The 15 Best Meals and Deals for San Diego Restaurant Week

From diner favorites to upscale steakhouses, vegetarian restaurants, and more, here are the best San Diego Restaurant Week deals.

Just in time to celebrate fall, San Diego Restaurant Week begins Sunday, September 25, and continues through Sunday, October 2. Nearly 100 restaurants all over the county are participating, from our favorite brunch spots to romantic date destinations, vegetarian restaurants, and more, with each offering discounted prices compared to what you'd find there normally. With all those options, choosing where to go can be time-consuming and intimidating, but not to worry—we’ve gathered 15 of our favorite deals to help with the decision. A word of caution: Tables at popular venues fill up quickly, so be sure to make reservations ASAP. And remember, tax, tips, and drinks are not included in the discounted pricing.

Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill and Oysters
Photo courtesy of Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill and Oysters

$$$
La Jolla
The latest concept from chef/owner Trey Foshee is the casual neighborhood sister restaurant of La Jolla’s esteemed Georges at the Cove and just blocks from La Jolla Shores—in addition to being one of our fave spots for oysters in SD. Savor a leisurely dinner in the cozy indoor dining room and bar, or on the outdoor patio near the fireplace. Chef Christine Rivera’s menu features shareable small plates and wood-fired steaks, chops, and other grilled specialties, plus prime rib on Friday and Saturday. The three-course dinner highlights a number of favorites from the regular menu, plus some special dishes exclusively for SDRW. Note: Sandpiper is closed on Monday and Tuesday, including SDRW.
Order: Yellowtail Crudo or Broccolini for a starter, House-Ground Burger or Snake River Grilled Trout as an entree, and Aly’s Pie to finish.
Cost: $50 for a three-course dinner.
How to book: Reservations can be made online. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Glass Box
Photo courtesy of Glass Box

$$$
Carmel Valley
Tucked away in the The Sky Deck at Del Mar Highlands Town Center, Glass Box is exactly what it sounds like—a large, glass box with a sushi bar inside. Head chef Ethan Yang’s deftly composed menu brings you flavors from the coasts of Asia, incorporating Chinese, Taiwanese, and Korean flavors. Sushi, sashimi, and nigiri are highlights, and for a complete experience, try the omakase menu. SDRW showcases a two-course lunch and three or four-course options for dinner.
Order: Fall Salad and Sushi Sampler at lunch. Smoked Mackerel Sashimi, Seared Salmon with Vegetable Medley, and Chef’s Choice for dessert for the three-course menu. Diced Hamachi with Watermelon and Jalapeno, Fall Salad, Braised Short Ribs, and Green Tea Tiramisu if you’re going with the four-course option.
Cost: $25 for a two-course lunch. $45 for a three-course dinner, $60 for a four-course dinner.
How to book: Reservations can be made online. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Café Gratitude
Café Gratitude

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Little Italy
Vegans and raw-food enthusiasts rave about this LA-based restaurant, but you don’t have to follow a vegan diet to enjoy the plant-based, all-organic cuisine. Dishes are named with positive affirmations like I Am Sharing (Nachos) and I Am Liberated (Pesto-Kelp Noodles), so be prepared to get your woo-woo on when you order. Its three-course SDRW dinner menu is served from 4–9 pm and can be upgraded to include a wine pairing (two six-ounce pours) for an additional $20.
Order: I Am Community (Warm Butternut Squash Dip) to start, I Am Fabulous (Eggplant Parmesan) for your main, and I Am Sensational (Pecan Turtle Cheesecake) for dinner.
Cost: $45 for a three-course dinner.
How to book: Seating is on a first-come basis.

$$
Carlsbad
Draft Republic brings the action in your face with more than 70 flat screens, pool tables, ping pong, retro video games, golf and sport simulators that provide ample entertainment, plus great daily specials and a tap list that includes dozens of San Diego’s favorites. The three-course lunch and dinner menu offers the option of a glass of house wine or select draft beer in place of an appetizer, along with the best bites from their regular menu.
Order: Bavarian Pretzel Balls or a draft, the Draft Republic burger, and Churros for dessert.
Cost: $30 for a three-course lunch or dinner.
How to book: Reservations can be made online. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

The Prado
Photo courtesy of The Prado

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Balboa Park
Stroll through the gardens, galleries, and museums of Balboa Park, San Diego’s crown jewel, before heading to The Prado for lunch or dinner at nearly half the price you’d regularly pay. Located in the historic House of Hospitality, The Prado offers four main dining areas—each with its own distinctive decor and ambiance—including the outdoor terrace, a courtyard overlooking gardens and a fountain, a solarium, and a lounge. At lunch, you can order a glass of wine or sangria in place of an appetizer, and at dinner everyone gets Prado’s yummy house-made crackers and Chipotle Hummus as a table starter, and a glass of wine, sangria, or sparkling lemonade is included.
Order: Sangria or Spicy Calamari Fries and Fish Tacos at lunch. Baby Beet Salad, Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs or Pan-Roasted Sea Bass (+$10) at dinner.
Cost: $25 for a two-course lunch. $40 for a three-course dinner. A trio of premium options are an additional $10 each.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Giardino Neighborhood Cucina
Photo courtesy of Giardino Neighborhood Cucina

$$
Lemon Grove
Lemon Grove favorite Giardino specializes in rustic Italian-inspired dishes as warm and comforting as a nonna’s hug. The three-course SDRW menu features customer favorites priced at $40 and $50, depending on your entree choice. Your choice of four different starters and two desserts make it one of SDRW’s best deals.
Order: Lobster Bisque or Beef Carpaccio to start, Beef Ravioli ($40) or Chilean Sea Bass ($50), and Tiramisu for dessert.
Cost: $40 or $50 for a three-course dinner.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Farmer’s Table
Photo courtesy of Farmer’s Table

$$$
Various locations
Focusing on their Sicilian roots, Farmer’s Table specializes in contemporary takes on time-tested recipes. For SDRW, they will be touting what they do best with a four-course farm-fresh dinner that includes choices like the fan-favorite Crab Cakes and Filet Mignon. Hours vary with location, so check the individual website for details.
Order: Pork Belly or Crab Cake to start, a Farmer’s Salad for your second course, Filet Mignon or Lemon Chicken, and Limoncello or Tiramisu for dessert.
Cost: $45 for a four-course dinner.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar
Photo courtesy of Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar

$$$
La Jolla
Nine-Ten is perfect for both intimate date nights and special occasion celebrations, and during SDRW you can enjoy their sophisticated California cuisine at bargain-ish prices. The SDRW menu also features a wide selection of customer favorites, including the Big Glory Bay King Salmon Poke Bowl, Roasted Jerk Chicken, and decadent stuffed brioche donuts. Seasonal menu items may also be available, so check with your server for details.
Order: Hamachi Sashimi or Ahi Tuna Crudo to start, Liberty Farms Duck Breast or Pan-Roasted Big Glory Bay King Salmon, and Strawberry Coconut Semifreddo or Brioche Donuts.
Cost: $60 for a three-course dinner. $85 includes optional wine pairings.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Antica Trattoria
Photo courtesy of Antica Trattoria

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La Mesa
Executive chef and owner Francesco Basile’s popular La Mesa eatery showcases his Sicilian roots and Italian culinary education in his multi-regional menu that’s chock full of local, in-season ingredients, all served in a charmingly rustic atmosphere.
Order: Mussels or Cavoletti to start, Gnocchi or Pappardelle as your entree, and Cannoli for dessert.
Cost: $45 for a three-course dinner. Add $20 for optional wine pairings.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

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The Headquarters, La Jolla, Mission Valley
San Diegans love their tacos, and for many, making a visit to Puesto for San Diego Restaurant Week is a must. Both the lunch and dinner menus at all three San Diego locations offer a quartet of guacamoles to choose from, along with two tacos from a mix-and-match slate of seven different fillings. Dinner adds your pick of two ceviches, and both menus offer a Puesto Perfect Margarita for $12, select cervezas for $6, and dessert for $4.
Order: Classic Guacamole, Carnitas and Verduras Tacos for lunch. Nogada Guacamole, Passionfruit & Mango Shrimp Ceviche, and Short Rib Quesabirria or Tamarindo Shrimp at dinner.
Cost: $25 for a two-course lunch. $35 for a three-course dinner.
How to book: Reservations can be made for your location online. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Coasterra
Photo courtesy of Coasterra

$$$
Harbor Island
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better view at any San Diego restaurant—the cityscape is dazzling day or night at Coasterra, perfect for a romantic date night. It’s especially spectacular from the expansive patio areas, but floor-to-ceiling windows ensure panoramic vistas from nearly every table. The SDRW menu includes chef Deborah Scott’s favorite dishes featuring modern Mexican flavors, including a reasonably priced six-ounce Lobster Tail option for an additional $30.
Order: Yukon Potato Flautas to start, Char-Grilled Carne Asada or Chef’s Vegetable Tasting, and Banana Buttercake with vanilla whipped cream.
Cost: $50 for a three-course dinner. +$30 for lobster option.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Crest Café
Photo courtesy of Crest Café

Hillcrest
A Hillcrest institution for more than 30 years, Crest Café serves up hefty meals from 7 am–10 pm, 364 days a year. For SDRW, they’ve simplified the menu to a couple crowd favorites. Breakfast offers juice or a mimosa, a homemade granola/yogurt parfait, and a Crab Cake Benedict, with two hand-crafted crab cakes topped with two poached eggs, sautéed spinach, sliced tomato, house-made hollandaise sauce, and scallions, served with hash browns or home fries. Lunch and dinner consists of your choice of wine, beer, or alcohol-free options, the B.L.T.E. Sandwich with bacon, tomato, egg, and Jack cheese on multigrain bread served with homemade potato chips, or the Three Cheese Tortellini Chicken Breast and sundried tomato salad served on a bed of spinach, tossed in house-made basil vinaigrette. Do your best to save room for dessert—it’s a Beer & Bacon Toffee Sundae.
Order: Either choice is served all day.
Cost: $30.
How to book: Seating is on a first-come basis.

Duke’s La Jolla
Photo courtesy of Duke’s La Jolla

$$$
La Jolla
Duke’s La Jolla pays homage to Duke Kahanamoku, a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming who popularized surfing on both US coasts and in Australia. Laid back, casual, and brimming with gorgeous ocean views, you’ll love their modern interpretations of flavorful island dishes. Lunch is a two-course affair where you can choose between a starter or dessert (Hula Pie is the correct choice) and an entree, or come for dinner when you can enjoy all three courses. A short wine list offers wines by the glass or carafes as an optional additional beverage.
Order: Korean Sticky Ribs or Hula Pie and Duke’s Classic Burger at lunch. Coconut Shrimp in Lilikoi (passionfruit) Chili Water, Sauteed Macadamia Nut and Herb-Crusted Fish or Wild Mushroom and Spinach Ravioli, and Hula Pie at dinner.
Cost: $30 for a two-course lunch. $50 for a three-course dinner. Wines range $11-15 by the glass or $22-30 for a 13-ounce carafe.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Farmer's Bottega
Photo courtesy of Farmer's Bottega

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Mission Hills
Executive chef Alberto Morreale serves up farm-to-fork cuisine and cozy ambiance at Farmer’s Bottega in the heart of Mission Hills. The three-course SDRW dinner menu features a number of their signature dishes like Fried Green Tomatoes, Mary’s Farm Free-Range Chicken with fingerlings and sprouts, and Bread Pudding.
Order: Fried Green Tomatoes or House Meatballs to start, Fennel Sausage Cavatelli or Portobello Napoleon, and Chocolate Cake or the Bread Pudding of the day for dessert.
Cost: $40 for a three-course dinner.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Flora Bar and Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Flora Bar and Kitchen

$$$
Carmel Valley
This elegant eatery specializes in artisanal Italian food, craft pizzas and flatbreads, and hand-crafted pastas. The SDRW menu includes customer favorites from the regular bill of fare like Pizza Casalinga, Lobster Raviolis Del Mar, and other specialties, plus their famous bread pudding with whipped cream.
Order: Carciofi della Giudea to start, Lobster Raviolis Del Mar as an entrée, and Bread Pudding for dessert.
Cost: $40 for a three-course dinner.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

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Mary Beth Abate is a San Diego-based freelance writer by way of Chicago and Los Angeles. Her hobbies include yoga, pickling and fermenting various vegetables and beverages, reading cookbooks and traveling around Mexico. Keep up with her experiments on Twitter.