Looking for a convenient place to eat nearby Petco Park before a Padres game? You will not be without options. There are literally hundreds of good restaurants in the downtown San Diego / Gaslamp area near Petco Park. Here is our guide of the top places to eat in, updated for the 2023 season. All restaurants are close to the stadium, most within 5 blocks walking. We also include some reliable dining resources and outside opinions — our personal inclination would be for you to arrive as hungry as possible to maximize intake of the abundant Petco Park concessions and sit-down restaurants inside the stadium, many of them are an outpost of iconic local dining institutions you’ll find throughout San Diego (Hodad’s, Grand Ole BBQ, Barrio Dogg, Board & Brew, Seaside Market, Gaglione Brothers, Cravory, etc.)
Again, for visitors looking for places to eat around the park, before or after a Padres game, we’ll leave that to the local restaurant experts below. But first a few opinions and tips of our own.
Neighborhoods Near Petco ParkThe lay of the land
Neighborhood-wise, Padres stadium is in Downtown San Diego
, and more specifically East Village
. It is adjacent to the Gaslamp Quarter
(please don’t let your dad call it the Gaslight). Nearby and gastronomically exceptional is Little Italy
, the cultural dining center of San Diego. Don’t let all the little red, white and green flags mislead you, Little Italy is home to much more that its outstanding Italian food. Little Italy has an incredible Game Day vibe, throngs of Padres-faithful and out-of-towners mixing and mingling. Your must-visit best-bets in Little Italy include the fresh seafood at Ironside Fish, Crack Shack, Bottlecraft, Ballast Point, Nolita, Craft & Commerce, the Saturday Farmers Market, Pappaleccho gelato, Juniper & Ivy, Herb & Wood and its market, a sandwich from Mona Lisa, a pastry from Solunto, and a burger and a beer at the iconic Waterfront dive bar. The list goes on, you can really not go wrong here. Other neighborhoods surrounding Petco Park include the Marina District
, home to Seaport Village
with some nice dining options on the water and Headquarters
with Puesto, Eddie V’s, Cheesecake Factory. But the recommendations that follow focus predominantly in Petco Park’s neighborhood of East Village
See also our recommendations for nearby Breakfast and Brunch.
There are a lot of good sushi options in San Diego. If we limit ourselves to the immediate proximity around Petco Park, the choice would have to be Taka Sushi
at 555 5th Avenue (which sounds like a fake address in a movie script) or of course the legendary Nobu
at 207 5th. Another strong choice is Full Moon Sushi
also on 5th.
The top restaurant for greek near Petco Park is Meze Greek Fusion
at 345 6th Ave. Not specifically greek but more Middle Eastern, and incredibly delicious, grab a doner kebab from The Kebab Shop
at 630 9th Ave.
Local BeerHalf Door Brewing Co.
is our pick, with a great variety of food and expertly curated beers on tap. Located close enough to have views of the ballpark, at 903 Island Ave. Nason’s Beer Hall
is a bit more upscale. We are also looking forward to checking out the new WestBrew
, a fun, friendly tasting room from the expanding Vista-based brewery.
Family / Kid-Friendly Places To Eat
If you’re coming to Petco Park with kids or babies, check out our tips for a fun family visit to Petco Park
. Also you’ll want to come hungry because you’ll find the best eats inside the park. No kid deserves to be deprived of the all-American hot dog and cracker jack experience. Outside close by Petco Park, you can find iconic San Diego restaurants like The Old Spaghetti Factory
(275 Fifth Ave), Ghiradelli Ice Cream
on Fifth and Burger Lounge
at 528 5th for the best fast-food burger in the area. You can also venture up to Crack Shack
for fried chicken in Little Italy.
Did you know Petco Park is the closest baseball park to Mexico? That’s right, home plate is a short, 15-mile dinger away from the Mexican border. All other factors aside, if you are coming to San Diego your best choice for cuisine is going to be a Mexican restaurant. Unless you are coming to a game on Taco Tuesday
For Mexican dining, consider Oscar’s at 927 J St., Blind Burro at 639 J St., Fuego at 744 Market St. or Lolita’s at 202 Park. Other amigos de tu estomago include La Puerta For the most authentic Mexican that’s close to Petco Park, check out Las Cuatro Milpas in Barrio Logan, or the more modern Salud.
Mexican should really be at the top of this list. Because it is so consistently excellent and pervasive, we forget what a treat the Mexican food is, especially if you are coming from out of town.
City Tacos, right at the entrance gate at the base of the Legend Condominium tower, serves perhaps some of the best tacos in the city. Fresh, flavorful, interesting homestyle tacos, including the grilled Mahi A La Veracruzana and Crunch Time Shrimp Taco.
Casual Places To Eat
We can likely agree, a fancy romantic date and a baseball game are probably two separate evenings. On game day you are looking for a casual place that won’t sniff at your frayed Hoffman jersey and hat head. Your best bets in this category will be a nice slice of pizza from Basic
(410 10th Ave.) or some tater tots and sports bar grub at Bub’s At The Ballpark
(715 J Street). Although we have to say if you are going casual, why not just dine inside the stadium
where you’ll find some of the best food in all of baseball?
Speaking of sports bars, if you’re on the liquid diet, see the best Padres bars to get a drink.
Those tickets ain’t cheap and neither is that foam finger. So who has any money left for a steak that costs an arm and a leg? For inexpensive eats, again we’ll direct you to Lolita’s for some affordable Mexican, The Kebab Shop for a lamb döner or a deli sangy from Lucky’s Lunch Counter
The Best Restaurants 2023
Best is a matter of opinion to be sure, and these are ours. In addition to any of the great selections above, the top restaurants near Petco Park are: Rovino
on Market St. for an authentic Italian market experience, Oceanaire Seafood Room
(400 J St.), The Deck at Moonshine Flats
at 335 6th Ave., Born & Raised, Cowboy Star, Fleming’s & Morton’s
for steaks, Juniper & Ivy
and Herb & Wood
Local Experts Say…
Don’t just take our word for it. We don’t get out much. Plus everyone’s tastes differ. As you research places to eat near Petco Park, check the dates. Insist on that coveted “2023” or at least 2022. Things really change that fast around here. Especially what with the pandemics and all that. On the bright side, only the best of the best survive.
- Eater – Where to Eat Near Petco Park
A guide to the best eateries around the stadium
- SanDiego.org 7 Awesome Spots to Watch the Padres
From divey to classy
- SD Union-Tribune – Ballpark bites: 18 picks for spots to eat and drink outside Petco Park
- OpenTable – Very geographically based, with verified reviews from diners who actually eat at the restaurants.
- Zagat – Where to Eat Around Petco Park This Padres Season: Where Hungry Padres Fans Should Fuel Up Around The Stadium
- Genuine though at times a bit prickly customer reviews can be found on Yelp and TripAdvisor
When searching, remember Petco Park’s address is 100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101. Just want to say it one last time: Come hungry. Eat inside the park. It’s a long game.
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