Best of ezCater: Top San Diego Caterers for 2020
- 5 Min Read
San Diego knows the culinary traditions of Mexico inside and out but it also has a thing for great Baja-style tacos, Caesar salad and just about every kind of cuisine you can imagine. Some caterers take the best of both worlds, jazzing up dishes with fusion flavors to bring something entirely new to your office catering routine, while others zero in on homey, traditional dishes. Here are the best caterers in San Diego to help you get started on your catering order.
Best in San Diego
1. Corner Bakery Cafe (4575 La Jolla Village Dr., San Diego)
Satisfy the needs of diverse eaters with breakfast, lunch, and snacks from this caterer’s large and inclusive menu. Favorites like Cinnamon Creme Cake Bites are available in the Take-a-Break Basket and Muffin Bites on the Breakfast Bites Tray.
2. Elijah’s Restaurant & Catering (7061 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego)
The visual appeal of the Overstuffed Sandwich Tray is undeniable– the Black Forest Ham and Smoked Turkey are layered with crisp lettuce and bright tomato. The California Wrap Tray makes a nice presentation with sandwiches stuffed with grilled chicken or veggies and a side salad.
3. Greenspot Salad Company (9450 Scranton Rd., San Diego)
Kale, quinoa, avocado– you name it and they have a Superfood Salad with it. The fresh, detoxifying greenness that defines this caterer’s food extends to the sandwich wraps where the Buffalo Chicken has the celery added right in.
Best for Large Meetings
1. Buca di Beppo (10749 Westview Pkwy., San Diego)
Feeding a group has never been easier than with the family-style pans from this caterer. Choose individual entrée, pasta, and salad pans like Chicken Limone, Baked Ziti, and Mozzarella Caprese. Or order a Celebration Package for your choice of pans and enjoy the included house bread, too.
2. Chris’ Ono Grinds Island Grill (4506 30th St., San Diego)
This Hawaiian favorite adds island flavor to its well-regarded food. The flavor of the islands is sprinkled throughout the menu and is especially enjoyable in the pineapple and teriyaki notes of the Huli Huli Chicken Package, which comes with white rice and sides like Sweet Potato Medallions or an Asian Chop Salad.
3. Abbey’s Real Texas BBQ (6904 Miramar Rd., San Diego)
The American flavors are deep and true from the Pork Shoulder to the Beef Brisket Sandwich at this favorite for barbecue. Choose the Deluxe BBQ Meat Spread to savor two meats, two sides, Caesar salad, garlic rolls, and cookies.
Best for Small Meetings
1. Greenspot Salad Company (9450 Scranton Rd., San Diego)
Cited by fans for their freshness, this caterer shines at salads like the Caesar with crunchy croutons and freshly grated Parmesan. The Powerplant Salad with spinach and carrots tossed with goddess dressing and topped with grilled chicken is great paired with the delicious Greenspot Chili.
2. Corner Bakery Cafe (101 Broadway, San Diego)
Scrambled eggs with melty cheddar and bacon on The Big Scramble hits the spot and feeds groups of eight. The range of coffees (Hazelnut Cream, Sumatra Decaf) are a fun switch from the usual brew and are always nice to sip straight or alongside an order of eggs.
3. Buca di Beppo (705 6th Ave., San Diego)
Family-style food is the name of the game at this Italian style caterer. A Ravioli al Pomodoro Pan comes with red sauce and fresh bread. Or skip the carbs altogether with a pan of Apple Gorgonzola Salad and the Meatballs.
Best for High Stakes Meetings
1. Which Wich (7610 Hazard Center Dr., San Diego)
Fresh, soft bread for all the sandwiches (Caprese, Italian Grinder) on the Which Trays or in a Classic Boxed Lunch makes this caterer a winner when fresh food is a must. The Deluxe Easy Meal includes your choice of Which Tray, green salad, pasta salad, those addictive toffee-infused cookies, and a choice of drink like unsweetened iced tea.
2. Copper Top Coffee & Donuts (101 W Washington St., San Diego)
“Fancy” donuts like a Campfire with marshmallow fluff and graham cracker crumbles or the Tortoise with salted caramel, chocolate drizzle, and walnuts are favored for their fun presentation and easy set-up. A Box of Coffee is the expected pairing but why not try Mexican Chocolate Mocha or Iced Lavender-Honey Lattes instead?
3. Rubicon Deli (3715 India St., San Diego)
Whether it is a Mini Danish Box, Bacon Egg and Cheese Sandwich with chili aioli on brioche or a Spicy Tuna Salad Sandwich with pepper jack cheese on jalapeño jack bread, the classic deli flavors are amped up yet familiar enough to have broad appeal. Or try the Acai Bar with granola and berries to shake things up and keep everyone energized.
Best for Last Minute Orders
1. Corner Bakery Cafe (1476 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas)
Recognized for their ability to manage orders for food allergies, this caterer can pull together a Corner Classic Sandwich Basket with Mom’s roast chicken or a tomato mozzarella in no time. The Cookie Basket has dedicated fans for its chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, sugar, and monster M&M treats.
2. Mediterranean Cafe (112 W Washington St., San Diego)
When promptly feeding fussy diners in a hurry is job one, lean into this family-run caterer for no fuss catering packages with built-in Mediterranean wholesomeness. Package A includes a choice of spit-roasted Gyro or Chicken Kabob, Greek salad, rice, pita, and tzatziki for drizzling.
3. Which Wich (8935 Towne Centre Dr., San Diego)
The wraps are cut in half, just like the sandwiches, which makes it easy to sample more than one. The Italian Grinder is popular as is the Cobb Salad with sliced egg and blue cheese crumbles. No matter what sandwich or wrap tray you choose, each feeds ten.
Best Mexican Catering
1. Porkyland Mexican Grill & Catering (4645 Carmel Mountain Rd., San Diego)
Known for their delicious, juicy pork, this caterer further made its name for the Carnitas Tray, stuffed with shredded braised pork. When you need a choice of filling, try the Rolled Taquitos and select beef, potato, or chicken, then top it off with your choice of salsa and either guacamole or sour cream.
2. Cocina 35 (1435 6th Ave., San Diego)
The Small Guisado Tray includes your choice of entrée (regulars love the olive-oil poached carnitas) plus salsa roja, salsa verde, onions, limes, cilantro, and corn and flour tortillas. At breakfast, Chilaquiles come with eggs, carnitas, or chicken, your choice of salsa, avocado, and all the fixings.
3. Rubio’s Coastal Grill (8855 Villa La Jolla Dr., San Diego)
The Regular Taco Bar includes a choice of two proteins including Beer-Battered Wild Alaska Pollock and grilled Wild Pacific Mahi Mahi. Everyone can customize to taste from there with flour and corn tortillas, cheese, lettuce, guacamole, signature salsa, and chipotle white sauce plus tortilla chips and a choice of two sides like no-fried pinto beans and citrus rice.
Best Sandwich Catering
1. Corner Bakery Cafe (4575 La Jolla Village Dr., San Diego)
The breads like harvest bread and baguette push the sandwiches into the realm of extraordinary. Try the chicken salad with currants and almonds or the steak and arugula. The Lunch Box with Salad includes pasta salad and one of this caterer’s famous chocolate chip or english toffee cookies.
2. Firehouse Subs (2619 Vista Way, Oceanside)
The Deluxe Half Platter – Subs & Snacks includes all the favorites: assorted subs like pepperoni, salami and ham or turkey and roast beef dressed with classic oil and vinegar or peppercorn ranch, classic green or chop salad, and lemonade, limeade, or tea by the gallon. Consider side orders of chips and cookies.
3. Simsim – Outstanding Shawarma (7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego)
Juicy, spit-roasted shawarma– chicken, beef, lamb, or falafel– is a must-order and the Shawarma Sandwich Platter has it all on freshly baked saj bread (it’s soft and wraps up the proteins beautifully). Tahini and garlic sauces are great additions to further enliven the flavorful sandwiches or add a side of fries or hummus.
Best Italian Catering
1. Pesto Italian Craft Kitchen (6011 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego)
Hand-tossed pizza means a just-right thin crust. House-made pesto and three cheeses add delicious aromas and great flavor to the Pesto Perfecto Pizza.
2. Mountain Mike’s Pizza (455 College Blvd., Oceanside)
Treat your crew to ultimate comfort foods like Buffalo Wings with ranch dressing, Mozzarella Sticks with marinara dipping sauce, or Cheese Pizza. There’s even a Cookie Pizza to make this meal just that much more fun.
3. Zpizza (751 Ctr Dr., San Marcos)
When your crowd includes dietary restrictions, this caterer has you covered with 14 gluten-free pizzas, including Mexican Pizza with spicy lime chicken and avocado crema. Tuscan Mushroom Pizza has feta, truffle oil, and thyme while a Berkeley Vegan Pizza is topped with marinara, crumbled veggie burger, and Daiya vegan cheese.
Best Mediterranean Catering
1. Mama’s Bakery & Deli (4237 Alabama St., San Diego)
Add a bit of zesty deliciousness to your next catering order with favorites from a Lebanese kitchen. The Mixed Party Tray has it all: tender, herb-flecked falafel, creamy baba ghanoush, fresh tabouli with tomato, hummus, soft pita, and even olives and pickles.
2. Pita Pit (5375 Napa St., San Diego)
When you need a different kind of sandwich, try the Artisan Pita Platter with Chicken Pesto, Sriracha Chicken, Baja Chicken Bacon Ranch, Thai Chicken, and Dagwood pitas, which is enough to feed 10. The warm pita on the Pita and Dips Platter makes the tzatziki and hummus taste just that much better and powers up an afternoon snack without the sugar.
3. Meze Greek Fusion (345 Sixth Ave., San Diego)
Make a flavorful impression with Greek-American fusion food. Fiery Feta Mac & Cheese is instantly recognizable yet made with Greek kasseri cheese, cheddar, and spicy feta. Juicy, spit-roasted Lamb Souvlaki is more traditional and comes with sautéed vegetables and fragrant basmati rice.
Best Breakfast Catering
1. Elijah’s Restaurant & Catering (7061 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego)
The Breakfast Burritos stay hot and have just the right amount of soft scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, and melty cheddar to please even the most passionate burrito lover. Fans of eggy delights might consider the vegetarian Quiche Florentine with savory mushrooms and wilted spinach baked in a flaky crust.
2. Corner Bakery Cafe (5617 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad)
When a lower calorie breakfast is called for, look to The California Breakfast Bar. It’s piled high with low-fat yogurt, granola, and enough berries to make everyone happy. The Big Scramble will please keto and carb lovers with plenty of eggs, croissants, and bacon or chicken apple sausage.
3. Lani Coffee (101 Market St. #100, San Diego)
Acai Bowls switch things up from eggs and bacon. The Coconut Waimea Acai Bowl delivers a taste of the islands with frozen bananas, strawberries, coconut flakes, honey, and granola.
The Best of ezCater Awards recognize top performing ezCater catering partners in 25 cities across the US. Selection criteria include catering performance over the past 12 months, customer reviews and ratings, and adherence to ezCater editorial guidelines. All winners must have a location in the 25 designated metro areas.
A world of flavor is baked into San Diego’s catering scene.