San Diego, located on California’s Pacific coast, is a gorgeous city known for the warm weather, parks, and 70 miles of sandy beaches. There are numerous artist studios, art galleries, gardens, museums, the University of San Diego, and the San Diego Zoo. Other popular family attractions include LEGOLAND California, SeaWorld San Diego, and the USS Midway museum.
One thing that may surprise San Diego visitors is the fantastic Greek food waiting to get discovered in the city. You can’t do Greek without falafels, gyros, pita bread, and Saganaki; everything else is a bonus. For those of you that feel the same way, you’re going to love this guide we’ve put together. Every restaurant we selected below had these classics and a few eclectic dishes.
345 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
In the historic Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego, Meze Greek Fusion is a luxe restaurant/bar with bonafide Greek dishes with a SoCal twist. The industrial decor and spacious floor plan make for a comfortable and pleasant environment. They serve full entrees and small plates and specialty cocktails and wine. It’s an excellent place to gather with friends and family for a celebration of a casual evening out.
The menu options include vegetarian and gluten-free meals, which was very convenient for friends of mine that had food allergies and diet restrictions. Moving on to the food, I can honestly say they had the best Saganaki I’ve ever tasted. Who knew fried cheese could be so melty and delicious?
I also recommend the Gyro Plate, Lamb Shank, Falafel Platter, and the Watermelon Feta Salad. The flavors were all incredibly bold but not overpowering; so good!
1846 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Cafe Athena is in the Pacific Plaza II Shopping Center, and the taverna is like taking a trip to Greece on a warm summer day. Boasting several awards from magazines as the best Greek restaurant in San Diego for multiple years, Cafe Athena doesn’t disappoint.
They have three bright and airy dining rooms with a Grecian island motif. This is where the eclectic menu shines forth. The warm and lively environment is inviting, and the service is phenomenal. There is also patio seating available to enjoy food that tastes homemade and fresh.
You get strong notes of earthy flavors like eggplant, onion, garlic, olive oil, and other Greek veggies, which I loved. The gyros are enormous, and the meat is seasoned exceptionally well. Other yummy dishes include the Baba Ghannouj Spread, the Spanaki Lemonato Spread, and the creamy, tangy Tzatziki Spread.
2310 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
The Olympic Cafè is in University Heights, also near the San Diego Zoo, and it’s a casual spot offering counter-service for locals and tourists alike. The eatery is unassuming from the outside and inside, but it has delicious food and desserts that I never get tired of when I visit San Diego.
The service is excellent, and the staff is friendly and welcoming. Breakfast starts every day at 7 am, and you don’t want to miss out, the food is always hot and fresh, and it’s not too crowded. The most popular dishes are the Beef and Chicken Kabobs, Gyro and Spanakopita, Pastitsio, and you can smother the Tzatziki sauce on anything from the menu.
It’s mild and creamy, with a kick. Everything has a unique blend of spices, giving the food authentic Mediterranean flair; think herbaceous and healthy eating. The FIX beer is refreshing and smooth, and it complements the lamb well. Don’t forget to save a bit of space for their delightful Baklava; you won’t regret it!
3550 Rosecrans St A, San Diego, CA 92110
Georgia’s Greek Cuisine is in the Grosvenor or Square Shopping Mall, serving traditional Greek food like Moussaka and kebabs. The cheery space is comfortable and family-oriented. All the food tastes like grandma made it in the heart of Athens! They also have an excellent selection of Californian and Greek wines, which was impressive. The family that owns the restaurant excels at making you feel like you’re a member of the crew.
Georgia’s is one of the top three best Greek restaurants in San Diego, with recipes handed down from generation to generation and the most natural ingredients possible. You can always get freshly baked pastries, and it’s never too busy. The most memorable dishes were the Lentil Soup, Chicken Pita, Dolmades, and the flavorful hummus.
10450 Friars Rd suite t, San Diego, CA 92120
Troy’s Greek Restaurant is in the Friars Village Shopping Center. It is a neighborhood staple serving Greek and American eats in an upbeat environment. You can sit indoors or outdoors on the dog-friendly patio while you enjoy their famous breakfast and Sunday brunch buffet. This lovely location lets you shop and then stop to experience the excellent service and fantastic food.
The flaming cheese (Saganaki), Baklava, Greek Salad with a Gyro, Braised Lamb Shank, Beef Souvlaki, and creamy Lemon Chicken Soup are the best items on the menu for me. There’s a nice variety of foods to choose between, and the drink selection is tasteful and reasonably priced. Don’t hesitate to stop by Troy’s if you’re in the mall.
1229 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110
Zgara Greek Grill is a quintessential eatery located near the Madhouse dance company. The restaurant’s interior features walls adorned with modest decor that works well with the rustic ambiance of the place. Though the vibes are laid-back and casual, this is also a delightful place for a first date. The menu is diverse, and there are always lunch specials.
Zgara has authentic Greek cuisine; for example, the gyros are made from pork, not lamb. This is the way that they get prepared in Greece. The meat is succulent, the sauce is creamy, and the veggies are crisp and fresh. Furthermore, there’s an assortment of other dishes, such as their falafels, Kofte Platter, and of course, the decadent Greek Baklava. Drop by Zgara Greek Grill and enjoy some delicious food if you’re ever in town.
927 J St, San Diego, CA 92101
Nick The Greek is a Greek restaurant that truly delivers when it comes to serving the best dishes at affordable prices. You can find it in the Gaslamp Quarter, next to the Metaphor Photo studio. Even before you step in, you’ll notice that there are outdoor seating arrangements for those who want to enjoy the atmosphere of city life. The simplistic interior is cozy and inviting, making the experience even better.
The service is fast and efficient, and the staff is friendly and attentive to the customer’s needs. Besides the service, the food is something to write home about. The lamb gyros are tender and juicy with multiple layers of flavor—additionally, the Souvlaki, Pastitsio, Greek Salad, and the delectable Grecian Burger. Drop by at your earliest convenience and try some of the best Greek food in San Diego.
Alexi’s Greek Cafe
3863 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Located near the intersection of University Ave and 5th Ave in Hillcrest is Alexi’s Greek Cafe. This rustic eatery has lots of character and is another restaurant that doesn’t offer much in the way of decor but surely leaves a palpable impression on your taste buds! The setting is hospitable and intimate, with a menu that has a lot of variety.
The shop owner is very kind and goes the extra mile to accommodate guests. What’s more, he prepares excellent Greek dishes in huge portions. They have the best budget prices for Greek eats in the city. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, stop by and try the following dishes: Gyro Platter, Falafel Wrap, and a whole host of vegetarian meals like the Vegetarian Platter.
6171 Mission Gorge Rd #109, San Diego, CA 92120
The Taste of Athens is in the Mission Square Center Shopping Mall. The decor is modest, and the sitting area is small, kind of reminiscent of an old-school diner. The food, however, is anything ordinary. Each time you visit, the food is guaranteed to be tasty and authentic. Customer service and hospitality are focal points, but the food is the star of the show.
While there aren’t many items on the menu, the featured dishes are mouthwatering and flavorful. The food is comforting, like a homemade meal from home. My favorite dishes were the Kebab Platter, Falafel plate, and the Gyro Chicken Kebab sandwich. They have great prices as well.
109 W F St, San Diego, CA 92101
Athens Market Taverna is a Greek eatery in downtown San Diego with a beautiful outdoor seating area for those who wish to enjoy the weather or view the hustle and bustle of city life. The atmosphere is easygoing, with simple decor and family-operated. Athens Market Taverna does more than sell traditional Greek street food—they serve dinner items that will fill you up.
The food presentation is elegant, and the portion sizes are more than generous in relation to the food prices. Although the gyro is delightful, these were my favorite dishes at AMT: Chicken Souvlaki Grilled Chicken Breast, Calamari, Athens Market Special, and the Chocolate Lava Cake.
714 Ventura Pl, San Diego, CA 92109
Kojack’s restaurant serves bonafide Greek cuisine right on Mission Beach Boardwalk. This place has very festive energy about it because it’s a fast-food restaurant and a casual hangout. Being so close to the water means you can make a day out of it after a bit of fun in the sun. The outdoor seating arrangements offer a beautiful view and a friendly setting to enjoy lunch or dinner by the waves.
The interior is modest yet open and inviting, with stellar service. Though the Greek fare is tasty, you can also get a lot of other dishes here, including traditional American foods like pizza, chicken tenders, and burgers.
‘They also have good soft drinks, a kid’s menu, and a breakfast menu. This is a great place to grab a quick bite if you’re in the neighborhood and looking for convenience and a view.