Dine at some of the best restaurants in La Jolla, California with our handy list. 

It is no surprise that California is a popular destination to visit. This state offers everything. From California's best beaches to some of California's best national parks, California has got it all. It is not only the scenery that has helped propel California into the top of destination charts. It is the food scene as well. Unsurprisingly, California is home to some of the best flavors in the nation. Not only that but when you dive into the specific cities, you are sure to find gems that are not found anywhere else. Today, we are going to explore one specific region of Southern California, La Jolla. We are going to dive head first into some of the best restaurants in La Jolla. that you must try out. 

La Jolla is one of the cutest and quintessential locations in Southern California. You do not have to go far in order to fall in love with all that La Jolla has to offer. From its beautiful seaside to its many attractions. La Jolla is certainly the gateway of some of the best things to do in California. With that being said, let's take a look at our pick of some of the best restaurants in La Jolla to dine at.

1. Galaxy Taco

best restaurants in La Jolla - Galaxy Taco

Credit: Galaxy Taco

This cute little city by the sea is known for their eclectic range of tacos. To sample some of the best tacos around, it is an absolute must that you stop by one of the best restaurants in La Jolla, Galaxy Taco. In the world of tacos, there are your regular tacos, and then there are Galaxy Tacos. Galaxy Tacos takes fine dining and infuses it with this classic street food. The experience here at Galaxy Taco is something you certainly will not forget. 

Attention to detail is something that you will see immediately once your meal arrives. What makes this one of the best restaurants in La Jolla is the fact that the tortillas are made in house. Not only that, but they are made daily from heirloom Masienda corn. In addition to the quality, they are expertly plated alongside your choice of taco filling.  In addition to that, you will find your plate beautifully arranged with additional sides such as pico de gallo, avocado, and salsa verde.

While there is a range of tacos offered here, some of our favorites include the Baja fried shrimp tacos and the grilled fish tacos. If you like more traditional tacos, then you simply cannot go wrong with the steak tacos and the chicken tacos. Veggie lovers, there is something for you as well. The grilled avocado comes with a bean puree, a creamy corn salad, and lime.

Do not let the name fool you, tacos are not the only thing Galaxy Tacos specializes in. Other main courses you should absolutely try include the vegetable tamales as well as the braised and roasted pork shoulder. Of course, there is always the popular chicken enchilada if you are looking for something more comfortable. Finally, if you're looking for a good chicken sandwich, the Milanese sandwich is a great option to try. Whether you are coming in for brunch, lunch, or dinner, there is something special about Galaxy Taco that you cannot ignore. It's no wonder why many call it one of the best restaurants in La Jolla. Finally, if you are traveling with children, then this can be a really neat place to dine at. 

2. Wheat and Water

Although San Diego is known for their popular Tex Mex cuisine, pizza is something that still rules here as well. One of the best pizza shops to go to if you are looking for this classic meal is Wheat and Water. What makes this one of the best restaurants in La Jolla is the fact that attention to detail is a primary rule this restaurant abides by. The pizza pies that are served here are crafted with absolute care. Not only that but they offer some of the fullest flavors that you have ever tasted. In addition to that, the dishes here at Wheat and Water were built to be shared. Bring along good company and enjoy the flavorful dishes that are served here. 

The pizza here is baked in a traditional wood fire grill. This method of cooking allows the pizza to retain its impeccable flavor without compromise. Some of their popular pizza pies that you should try out include their margarita pizza. The margarita pizza is made with house made mozzarella that is bursting with flavor. The kitchen classic is another popular pizza pie too. It is served with all the works including pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, caramelized onion, and house made ricotta.

If cheese is what gets you, then the four cheese “Cacio e Pepe” is a great option as well.  This pie is served with a fresh marinara sauce with mozzarella, asiago, ricotta, and parmesan with garlic and pepper. Lastly, vegan lovers cannot go wrong with the vegan pizza pie. It is an eclectic mix of tomato sauce,  carrot hummus, roasted tomato, grilled squash, and Brussel sprout leaves with caramelized onions.

Lastly, because Wheat and Water only uses the freshest ingredients that are locally sourced, they do feature a seasonal menu. However, the changes are something to look forward to. The seasonal menu allows you to have access to a wide range of flavors waiting for you throughout the year.

Pizza is not the only thing that Wheat and Water is known for. As the name suggests, Wheat and Water specializes in serving some of the most excellent wines around. The wine served here comes from the best breweries in California. Not only that, but they are also sourced from the many wineries that are scattered across Europe.

3. Herringbone

best restaurants in La Jolla - Herringbone

Credit: Herringbone

What makes Herringbone one of the best restaurants in La Jolla is the fact that the concept revolving around this restaurant is so unique. Herringbone takes the culinary concept of fish meats field seriously. When you dine here, you will appreciate this ocean to table approach.

For starters, the inside of Herringbone is simply stunning. The layout of Herringbone is one that features open spaces and simple beauty. Not only that, but the inside of the restaurant has a natural and airy theme. This is thanks to the budding olive trees that dominate the interior. Coupled with the twinkling lights above you,  the environment here is just incredible.

When it comes to the menu, you will be just as impressed. The menu features upscale fine dining that is rather delectable. This is all thanks to their attention to quality when it comes to them fishing their seafood. Their coastal cuisine features a range of line caught seafood. Not only that, but their meats are simply the freshest as well.

One of the local favorite dishes that you should try include their variety of oysters. Served with a range of sauces including cocktail, you are sure to taste the quality behind the catch. The oyster bar features half dozen and full dozen oysters that feature catches from all over the country. In addition to that, there are other neat dishes including the buffalo octopus that aim to please.

If you are looking for something a little closer to land, then the roasted half chicken is a dish that you should not ignore. In addition to that, some other popular dishes are the Baja fish tacos that are served up just right. This is a meal that is an absolute must to nibble on. Other dishes like the pasta and the tuna sandwich are just as delectable as well.

The beautiful atmosphere coupled with occasional live music, and delectable food is what makes this one of the best restaurants in La Jolla. Whether you are coming for brunch, lunch, or dinner, there is a dish here that you will absolutely love. You simply cannot go wrong with a fine dining establishment such as Herringbone. Be sure not to miss them the next time you are on the west coast.

4. Masala Street

The bustling city of San Diego is known for their many flavors. One flavor that you cannot ignore is those that come out of Indian cuisine. If you are in the mood for some great Indian food, then one of the best restaurants in La Jolla is Masala Street. Masala Street takes diners on a journey through Indian flavors thanks to the Grand Master Chef Hemant Oberoi. Chef Hemant Oberoi is one of India's most loved chefs. He has had the honor of cooking for some of the best Hollywood and Bollywood celebs. La Jolla has had the true honor being home base for his popular destination, Masala Street.

This upscale restaurant serves some of the finest flavors around. Not only are the flavors unique, but they are simply works of art. Whatever you are in the mood for, there is certainly something that will cater to it. Masala Street serves a lunch and dinner menu so you are sure to find a delectable dish no matter what time you are dining.

When it comes to the lunch menu, one of our favorite dishes that you should try here includes the victoria salad. This salad is served with two hard boiled eggs, parmesan, house dressing, and your choice of tikka, salmon, or paneer. To pay homage to this seaside town, we strongly recommend opting for the delicious salmon. If you want to try your hand at some Indian infused tacos, then the masala prawns taco is the way to go. This unique taco is served with a soft shell taco, semolina shrimp, and spiced sauce. Lastly, do not be shy about digging into their delicious roasted spiced corn on the cob.

The bold flavors here at Masala Street are what have earned it the reputable label of one of the best restaurants in La Jolla. You absolutely cannot go wrong with dining at this popular destination. If you love flavor and don't mind stepping out of your comfort zone, then Masala Street is easily one of the best restaurants in La Jolla.

5. The Marine Room

best restaurants in La Jolla - Marine Room

Credit: The Marine Room / Facebook

Come out and dine by the sea in absolute elegance at one of the best restaurants in La Jolla. This restaurant is The Marine Room. The Marine Room is simply stunning. For starters, its location is absolutely one of the best. It is located right on the surf. This means that diners get the opportunity to view the picturesque scenery as they dine on some of the best French cuisines in San Diego. One of the best times to dine is certainly during the evening hours when the sun has begun to set. This makes for one of the most beautiful and romantic experience. Especially if you are celebrating a special occasion or a night out.

When it comes to the menu, this exquisite elegance continues. The award winning menu has won accolades from a range of organizations including AAA's Diamond Award. Not only that, but Open Table has given it the award as one of the most scenic restaurants in America. When it comes to the menu, you can expect to find some of the best dishes around. Some of the popular dishes that you should opt for include the Faroe Island crispy skin salmon. This dish is served with potato fondant, octopus, endive, and bouillabaisse sauce.  The flavors will simply melt in your mouth and are meant to be savored.

When it comes to fine dining, you should absolutely have lobster on your list as well. One of our favorite dishes to try here include the dill pollen butter basted Maine lobster tail. This finely cooked lobster tail is served with savory corn cake, baby apple, and linguica. Seafood lovers are sure to appreciate the delectable flavors that blend together with this dish. Also, if you love lobster, then you should make it a point to come on here on Lobster days where Maine lobster and Marine Room signature lobsters are served throughout the evening.

To truly appreciate the flavors of the ocean, you must experience fine dining at its best. The Marine Room is easily one of the best restaurants in La Jolla because it caters to this fine dining experience. Without a doubt, you are sure to fall in love with the French flavors that are found here. This is easily one of the most romantic restaurants to visit in the Unites States. 

6. A.R. Valentien

best restaurants in La Jolla - A.R. Valentien

Credit: A.R. Valentien / Facebook

A.R. Valentien is one of the best farm to table locations that San Diego has to offer. If you ask any farm to table enthusiast, they will tell you that A.R. Valentien is one of the best restaurants in La Jolla. What makes this destination one of the best restaurants in La Jolla is the fact that they coined this farm to table concept before it became a trending approach in the culinary world.

At A.R. Valentien, diners can expect a very impressive menu. The dishes here offer patrons a classic and refined French cuisine that has a very modern twist to it. But before we get to the menu, let's talk about how you will simply fall in love with the interior of the restaurant. The beautiful decor gives you feelings of an old school French dining experience. If you are looking for a romantic evening out, then this destination will certainly deliver.

The limited selection of meals served here certainly does not take away from the flavors. Instead, you should know that the dishes are well crafted with absolute care to create a dining experience like no other. Some favorite dishes that you should sample include the 28 day dry aged prime rib eye steak. This impeccable steak is served with potatoes, charred spring onions, scallions, and tasty herb butter. The liberty duck breast is another winner. Served alongside anacci, and pine nut puree, the flavors come alive as they melt in your mouth.

There are also delectable appetizers if you are looking to jump around the menu. The lamb meatballs and the corn soup are always a sure fire winner so be sure not to leave them off your list. Lastly, if you cannot make up your mind, then the tasting menu is something that all diners are sure to love as well.

Whatever option you go with, one thing is for certain. The fine dining that A.R. Valentien offers is what makes it one of the best restaurants in La Jolla. Be sure not to leave it off your travels when you are dining around this seaside city.

7. George's at The Cove

best restaurants in La Jolla - George's at The Cove

Credit: George's at The Cove / Facebook

If you are traveling with someone who just cannot make up their mind, then make your way over to George's at The Cove. Here, you will be able to narrow your search for some great food.  what makes George's at The Cove one of the best restaurants in La Jolla is the fact that it is actually three. Here you will find three restaurants that cater to three different types of diners. No matter who you are, you are starting to find something that you will love here.

For starters, there is the impeccable fine dining restaurant, California Modern. This fine dining establishment features some of the best dishes at La Jolla has to offer.  What makes the experience at California Modern so unique is the fact that their menu is so unique. For starters, they offer a rotating menu due to the fact that their ingredients are sourced by the season. California Modern also offers diners a tasting menu that is too good to pass up. They feature delectable dishes such as the local yellowtail and the local swordfish. Of course, you certainly cannot go wrong with their popular Maine lobster and beef tenderloin either.

If you are looking to dine in absolute beauty, then you must make it a point to visit Ocean Terrace. Ocean Terrace offers diners stunning rooftop views that are simply jaw dropping. Enjoy the beautiful ocean breeze as you nibble on some of the best tacos that La Jolla has to offer. Along with their delicious tacos, some side favorites such as shrimp and fish are sure winners as well.

Level Two is the last restaurant here at George's at The Cove. Level Two features a more relaxed dining atmosphere that is super big on happy hour and casual dining. Although there is a more relaxed vibe here, the food served here is still simply some of the best. With delicious burgers and fries paired with seafood finger food, you are sure to find yourself coming back more than once.

8. The Nine Ten Restaurant

Southern California is known for its unique flavors. However, the Jamaican flavor is not something you might expect out of La Jolla. Don't be quick to judge when you stumble on some. The Nine Ten Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in La Jolla that specializes in this flavor. This is thanks to executive chef Jason Knibb’s Jamaican roots.  Chef Knibbs offers a delicious menu that features everything the Caribbean nation is known for. Some of their popular dishes are paired with delightful baby carrots, plantains, sweet potatoes, and black eyed peas. In fact, these ingredients are ones that you are sure to find throughout the menu.

In addition to the theme, the atmosphere here is certainly one that should not be ignored. Nine Ten Restaurant offers a very laid back and relaxed yet upscale dining experience that will have you wanting to come back for more. Perhaps one of the main reasons the atmosphere is so loved here is thanks to the spirited and welcoming service. The staff is as fixated on attention to comfort as the kitchen is to the quality of their food.

Speaking of the quality of the food, diners are sure to love the fact that select fish and other seafood are shipped in daily. The seafood is shipped in from the North Pacific, the Atlantic, and Hawaiian coastal regions. In addition to that, the restaurant has paired with local sources so that diners experience fresh quality no matter when they come.

If you are ready to step out of your comfort zone and dining in absolute comfort, then the Nine Ten is easily one of the best restaurants in La Jolla to visit. The bright flavors and beautiful presentation here are what make diners wanting to come back for more.

9. El Pescador Fish Market 

best restaurants in La Jolla - El Pescador Fish Market

Credit: El Pescador Fish Market / Facebook

If you are looking for some great casual dining, then El Pescador Fish Market is one of the best places to nibble around at. What makes this one of the best restaurants in La Jolla is the fact that it was born out of pure luck. 19 year old Surfer Jeff Norris and his 16 year old buddy set up shop by building a fiberglass display case to feature their fresh catches. Soon after, their mini market turned into what is now one of the best restaurants in La Jolla.  

What makes this destination so unique is the fact that the seafood served here is caught right on site. Once it is caught, it is immediately sent to the kitchen so that diners can sample fresh food right on the spot. The dining experience here is one that includes char grilled and sauteed seafood that is bursting with flavor.

Some popular dishes that you can expect to find here include a classic cup of clam chowder. This creamy soup is perfect for sipping on during the evening hours when the ocean air gets a little cooler. Other dishes that you are sure to love include the bay shrimp and the sashimi plate. Of course, if you love oysters, you are sure to enjoy the oysters that are served here on the half shell.  Lastly, one of the best dishes to have here is any one of the fresh seafood sandwiches. The Dungeness crab and bay shrimp sandwich is one that hits all the spots with ease.

If you want to dine like a local and are looking for some of the best seafood around, then this restaurant is easily one of the best restaurants in La Jolla. You do not have to plan a fancy evening out to sample some of the best seafood available in San Diego. Just stop by this fish market instead.

Final Thoughts

You can easily spend a whole week enjoying the beautiful seaside city of La Jolla. If you find yourself making your way down to Southern California, then it is a must that you experience its culinary world. With our list of the best restaurants in La Jolla, you will certainly not miss a beat. Be sure to make room in your travel itinerary to visit at least one of these wonderful restaurants. We are sure you will not regret it. Here's to happy dining!

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Nadia El-Yaouti is a mother, English language arts middle school teacher, writer, and photographer. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and two little girls. Although she considers herself a workaholic, Nadia’s greatest pride is being a mom. When she’s not juggling work, you can be sure to find her traveling the world with her little family.

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