The Best Outdoor Dining in San Diego

One of the most sublime pleasures of summertime is grabbing a delicious meal in the great outdoors. If there’s any silver lining to the age of social distancing, it’s that more of us than ever are starting to appreciate the special charm of dining out — outside. 

Here are a few of our favorite local restaurants where you can enjoy a little of the “al fresco” experience. 

Firehouse American Eatery & Lounge 

The menu at Firehouse, a short walk from the hotel, puts quirky twists on American classics. Feel like a bacon-fat mac and cheese? How about mini Chicago dogs? Churro French toast? Or even an avocado BLT? You’ll find them here. And you’ll be able to enjoy it all on an open-air patio-style rooftop with stunning ocean views. Firehouse also offers full bar service and reservable cabanas, so it’s become a popular date destination. 

722 Grand Avenue San Diego, CA 92109

George’s at the Cove 

There is perhaps no more lively place to enjoy San Diego’s famously mild weather than at this local institution. Long treasured as a jewel of the city dining scene, George’s has offered rooftop seating since before rooftop seating was cool. Whether you opt for a table overlooking the ocean, or belly up to the stocked-to-the-gills full-service bar, you’ll enjoy stellar views with your booze and chews.
1250 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037

Bobboi Gelato

San Diegans love their Gelato, and for good reason. When the temperature climbs, it’s a sweet, creamy treat that really beats the heat. But it’s also the perfect cap to an evening out with friends or an end to a cozy date. Bobboi is renowned in the city for its commitment to using only the freshest local ingredients, experimenting with off-the-wall flavors, and for using refrigeration methods that they claim enhance the flavors and textures. Enjoy yours outdoors in La Jolla. 

8008 Girard Avenue La Jolla, CA 92037

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Ciao San Diego! During these hard times we are committed to keep our stores open offering take-out and pick up service both on Kettner Blvd in #littleitalysd and on Girard Ave. in #lajolla – and now you can also place your order online (link in bio). Please take a moment to read the following instructions: 1️⃣ Check our flavors 2️⃣ Place your order and pay 3️⃣ Go pick your order when ready (follow the sign) 4️⃣ Please maintain 6 feet separation distance for maximum safety 5️⃣ Go back home and enjoy your #gelato ❤️ We all feel it is important to stay safe, informed and responsible, as well as we feel it is important to live our lives as much as we can. So, stay tall! Be safe! And thank you for your continued support ❤️ The Bobboi Family #littleitalysandiego #av8 #staysafe #gelatomakesyouhappy #takeout #pickup #distancingpolicy #keepthefaith #sandiego #sandiegolife #sandiegofood #sandiegofoodie #pints

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Carruth Cellars Wine Garden, Little Italy

Sit, sip and savor some of California’s finest wines at this oenophile’s paradise. The convivial, open-air environs of Carruth Wine Cellars’ lush Little Italy seating area are reminiscent of Tuscany’s finest vineyard-adjacent tasting rooms. Be sure to check out their impressively authentic pizza and charcuterie menu after the resident sommelier uncorks your vintage. 

2215 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

North Italia

As is perhaps appropriate given the origins of both the term and the practice of “al fresco,” we’ll begin with this local favorite of Continental cuisine. North Italia offers fresh, handmade pastas, pizzas, and other classic Italian favorites, all chef-prepared every day. The convenient location inside Fashion Valley Mall offers not just leisurely dining and takeout at a responsibly distanced outdoor setting, but also an upscale shopping adventure right nearby

7055 Friars Road San Diego, CA 92108

Jeune et Jolie

Chef Andrew Bachelier has decided to embrace the great outdoors at this nouvelle French bistro and offer what he’s calling “Starry Night” seating — in essence, an open-air dining experience under a canopy of both stars, and mood lighting. As if the atmosphere weren’t enough of a reason to visit, the menu is filled with spectacular Gallic gastronomy. Expect fresh oysters, a spectacular wine selection, and even traditional frog legs. 

2659 State St. Carlsbad, CA 92008