Top 10 Restaurants of 2009: San Diego

We've scoured the San Diego area and now we're ready to name our Top 10 Restaurants for 2009. Some are new and some are classic spots. Click through and see if you agree, but note that our Top 10 is randomly listed and not necessarily in our order of preference. (Photo courtesy of Pizzeria Luigi)

Updated: December 08, 2009

The Top 10

Hane Sushi

2760 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

This Banker's Hill sushi spot opened this year as a sleeker model of its Pacific Beach sister restaurant Sushi Ota. Chefs craft rolls and pieces of sushi including yellowtail, salmon belly, shrimp, octopus and sea urchin. Unlike other San Diego sushi destinations known for showier fusion rolls, the priority here is to provide fresh, quality fish.

El Q'ero

564 S Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Quinoa crusted scallops, spicy sangria, and a quiet atmosphere make the Peruvian restaurant one of North County's premier date spots.

Pizzeria Luigi

1827 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

Any East Coast native will tell you that it's tough to find a good slice in San Diego. Bad news for most of us but good news for Pizzeria Luigi, which opened its second location on El Cajon Boulevard this year to serve up even more of its ultra-crispy, New York-style pies.


3175 India St, San Diego, CA 92102

From the baked mac `n? cheese with a butter crumb topping to the ultra-tender jidori chicken, the food never fails at this classy, retro style spot in Mission Hills.

Riviera Supper Club & Turquoise Room

7777 University Ave, La Mesa, CA 91941

The previous owners of Turf Club in South Park brought the DIY steakhouse concept to La Mesa. Find ready-to-grill steaks, chicken, and mushrooms served with classic cocktails. It gets particularly social on live music Wednesdays and on weekends for late night dining until 1am.


4820 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107

The red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are some of the best cakes you'll find in San Diego. The Cuban patisserie continues to draw foodies to its Ocean Beach location for desserts and for the lunch menu, which includes slow-roasted pork sandwiches.

Cucina Urbana

505 Laurel, San Diego, CA 92101

The menu may feature braised black cod, wild boar sausage pizza, and grilled tri tip but nothing's over $20 at this fun Italian-influenced bistro that opened in Banker's Hill this year.

The Glass Door Restaurant & Lounge

Porto Vista Hotel, 1835 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101

In 2008, Little Italy's hip boutigue hotel opened this contemporary American restaurant on its top floor. The space includes a balcony and a rooftop deck where pet owners gather for ?wooftop? fun on Fridays.


4651 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116

Housed in a small cottage across from Lei Lounge in University Heights, the restaurant has become known for its unique Ethiopian/Eritrean menu of spicy entrees served alongside injera, a fluffy East African bread used for scooping food with your hands.

Red Door

741 Washington, San Diego, CA 92103

The homestyle vibe starts with the cottage-like decor and continues to the dinner menu, where a popular entree, turkey meatloaf, is actually a recipe from the chef's wife. Housed on a Mission Hills corner that was once home to restaurant Parallel 33.