13 San Diego Restaurants That Have Christmas Dinner Covered
From multi-course feasts with ocean views to Filipino, vegan, and Chinese offerings, San Diego’s best restaurants will make it a holiday dinner you won’t forget.
Happy holidays, San Diego! It’s time to relax, watch some classic flicks, drink eggnog, and feast on all our favorite dishes. But why spend hours shopping, chopping, and sweating over a hot stove when you can let one of San Diego’s fabulous restaurants pamper you with all sorts of delectable goodies? Whether you desire a fancy sitdown with white tablecloths, a casual hang over a plate of kung pao, or takeout with friends, we’ve got your every wish covered. From Little Italy to La Jolla and Oceanside, all you have to do is choose from our handy list of the best holiday dinners in America’s Finest City. We’ve also rounded up the best pie shops, in case you want to skip baking too. Cheers!
Whether you’d prefer a sit-down meal in their glass-ensconced restaurant or a hearty holiday dinner to bring home, Glass Box at the Sky Deck has you covered on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Chef Ethan Yang has crafted a dine-in experience with a four-course prix-fixe menu featuring a nigiri sampler, your choice of Crab Cake Salad or Lobster Bisque, Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass or Australian Wagyu, and Winter Black Forest Cake or Tiramisu. If you’d prefer to enjoy Christmas dinner at home, Glass Box will be offering a Christmas takeaway deal for four to six people. It includes an assorted sushi platter, your choice of Peking Duck, Mongolian Style Lamb Chops, or Soy Sauce Chicken Leg, two choices of side dishes, and a Five-Spice Pumpkin Pie. Add optional proteins or sides for an extra charge.
How to book: Takeaway orders must be received by Thursday, December 22. To order, call 858-289-4800 or use the online form to confirm your pick-up date.
George's at The Cove
George’s at the Cove has stunning panoramic views of La Jolla Cove from nearly every seat in the house—their website even posts the sunset time every day for your convenience. The upscale Christmas Eve dinner menu by Trey Foshee features a five-course prix-fixe menu in the Ocean View Room. Start with delicious bites like Clams Casino, Oysters, or Smoked Salmon; then enjoy Squid Ink Linguini or Butternut Squash Agnolotti for your second course; Lobster or Crispy Pork Belly as your third; followed by Prime Rib or Local Roasted Fish; and finishing with Tiramisu or Buche de Noel. Vegetarian and vegan options are available upon request. The full menu can be viewed online.
How to book: Reservations can be made online.
Spend your Christmas Eve in one of San Diego’s most elegant restaurants, with a dinner from chef Tara Monsod that highlights Filipino-influenced menu favorites like Som Tam Salad, Chicken Congee, and Kare Kare Short Rib. For dessert, choose between a Mostra Coffee Chocolate Mousse Bar with Taiyaki and the Pear and Hojicha Roll Cake.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, ARLO will be serving up two different, three-course takes on chef Josh Mouzakes’ inventive, from-scratch menu. For those who prefer a traditional Christmas meal, you’ll start with a festive Strawberry Pate de Fruit amuse, while other course options include Chestnut Agnolotti, Lobster Pot Pie, and Santa’s Cookies and Milk. The second three-course prix-fixe menu contains chef’s favorites from the regular menu, like Spanish Octopus with coconut panna cotta, a Wagyu Coulotte with Santa Maria chimichurri, and Cheesecake S’mores for dessert. View the full menus online.
Rockin’ Baja Lobster Coastal Cantina
For the best Christmas deal in town, head to Rockin’ Baja Lobster, grab a pitcher of margaritas, and order their Holiday Bucket. It includes a whole lobster, skirt steak, a crab cluster, Baja-style shrimp, grilled chicken, and grilled corn on the cob, plus you get a guacamole appetizer and all-you-can-eat ranchero beans, citrus rice, warm flour tortillas, and fresh salsas. It’s enough to feed two and you’ll also get a dish of fried ice cream to share. Available December 24-26.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable after selecting your preferred location. Walk-ins are accepted if space is available.
Spend your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day on the sparkling San Diego Bay with Flagship Cruises. Enjoy indoor or on-deck dining that includes a three-course gourmet meal with a Winter Mixed Greens Salad, Grilled Petit Filet Mignon with seared scallops in a lobster cognac cream sauce, rosemary mash potato and green beans almondine, and Apple Caramel Cheesecake for dessert. Vegans and vegetarians can substitute a Roasted Winter Vegetable Stack with roasted acorn squash, heirloom tomato and oyster mushrooms served with a pepita polenta smoked red pepper coulis. Optional starters and an all-you-can-drink premium beverage service are also available for an additional charge.
How to book: Reserve your spot online.
Impress the carnivores, vegetarians, and vegans around your holiday table by serving up family-style specials from Cafe Gratitude, including French Lentil and Butternut Squash Loaves, Roasted Maple Miso Brussels Sprouts, Autumn Kale Salad with Persimmon and Pomegranate, Roasted Cranberry Butternut Squash and Garnet Yam Purée, Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes with Garlic Confit, Truffled Porcini Gravy, and Pear and Cranberry Chutney. Executive chef Dreux Ellis has dessert covered with gluten-free Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie, and Baked Apple Pie, or grab the DIY Holiday Cookie Kit and spend some family time decorating your own. Plant-based and gluten-free, the treats are made with 100% organic products—even the frostings are colored with beet juice and matcha powder.
How to book: Order online by December 20 for pickup at Cafe Gratitude.
Juniper and Ivy
Juniper and Ivy is celebrating Christmas Eve with a decadent dinner that you can indulge in on Friday, December 23, as well as Christmas Eve. Culinary director Anthony Wells has crafted a four-course, locally-sourced prix-fixe menu, with optional wine pairing selections from the sommelier. Feast on oysters with champagne and young ginger mignonette, Egg Yolk Raviolo, or Scallops with Granny Smith apple, Brussels sprouts, and black bean miso butter. Entrees include your Choice of Fillet over starch maul potatoes with beef fat vinaigrette and pot roast steak sauce, or Black Cod featuring shellfish chowder, celery root, and seaweed bread crumbs. Finish with Vanilla Bean Pavlova, orange curd, and snickerdoodles.
Herb & Wood
Celebrate Christmas Eve at one of Little Italy’s favorite hotspots with chef Carlos’ four-course feast. You’ll choose from starters like Hamachi, Poached Persimmon, or Venison Tartare before moving on to the second course—Orecchiette with nduja sausage, broccolini, and burrata; or Pork Belly and butternut squash puree, brown butter, and walnut gremolata. Mains include Prime Filet with pink peppercorn cognac demi, roasted mushroom, and whipped potatoes, or
Halibut under brown butter hollandaise and roasted delicata squash. End your banquet with Tiramisu with mascarpone, espresso, and dark chocolate ice cream or a tangy Lemon Tart with toasted meringue, winter citrus, and tangerine ice cream made by executive pastry chef Laura Warren.
Ditch the kitchen duties entirely and order your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner from Ranch 45’s a la carte holiday to-go menu. The completely customizable options feature soups and salads, and Ranch 45 specialties, including gluten-free Whole Smoked Cornish Game Hen, Smoked Turkey Legs, Herb Crusted Prime Rib, and more, accompaniments like Olive Oil Smashed Potatoes, Roasted Root Vegetables, Honey and Thyme Roasted Rainbow Carrots, Mac & Cheese, Green Bean Almondine, gravy, and, of course, Pecan Pie, gluten-free Apple Crisp, gluten-free Pumpkin Cheesecake, or assorted cookies made in-house for dessert.
How to book: Pre-order online by December 18 at 4 pm for Christmas Eve pickup.
Vistal Restaurant + Bar
Luxury waterfront hotel InterContinental San Diego is offering a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day prix-fixe menu in their signature restaurant Vistal, with sweeping views of the San Diego Bay and skyline included. There’s two starter options, Chestnut and Sunchoke Bisque or Warm Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, followed by sumptuous entrees, including Campbell River Salmon, with cannellini beans ragù, or Kurobuta Pork Shank with kabocha squash risotto, plus a Chocolate Mousse Cake or White Chocolate-Peppermint Crème Brulée for dessert, with a wine pairing option available.
Fortunate Son honors the time-tested tradition of eating Chinese food on Christmas Day by offering their full menu for dine in or to-go. Get your fix of favorites like Kung Pao Chicken, Shrimp Lo Mein, Orange Chicken, and Egg Drop Soup, or try something new with the restaurant’s signature takes on classic dishes like General Tso’s Cauliflower.
How to book: Indoor dining is on a first-come basis. For takeout, call the restaurant at 619-391-3766 or order via Toast.
Bertrand at Mister A's Restaurant
Celebrate Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with the best views in the city at the newly reimagined Mr. A’s. The Christmas Eve prix-fixe menu features a Trio of Toasts, Butternut Squash Soup, Roasted Rack of Lamb, Pan Seared Maine Scallops, Surf and Turf, Slow Roasted Brandt Farm Prime Rib, and more. End on a sweet note with options such as the Pecan Tarte, Buche De Noel-Moderne, or Baked Alaska. On Christmas Day, the prix fixe menu includes highlights such as Maine Lobster Strudel, a half-dozen "Blue Pool" Hama Hama Oysters, King Oyster Mushroom Bourguignon, Prime Beef Filet, and Potato Crusted Sea Bass, along with the same dessert menu as the Christmas Eve dinner.
How to book: Reservations can be made by calling 619-239-1377.