Whether your traditional holiday dinner celebration falls on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, San Diego's best chefs have been hard at work creating special menus to give you a holiday dining experience that you won't soon forget. If visions of sugar plums are dancing in your head, be sure to make reservations now at one of these local world-class San Diego restaurants.
Christmas Eve Dinner
Thee Bungalow, 4996 Point Loma Blvd. 619.224.2884
Nestled in the seaside community of Ocean Beach, Thee Bungalow has been a favorite of locals for over thirty years, cherished for its intimate atmosphere and old country charm. This year, Chef Paul Niles has created a special three course menu for the holiday, including a main course of an eight ounce prime top sirloin, grilled pork loin, roasted goose, pan seared pacific sea bass, smoked country ham, or roast turkey. Thee Bungalow is open Christmas Eve from 4 to 9pm and on Christmas Day from 1 to 8pm. Holiday menu is $39.95 per person.
Amaya at the Grand Del Mar, 5200 Grand Del Mar Way 858.314.1996
In addition to its regular dinner menu, Amaya is offering a special four-course prix fixe menu created by Executive Chef Jason McLeod. Featured entrees include a honey-glazed pork chop with creamy polenta and a seared pink snapper with winter truffle risotto. The special menu will be available on Christmas Eve from 5:30 to 10pm, and is $52 per person for prix fixe menu. In addition, Amaya will offer a lavish Christmas Eve buffet from 11am to 8pm, as well as a buffet and special menu on Christmas day.
The Pearl at The Pearl Hotel, 1410 Rosecrans Street, Point Loma 619.226.6100.
The Pearl Hotel, Point Loma's new "Down to Earth, Up with Style" boutique hotel presents its first-ever Christmas Eve dinner. This salute to the season offers a delicious and creative bounty featuring culinary twists on traditional favorites. The special four-course holiday menu by Executive Chef Eva Wren is served family style and includes a main course of duo of pork tenderloin and rosemary duck breast, sunchoke puree, confit micro-carrot and bacon-glazed brussels sprouts or wild Alaskan salmon, snow crab claws, baby cauliflower boursin gratin, pea tendrils and portabella. This special menu will be available on Christmas Eve from 5 to 10pm, and is $75 per person.
Crown Room at the Hotel del Coronado, 619.522.8490.
For many San Diegans, the holidays just wouldn't be complete without a visit to the annual festivities at the magnificent Hotel Del Coronado. For a Christmas Eve treat for all the senses, visit the world-famous Crown Room's holiday buffet, complete with caroling and entertainment. The Crown Room's whimsical crown-shaped chandeliers, designed by Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, glowing sugar-pine ceiling, and amazing views are sure to win over the biggest Scrooge. Prices are $95 for adults and $40 for children ages six to ten.
And for something truly unforgettable, make reservations for the annual production of An American Christmas, performed by the award-winning Lamb's Players Theatre. Each evening December 9-30 at 6:30pm, the "Marshall family," played by over 30 versatile performers, throw open the doors to the Ballroom and invite their guests to enjoy a heartwarming feast and celebration set exactly one hundred years ago. The Marshalls entertain their guests with stories, songs, dance, and holiday cheer, all woven around a sumptuous four-course yuletide dinner prepared by The Del's master chefs.For information and tickets, contact the Lamb's Players Box Office at 619.437.0600.
Island Prime, 880 Harbor Island Drive, 619.298.6802
After the presents have been opened, come down to Island Prime and dine on Chef Debrah Schott's special Christmas Day three course menu. You'll enjoy beautiful views of the San Diego skyline and Coronado. Outdoor waterfront seating is available. This special meal includes an entrée choice of pomegranate Cornish game hen, maple glazed white Marble Farms pork chops, mustard and herb crusted prime rib, cedar plank roasted salmon, volcano cut Colorado lamb shank, or an eight ounce filet minion. Christmas dinner is available from 1 to 7pmm and is $49.95 for adults and $12.95 for children 12 and under.
Addison, at the Grand Del Mar 5200 Grand Del mar Way, 858.314.1900
Addison is the flagship restaurant of the Grand Del Mar, where Chef William Bradley combines local ingredients with contemporary French influences. His special Christmas day menu will consist of five courses, featuring Dover sole with lemon sorel and hazelnut vinaigrette, black truffle risotto and braised côte de boeuf. Diners may also add paired wines from Addison's 19,000-bottle wine collection. Prices are $120 per person or $200 per person with wine.
Hornblower Cruises, 1066 North Harbor Drive, 888.467.6256
Why not celebrate Christmas at sea? Hornblower Cruises is offering a special Christmas cruise that includes a lavish, traditional holiday buffet aboard a luxurious yacht while you enjoy the calm waters and beautiful scenery of the San Diego Bay. Santa will be making an appearance to hand out presents to all children on board. It's perfect for entertaining out of town guests, as well as an intimate family affair. Cruise also includes a boarding glass of champagne and unlimited soda, juice, coffee, and tea. The buffet will include all of your holiday favorites, including a carving station with prime rib, turkey, ham, and all of the trimmings. The cruise runs from 3:30 to 6pm, and is $69.95 per person.
Vivace at the Four Seasons Aviara, 760.603.6800
For fine dining in the North County, head over to the beautiful Four Seasons Aviara in Carlsbad. The resort's signature Italian restaurant Vivace will serve a five-course special menu on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, including choices like smoked tomato soup, pumpkin ravioli and veal shoulder brasato. Hours on Christmas day are 4-9pm, and dinner is $120 per person.
Planning Ahead for New Years' Eve?
Now is the time to make reservations to welcome in the new year. Whether you're looking for an extravagant gala, an intimate evening, or something truly unique, San Diego restaurants are offering it all.
Peartrees' New Year's Eve Gala aboard the Midway Aircraft Carrier, 910 North Harbor, 619.575.5500
Fill your San Diego New Year's Eve with magic aboard the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum. Permanently docked at the Navy Pier, The Midway offers great views of the bay. You can sip champagne while watching the city lights from the flight deck. Extravagant dinner stations will be prepared by award-winning Peartrees Catering as well as a hosted open bar including a midnight champagne toast. There will also be dancing to the live music of the Big Daddy Orchestra. The festivities set sail at 8pm, and are $159 per person.
Indigo Grill 1536 India Street, 619.234.6802
Chef Deborah Scott presents a three course dinner with shared appetizer, dessert, and champagne for $54.95 a person. Enjoy signature menu items such as the smoked duck quesadilla appetizer, applewood smoked bacon wrapped filet mignon entrée, and crispy banana split dessert. Visit Indigo Grill for more menu options.
Roppongi Restaurant & Sushi Bar 875 Prospect, La Jolla, 858.551.5252
Roppongi will celebrate New Year's Eve in San Diego with a special menu starting at 5:30pm, live jazz and Latin music by Rob Thorsen Duo from 7:30pm - 12:30am, plus party favors and a midnight champagne toast. Created by Executive Chef Stephen Window, the special three-course, prix-fixe menu has a choice of two entrees, including cinnamon spiced Kurobuta pork belly, sage jus, and roasted Furikake fingerling potatoes or miso glazed Chilean sea bass filet, shiitake mushrooms, and coconut curry foam, priced at $58 per person.
Trattoria Acqua 1298 Prospect, La Jolla, 858.454.0709
Ring in the new year with culinary specials from Trattoria Acqua. Start off the celebration with Osetra, a half-dozen Chesapeake Bay blue point oysters baked "Rockefeller" style with garlic, spinach, Italian bacon and topped with a Fontina cheese zabaglione sauce for $14.95. And enjoy the Filetto Del Oscar signature entrée, a lightly pounded filet mignon steak served with Alaskan king crab, Yukon gold potato strudel, organic asparagus and topped with a champagne bernaise sauce for $36.95. Make your reservation early - this celebratory dinner event will fill up fast.
The Prado 1549 El Prado, 619.557.9441
Chef Jeff Thurston prepares a 3 course dinner with wine pairings at the historical Prado restaurant in Balboa Park. Begin with wasabi pea crusted Hawaiian ahi sashimi, and opt for Earth and Ocean entrée - braised boneless beef short rib, charred asparagus, and red wine reduction, with lobster mac and cheese gratin and white truffle oil drizzle. Visit The Prado for more food and wine menu options. $69.95 per person, or $89.95 per person with wine pairing.