Don’t Feel Like Cooking This Christmas? These Restaurants Are Serving Christmas Dinner, San Diego!

If the thought of spending hours at a hot stove cooking up a holiday dinner isn’t at the top of your Christmas List this year, many of San Diego’s amazing restaurants will be serving Christmas dinner, working hard straight through the holidays to keep you well-fed and stress-free! Here are some of the most enticing options we’ve found around town – dine-in and take-out – for a special meal with family and friends:

Christmas Eve/Day

Cesarina Cocktail Program, Winter Wonderland Décor & Holiday Dining

Cesarina

Cesarina has a new cocktail menu and a special Christmas Eve dinner where they’ll be serving up à la carte specials inspired by regional Yuletide dishes of Italy. Click here to learn more!

Bleu Bohème

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Bleu Bohème, located in Kensington at 4090 Adams Ave. The award-winning restaurant will celebrate Christmas Eve with a decadent three-course, prix fixe dinner and festive cocktail, available from 4 to 8 p.m. exclusively on Friday, December 24th. Created by owner and executive chef, Ken Irvine, Bleu Bohème’s specialty menu will be priced at $68 per person.

To start, guests may choose between: caramelized Spanish onion soup with fresh herbs, beef consommé and Gruyere cheese crouton; crab croquettes with jicama remoulade, tomato-rocket salad and saffron aioli; crab croquette with jicama remoulade, tomato-rocket salad and saffron aioli; fresh roasted beet salad with clementines, pickled red onions, goat cheese croquettes and rocket lettuce; or charcuterie featuring house-made duck pâté, terrine de campagne, coppa, jambon de Bayonne, garlic sausage, rosette de Lyon, Spanish chorizo and pickled vegetables.

For those craving a truly French experience, guests can add escargot: farm-raised snails with garlic, shallots, parsley, thyme, Pernod and butter served with petite baguette.

Entrée options include: confit de canard, cassoulet of Hudson Valley Muscovy duck leg confit served with cannellini beans, garlic sausage, smoked pork belly and pistou; Faroe Island salmon with roasted Japanese potatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower and sorrel beurre blanc; Shiitake and oyster mushroom raviolis with ratatouille, spinach, espelette, tomato relish, fines herbes and white wine cream sauce; or braised beef short rib with blue cheese-red wine sauce, crispy parsnips, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and haricots verts.

For an additional $5 charge, guests may choose between large dry-pack sea scallops served with saffron lobster risotto, linguisa, rapini, fennel and basil pistou; or petit filet mignon steak frites with caramelized onions, Béarnaise, arugula salad and garlic pommes frites.

Dessert offerings include: mousse au chocolat, rich dark Callebaut chocolate mousse with seasonal red berries; crème brulée, rich vanilla custard with a crunchy sugar crust; warm flourless chocolate cake with house-made vanilla ice cream; warm gingerbread topped with strawberry confiture and caramel ice cream; and warm brioche bread pudding with caramelized apples, raisins and white chocolate.

Reservations are available by calling 619.255.4167 or by visiting the website at www.bleuboheme.com.

Herb & Sea | Herb & Wood

Celebrate a quintessential San Diego Christmas Eve at Encinitas’ favorite neighborhood restaurant, Herb & Sea. Mirroring its classic menu, Herb & Sea’s Christmas Eve menu will celebrate simple, clean and bright flavors from both coasts, offering guests a wide selection of vegetarian and pescatarian dishes. Start with flavorful appetizers like the Parsnip & Celery Root Soup and Whipped Burrata Toast before enjoying a balanced spread of main dishes including Roasted Chicken and Curry Roasted Celery Root to be paired with hardy sides like California Buttermilk Polenta, Braised Winter Greens and Acorn Squash and Crispy Potatoes.

Book your reservation here to celebrate this Christmas Eve in classic San Diego style at Herb & Sea from 3 to 8PM. Adults dine for $84 and children for $34.  Same menu are also served at Herb & Wood in Little Italy.

Animae

Looking to spend your Christmas Eve in one of San Diego’s most captivatingly elegant restaurants? Book your reservation from 4PM to 8PM through OpenTable to experience Animae’s (2021 Michelin Plate Honoree) Christmas Eve dinner featuring your favorites from Chef Tara Monsod’s menu of Filipino flavors along with specials like the Ginger Chicken Congee, Roasted Kabocha Squash and Halibut Cha Ca in the restaurant where, “Art Deco Meets Enchanted Forest.”

For dessert, choose between a Mostra Coffee Chocolate Mousse Bar with Taiyaki and the 5-Spice Apple Financier, or don’t choose and enjoy both from one of Animae’s jewel-toned lush green velvety custom booths. Dress to impress, and deck the halls at San Diego’s favorite restaurant where Asian-flavors meet fine dining steakhouse.

Make your reservation here for $115 per person.

📸: Alila Marea

VAGA Restaurant & Bar’s Christmas Eve menu by Chef Claudette Zepeda. A culinary experience with picture-perfect views and fresh, sea salt-scented air, VAGA’s specialty Christmas Eve menu is paired with cocktails that are a little bit of sugar, spice and everything nice to celebrate the holiday. 

Perched atop the bluff in the charming seaside town of Encinitas, VAGA, the new signature dining destination at Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas, celebrates locally inspired cuisine and seasonal fare, making it the perfect spot to celebrate with family and friends while enjoying an iconic San Diego sunset. At $135 per adult with a wine pairing option, Christmas Eve dinner includes:

  • Course 1: Bacalao croquette, maiz puff, corn tart
  • Course 2: Choice of guava and hibiscus crudo or citrus & herb salad
  • Course 3: Choice of short rib adobo or wood fried kohlrabi in adobo, both with pineapple tamal and heirloom beans
  • Course 4: Pre-dessert
  • Course 5: Yule log with chocolate sponge, buttercream, guava and meringue

Reservations for Christmas Dinner at VAGA can be made here.

Valentina

Spend a cozy Christmas Eve at Valentina, a European-style bistro and wine bar located along Highway 101. Named after the owner’s daughter, Valentina is an intimate spot where guests can enjoy a three-course dinner featuring dishes inspired by the owner’s passion for travel, such as tomaquet iberico, 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. Spend your Christmas Eve in a cozy booth or on the outdoor patio under twinkling lights with your loved ones.

The prix fixe menu will be offered exclusively from 3 to 9PM for $79 per person. You can book your reservation here.

Callie

Enjoy the festive spirit at Callie this Christmas Eve. Chef Travis Swikard has created a bountiful five-course family-style feast this Christmas Eve with highlights including Mediterranean octopus, cacio e pepe risotto, 24 hour prime rib, pancetta-wrapped quail and a chocolate-coffee tiramisu for dessert. For those looking to make the evening even more extravagant, there’s an option to add Russian Ossetra Caviar with caramelized onion dip, toasted nigella and dill potato chips for an additional cost. The team will also be sending guests home with Santa’s chocolate chip cookies fresh from the Callie kitchen.

An a la carte menu will be available at the bar as well for walk-ins only.

$85 Adults | $60 Optional Wine Pairing | $35 Children 10 and under. Reservations can be made on the Callie website here.

The Plot

If you are looking for an exclusively plant-packed Christmas, The Plot has you covered. The Plot will also be offering Christmas Eve Brunch from 11AM to 5PM. Dishes include the Breakfast Burrito, Hot Chicken Sando, the Sloppy Waffle with fresh fruit and vanilla creme, and the rest of their full brunch menu which can be found here.


Vistal Bar + Restaurant

For a true California Christmas experience, bring your loved ones to dine at Vistal, the InterContinental San Diego’s Southern California-inspired coastal restaurant with sweeping views of the San Diego skyline and bay. Offering a pre-fixed holiday dinner menu on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, each guest will have the option to choose from two delicious starters, a Christmas Kale and Apple Salad or a Leek and Potato Soup, and four entrees including a Smoked Holiday Pork Chop, a Crispy Skin Salmon, Roasted Parsnip Fondant and Chateaubriand Medallions.

Ending with a holiday-inspired treat, dessert options include a Chocolate Tart and a Gingerbread Trifle. The meal costs $75 for adults, with the option to add a $35 wine pairing, and $35 for children under 12. Book your reservation here for a magical, West Coast-style Christmas celebration.

For those looking to celebrate early, Vistal is also hosting a Holiday Happy Hour featuring a selection of festive cocktails from 4PM to 6PM daily.

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. From 4PM to 9PM, enjoy a delicious menu of mouth watering dishes on Greenfinch’s festively decorated patio like the Prime Tomahawk Steak, Diver Scallops, Ceviche Tostata and Saffron Corn Soup while overlooking the Garden Courtyard.

If you and your loved ones prefer a Christmas Brunch from 8AM to 2PM enjoy Greenfinch’s brunch menu, along with special additions like the bananas foster french toast, decadent charcuterie boards and crab cake eggs benedict, plus the option to toast with bottomless mimosas or bloody marys!

Reserve your Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas morning brunch here. For parties of six or more, please call 858-964-6612 to book a reservation.


20|Twenty

Let the ho ho holidays be filled with breathtaking plates and decadent libations.  20|Twenty, located in the Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa will have a seasonal prix fixe menu for $98. The three-course menu will consist of an appetizer, entrée, and dessert of your choice. The first course consists of a Compressed Pear Salad made with Savoy Spinach, goat cheese, candied walnut, pomegranate, and an apple ginger vinaigrette. The entrée will be a Beef Wellington which includes Beef Tenderloin, mushroom duxelle, baked-in puff pastry, Lyonnaise Marble potato, Tarragon citrus braised green beans, and a Cabernet Demi-Glace. Wrap-up the night with a mouth-watering dessert, which includes a Grand Marnier Bread Pudding with chocolate sauce.

The hours of operation for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are as follows: Breakfast: 7AM-11AM (regular breakfast menu); Lunch: 11:30AM-2:30PM (regular lunch menu); and Dinner: 5:30PM-10PM (prix fixe Christmas menu AND regular dinner menu). Reservations are highly recommended. Call 760-827-2500 or visit here.

Christmas Weekend

Garibaldi

Closeout your Christmas weekend with a Sicilian-inspired Sunday brunch on December 26 at Garibaldi, located within the InterContinental San Diego. Enjoy the warm bay breeze and sunshine on the outdoor patio while starting with an assortment of Sweet and Savory Italian Pastries, then choose from five different entrees including Lemon Ricotta Pancakes highlighting sweetened ricotta, hazelnuts and candied orange syrup, an Eggplant Caponata Omelet made with 3 eggs, tomatoes, capers, parsley, goat cheese and hashbrowns or the Wild Boar Sausage Hash featuring broccolini, roasted baby bell peppers, sweet potato kale, and poached egg. Finish off your meal with the Cassata Siciliana, a traditional ricotta gelato with candied fruit.

Garibaldi’s Christmas Weekend brunch is $55 per person, with the option to add Bottomless Caposaldo Prosecco, Limoncello or Aperol Spritz, for an additional $29. The perfect way to toast to the last day of the holiday weekend, reservations are available online here.

Take it home!

Hommage Bakehouse

Alleviating the stress and time commitment of holiday baking, Hommage Bakehouse has you covered with fresh seasonal favorites. Bring home Holiday sweets that are sure to keep your family gathered around the table like the Challah and Cinnamon Rolls available for preorder via the Hommage website here through December 17, fresh and ready for pickup on December 23!

If you’re craving something sweet before Holiday break, stop in for the seasonal Maple Pecan Scones, Apple Butter Kougin Amann offered through December, or a classic croissant and fresh loaf of bread available all year around!

Ranch 45

Ensure everyone gets what they want for Christmas this year with Ranch 45’s completely a la carte holiday pick-up menu. Fully customize your Christmas or Christmas Eve feast with main course choices from Herb-crusted Prime Rib, Smoked Turkey Legs and Smoked Cornish Game Hen to sides including Honey and Thyme Roasted Rainbow Carrots, Green Bean Almondine and Olive Oil Smashed Potatoes and last but certainly not least, desserts such as Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie and Apple Crisp all crafted by the talented culinary team at Ranch 45. Take some of the heat out of your kitchen with a little help from Ranch 45 and order online here.

Ranch 45 is accepting orders now up until Sunday, December 19 at 4PM.

The Plot

If you are looking for an exclusively plant-packed and ready-to-eat dinner this Christmas, The Plot has you covered. Some highlights include Wild Rice and Lentil Roast with Gravy, Rosemary Sage Stuffing, Maple Roasted Carrots & Squash, and Garlic Herb Potatoes. Orders must be placed by December 22nd and are available for pick up on December 24th between 12-5PM. Guests can place orders here. $45/per person.


Gelson’s

‘Tis the season to gleeful bellies, satisfied taste buds, and a merry good time spent with friends rather than slaving over a hot stove. The pre-made dishes from Gelson’s make it easy to serve up cheerful and mouth-watering flavors while being completely fuss-free! Choose from a list of complete delectable dinners such as turkey, prime rib, ham, plant-based options, and more – or irresistible à la carte items. Click here and order a meal today.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, San Diego!