20 San Diego Restaurants That Have Christmas Dinner Covered

Make reservations, you deserve it.

Greenfinch
Photo courtesy of Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

Happy holidays, San Diego! It’s been quite a year, and now we’re all ready to relax, watch some classic flicks, drink eggnog, and feast on 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 your gang, we’ve got your holiday dinner covered. All you have to do is choose from our handy list of the best holiday dinners in America’s Finest City. Cheers!

Mille Fleurs

Rancho Santa Fe

French fine dining gets a Californian twist at Mille Fleurs, one of North County’s best and most popular restaurants. Executive chef Michael Moritz has curated a prix-fixe, three-course Christmas Day menu that mixes traditional holiday flavors with the classics that are mainstays of their regular menu. Open with Chino’s Farm sunchoke soup with crème fraiche and sunchoke chips or butternut squash and goat cheese agnolotti with pecorino, or upgrade to Maine lobster salad for an additional charge. Main courses range from black truffle risotto, parmesan and shaved Burgundy truffles to a duo of duck—Maple Leaf Farm “croustillant” and roasted breast with cassis sauce. Executive pastry chef “Papa” Moussa brings dessert home with a trio of seasonally inspired selections to choose from, such as Bûche de Noel Yule Log, with peppermint ice cream, cinnamon ginger crème brûlée, and marbled cookies, or Pavlova with assorted fresh berries and citrus coulis.
Cost: $97.50 per person. Upgrades and optional dishes run +$9.50-$15.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable.

Available for Reservations

Callie

East Village

Chef Travis Swikard and his team share the best of everyone’s holiday favorites while putting their own take on the classics. Their bountiful five-course, family-style Christmas Eve feast includes Mediterranean octopus, cacio e pepe risotto, 24-hour prime rib, pancetta-wrapped quail, and a chocolate-coffee tiramisu for dessert. For even more extravagance, add Russian Osetra Caviar with caramelized onion dip, toasted nigella, and dill potato chips at an additional cost, as well as an optional wine pairing. The team will also be sending guests home with Santa’s chocolate chip cookies fresh from the Callie kitchen. For the month of December, the restaurant will be donating $1 of all cookie sales to Feeding San Diego. An a la carte menu will be available at the bar for walk-ins only.
Cost: $85 per person, $35 for children ten and under. $60 for optional wine pairing.
How to book: Reservations can be made via Tock.

Valentina
Photo by Kimberly Motos, courtesy of Valentina

Valentina

Leucadia

Even if traveling isn’t in your plans yet, you can still pretend you’re sitting in a chic European bistro at Valentina. This Christmas Eve, enjoy a three-course dinner featuring dishes inspired by the owner’s passion for travel, such as tomaquet iberico and Spanish sashimi, alongside new bold dishes like the moulard duck breast with creamy polenta, braised endive, and orange sauce to be enjoyed with sommelier-curated wine pairings.
Cost: $79 for a three-course prix fixe menu.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable.

Available for Reservations
Animae
Photo by James Tran, courtesy of Animae

Animae

Downtown

Spend your Christmas Eve in one of San Diego’s most elegant restaurants, with a dinner featuring favorites from chef Tara Monsod’s four-course prix fixe menu bursting with Filipino flavors, plus specials like ginger chicken congee, roasted kabocha squash, and halibut cha ca. For dessert, choose between a Mostra coffee chocolate mousse bar with taiyaki and the five-spice apple financier.
Cost: $115 for a four-course prix fixe menu.
How to book: Book your reservation via OpenTable.

Available for Reservations
ARLO
Photo courtesy of ARLO

ARLO

Mission Valley

This Christmas Day, ARLO will be serving up chef Josh Mouzakes’ inventive, three-course prix fixe menu. Festive dishes include a Santa's Sleigh amuse bouche, air-dried Christmas goose, and spiked brown butter eggnog. Cap off the feast with ARLO apple pie or smoked dulce de leche crème brûlée. In addition to the three-course menu, a number of regular menu dishes will also be available. View the full menu online.
Cost: $50 for the three-course Christmas Day menu, other items vary.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable.

Available for Reservations

Rockin Baja Lobster

Gaslamp Quarter & Oceanside & Old Town

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 free guacamole appetizer, ranchero beans, citrus rice, warm flour tortillas, honey chili butter, and fresh salsas. It’s enough to feed two, but you’ll also get a dish of fried ice cream to share. Available December 24-26.
Cost: $79.99 for the Holiday Bucket.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable on the individual location’s website.
Walk-ins are accepted if space is available.

Available for Reservations

Spend your 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, slow-roasted prime rib with demi-glace, oven-roasted winter vegetables and rosemary garlic mashed potatoes, and apple caramel cheesecake for dessert. Substitute a grilled portobello mushroom, wildflower honey gastrique, oven-roasted seasonal vegetables, and fondant yams for the prime rib if you’d prefer. An optional all-you-can-drink premium beverage service is available for an additional $30.
Cost: $84.50 for adults, $50.70 for children 4-12.
How to book: Reserve your spot online.

AVANT
Photo courtesy of AVANT

AVANT

Rancho Bernardo

Chef de cuisine Christopher Gentile incorporates fruits, vegetables, and greens from the expansive on-property orchard and garden into his sophisticated yet unpretentious dishes, featuring a four-course prix fixe menu for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Start with scallop crudo, freshened with apple and fennel, or chestnut soup and pork belly, then move on to lobster accompanied by heirloom grains or squab with frizzles of parsnip ‘hay’. Entrees include Snake River Farms beef Wellington, potato puree, and bordelaise, 21-day dry-aged duck, turnip, and blood orange or roasted butternut squash fragrant with black garlic and sage, with a side of forbidden rice. Triple creme brie with kiwi and almond is the perfect finish, but there’s a chocolate dessert for you die-hards too. Sommelier Joe Baumgardner can guide you towards the best bottle or by-the-glass wine pairing from their award-winning wine list.
Cost: $195 for a four-course prix fixe menu. $95 for children 12 and under.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable.

Available for Reservations
Cafe Gratitude
Photo courtesy of Cafe Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude

Little Italy

Satisfy all the carnivores, vegetarians, and vegans around your holiday table by serving up family-style specials from Cafe Gratitude, including maple-miso Brussels sprouts, cranberry-roasted butternut squash and Garnet yams, and persimmon and pomegranate salad. Executive chef Dreux Ellis has dessert covered for you too with gluten-free maple pecan spice cake, Tuscan apple cake, and mocha cheesecake, or grab the DIY Holiday Cookie Kit and spend some family time decorating your own. Plant-based and gluten-free, they’re made with 100% organic products—even the frostings are colored with beet juice and matcha powder.
Cost: Family-style dishes range in price from $18-$35, DIY Cookie Kits are $28, desserts are $35.
How to book: Order online by December 21 for pickup at Cafe Gratitude.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Juniper & Ivy
Photo courtesy of Juniper and Ivy

Juniper & Ivy

Little Italy

Christmas Eve dinner has never been easier than this—culinary director Anthony Wells has crafted a five-course, locally-sourced prix-fixe menu, with optional wine pairing selections from
sommelier Nick Gergen. Feast on oysters with champagne and caviar, pumpkin soup, and cranberry bread pudding, or chestnut agnolotti in brown butter with aged cheddar and smoked maple syrup. Entrees include your choice of beef cheek bourguignon, pot roast root vegetables with celery root puree and black truffle jus; or scallops, potatoes, preserved lemon, and smoked trout roe butter. Finish with butterscotch pudding and caramelized puff pastry. An equally delectable vegan menu features vegetable crudite with avocado ranch dressing, pumpkin soup and cranberry bread toast, mushroom risotto alongside braised cabbage and red cabbage jus, pot roast carrot accompanied by pearl onions, black truffle vegetable demi and celery root puree, and for dessert, a dark chocolate date and walnut bar.
Cost: $120 per person for the five-course prix fixe menu, $95 per person for the five-course prix fixe vegan menu.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable.

Available for Reservations
Herb & Wood
Photo by James Tran, courtesy of Herb & Wood

Herb & Wood

Little Italy

Celebrate Christmas Eve at one of Little Italy’s favorite hotspots with chef Carlos’ three-course, family-style feast. You’ll choose from starters like shaved winter vegetables, whipped burrata toast, or Baja shrimp before moving on to the main course—lemon herb-stuffed porchetta, braised short rib, plancha-seared branzino, and plenty of side dishes—think California buttermilk polenta, crispy potatoes, and Parker House rolls. End your banquet with profiteroles and fresh pear or tiramisu, and take home some house-made cookie dough to make Santa a special treat. If you’re in North County, you can enjoy the same menu at sister restaurant Herb & Sea.
Cost: $85 per person, $65 for children
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable.

Available for Reservations
Greenfinch Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

Eat, drink and be merry with an a la carte Christmas Eve menu at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa’s Greenfinch Restaurant & Bar. You’ll enjoy a delicious menu of mouth-watering dishes like the prime tomahawk steak, diver scallops, a ceviche tostada, and saffron corn soup while overlooking the festively decorated Garden Courtyard. If you’d prefer to indulge in Christmas Day Brunch, they’ll be serving Greenfinch’s regular brunch menu, along with special holiday additions like Bananas Foster french toast, decadent charcuterie boards, and crab cake eggs Benedict, plus the option to toast with bottomless mimosas or bloody Marys.
Cost: Priced a la carte.
How to book: Reserve your Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas morning brunch via OpenTable. For parties of six or more, please call 858-964-6612 to book a reservation.

Available for Reservations
Ranch 45
Photo by Maraelia Romaine, courtesy of Ranch 45

Ranch 45

Solana Beach

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 herb-crusted prime rib, smoked turkey leg, barbecue brisket, a Brandt-grilled tomahawk or smoked Cornish game hens, accompaniments like roasted broccoli with parmesan and garlic, olive oil smashed potatoes, and, of course, cookies, pumpkin pie, apple pie, carrot cake, and more for dessert.
Cost: Ranges from $10-$150 per item.
How to book: Preorder online by December 19 at 4 pm for pickup.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Vistal Restaurant + Bar
Photo by Kimberly Motos, courtesy of Vistal Bar + Restaurant

Luxury waterfront hotel InterContinental San Diego’s signature restaurant, Vistal, will be offering a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day prix fixe menu, along with their sweeping views of the San Diego Bay and skyline. There’s two starter options, a soup or salad, followed by four scrumptious entrees, including a smoked holiday pork chop, chateaubriand medallions or crispy skin salmon, and a chocolate tart or gingerbread trifle for dessert, plus a wine pairing option.
Cost: $75 for adults, add $35 for optional wine pairing. $35 for children under 12.
How to book: Reservations can be made via Resy.

Available for Reservations
Fortunate Son (Fortunate Son Chinese)
Photo by James Tran for Fortunate Son

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. Don’t forget to pick up to-go cocktails next door at Polite Provisions as well.
Cost: Varies
How to book: Indoor dining is on a first-come basis. For takeout, call the restaurant at 619-391-3766 or order via Toast from 4 pm–10 pm.

If anyone with food allergies is part of your holiday celebration, look no further than The Gluten Free Baking Co. The North Park bakery is offering everything from traditional pumpkin pie and pecan pie (made gluten-free of course) to fun, holiday-themed treats such as apple crumb-filled donuts, pecan bars, and a holiday cookie tin. Additionally, if you want to bake your own pie at home, but are having trouble finding an allergen-free pie crust, they also sell vegan pie crust dry mix, as well as giftable items like cookie mix in a jar and gingerbread house kits. 
Cost: Varies
How to order: Stop in the shop anytime or order online 48 hours in advance for pickup.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
The Vineyard Rose
Photo courtesy of South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

Dine among the vines at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant at South Coast Winery Resort and Spa in their beautiful dining room surrounded by views of the vineyard. Executive chef José Esparza and his team have prepared a festive a la carte menu that will be served both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 5:30–9 pm (they’ll be serving their regular menu the rest of the day). Open with charcuterie or roasted Brussels sprouts, pancetta, Granny Smith apples, a sunny side up egg, and apple cider, followed by a refreshing The Vineyard Rose Salad or warming butternut squash soup. Entrees include several gluten-free options, like grilled filet mignon with confit potatoes, wild mushrooms, asparagus, and red wine reduction; roasted Jidori chicken breast with pommes puree, heirloom carrots, peas, cipollini onion, celery ribbons, and natural jus; and Skuna Bay salmon. Finish your feast with decadent desserts—triple chocolate cake, gingerbread pudding with vanilla custard sauce and fresh berries, or South Coast Riesling bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and vineyard trail mix. Of course, since you’re sitting in a vineyard, you’ll want to explore the wine menu—your server can guide you to the perfect pairing.
Cost: A la carte prices range from $10-$59. Wine by the glass or bottle varies.
How to book: Reservations are required and can be made at OpenTable or by calling (951) 719-8356.

Available for Reservations
Bertrand at Mister A's Restaurant
Mr. A’s

Bertrand at Mister A's Restaurant

Bankers Hill and Rancho Santa Fe

Celebrate Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with the best views in the city. Mr. A’s Christmas Eve prix fixe menu includes prime beef chateaubriand with Cabernet reduction, and pomme Robuchon, or oven-roasted Maine lobster tail alongside mushroom risotto and sauce armoricaine, plus dessert options such as butterscotch pot de creme, vanilla brioche bread pudding, and more. On Christmas Day, the prix fixe menu features braised lamb osso buco, pan-seared Maine scallops in red grapefruit butter with asparagus, vegetarian carnelori rice with wild and tame mushrooms, and slow-roasted Brandt Farm prime rib with traditional yorkshire pudding and thrice-baked Yukon potatoes, along with dessert selections including dark chocolate truffles of almond financier atop huckleberry compote, pine nut brittle, and juniper ice cream.
Cost:The Christmas Eve three-course prix fixe menu starts at $95.50 per person; Christmas Day’s three-course prix fixe menu starts at $89.50.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable or by calling 619.239.1377.

Available for Reservations
Salt & Straw
Photo courtesy of Salt & Straw

Skip making dessert and grab some pints of Salt & Straw’s decadent ice cream, now in five festive flavors inspired by classic holiday cookies. Choose from gingerbread cookie dough, peppermint cocoa, almond brittle with salted ganache, The Great Cookie Swap, a vegan coconut cream based inspiration with flavors from grandma’s cookie jar, and Dwanta’s Teremana spiked eggnog, a boozy, rich custard, filled with oaky vanilla flavors from Teremana Reposado tequila. Their regular flavors will be available to-go as well.
Cost: Varies
How to order: Stop by or order online for pickup.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
STK Steakhouse
Photo courtesy of STK Steakhouse

STK Steakhouse

East Village

Splurge on a holiday classic at STK Steakhouse from December 24-26, showcasing roasted prime rib, confit fingerling potatoes, green beans, and port wine shallots with black truffle Madeira sauce, which can be ordered for takeout as well. On Christmas Day, they’ll also feature three fancy brunch items, including smoked pork belly, lobster bennies, and chicken and waffles. To keep the celebration going into the new year, STK has a luxurious menu of Holiday Cheer Specials like premium Wagyu beef, Imperia Caviar Kaluga Reserve, served traditionally on ice with blinis and toast, and a steak and bourbon 3D tasting complete with a ten-ounce Australian picanha, barrel proof Wild Turkey mist, bourbon maldon salt, and a one-ounce shot of barrel proof Wild Turkey, now through January 2.
Cost: $75 per person for prime rib. Holiday Cheer Specials range from $69-$299. For takeout, the prime rib package for two is $139, additional servings are $70 each. Pickup times can be selected at STK Steakhouse.
How to book: Reservations can be made via OpenTable.

Available for Reservations
Mary Beth Abate is a San Diego-based freelance writer by way of Chicago and Los Angeles. Her hobbies include yoga, pickling and fermenting stuff, reading cookbooks and drinking fabulous gin. Keep up with her experiments @MaryBeth_Abate.