During our San Diego family vacation, we were eager to try out some delicious southern California cuisine, and the food did not disappoint. We left Boston with the names of a few restaurants to check out, and used the Yelp app to find others while we were on the go. Here are the restaurants we’d recommend.
Kid-Friendly Restaurants in San Diego
Corvette Diner (our meals were complimentary for purposes of review)
We went to Corvette Diner on our second night in San Diego. Immediately upon walking in the door, we saw how fun and vibrant the atmosphere is. While we waited for our table, we enjoyed visiting their full arcade – my kids loved playing classic games, like Ms. Pacman and pinball.
The wait staff, who all seem to love their jobs, add to the fun. Each waiter or waitress does fun straw hairstyles for the female kids in your party – my daughter couldn’t wait for our server to come over and do her hair. There’s also a balloon artist that rotates around the dining rooms, creating balloon animals and other creations in exchange for tips. It’s definitely a fun spot with kids – we’ll definitely be back when we go back to San Diego.
The Fishery, located in North Pacific Beach (in Mission Bay), offers a fish market in addition to a restaurant. Although they don’t have a kids’ menu, we ordered the fish and chips entree and my kids happily split it. In addition to fish entrees, they offer sushi, which is what I ordered.
The Fish Market, which is located right along the waterfront in downtown San Diego, was my biggest surprise on our vacation. Because of its central location, I automatically assumed that it was more of a tourist restaurant. After searching Yelp while on our harbor cruise, the Fish Market popped up as one of the top picks for the area. I made a quick reservation, and after the boat docked, we headed out to lunch.
The Fish Market offers indoor and outdoor seating. While the temps in the high 60s was a little too chilly for most of the Southern Californians, we were happy to sit outside and enjoy the sun. Most importantly, however, the food at the Fish Market is excellent. Menus are printed twice a day to reflect the absolute freshest catch. The sushi appetizer I ordered was some of the best sushi I’ve ever had, and the swordfish tacos were excellent.
When we were in Balboa Park, I used the Yelp app to find a great spot for lunch. Waypoint Public had some fabulous reviews, so we decided to head that way.
While it didn’t immediately look like a kid-friendly restaurant, it definitely is. Our waitress was fantastic, offering meal suggestions, and we decided to order a few different things to share. Everything we ate was great. While we were there for lunch, it also looked like a great brunch spot.
A few people recommended Cucina Urbana to us, so we made reservations on our last night. Located in downtown San Diego, Cucina Urbana is a chic little Italian restaurant and wine bar. It’s also kid-friendly, and my kids both ordered the make your own pizza. The waiter brought over a pizza crust and ingredients and the kids assembled their dinner, then it was brought back to the kitchen to be cooked. It’s a fun, unique experience that my children enjoyed. While they ate their pizza, we enjoyed our delicious Italian entrees.
On our first night in San Diego, we walked to Belmont Park to eat at Draft, which is located right on Mission Beach. Unfortunately, they weren’t taking walk-ins, so we planned to visit a different day. Thanks to the location right on the beach, it’s definitely a must-visit. The food is good – standard pub fare – and there are lots of great drink options. Go early, and ask for a seat along the boardwalk.
The Mission has three locations in San Diego, including one on Mission Bay. On our last full day in San Diego, we headed there for brunch. My kids absolutely loved the pancakes – they made my son chocolate chip pancakes, even though they aren’t on the menu. My entree, along with my husband’s was excellent as well.
Disclosure: Our meals at the Corvette Diner were complimentary for review. All other restaurant bills were paid for by us. All opinions are my own.