We left some things in 2022, but not these restaurants. Last year, San Diego saw many culinary debuts, and we had our plates full with dining options.
We’ve collected 10 great restaurants our city welcomed last year. This is just a small taste of all the places that opened in 2022 — it’s not too late to try them all.
🫕 Kingfisher, Golden Hill
Last year was off to a tasty start when Kingfisher opened its doors in January to offer Southeast Asian flavors with an emphasis on Vietnamese cuisine. The restaurant certainly had a kingly year, receiving a spot in the Michelin Guide California and appearing on Bon Appétit’s “50 Best New Restaurants 2022.”
🍜 formoosa, Kearny Mesa
In late February, Steamy Piggy in the Convoy Asian Cultural District introduced formoosa — its sister restaurant. The menu offers Taiwanese-inspired dishes like soups, noodles, and beef rolls, and the eatery earned quite a buzz. It was Yelp’s second-most reviewed restaurant in the US last year.
🌮 Go Go Amigo, Liberty Station
When this restaurant opened last March, it gave locals something to taco ‘bout. The bright, comfortable eatery offers a menu packed with Mexican-inspired meals and cocktails, making it a great spot for Taco Tuesday and Happy Hour. Plus, if your best amigo has four legs, the eatery is dog-friendly.
🥧 HIGH-pie, Oceanside
In May, “Top Gun” fever returned to San Diego with the release of “Top Gun: Maverick,” but the month also welcomed a pie shop in the exact cottage that was used as Charlie’s house in the original film. Inside you’ll find pastries and memorabilia that will take your breath away.
🥃 Part Time Lover, North Park
This cool spot is one part record store and one part bar, so it fit perfectly in North Park when it opened its doors in June. The hifi bar is centered around music — so feel free to grab a drink and relax — but there won’t be any loud shakers or blenders to interrupt the tunes. If you’re looking for a different buzz there’s also a selection of coffee and pastries from Heartwork Coffee.
🍳 Coco Maya, Little Italy
Looking for Latin American or Caribbean-inspired flavors? You may need to visit Little Italy. When this rooftop restaurant opened in July, it brought a menu full of drinks and dishes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — and a dining room that’s super Instagrammable.
🍹 Mothership, South Park
In August, this bar launched with an interplanetary theme, tropical drinks, and a vegan menu. The cocktail lounge is the second project from Kory Stetina, owner of KINDRED, and it’s an immersive, out of this world experience. Every corner will make you feel like you’ve boarded a spaceship — even the bathrooms.
🔥 Hell’s Kitchen, Valley Center
San Diego’s culinary scene was hot as Hell in August, because that’s when Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen restaurant debuted at Harrah’s Resort Southern California. This is the chef’s third location in the US, featuring a menu of signature dishes — but you’ll want to make a reservation before you go to Hell.
🍚 White Rice Bodega, Normal Heights
Award-winning local chef Philip Esteban brought his Filipino cuisine to a stall at Liberty Public Market in 2021, but in September 2022 he opened this stand-alone restaurant. The eatery specializes in savory rice (aka silog) bowls and giving back to the community. With its 1FOR1SD initiative, each meal sold will provide a meal through a local hunger-relief organization.
🥥 Lime in the Coconut, Chula Vista
In December, this tropical-themed restaurant opened to give its fresh take on cuisines from island nations like Hawaii, the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, and the Caribbean. The food is complemented with themed cocktails curated by Snake Oil Cocktail Co., but the location also has a secret. There’s a speakeasy next door — but you’ll need to make a reservation before x-periencing it.