A Food Lover’s Perfect Day In Kearny Mesa

Kearny Mesa is often overlooked by tourists, but any local will tell you this is the neighborhood to head to for any and every Asian craving your taste buds could imagine.

For a day in Kearny Mesa that your stomach will thank you for, follow our itinerary below.

Disclaimer: There San Diego is not responsible for any bursting buttons on your pants!

Indulge In The Best Southern Food In San Diego For Breakfast

Yes, Kearny Mesa is known for Asian cuisine, but it would be a travesty if we didn’t include Bud’s Louisiana Cafe as your must-try breakfast spot.

As far as cajun and creole food go, Bud’s is the best in San Diego. We recommend an order of beignets for the table as an appetizer.

For entreés, we’re partial to the shrimp & grits with a jalapeno cornbread muffin or a jambalaya breakfast burrito.


Relax At A Tea Bar

Camellia Road is taking boba tea to the next level by replacing the traditional powder mix with fresh tea concentrate made from loose leaf teas such as jasmine or oolong. The drink is mixed to order with your choice of milk and sweetened with house-made simple syrup.

If boba tea isn’t your favorite, other menu items include matcha milk tea, cold brew tea, and tea frescas, which is a cold brew tea with fresh fruit and fruit syrup.

Combine Asian Influence With Craft Beer For Lunch 

Everyone knows that lunch calls for a cold beer – so head over to Common Theory, which expertly blends Kearny Mesa’s Asian influence with San Diego’s craft beer scene. We recommend getting a few dishes to share for the full experience.

It’s impossible to enjoy a meal at Common Theory without their Double Duck Fries, which come with shredded duck confit and crispy duck skin.

Other favorites include the sweet and spicy pork belly, which comes with kimchi that converted this once “I don’t love kimchi” naysayer, and their bacon & blue brussels sprouts.

For the vegetarians, the watermelon and beet poke is the perfect combination of filling and refreshing while their charred corn succotash has a much-appreciated kick to it.


Photo credit: Food With Frances

Make A Stop At A Food Market

It’s no surprise that Kearny Mesa is also home to some of the best marketplaces to pick up Asian ingredients for home cooking.

Mitsuwa Marketplace is some kind of paradise. Spend some time roaming the shelves, brave a new dish to cook, and check out their selection of Japanese cookbooks.

Zion Market specializes in Korean cuisine and has a wide range of marinated meats, fermented foods, and plenty of produce.

Get Your Dumpling On For Dinner

When your stomach is ready for dinner, there’s no better place than Dumpling Inn & Shanghai Saloon, a longtime fan favorite.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a time when you don’t have to wait for a table, but it’s always worth it. While we have yet to find a dish we don’t love here, we always order the pork buns, beef curry dumplings, shrimp & chive dumplings, and an order of vegetable pan fried noodle.

Make Science Part Of Dessert

We hope it went without saying that you needed to save room for dessert. Creamistry has vamped up the ice cream scene with its liquid nitrogen ice cream.

Pick between premium, organic, coconut, or sorbet base then add your flavor and mix-ins. Our favorites include a coconut-milk Nutella ice cream with bananas and a premium mint with Nutella mixed in.




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