The 20 Best Meals and Deals for San Diego Restaurant Week

From Little Italy favorites to high-end steakhouses, vegetarian restaurants, and more, here are the best Restaurant Week deals.

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

Just in time to celebrate spring, San Diego Restaurant Week begins Sunday, April 3, and continues through Sunday, April 10. More than 75 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 relax—we’ve gathered 20 of our favorite deals to help with the decision. Be advised that 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.

The Butcher Shop Steakhouse
Photo courtesy of The Butcher Shop Steakhouse

Kearny Mesa
Sink into a soft leather booth near the cozy fireplace, surrounded by warm, dark wood paneling, elegantly etched glass, and burnished brass in The Butcher Shop’s old-school dining room. The three-course, prix-fixe menu begins with your choice of a half-dozen appetizers, like Lobster Bisque, Grilled Pear Salad or Scallop and Mushroom Risotto. Angus Prime Rib and Duroc Pork Chops are standout entrees, with a number of luxurious upgrades and add-ons available as well. Optional wine pairings are listed with each entree and come by the glass or bottle, and a quartet of elegant sides is available at an extra cost of $12-$16. Vegan options are available upon request.
Order: Lobster Bisque, Angus Prime Rib or Ribeye Steak (+25), and Peach Cobbler.
Cost: $60 for a three-course dinner, premium entrees and add-ons are +$10-90.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

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. The starters and entrees are the same on both the lunch and dinner menus; the dinner menu adds a glass of wine or mocktail and dessert.
Order: I Am Fascinating (Crispy Asian Spring Rolls) and I Am Awesome, (Eggplant Parm Sandwich) at lunch. I Am Inspired (Romanesco Broccoli), I Am Blessed (Butternut Squash Pasta Bolognese) and I Am Awakening (Key Lime Cheesecake) for dinner.
Cost: $25 for a two-course lunch, $45 for a three-course dinner with a glass of wine; add-ons are +$6.
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, plus great daily specials and a tap list that includes dozens of San Diego’s favorites, plus pool tables, ping pong, retro video games, golf and sport simulators that provide ample entertainment. Their 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 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 three tacos from a mix-and-match slate of six different fillings. Dinner adds your pick of three antojitos, and both menus offer a Puesto Perfect Margarita for $12 or select cervezas for $6.
Order: Classic Guacamole, Chicken Asada, Carnitas, and Verduras Tacos for lunch. Chicharrones, Nogada Guacamole, Chicken Al Pastor, Tamarindo Shrimp, and Mushroom Tacos at dinner.
Cost: $30 for a two-course lunch, $40 for a three-course dinner.
How to book: Reservations can be made for your location online. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

The Prado
Photo courtesy of The Prado

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 décor 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 crackers and Chipotle Hummus as a table starter.
Order: Sangria or Calamari Fries and Fish Tacos at lunch. Baby Beet Salad, Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs or Pan-Roasted Sea Bass (+$10) and Piloncillo Flan at dinner.
Cost: $25 for a two-course lunch. $40 for a three-course dinner, two premium options are an additional $10 each.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Terra American Bistro
Photo courtesy of Terra American Bistro

College Grove
Terra American Bistro’s farm-to-table, organic fare has been a local favorite since 1998. Their SDRW menu gives you two options: one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert, or one glass of wine, one entree, and one dessert. In addition, you can substitute a sweet, boozy cocktail for any dessert.
Order: Baked Brie, Grandma’s Brisket Braised in Chili Sauce with Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes and Vegetables, with either the Cast Iron-Baked Banana Bread Pudding or an Espresso Martini for dessert.
Cost: $30 for a three-course dinner.
How to book: Reservations can be made online. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Carte Blanche Bistro & Bar
Photo courtesy of Carte Blanche Bistro & Bar

Oceanside
The city of Oceanside’s culinary landscape continues to bloom, thanks to innovative concepts like Carte Blanche, where Mexican food has a distinctly Frenchified lean. Chef Alex Carbello, who’s had stints at several San Diego favorites like The Brigantine and Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, has crafted a three-course SDRW menu that highlights the best flavors of his regular menu. Standouts include Aguachile with passion fruit, avocado, cucumber, and blood orange, or a Duck Confit Mole Tamale to start, and a Mexican Hot Pot with chicken in adobo broth and forbidden rice for an entree. A fresh, rum cocktail, Jets to Belize, is a perfect optional pairing, and Bistek & Fries is a delectable upgrade at $15.
Order: Duck Confit Tamale or Aguachile to start. Mexican Hot Pot or Agnolotti (roasted corn pipian rojo, fennel, and pea tendril salad) as an entree and Flourless Chocolate Cake with Blood Orange Meringue to finish.
Cost: $40 for a three-course menu.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

The Blind Burro
Photo courtesy of The Blind Burro

East Village
For authentic south-of-the-border street food with a modern twist, this is the go-to spot downtown. The SDRW menu showcases coastal cuisine and spirits, with plates inspired by Baja California’s signature flavors, like tangy ceviches and fresh-catch tacos made grilled or batter-fried. Since the price is right, check out their extensive collection of tequilas, mezcals, bacanoras, and raicillas.
Order: Queso Especial or Baja Ceviche to start, Fresh-Catch or Al Pastor Tacos with Street Corn, and Cinnamon Sugar Churros with Crème Anglaise.
Cost: $30 for a three-course dinner.
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. Their three-course SDRW menu features ten customer favorites: priced at $30 are Lasagne Rosa, Grilled Salmon, and more; Crab and Short Rib or Capellini Prawns for $40; and a trio of $50 entrees including Chilean Sea Bass. Your choice of four different starters and two desserts make it one of SDRW’s best deals.
Order: Lobster Bisque or Italian Sausage to start, Lasagne Rosa ($30), Capellini Prawns ($40) or Chilean Sea Bass ($50) and a Cannoli for dessert.
Cost: $30, $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.

Great Maple
Photo courtesy of Great Maple

Hillcrest, La Jolla (Westfield UTC)
Blending American diner chic with a dash of European refinement, Great Maple uses seasonal and sustainably-sourced ingredients in its over-the-top comfort foods, baked goods, and excellent craft cocktails. Each location has a different two-course menu for weekend brunch and weekday lunch, giving you the perfect excuse to visit them both, and the Hillcrest location will be serving up a three-course dinner menu from Thursday-Saturday.
Order: La Jolla: Spring Strawberry Tosta and Chicken, Kale and Quinoa Salad for brunch. Chilled Spring Pea Soup and House Smoked Pork Belly Hash for lunch.
Hillcrest: Lemon Blueberry Scone and Moroccan Spiced Steak Hash for brunch. Caesar of Spain Salad and Baja Fish Tacos for lunch. West Coast Agua Chile, Salted Caramel Pork Ribs and Dark Chocolate Pot de Creme for dinner.
Cost: $20 for a two-course brunch ($25 in Hillcrest) or lunch, $35 for a three-course dinner (Hillcrest only).
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

La Mesa, Bay Park, Chula Vista, Little Italy
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 three-course farm-fresh dinner that includes choices like their fan-favorite Crab Cakes and Filet Mignon. Hours vary with location, so check the individual website for details.
Order: Fried Calamari and Shrimp or Crab Cake to start, Filet Mignon or Wood-Fired Roasted Chicken, and Limoncello Cake.
Cost: $40 for a four-course dinner, $10 for premium options.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

The Presley
Photo courtesy of The Presley

Liberty Station
The Presley makes the most of its nearly 2,100-square feet of dedicated outdoor dining space with cleverly-styled swing loungers, cozy couches, and luminous fire pits. Executive chef Todd Nash’s SDRW menu features classic American fare, including Brussels and Arugula, a wood-fired Flat Top Burger and The Presley’s signature Ice Cream Sandwich. The playful beverage menu incorporates twists on classic cocktails, including a Dole Whip Mimosa and a Lava Flow slushy.
Order: Brussels and Arugula or Calamari and Shishitos to start, Fish and Chips or the Flat Top Burger, and an Ice Cream Sandwich to finish.
Cost: $30 for a three-course dinner.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

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. Start with Duck Confit Salad with frisée, fava bean, shaved fennel, macerated strawberry, basil, and mint; or Braised Short Rib Culurgiones, combining carrot cream, English peas, roasted carrot, brown butter crumb, and black truffle. Pan-roasted Australian Lamb Rack pairs rosy pink slices atop globe artichoke, wood-grilled oyster mushroom, preserved Meyer lemon puree, salsa verde, and kumquat, while the Pan-Roasted Big Glory Bay King Salmon gets an upscale veggie boost of onion mousseline, Yukon gold potato fondant, chanterelle mushroom, and sorrel vin blanc. End your meal with luscious Stuffed Brioche Donuts or Guava Semifreddo.
Order: Duck Confit Salad or Short Rib Culurgiones to start, Australian Lamb Rack or Pan-Roasted Big Glory Bay King Salmon, Guava semifreddo or Brioche Donuts. Additional seasonal items may be available as well.
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

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 up in a charmingly rustic atmosphere.
Order: Polpetine or Cavoletti to start, Risotto al Funghi or Cavatelli as the entree, and Creme Brulee for dessert.
Cost: $40 for a three-course dinner; add $15 for optional wine pairings.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. 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 special occasion dinner or 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: Ceviche Clásico to start, Char-Grilled Carne Asada or Vegetable Chile Relleno and Buttercake with berries and whipped cream.
Cost: $40 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, the Crest Café serves up hefty meals 364 days a year. For SDRW, they’ve simplified the menu to a couple of menu favorites. Breakfast offers Crab Cake Benedict, two hand-crafted crab cakes topped with two poached eggs, sautéed spinach, sliced tomato, homemade hollandaise sauce, and served with hash browns or home fries. Dinner is a three-course prix-fixe menu consisting of a California Caesar salad, Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce and Tiramisu.
Order: Either choice is served all day.
Cost: $20 for breakfast, $30 for the three-course dinner.
How to book: Seating is on a first-come basis.

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, of course) 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 Ribs and Chicken Plate, and Hula Pie at dinner.
Cost: $25 for a two-course lunch, $40 for a three-course dinner. Wines range $10-13 by the glass or $20-26 for a 13-ounce carafe.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.

Photo courtesy of Farmer's Bottega

Mission Hills
Executive chef Alberto Morreale, who’s also EC at the much-loved Fig Tree Cafe, serves up farm-to-fork cuisine and cozy ambiance at Farmer’s Bottega in the heart of Mission Hills. Currently open for outdoor and limited indoor dining, 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 Burnt Carrot Salad to start, Fennel Sausage Cavatelli or Portobello Napoleon, and Chocolate Cake or Bread Pudding of the day.
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

Del Mar
This elegant eatery specializes in artisanal Italian food, craft pizzas and flatbreads, and hand-crafted pastas. Their SDRW menu includes customer faves from the regular bill of fare like Polpette di Nonna, Short Rib Ravioli, Vitello Parmigiana and other specialties, plus their famous bread pudding with whipped cream.
Order: Polpette di Nonna or Carpaccio di Polipo to start, Short Rib Ravioli or Vitello Parmigiana as an entree, 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.

Gaslamp Quarter
Come hungry because the parade of food is nearly endless at Rei Do Gado. Two dinner options are available—both include salads, starters, and hot dishes, plus an array of grilled meats including sirloin, filet mignon, shrimp cocktail, lobster, baked salmon, short rib, boneless lamb leg, pork loin, ribeye, and tri-tip brought to your table on gigantic skewers.
Order: All of it—they will bring out whatever meat or seafood you want.
Cost: $60
How to book: Reservations can be made via Yelp. 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 @MaryBeth_Abate.