Best Casual Restaurants in San Diego

Exotic casual dining options for San Diego

Ara Lebanese Food

San Diego’s food scene has become one of the most diverse foodie playgrounds in California. We love unique places to eat, but as San Diegans we also crave a relaxed atmosphere and affordability. It is nice when you can have all three grouped in one restaurant or one area. Casual Dining is hot in San Diego, and here are some spicy choices to keep your tongue guessing.

Discover these cool casual San Diego restaurants near you! 

Indian Restaurants


KASI - Fast. Fresh. Indian.

Locations | 760-602-6299 

Kasi means “nourishment” and that falls right into KASI's food philosophy, which is for the food to shine but also to nourish people. They promote the health benefits of their spices and dishes. The dish Channa Masala, made from garbanzo beans or chickpeas, helps reduce cholesterol, reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, and is an excellent source of iron, copper and zinc. The Saag Dish, which consists of spinach, masala and spice, reduces blood pressure, increases immunity, and aids in digestion. The focus on health benefits that come from their food is aligned with San Diego’s healthy food focus, but the ingredients and dishes at KASI are also offered at a great price.

Spice Lounge

spice lounge indian restaurant san diego

859 Hornblend St, San Diego, CA | (858) 272-1600

The Spice Lounge is one Indian restaurant that understands San Diego diners’ need for a laid-back beach atmosphere with a creative and cultured menu. Located in Pacific Beach, they provide a lounge menu that customers can use to take advantage of the view while enjoying bites like Sutra Nachos and Bombay Fries. They still keep their food authentic with entrees like the Chicken Masala, which has spices simmered in a rich tomato and onion puree with a touch of cream. This allows the sauce to not be too tangy or too creamy, and lets the spices shine through. The cook makes bold flavors that keep you coming back, while the atmosphere make you feel right at home in San Diego.

Lebanese Restaurant

Ara Lebanese Grill

997 W San Marcos Blvd, San Marcos | (760) 500-4370 |

Ara Lebanese Grill prepares authentic Lebanese food, including homemade falafels and sandwiches daily. The vegetarian and traditional plates are made from scratch using family recipes. Lebanese cuisine really took flight when the country experienced a period of prosperity where the agriculture, tourism and banking created a height in progress that allowed its citizens to have a enough money to try different thing with food. Beirut’s food scene even came to be called “The Paris of the Middle East.” The owners of Ara Lebanese Grill brought what they learned from their heritage to San Diego, making it so diners can have the whole Armenian Lebanese experience here. There are many salad choices to choose from for the first course, falafel and hummus plates for entrees and desserts like pistachio flavored Baklava for dessert paired with turkish coffee. 

Food Trucks

Let’s not forget about our food trucks. We have so many in San Diego and they all seem to have something different. There’s something humbling about getting a great, quick meal from a food truck. The low overhead cost relative to a classic brick-and-mortar establishment allows for more creativity in the menu, and you’d be surprised at what kind of meals a food truck can pump out.

New Orleans Food Truck

new orleans food truck in san diego casual dining

Kate Masel is the owner of The New Orleans Food Truck and is a New Orleans native. She brings her culinary heritage and southern spirit to San Diego with her passion to serve authentic and soulful cuisine. In 2009, she moved from Texas to California after she worked in the culinary arena while attending college. She felt that San Diego would be the perfect place to bring New Orleans flavors to California. The Jambalaya with Red Beans and Rice is a favorite amongst customers. The combination of shrimp and andouille sausage with spicy rice is reminiscent of classic Louisiana cajun cuisine.

Dos Bandidos Food Truck

The owners of the Dos Bandidos Food Truck promote delicious and low-cost tacos with gourmet ingredients while still thinking of simple preparations. Customers can get a taco or torta with many different sauces to choose from spread out on the counter. The pork belly taco called the “Pancho Villa” includes gorgonzola, greens, house sauce and green sauce drizzle. They also have different proteins like short ribs; the Zapata Taco comes with short ribs, spinach and avocado. To add a little something extra and healthy, they can create fresh fruit smoothies for costumer to enjoy.

Each one of these establishments gives the people at the event a little taste of something new and another place to hang out and enjoy low cost but tasty meal.