Find a catering service in San Diego, CA

Find catering services in San Diego, CA

Find catering services in San Diego, CA

Share a few details and we'll show you the best catering services in your area.
Zip code

Budget per person

Find catering services in San Diego, CA

Share a few details and we'll show you the best catering services in your area.
Zip code

Budget per person

Top 10 catering services in San Diego, CA

Clients agree: these San Diego catering services are highly rated for knowledge, experience, communication, and more.
The Soul Bistro

The Soul Bistro

3 hires on Fash
19+ years in business
Serves San Diego, CA
Bonny S M. says, "Soul Bistro came forward and is willing to donate his time to cook for 6 people at their home to be auctioned off at our Big-Table San Diego fund raiser. We are so blessed and looking forward to him sharing his cooking expertise with others. Bonny Morano - Big Table- San Diego" Read more
Fruitcakes Chef Services

Fruitcakes Chef Services

1 hire on Fash
12+ years in business
Serves San Diego, CA
Johnny S. says, "We cannot say enough about Kathy and her delicious food! As a person, Kathy is as kind and warm as they come! As a chef and entrepreneur, she's the best! We first met Kathy on Kauai 10 years ago when she catered our besties' wedding. Kathy then moved to San Diego and we have worked with her on many occasions including big family celebrations and office lunches. We are so grateful that in November 2024, she is joining us on Kauai for our destination wedding where she will be with our family to delight us with her culinary skills . You cannot ask for a better human to work with to cater your special occasion." Read more
Temakeria San Diego

Temakeria San Diego

New on Fash
2+ years in business
Serves San Diego, CA
Our business is 2 years old and the highest rated in Pacific Beach. We Fusion the Japanese and Brazilian culinary with some incredible creations. Always fresh fish and the best ingredients.
Pacific Coast Palate

Pacific Coast Palate

New on Fash
3 hires on Fash
3+ years in business
Serves San Diego, CA
Not your average caterer but your culinary experience. We have several highly trained chefs on the team, fine dining trained servers, mixologists to bartend, a creative director to assure the food syncs with your overall theme, and an event coordinator to make sure your event goes smooth as butter. We will work with you to customize a menu, assist you with table settings and all of your staffing needs. We bring the 5 star dinning to you and your guests.

Your Wedding and Event Catering questions, answered

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Fash.

How much is catering?

Catering costs $10 to $35 per person for basic party food or a drop-off service. On average, caterers charge $500 to $7,500 total for 50 guests, $1,000 to $15,000 for 100 guests, and $1,500 to $23,000 for 150 guests. Alcohol or bartending options often cost extra.

Formal catering or wedding catering costs $30 to $200 per person for plated meals, a buffet, or food stations. A food truck rental costs $10 to $40 per person, depending on the type of event and whether you hire the truck on a weekend or holiday. Popular food truck menu options include tacos, pizza, BBQ, and ice cream.

What is catering?

Catering means supplying food and drink at a party, wedding, or other gathering. Some catering companies provide waitstaff, while others offer self-serve buffet stations or simply drop off prepared food to an event. Different catering companies provide different types of foods and cuisines, including:

  • Italian
  • Mexican
  • Barbeque
  • Japanese
  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches
  • Ice cream
  • Breakfast or brunch

How far in advance do I need to order catering?

Most caterers recommend ordering at least a few weeks to 6 months in advance, depending on the type of event and number of guests. However, catering a small party may not require as much advance time as a wedding, holiday party, or large corporate event.

Large chain restaurants often provide limited, drop-off catering services and require less notice than professional catering companies. Some chain restaurants and grocery stores offer catering services with only one day's notice.

What do caterers provide?

Caterers supply all the food for your event, either cooking it on-site or preparing it in their own kitchen beforehand. Many catering services include serving dishes, plates, glasses, and silverware in their price. Some caterers also offer tables, chairs, linens, or custom place settings for an added fee.

How long do caterers stay at an event?

Caterers typically serve food for 1 to 4 hours, depending on the time of year and number of guests. Setup usually takes 1 to 2 hours. Ask your caterer whether they will include any of the setup or cleanup time in their estimate.

Do you tip caterers?

Some caterers include a gratuity charge of 15% to 20% on your bill that is split between the servers. Before adding a cash tip, ask your caterer or review the contract to make sure a gratuity charge is not already included. If you decide to give cash tips directly, pay each person between $15 to $50.

How do I choose a catering company?

Search our list of caterers, then:

  • Get three or more free estimates to compare.
  • Read their reviews and menus on Fash and Google.
  • Choose a licensed, insured, and experienced company.
  • Try menu tasting before your event if possible.
  • Make sure they're a good fit for your budget and schedule.
  • Get a written estimate or contract.
  • Avoid making a large payment before your event begins.

After reading reviews and asking questions, hire the best company in your area.

What questions should I ask caterers?

When looking for local catering companies, consider asking the following questions:

  • How long have you been catering?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • How far in advance do I need to book?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Do you allow menu changes?
  • Will you bring prepared food, or will you prepare it onsite?
  • How long will you be able to serve food?
  • How long do you need to set up?
  • Do you charge extra for travel fees?
  • Will you give me a written estimate and contract?

Reviews for San Diego catering services

Recent success stories from people in the San Diego area.
Alexis T.
Thank you Kathy for an amazing dinner! Our girls absolutely enjoyed every bit of it for our bachelorette party — would highly recommend!
Fruitcakes Chef Services
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