Looking for a place to eat in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego? Here are some suggestions for dining in this revived area of San Diego. Mind you, this isn't exclusively focused on fine dining. It's simply a subjective list of places to try while in this part of San Diego. Now, get out and eat!
Pizza is subjective and everyone has a favorite place, and pizza shops are a dime a dozen in every neighborhood, all easy to get to. And then there's Bronx Pizza. If you're a fan of thin crust, New York-style pizza where they are called pies, look no further than this iconic take-out joint. These pies are commonly available by the slice: cheese, pepperoni, "porko," mushroom, pepperoni/mushroom, Bronx deluxe, veggie, sausage, Primavera, artichoke, tomato/garlic, eggplant, pesto, and whitestone-spinach, -mushroom, and -pepperoni. Cash only.
Urban MO's Bar & Grill
Urban MO's Bar & Grill used to be Hamburger Mary's. The name may have changed a few years back, but it's still the place to go in Hillcrest if you want to experience the, shall we say, gay atmosphere of the neighborhood. As the restaurant says, Urban MO's is a hetero-friendly gay restaurant that makes the best hamburgers in San Diego, hands down. They're colorful. They're fun. They're the best time you'll have on any given afternoon, and an even better time in the evening. And they believe that cocktail glasses should be adorned with plastic farm animals. It all spells out fun, yes?
Every neighborhood should have a signature diner serving comfort food. Crest Cafe fits that niche perfectly for Hillcrest. The stalwart diner serves up a lineup of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, from burgers and homey comfort food to Mexican specialties. Not a greasy spoon diner, Crest Cafe is more of a relaxed and cozy place that serves up decent food at not too bad prices.
Hash House A Go Go
It's always busy and the portions are huge, and the parking sucks. But Hash House A Go Go is such an institution because it takes comfort food, tweaks it, and turns it on its head. Flapjacks include flavors like Snickers, butterscotch almond, apple cinnamon, mango coconut, and strawberry Frosted Flake. There's also sage fried chicken, stuffed meatloaf, one pound stuffed burgers, and a slew of hashes like mushroom, artichoke hearts, sundried tomato, and fresh spinach.
Bread & Cie
The cinnamon rolls. And the turnovers. Oh, and the bread. All flaky, crusty, delicious. Bread & Cie is the city's most distinctive producer of artisan bread, supplying the bread to many local restaurants. In fact, if you've been dining out and have said, "Yummy bread," it was probably supplied by Bread & Cie. Baked seven days a week in a European stone hearth oven using age-old artisan bread making techniques. The sheer variety of bread and pastries make it worth visiting, but there are also soups, sandwiches, and salads on the menu. Order some coffee and pastries and imagine you're having a leisurely meal in Paris.
The Asian Bistro
Back in the day, Jimmy Wong's Golden Dragon was one of the few places besides Denny's where you could find food late at night (or early morning). Now, the Asian Bistro is still open until 3 a.m. every day. It's been renovated to be a little more upscale and less tattered than it was in the good old days, but it still serves up good Chinese food. The neon dragon sign out front is still one of the coolest ones in town.
Every neighborhood has to have a taco shack, and Hillcrest has many, but one of the favorites is La Posta. If you're not looking for it, you'd probably miss it. Unless you're driving around late at night, looking for a place to get a carne asada burrito. Then you'll notice La Posta because there is always a late-night crowd seeking to satiate their after-hours munchies.
These days, we can associate more with Afghanistan than war. Its rich culture is the origin of some tasty dishes as well. Khyber Pass serves up the favorite dishes from the Near East, Turkey, Afghanistan, and India presented in a chic colorful ambiance. Enjoy the healthy, fresh ingredients blended with exotic spices created to excite your senses. The Nasery family opened the Khyber Pass Restaurant over 16 years ago after coming to the United States to escape the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Thai restaurants are like taco joints - everyone has their favorite one. Amarin Thai is a favorite of a lot of people and it's not the most obvious, situated on a side street in Hillcrest. But it serves up some authentic, fresh Thai food at very good prices. What more can you ask?
La Pizzeria Arrivederci
More pizza! La Pizzeria Arrivederci is one of those places to go if you feel like pizza or straightforward Italian food and want to feel cool in an urban setting. Thin crust pizza, spaghetti bolognese, good wine - it's a good place to spend a leisurely meal when you don't have to be anywhere right away.