7 San Diego Restaurants That Are Perfect For A Hot DateEat + Drink
The struggle to find a date night spot that strikes the perfect balance between ambiance and appetite is real. Never fear! We’ve rounded up seven sweet San Diego eateries perfect for getting cozy and enjoying some unique bites with your other half.
This North County new kid on the block has all the warm atmosphere of it’s namesake and then some. Campfireboasts a seasonally-driven, curated menu that rotates almost weekly. Though the menu features highly elevated and imaginative dishes like whole roasted fish with black garlic romesco and smoked avocado leaf panna cotta, the setting is anything but fussy. Rich with rustic wood beams sprawling to the ceiling and shelves lined with colorful artisanal pottery, the setting is intimate, with no shortage of charm- teepees on the patio, anyone?
Nestled in the heart of Little Italy, a young generation of artisans from Milano are cranking out (literally) some of the best pasta in San Diego. First of all, let’s talk Aperitivo, shall we? If you’re unfamiliar, Aperitivo is Italy’s more sophisticated answer to Happy Hour. During it, guests are brought complimentary bites on the house to munch while they sip cocktails. Monello offers this every night of the week from 4-7pm, which is a major weekend date-night score. To further solidify their standing as pasta geniuses, every Tuesday and Saturday, they serve it tableside out of a wheel of Pecorino Romano cheese. If ever there was a moment to drop the mic and walk away, that would be it.
Couples looking for a departure from their usual cocktail go-to should venture to South Park vegan watering hole, Kindred. Carnivores and herbivores alike flock here for spirit-driven cocktails, inventive bites and a surprisingly edgy atmosphere. Heavy metal playing gregariously in the background juxtaposes the beautifully gilded marble bar and printed pink wallpaper. Guest favorites include clever fare like cauliflower buffalo “wings” and Memphis BBQ Jackfruit sandwiches. Of course these are best washed down with any one of their signature libations, which are equal parts dreamy and punch-packing! Kindred makes the perfect date night spot for those seeking a high-energy atmosphere, without sacrificing intimacy. Veganism never felt so metal!
Ocean views are a date night cliche for a reason and Catania is a poster child for some of the best in San Diego. Overlooking the striking La Jolla Cove, Catania’s outdoor patio makes the perfect little enclave to settle in for some delicious coastal Italian fare. Featuring stunning dishes like salmon crudo with heirloom tomato granita and a rich duck sugo orecchiette, Catania is sure to wow from entree to after-dinner drinks.
This sweet little Golden Hill spot is perfect for dinner and brunch dates alike. The indoor seating is cozy and quaint, but the outdoor patio is the place to enjoy chilaquiles with your morning Pimm’s Cup and people watch with someone cute. We aren’t trying to tell you how to live, but that sounds like the start of a successful weekend to us!
Puesto is surely a departure from the everyday enchilada and we are not one bit mad about it. They’ve made sassy updates on staples like guacamole and al pastor and have creative, yet authentic, small plates like chicharrones and street-carved mango. This is one place that’s equal parts impressive, fresh and unassuming.
7. The Nolen
To round off our list, is the perfect spot to end a romantic evening. The Nolen is a rooftop bar and lounge every bit as swanky as that description implies. Sip a signature cocktail and enjoy small bites while taking in views of the San Diego skyline and harbor. You’ll most definitely lock in date number two.