare City Guide

Do you prefer an aesthetically pleasing environment for your dining journey?

Bring your camera with you as you explore the bohemian elegance and charm of BO-beau Kitchen + Garden.

BO-beau Kitchen + Garden serves good food and a bright and serene artistic treasure for your cameras to capture.

This California-French restaurant brings modern and bistro-style dishes to the forefront on La Mesa Boulevard.

Waffles at BO-beau Kitchen + Garden
Foursquare City Guide

To satisfy your bistro cravings, go for some standard orders, like Boeuf Bourguignon or steak frites.

Under the twinkling lights, chill with a tall glass of beer after dinner.

It's time for a hippie, sophisticated time at BO-beau Kitchen + Garden!

Surf Rider Pizza Co.

Pizza at Surf Rider Pizza Co.
Foursquare City Guide

Satisfy your appetite with a pizza from Surf Rider Pizza Co.

This pizza place brings East Coast-style pizzas, sandwiches, strombolis, and cheesesteaks.

Enjoy California coastal food with some specialty pies and surf side salads.

Also, why not try pasta and wine for a romantic food excursion?

Surf Rider Pizza Co. also takes pride in its thin-crust doughs alongside its five robust legacy sauces.

Sandwich at Surf Rider Pizza Co.
Foursquare City Guide

Likewise, its dining patio welcomes dogs, so you and your furry friend can enjoy La Mesa at its summer best.

Head down to La Mesa Boulevard, across from BO-beau Kitchen + Garden.

Farmer's Table La Mesa

Pasta at Farmer's Table La Mesa
Foursquare City Guide

Admire the greenery interspersed with the interior of Farmer's Table La Mesa on La Mesa Boulevard.

This neighborhood eatery serves farm-to-table specialties of Sicilian descent.

It adds an inventive twist to classic bestsellers, from organic eggs to world-known platters.

Moreover, it sources its ingredients from local farmers in San Diego, so everything is fresh and delectable.

Delicious meal at Farmer's Table La Mesa
Foursquare City Guide

What's stopping you from sitting on the patio where you and your little one can enjoy the sunny climate?

Better yet, stay inside and bask in the chic industrial ambiance of Farmer's Table La Mesa.

This family-operated restaurant has other branches in Little Italy, Bay Park, and Chula Vista.

Carnitas Uruapan Mexican Food

Drinks at Carnitas Uruapan Mexican Food
Foursquare City Guide

Located on Spring Street, Carnitas Uruapan Mexican Food takes your Mexican dish pining to the ultimate satisfaction.

This family-operated restaurant keeps your taste buds tingling with its distinctive simmered pork and carnitas plates.

Other dishes to watch out for include tacos, enchiladas, and Chile Verdes—all in dizzying arrays of combos.

Delicious meal at Carnitas Uruapan Mexican Food
Foursquare City Guide

Its authentic main specialties hail from Michoacan culture and should be filling for you and a friend.

You can get your order through the drive-in if you don't have time.

Take your celebrations to the fiesta level by hosting a party with the party packages at Carnitas Uruapan Mexican Food.

Antica Trattoria

Steak at Antica Trattoria
Foursquare City Guide

Are you looking for Italian food in La Mesa?

Antica Trattoria can get you what you need.

Since 2001, Antica Trattoria has served old-world Italian-style authenticity.

With its rich flavors and savory products, it doesn't shy away from seasonal changes.

Delicious dish at Antica Trattoria
Foursquare City Guide

Its extensive wine selection is also something to look out for.

Try out the fettuccini with smoked salmon and shrimp or the burrata ravioli for a pasta extravaganza.

Are you ready to dine alone, with someone special, or with a lovely group?

Antica Trattoria—and its mural-filled setting—is on Lake Murray Boulevard.

Anthony's Fish Grotto

Fries at Anthony's Fish Grotto
Foursquare City Guide

Situated on Murray Drive, get started on your seafood escapade at Anthony's Fish Grotto.

This seafood restaurant started in 1946 and has only thrived in La Mesa over the years.

Check out this restaurant's hand-battered favorites, like fish and chips or shrimp.

Seafood cocktails are also all the rage here.

Do you prefer wine, beer, or other beverages?

Squid at Anthony's Fish Grotto
Foursquare City Guide

You have lots to choose from at this restaurant.

However, what makes Anthony's Fish Grotto stand out is its private lake that makes mealtime a picturesque event.

Relax outdoors with your meal choice and feel the water wash away your worries.

Nonno's Ristorante Italiano

Risotto at Nonno's Ristorante Italiano
Foursquare City Guide

La Mesa never runs out of internationally-inspired cuisines.

For instance, Nonno's Ristorante Italiano ensures nothing but the best for travelers and locals.

Established in 1998, Nonno's Ristorante Italiano has kept the Italian food lifestyle alive with its traditional menu.

This family-operated restaurant doesn't back down from offering subs, pizza, and the all-familiar pasta options.

Pizza at Nonno's Ristorante Italiano
Foursquare City Guide

Taste everyday Italian meals, including Greek salads and shrimp risottos.

Bond with family inside the humble, simplistic setting of this restaurant.

Enrich private conversations with every bite of your entree and chosen wine.

Keep your eyes peeled for Nonno's Ristorante Italiano on Baltimore Drive.

Casa De Pico

Taco platter at Casa De Pico
Foursquare City Guide

Every day is worth celebrating at Casa De Pico.

This Mexican restaurant on Grossmont Center Drive is a local favorite because of its food-and-art fused luxury.

Starting in 1971, its first restaurant stood tall in Old Town before relocating to La Mesa in 2005.

It takes pride in its menu collection, from healthy dining to the more fiesta-induced express meals.

Cold drinks at Casa De Pico
Foursquare City Guide

To add to your fine dining experience, the landscape outside the restaurant keeps you amazed.

The archways resembling haciendas and folk art masterpieces at Casa de Pico offer a lovely sight to your usual mealtime experience.

Listen to the tableside mariachi and enjoy an excellent non-alcoholic margarita for your lazy afternoon.

Oyster & Pearl Bar Restaurant

Clams at Oyster & Pearl Bar Restaurant
Foursquare City Guide

Satisfy your craving for seafood by visiting the Oyster & Pearl Bar Restaurant along Lake Murray Boulevard.

The restaurant celebrates Mediterranean flavors with locally sourced food and diverse recipes.

Established in 2011, it has indoor and outdoor seating to help you make the most of your dining experience.

Whether you want pasta for dinner or unique, flavorful entrees, the Oyster & Pearl Bar Restaurant has everything you need.

Join other patrons for Happy Hour and down some cocktails, or pair them with a salad.

Go on a delightful culinary journey at this seafood restaurant in La Mesa!

La Mesa Craft Kitchen

Burger meal at La Mesa Craft Kitchen
Foursquare City Guide

There's no reason for you not to try the tap beers at La Mesa Craft Kitchen while in the city.

This local American-style restaurant offers a beautiful blend of craft beer and contemporary snacks.

Since 2015, it has provided its guests with the best comfort food experience.

Its massive collection of local brews—now over 30!—makes it the go-to spot for colleagues, families, and close friends.

Alcoholic beverages at La Mesa Craft Kitchen
Foursquare City Guide

On top of that, its homespun interior gets you relaxed and ready to savor your meal.

Your kids can enjoy chicken strips and other meals for their special menu.

Locate La Mesa Craft Kitchen on Palm Avenue, where the heart of La Mesa beats more steadily.

Petrino's Greek Restaurant

delicious meal at Petrino's Greek Restaurant
Foursquare City Guide

Nothing beats Greek cuisine in La Mesa.

At Petrino's Greek Restaurant, prepare to taste Greek recipes that have passed through countless generations.

Whether you've wanted a zucchini or some falafel fries, everything in this restaurant should satisfy your cravings.

Try a kabob or gyro plate to embrace Greek cuisine without traveling far.

The traditional Greek decor adds a refreshing touch to your dining experience.

Petrino's Greek Restaurant is on Parkway Drive.

Final Thoughts

La Mesa has become a household name among other bigger Californian cities regarding culinary diversity.

Its small-town vibes give it a unique advantage for travelers looking for an intimate and warm welcome.

Check out the best restaurants in La Mesa!

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.