For San Diego locals and tourists alike, restaurants in La Mesa are a hot spot for savory meals and impressive ambiance. As summer slowly comes to an end, take advantage of the numerous outdoor dining options La Mesa has to offer. From spicy Mexican cuisine to food from the sea, here are the best restaurants for outside dining in San Diego.
Take a trip to Ireland by visiting Hooleys, an authentic Irish pub that now has one of the largest outdoor dining areas in all of East County San Diego. This lively joint doesn’t mess around when it comes to entertainment. They have live music, Happy Hour, bottomless mimosas, Taco Tuesday, and a killer menu.
Take your pick of Shepherd’s Pie and Loaded Potato Soup or feast on Guinness Bratwurst and you’ve only just touched the surface of what Hooley’s menu has to offer. Just add on a Jameson Black Barrell cocktail, and enjoy! Take a look at their Facebook page for weekly updates on special events, hours, and more.
Hooleys Hours of Operation:
Tuesday-Thursday: 4-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (Brunch and bottomless champagne will be served Sundays until 2 p.m.)
Calling all fried food lovers! Chicken Charlies is the top restaurant in La Mesa for everything fried and they’re serving it up on their giant patio in Grossmont Center. There’s no need to worry about space here because this outdoor dining spot can seat 120+ diners. Snack on your choice of chili cheese nuggets, fried chicken, and chicken tenders to get your clucks in for the day. Don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with some fried Oreos, funnel cake, and a cotton candy ice cream sandwich too!
Keep in mind that no cash is accepted when you dine in, so make sure to bring your credit card if you want a chance to taste the fried yumminess of Chicken Charlie’s! Follow their Facebook page for more information.
Chicken Charlie’s Hours of Operation:
Tuesday-Sunday: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Food Court Patio
As you shop around Grossmont Center mall, satisfy your appetite by heading over to the food court patio. With a variety of fresh cuisine to choose from, you can get a taste of Italy with Dante’s Pizza or enjoy American food at Burgers, Fish & Fries. Grab your meal and take in the gorgeous San Diego weather with outside seating.
Food Court Hours of Operation:
Monday-Sunday: 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.
You can never go wrong with a tasty panini and a beautiful outdoor dining experience in San Diego! Panera Bread is a fan favorite restaurant in La Mesa because of its casual and warm environment, but mostly, its fresh and delicious array of soups, salads, baked goods, and sandwiches. Bring your friend for a nice lunch date or stop by for a quick dinner date during the weekend!
Panera Bread Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday: 6 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday: 6 a.m.-9 p.m.
One of the biggest restaurant chains in the nation is right here in La Mesa and it’s the perfect place for an evening of outside dining! Olive Garden is currently seating guests outside the restaurant and is ready to serve up all of its classic dishes that America has come to love. From the warm breadsticks to saucy Italian cuisine, and a kids menu for the little ones, this restaurant in La Mesa works for people of all ages! For adults looking to sip on cocktails, remember to ask your server about the 5 drinks for $5 each deal served every day!
Olive Garden Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Casa de Pico
Add some spice to your life with authentic Mexican dishes at Casa de Pico. This restaurant in La Mesa has a large outdoor patio with a hacienda feel and plenty of shade, so you can relax and dine in comfort. There is also an additional outside dining area with canopies that helps reduce wait time. Make sure to come visit during the week for Happy Hour and get yourself a frosty margarita! For an inside look at their menu and restaurant protocol, follow their Facebook page.
Casa de Pico Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Casa de Pico Happy Hour:
Monday-Friday: 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
Get your fill of comfort food at Claim Jumper! This restaurant in La Mesa has an outdoor dining area under canopies and a diverse menu that can satisfy anyone’s appetite. Feeling pizza? You got it. Want a plate of flamed Atlantic Salmon? You got it. Hankering for some chicken pot pie and meatloaf? Claim Jumper has you covered. Grab your friends and family and plan a night full of feasting at this hot spot! Get a sneak preview of what’s in store for you by following their Facebook page.
Claim Jumper Hours of Operation:
Monday-Sunday: 12 p.m.- 9 p.m.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
Enjoy this one-of-a-kind Brewhouse that serves up a California take on a classic Chicago-style deep dish pizza. As a restaurant chain that’s been in business for forty years, this restaurant in La Mesa boasts a broad menu of American classics. From soups and salads to sandwiches, pastas, and delectable entrees — BJ’s offers a little something for everyone. BJ’s features their very own award-winning handcrafted beers on tap daily along with 11 signature beers and cider. BJ’s in La Mesa is proud to support local and seasonal brews, too! Whatever you do, don’t miss out on their world-famous Pizookie®. BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse in La Mesa offers casual outdoor and patio seating for those in search of some fresh air. Those seeking BJ’s Happy Hour deals must head indoors as Happy Hour is available at the bar only.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Hours of Operation:
Monday-Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Happy Hour:
Monday-Friday 3 p.m. – 7:00 pm
Sunday – Thursday 10:00 pm – Close
Johnny B’s Burgers, Brews, and Spirits
Juicy burgers and refreshing beers, wines, and more make Johnny B’s the place to beat in downtown La Mesa! Come during the week for Happy Hour deals like 50% off wine bottles and $1 off cocktails, or bring all your friends to watch the Padres play ball. Grab a table at their patio seating area and order up a mouthwatering jalapeno burger or southwest chicken sandwich! Just make sure to plan ahead because their grill closes 30 minutes before their actual closing time. Check out their Facebook page for more weekly promotions and special events.
Johnny B’s Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Johnny B’s Happy Hour:
Monday-Friday: 3 p.m.-6 p.m.
That wraps up the list of top outdoor dining restaurants in La Mesa! The next time you find yourself celebrating a birthday, special occasion, or just want some yummy grub, treat yourself to one of these gems.