One of the best things about San Diego is the diversity of our communities. And fortunately, that diversity extends to the eateries you will find around town. If you want to try some new cuisines from around the world, you have come to the right place. To take your taste buds on an adventure, start with these 10 best places for international food in San Diego:
1. Din Tai Fung: A world-renowned Chinese restaurant originating in Taiwan that specializes in soup dumplings and noodles. Best known for their Xiao Long Bao, which means “little dumpling in a basket.” These broth-filled dumplings, from the Jiangnan region of China, are steamed in a bamboo basket. Din Tai Fung offers a taste of Taiwan in San Diego. They have so much more to offer – their menu boasts delicious options like spicy wontons, dumplings, buns, and even vegan options. Visit them at UTC.
2. Awash Ethiopian Restaurant and Market: As the premier Ethiopian restaurant in San Diego, they strive to share their culture through their traditional dishes. On their menu you will find a variety of combinations and plates featuring injera (Ethiopian flatbread), tender beef, lamb and chicken – and plenty of vegetarian options – all with delicious herbs, sauces and seasonal spices to provide full Ethiopian flavors as well as being vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free friendly.
3. Bandar Persian Prime Restaurant: Craving Persian cuisine? Bandar Persian Prime Restaurant serves fine Persian dishes in an elegant setting. Bandar’s menu offers a classic variety of dishes, including their eggplant stew, koobideh, and hummus, world famous chicken, seafood, vegetarian and classic Persian specialties. All entrees are charbroiled and prepared with the freshest ingredients, while being low in fat but flavorful. Visit them in the Gaslamp Quarter.
4. Pomegranate: This Russian-Georgian restaurant brings Eastern European delicacies to Southern California. Pomegranate has a variety of culturally rich dishes. Favorites include beef stroganoff, cheese pie, Zakuski platter and desserts like honey cake. In addition to the food, many customers enjoy a truly unique eating experience as staff shares the background about the foods and customs.
5. Rock Steady Real Jamaican Restaurant: If you have not yet tried Caribbean cuisine, you will want to add Rock Steady Real Jamaican Restaurant to your list. Their menu features authentic Jamaican dishes including curried chicken and shrimp, jerk chicken, oxtail and beans, Jamaican jerk seasoning then grilled to perfection and more. A neighborhood gem, make sure to visit them in Grant Hill.
6. Cesarina: Owned by Italian natives, Cesarina serves up traditional, delicious Italian dishes, including fresh daily pasta. Their menu is a pasta-lover’s dream with the ability to choose your own shape, sauce and toppings. Plus, they have plenty of vegan options and dreamy desserts like cannoli and gelato. They make everything in house, so you know it is going to be good. The charming venue offers a mix of bistro-style tables and custom-built booths indoors alongside two dog-friendly garden patios for al fresco dining.
7. Puerto La Boca: Bringing you Argentinian and Italian fusion, Puerto La Boca is sure to be one of your new favorite establishments located in Little Italy. Argentina is famous for its high-quality grass-fed beef and if you have not tried it, Puerto La Boca is happy to introduce you to it. Keep it classic with pastas, choripan and wine or go with a seafood-inspired dishes. They also have live Latin music on Fridays and Saturdays to bring you an authentic ambiance.
8. Andres Restaurant: If you have never had the pleasure of eating Cuban or Puerto Rican cuisine, you will want to try Andres Restaurant. Offering the delights of the islands, the menu has many incredible choices: beef with rich sauces simmered with garlic, onions and spices; delicious chicken dishes enhanced with garlic and saffron; and seafood entrées prepared with authentic Caribbean ingredients and original recipes – all served with rice and famous black beans accented with side orders of fried plantains. Some of their most popular dishes include arroz con pollo, Cuban sandwiches, picadillo and of course, plantains. Make sure to save room for flan for dessert at the end of your meal.
9. Sabor Brazilian Grill: Get a taste of authentic Brazilian barbecue at Sabor Brazilian Grill. They pride themselves on slow cooking meats over an open flame and using the freshest local ingredients to create satisfying dishes The savory meats are enjoyed with fresh baked bread and crisp vegetables. Other favorites are picanha plate, crispy polenta, guava beef sliders and grilled pineapple. This traditional dining experience is genuinely one-of-a-kind and make sure to enjoy one of Brazil’s most famous desserts. Chocolate ganache and sprinkles!
10. Khyber Pass Zarparan: Khyber Pass Zarparan in Hillcrest strives to infuse their foods with the flavors and scents of their rich history and culture. It is an authentic family-owned restaurant serving the San Diego community for over 36 years. Their offering of Afghan and Persian cuisine includes beef koofta and lamb kabobs, chicken Cornish tandoori, stews and curry, sambosa and so much more.