Zoning laws have allowed San Diego restaurants to spread out to the sidewalk. That freedom plus the weather have made the city one of the best outdoor dining cities in the country. Downtown, where the people watching is best, you can sit outside, enjoy a craft cocktail, and get some excellent food. Rustic Root in the Gaslamp Quarter stands out, particularly the fried chicken with sweet potato and butterbeans.
If you haven’t had your Mexican food fix fulfilled yet, check in next door at Don Chido and start off with the queso fundido.