San Diego might not be as well acclaimed as San Francisco or Los Angeles as a mecca of food in California, but these seven places are serving up some of the most creative and delicious dishes to prove it should definitely be included in the list. Here’s to all the carnivores in the world, and to anyone who just wants a juicy burger loaded with bacon or an alligator sausage loaded with toppings.
The name is a perfect description of this perfect food heaven. With walls adorned with artwork dedicated to Nicholas Cage’s face and a seat-yourself policy, S&M has a unique style and serves up some unique food. There are single-serve, flavored bacon dishes including dessert bacon covered in milk chocolate, and there’s a myriad of different sausage choices including ones made from alligator, wild boar, and bison.
Serving up monster burgers with so much bacon it might as well be a third patty, Hodad’s makes arguably the best burger in the state. Their juicy burgers and huge chunks of bacon are topped with cheese and accompanied by fresh, crisp veggies to make one giant burger that takes a bit of wrestling to fit into one’s mouth. Hodad’s is a San Diego classic that lives up to its rep every single visit and is an absolute must try for die-hard bacon fans.
3. Phil’s BBQ
Phil’s BBQ is San Diego classic known for serving amazing barbecue, from ribs to brisket sandwiches. Phil’s always has a ridiculously long line running out of the door, but the wait is well worth it. California may not be known for barbecue, as compared to states further east, but Phil’s makes living in San Diego so much easier. Life is just so much better when you’re getting tangy barbecue sauce all over your face and hands.
What kind of San Diego list would be complete without a mention of the best tacos in town? While not in the actual city of San Diego (it’s a little south, closer to the US/Mexico border), it’s included in the greater San Diego county so it makes the list.
Tacos El Gordo serves up absolutely mouth watering adobada pork, which you will be dreaming of for years after your first visit. The adobada fries (made up of fries topped with loads of sliced adobada pork, sour cream, salsa, and handfuls of cheese) is the stuff of legends and is an absolute must have.
Slater’s 50/50 is a burger joint well known for its innovative and mouth watering 50/50 burger, made of half ground beef and half ground bacon (you read that right, the bacon is ground right into the burger).
The patty is just half of their burger innovations, the rest coming in the form of creative burger options ranging from a peanut butter and jelly burger (which is just as wild as this PB&J bacon sandwich) to a pizza burger topped with Italian sausage. This place is a must visit for all the creative meat lovers out there who want to try something a tad bit different.
No list for meat aficionados is complete with a gluttonous all-you-can-eat option. Brazilian barbecue is all-you-can-eat on steroids, because there are servers walking around with giant skewers of glistening meat — including bacon wrapped filet mignon, honey glazed pork, and pork ribs. All the amazing meat delivered to your table is complemented with a giant seafood and salad bar. All-you-can-eat steak and seafood? Hell yes.
Stacked is a burger and pizza place bringing in innovation through their ordering service. Food is ordered on iPads, which allow complete customization of burger toppings, pizza toppings, or even mac n’ cheese options.
This freedom of creation allows you to order a burger piled high with options like mac n’ cheese, bacon, pastrami, and a fried egg. You can be as creative as you want with your dinner, and diners will soon learn that true burger heaven comes in the form of complete personalization.