The holidays are fast approaching, so if you're looking to celebrate the season with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day lunches and dinners, look no further. Many San Diego restaurants are offering festive specials, multi-course prix-fixe menus, and decadent buffets — Eater has rounded up a fourteen places for you to eat, drink, feast and be merry with your nearest and dearest on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.Read More
Where to Dine Out on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
The pick of San Diego’s Christmas menus
1. 1500 OCEAN
Chef Meredith Manee has created a four-course feast fit for the most discerning diner at the Hotel Del’s signature restaurant. Priced at $110, $165 with wine pairings, and $40 for children 12 and under, standouts include venison Carpaccio to start, followed by seared scallops with cauliflower pureè, and then a trio of duck for the main course. For dessert, choices include a maple budino and nutmeg crème brûlée.
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2. The Marine Room
In addition to his regular offerings, executive chef Bernard Guillas will be serving up Christmas Eve Specials on Saturday, December 24. Expect to find heirloom bacon wrapped Atlantic Monkfish ($48), and an Oregon Kobe beef ribeye steak with plugra potato mousseline, XO butter, togarashi plum and Nikka Whiskey sauce on the menu.
3. Bellamy's Restaurant
Executive chef Jonathan Freyberg has curated an array of holiday favorites with his exclusive Christmas Eve menu. Priced at $65 per person, standout dishes include a porcini mushroom ravioli, lobster and seafood stew, and Mont Blanc Bouche de Noel. Dinner can be enhanced with additional wine pairings, for those wishing to dine at home to-go options are available.
4. CUCINA urbana
Top of the billing at CUCINA urbana (Bankers Hill), CUCINA enoteca (Del Mar), and cucina SORELLA (Kensington) is executive chef Joe Magnanelli’s luxurious Feast of the Seven Fishes. The time-honored Italian-American Christmas Eve tradition runs December 18 - December 24 and will showcase a rotating seafood menu comprising fish-filled pasta to charcuterie-stuffed squid.
5. Grant Grill
Executive Chef Mark Kropczynski will be serving five-course feast of seasonal California cuisine on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day evening between 5:30-9 p.m. The dinner is priced at $95 per person or $130 with optional wine pairings. Reservations are highly recommended.
6. The Westgate Hotel
Indulge your senses with a Holiday Buffet or four-course Christmas dinner at the Westgate Hotel. Diners can enjoy a refined four-course dinner in the Westgate Room from 6 p.m. onward on Christmas Eve ($69), or feast on such delights as braised short ribs, Wellington of Atlantic salmon, Bay Scallops and more in the Le Fontainebleau Room on Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ($85)
7. Mille Fleurs
Enjoy holiday dining on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Mille Fleurs. The “Ranch’s” fine dining institution will be offering a three-course prix fixe meal for $89 prepared by chef de cuisine Martin Woesle. Highlights include foie gras terrine and buckwheat blinis with caviar and smoked salmon for starters, and medallions of venison loin for the main course. On Christmas Day, Chef Woesle has crafted some à la carte offerings, which include Pacific Oysters on the Half Shell ($21), plus Beef Filet and New York Steak ($46)
8. Bleu Boheme
Celebrate Christmas Eve à la française with Bleu Bohème’s prix fixe menu available exclusively on Saturday, December 24. Created by owner and executive chef, Ken Irvine, the specialty three-course menu is priced at $59 per person and includes dishes such as lamb ragout and goat cheese raviolis, duck leg confit with wild rice, and flourless chocolate cake with Kirsch Chantilly cream. Specially crafted festive cocktails, like La Poire, are priced at $12 each.
9. The Med
Executive chef Alex Emery and his team are serving up a special three-course menu this Christmas. Priced at $85 (adults) and $39 (children under 12) delights include a smoked burrata and cranberry gelée amuse bouche, followed by appetizers like smoked wild salmon rillettes and a black & blue beef tartare. A dry aged Maple Leaf duck breast and locally caught grouper are just two entrée options, while for dessert there is a smoked persimmon panna cotta, fairytale pumpkin mousse trifle or Julian apple pie mousse cake.
10. Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant
Chef de cuisine, Tyler Nollenberger is serving up a little holiday magic on Christmas Eve with an elegant holiday dinner. Priced at $24.95 it includes a citrus-glazed duck confit with mushroom farro risotto, roasted butternut squash and poached cranberries. Recommended pairings include 2014 Fortnight Cabernet Sauvignon and the Thyme Is On My Side cocktail.
11. Tasting Room Del Mar
Come Christmas Eve, Chefs Steven Lona and Jenny Goycochea will be offering a $55 prix fixe menu. Highlights include a composed cheese course, truffled cream of mushroom soup, flatiron steak and chocolate peppermint dessert. Guests can also enjoy optional wine and craft beer pairings.
12. Fogo de Chão
For guests looking to dine on Christmas, Fogo is offering a special holiday menu in addition to their 16 fire-roasted meats and full Market Table. Special dish additions include seasonal beef roast, sweet potato casserole, butternut and sweet potato soup, roasted butternut squash, and a pear and endive salad. Fogo’s Holiday hours: Christmas Eve 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Christmas Day 12 to 9 p.m.
13. SEA180º Coastal Tavern
Enjoy oceanfront dining at SEA180’s while tucking into five food stations at the restaurant’s seasonal buffet. Standouts including the slow roasted King Salmon from the seafood station, the chili rubbed prime rib from the carving station, and chocolate peppermint brownies from the dessert display. Priced at $59.95 the buffet is available between 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. on Christmas Day.
14. Carne Prima
Chef Aliano Decka has prepared a three-course festive menu at this new Gaslamp go-to. Priced at $68 starters include a Swordfish Carpaccio and Burrata Campana, and signature entrées, like the Trio of European Cod, Pan Seared Duck Breast with vanilla and champagne sauce and wild mushrooms. Round out the meal with a Trio of Panna Cotta for dessert. Dinner will be served on Christmas Day between 2 – 9 p.m.