The 10 Best Restaurants In San Diego's Balboa Park

Photo of Talitha Duncan-Todd
9 February 2017

Enjoy great food in San Diego’s Balboa Park, which is central to the main attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Air & Space Museum, and San Diego Museum of Art’s May S. Marcy sculpture garden. Take a look at the ten best restaurants in Balboa Park, California.

© Michal Osmenda/WikiCommons

Albert’s Restaurant

Located in Lost Forest in the heart of the San Diego Zoo, Albert’s offers full-service dining where you can enjoy open-air deck seating overlooking a private waterfall. The menu features a variety of unique dishes: seafood specialties, beef and chicken entrees, healthy pastas, pizzas, exotic salads, sandwiches, and a children’s menu. Their full-service bar offers an extensive selection of craft beers, fine wines, and exotic cocktails. Albert’s Restaurant is open for lunch and summer evening dining.
2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 685 3200

Steamed rice | © Anna Frodesiak/WikiCommons

Casa 1915

Restaurant, Mexican
Casa 1915 Mexican Grill is located in the beautiful Casa de Balboa building shared with MOPA, Model Railroad Museum and San Diego History Center. Casa 1915 offers fresh local pastries, gourmet coffee, featuring a horchata latte and customized burritos, bowls and salads. You can design your own burritos, rice bowls and salads with the quick service at the restaurant. Here, there is a child-friendly menu and plenty of vegetarian options.

The Alaska Airlines Flight Path Grill

At the San Diego Air & Space Museum is an outdoor restaurant featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, salad and more. Enjoy your meal at a picnic table or covered cabana. The Alaska Airlines Flight Path Grill has some of the best chocolate chip cookies in San Diego, and they have a coupon so you can get one free with your lunch purchase. Even better, treat yourself to their nachos and ice cream whilst visiting the museum.
2001 Pan American Plz, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 234 8291

Chocolate chip cookies | © Kimberly Vardeman/WikiCommons

Home Plate Bar & Grill

Bar, Cafe, American
Chicken tikka
Chicken tikka | © Umair Mohsin/WikiCommons
This sports-themed grill located in the Hall of Champions Sports Museum offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, paninis and snacks named after some of San Diego’s greatest athletes. There is a cool and comfortable indoor dining area with flat-screen TVs and outdoor benches for guests who like to order their meals to-go. Beer and wine service is available as well. The Home Plate cafe is the perfect place to come watch your favorite sports teams, enjoy one of their 20 beers on tap, or indulge in their Happy Hour specials.

Panama 66

Panama 66 focuses on locally sourced, handcrafted food and drink, from salads and sandwiches to seasonal cocktails and more. Brought to you by the team from the award-winning Blind Lady Ale House and Tiger! Tiger! tavern, the bar features over a dozen purely local craft beer taps.
1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 696 1966

Salad | © Fir0002/WikiCommons

The Prado at Balboa Park

Restaurant, Mediterranean, American, Fusion, $$$
The Prado, an award-winning, full-service restaurant located in the House of Hospitality, offers charming indoor and outdoor dining. The unique decor blends the historical aspects of the House of Hospitality and whimsical accessories inspired by the park’s museum collections. The diverse cuisine includes an array of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and imaginative entrees. The lounge combines a lighter menu with a wide variety of margaritas, sangria, beer, wine and other beverages. Join during the selected Happy Hours for the best deals on the menu.

Village Grill

The Village Grill, located on the corner of Village Place and Old Globe Way, serves hotdogs, hamburgers, soups and other fast food items made on-site. Visitors can enjoy casual dining here and people watching at the tile-decorated tables under shady umbrellas. They have revamped the menu to serve Famous Angus burgers, delicious freshly prepared sandwiches and a new gourmet menu that includes salmon and chicken marsala.
1770 Village Pl, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 702 2428

© Matt Biddulph/WikiCommons

Rare Form

Bar, Deli, American, $$$
Deli sandwiches get a gourmet twist at this eatery, Rare Form, which shares the same address as the adjacent Stone Brewing Tap Room’s downtown location. Plush leather banquet seating, subway tiles, a marble tabletop and aged wooden chairs help to further elevate the dining scene at this neighborhood spot.

Piacere Mio

Better lighting, more uniform table seating, and a modern vision of a classic European-style cafe gives the place a complete image of coziness. The Piacere Mio kitchen churns out lots of handmade pasta, in good portions, and at fair prices. The build-your-own section is five pastas and nine of your favorite sauces (bolognese, ortolana, pesto, etc.), suitable for all tastes. They do plenty of ravioli, and one particular type is stuffed with smoked salmon and served with a saffron sauce, which looks phenomenal.
1947 Fern St, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 794 2543

Spaghetti Vongole | © ayustety/WikiCommons

Sabertooth Grill

Sabertooth Grill at Elephant Odyssey is leading zoo dining into a new era, focusing on fresh Californian cuisine using cutting-edge service concepts. Featuring fresh ingredients from local farms, the menu offers delicious entrees that are mindful of environmentally sensitive initiatives in support of the community, promoting sustainability. The offerings, ranging from their Peterson Farms salads, wraps, and unique sourdough burgers to a Jidori Farms chicken rice plate and fresh fruit salads, result in a meal as noteworthy as the breathtaking exhibit the restaurant overlooks.
2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 760 747 8702

Cheeseburger | © Beau96080/WikiCommons

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