Food & Drink

The Best Places to Sate Your Munchies in San Diego

Published On 04/20/2016 Published On 04/20/2016
chicken lollipops at The Crack Shack
The Crack Shack | Monica Hoover
Courtesy of Slater's 50/50

Slater's 50/50

Liberty Station (& other locations)

"Dude, but, like, how did they get the mac & cheese inside of the balls?"

Natalie Holtz/Thrillist

Cheba Hut

Pacific Beach (& other locations)

First: the White Widow (an immaculate chicken ranch sub). Then: the Captain Crunch/Fruit Loops bar. Then: listening to The Dark Side of the Moon while watching The Wizard of Oz.

Monica Hoover

The Crack Shack

Little Italy

This relatively new spot from Jon Sloan and Richard Blais (hahaha, Blais! Blaze, Blais, blaze...) in Little Italy offers everything from fried chicken, to a twist on poutine, to incredible off-menu ice cream sandwiches. 

Courtesy of The Cravory

The Cravory 

Point Loma

Pancakes, bacon, and a cookie... as one. You can find this baby carried at different locations all over SD.

Courtesy of BASIC


East Village

Mashed potatoes, bacon, and pizza... also, as one.

Baltimore Snowball

San Marcos

"I don't know what you are, but I'm going to f*cking eat you, too." Relevant and wise words from Alex in Grandma's Boy regarding this delicious shaved ice and sandwich spot off the 78.

Betty's Pie Whole

Betty's Pie Whole


You could get an un-baked pie to take home and bake yourself (that's a thing here), but emphasis on the word "could," because dealing with ovens < watching Planet Earth right now.

Erin Jackson/Thrillist

Soda & Swine

Liberty Station (& other locations)

Not just a place for fried pizza knots, but apple pie, as well. And for that cotton mouth, a beer float. A BEER FLOAT.

Jasmine Seafood Restaurant  

Kearny Mesa

Not dim sum. Dim all. You should probably hit up Dumpling Inn (in the adjacent shopping center) at some point, too.

Sara Norris/Thrillist

Carnitas' Snack Shack

North Park

It's a shack of snacks! And you will have ALL of the snacks today. And what is that monstrous snack above, you ask? Oh, just the Triple Threat Pork Sandwich.

StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee

North Park

These guys deliver hot chicken donut sandwiches all over San Diego if, understandably, you can't deal with lines and people right now.  

Courtesy of Donut Bar 

Donut Bar


You guys, there's a donut with a Pop-Tart in it. You guys...

Courtesy of Rita's


Mission Hills (& other locations)

"Dude, like, what is custard, anyway?" 

Sara Norris/Thrillist

Phileas Foggs

Scripps Ranch

If you can find an angel to drive you to Scripps Ranch (good luck), order the wings. And maybe the fried artichoke hearts. And crispy spring rolls. And... 

Sara Norris/Thrillist

The Baked Bear

Pacific Beach

It seems we and this bear have something in common. 

Courtesy of ¡Salud!


Barrio Logan

Try the ceviche, churro(s), and a few tacos, and hit up Border X Brewing afterwards (sit outside on the picnic tables under the ambient lighting for the chillest of vibes).

Erin Jackson/Thrillist


Ocean Beach

As if there's anything on Hodad's menu that wouldn't be good on 4/20... but that double bacon cheeseburger is just one of those things you have to get.

Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream

Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream

North Park (& other locations)

Stop it. STOP LICKING YOUR SCREEN. Also know Hammond's will be getting its very own Point Loma location very, very soon.

Lighthouse Ice Cream

Ocean Beach

No one is judging you if you eat fish tacos at South Beach, and a whole hot waffle ice cream sandwich by yourself, OK? Stop being so paranoid.  

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1. Slater's 50/50 2750 Dewey Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

Slater's 50/50 is a burger restaurant with a serious mission: providing San Diegans with burgers made from 50% ground beef... and 50% ground bacon. This unique burger patty is truly an explosive experience for you taste buds, and one that you likely haven't come across before. Slater's is also known from its selection of local and regional craft beers-- the ultimate burger accessory.

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2. CHEBA HUT 6364 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115

Cheba Hut is, believe it or not, a cannabis-themed and inspired restaurant that opened in 1998 by an ASU graduate with a habit for getting the late night munchies. The menu boasts over 30 signature toasted sandwiches, a variety of Rice Krispy treats, salads, and all the snacks you could ever want to munch on while, um, "under the influence." Plus, they have a variety of what they call "cotton mouth cures," simply put, a ton of craft beers. First: the White Widow (an immaculate chicken ranch sub). Then: the Captain Crunch/Fruit Loops bar. Then: listening to The Dark Side of the Moon while watching The Wizard of Oz.

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3. The Crack Shack 2266 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

It doesn't matter which came first at San Diego's The Crack Shack: both the chicken and the egg are taken to new heights via an affordable, fast-casual menu featuring chicken & egg sandwiches, fried chicken served with scratch-made sauces, and specialities like Schmaltz-fried fries, biscuits with miso maple butter, and matzo ball posole. The outdoor spot is recognizable by a giant rooster statue, surrounded by a patio filled with group-friendly tables.

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4. The Cravory 3960 W Point Loma Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110

At The Cravory, you can be sure that all of your cookie needs will be met. This Midway bakeshop specializes in wacky flavors made just the way you like 'em: each cookie is at once soft with a gooey center and perfectly crispy edges for a truly satisfying treat. Flavors range from sweet Salted Caramel Cream, citrus shortbread, and toffee coffee, to savory options like a pancake and bacon flavored cookie.

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5. Basic 410 10th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

This trendy East Village pizzeria and brewpub is serving pizza that's anything but basic: pies are super fresh and anything-but-simple. The quirky "Mashed" pie with mashed potatoes, bacon, and mozzarella, is a favorite. Converted from an old warehouse, this space boasts a 5,000 square foot lounge and restaurant, will a full bar and an open-air setup.

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6. Baltimore Snowball 148 W El Norte Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92026

Escondido's Baltimore Snowball specializes in shaved ice snowballs done Baltimore Style--piled high with toppings and with over 50 flavors to choose from. Create your own or try a delicious and refreshing combo on the menu such as The Elvis with chocolate, peanut butter, and Wonder Bread. Either way, you can't go wrong with any scoop of hand dipped ice cream topped off with way more than just a cherry.

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7. Betty's Pie Whole Saloon 155 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024

Betty's Pie Whole Saloon doesn't accept the notion that pies are for dessert only: Boyd's Break-The-Fast Pie gives you your morning fix of eggs, potato, turkey bacon, and more. Another solid choice, the Field Hand has cheddar cheese, broccoli, and chicken -- all wrapped in a handheld dough pocket for lunch on the go; and for a more robust Italian meal, Mama Jo's Meatball Pot Pie fills you up with turkey meatballs, house-made marinara, and three kinds of cheese.

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8. Soda & Swine 2750 Dewey Rd #104, San Diego, CA 92116

Soda & Swine offers indoor and outdoor dining in a stylish industrial chic space. For eating and drinking, they have an extensive bar (where you can get a beer float) and a menu full of small plates, such as meatballs, fried pizza knots, soft-serve ice cream, and pies. The outdoor patio is equipped with heat lamps and overhead lighting.

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9. Jasmine Seafood Restaurant 4609 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

Your run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurant this is not. Jasmine offers authentic Cantonese-style fare that would fit right in in the heart of Hong Kong in a hip Mesa East locale. Its extensive menu specializes in seafood (hence the name) but they also offer a diverse array of dishes to satisfy any taste for any meal of the day. Dim sum brunch makes Jasmine's a popular spot to hit up on weekends.

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10. Carnitas' Snack Shack 2632 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104

At Carnitas' Snack Shack, just about everything is influenced by pork, from the menu of bacon-heavy fare to the big black pig that sits atop the roof. In true southern California fashion, 100% of the seating is in an outdoor area out back that's shaded by umbrellas and wooden roofs. The space includes a spacious bar serving up wine, beer, and snacks (also pork-focused) like chicharrones and pork belly.

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11. StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee 4002 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

This hip counter service spot in North Park serves exactly what its name claims it does, but with loads of unique varieties of each. Sweet and savory mash-ups make up the bulk of the menu; "The Southerner," a split cinnamon sugar doughnut sandwich with fried chicken, a fried egg, and maple glaze, is a prime example. Intelligentsia coffee and fountain sodas on tap are also available.

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12. Donut Bar 631 B St, San Diego, CA 92101

This Cortez Hill bakery is open from 7am to whenever they sell out, so get there early; you don't want to miss your chance at treats that have most of San Diego lining up outside the door. The menu changes daily but includes vegan and non-vegan options like buttermilk bites, Creme Brûlée donuts and Maple Bacon cinnamon rolls. Coffee and espresso drinks are also on order for when you do claim your spot first in line at 7am.

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13. Rita's of Mission Hills 768 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103

Flavored Italian ice, custard, and gelato are what's on order at this Cali mini chain's outpost in Mission Hills. Fresh, made to order cherry, blue raspberry and lemon frozen ices and "mistos" (Rita's take on the smoothie) are the perfect antidote for beating the heat and Rita's custards, in a variety of classic flavors and toppings, are rich and creamy delectable treat.

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14. Phileas Foggs 11385 Poway Rd, #100, San Diego, CA 92128

Phileas Foggs of Scripps Ranch offers traditional British fare like fish and chips, shepherds pie and Irish stew, as well as English meat pies, sausage rolls and scotch eggs. PF is best known, though, for its wings— try the spicy BBQ or garlic salt and pepper. Drinks options are equally solid: PF has well over 200 imported and craft beers and the 20 tap direct draw system has a high emphasis on local craft, specialty and one off production draft beers.

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15. The Baked Bear 4516 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

Serving up waffle ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes, and other its-summer-somewhere treats, The Baked Bear is a Pacific Beach eatery (and mobile food cart!). Lucky for us, it's open late-- 'til 2am Thursday through Saturday. Don't leave without trying its signature menu item: an ice cream-filled donut. Pick whatever ice cream you want and they will cram it into a donut, then stick the whole thing in a hot press so you get a warm donut pocket full of cold, creamy ice cream.

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16. Salud San Diego 2196 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113

This compact taco shop in Barrio Logan serves a small but diverse selection of tacos topped with tangy dips from the lauded salsa bar and paired with craft beer. The move here is to order at least three tacos, ensuring that one is the Taco de Barrio, which features stewed beef, black beans, and cactus in a handmade flour tortilla. Sides like fire-roasted corn with lime, queso fresca, crema, and chile complete Salud's Mexican street food-inspired menu.

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17. Hodad's 945 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101

A legendary burger dive, Hodad's has been serving face-sized burgers and even larger milkshakes to San Diego locals since 1969. You can choose to order your burger in mini, single, and double sizes, but be sure to pile on extras like cheese, bacon, and pastrami. The beachy interior is decked out with surfboard tables, memorabilia, and license plates. You'll likely have to wait in line, but it'll be time well spent.

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18. Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream 3077 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104

Hammond's is a spacious neighborhood ice cream shop scooping up over 90 rotating sweet and savory flavors. Sample the goods with an ice cream flight: order between three and six different flavors served in mini cones on their own stand. Peanut Butter Guava Jelly, Kona coffee, blueberry cheesecake and vanilla rose make a solid pairing.

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19. Lighthouse Ice Cream 5059 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107

This popular ice cream stand in Ocean Beach offers a huge variety of malts, cones, sundaes, yogurts and sorbets, not to mention an extensive list of creative toppings. If you’ve got a real sweet tooth order the Big Olaf Special—it’s a lot, but death by a double scoop waffle cone sundae with whipped cream, nuts, a cherry and your choice of topping is not a bad way to go. Heads up: the spot is cash only.