Whether you’re visiting San Diego over the festive period or a local looking to dodge the cooking and washing up, a wide range of restaurants are open across the county on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. From a Hanukkah menu and Chinese popup to an eight-course Christmas Eve dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant, here are 25 spots for Holiday buffets, prix fixe, and a la carte dining.Read More
Where to Eat on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in San Diego
Brunches, buffets, prix fixe menus and more
1. Jeune et Jolie
Reservations are being taken until 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve at Eater’s Restaurant of the Year. In addition to the regular menu a special seasonal Carte Blanche tasting menu will be available for $90 per person.
2. 20|Twenty Grill
Festive culinary offerings at 20|Twenty include a three-course Christmas Eve dinner prepared by executive chef Julian Quiñones priced at $75 and served from 5 to 10 p.m. And, on December 25, a Christmas dinner with a Southern California twist priced at $80 will be available from 3 to 8 p.m.
3. Valentina Restaurant
Encinitas’ neighborhood bistro is celebrating Christmas Eve with a prix fixe, three-course dinner for $49 with an optional wine pairing for an additional $25. Dish selections include a fennel and frisee salad, crispy duck leg, and vegan coffee panna cotta. Make reservations online or by calling at (760) 943-6686.
4. CUCINA enoteca Del Mar
All CUCINA locations will be celebrating the time-honored Feast of the Seven Fishes Italian-American holiday tradition with a specially designed seven-item antipasti platter of fresh seafood. Priced at $32 and designed for sharing by up to four guests it will be available from December 18 through the 24.
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5. ADDISON RESTAURANT
Make Christmas Eve a Michelin-starred one with the eight-course tasting menu at chef William Bradley’s Addison. It costs $275 per person and reservations can be secured by calling (858) 314-1900.
6. Fairmont Grand Del Mar
The Fairmont’s lavish Grand Christmas Brunch Buffet on December 25 will be served from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. It’s priced at $129 for adults and $55 for children (aged between 4 and 12) and reservations can be made online.
7. A.R. Valentien
Whether celebrating Hanukkah or Christmas, executive chef Jeff Jackson has got holiday dining covered His “Festival of Lights” menu is available between December 22 and 30; while on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day diners can enjoy a seasonally inspired four-course meal at The Lodge’s signature restaurant. Prices start at $120 ($135 with sparkling wine) and $60 for children.
8. Blue Ocean Sushi
Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you have to stick to prime rib. Open regular business hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day head to Blue Ocean Sushi for specialty rolls or mouth-watering dishes like scallops with black rice risotto, Port wine crispy duck breast, and Korean barbecue ribs.
9. California Modern
George’s will be serving a three-course Christmas Day dinner on December 25 priced at $75 with $38 optional wine pairings. Take your pick from appetizers like the Baja scallop ceviche or Chino Farms lettuces before moving onto entrees such as local yellowtail or the Niman Ranch pork chop.
10. NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar
Treat yourself to a three-course prix fixe dinner by Chef Jason Knibb on Christmas Eve. Served from 5:30 to 9 p.m. it’s priced at $85 or $124 with wine pairings. Dish selections range from sous vide egg and curried lamb tartare to a grilled local swordfish. Check out the full menu and make reservations online.
11. JRDN Restaurant
For salty ocean breezes and a view of the Pacific Beach Pier Christmas tree, get executive chef David Warner and the JRDN team’s three-course, locally sourced dinner on the books for December 25. It will be served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and tables can be reserved by calling (858) 270-2323.
12. Bahia Resort Hotel
The Bahia Resort Hotel is hosting a Christmas Champagne Brunch in its ballroom on December 25, complete with carving stations, main courses, sides, salads, desserts, and Mission Bay views. Priced at $56 for adults, there’s a special $25 children’s buffet for kids between 5 to 11 years of age, too.
13. Farmer's Table La Mesa
All Farmer’s Table locations around San Diego will offer a prix-fixe, four-course menu on December 25. Priced at $49 dish options include grilled artichokes and an 8oz bison filet, plus any signature dessert.
14. Bleu Bohème
Celebrate “réveillon de Noël” with a three-course dinner at Bleu Bohème on December 24. Priced at $68 dish range from lamb ragout with goat cheese ravioli to a charcuterie board with duck pâté. Limited-edition cranberry gimlet holiday cocktail The Canneberg will also be available for the evening.
Point Loma trattoria Cesarina is serving their Christmas Eve dinner a la carte or as a four-course tasting menu. It costs $59 per person and includes dishes like seared scallops and a traditional ricotta gnocchi.
16. The Smoking Goat Restaurant
Reservations are being taken from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve at The Smoking Goat, who alongside their full dinner menu, will have a 14oz prime rib special served with mashed potatoes, farmer’s market vegetables, au jus and horseradish cream ($55).
17. Il Dandy
Available on December 24, the Christmas in Calabria chef’s menu at ll Dandy costs $90 and includes two appetizers, one pasta dish, two entrées and one dessert. Additionally, intimate tasting restaurant ARAMA has two Christmas Eve packages priced at $350 (Level 1) or $400 (premium) for up to six guests.
18. Mister A's
The Christmas Eve prix fixe menu ($95.50) and Christmas Day prix fixe menu ($79.50) include seasonal selections like a 72-hours braised Strauss Farm veal, oven roasted Maine lobster, and housemade Wagyu beef agnolotti. Reservations can be made online or by calling (619) 239-1377.
19. BANKERS HILL BAR + Restaurant
Chef de cuisine Justin Braly’s special cabernet-braised short rib dish with garlic mashed potatoes, and roasted root vegetables will be served for one night only on Christmas Eve. Ease into the spirit with a pre- or post-dinner holiday cocktail, Up To Snow Good. Made with Malahat Spiced rum, apple brandy, and Amaro Montenegro it’s garnished with grated nutmeg and fresh cranberries.
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20. Ironside Fish & Oyster
While Ironside will close at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Tony Guan (Underbelly) will helm a Chinese pop-up there from 3 to 10 p.m. on Christmas Day with raw bar service resuming from 10 p.m. until midnight.
21. The Westgate Hotel
Executive chef Fabrice Hardel’s four-course prix fixe menu will be served on December 24 (5 to 9 p.m.) and Christmas Day (11 a.m. to 9 p.m. ) in the Westgate Room. A buffet will also be served in the Le Fontainebleau Room from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas Day and costs $99 for adults (add $20 for bottomless house wine and Champagne) and $40 for children under 12.
22. Pendry San Diego
Provisional Kitchen at chic hotel Pendry San Diego has got Christmas Eve and Christmas Day covered with two special three-course menus. Both priced at $85 for adults and $25 for children under 12, dishes run the gamut from herb-crusted pork loin to a California seafood stew and pecan baked brie.
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23. The Oceanaire Seafood Room
Opening early both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day The Oceanaire will be serving an a la carte menu by chef Daniel Barron along with fresh surf and turf classics. They’ve created a featured holiday cocktail too, called Santa’s Cider it’s made with Grey Goose vodka, St-Germain, and Bénédictin.
Another option for Crown Islanders is ALBACA at the Coronado Island Marriott who are pulling out all the stops with their Christmas Day buffet – think cheese and charcuterie, carvings of prime rib, a raw bar and locally caught fish cooked to order. It’s priced at $75 for adults and $30 for children under 12.
25. Hotel del Coronado
San Diego’s storied Hotel Del is putting on a lavish four-course holiday dinner in its iconic Crown Room on Christmas Eve, while on Christmas Day, a gourmet buffet can be enjoyed in either the oceanfront Ballroom or Crown Room. Prices range from $120 to $140 (adults), and $50 to $55 (children under 10).