If you're fortunate enough to visit for any length of time, you'll soon see that La Jolla has much to offer beyond its spectacular Mediterranean coastline and climate. La Jolla is a unique community with many diverse residents, from entrepreneurs, scientists and academics, to artists, surfers and students. La Jollans pride themselves on being a great combination of culture, diversity and down-to-earth community spirit. As you walk around La Jolla, you'll see this reflected in its many friendly faces, shops, art galleries and museums, as well as in a multitude of architectural styles, from California bungalow and Spanish to English Tudor and modern.
And nowhere in La Jolla is this tremendous cultural diversity and good taste more apparent than in its many fine restaurants. La Jolla offers so many great eating spots – close to 200 – that you could taste a different one each day for six months! Whether you're looking for a quick, casual bite or a long, leisurely meal, an old-fashioned American menu or something exotic and experimental, you'll find it at a La Jolla restaurant. You can also enjoy an oceanfront view of La Jolla's coastline from several local restaurants, or, if you prefer, a romantic getaway in a cozy corner, or a larger, private room for family parties and company banquets.
For breakfast and lunch, La Jolla includes several American-style coffee shops. At least one has been serving fluffy pancakes and omelets and BLTs for more than 50 years. If possible, get there early for breakfast on weekend mornings, when crowds line the nearby sidewalks. Many local breakfast and lunch spots include outdoor patios, which are dog-friendly. If you like beer with your burger and fries, at least one local brewery offers you a large choice of beers on tap and the option of taking it home.
Steak and seafood restaurants are plentiful in La Jolla, where you can enjoy natural, free-range meats and the freshest catches of the day from the ocean. But if European tastes appeal to you, La Jolla restaurants also include French, Belgian and Greek foods and well-known chefs who like to show off their European training and roots. Local chefs are also tuned into the healthy, sustainable food movement. Without sacrificing taste, they use fresh, organic meats, fish and produce from local farms as much as possible.
If your food tastes extend to the foreign and exotic, you won't be disappointed in your choices here in La Jolla. Like Asian food? You can pick from Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Hawaiian or Indian. Enjoy a sit-down meal in one of La Jolla's Asian-themed restaurants, help yourself to a lunch buffet, or order take-out or delivery. And if you like Asian food with a twist, try one of the several local Asian-fusion restaurants, combining the best tastes of the Pacific Rim countries, including California cuisine.
You'll also find great Italian and Mexican restaurants here in La Jolla. A few have been in business for decades and are popular with La Jollans and visitors who return year after year. Enjoy a relaxing, sit-down meal or order a quick pizza or taco if you're on your way somewhere. One new restaurant here in La Jolla specializes in authentic Mexican street food, where you can build your own taco with healthy ingredients. Several Italian delis offer a wide variety of sandwiches, salads, pizzas and fresh olive oils, meats and cheeses to go. Other fast food choices in La Jolla include burgers and fries, rolled tacos and burritos, seafood salads, subway sandwiches and wraps, and fresh juice drinks and smoothies.
If you’re a dessert fan, you'll be able to top off a wonderful meal with something sweet here in La Jolla. Choose from a cookie, brownie or pie at a local bakery, fresh scones at a coffee house, or cupcakes, ice cream, or frozen yogurt. Or order a specialty coffee drink or a nightcap from almost any restaurant in La Jolla.
Most La Jolla restaurants also offer Happy Hours, with generous servings of appetizers at reduced prices, a friendly crowd of people, and live music. Here you'll be able to sample many delicious La Jolla restaurant menu items and experience the community spirit first hand.
You can also immerse yourself in La Jolla's culture every Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the La Jolla Open Aire Market, held at La Jolla Elementary School at the corner of Girard Avenue and Genter Street. Here, in addition to plants and flowers and arts and crafts, you can buy fresh, organic produce from local farms and many other food items from local shops and restaurants. You can also sit in the food court and sample food from almost 30 vendors, including those serving crepes, pastas, Turkish grill, tamales, fresh mango slices, and bar-b-cue.