Treat yourself to lunch or dinner at the best Southern California restaurants. There are so many great restaurants in Southern California. There are also quite a number of “not so good” restaurants. We hope to help you select places to dine that you will enjoy.
We think you will delighted you with the food, service, and ambiance at these establishments. We’ve eaten at these restaurants and return whenever we can. There are lots of dining choices, but these are establishments that you do not want to miss.
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San Diego Restaurants
George’s at the Cove is a great restaurant in La Jolla, California, which is located in the San Diego area. The Outdoor Terrace Bistro offers casual dining overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Visit for lunch or dinner. Enjoy fresh ocean breezes, fine food, and the most spectacular views you can image. This romantic restaurant is the perfect setting for a magical evening. Call ahead for reservations and ask for a table next to the window. Time your reservation so that you will be dining as the sun sets. You can’t beat the view of the sun sinking into the ocean.
Bertrand at Mister A’s
This San Diego restaurant has amazing views. It’s located in the downtown area. Every time I ride the elevator to the top floor, I’m amazed by the panoramic views of the city. The outdoor balcony wraps around 3 sides of the building. The casual elegance, gourmet food, and great service all make for a great evening. Mister A’s is the place to go for a romantic dinner or to celebrate a special event. They serve both lunch and dinner.
This is the place to for “Out-Of-This-World” desserts. Everything looks and tastes amazing. They have two locations. I prefer their Fifth Street location near Balboa Park. It’s an intimate setting, more romantic. Their second location on Union Street also serves foods such as paninis and salads. Don’t go to San Diego without visiting Extraordinary Desserts.
This Italian restaurant is located in a strip mall in Temecula. We accidentally stumbled into a fabulous restaurant. The first time we ate at Gourmet Italia, we were surprised by the quality of the food. The food is authentic Italian food. The owner, Alex, is from Italy. Many of the servers are relatives. Everyone is friendly and service outstanding. It’s a cozy little restaurant with a romantic ambiance. Whenever we are in Temecula, we head here for excellent Italian food.
Cafe Champagne is a romantic restaurant located at the popular Thornton Winery. It’s a terrific choice for either lunch or dinner while visiting the Temecula Valley. The food is supurb, service great, and ambiance is romantic and relaxing. They often have live music. We can enthusiastically recommend this great restaurant as a terrific place to dine for lunch or dinner.
The Restaurant at Ponte
What a wonderful Wine Country Restaurant! This restaurant is part of Ponte Winey. It’s the perfect place to dine outdoors with a view of the beautifully landscaped gardens. You’re surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards. It’s hard to beat the exceptional food and outstanding service at Ponte. They have live entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 5:30.
Cafe Zack Restaurant
Enjoy gourmet cuisine is this restaurant located in downtown Ventura. The restaurant is housed in a former 1930s cottage. The ambiance is romantic and intimate. Service is friendly and attentive. This is the place to go to enjoy a leisurely meal. Best of all, the food is fantastic. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss the Zack’s Pie, which is chocolate ganache with caramel sauce. We highly recommend Cafe Zack!
K’ya Bistro has a terrific location in the heart of Laguna Beach by the beach. It’s located inside the Casa Camino Hotel. They serve Mediterrean inspired small plate dishes. The food is exceptional and prepared using quality fresh ingredients. The food is reasonably priced. Go during their Happy Hour from 4:30-5:30 for special dining and drink deals. Sit on their rooftop bar to enjoy the ocean view or a spectacular sunset. This is one of the unique Southern California restaurants that is fun to visit again and again.