Dining

5 San Diego Restaurants make OpenTable’s List for 100 Best Restaurants in America for a Big Night Out

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OpenTable is the leading provider of online restaurant reservations, and this year they’ve put together comprehensive listings of the top restaurants in the country, with several San Diego spots making their lists. In 2018, lists released so far include the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America and the 100 Best Restaurants in America for a Big Night Out. San Diego restaurants made both lists.

The list of Best Restaurants in America for a Big Night highlights restaurants that not only feature delicious food and drink, but also vibrant bar scenes and lively atmospheres. The list of honorees is based on an analysis of 12,000,000+ reviews, canvassing more than 27,000 restaurants across the country, all submitted by verified diners. A number of San Diego hot spots made the list. These restaurants are at the top of their game in San Diego, and rightfully so end up on the list of spots for a big night out. The food is incredible, and for many of these locations, keep in mind that the price matches the high quality and attention to detail you’d expect from a top restaurant in the world. Without further adieu, here are San Diego’s restaurants making the list for 100 Best Restaurants in America for a Big Night Out:

Campfire – Carlsbad

Campfire is a trendy yet nostalgic bar and restaurant making the most of camping culture. The space is beautifully designed with indoor and outdoor seating, a beautiful copper bar, and even a teepee to play in. Food options include small plates, wood-fired items, s’mores for dessert, and seasonal ingredients that will bring friends around a table to enjoy what’s truly important. Their menu says, “Gathering around a fire to share good food and drink with friends… as far as we’re concerned, there are few things better in life. We created this place to celebrate that spirit of the campfire with you.” Not only are their menu items delicious, their cocktail program is pretty outstanding. From light, refreshing drinks to more complex flavors, there’s something for everyone.

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Coasterra – Harbor Island

The Coasterra restaurant is located on Harbor Island. The beautiful bayfront modern Mexican restaurant, lounge, and event space features a compelling combination of panoramic views of San Diego’s downtown skyline, carefully crafted Mexican dishes, and a tequila-focused bar program. Coasterra is sure to wow guests for years to come. It’s is a destination for the beverage experience in itself with more than 70 labels of agave spirits including high-end tequila and artisanal mezcal, a robust wine emphasis on Latin America and Baja varietals, and over a dozen local and Mexican craft beer options on tap.

Herb & Wood – Little Italy

Herb & Wood is one of the most recent Brian Malarkey restaurants to open and has been surrounded by a lot of buzz. In fact, Zagat named it one of 2016’s biggest restaurant openings and the San Diego Union-Tribune is calling, “the most thoughtful, exquisitely executed, stylish restaurant of the year.” The restaurant is sleek, and trendy, but without overdoing it. Dishes are clean and simple, using wood-fired techniques, the best ingredients, and an innovative approach. Not only is the food stunning and delicious, but the cocktail and mock-tail programs are innovative as well.

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Ironside Fish & Oyster – Little Italy

Ironside is an upbeat restaurant with a laid back vibe that you will enjoy. The restaurant is housed in a 1920s warehouse, but has been transformed into a nautical-themed destination to behold. You’ll feel transported back in time with their decor, but the food is the opposite – modern, fresh, and delicious. Anything you order, from their raw bar to their signature lobster roll will not disappoint. The only thing you’ll like better than their food is having a drinks alongside to pair it with. Overall, if you’re looking for a dining experience with a great atmosphere, then this is the perfect place for you.

Juniper & Ivy – Little Italy

Juniper & Ivy was born out of collaboration among owner Michael Rosen and Chef Partner Richard Blais (of Top Chef). This San Diego staple in fine-dining offers refined new American cuisine utilizing techniques from molecular gastronomy to craft dishes that utilize the best ingredients in an innovative way. They do everything with the most attention to detail imaginable, including cocktails. Dining at Juniper & Ivy is truly a unique experience that anyone with a taste for adventure should try.

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San Diego resident for over 10 years, I now call this beautiful city home. Originally from the Bay Area, I'm a California girl at heart. I love the outdoors, fitness, food, and a good craft beer (from San Diego of course).

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