For a city that is a destination itself, within San Diego lies escapes to several other tourist-loved locales. Among a lively restaurant scene are several themed restaurants decorated so well, we can’t guarantee you’ll remember what city you began in. Giving a new meaning to “dining destination,” these restaurants will transport you from the moment you walk in to the last sip of your scrumptious cocktail. Simply sit back, relax and allow your senses to take you away—no plane ticket necessary! Read on for seven of our favorite San Diego restaurants that’ll transport you to another country.
Transports you to: Riviera Maya/Yucatan
Pictures Credit: Huy Hoang
Set your watch to island time and snag a seat at CocoMaya, Little Italy’s newest tropical-inspired dining destination. Immediately transporting you to the Riviera Maya, this wide-open, modern-inspired venue is lined with lush greenery and woven pieces to properly set the scene for paradise. Inspired by the Latin American regions of the Caribbean Sea, you’ll find local produce and seafood served with a European influence and a hint of char; much of the menu is prepared by a coal fired Josper oven! Pop in for a Caribbean-inspired brunch and order a Dutch Baby Pancake, or cruise in for a dinner of plant-based shareable plates and protein-based dishes like the porterhouse or swordfish. No matter what time of day you stop by, don’t forget to try a tropical cocktail; they even have a rum-infused Mayan Coffee for the early birds. Pro tip: trick everyone into thinking you’ve spontaneously landed in Yucatan and snap a pic on their Insta-worthy swings. The grand opening will take place summer 2023! Location: Little Italy
Transports you to: New Zealand
Photo credit: Dunedin
Location: North Park
Prepare for a taste of New Zealand! Dunedin in North Park serves up delicious, hearty meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual setting, drawing inspiration from the beautiful land of the Kiwis. The casual indoor-outdoor atmosphere and lushly lined patio embodies the simple, communal and honest nature of New Zealand, making Dunedin the perfect place to kick back with your buddies and grab a pint at any time of day.