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Dining table and chairs set in garden. Wormwood/Facebook

15 Charming Spots for Outdoor Dining in San Diego

Find restaurants with cozy garden patios or stunning ocean views

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San Diego’s near-perfect weather makes the region a prime place for eating outdoors, with local restaurants able to take full advantage of the climate by offering open-air dining experiences. And with Valentine’s Day on the way, what’s better than cozying up outside? Unparalleled views of the ocean, garden patios, and an abundance of ambiance: here’s 15 romantic outdoor dining spots in San Diego County.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

Note: entries on this map are listed geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Valle Restaurant

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201 N Myers St
Oceanside, CA 92054

Diners don’t have to travel across the border to experience Valle de Guadalupe when they can just head to Oceanside to dine on dishes like taco de abulon, betabel nixtamal and chocolate de metate. And the restaurant’s generous wrap-around patio faces the Pacific Ocean.

2. Jeune et Jolie

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2659 State St
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 637-5266
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Jeune et Jolie’s four-course menu is reason enough to visit this delightful Carlsbad restaurant but for a truly romantic dinner, request a seat on their outdoor patio where stringed lights overhead set the atmosphere.

Starry Night dining patio at Jeune et Jolie in Carlsbad Courtesy photo

3. Valentina

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810 N Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 943-6686
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Valentina’s solid wine list plus a concise menu of modern European classics including steak frites, mussels al vino, and pulpo con papas make this a must-visit restaurant in Encinitas, but head there too for their abundant outdoor seating. It’s a mix of sidewalk and patio dining with umbrellas shading guests during the day.

4. A.R. Valentien

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11480 N Torrey Pines Rd
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 777-6635
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While the inside of A.R. Valentien is decorated with warm woods, it’s the outdoor dining area you’ll want to request for sweeping views of Torrey Pines and the Pacific Ocean. The farm-to-table restaurant’s chef de cuisine Kelli Crosson was recently promoted to executive chef while longtime leader Jeff Jackson will now serve as The Lodge at Torrey Pines’s corporate culinary advisor.

5. George's at the Cove

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1250 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-4244
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With its picture postcard views of La Jolla Cove, Scripps Pier and the bluffs at Torrey Pines, the aptly named Ocean Terrace at George’s is considered a quintessential dining San Diego experience and it’s a romantic destination too whether it’s a light lunch, sundowners, or even a special occasion dinner.

6. Wormwood

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4677 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 915-6706
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Wormwood’s dining room and absinthe-focused menu transports diner to Paris is reason enough to visit this University Heights spot. Request a seat outdoors and you’ll be welcomed into the restaurant’s brick-lined patio and a lush secret garden.

7. Kairoa Brewing Company

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4601 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 295-1355
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Romantic dining can be had at a pub too and this University Heights spot puts its rooftop bar to good use for couples looking to brunch, day drink, or catch dinner. The house beers and rotating guest taps are solid; food-wise try the fish and chips or New Zealand ‘cheese and seaboard’ with NZ brie and smoked sea bream.

Rooftop patio at Kairoa Brewing Company. Haley Hill Photography

8. Fort Oak

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1011 Fort Stockton Dr
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 722-3398
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Treat that special someone to Trust Group’s handsome restaurant and cocktail bar in Mission Hills where the outside patio is just as gorgeous as the interiors. It’s a great spot for brunch or Monday night happy hour featuring $1 oysters.

Front dining patio at Fort Oak. Paula Watts

9. Starlite

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3175 India St
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 358-9766
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The retro dining room at this midtown haunt has earned a slew of accolades (and fans) over the years, but the moodily lit back patio deserves some love of its own.

10. Mister A's

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2550 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 239-1377
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Specializing in classic French and modern American cuisine, Mister A’s is a San Diego dining institution is an old school date spot with unparalleled views whether you eat indoors or out. Request a spot outdoors and wave to planes as they makes their final approach to the airport.

After 21 years, owner Bertrand Hug has passed on the restaurant’s reins to longtime operations director Ryan Thorsen, who will be updateding the space.

11. Carruth Cellars Wine Garden

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2215 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(858) 847-9463
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Share a bottle of wine and a build-your-own cheese board at this darling wine garden lined with olive trees and decked out with string lights. The maximum capacity at this Little Italy gem is only 30 people so you know it’s super intimate.

12. Kettner Exchange

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2001 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 255-2001
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Anchored by a beautiful olive tree, KEX’s buzzy rooftop patio has plenty of seating, from benches to cabanas and non-traditional options (read: giant swing) for laid-back Sunday brunches and dressy date nights.

13. Born and Raised

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1909 India St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 202-4577
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It doesn’t get more glamorous in San Diego than sipping cocktails on the teak — and very sexy — rooftop at Consortium’s see-and-be-seen steakhouse. Come for drinks at the bar or dinner framed by San Diego skyline views. Side note: the coveted corner table up here is the best seat in the house.

The rooftop patio at night with columns made to look like trees with twinkling lights and a black and white striped floor. Zack Benson

14. Davanti Enoteca

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1655 India St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 237-9606
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Little Italy is always seemingly busy but head to the back of Davanti Enoteca to experience their charming, intimate outdoor patio. Trees with twinkling lights transform the space by night. Those looking to do some people watching also have the option of the front patio too.

15. SEA180

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800 Seacoast Dr
Imperial Beach, CA 91932
(619) 631-4949
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No other restaurant patio places the diner squarely between Downtown San Diego and the Mexican border, while still staying on by the shore with ocean breezes to cool the air and fire pits to warm up. But Sea180 does just that while serving a fine dining menu filled with items like grilled Spanish octopus and shrimp enchiladas.

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1. Valle Restaurant

201 N Myers St, Oceanside, CA 92054

Diners don’t have to travel across the border to experience Valle de Guadalupe when they can just head to Oceanside to dine on dishes like taco de abulon, betabel nixtamal and chocolate de metate. And the restaurant’s generous wrap-around patio faces the Pacific Ocean.

201 N Myers St
Oceanside, CA 92054

2. Jeune et Jolie

2659 State St, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Starry Night dining patio at Jeune et Jolie in Carlsbad Courtesy photo

Jeune et Jolie’s four-course menu is reason enough to visit this delightful Carlsbad restaurant but for a truly romantic dinner, request a seat on their outdoor patio where stringed lights overhead set the atmosphere.

2659 State St
Carlsbad, CA 92008

3. Valentina

810 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Valentina’s solid wine list plus a concise menu of modern European classics including steak frites, mussels al vino, and pulpo con papas make this a must-visit restaurant in Encinitas, but head there too for their abundant outdoor seating. It’s a mix of sidewalk and patio dining with umbrellas shading guests during the day.

810 N Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

4. A.R. Valentien

11480 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037

While the inside of A.R. Valentien is decorated with warm woods, it’s the outdoor dining area you’ll want to request for sweeping views of Torrey Pines and the Pacific Ocean. The farm-to-table restaurant’s chef de cuisine Kelli Crosson was recently promoted to executive chef while longtime leader Jeff Jackson will now serve as The Lodge at Torrey Pines’s corporate culinary advisor.

11480 N Torrey Pines Rd
La Jolla, CA 92037

5. George's at the Cove

1250 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037

With its picture postcard views of La Jolla Cove, Scripps Pier and the bluffs at Torrey Pines, the aptly named Ocean Terrace at George’s is considered a quintessential dining San Diego experience and it’s a romantic destination too whether it’s a light lunch, sundowners, or even a special occasion dinner.

1250 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037

6. Wormwood

4677 30th St, San Diego, CA 92116

Wormwood’s dining room and absinthe-focused menu transports diner to Paris is reason enough to visit this University Heights spot. Request a seat outdoors and you’ll be welcomed into the restaurant’s brick-lined patio and a lush secret garden.

4677 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116

7. Kairoa Brewing Company

4601 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116
Rooftop patio at Kairoa Brewing Company. Haley Hill Photography

Romantic dining can be had at a pub too and this University Heights spot puts its rooftop bar to good use for couples looking to brunch, day drink, or catch dinner. The house beers and rotating guest taps are solid; food-wise try the fish and chips or New Zealand ‘cheese and seaboard’ with NZ brie and smoked sea bream.

4601 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92116

8. Fort Oak

1011 Fort Stockton Dr, San Diego, CA 92103
Front dining patio at Fort Oak. Paula Watts

Treat that special someone to Trust Group’s handsome restaurant and cocktail bar in Mission Hills where the outside patio is just as gorgeous as the interiors. It’s a great spot for brunch or Monday night happy hour featuring $1 oysters.

1011 Fort Stockton Dr
San Diego, CA 92103

9. Starlite

3175 India St, San Diego, CA 92103

The retro dining room at this midtown haunt has earned a slew of accolades (and fans) over the years, but the moodily lit back patio deserves some love of its own.

3175 India St
San Diego, CA 92103

10. Mister A's

2550 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Specializing in classic French and modern American cuisine, Mister A’s is a San Diego dining institution is an old school date spot with unparalleled views whether you eat indoors or out. Request a spot outdoors and wave to planes as they makes their final approach to the airport.

After 21 years, owner Bertrand Hug has passed on the restaurant’s reins to longtime operations director Ryan Thorsen, who will be updateding the space.

2550 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

11. Carruth Cellars Wine Garden

2215 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Share a bottle of wine and a build-your-own cheese board at this darling wine garden lined with olive trees and decked out with string lights. The maximum capacity at this Little Italy gem is only 30 people so you know it’s super intimate.

2215 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

12. Kettner Exchange

2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Anchored by a beautiful olive tree, KEX’s buzzy rooftop patio has plenty of seating, from benches to cabanas and non-traditional options (read: giant swing) for laid-back Sunday brunches and dressy date nights.

2001 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

13. Born and Raised

1909 India St, San Diego, CA 92101
The rooftop patio at night with columns made to look like trees with twinkling lights and a black and white striped floor. Zack Benson

It doesn’t get more glamorous in San Diego than sipping cocktails on the teak — and very sexy — rooftop at Consortium’s see-and-be-seen steakhouse. Come for drinks at the bar or dinner framed by San Diego skyline views. Side note: the coveted corner table up here is the best seat in the house.

1909 India St
San Diego, CA 92101

14. Davanti Enoteca

1655 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

Little Italy is always seemingly busy but head to the back of Davanti Enoteca to experience their charming, intimate outdoor patio. Trees with twinkling lights transform the space by night. Those looking to do some people watching also have the option of the front patio too.

1655 India St
San Diego, CA 92101

15. SEA180

800 Seacoast Dr, Imperial Beach, CA 91932

No other restaurant patio places the diner squarely between Downtown San Diego and the Mexican border, while still staying on by the shore with ocean breezes to cool the air and fire pits to warm up. But Sea180 does just that while serving a fine dining menu filled with items like grilled Spanish octopus and shrimp enchiladas.

800 Seacoast Dr
Imperial Beach, CA 91932

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