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Where to Eat on Christmas (and Christmas Eve)

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If you haven't already, now is the time to book those holiday reservations; here's some ideas for where to take the family out for a celebratory meal on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Most are offering special multi-course prix fixes or have added seasonally-themed dishes.

Imagine not having to clean up after a delicious, pants-tightening holiday feast; these 11 local eateries are willing to dirty their kitchens so that you don't have to.

Have a restaurant to add? Leave a link in the comments.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cusp Dining & Drinks

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7955 La Jolla Shores Drive
San Diego, CA 92037
Executive chef Donald Lockhart is putting together a three-course Christmas dinner ($45 for adults and $20 for children). Starters include goat cheese fritters, entrees range from short ribs to turkey with oyster stuffing and among the desserts is a ginger-cranberry pie. Bartender Nate Howell's contribution is a seasonal drink, called The Grinch, which softens tequila with green chartreuse, fresh lime and mint. Christmas Day hours are from noon to 6 p.m.

2. Marina Kitchen

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333 W Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 699-8222
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The San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina's holiday buffet from Chef Aron Schwartz is opening its doors on Christmas Eve (4 to 9 p.m.) and Christmas Day (2 to 9 p.m.). It's $48 per person; $12.99 for kids and the spread includes shrimp cocktail, Berkshire pork two ways, roasted Jidori chicken and eggnog cheesecake.

3. Vela

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101 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA
The Hilton San Diego Bayfront eatery is serving a three course, $39.95 dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Course options include roasted chestnut soup, pan seared duck breast and white chocolate and cranberry bread pudding.

4. 100 Wines

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1027 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 491-0100
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The restaurant will be open from 3 to 8 p.m. on Christmas day and is serving a three course meal for $39.95 for adults and $12.95 for children. The holiday menu includes kale and quinoa salad, stuffed pork loin and eggnog creme brulee.

5. La Valencia Hotel

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1132 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-0771
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On Christmas eve (5 to 10 p.m.) and Christmas day (noon to 8 p.m.), the hotel is offering a four course meal that includes lobster bisque, smoked prime rib or traditional Christmas goose. The supper is $75 for adults and $35 for children 12 and under.

6. Avant

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17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr
San Diego, CA 92128
(858) 675-8550
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AVANT's Christmas eve prix-fixe menu will be offered between 3 and 8 p.m and is $65 per person and $25 (Kids 4-12); options include beet-cured wild salmon and pan roasted guinea hen. A Christmas day three-course menu is scheduled between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.; starters include a crab beignet and entree choices range from halibut to old school beef Wellington.

7. Rancho Valencia

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5921 Valencia Cir
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
These Christmas dinners come complete with carolers. On Christmas Eve from 5 to 9 p.m., the $95 four-course menu includes winter squash bisque and braised duck tortelloni. On Christmas day from 2 to 7 p.m., the menu features roasted beet and lobster salad, grilled swordfish and a butterscotch and vanilla bean budino.

8. Bertrand At Mister As

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2550 5th Ave Fl 12
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 239-1377
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Chef de Cuisine Stéphane Voitwinkler is cooking up a prix fixe Christmas Eve menu for $75 per person, available from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Highlights include a 48-hour braised prime beer and herb-crusted rack of lamb. On Christmas Day, the three-course prix fixe menu will be served between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 4:30 and 9 p.m. Priced at $59.50, it includes oven roasted local sea bass, venison loin, scallops and more.

9. Hotel del Coronado

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1500 Orange Ave
Coronado, CA 92118
(800) 468-3533
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Celebrate Christmas Eve with a Victorian buffet dinner in the Crown Room, complete with live musical entertainment. It's $115 for adults, $45.50 for children. On Christmas Day, there's a traditional holiday buffet in the oceanfront ballroom and Crown Room; $98.50 for adults, $40 for children.

10. Farm House Cafe

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2121 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 269-9662
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Chef/owner Olivier Bioteau's annual Christmas Eve dinner is a $45.00 pre-fixe with optional $15 wine pairings and open seating from 5 to 9 p.m. This year's menu includes house cured salmon, mushroom-chestnut soup and Mexican chocolate cake. (Their regular menu is also served.)

11. Amaya at The Grand Del Mar

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5300 Grand del Mar Ct
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 314-2727
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Amaya is hosting a Christmas Eve dinner from 4 to 9 p.m., including roasted beef filet and a deconstructed chocolate yule log. $80 per adult, $120 with wine, $30 per child (ages 6 – 12). On Christmas Day, a three-course brunch served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. includes a smoked salmon plate and Dungeness crab benedict. $52 per adult and $25 per child (ages 6 – 12)

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1. Cusp Dining & Drinks

7955 La Jolla Shores Drive, San Diego, CA 92037
Executive chef Donald Lockhart is putting together a three-course Christmas dinner ($45 for adults and $20 for children). Starters include goat cheese fritters, entrees range from short ribs to turkey with oyster stuffing and among the desserts is a ginger-cranberry pie. Bartender Nate Howell's contribution is a seasonal drink, called The Grinch, which softens tequila with green chartreuse, fresh lime and mint. Christmas Day hours are from noon to 6 p.m.
7955 La Jolla Shores Drive
San Diego, CA 92037

2. Marina Kitchen

333 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
The San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina's holiday buffet from Chef Aron Schwartz is opening its doors on Christmas Eve (4 to 9 p.m.) and Christmas Day (2 to 9 p.m.). It's $48 per person; $12.99 for kids and the spread includes shrimp cocktail, Berkshire pork two ways, roasted Jidori chicken and eggnog cheesecake.
333 W Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101

3. Vela

101 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA
The Hilton San Diego Bayfront eatery is serving a three course, $39.95 dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Course options include roasted chestnut soup, pan seared duck breast and white chocolate and cranberry bread pudding.
101 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA

4. 100 Wines

1027 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
The restaurant will be open from 3 to 8 p.m. on Christmas day and is serving a three course meal for $39.95 for adults and $12.95 for children. The holiday menu includes kale and quinoa salad, stuffed pork loin and eggnog creme brulee.
1027 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

5. La Valencia Hotel

1132 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
On Christmas eve (5 to 10 p.m.) and Christmas day (noon to 8 p.m.), the hotel is offering a four course meal that includes lobster bisque, smoked prime rib or traditional Christmas goose. The supper is $75 for adults and $35 for children 12 and under.
1132 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037

6. Avant

17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr, San Diego, CA 92128
AVANT's Christmas eve prix-fixe menu will be offered between 3 and 8 p.m and is $65 per person and $25 (Kids 4-12); options include beet-cured wild salmon and pan roasted guinea hen. A Christmas day three-course menu is scheduled between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.; starters include a crab beignet and entree choices range from halibut to old school beef Wellington.
17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr
San Diego, CA 92128

7. Rancho Valencia

5921 Valencia Cir, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
These Christmas dinners come complete with carolers. On Christmas Eve from 5 to 9 p.m., the $95 four-course menu includes winter squash bisque and braised duck tortelloni. On Christmas day from 2 to 7 p.m., the menu features roasted beet and lobster salad, grilled swordfish and a butterscotch and vanilla bean budino.
5921 Valencia Cir
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

8. Bertrand At Mister As

2550 5th Ave Fl 12, San Diego, CA 92103
Chef de Cuisine Stéphane Voitwinkler is cooking up a prix fixe Christmas Eve menu for $75 per person, available from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Highlights include a 48-hour braised prime beer and herb-crusted rack of lamb. On Christmas Day, the three-course prix fixe menu will be served between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 4:30 and 9 p.m. Priced at $59.50, it includes oven roasted local sea bass, venison loin, scallops and more.
2550 5th Ave Fl 12
San Diego, CA 92103

9. Hotel del Coronado

1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
Celebrate Christmas Eve with a Victorian buffet dinner in the Crown Room, complete with live musical entertainment. It's $115 for adults, $45.50 for children. On Christmas Day, there's a traditional holiday buffet in the oceanfront ballroom and Crown Room; $98.50 for adults, $40 for children.
1500 Orange Ave
Coronado, CA 92118

10. Farm House Cafe

2121 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Chef/owner Olivier Bioteau's annual Christmas Eve dinner is a $45.00 pre-fixe with optional $15 wine pairings and open seating from 5 to 9 p.m. This year's menu includes house cured salmon, mushroom-chestnut soup and Mexican chocolate cake. (Their regular menu is also served.)
2121 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

11. Amaya at The Grand Del Mar

5300 Grand del Mar Ct, San Diego, CA 92130
Amaya is hosting a Christmas Eve dinner from 4 to 9 p.m., including roasted beef filet and a deconstructed chocolate yule log. $80 per adult, $120 with wine, $30 per child (ages 6 – 12). On Christmas Day, a three-course brunch served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. includes a smoked salmon plate and Dungeness crab benedict. $52 per adult and $25 per child (ages 6 – 12)
5300 Grand del Mar Ct
San Diego, CA 92130

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