With the whirlwind of holiday mayhem up until Christmas Eve, you deserve to take it easy for the holidays. Instead of adding more to-do’s on your list for the perfect Christmas family dinner, leave the cooking (and cleaning, decorating and worrying…) to the pros and focus on celebrating at some of the best San Diego spots opened just for you on Christmas. From enjoying frozen drinks to relaxing with the ocean-side sunset view, prepare to have the best Christmas yet, as unconventional as it may be!
On Christmas Day, The Duck Dive is going all out with Christmas celebrations. From 5pm until last call, all guests will be treated to a complimentary eggnog (not spiked) for you and the family to be truly immersed in the Christmas spirit. The signature, beachside lounge atmosphere will sure be the solution to keeping your Christmas chaos-free and 100% enjoyable. The Late Night Menu will also be available all snacking needs.
For those of you who need a little break from the family on Christmas Day, Pacific Beach Shore Club’s Thirsty Thursday can be that break you might need. With 2-4-1 burgers and $4 Skyy Vodka and Fireballs, Shore Fam will play host to San Diegans starting at 5 p.m. There will be nothing to complain about at Shore Club with their relaxing views of the Pacific and refreshing ocean breeze.
Known for its simple, creatively modest décor and always inviting vibe, it’s no surprise that Fig Tree Café in Liberty Station is hosting their annual complimentary “Operation Christmas Dinner” for veterans and their families who are in the Wounded Warriors Project. Wounded Warriors is a military charity organization that dedicates its efforts to empower injured veterans and their families. Determined to joy, warmth and a delicious feast to every family on Christmas Day, the Fig Tree staff is volunteering to serve veterans and their loved ones as a small appreciation for everything these former military personnel have done for our country. Two seatings are available from 2-3pm and 3-4pm.
Located smack in the middle of Pacific Beach’s laidback vibes, Tavern is the perfect spot for those looking for a more lighthearted, relaxed Christmas celebration this year. Within a few short blocks from the beach, this coastal-casual bar will serve as an exciting reminder that Christmas Day doesn’t have to be all about cleaning, cooking and everything in between. Enjoy $4 flavored whiskeys and embrace the awesome change of scenery during Christmas Day starting at 12pm.
Attention, basketball fanatics! With some of the best NBA games happening on Christmas Day, avoid fighting for the TV remote at home and cheer on your favorite players on one of the 25 massive HD widescreen TV’s at True North Tavern. A local gem hidden within the treasured urban village of North Park, True North Tavern is the neighborhood go-to spot for guaranteed good times, including all kinds of Christmas festivities. The bar will be open starting at 5pm.
Appropriately named, Sandbar Sports Bar & Grill is literally seconds away from the Pacific Ocean in the heart of Mission Beach. With one of the most breathtaking sunset views in San Diego, Sandbar is easily the spot for your unconventional Christmas Day celebrations. In lieu of your traditional gluttonous, carb-heavy Christmas dinner, opt for a frozen drink and Sandbar’s specialty beach-themed appetizers for a brand new Christmas experience. The bar will be open starting at 9am.
To fully unwind from the holiday headaches, grab some specialty libations at barleymash and enjoy the rich, vibrant culture of San Diego’s Gaslamp district. Set amidst the warm, modernist design, this popular restaurant and bar has over 30 beers on tap with the city’s best micro and nano-brews. So be sure to drop by barleymash starting at noon to find the best concoction for you picky palate and have a stress-free Christmas Day by indulging in the joint’s bourbon and beer-infused menu.
Want to go elegant for the holidays? This Christmas, Mille Fleurs in Rancho Sante Fe invites guests to delight in a four-course prix fixe Christmas Eve menu for $89 per guest between 4:30 and 9pm on Wednesday, December 24. Chef Martin Woesle has created an array of traditional and creative selections for a delicious gathering with family and friends. On Christmas Day, guests can enjoy an appetizing a la carte menu between 1 and 7:30pm.
Celebrate Christmas Eve with Bertrand at Mister A’s twinkling lights and Chef Stéphane’s prix fixe Christmas Eve menu, priced at $75 per person and available from 4:30 to 9pm. On Christmas Day, enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu from Mister A’s rooftop dining room. The Christmas Day menu, priced at $59.50 per person, will be available between 11am and 9pm.
Celebrate the holidays with family and friends at the Westgate Hotel over a four-course dinner in the Westgate Room or experience a lavish Christmas Day Buffet in the elegant Le Fontainebleau Room. Christmas Eve Dinner in the Westgate Room will begin at 6pm and is priced at $62 plus tax and gratuity. The Christmas Day holiday buffet in Le Fountaineblue Room is $69 plus tax and gratuity and available from 11am to 6pm. Diners may also enjoy a $62 plus tax and gratuity meal in The Westgate Room on Christmas Day beginning at 11am.
Marina Kitchen invites guests to unwrap the most delicious tastes of the holiday season on December 24 and December 25 with a festive buffet of seasonal favorites. Featuring all the necessary trimmings to satisfy the holiday wish list of both the traditionalist and of those looking for a modern twist on the season’s culinary staples, Marina Kitchen’s Christmas buffet provides guests a venue to enjoy a selection of timeless favorites boasting a modern California twist. Available from 5-9pm on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day, menu standouts include Brandt Beef Prime Rib, and Roasted Jidori Chicken, in addition to fresh fish and greens. Peppermint Angel Food Cake and Eggnog NY Style Cheesecake round off the holiday buffet with sweet visions of sugarplums! Priced at $48 per person and $12.99 for children 12-years-old and younger, guests will enjoy full access to Marina Kitchen’s Christmas feast and of course delicious holiday merriment to share with their loved ones.
This Christmas, feast on the good times with your family and friends at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Guests can choose from a Christmas Day buffet at Lael’s or a gourmet prix-fixe, Christmas Day dinner at Sally’s Seafood on the Water. The buffet begins with a Butternut Ginger Bisque and an array of fresh, seasonal salads, and includes a variety of California Rolls, King Crab Legs, hand-curated cheese-boards, action carving stations of Slow Roasted Prime Rib and Bourbon Brown Sugar Glazed Ham and even a Mac & Cheese station! Guests can choose from Pan Roasted Chicken, Seared Halibut or Cabernet Pot Roast for entrees and top the decadent meal off with a choice of Pumpkin Creme Brûlée, Pecan Pie, Cinnamon Egg Nog Cheese Cake and more.
For those looking for a seaside Christmas dinner, Sally’s Seafood on the Water is preparing a gourmet prix-fixe meal. The four-course dinner begins with a Creamy Sunchoke Veloute, a Baby Endive and Watercress Salad and continues with a Christmas Trio of Filet Mignon, Shrimp and Chorizo stuffed Turbot, paired with a Celery Root Puree, Roasted Heirloom Carrot and King Crab and Pumpkin Stuffing. To finish off the festive and delicious meal, Sally’s has prepared an interpretation on Red Velvet, crafted with Beet and Berry Sorbet, Mascarpone Gelato, Dark Chocolate Cake and Milk Chocolate Mousse.
Spend the night before Christmas fine dining at the THE US GRANT Hotel's Grant Grill with Chef Sam's four course pre fixe menu. Enjoy enticing options like the crispy salmon belly with chino kale sprout salad, horseradish foam and bacon, followed by the dry aged beef loin with mushroom and chestnut bread pudding. Then gather with family and friends for breakfast at Grant Grill on Christmas with Chef's a la carte menu, or enjoy Grant Grill in the evening for a special Holiday Dinner. Tantalize your early palate with breakfast options such as the buttermilk bliss cakes served with spiced cream and oatmeal crunch. On Christmas Night, savor traditional holiday dishes with a unique twist, like Chef's Christmas goose served with with braised wild leeks and purple sweet potatoes and for dessert, vanilla pudding cake wtih dried fruit compote, run sauce and candied walnuts.
The seaside establishment 333 Pacific in Oceanside will continue to bring its innovative cuisine to the table on Christmas Day. There will be no shortage of hearty entrees with items like the cabernet-braised lamb shank and the 16oz. prime rib of beef. Diners can additionally end their meal with a choice of elegant desserts such as the chocolate torte or banana bread pudding.
At the center of San Diego’s Balboa Park, The Prado will be hosting a charming Christmas meal with menu classics like the herb roasted turkey breast complemented with mushroom and sausage stuffing, sour cream mashed potatoes, green beans, and pan gravy. Comfort-food lovers might also enjoy the traditional baked potato soup with sour cream, chives, cheddar, and bacon as a tasty starter.
Island Prime/C Level really brings an essence of holiday cheer to its menu with festive entrees such as the apple cider glazed organic chicken and the maple glazed compart duroc pork chop. The wintertime treats continue into the dessert options with unforgettable plates like the peppermint chocolate torte and the eggnog cheesecake.
The countryside California restaurant Vintana in Escondidobrings a Christmas flare to its extensive menu with great starters like a warm brussels sprouts salad or the brown butter gnocchi. Guests with a bit of a sweet tooth can also try the macadamia & coconut crusted sea bass as a second course option.
The Bohemian bistro BO-beau kitchen + bar in Ocean Beachspices up their casual menu with a holiday flare, bringing diners classic delights like the maple glazed ham with shaved brussels and sweet potato hash, roasted chestnuts, and white cheddar risotto. BO-beau is also providing an amazing array of desserts like the tempting gingerbread cheesecake and the eggnog pound cake break pudding.
100 Wines Kitchen in Hillcrest plumps up its traditional comfort food with seasonal starters like the oven roasted turkey soup with cranberry stuffing. For a second course, guests can also indulge in the smoked candied ham with rosemary red potatoes, sautéed garlic green beans, and apple cider gravy.
The oceanfront coastal tavern SEA180˚ in Imperial Beach adds a dash of holiday spices to its sophisticated menu. The roasted half chicken is accompanied by lemon, thyme, garlic mashed potatoes, and pan gravy, while the butternut squash ravioli includes sage brown butter, pecorino, balsamic reduction, and pepitas.
Heading to Indigo Grill can be a fun way to spice up the holidays. The modern Latin menu is brought to life with courses like the hickory smoked pork ribs and the winter truffle pappardelle. The dessert options are tempting with items like the fresh churros and the white chocolate cheesecake.
Whatever you do this holiday season, savor the moments and don't let little stresses hurt you or your family. Stay safe and be well. We love you San Diego. Merry Christmas. Happy Hannukah. Festive Kwanza. Joyous day.