Small Plates: 10 Restaurants, 10 Tables or Less

There's something neat about squeezing in to the last available corner table of a tiny restaurant. Sure, you might be able to tell the life stories of the people sitting next to you by the end of dinner, but it's usually worth the tight fit. Small restaurants usually come with a passionate chef, attentive service and an owner who's more concerned with an intimate experience than table-turning profit ratios. Our editors picked 10 of their favorite small restaurants.

Updated: September 14, 2009

Smaller is Better

Our team of editors reveal the top 10 small restaurants in San Diego

The Pearl Hotel San Diego Hotels

1410 Rosecrans Street, San Diego, CA 92106

Mid-century modern design and a hip lounge scene bring this classic Point Loma motel back into vogue on Rosecrans.

Ritual Tavern

4095 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

Wash down a gourmet shepherd's pie with dark German lager in this gothic North Park gastropub.

Cafe Chloe

721 Ninth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Not your average East Village eatery, this Parisian-style corner bistro serves pomme frites with a dose of sophistication.

Farm House Cafe

2121 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

University Heights' French bistro oozes country charm with a menu of provencal comfort foods in a quaint, rustic space.

Sky Room Restaurant

1132 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037

La Valencia Hotel's fine dining restaurant serving California cuisine, plus an intimate five-seat bar and forever ocean views.

Jayne's Gastropub

4677 30th St., San Diego, CA 92116

Retro decor and simple flavors make Jayne's Gastropub a North Park hub for casually sophisticated foodies.

Tapas Picasso Spanish Rstrnt

3923 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Small, spicy plates of Spanish cuisine offered in an intimate Hillcrest cafe since 1992.


777 G St, San Diego, CA 92101

Small, casual East Village hangout features a wide beer selection and simple, gourmet burgers and salads.

Burger Lounge

4116 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

Gourmet burger joint serves "happy beef" patties and old-fashioned milkshakes in an upscale, mod-style diner.

Harar Ethiopian Restaurant

2432 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104

Charming Ethiopian restaurant hidden on busy El Cajon Boulevard serves traditional beef and vegetable dishes meant to be eaten by hand.