Food & Drink

9 San Diego Restaurants With Free-Corkage BYOB

Published On 08/05/2015 Published On 08/05/2015
Cucina Enoteca
Table 926
Pacific Beach Fish Shop
Courtesy of Slater's 50/50
Erin Jackson/Thrillist
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1. Leroy's Kitchen + Lounge 1015 Orange Ave, San Diego, CA 92118

A departure from conventional Coronado restaurants, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge is committed to serving food that changes with the seasons, part of a larger promise to keep things fresh, local, and sustainable. This means that presumably simple plates like buttermilk cornbread are intensified with bacon bits and blackened jalapeño butter, while scallops surprise with escorts of truffle-braised cabbage and roasted cauliflower. In addition to seasonal cocktails, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge serves red and white sangria, whose fruity profile brightens the husky, earthy flavors of the food.

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2. Cucina Enoteca 2730 Via de La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014

This addition to Urban Kitchen’s ever-growing resto roster is a farmhouse-/equestrian-inspired Italian haven called Cucina Enoteca in Del Mar. It's one elaborate venue, with two impeccably appointed stories (pro tip: anything you see can be a hostess stand). The menu's deep, with fresh house-made pastas, pizzas, and their signature giant meatball smothered in marinara, which's best washed down with one of their Italian beers. When it's warm, hit the airy outdoor patio.

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3. CUCINA urbana 505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101

CUCINA urbana, a pizza and wine bar right off Balboa Park, is reliable for a long list of Italian classics: from short rib parpardelle to spicy shrimp Puttanesca tangled in angel hair pasta. The best time to come to the rustic-chic space, though, is during happy hour, for cheap cocktails and discounted pizzas. Doughy, sugar-powdered zeppole will leave you wanting more.

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4. Butcher Shop Steakhouse 5255 Kearny Villa Rd, San Diego, CA 92123

This Chicago-inspired temple of beef offers big hunks of charbroiled meet, waives corkage fees on Sundays and Mondays, and has half-price bottles on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so you best be making some early weekday dinner plans.

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5. Table 926 926 Turquoise St, San Diego, CA 92109

After presumably building 925 tables they just couldn't get excited about, a chef just off a stint at The Cosmopolitan and his UCSD med-school-pathology-professor pops created 926, a multiple-ethnicity-influenced, "upscale casual" eat spot featuring a Spartan, wood-floored dining room with one fluorescent-backed wall o' wine, one LED-lined brick wall, and a couple of others mostly just comprised of wall.

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6. PB Fish Shop 1775 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

PB Fish Shop serves up the fish of your choice in a variety of ways: fried, in tacos, on a platter, etc. And it's dog-friendly!

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7. Slater's 50/50 Liberty Station 2750 Dewey Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

50/50 boasts 50 flat screens and 111 taps, but the biggest draw's a burger made from 50% Sterling Silver beef and 50% ground Mohawk bacon. Try their award-winning "Peanut Butter and Jellousy Burger", which comes with vanilla freaking ice cream.

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8. Water Grill 615 J St, San Diego, CA 92101

This resto is heavy on seafood, and offers a shrimp bánh mì that you absolutely must try. Plump and juicy tempura-battered shrimp hangs with cucumber salad, daikon sprouts, pickled red onion, and sweet chili sauce on this non-traditional but totally tasty bánh mì sandwich served with house-made chips. Bonus: it also happens to be one of the most budget-friendly lunch or dinner items going.

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9. Flavors of East Africa 2322 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104

Tiled in black and white, and outfitted with plush, red booths, it'd be hard to pindown the cuisine on offer at this North Park restaurant upon first look. But maybe that otherworldly feeling is exactly what the proprietors are trying to evoke here, where east African food is introduced to new and repeat diners in the former of Jungle fries (thick-cut fries topped with seasoned ground beef, shredded cheddar cheese, and African salsa), short beef ribs in gravy, and oxtail slow cooked in African spices. You may not have known what it was at first, but the combination of salty, spicy, and herb-rubbed flavors will ensure you get familiar with them now.