Dec 27 2017
Amy Sherman
3 Minutes to read

When you think of San Diego, you think sun, surf, healthy living and a chill vibe. It was the city’s famous Baja-style fish tacos that first attracted the culinary set but, these days, area chefs are spreading out onto new turf. The best catering in San Diego still delivers fish tacos that are second to none, but now you can also find great New York style pizza, Texas-style barbecue, and authentic Middle Eastern food.  And, of course, don’t forget the ubiquitous southern California health food shops. LA Weekly said that, thanks to the influx of options, this harbor city has “evolved into an unassuming foodie town.” Here are some of the hottest spots in San Diego catering and their can’t-miss dishes.

Abbey’s Real Texas BBQ (Miramar Rd, San Diego)

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Abbey’s Real Texas BBQ is famous in San Diego catering for their meats, which are slow-cooked in the Texas tradition right on the premises. Brisket and the pork shoulder cook for 18 to 24 hours in mesquite-loaded cast iron smokers. All the coleslaw, rice, beans, and chili are made fresh daily from long-held family recipes. For a crowd, try the hugely popular Deluxe BBQ Meat Spread which comes complete with two meats and sides plus Caesar salad, garlic rolls, and cookies.

Jamba Juice (Friars Rd, San Diego)

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Jamba Juice Smoothie Packs make a portable snack or breakfast

The menu at Jamba Juice is loaded with a lot more than just juice. Nutrient-packed smoothies are perfect energy boosters for a long day. The Jamba Bowl Bar is a make-your-own lunch with either a Greek yogurt or chia pudding base. Then chose between toppings like granola, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, cinnamon apples, coconut, honey, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and dates.

Nekter Juice Bar (Market St, San Diego)

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Nekter Juice Bar Catering

Smoothies, fresh squeezed juices, and acai bowls are the specialty of this beloved Southern California health bar. The popular acai banana berry bowl is blended with strawberries, blueberries, banana, and homemade cashew milk. Top it all off with crunchy hemp seed granola and sweet agave nectar. For an afternoon pick-me-up, try the vanilla latte cold brew made with cold-brewed coffee, homemade cashew milk, agave and vanilla.

Ciro’s Pizzeria & Beerhouse (Market St, San Diego)

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Ciro's Pizza

For some of the best catering in San Diego, don’t miss the Gaslamp Quarter institution, Ciro’s Pizzeria. At Ciro’s, pizza dough and sauces are scratch-made in-house daily. They carry a full menu of traditional pizza pies including Meat Lover’s, Veggie Lover’s and Margherita. If you want that authentic Italian taste but aren’t in the mood for pizza, try some of their other favorites like the sub platters, lasagna, and meatballs. Don’t forget to add an order of fresh-made garlic knots.

Pure Sushi & Asian Fusion (Market St, San Diego)

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Pure Sushi & Asian Fusion will satisfy that sushi fix with all the rolls you love including spicy tuna roll, cucumber and avocado roll and the tasty crunchy shrimp roll. The head chef also offers Korean-style beef kalbi short ribs and chicken teriyaki bowls. For dessert, cater the gluten-free cherry cheesecake “sushi bites”, little parcels of New York-style cheesecake with cherries and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies wrapped in soy paper.

Rubio’s Coastal Grill (Rosecrans St, San Diego)

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Rubio's - Salsa and Chips

Rubio’s is famous in San Diego catering for their Baja-style tacos and burritos and commitment to sustainable seafood. One of the most popular catering options is their taco bar which includes your choice of grilled all-natural chicken, all-natural steak or beer-battered Wild Alaska Pollock. Round it out with Mexican or citrus rice, “no fried” pinto beans or black beans, cheese, lettuce, guacamole, signature salsas, soft tortillas, and tortilla chips. If you want to really impress your guests, go for the seafood taco bar which comes with grilled shrimp, grilled or blackened wild salmon or wild ono.

Fiji Yogurt (University Ave, San Diego)

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Vanilla Frozen Yogurt is the top choice at Fiji Yogurt but that’s only part of the story. Irresistible toppings include fresh fruit, nuts, granola, cereal and candy like gummy bears, butterfingers and Heath English toffee. If you’re looking to keep things healthy or satisfy dietary restrictions, sugar-free and non-dairy options are available. Their friendly service and streamlined selections make it easy to plan a winning order for every crowd.

Mediterranean Cafe (W Washington St, San Diego)

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Mediterranean Cafe is the some of the best catering San Diego when feeding a crowd with diverse dietary needs. Whether you’re a meat-eater, vegetarian, or gluten-free, you can find your favorite Middle Eastern specialties packed into one comprehensive sampler package. The most popular pick is package “C” which includes hummus, chicken kabob, gyros (lamb and beef), Greek salad, rice, pita, tzatziki (cucumber-yogurt sauce), and baklava.

The French Gourmet (Turquoise St, San Diego)

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The French Gourmet

A local favorite since 1979, The French Gourmet is famous in San Diego catering for their crisp attention to detail and beautiful presentation. Never afraid of a tight deadline, The French Gourmet boasts a diverse menu that works for any time of day. Start with the fresh breakfast burritos and a seasonal fruit tray. The executive sandwich boxes make it easy to keep the team fed during a working lunch. If you’re looking for something more formal, try the elegant signature salmon with papaya salsa and a sampling of bite-sized desserts.

Elijah’s Restaurant & Catering (Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego)

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For a big buffet with plenty of options to suit everyone’s tastes, Elijah’s is the place. The popular Greek Buffet comes with your choice of kebabs with rice, Greek salad, red kebab sauce, and pita bread.Their signature overstuffed sandwiches are impeccably prepared to a precise 6-ounce specification. Choose between fillings like roast turkey, black forest ham or tuna salad. For dessert, don’t miss the cookie tray which includes a variety of fresh baked cookies and pastries.

The best catering in San Diego is full of healthy options and authentic cuisine. Don’t miss the delicious options in this foodie town.  

Key Takeaways
  • The best in San Diego catering offers everything from seafood, healthy cuisine, and authentic ethnic dishes.
  • Greek, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food platters include vegetarian and gluten-free options.
  • When feeding a crowd, a buffet is an easy way to let everyone customize their own lunch.

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Written by:

Amy Sherman

Amy Sherman is a food and travel writer, blogger and cookbook author. She has written for consumer and trade publications including Cheers, CitySearch, Epicurious, Fodor’s, FoodNetwork, Tasting Table, Where and Zagat. She is author of Williams Sonoma New Flavors for Appetizers, Wine Passport Portugal and A Microwave, A Mug, A Meal. Follow her @cookingwithamy.

Posted in: Trends in FoodNeed to Know

Tagged with: Asian, BBQ, CA, Caterer Network, Caterer Round Up, Catering, Mediterranean, San Diego, Treats