Make a Reservation at These Delicious Hotel Restaurants in San Diego
No one boasts better beach views than these spots.
Home to 70 miles of coastline, more than 30 beaches and nearly 270 sunny days per year, San Diego continues to be one of the nation’s top travel destinations—and it has the hotel scene to prove it. Be it the coastal boutique bungalow or the expansive inland resort, these properties boast impressive onsite amenities and superb design, to be sure, but it’s their ace dining options that are destinations in and of themselves, beckoning discerning palates from across the county and country alike. Whether you’re seeking a splurge getaway, staycation, or night on the town, these hotel restaurants have you covered, from a rooftop Roman trattoria to oceanfront cooking.
This hip beachfront hotel offers epic ocean views, neo-modernist interiors, coastal-cool vibes and a prime Pacific Beach location between several of San Diego’s best neighborhoods. And then, there’s its award-winning restaurant JRDN, where chef Stephen Gage spins out seasonal California cuisine with a focus on all things local. Try seafood-forward takes on familiar orders like ahi tuna nachos (with avocado, mango and sriracha) or the Lobster BLT (topped with tarragon aioli on a brioche bun) and pair them up with any of wine director Chris Delaney’s suggestions (whose list earned itself a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence). Save room for dessert and watch the sunset here—it’s one of the most covetable views in the area.
Situated between La Jolla and Del Mar, this hacienda-style resort spans 10 acres of pristine gardens and packs in plenty of memorable details along the way (think adobe fireplaces, spa bungalows and a saltwater pool). When hunger strikes, head to Mustangs & Burros for Baja-inspired cuisine with a California twist, which takes the form of elevated plates like vegetable tostadas, pork belly tacos and chicken almond mole. Agave spirits drive the cocktail menu and those seeking something neat will appreciate the restaurant’s lineup of flights and sipping tequilas. The wine list shines a light on Mexico, too, with a number of selections coming from Valle de Guadalupe. Enjoy all of them after dinner on the open-air patio, or swing in on the early side—happy hour here happens Monday through Thursday at 4pm.
Though there are now Pendry Hotels nationwide, this location was the first and it instantly made waves with an effortlessly cool aesthetic, seamlessly blending world-class luxury with SoCal sensibilities. One could say the same for its lobby-level restaurant Lionfish: an award-winning space of inviting, circular banquettes, bespoke chandeliers and maritime details. Chef and James Beard Smart Catch leader JoJo Ruiz serves modern coastal cuisine with an emphasis on hyper-fresh and seasonal ingredients; a classic example being the togarashi-spiced shrimp and scallops, broiled Big Glory Bay Salmon (complete with corn butter sabayon and puffed popcorn) or, for a real showstopper, the Bad Bunny: an edible, sculptured bunny comprised of Beluga caviar, cream cheese and blinis. Pair it up with some of the team’s recommended bubbly, then move onto darker drams like the Dante’s Peak: a smoky melding of activated charcoal, tequila, mezcal and peach bitters.
Ever since it opened in 1926, this historic La Jolla hotel has been recognized as a coastal retreat for those seeking peace, calm and epic ocean views. Stars like Ginger Rogers and David Niven were regulars in their time. Within these flamingo-pink walls guests encounter an 11-story Spanish-tiled tower encompassing rooms, villas, suites and at lobby-level, the restaurant that unifies them all: the Mediterranean Room. Reopened in 2022 as part of the property’s milestone 95th anniversary celebration, it’s here that chef Fabian Aceves serves a menu of Californian-Mediterranean cuisine, heightened by locally grown ingredients. Try the Shawarma Spiced Octopus (with garbanzo beans and black garlic) or the 18-ounce Bone-In Ribeye (with radish butter, shitake, and colima salt). Any table here is a good one and there are choices, even when it comes to al fresco. On Patio Sol to enjoy the buzz of Prospect Street for instance, or on the Oceanview Terrace to catch La Jolla’s iconic coastline.
Situated in the heart of Del Mar, this award-winning resort is known for its ocean views, all-out amenities (from pool and tennis courts to a full-service spa) and destination-worthy dining. At Adelaide, executive chef Nick Green draws inspiration from local products and the restaurant’s seaside location alike, showcasing some of California’s most prized vegetables, meats and seafood throughout the menus. Experience it in orders like the Hamachi crudo (with fennel, raisins and local olive oil) or the 1855 Steak Tartare (with green garlic Caesar salad, cured egg yolk, and seeded lavash)—any of which will find a happy pairing in the restaurant’s wine list made up of a focused selection of regional and international bottles. Post-dinner, linger a while on the poolside patio to take in sights of the Pacific and enjoy any of the cocktails—namely the Bill Daly Sour: a frothy coming together of barrel-aged gin, lemon and egg white.
Custom built in 1970 as a timely recreation of France’s renowned Palace of Versailles, this Gaslamp Quarter hotel exudes European luxury (and is brimming with lavish finds, including a desk from Versailles itself). Find ornate detail throughout, from Baccarat crystal chandeliers to marble bathrooms—an opulence that decorates the first-floor restaurant Westgate Room, as well. Here, chef Fabrice Hardel serves French-inspired cuisine with an eye on local ingredients, with orders like togarashi-crusted Baja prawn or day boat sea scallops. However, don’t skip dessert as the pastry team excels in their daily orders of French favorites like macarons and chocolate mousse. And for something low-key, head to the recently opened Veranda, the hotel’s al fresco spot featuring modern American fare and live music four nights a week.
Ever since its 1888 opening, this beachfront resort has become a destination synonymous with Southern California escape, thanks to its iconic Victorian design, coastal activities and colossal digs, complete with 902 rooms across five different property areas. The onsite culinary scene is just as expansive—more than a half dozen dining options await guests, with specialties ranging from tacos to pizza to sundaes. But the main event here is Serẽa, a sea-to-table restaurant offering sustainably driven fare with Mediterranean influences. Executive chef JoJo Ruiz helms the menu, which is a seasonally tweaked celebration of regional specialties like king salmon sashimi and grilled local swordfish, much of which is showcased within the restaurant’s impressive fish display, where guests can choose their preferred catch of the day. Enjoy that hyper-fresh fare on the sprawling patio with wine, the sound of crashing waves and ample SoCal charm.
Rancho Santa Fe
This Rancho Santa Fe resort features 49 casitas, along with 45 acres of gardens, trails and olive groves for guests to enjoy. In 2011 the property underwent a $30 million renovation towards several exciting additions, including that of The Pony Room, an equestrian-themed bar and restaurant that serves as the hotel’s crux gathering point. The venue draws inspiration from the country’s deep Americana culture, reflecting it in details like exposed wooden beams, natural leathers and wheel chandeliers. Grab a seat, try a glass of their on-tap bubbly and sample orders of lobster tacos, bacon-wrapped dates and filet mignon steak frites. Come for equally impressive fare at breakfast or brunch, but it’s dinnertime here that includes a show as most evenings, the patio provides a front-row seat to an array of hot air balloons that drift overhead.
Opened just last year in the city’s Gaslamp Quarter, this tiny new hotel showcases colorful artwork, pristine amenities and urban sophistication throughout. The property’s relaxed but cosmopolitan ethos extends to mezzanine-level restaurant, The Desmond, where chef Jason Neroni serves a menu of globally inspired plates with a serious focus on seasonality. Experience it in plates like butternut squash hummus and smoked beets with black garlic molasses and in the house-made pastas, including the delicious rigatoni with Dungeness crab and nduja butter. If you’re leaning towards lighter fare, check out The Café at Hotel Alma, an all-day eatery featuring small plates and a sophisticated drinks list (try the Thai Tonic, with gin, lemongrass, and basil). Be sure to visit come spring, when the property plans to reveal its newest dining outlet, a poolside hang bringing with it a medley of crowd-pleasing cocktails and bites called Leave of Absence.
This waterfront hotel boasts 400 rooms across 19 floors and several dining options to choose from. At Vistal, guests can enjoy all-day, Baja-inspired menus amidst refined, relaxed environs and some stunning local artwork, including that of surf photographer Aaron Chang. Enjoy time on the patio with orders of grilled octopus and Bar Harbor mussels, or snag a seat at the bar for bites of flatbread or poke. Those seeking European flavors will find them at Garibaldi, the hotel’s speakeasy-style restaurant featuring Sardinia-inspired cuisine and cocktails. Kick things off with an Aperol Spritz and round of oysters before delving into any of the signature, hand-shaped pastas. And if two restaurants weren’t enough, there’s more. The hotel also houses Seneca, CH Projects’ vibrant rooftop restaurant that became an overnight hit for its sweeping skyline views, striking art deco-meets-nautical design and enduring weekend vibes. Styled as a modern-day Roman trattoria, the venue serves up wood-fired entrées of pizzas, seafood and steaks, along with memorable share plates. (Power up your social channels for the hand-pulled mozzarella, a tableside order that is as much spectacle as it is starter.)