Your Guide to the Best Food Tour: San Diego

August 19, 2022

Put down that SPF, because there is a whole lot more to San Diego than surfing and sun. While America’s Finest City may boast unparalleled nature and whale watching, this SoCal metropolis is also home to oodles of delicious food and drink.

Follow along as we take you through the best San Diego food tours!

Uncover the mouthwatering history and culture of San Diego food when you sign up for a San Diego food tour.

From trendy restaurants and breweries in North Park to seaside offerings in La Jolla, a food tour of San Diego is the tastiest way to explore this beachy oasis.

Sample tacos made on homemade tortillas, or journey south of the border for even more Mexican flair. Try custom-made tequila cocktails, or swear you’ve been whisked away to Italy with a heavenly bite of Parpadelle Bolognese.

Read on to walk, sip, and taste your way through the most delectable food tours of San Diego. 

San Diego Hotels

World-class theme parks, pristine beaches, and unparalleled eats. Extending your stay, make the most of your time in the City in Motion. Get your fill of local seafood, Mexican cuisine, craft beer, and more when you turn your San Diego walking food tour into a full-scale getaway.

Stay in the charming Gaslamp district in a historic 1926 gothic revival building, or wake up by the San Diego Bay. Whether you are craving beach views or the bustle of downtown San Diego, we provide a number of options for San Diego Hotels and Resorts.

Related Post: A Weekend in San Diego: How to Plan the Perfect Trip

As always, make your reservations stress-free, knowing you are always guaranteed our lowest rates online. 

View of entrance to the Sofia Hotel, a yellow brick building with green accents and the light on at night in San Diego, Califonira, USA

photo credit: The Sofia Hotel via Facebook

Food Tours in San Diego

While, at first glance, San Diego’s culinary scene might not hold the clout of New York or Los Angeles, this SoCal city is, in fact, a treasure trove of flavor. Thanks in equal parts to its rich history, cultural diversity, and bounty of local produce, San Diego is a mecca for everything from taco tours to fine dining.

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From farm-fresh avocados and limes to tantalizing wood-fired pizza, neighborhoods in San Diego deliver dazzling delicacies. So whether you opt for a walking tour of the Gaslamp Quarter or a sojourn across the border, food tours in San Diego serve up an unforgettable experience.

An ideal date night, vacation, or innovative team-building activity, these immersive experiences will leave you full of memories and epic eats.

Brothels, Bites, and Booze Food Tour

Pull on those comfy shoes, as this 2.5-hour walking food tour will have you covering 1.5 miles of terrain. Prime yourself for an afternoon of mouthwatering morsels and salacious history when you partake in the Brothels, Bites, and Booze Food Tour.

Dive into the untoward legacy of post-Gold Rush San Diego as you explore the Gaslamp Quarter. First, your professional tour guide will share fascinating facts, history, and stories regarding this infamous red light district. Then, discover the tales behind Stingaree District’s most iconic buildings as you sip bespoke cocktails and tackle tacos.

Marvel at the moxie of the ladies of the night and Prohibition-era gangsters as you satisfy your cravings for pizza, macarons, baos, and more.* This all-inclusive tour features 4-8 restaurant stops, with alcoholic tasting provided at 2-3. 

*Please note that this is an example of food samples, as restaurant offerings are subject to change. 

A man and a woman in sun glasses eating pizza on the Brothels, Bites, and Booze Food Tour in San Diego, California, USA

Pizza, Pasta, and Piazzas - Little Italy Food Tour San Diego

Mama mia! Take a break from all those tacos when you indulge in a Little Italy San Diego Food Tour. Your Pizza, Pasta, and Piazzas is a tantalizing 2.5-hour walking tour of San Diego’s Italian Quarter. Dive into all things marinara and mozzarella as you moan over unique bites from four different restaurants.

In addition to tasting everything from Bolognese to crispy pizza, guests will have the option to imbibe several wines, sangria, or local beer options. Listen up, as you won’t want to miss a minute of arresting live narration. Your guide will talk you through the early fishing history of San Diego and introduce you to many local Italians responsible for revitalizing this area.

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On top of all the Italian eats, you will also sample a succulent grass-fed slider from a New Zealand-inspired locale. Finally, end your awesome day of eating with a scoop or two of creamy homemade gelato. 

photo credit: sandiego.org

Tequila, Tacos, and Tombstones Food Tour

Ole! Pay homage to San Diego’s Mexican culture and experience the magic of Mariachi music, margaritas, and more on this spirited walking tour. The Tequila, Tacos, and Tombstones Food Tour is a 2.5-hour adventure featuring four local restaurant stops. Bring your appetite, as you will want to eat your fill of fresh salsa, fish tacos, and queso fresco. Then, watch in awe as your tortillas are handmade before your very eyes, and raise a glass with a bespoke tequila-based cocktail.

History buffs will be in heaven as they travel back to the inception of Old Town San Diego. Discover the roots of early Spanish settlements, and learn about the establishment of Mexican Independence. Wind down your taco feast with a pinch of the paranormal.

Related Post: 11 Popular Hiking Trails in San Diego

Stop by both the sinister Whaley House and one of the oldest graveyards in San Diego. The Whaley House was named America’s Most Haunted House by the Travel Channel and is still teeming with spirits.

photo credit: So Diego via Facebook

Tijuana Up & Down City Tour

Handmade tapestries, tacos, and sombreros, oh my! Inject a little south of the border spirit into your San Diego vacation with a Tijuana food tour from San Diego. The Tijuana Up & Down City Tour is an eclectic half-day tour featuring sightseeing, shopping, and of course, tacos! Stroll past historic Tijuana roundabouts studded with statues of Abraham Lincoln and Cuauhtémoc, the Aztec King.

Swing by the demolished Tijuana Bullring, the Tijuana Water Tower, and the Hipódromo as you make your way to the Avenida Revolución. This buzzing area is overflowing with dance bars, cantinas, and galleries. Take your time browsing the brightly colored goods, and perhaps even pick up a souvenir.

Related Post: 6 Stunning Day Trips from San Diego

Refuel after your retail adventure at the renowned restaurant of La Palcita. Pile your tortilla high with meat, veggies, guacamole, salsa, and cilantro. This Tijuana tradition is so tasty, you’ll be inspired to sign up for some Mexican cooking classes!

Close up of brightly colored masks, mostly red, of different animals and faces on the Tijuana Up & Down City Tour near San Diego, California, USA

photo credit: Tijuana Up & Down City Tour

Baja Mexico Grand Tour

Wondering how best to take advantage of San Diego’s endless day trips? Experience the rich history of Mexico through your stomach on the Baja Mexico Grand Tour. This full-day adventure kicks off with a visit to Tijuana. Tour the fourth largest city in Mexico like a pro, as you take in the Cultural Center, the Tijuana Bullring, the Tijuana Zoo, and the Tijuana Tower.

Related Post: 7 of the Best Beaches in San Diego for Families

Indulge in some retail therapy along Avenida Revolution as you pursue hand-woven rugs, sombreros, shot glasses, and more. Then, ready yourself for some seaworthy eats as your group makes its way to Puerto Nuevo Lobster Village. Once a small fishing town, this seaside escape is home to many tasty local eateries.

Come hungry, as you’ll want to enjoy every last bite of deep-fried Pacific Ocean Lobster. Wash it down with an ice-cold welcome margarita before contemplating your beach activity options. Settle in for some sunbathing, or opt for some horseback riding or ATV riding along the shore.

photo credit: Five Star Tours and Charter Bus Company via Facebook

Taste of Carlsbad Food Tour

More than just LEGOLAND and stunning sandy beaches, Carlsbad is home to a wealth of culinary options. Feast like a local in this scenic ‘Village by the Sea’ when you attend a Taste of Carlsbad Food Tour. Treat yourself to 3 hours of walking, wine, and wonderful snacks, all within historic Carlsbad Village.

Related Post: 7 San Diego Landmarks You Can't-Miss

Your gourmet-obsessed guide will lead you through over eight tastings as you dive into this seaside reprieve's history and culinary culture. The tour’s small group setting provides the perfect atmosphere in which to appreciate the town’s quaint architecture and unique eats.

Tuck into delicious pasta, gnocchi, and cannolis at Ciccotti’s. Or assuage that sweet tooth with a gooey cinnamon roll from the Goods. Savor sips of sparkling vino at Witch Creek Winery, and explore the variety of small batch gelato tasting at Gelato Love.

Switch to savory fare at Lola’s with a famous burrito, or opt for smoked meats at Park 101. Fallen head over heels for some of the offerings? Be sure to utilize your Tasting Guide, which contains exclusive guest coupons and discounts to the area’s eateries. 

view of gaslamp quarter street at night in san diego

photo credit: Gaslamp Quarter via Facebook

Mild temperatures, coastal charm, and diverse cultural influences come together to make San Diego a go-to destination.

Skip out on traditional sightseeing and uncover the enchantment of America’s Finest City through its food. From tacos al pastor to homemade cannolis, you won’t be able to get enough of the seasonings of San Diego.

Reward your palate with a day of saltwater and seafood-infused fun in Baja Mexico, or feel chills down your spine on an Old Town Tequila, Tacos, and Tombstones Food Tour.

Raise a glass of bold California red, or linger over bites of freshly made guacamole. 

However you discover the delicacies of San Diego, a food tour will fulfill both your stomach and your soul.

Tell us, What are Your Favorite Food Tours in San Diego?

Did we miss any of your San Diego must-eats?

Leave us a comment below!


isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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