The Best Outdoor Dining in San Diego

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Enjoy dining at its finest at these San Diego restaurants where you can eat outside and enjoy the views

Dining al fresco with kids in tow gives your fam more space to spread out while eating outside in a relaxing atmosphere (not to mention the occasional cry or scream is quickly drowned out by the open space). From beautiful San Diego skyline views and spacious patios to urban villages and public markets with roomy outdoor seating, we’ve found something for every taste. Save this article and get ready to discover a new favorite restaurants with outdoor patios in San Diego.


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Herb & Sea

Herb & Sea, located in Encinitas, has unveiled an 1,800-square-foot, bi-level patio built atop their former parking lot. Named for the iconic North County beach just a block away, The Moonlight Deck seats close to 100 diners, creating a magical outdoor dining destination amidst twinkling string lights and ocean breezes. The Moonlight Deck aims to transport guests to the rambling beaches of Cape Cod complete with ramshackle sand fencing and elegant striped umbrellas.

131 W D St.
Encinitas
Online: herbandsea.com

North Italia

North Italia is a modern Italian eatery best known for its artisanal, hand-crafted Italian cuisine. Committed to providing only the freshest ingredients, the chefs take pride in bringing a wholesome, nutritious meal to families and their loved ones in San Diego and beyond, including fresh, handmade pasta and pizzas. With two locations in San Diego, North Italia offers great al fresco dining perfect for a delicious lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch.

North Italia at Fashion Valley
7055 Friars Rd.
San Diego

North Italia at One Paseo
3715 Caminito Ct. Suite 680
San Diego
Online: northitalia.com

Little Italy’s Open-Air Dining Experience

Head out to Little Italy to dine al fresco. India Street will be closed and transformed to allow dining rooms to expand into the street. There are many restaurants to choose from and the list is expanding so check the website. Two of our family faves are Mimmo’s and Filippi’s Pizza Grotto.

Mimmo’s
1743 India St.
San Diego

Filippi’s Pizza Grotto
1714 India St.
San Diego

Online: littleitalysd.com

Serẽa at Hotel del Coronado

Serẽa is a sea-to-table concept that boasts an expansive two-tiered patio complete with incomparable views. The restaurant has an expansive outdoor patio and amazing ocean views that are almost as good as the food.

1500 Orange Ave.
Coronado
Online: sereasandiego.com

Homestead Solana Beach

Homestead Solana Beach’s concept features market staples, scratch-made sandwiches and salads, and a curated selection of beers and wine. An open space perfect for families, they have a menu just for kids that has something every kid will love.

346 S Cedros Ave., Ste B
Solana Beach
Online: homesteadsolanabeach.com

Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar

Known for their Mexico City-style tacos, mariscos, and shared plates, Puesto’s location at the Headquarters at Seaport Village allows for plenty of space for dining in with kiddos. The family-owned restaurant with brightly-hued decor has everything to keep both parents and kiddos happy. Their ice cream tacos for dessert will have the littlest taco aficionados raving. 

789 W. Harbor Dr.
San Diego
Online: eatpuesto.com

Rusticucina in Hillcrest

Farm-to-neighborhood eatery located on Park Boulevard, Rusticucina, has a great al fresco patio where diners can sit down and enjoy Sicilian-crafted cuisine featuring pizzas, flatbreads, and in-house pasta. Great for families, there is a kids’ menu that includes Cheese Ravioli, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Crispy Chicken Tenders, and Cheese Pizza. Guests can also bring their dogs to the outdoor patio to enjoy a special pet menu.

3797 Park Blvd.
San Diego
Online: rusticucina.com

Park 101 Carlsbad

A community hot spot! Whether you want to order up at the fast-casual food line or grab and go at the market, add in a drink from the bar and it’s time to eat. The large downstairs open area space dubbed the garden pub has a kids’ play area and dogs are welcome too. Come earlier on the weekends as you may need to line up and wait to get in.

3040 Carlsbad Blvd.
Carlsbad
Online: park101carlsbad.com

One Paseo Urban Village

This village is open for fun! Everyone has choices of what to do and eat at the One Paseo urban village in Carmel Valley. From Shake Shack and Tender Greens to Susie Cakes and Salt & Straw you’ll find plenty of food and fancy desserts—makes for a perfect family date spot. Grab food and sit outside with your half-pints in the middle of the village. Save time to check out all the cute shops.

3725 Paseo Pl.
San Diego
Online: onepaseo.com

Liberty Public Market

We love spending time in the Point Loma neighborhood and outdoor dining at Liberty Public Market makes a great pit stop with kids. Whether it’s a Maine lobster roll or Mastiff sausage you crave, you can wash it all down with a local craft beer. Kids can dig into an array of cuisines from mac ‘n cheese to macarons. There’s a grass area, boat, and fountain to keep everyone engaged and having fun.

Point Loma
2820 Historic Decatur Rd.
San Diego
Online: libertypublicmarket.com

Gravity Heights

Good food, good brew, and a patio with pretty lights and fireplaces is what to expect at Gravity Heights in Sorrento Valley. Little ones have a special area to play out back. Order up the dirty fries with brisket and bacon-wrapped dates with a local cold brew and you have yourself a date night with the fam.

9920 Pacific Heights Blvd.
San Diego
Online: gravityheights.com

IsaBella Artisan Pizzeria & Craft Beer Garden

Relax by the outdoor fire on the bright red couches while your little ones play around you. Grab a nice glass of wine or beer on tap to celebrate the end of the week. Then, chow down the sausage bomb or pepperoni pizza and finish off with a delicious dessert. Enjoy the sparkling lights, good friends, and family fun.

Clairemont Neighborhood
4011 Avati Dr.
San Diego
Online: isabellapizzeria.com

My Yard Live

The indoor/outdoor family-style restaurant is part park, part upscale beer garden and it features live entertainment, a treehouse for kiddos to play in, a playground with stump jumpers and a log climb-through, lawn games, air hockey, an 80s combo arcade, and so much more entertainment for the whole crew. Even Fido is welcome on the scene, which is reminiscent of a fantasy backyard oasis.

288 Rancheros Dr.
San Marcos
Online: myyardlive.com

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

This unbeatable backdrop is only bested by the relaxing vibe and delicious food and drinks. Kids can run and play in the expansive garden while you sip craft and specialty beer. If your littles have a sophisticated palate, they’ll appreciate the elevated kids’ menu.

1999 Citracado Pkwy.
Escondidio
Online: stonebrewing.com

Tender Greens

Eat healthy and happy. For one thing, the kids’ meal includes a quesadilla, steak, chicken, or grilled cheese, fruit, and mashed potatoes. (That should keep them busy!) Each location has a nice outside patio such as a hydroponic garden or a wood deck. Check out the location near your neighborhood. Enjoy a nice lunch with the crew on the outdoor patio.

Multiple locations: Mission Valley, La Jolla/UTC, Point Loma, Downtown

Online: tendergreens.com

Cannonball

Sushi on the beach! You’ll find 9,400 square feet of fireplaces and lounge seating, plus a perfect ocean view. Order up the lobster rolls and firecracker rolls while having a drink. For little ones, there’s a kids’ meal with choices like grilled cheese and chicken tenders. Enjoy the good food and the beach view.

3105 Oceanfront Walk
Mission Beach
Online: cannonballsd.com

C Level

Take in the breathtaking views while eating at C Level’s over-the-water back deck. Dine on lobster or steak on fire salad and add in Carlsbad mussels for appetizers. Little eaters can go with the mac n’ cheese or kid filet mignon depending on their appetite. Everyone wins with the service and scenery. Stroll the gorgeous town of Coronado when you’ve finished your meal.

880 Harbor Island Dr.
San Diego
Online: cohnrestaurants.com

CUCINA enoteca

Kids get a kick out of watching the pasta-making process before dining al fresco on the outdoor patio while taking in the charming character of this new Italian eatery. Good to order are the short rib pappardelle or the spaghettini with large shrimp on top. Half-pints dig the make-it-yourself pizza off one of the best kids’ menus in San Diego.

Flower Hill Promenade
2730 Via De La Valle
Del Mar
Online: urbankitchengroup.com

Coasterra

Sit outside eating modern Mexican cuisine with a panoramic view of the San Diego skyline. Whether it’s the grilled local fish Vera Cruz or Puerto Nuevos-style lobster you crave, you’ll find it here. The little eater menu is simpler with items like corn dogs, chicken tenders, quesadillas, and tater tots. Even more, they’ll enjoy the big kid sundae for dessert.

Harbor Island
880 Harbor Island Dr.
San Diego
Online: cohnrestaurants.com

BO-beau kitchen & Garden

With a school bus and outdoor chalkboard keeping little ones busy while the rest of the fam relaxes, this good-sized outdoor patio makes for a perfect evening. Bo-beau uses sustainably sourced ingredients to make their dishes like flatbread pizza and their famous Brussels sprouts. Everyone will enjoy this outdoor evening out.

8384 La Mesa Blvd.
La Mesa
Online: cohnrestaurants.com

Pacific Coast Grill

Hit the beach! Pacific Coast Grill has an upscale but laid-back vibe. It’s a truly perfect outdoor patio for a family date night or celebrations where you can eat well and have fun. To start, request a ground-level patio table so that littles can play in the sand while you enjoy the sweeping ocean views. Even more, if it’s high-end seafood you’re craving, then this is your place. From lobster rolls to coconut crab-crusted Mahi Mahi, the food is fresh and yummy. Plus, there’s a nice kids’ menu to feed their little tummies.

2526 South Coast Hwy. 101
Cardiff
Online: pacificcoastgrill.com

Beeside Balcony

Catch the waves! Eat outdoors with a partial ocean view in this Del Mar restaurant. Lunch on gyros and end with the delish baklava ice cream cake. Also, they accommodate kiddos with faves like chicken and pizza. Depending on the weather, the balcony has both shade and heat lamps. 

1201 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar
Online: beesidebalcony.com

Urge Gastropub and Common House

Clocking in at 61,000 square feet, you’ll find plenty of room to move around this brew house. Also, with two outdoor patios, there’s time to enjoy the San Diego sun. Moreover, half-pints can run, play checkers, sandbag toss and win at the giant Jenga game. All while you enjoy the bar food, like bleu cheese sliders, grilled salmon, and cheesy fries with a pint of local craft brew. Plus, there’s a kids’ menu too.

255 Rebel Rd.
San Marcos
Online: urgegastropub.com

 

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