Photo: Pop Pie Co.

Nothing feeds the soul and pleases the belly like comfort food. We’re talking pizza pot pie, the creamiest, dreamiest mac ‘n’ cheese, nachos made with tater tots instead of chips and more mouthwatering dishes that will leave you floating on cloud 9. We put our taste buds to work to find San Diego’s yummiest comfort food dishes. These culinary delights will give you the perfect dose of delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Read on to learn about hidden gem meals the whole family will gobble up!

Photo: Pop Pie Co.

Pop Pie Co.
You can’t go wrong at a restaurant with the motto: “In Pie We Crust.” This University Heights pie shop is a huge hit with families, serving up sweet and savory pies that rotate seasonally. In a genius move, they’ve combined two classic comfort foods—pie and pizza—and rolled them into a Pizza Pot Pie stuffed with pepperoni, veggies, mozzarella, basil and parmesan. Think of it as a San Diego calzone!

4404 Park Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92116

Photo: Amanda R. via Yelp

EmpireHouse Urban Palate
This Mission Hills restaurant and bar is an updated version of the original that opened in Rome, New York in 1900 as a boarding house. It’s hard to be nostalgic about french fries because we eat them all the time, but tater tots always feel special. EmpireHouse’s “tot pots” take tater tots to the next level with delicious add-ons. Try the “tots Mcgee,” which come loaded with chopped bacon and melted white cheddar cheese, topped with sliced green onions and sour cream. We’re not drooling, you are.

127 University Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92103


Photo by The Trails Eatery via Yelp

The Trails Eatery
Once featured on Restaurant Impossible, this San Carlos spot offers down-home cooking for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast specialties include French toast made with croissants, corned beef hash and eggs, and granola banana waffles. But if you really want to indulge, go for the decadent—and oh so comforting—sin-a-mon pancakes. They combine everything you love about cinnamon rolls and pancakes into one, including delicious cream cheese frosting. We flip for this flapjack every time.

7389 Jackson Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92119


Photo: Lemonade

This cafeteria concept originated in Los Angeles, but now has outposts in Hillcrest and at Westfield UTC Mall. Forget the mushy peas and soggy pizzas from your school cafeteria days; Lemonade serves up a variety of modern takes on the classics. For instance, their mac ‘n’ cheese ditches the processed cheese powder for real cheese and cream to create a super indulgent, heavenly pasta delight. And don’t forget to try one of their specialty lemonades while you’re there!

3958 Fifth Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92103

4525 La Jolla Village Dr.
University Town Center, Unit D35
San Diego, Ca 92122


Photo: Noel M. via Yelp

Solace & the Moonlight Lounge
This North County cousin to North Park’s Urban Solace, serves up an array of tummy-satisfying meals morning, noon and night with daily lunch and dinner and weekend brunches. Chicken wings, tomato soup and cheddar and chive biscuits are some of the tasty treats you’ll find on the menu. But if you’re really craving comfort, order their Wild White Mexican Shrimp ‘n’ Organic Grits which comes with sautéed peppers, caramelized lime and garlic butter.

25 East E St.
Encinitas, Ca 92024

Tell us where you get your comfort food fix in the comments!

— Michelle Franklin