Gaslamp Quarter: 53 Restaurants Found
While it may be physically impossible to bring a Florentine trattoria to San Diego, Chef and Owner Martin Gonzalez has come remarkably close. Acqua Al 2 is the sister restaurant of the original Acqua Al 2, located on the Via della Vigna Vecchia in Florence. Using the same menu, recipes, and cooking techniques, Acqua Al 2 offers authentic Tuscan-style dining right in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp district. The charming ambiance hints of old world Italy, while the aromatic and flavorful dishes exude authenticity. Anyone considering an escape to Italy should first pay a visit to this local favorite.
Over the years, it has become quite common knowledge that Nobu is simply one of the top destinations for truly fine sushi and Japanese-Fusion cuisine in San Diego. Located within the Hard Rock Hotel on Fifth Avenue, this is a hot spot for tourists, and the Gaslamp Quarter is always bustling with locals in search of a good meal. With more than forty sushi and sashimi options, in addition to a broad selection of specialty tempura, salads, special cold dishes, brick oven entrees, and many different hot dishes, including tobanyaki-style beef, vegetables, mixed seafood or tofu, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Tobanyaki, one of the more unique aspects of Nobu, is a cooking style which involves roasting the ingredients, usually premium beef, on a hot ceramic plate, radiating heat long after being removed from the ovens. Overall, the presentation is entertaining and produces quite tender morsels, full of flavor and piping hot. Once the main courses are gone, be sure to peruse the dessert menu for new, innovative creations that are sure to delight the taste buds and intrigue the mind. For those in search of a few pieces of sushi and a cocktail or two before committing to a large meal, Nobu also offers a superb Happy Hour menu featuring special prices on select sake, wine, beer and specialty drinks, the perfect precursors to a delicious dinner. To all who appreciate the authentic experience of fine Japanese dining and hospitality, add Nobu to your list of things to do in Downtown San Diego.
It is the very presence of charismatic Master Chef Roberto Bernardoni and his lovely wife, Chef Patrizia Branchi that sets Operacaffe apart from the countless “authentic” Italian eateries downtown. The first ingredient in all of Chef Bernadoni’s dishes is his "cuore", his heart and passion for his trade. This is splendidly reflected in the careful presentations, wistful aromas, and creative tastes of their traditional dishes. Allow your taste buds to be transported to Italy by thin crust pizzas, salads, featuring fresh Italian cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano, and herby and flavorful pasta and second course dishes. Chef Bernardoni will be delighted if you select any one of his handsome desserts.
The Melting Pot is a one-of-a-kind restaurant giving guests the opportunity to dip to their hearts’ content – in fondue, that is. Boasting an unbelievably decadent menu of cheese, broth, and chocolate-based fondue options, diners are armed with everything they need to satisfy that certain craving for something sweet or savory. Home in the Gaslamp Quarter’s very first skyscraper, The Melting Pot’s chic décor hearkens back to a golden era of opulence, while maintaining a contemporary air of casual elegance. Join family and friends around the Melting Pot table and partake in the joyous style of dining that is fondue.
There is a surplus when it comes to the average run of the mill “Bar and Grill” in San Diego. Fortunately, if you’re looking for one that will satiate your craving for some good ol’ American comfort food while still receiving fine dining service, then Urban Bar and Grill is right up your alley. Outside, the patio seating area is filled with content Happy Hour goers imbibing as they dive into their starters. This seating is ideal for out-of-towners and locals alike who wish to be at the center of the stimulating streets of the Gaslamp Quarter. Inside, flat screens are mindfully positioned throughout to ensure restaurant goers can watch sports as they dine, because frankly, what would a bar and grill be without this focal detail? Take a glance at the menu, and you can let out a sigh of relief because there is literally something for everyone. The menu is diverse, and you can choose from some characteristic bar food such as Onion Rings or the innovative Truffled Macaroni and Cheese with bacon. No matter what you decide to munch on at this stellar spot, you will leave more than satisfied and ready to hit the downtown streets.
BiCE Ristorante skillfully fuses the elegance and trend-setting gusto of modern Europe in the historic San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, while introducing patrons to contemporary Italian cuisine melded with California ingredients. Executive Chef Mario Cassineri has created a menu that entices palates with amazing flavor combinations as his attention to detail and presentation mesmerize guests. Start off the night with the Prosciutto con Burrata, 24-month aged prosciutto paired with creamy burrata cheese that will surely tantalize taste buds with its perfected meat-and-cheese combination. Indulge in the Orzotto all’Aragosta e Burratina: “risotto style” barley with Maine Lobster, fresh tomato and burrata cheese, which cleverly mixes sustainable ingredients with Italian fare. Not only does BiCE have a fully equipped bar that serves specialty cocktails and a list of impressive wines, they also offer a Cheese Bar staffed with a knowledgeable Cheese Sommelier that will open up the taste buds of even the most discerning fromage connoisseur. BiCE Ristorante in the Gaslamp Quarter insures guests will experience an unparalleled union of traditional and modern Italian technique set in a chic and classy environment.
Located in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego, just a stone’s throw from Petco Park, Mezè Greek Fusion offers a wide breadth of Mediterranean cuisine for diners in search of southern European flavors. From Greek Hummus and Falafel to the Grilled Asparagus salad inspired by southern Italian fare, dinner service runs until 11 p.m. throughout the week, and on Friday and Saturday until 12:00pm, Weekend brunch features bottomless mimosas and bloody marys with the purchase of an entree. All throughout the week, the full bar keeps things lively with signature cocktails such as the refreshing Tuscan Gimlet, the savory Dirty Mezè, and the spicy Drop It Like It’s Hot. Mezè also offers catering and special banquet menus, for those looking to host large parties with Mediterranean flair. When in the Gaslamp and cravings for a taste of southern Europe call, the menu at Mezè Mediterranean Grill answers.
Following the success of its flagship La Jolla location, Donovan’s has opened a new outpost downtown. Now the renowned service, quality, and setting that put Donovan’s of La Jolla on the map can be found just steps away from the convention center, the ballpark, and the Gaslamp Quarter. As with its La Jolla counterpart, the menu showcases a variety of cuts of succulent USDA Prime steak, while offering an array of other options such as Australian rack of lamb and North Atlantic Salmon. Appetizers and salads are available to tantalize the palate before the main course, and potatoes and vegetables accompany each entrée.
Royal India is where to go when you want to dine like kings and queens. The Gaslamp area restaurant serves authentic Northern Indian cuisine in a refreshing, elegant setting. An outdoor patio offers prime views of downtown foot traffic, while inside, the tall ceilings and open space give the feel of a modern palace, complete with regal décor imported from India. Ornate chandeliers cast an elegant glow, while a cascading waterfall offers a backdrop of serenity. The menu is as rich as its surroundings, with flavorful curries, tandoori kababs, and a tempting array of fresh tandoor-baked breads. If you’re unable to make your mind up about the menu, visit during lunch or on Monday evenings, when over 20 dishes are offered buffet-style.
Beyond the heavy glass doors of De Medici lies a wonderland of delight and extravagance. Once inside, wrapped in the cozy embrace of one of the booths, guests are welcomed to linger over an amazing meal and absorb an evening of tantalizing experiences. Under the insistence of owner Salavatore Vitale, many of the signature dishes are still created table-side. The soft rosy glow and intimate ambiance of the dining room is punctuated by the bright flashes of flambéing Bananas Foster and Steak Diane. Specializing in both Northern and Southern Italian cuisine, Chef Ricardo Macias charms the palates of many with his supreme offerings of mouthwatering fare. By serving recipes passed down through generations of Italians, De’Medici caters to guests with deft familiarity and graciously serves up a comforting taste of home.