Food & Drink

How to Eat Your Way Through 12 Countries Without Leaving San Diego

Eat around the world without leaving town.

It’s easy to get spoiled in San Diego -- not only do we have year-round near perfect weather, miles of beaches, and the best beer scene in the nation, but you can eat your way around the world without ever leaving the city. Of course, these days it’s a lot more difficult for everyone, what with in-house dining off the table, so to speak, for the foreseeable future. So right now it’s vitally important to continue supporting our community of international cuisines with continued business via pickup and delivery options. We’ve taken the guesswork out by rounding up a dozen of our favorite places for your global dining pleasure, and as always, tip generously and thank profusely.

Argentine: Puerto la Boca

Little Italy
Argentina’s long-standing love affair with beef is on full display at Puerto la Boca, dominating the lion’s share of the menu. But you can also find plenty of Italian influence in their broad range of pastas and Milanese specialties. Start with empanadas filled with beef, chicken, or spinach and cheese or some plump morcilla and chorizo sausages with a simple basket of bread and chimichurri sauce before you move onto the big guns. Go for the full quiver with Parrillada El Convetillo -- a combination of short ribs, skirt steak, chicken breast, chorizo, morcillo, mollejas (sweetbreads), and sides is more than enough for two. No need for a second stop for beverages, either, since wines and beer are 50% off. 
How to order: Pickup and delivery is offered daily from 11:30am-8:30pm

Chinese: Shan Xi Magic Kitchen

Just north of the better known Sichuan Province is Shaanxi, where the cuisine makes use of uncomplicated ingredients, elaborately prepared. Pork is preferred over beef, offal is prevalent, and spicy and complex flavors dominate. But the stars of Shaanxi cuisine are hand-pulled noodles, thick as a belt and almost as long. Biang biang noodles -- the name comes from the sound they make as they’re slapped on the counter and hand ripped -- is simplicity itself, broad noodles topped with ground chili oil and a soy-based sauce. Noodles also appear in soups, with cumin-scented beef, and in a tomato and egg sauce. 
How to order: Pickup is offered Monday through Thursday from 11am-3pm and 5-9:30pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am-9:30pm and Sunday from 11am-9pm.

Ethiopian: Muzita Abyssinian Bistro

University Heights
You’ll love everything you try at Muzita Abyssinian Bistro, but where it really shines is in the vegetarian/vegan dishes, such as hamli, sauteed collards, and spinach served over a soft spongy sourdough crepe called injera, which also doubles as a plate and an eating utensil.
How to order: Pickup or delivery is offered Monday-Thursday from 5-10pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am-11pm, Sunday from 11am-10pm

French: Bistro Du Marché

La Jolla
If you’ve been craving a bowl of lobster bisque or some crepes Suzette, Bistro Du Marche has all the fancy-pants French delicacies you desire. Get a big bang for your buck with traditional cassoulet, cannellini beans, saucisse de Toulouse, and duck leg confit slow simmered into melting goodness, or go for a Parisian-style croque monsieur with baby greens. Save room for dessert -- Julian apple tarte tatin, drizzled in caramel sauce with a side of vanilla ice cream,  will give you a satisfying sweet finale. Bottles of wine are available at a discounted price. 
How to order: Pickup is offered Tuesday through Sunday from 11am-7:30pm (final orders are taken at 5pm)

Georgian: Pomegranate

University Heights
Given its location at the nexus of Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Georgia’s cuisine features a fusion of elements from nearly all of its surrounding areas. Pomegranate’s has a temporary menu that still includes its best and most popular items, including nutrient-packed borscht or adjaruli khachapuri -- eggs and cheese baked into a small, boat-shaped bread. Comfort food essentials like potato-cheese pierogies, pelmeni, golubtsi, and Georgia’s beloved lamb stew will make you feel as warm as a bebia’s hug. 
How to order: Pickup or delivery is offered Thursdays from 5-8:30pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3-8:30pm

German: Kaiserhof German American

Ocean Beach
Bring your appetite because Kaiserhof German American is going to fill your plate and then some. You could easily make a meal of starters like weinbergschnecke (escargot) or kasespatzle, but then you’d miss out on all the schnitzels (veal, pork, and calamari), wursts (brat, knock, bauern, and zigeuner), and paprikash, with soup or salad and two choices from more than a dozen sides. 
How to order: Pickup or delivery is offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5-10pm, Friday and Saturday from 11:30am-10pm and Sunday from 11:30am-9pm

Italian: Cesarina

Point Loma
When you’re yearning for Italian comfort food, look no further than Cesarina. The restaurant’s pastificio churns out more than a dozen shapes from simple spaghetti to ripple-y mafalde, then pairs them with your choice of nine sauces. Homemade organic focaccia with mortadella, burrata, artichokes, and pistachio is a must-have appetizer. Save room for tiramisu or cannoli for dessert. There’s a quartet of family-style meals and almost any menu item can be veganized. 
How to order: Pickup or delivery is offered daily from 4:30pm-8:30pm, and 100% of profits go to working staff in addition to hourly wages

Lebanese: Mama’s Bakery and Deli

North Park
Mama’s Bakery and Deli serves up all your favorite Lebanese staples like wara’ eneb (stuffed grape leaves) and foul mudammas (fava and garbanzo stew), freshly baked pitas stuffed with soujouk (spicy Armenian sausage) and combination plates piled with marinated chicken or beef, rice, hummus, salad, and pita bread. 
How to order: Pickup or delivery is offered daily from 11am-8pm

Mexican: Oscar’s Mexican Seafood

Pacific Beach
Picking one Mexican restaurant in San Diego is like picking your favorite song -- dang near impossible. But Oscar’s holds a special place in our hearts because, well, fish tacos. You can’t do much better than Oscar’s classic battered fish or shrimp tacos, or grilled if you must. But there’s also that amazing smoked fish taco, various ceviche options, tortas, meal-sized salads, and a trio of breakfast items. 
How to order: Pickup is offered at Oscar’s two Pacific Beach locations only, Sunday through Thursday from 8am-9pm, Friday and Saturday from 8am-10pm

Peruvian: The Latin Chef Liberty Station

Point Loma
After closing his popular Pacific Beach restaurant of the same name early in 2019, chef Tony Kanashiro wasted no time in securing a space in the trendy Liberty Public Market just a few months later, keeping nearly all of his most crowd-pleasing dishes. You can’t go wrong with saltado, a traditional Peruvian dish that incorporates seafood, chicken, or tofu in a stir fry with a side of rice or tallarin, which subs pesto pasta for the rice. Wash it down with chicha morada, Peru’s beloved beverage, traditionally prepared by boiling purple corn, pineapple peels, green apple, cinnamon, sugar, and cloves. 
How to order: Pickup is offered daily from 12-6pm

Thai: Supannee House of Thai

Point Loma
Supannee House of Thai’s extensive menu is wildly popular, and fortunately, most of it is still available for pickup. Seafood dishes are the specialty of the house, particularly pad ped, or seafood sauteed with plenty of garlic, Thai eggplant, red and green peppers, krachai, green peppercorns, Thai chili, and basil in a coconut milk/chili sauce. If you enjoy duck, you need the choo chi duck, which is Maple Leaf Farms-roasted duck in an aromatic sauce of galangal, lemongrass kaffir lime, and coriander. Mango with sweet sticky rice is the only dessert offered, because it’s the only one you’ll need. 
How to order: Pickup is offered daily from 4-8pm.

Vietnamese: Mignon Pho + Seafood

Ocean Beach
When you need a break from the stress of shelter in place, nothing beats a big bowl of steaming pho. Mignon Pho + Seafood keeps it simple with slow-cooked broth, delicate and subtle, filled with your choice of meat, garnished with onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, and fragrant herbs. Or go for a cool, refreshing vermicelli salad featuring thin rice noodles, lettuce, sprouts, cucumber, mint and peanuts, seasoned with salty-sweet nuoc cham. 
How to order: Pickup and delivery is offered daily from 11am-10pm

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Mary Beth Abate is a San Diego-based freelance writer by way of Chicago and Los Angeles. Her hobbies include yoga, pickling various vegetables, reading cookbooks, and drinking fabulous gin. Keep up with her experiments @MaryBeth_Abate.