St. James French Diner | Downtown San Diego

My friend Vero ((@goldenwestclub)) introduced me to St. James French Diner and we collectively decided it will be a staple in our downtown dining guides…

Saint James offers a chic take on a French bistro influenced by an American diner. Open daily for coffee, Wed – Sun for dinner, and the weekend for brunch — there are plenty of menus to eat your way through when visiting St. James French Diner. While this trip was strictly for dinner ((as well missed their amazing happy hour deals by 30 minutes)), I could easily stop by for some coffee + a stunning remote work situation. But I am most excited to go experience a St. James brunch.

We started with the French Onion Soup — which was easily the best FOS I have ever tasted in my life. The best part was the fresh, flakey pastry puff that was perfectly browned on top of the piping hot of soup. The onions were caramelized to sweet perfection and there was no lack of delicious cheese. We almost passed up on this starter, but per the recommendation from our attentive waiter — we added it to our order. And we were incredibly happy we did.

I have one rule. And that rule is — when fining at a French bistro ((or French bistro/diner)) order the mussels. And ask for extra dipping bread. There is nothing better than a French restaurants mussels + sauce and St. James solidified my belief in my own rule. Their mussels were served submerged in a saffron cream sauce, spinach, fennel, Pernod, and fresh dill. We both were using our empty mussel shells to drink the remaining sauce after we fought over the last mussel.

We were no longer hungry after sharing those two dishes, however, we still ordered the Burger Parisienne. And while we had to be rolled out of St. James… We both were very happy we did. Stuffed, but elated because the sauce bordelaise was so delicious I would’ve drank it if it wasn’t laying on a flat plate… This burger was also accompanies with caramelized onions, American cheese, and a special sauce — all served on a sesame bun. And I am beyond particular about the buns that burgers are served on. This one did not disappoint. St. James offers their burgers at half off during happy hour — one of the best deals in downtown San Diego…

It is not like me to skip out on dessert. Especially a French dessert, but we were so full I gracefully bowed out. But absolutely will be back to do a full dessert tour.

I will absolutely be back to St. James French Diner…


  • French Onion Soup
  • Mussels
  • Burger Parisienne
  • Wink and a Nudge



What restaurants should I try next in the San Diego area? Please comment them below!


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