40 NEW RESTAURANTS AND BARS THAT HAVE OPENED IN SAN DIEGO

Having a tough time keeping up with all the new dining options? Welcome to the Opening Report, a curated roundup of recent restaurant openings big and small across San Diego. We begin 2024 with a collection of fresh spots that will be regularly updated; revisit last year’s extensive lineup here.

Did we miss a spot? Drop a note at the tipline and we’ll consider it for the next update.

JUNE 12, 2024

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS— The owners of Breakfast & Bubbles have rebooted and rebranded the restaurant into XOXO Retro Neighborhood Diner, bringing nostalgic vibes to the 3,000-square-foot space, which is now open for dinner Monday through Saturday and serving a throwback menu that includes shrimp scampi, steak au poivre, a French dip, caviar-topped deviled eggs, and a fried “blooming” onion. The daytime options from Breakfast & Bubbles, from fresh doughnuts to a breakfast burger, are still being offered at brunch which runs Friday through Sunday. 3831 Park Boulevard.

MIRA MESA— After temporarily shuttering in March, the award-winning Menya Ultra Ramen has reopened its Mira Mesa location. With other outposts in Clairemont Mesa and UTC and a central kitchen where the company makes its noodles and soups, the returning restaurant is continuing to offer its relaunch special — $3 off all ramen from June 14 through June 17 — and will be featuring other discounts on Father’s Day. 8141 Mira Mesa Boulevard.

CHULA VISTA— LA’s legendary Randy’s Donuts has added a second store in San Diego. Operated by local franchisee Emlio Támez, the shop will stock the brand’s broad array of classic and deluxe doughnut flavors as well as Randy’s Rounds, aka giant doughnut holes, and beverages including boba milk tea, coffee drinks, and milkshakes. The new Chula Vista branch will be unique in that it will also serve desserts made with frozen treats from Sadie’s Handcrafted Mexican Ice Cream, the nearby scoop shop also owned by Támez. 3001 Bonita Road, Suite 200.

NORTH PARK— Two Kurdish doctoral students are behind this buzzy coffee shop, dessert bar, and tea house whose menu extends beyond the standard coffee and espresso drinks to feature Kurdish chai made from a blend of black tea, saffron, rose buds, and cardamom, which can be served in a traditional Kurdish teapot for those sipping on-site. In addition to custom cakes, Muri is filling its pastry display with a rotating selection of desserts including pavlovas, opera cakes, and Paris-Brest. 2528 University Avenue.

SORRENTO VALLEY— Craving some more KFC (Korean fried chicken)? Prolific South Korean chain BHC Chicken has landed in San Diego, serving up chicken tenders, wings, thighs, drumsticks, and more flavored with different sauces and seasonings along with fried chicken sandwiches and sides like cheese balls and cheese twists. The menu also includes Korean comfort food dishes including kimchi fried rice and spicy whelk salad paired with assorted fritters. 9450 Scranton Road, Suite 112.

JUNE 4, 2024

KENSINGTON— Bringing casereccio-style, aka homemade, Italian cuisine to the former Cucina Sorella space, Trattoria Da Sofia is run by a group of young entrepreneurs — Mario Liga, Sofia Lo Cascio, Andrea Carbonaro, Giancarlo Guttilla, Giuseppe Lo Coco, Sebastian Berho, and Franco Mestre — who all have hospitality backgrounds. With decor meant to transport diners to the streets of Italy, the restaurant offers a daily 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. happy hour and a dinner menu that includes homemade meatballs, fried burrata, short rib-stuffed ravioli, and ossobucco. 4055 Adams Avenue.

UTC— In addition to Little Italy’s Swagyu Burger & Butcher Shop and a new burger bar in La Mesa that also pours cocktails, chef Steve Brown is now serving up his signature smashburgers via a Swagyu Burger outpost inside the Westfield UTC dining terrace. The food court branch’s menu features the Swagyu smashburger as well as an American wagyu patty option and the El Swagador, a 1/2-pound burger topped with thick-cut pork belly, smoked grilled onions, and housemade pickled serranos. Sides include steak fries, onion rings, and sweet potato waffle fries. 4545 La Jolla Village Drive.

NORTH PARK— Lou’s Deli is the companion sandwich shop to standout neighborhood bar Happy Medium. Currently open on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the grab-and-go spot stocks cocktails, wine, beer, and slushees while its menu focuses on East Coast favorites like the NYC bodega classic, a chopped cheese, and chicken or eggplant parm sandwiches. There’s also Japanese egg sando on milk bread, a Waldorf chicken salad wrap, a breakfast hoagie stuffed with eggs, sausage, bacon, tater tots, cheese, pickled jalapeno aioli. 2940 Lincoln Avenue.

LOGAN HEIGHTS— Chimpum Callao is a newish mom-and-pop shop at Otto Square Shopping Center with a focus on Peruvian food. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the restaurant offers a daily changing menu that might include traditional dishes like lomo saltado and arroz con pollo along with Peruvian-style ceviche, soup, and desserts like picarones, a Peruvian fritter made with squash or sweet potato and drizzled with sweet syrup. 3582 National Avenue, Suite 3.

EL CAJON— With an extensive menu that spans from all-day breakfasts like Spam or Portuguese sausage and eggs to plates of katsu chicken, kalua pig, and loco moco, Dalu Hawaiian BBQ has arrived in East County. On top of pineapple beef burgers, pork lumpia, and garlic shrimp, the restaurant also offers value meals, pairing three musubis or a teriyaki bowl with a drink for $12.99. 2451 Jamacha Road.

APRIL 22, 2024

MISSION VALLEY— Another location of Gravity Heights has opened in Mission Valley. Designed with Tulum vibes, the breezy space pours beers produced at the brewpub’s flagship in Sorrento Valley and serves a similar menu that includes favorites like dirty fries and wings and some new additions from culinary director Ryan Johnston and executive chef Jordan Beall (Neighborhood) like a homemade pretzel and enchiladas filled with birria braised in their own Baja Sol Mexican Lager. 525 Camino De La Reina.

LA JOLLA— With locations across Mexico, including Mexico City and Tijuana, La Corriente Cevichería Nais has launched its first stateside location in downtown La Jolla. Known for its mariscos, the restaurant serves a menu that includes some of its more popular Mexican seafood dishes, including red snapper tostadas, mixed seafood ceviche, shrimp aguachile, soft shell crab tacos, and larger plates like whole grilled fish and octopus zarandeado. 456 Pearl Street.

NORTH PARK— The Seventh House has been rebooted into a Roman trattoria that’s currently serving dinner, with lunch and weekend brunch to come. Cacio E Pepe features its namesake pasta plus the three other iconic Roman pasta dishes — amatriciana, carbonara, and the lesser-seen gricia — on a menu that also includes crispy artichokes, Roman-style pizza, and entrees ranging from chicken saltimbocca, eggplant parmesan, and fried seafood. 2835 University Avenue.

SAN MARCOS— Located adjacent to the Links golf course, Lakehouse Resort at Lake San Marcos has refreshed its all-day restaurant into Brickmans. Upgrades include a remodeled dining room with more lounge seating, new TVs on the heated patio, and an elevated menu from executive chef Jarrod Moiles (Rancho Valencia) that includes a Reuben-inspired egg Benedict, a truffle burger, salmon piccata, and a half-chicken cooked under a brick and served with heirloom carrots, mashed potatoes, chicken jus, pickled onion, and frisee salad. 1025 La Bonita Drive.

LITTLE ITALY— Farmer’s Table co-founder Vincenzo Loverso has turned his long-running brunch spot into a new mostly Italian restaurant dubbed Vincenzo Cucina & Lounge. Still serving daily breakfast as well as weekend brunch, the menu includes daytime eats like wagyu steak and eggs, a zucchini blossom frittata, and banana French toast while dinner options feature pasta dishes finished in different cheese wheels, from fettuccini alfredo in a wheel of parmesan to bucatini carbonara swirled in aged pecorino. 550 W Date Street.

APRIL 15, 2024

PACIFIC BEACH— OMG Hospitality has replaced Backyard Kitchen & Tap on Garnet with a third location of Union Kitchen and Tap, its gastropub and sports bar with existing outposts in Encinitas and the Gaslamp. The 6,000-square-foot space has ample seating and a main bar boasting multiple TVs that will remain open until 2 a.m. Hosting live music on Thursdays and a DJ on Fridays, the venue offers a menu that includes prime bone-in ribeye and shrimp and grits for dinner and chicken and waffles, and egg-topped flatbread for weekend brunch. 832 Garnet Avenue.

MISSION VALLEY— AMP&RSAND, the redeveloped Class A campus that encompasses the former Union-Tribune building and features on-site amenities like a full-service fitness center and outdoor meeting spaces, includes a cafe from Bradley Schnell, who also operates Superbloom Café at Mission Bay Beach Club. Cushman & Wakefield leased the space to Therapie Bistro and Wine Bar, which roasts its own beans for an array of coffee drinks and serves a menu ranging from fresh pastries and breakfast toasts to salads and specialty items. 350 Camino De La Reina.

KEARNY MESA— A South Korean chain that recently landed at the H Mart food court specializes in soondae, or blood sausage, a favorite street food snack. This branch of Moobongri Soondae serves up plates of soondae and boiled pork along with spicy soondae soup and bowls of beef brisket and spicy pork neck bone soup. The H Mart food stall offers take-home meal kits of gopchang, or beef intestine, which is a popular meat for Korean barbecue. 7725 Balboa Avenue.

NORTH PARK— Birrieria Enriquez is a small, friendly spot revolving around Sonora-style birria, offering bowls of birria, quesabirria tacos, birra tortas, and birria ramen. The straightforward menu also includes menudo as well as cabeza tacos and tortas and a variety of savory and sweet tamales. 2041 University Avenue.

SORRENTO VALLEY— Located within Thai Test Kitchen is a new mostly-dessert cafe called Yummy Thai. It serves savory Thai-style burgers, including a satay chicken burger and green curry beef burger along with acai bowls, bubble tea, and trendy bubble waffles filled with homemade ice cream. The cafe also makes custom cakes topped with fresh coconut or foi thong, a Thai dessert made from strands of egg yolk cooked in sugar syrup. 10184 Telesis Court.

APRIL 2, 2024

UTC— The Amalfi Llama has arrived at the Collection at UTC. A partnership between Eureka! Restaurant Group and the Mexico City-based Grupo Carolo Hospitality, the 152-seat restaurant has a large outdoor patio with firepits and a kitchen anchored by a live fire grill and wood-fired oven. The eclectic menu includes prime and wagyu steaks, pizza, pasta, and more while the full bar features variations on a classic negroni. The restaurant is currently open for dinner nightly, operating until 1 a.m. on weekends. 4575 La Jolla Village Drive.

COLLEGE AREA— A fast-casual chain that’s been recognized by Food & Wine magazine for making some of the best biscuits in the U.S. has landed near SDSU, with more locations on the way for the San Diego area. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken offers scratch-made buttermilk biscuit sandwiches filled with breakfast ingredients or fried chicken along with sides like cheddar tots or grits. Orders can be placed online or via kiosks in the restaurant, with pickup available from heated food lockers. A grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, April 13, when 10 percent of sales will be donated to nearby Clay Elementary School. 6364 El Cajon Boulevard.

CORONADO— The newest food option at the Hotel del Coronado is the Laundry Pub, which has opened inside the property’s historic Laundry Building, first built in 1919. The casual spot serves pub fare like Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, buttermilk fried chicken paired with pecan and bacon waffles, and crispy gochujang-pork belly bites as well as a tap list highlighting local breweries. The family-friendly space also includes interactive games, including billiards, foosball, shuffleboard, and retro arcade games. 1500 Orange Avenue.

UTC— The Alley, a famous Taiwanese bubble tea chain with hundreds of locations across the globe is continuing its expansion in San Diego with a new shop near See’s Candies at Westfield UTC and another outpost opening next month in Mira Mesa. Slow-cooked in brown sugar syrup, its boba is featured in its most popular drink, the Brown Sugar Deerioca Milk which also comes flavored with matcha, cocoa, and ube but the vast menu also includes favorites like the Strawberry Mochi Smoothie and Mango Purple Rice. 4545 La Jolla Village Dr STE E-5.

MISSION HILLS— Trust Restaurant Group has rebranded and reopened its sidewalk scoop shop adjacent to its Italian restaurant, Cardellino. Now called Wild Child Ice Cream, the walk-up window is open Tuesday through Sunday with a menu of nostalgic, chef-created flavors that include mint chip, malted chocolate brownie, lemon meringue, and tie-dye, a colorful sorbet made with fresh raspberries, pineapple, and orange. 4033 Goldfinch.

MARCH 18, 2024

MISSION VALLEY— Dave’s Hot Chicken continues its march across San Diego with a new outpost in Mission Valley. The Los Angeles-based chain, which began as a late-night pop-up and counts multi-hyphenate artist Drake among its major investors, is aiming to blanket the country in Nashville hot chicken. Its menu features spicy chicken tenders and sliders in combos with fries and kale slaw with optional sides like mac and cheese and cheese fries. 2075 Camino De La Reina.

CARLSBAD— The all-day Parakeet Cafe has planted its 13th location in Southern California. The new North Countyrestaurant from owners Carol Roizen and Jonathan Goldwasser serves breakfast bites, waffles, and toasts along with soups, salads, and larger plates like grain bowls and sandwiches. Known for its superfood lattes made with the cafe’s own coffee blend, the counter-service spot offers an array of breads and pastries, including gluten-free options, from bakery director Quentin Collignon, formerly of Breadblok and Bottega Louie. 1935 Calle Barcelona, Suite 176.

CHULA VISTA— National City standout Mujer Divina has opened another branch of its burrito and coffee house in downtown Chula Vista. Chef Priscilla Curiel, who will also be bringing her acclaimed Tuetano Taqueria and a new breakfast shop next door, specializes here in grab-and-go burritos filled with her famous birria as well as machaca ranchera, frijol con queso, and papa con chorizo as well as an extensive menu of coffee drinks including cafe de olla, Mexican mochas, and churo lattes. 218 3rd Avenue.

SOUTH PARK— The neighborhood’s former Moose Lodge has been transformed by the team behind the Buona Forchetta family of restaurants into an event space and wedding venue that can accommodate up to 180 guests for a reception dinner. Meraki also functions as a traditional restaurant and bar, with a menu of shareables like empanadas, charcuterie boards, and flatbreads paired with cocktails from SPK Bar Hospitality that includes shochu martinis, spritzes, and sherry cobblers made with seasonal produce. 1648 30th Street.

HILLCREST— Hokkaido chain Baikoken Ramen has landed in the former Menya Ultra Ramen space. Based on a stock made from pork and chicken bones as well as dried fish and seaweed, the restaurant offers miso, salt, and, shoyu ramen bowls filled with curly noodles and toppings like chashu, soft-boiled eggs, and butter and corn. Side dishes include karaage, takoyaki, fried gyoza, and Hokkaido croquettes. 690 University Avenue.

FEBRUARY 23, 2024

LA JOLLA— Replacing Mermaids & Cowboys in the village is Aldea, a modern Mexican restaurant from La Jolla native Steve Horowitz. Currently open for dinner, with weekend brunch starting in March, the 3,200-square-foot space serves a menu created by executive chef John Villalba, an alum of New York City’s Tavern on the Green, and Las Vegas chef consultant Alex Reznick, who competed on season seven of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Beat Bobby Flay” on the Food Network. The lineup includes ceviche and aguachile as well as bone-in short rib birria and crispy pork belly. 1251 Prospect Street.

HARBOR ISLAND— The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina recently unveiled the first of several new food and drink offerings coming to the property. The 186-seat Rumorosa is an elegant Cali-Baja restaurant and bar whose dining room offers marina views through its floor-to-ceiling windows and an all-day menu from chef Cesar Oceguera that includes churro pancakes for breakfast, street tacos for lunch, and family-style plates like whole roasted local fish and 24-ounce grilled bavette steaks for dinner. The full bar mixes up inventive cocktails and pours Mexican beers along with wine from the Valle de Guadalupe. 1380 Harbor Island Drive.

KEARNY MESA— Following its late 2023 arrival in Mira Mesa, major Taiwanese chain Sunmerry Bakery has just rolled out its second San Diego area location. Its vast selection of bread, pastries, and desserts features Asian specialties ranging from pineapple cakes and bolo buns flavored with barbecue pork or Nutella to mango mousse and matcha tiramisu cakes, with drink options like boba tea and fruit smoothies. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., this new outpost will be offering customers 10 percent off their entire order from now until its grand opening. 7951 Othello Avenue.

DOWNTOWN— A long-dormant restaurant space was recently filled by Istanbul Doner Kebab. Its mainly Turkish menu of beef or chicken doner kebabs served with rice or in a sandwich or a wrap also features doner burgers and grilled T-bone steaks, with beverages ranging from traditional Turkish coffee to pomegranate juice and pistachio milkshakes. The establishment also makes its own desserts, including cookies, cakes, and ice cream. 531 Broadway.

LEMON GROVE— Kansas City barbecue has landed in East County, courtesy of the Barn House BBQ. The restaurant, which features arcade games and a pool table, offersslow-smoked menu features plates of barbecued beef ribs, chicken, and pork ribs served with sides ranging from smoked beans to coleslaw along with pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, and smoked meat-topped nachos and tacos. 8099 Broadway.

FEBRUARY 15, 2024

LITTLE ITALY— Local dynasty Busalacchi Restaurants (Barbusa, Nonna, Zucchero) has launched Lala, its latest restaurant and cocktail bar, in a stylish and intimate space that’s open daily at 5 p.m. Executive chef Nino Zizzo’s menu ranges from caviar blinis and steak tartare to Italian dishes like cioppino and veal parmigiana while the drink list from Antonio Gonzales includes housemade limoncello and barrel-aged cocktails like an Italian Old Fashioned. The ownership team — brothers PJ, Joey, and Michael Busalacchi and cousin Vince — plan to eventually offer late-night service on weekends. 1919 India Street.

MISSION VALLEY— Rise and Shine Hospitality Group (Breakfast Republic) has launched a new cafe in the Rio Vista Shopping Center near its daytime restaurant Mission Valley Breakfast Company. Featuring house-roasted beans, Ox Coffee offers an extensive beverage list that includes coffee and espresso classics as well as flavored lattes and blended frappes. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., the menu also extends to matcha drinks like iced strawberry matcha. 8590 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite B. 8590 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite B.

KEARNY MESA— A Taco Bell has been transformed into another outpost of Angry Pete’s Pizza. Retaining the original drive-thru window, the restaurant does its signature Detroit-style pizza with variations like animal-style cheeseburger pizza and bacon mac & cheese pizza along with classic round pizzas and other snacks like Detroit Coney dogs, quesabirria tacos, and chicken wings. 335 Overland Avenue.

MISSION VALLEY— Serving the same menu as its branches in the Gaslamp and Seaport Village, the newest outpost of Spill the Beans opens daily at 6 a.m. With indoor and outdoor seating, the all-day restaurant is known for its California-style bagels paired with a variety of spreads or used for hearty egg-based breakfast sandwiches. Other options include chia pudding bowls and sandwiches as well as coffee, tea, and specialty lattes. 525 Camino de La Reina.

OCEAN BEACH— A vendor from the Ocean Beach farmer’s market has graduated to its first storefront. Chicken Over Rice Co. cooks up a streamlined Mediterranean menu that features build-your-own rice bowls, salads, and pita sandwiches with protein options of chicken or chickpeas and toppings that include cucumber salsa, garlic sauce, and tzatziki. 1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd Suite-E.

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