Ten top restaurants for locals according to Justeen!

Moving to San Diego as a first year graduate student was exciting but a bit overwhelming. I wanted to get settled in quickly and find the best places for food and fun. I have compiled a list of 10 restaurants that I love and would recommend to anyone who is looking for delicious food and unique atmospheres!
Tender Greens
Tender Greens is located in Point Loma, less than 5 miles from USD campus. It is the perfect place to go for lunch or dinner. Every time I have a friend or family member in town, this is the first place I take them because of their comfy yet modern atmosphere & delicious salads. Their salads are made with the freshest lettuce and veggies I have ever seen or tasted. When you walk into tender greens, you order your food, watch them prepare it (takes two minutes), pay and either sit down or take it to go. Their menu includes salads, sandwiches, hot plates (Backyard Marinated Steak, Salt & Pepper Chicken, Chipotle BBQ Chicken and Herb Brushed Albacore) and desserts. I often pick up a to-go salad if I have a lot of studying to do- that way I’m not taking too much time away from my schoolwork and still eating healthy! Don’t forget to order some daily fresh bread too!

OB Noodle House 
A few people in my cohort are obsessed with this place and go here all the time. OB Noodle House is known for its great location, Asian fusion food & wide selection of beer! It is a loud bar type atmosphere (perfect for watching your favorite sporting event – without the typical bar food). Since its walking distance to Newport Ave, it’s the perfect starting point for dinner and/or drinks! I would recommend their Chicken Lettuce Wraps, the Summer Shrimp, the Beef & Veggies Hong Kong Chow Fun and the Shredded Chicken Breast Pho (pictured on left). It’s normally pretty busy, so arrive 15 to 20 minutes early for the wait.
Spice Lounge
I just went to Spice for the first time the other day for a friend’s birthday dinner. It is a small restaurant in Pacific Beach that serves Indian cuisines and has a great happy hour (with signature cocktails and Indian beers). The food is reasonably priced and “translates Authentic Indian flavors to the American palate.” I would recommend this place if you like trying different types of food and enjoy a laidback, intimate atmosphere. It is also walking distance to PB’s beach and nightlife!

Umi Sushi in Point Loma 
I love going to Umi Sushi because of how traditional the restaurant is. It has fresh fish, friendly chefs and a calming atmosphere. This is perfect for a night out with your family or friends. They have a sushi bar and two separate dining rooms, great for accommodating large parties.
Crab Hut 
Crab Hut is located off of Convoy in Kearny Mesa or in downtown. It is a Louisiana Seafood Kitchen restaurant that serves its seafood right on your table. You eat with your hands, wear a bib and chow down on king crab legs, crawfish, shrimp, clams and mussels. You also can enjoy a variety of beers that come from local microbreweries. This place is great for lunch or dinner. I recommend everything on the menu and come hungry because you get a lot of food!
The Living Room
The Living Room is my favorite coffee house; it is only a few miles from USD in Point Loma. It has a quiet, comfy, home-like atmosphere that is perfect for studying individually or as a group. I like studying here over the library because I can keep my coffee cup full. The staff is very friendly and welcoming. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a wide variety of coffee, food and desserts. It also has a large dog friendly patio, perfect for relaxing and people watching
Vin De Syrah 
Vin De Syrah is a spirits and wine parlor located downtown. It is one of the most unique places I have ever been. It is decorated in an Alice and Wonderland theme and has so much character from the minute you “try” and find the front door. This is an unforgettable date spot or night out with friends. It is the perfect place for trying wine and having a few appetizers. Most weekends they have a live DJ and some sort of special event going. Dress up nice!
The Fish Market
This is my favorite restaurant for a special occasion night. It has a few different sections including a sushi bar, oyster bar, cocktail bar and casual dinning area; they also have a fine-dining area on the second floor. Both floors have beautiful views of the bay and seating areas right on the water. Their food is the best; it’s fresh and full of flavor every time I eat there. I love that I can order seafood or pasta from the main kitchen or get some sushi rolls. You can even order fresh fish to cook at home!
Mexican Restaurants in Old Town
 Craving authentic Mexican food? You have to go to old town and try anyone of their many Mexican restaurants. This is a great place to spend an entire day, eating and shopping. Most of their restaurants that make their own tortillas have unique menus and offer a wide variety of imported beers and margaritas. I love having lunch in Old Town because each restaurant has a nice patio to soak up the sun. There are a lot of tourists, so I recommend going when you have friends and family in town. It is full of souvenir shops so they can stalk up on gear from you new town! It’s only a few miles from USD too!
Stone Brewery 
Stone Brewery is located about 45 minutes away from USD in Escondido. Even though it is quite further than any of the other restaurants I have recommended, it is by far the best restaurant I have found since living here. It is a microbrewery that was started here in San Diego and has grown quickly. You can take a beer tour, eat lunch or dinner, shop at the clothing store or walk around their beautiful garden. They serve American food with fun twist. They have a large menu to accommodate everyone’s taste buds and beer pairings to find that perfect blend.

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