15 Best Budget Restaurants in San Diego

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Source: Prayitno

If you’re asked “what’s your favorite food?”, your answer must be various. But what if “how affordable is your favorite food?”, give it to San Diego. This county has plenty options of affordable foods and beverages with high quality. If you stroll around this county, you should pay a visit to one of the restaurants. Yeah, there are so many of them. So, here are 15 best places to eat in San Diego and the best thing of all is they are pocket-friendly.

1. Phil’s BBQ


Source: missbossy

Who would reject a portion of juicy barbecue? If you go to a premium restaurant, you need to spend lots of money to get this mouth-watering menu. If you go to Phil’s BBQ, you will get recommended barbecue menus with more affordable price. Many people really love the newest menu from the restaurant, Phil’s sausage sandwich for $6.95 only. It has pepper jack cheese and cole slaw. Then, there are freshly chopped onion and homemade BBQ sauce. For a dinner, you can pick Full Beef Rib with 5 bones for $24.95.


  • Name: Phil’s BBQ
  • Address: 3750 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110
  • Phone: 619-226-6333
  • Opening hour: 11am-10pm
  • Website: https://philsbbq.net/
  • Price range: $2.95 – $24.95

2. Kono’s Cafe

There are many kinds of people living in San Diego. One of them is the Hawaiian. If what you about Hawaii is something tropical and you want to feel it, you need to go to Kono’s Café. This place is really famous, especially for budget travelers who want to taste the very flavor of Hawaii with affordable price. Can you imagine the juicy pork is made into a pancake? This place makes this one! A plate of pancakes bacon and scrambled egg for $6.25 only. For a big breakfast #1 and #2, you need to spend $7.50 and $7.95. Yes! All menus in this place are under $10!


  • Name: Kono’s Cafe
  • Address: 704 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
  • Opening hour: 7am-3pm
  • Website: http://www.konoscafe.com/
  • Price: under $10

3. Filippi’s Pizza Grotto

If you love Italian dishes but you can’t find one that has the real taste, it’s time for you to go to Filippi’s Pizza Grotto. In San Diego, there are three branches you can find in India St, Friars Rd, and Garnet Ave. It has made the best pizza and pasta with the real Italian touch since 1950. There are high quality brewed wine and beer too to accompany your lunch and dinner. For wide ranges of menu this place has, every menu will be between $11-$30.


  • Name: Filippi’s Pizza Grotto
  • Address: 1747 India Street San Diego, California 92101
  • Phone: 619-232-5094
  • Opening hour: 11am-10pm (Sun-Mon), 11am-10:30pm (Tue-Thu), and 11am-11:30pm (Fri-Sat)
  • Website: http://www.realcheesepizza.com/
  • Price range: $11 – $30

4. Las Quatro Milpas

Las Cuatro Milpas might be small on its building size. Yet, you should never underestimate the fans from this restaurant. Come at lunch hour and you’ll see the crazy line queueing for the affordable and real taste of Mexican foods. You need $10 for two! There are the real and homemade tacos, burritos rice and beans, tamales, and tortillas. For the meat variations, you can pick pork, chorizo, or chicken. All menus are really wonderful. If you never wish to meet the line, you should come earlier.


5. El Pescador Fish Market

Seafood can always satisfy everyone’s starving tummy. For the just-caught seafood menu in San Diego, you can just count on El Pescador Fish Market. You can buy the fresh seafood or you can alsways get it cooked with their special ingredients. You should try the fresh char-grilled menu, including the calamari steak with lemon butter. For the sandwich portion, it’s 9.95, the salad is $13.95, and the plate portion is $16.95.


  • Name: El Pescador Fish market
  • Address: 634 Pearl St, La Jolla, CA 92037
  • Phone: 858-456-2526
  • Opening hour: 11am-9pm
  • Website: http://elpescadorfishmarket.com/
  • Price range: $35 for two

6. The Mission Restaurant

San Diego is very close to Latin American culture. That is why you can find many places to eat with Latin American menus. One of them is The Mission Restaurant. This one brings an affordable and child-friendly concept. The most favorite from this restaurant is Zen Breakfast. It’s a plate of scrambled egg white with brown rice, braised tofu, and veggies. Besides, you can also choose Desayuno Burrito for the breakfast. It’s tortilla with the fillings from eggs, beans, potatoes, and chipotle cream.


  • Name: The Mission Restaurant
  • Address: 3795 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109
  • Phone: 858-488-9060
  • Opening hour: 7am-3pm
  • Website: http://www.themissionsd.com/
  • Price range: $11 – $30

7. Oscar’s Mexican Seafood

San Diego culture is really close to Mexico’s. So, no wonder you can find many Mexican restaurants all around this county. If you’re craving for pocket-friendly Mexican food but you need the one with high quality, you need to try Oscar’s Mexican Seafood. The portions? Don’t worry. You’ll be satisfied with the giant size portion of tacos filled with avocados, meat, and cheese. If you want the avocados get doubled, you can pay 50 cents more. It’s all under $10 for each piece!


  • Name: Oscar’s Mexican Seafood
  • Address: 746 Emerald Street, San Diego, CA 92109
  • Phone: 858-412-4009
  • Opening hour: 8am – 9pm (Sun-Thu) and 8am-10pm (Fri-Sat)
  • Website: http://www.oscarsmexicanseafood.com
  • Price range: under $10

8. Hash House A Go Go


Source: kennejima

Make sure you’re in your appetite when you visit Hash House A Go Go. It’s a modern diner serving fresh twisted farm food menus in a giant portion. Come at breakfast or brunch hour and you will get salmon, meatloaf, and corned beef all served in a la carte! Taste also its traditional homemade buttermilk or the blackberry granola. For your lunch or dinner, you should take one-pound burger with bacon and mashed potatoes on your plate. This place is definitely the one that will not make you in a rush to go go.


  • Name: Hash House A Go Go
  • Address: 3628 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
  • Phone: 619-298-4646
  • Opening hour: 7:30am–2pm, 5:30–10pm
  • Website: http://www.hashhouseagogo.com/
  • Price range: $25 for two

9. CUCINA Urbana

If you want to eat in a place where modern and rustic designs are mixed beautifully, CUCINA Urbana is the one you’re looking for. It’s an Italian restaurant that does not provide only high quality Italian dishes but also gourmet wine. You will love this place and stay longer. There are two styles you can pick for the dining, either the traditional or family one. Whether you eat with your friends or families, its pizzas, Stuffed Fried Squash Blossoms and wine are perfect for your meal time. You can bring home some items in this place but you should be quick otherwise it’ll never be yours.


10. Hodad’s

Have you ever bought a burger and you felt disappointed? Cure your tummy with a one-of-a-kind burger from Hodad’s. This place is really famous for its juicy burgers with giant portion! The highest price for its menu is on its Double Bacon Cheeseburger in a basket with full onion rings! For this speechless treat, you only need to pay $14.75! For the beer, the Micro-brew Draft is only $6. So, what are you waiting for? Go grab your burger now! Tip: beware the insane waiting line!


  • Name: Hodad’s
  • Address: 5010 Newport Ave, Ocean Beach CA 92107
  • Phone: 619-224-4623
  • Opening hour: 11am-10pm
  • Website: http://hodadies.com/
  • Price range: under $15

11. Papa Luna’s Empanadas

Where can you find the best Empanada in San Diego with the most valuable price? Go get to Papa Luna’s Empanadas and try its best empanada in town! By paying $3.95, you will get a portion of empanada de choclo. Choclo is a dish mixing fire-roasted pepper, sweet corn, and cotija cheese. To get more perfect taste, add some chimichurri so you have a stronger taste on your empanada. This place is the best one for getting snacks between work hour if you are not ready enough to get on the heavy menu.


  • Name: Papa Luna’s Empanadas
  • Address: 1404 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
  • Phone: 858-255-8875
  • Opening hour: 11am-3pm
  • Website: http://papalunas.com/
  • Price range: under $5

12. Napizza

When people are talking about pizza, they would prefer having pepperoni or tuna as the topping. What about chicken? Many people have different thoughts on it. If you feel doubt with Italian restaurants out there, come to Napizza San Diego and prove to yourself. The organic chicken used as the topping makes the pizza incomparable. Don’t forget to add more toppings from cherry tomatoes, homemade basil, and tangy goat cheese.


  • Name: Napizza
  • Address: 1702 India street, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Phone: 619-696-0802
  • Opening hour: 11am-10pm
  • Website: http://www.na-pizza.com
  • Price range: $11 – $30

13. Bronx Pizza

Bronx Pizza is one of Italian restaurants in San Diego you should take into account. Its Bronx Deluxe is a wow. You will get a pizza topped with sausages, pepperonis, onions, garlic, mushrooms, black olives, and green peppers. It’s only $20. The good news is this is the most expensive menu from this place. For an 18-inch whole cheese pizza, it’s only $14 with so many toppings choices. For each topping, you need to add $1.75. This simple restaurant has pizza which taste is not as simple as it looks.


  • Name: Bronx Pizza
  • Address: 111 Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103
  • Phone: 619-291-3341
  • Opening hour: 11am-11pm
  • Website: http://bronxpizza.com/
  • Price range: under $15

14. Blue Water Seafood


Source: Alan Levine

When you go to San Diego, exploring Mexican-style restaurants is your obligation. There are plenty of them and all of them serve in their own way. For the fresh seafood or fish tacos, Blue Water Seafood is the answer. You can choose your own additional sauces, including bourbon butter, lemon butter, teriyaki, lemon-garlic butter, bronzed, chipotle, and blackened. You can decorate your own tacos with these sauces. It all starts from $5 and you will get the gourmet tortillas and tacos with the homemade sauces.


  • Name: Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill
  • Address: 3667 India St, San Diego, CA 92103
  • Phone: 619-497-0914
  • Opening hour: 11am-10pm
  • Website: http://bluewaterseafoodsandiego.com/
  • Price range: $25 for two

15. Regents Pizzeria

After strolling around a mall in La Jolla, what else you can do besides looking for the best lunch? Near the mall, you can find Regents Pizzeria. It’s a busy pizza restaurant serving pies and pizzas with various toppings. This place is number one for the pies. Yet you should pick the thick-cut bacon menu. On top of it, you will get toppings from homemade spices, and shishito peppers. Beware the peppers! They are much spicier than peppers you find in other eateries.


  • Name: Regents Pizzeria
  • Address: 4150 Regents Park Row #170, La Jolla, CA 92037
  • Phone: 858-550-0406
  • Opening hour: 11am-00:00
  • Website: http://www.regentspizza.com/
  • Price range: under $30

Drooling already? Now go get your favorite menu from these budget restaurants. These places are highly recommended for your meal times. People love them. So you might probably meet the waiting lines for some eateries. You can just pick which kind of restaurant you need. Snacks? Pizzas? Tacos? Seafood? San Diego has all this stuff!

Have a good trip and travel!

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North America, San Diego County, State of California, U.S.A.