With a 24hr taco shop on just about every corner in town, San Diegans know that they'll never go hungry when late-night cravings strike. But there are times when yet another Cali burrito just isn't going to cut it, so we're giving you five prime spots to sit down and satisfy any late night desire you might have, at least as far as food goes. Rudford's North Park There's nothing like tradition, and this place has been feeding SD since the '40s with daily specials like pot roast, roast pork, and sirloin tips. You can expect all of the standard diner food, but try your luck with the Big Nick, which is pretty much a burger tower made of 2lbs of beef patties, eight eggs, gravy, cheese and a 1/2lb of fries. If you can take it down in less than 30min, it's free, and they'll give you a t-shirt, but we all know you're in it for the glory.
The sign may say donuts, but that doesn't even begin to cover what this place has going on. Rose's has everything you could possibly want to binge on at 3am from BLTs, Polish sausages, and burgers to sticky buns, cookies, and loads of ice cream. Oh, and there are also donuts. Because not having them would be kind of crazy.
Tucked away in a totally random part of town, and located on the lot of SD's only movie/TV studio (you remember Silk Stalkings, right?), you'll find the staff at Studio Diner burning the midnight oil to bring you all the classic American diner fare, plus a menu section dedicated to dishes from the East coast, like Maryland crab cakes and clam rolls. So whether you're having a late-night hankering for lobster salad, a 1lb burger with the works, or a slice of warm Julian apple pie a la mode, they've got you covered.
If you worked up an appetite getting your groove on in the Gaslamp, Brian's is the spot to satisfy the late-night munchies of the downtown after-hours crowd. You can't go wrong with a full pound of pizza tots covered in chopped pepperoni, gooey mozzarella cheese, and their house-made marinara sauce or a peanut butter burger with bacon and American cheese after a night of dubstep and heavy drinking.
Night and Day Cafe
Coronado isn't the first place that comes to mind as having a happening nightlife scene, but the Night and Day Cafe is worth the drive over the bridge. Serving food until 1am during the week and 24hrs a day on the weekend, this place might be small, but there's a reason its been around for more than 80yrs. They cook the food on the grill right in front of you, so get a seat at the counter and take your pick from a combo of Mexican food and diner grub, offering breakfast anytime and a graveyard menu for hungry night owls.
It doesn’t matter if its 4am or 4pm, its always breakfast time at Brian’s 24. They’ve got everything from fried chicken and Belgian waffles, to Baja carne asada omelets and breakfast burgers. Brian’s is right off the lobby of the historic St. James Hotel Downtown, so you can waddle upstairs and find a place to sleep off your food coma after you polish off the Pancake Monster: three fried eggs, five hotcakes, four strips of bacon, two sausage patties, an 8oz ham steak, and an 8oz country fried steak on a bed of home fries.
Late-night you're always looking for massive portions and good food, and Studio Diner, named for its proximity to San Diego's sole movie/TV studio lot, is there to deliver. They are open 24hrs and serve traditional diner food alongside a dedicated East Coast-style menu that includes crab cakes, clam chowder, and other New England-y seafood treats.
In its current tight quarters since 1954, this Coronado cafe doles out both Mexican and American comfort foods until late, and 24-hours on the weekends (when you need carne asada, you need carne asada). The narrow rust-colored space has just three small tables buttressing one wall, a curved bar lined with stools and maybe a few chairs outside, but the motto isn’t “Not many seats. Just great eats.” for nothing. We’d suggest you air on the Mexican side of the menu (breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros, shrimp tacos) but if you go gringo on a Denver omelette, it’ll still satisfy.