La Jolla is a beautiful seaside town with a picturesque and rugged coastline. Numerous trails go through the scenic city, where you can walk, run, cycle, and more.
Locals and tourists enjoy the golf courses, the natural reserve, and the water sports available on the shores.
La Jolla Cove is a crowd favorite, with tide pools, ocean views, etc. You’ll also find plenty of boutiques, recreation centers, and waterfront restaurants, which brings us to our next point. Where are the best places to eat?
Most of the dining options in the area focus on fresh seafood. We’ve taken the liberty to list all those establishments below, so you don’t have to search for high-quality eats in the neighborhood.
Check out our list of the best restaurants in La Jolla, San Diego!
2000 Spindrift Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037
In the same area as the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and the Tesla charging station, the Marine Room is upscale and offers delectable French fare in a stylish setting.
One of the hallmarks of dining in this establishment is that the waves crash against the window at high tide. It’s a truly captivating experience.
You know what you’re getting when you visit the Marine Room, and it starts with culinary excellence and unrelenting professionalism.
My favorite dishes are the Maine lobster tails and scallops with warm chocolate cake as dessert. The only thing to be aware of is that this is one of the pricier restaurants, but it’s worth it.
1216 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Duke’s is a spacious two-story restaurant with outdoor seating on the patio and stunning ocean views. This airy location is between Kate Sessions Park and the University of California-San Diego.
They specialize in Hawaiian food, and the decor is clean and modern with bright colors. Two of the main reasons this place keeps you coming back are the hospitality and laid-back island vibes.
Duke’s offers Saturday and Sunday brunch with tasty classics such as banana macadamia nut pancakes and avocado toast with a mimosa.
With generous portion sizes and reasonable prices, Duke’s is one of the best restaurants in La Jolla San Diego for a reason. Don’t miss out on the Hula Pie!
910 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Located near the corner of Jenner St. and Prospect St. by the Grande Colonial Hotel, NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar is casually elegant and sophisticated.
The food is locally sourced from farmers in the area, and their cuisine is globally-inspired. This dining establishment has also received recognition from the California Michelin Guide.
The high ceilings and spirited service create a warm ambiance further accentuated by the ocean panorama created by a local artist.
The menu reflects seasonal theme dishes that continue to evolve based on what’s available from the local harvest.
Popular dishes from their breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus include the duck confit salad, sashimi, and my personal favorite, the Jamaican pork belly.
7837 Herschel Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
Herringbone La Jolla is near Wall St between Hennessey’s Tavern, a local bar, and Jersey Mike’s Subs (sandwich shop).
The outside of the restaurant resembles a 1930s-style warehouse, while the inside is airy and spacious.
The outdoor seating features hanging lights to create a beautiful atmosphere, especially in the evenings.
The fare at Herringbone is traditional seafood with a Californian twist. The most popular dishes are the Chilean sea bass and the Buffalo octopus, which I thought was unique and delicious. They also have my personal favorite dessert, a chocolate lava cake.
They also have wine, beer, and cocktails that the servers will help you pair with specific dishes for the best dining experience. Herringbone offers happy hour and other weekly specials as well.
634 Pearl St, La Jolla, CA 92037
El Pescador Fish Market is on Pearl Street, near the car wash, across from Mitch’s Surf Shop. It has an olive green exterior and lots of seating inside, with a counter where you can see the freshly caught and cut fish. They can prepare for you to take home or turn it into a delicious meal for you on the spot.
They have a wide variety of seafood to choose from, and you can tell right away that this market probably does have the freshest seafood in the neighborhood. Everything is kept chilled on ice, and they pair the fish with sides like rice, seaweed salad, and more.
The service is top-notch, and you won’t be disappointed if you pause from a day of shopping to get a bite to eat and relax at El Pescador Fish Market.
7863 Girard Avenue #301 F3, La Jolla, CA 92037
Catania is an Italian restaurant located in the beautiful resort community of the Village of La Jolla that sits atop the La Plaza Center.
The ambiance of the establishment exudes elegance and sophistication. Catania is the perfect place to go to for special occasions, thanks to the fact that it has all of the bells and whistles, which makes for a memorable dining experience.
Dive into some authentic Italian cuisine—Catania has menu options that are simply exquisite across the board. I found the service to be impeccable, and I left feeling like I had attended a family dinner.
You can either experience the taste of wood fire pizzas or try out some delicious dishes such as Duck Sugo Orecchiette, Crispy Octopus, Tagliatelle Alla Portofino, and more!
7702 Fay Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
The Cottage is right by the sea, across the street from a boutique shop called Echoes Too. So if you’re in the mood for delicious breakfast, brunch, and dinner items, the Cottage is the ideal place to be.
The atmosphere is fantastic, and the decor is modern and gives off positive and bubbly vibes. Upscale in every way, the Cottage serves creative plates of food, and the service is top-notch.
The next time you’re in the neighborhood, you have to try the Eggs Benedict, which was my favorite. They also have a delicious Stuffed French Toast, an All-American breakfast, and some delicious Ricotta pancakes.
1250 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
George’s at the Cove is an exquisite restaurant located near Catania, which I previously mentioned on this list. It is on the coastline of the resort community of the Village of La Jolla.
They serve new American cuisine while having fantastic ocean views to boot. The food is as beautiful as the ocean views located downstairs of the three-floor building.
Their fish tacos are bursting with flavor, and their Grilled Hanger steak comes with just the right amount of desired char and flavor.
The warm chocolate cake is just luxuriously textured. This trifecta is hard to beat with excellent service, food, and a view.
1026 Wall St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Puesto La Jolla is a few blocks away from the Mary Star of the Sea Church. This elegant and rustic place features beautiful patio seating—perfect on days when the weather is undeniably gorgeous.
Apart from the great ambiance, Puesto La Jolla serves some of the best Mexican cuisines in the area. The menu is daringly unique; it offers so many novelty dishes with so many nuances that it is easy to be overwhelmed at the sight of it.
If you have trouble deciding, as I did, don’t hesitate to ask the accommodating servers or try out a few of these delectable gems: Mushroom Taco Plate, Potato Taquitos, and the Filet Mignon Tacos.
11480 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037
A.R. Valentien is a gorgeous restaurant that serves elegant American fare, and it is located a few blocks south of National University.
Whether you’re inside or outside, the building never stops being beautiful. This eatery boasts a stunning sheltered patio with a serene and comforting view of the outdoors.
The food is always beautifully done, and the staff is always willing to offer suggestions. A.R. Valentien has to be on your list of restaurants to visit when in La Jolla.
When you do, you have to try their signature succulent duck and their prime rib, which is always cooked to perfection.
2182 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037
Located just a few blocks south of Kellogg Park is Piatti, an exquisite restaurant serving traditional Italian fare.
The exterior is modest in its design, while the decor on the inside facilitates a warm and welcoming vibe. Piatti is the place to go when you want a little taste of Italy.
Piatti has all of the classic Italian dishes that you know and love; from authentic lasagna to traditional Italian pizza, experience all of Italy’s comforting tastes.
So if you’re ever in La Jolla, drop by Piatti and try the Linguine Salmon, Beef Carpaccio, or the Saffron Pappardelle with shrimp and tomatoes.