The Five Feasts of Christmas: San Diego Restaurants

The Best Christmas Dinners Around San Diego

Mom’s frozen turkey. Aunt Wendy’s powdered mashed potatoes. Uncle Bob’s Mystery Salad. The holidays are a time to celebrate tradition—but some of those traditions are better left in Christmas dinners past. This Christmas season, why not savor the delicious flavors of the season outside your own home? Prepping feasts takes hours and can easily go awry; leave the souffléing and marinating to the professionals and your family will definitely go home happy. San Diego offers an array of gourmet dinners, brunches and buffets, complete with gorgeous views and endless cocktails, meaning you can actually enjoy this often–stressful season. We’ve found the best options around the county; all you have to do is make the reservation. So tell Mom to put that turkey back in the freezer—you’re going out!


Hornblower Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise & Christmas Day Champagne Brunch
$91.95, 5:00–7:30 pm   |   $62.95, 11:30 am–1:30 pm

For many of us San Diegans, we’ve always meant to make a reservation on the Hornblower—the local yacht that performs daily dinner and brunch cruises around the Bay—but it’s always slipped our minds. Don’t let it slip this Christmas, when the Hornblower will take to the water with signature holiday pizzaz. For a luxurious evening, make a reservation for the Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise; you’ll be greeted with jolly carolers as you make your way to your private table. Traditional dinner and dessert buffets tantalize the tastebuds as sparkling views of the cityscape greet your eyes. If you’re more of a Christmas Day feaster, try the Christmas Day Champagne Brunch. Two words: unlimited champagne. Paired with crisp day lit views, brunch and dessert buffets and photos with Santa for the little ones, you’ll never forget this Christmas morning.


Hotel Del Christmas Dinner
$98.50 adults & $40 children, 12:00 pm

Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego

Rumors abound of the magnificence of the Hotel Del Coronado’s Sunday brunch buffet. Those who have experienced the buffet regale us with tales of unlimited lobster, mimosas and ocean views. But the best way to experience a feast at the Del is with their Christmas Dinner, served at noon on Christmas day. Choose from the Oceanfront Ballroom, where you’ll be serenaded with gentle live acoustic guitar, or the Crown Room, with elegant violins tinkling in the background. Enjoy the tastes of the season in the lavishly decorated elegance of Coronado’s crown jewel.


The Shores Restaurant Christmas Day Buffet
$49, 10:00 am–2:00 pm

The Shores on Christmas Day

Visions of sugar plums? At The Shores in La Jolla, those visions of old–fashioned sugar plums are replaced with breakfast breads, like sticky buns and apple strudel; decadent entrees, like eggnog french toast, five–spice bone–in ham and Maine lobster bisque; and mouthwatering desserts, like a chocolate yule log. Your kids will stay busy at the Children’s Station so that you can savor each flavorsome course and enjoy the slower pace of the holiday. With ocean views and an award–winning culinary team, The Shores is sure to become a Christmas feast tradition.


Rancho Valencia Christmas Eve Dinner & Christmas Day Buffet
$100, 5:30 pm–9:00 pm    -    $125/$55, 1:00 pm–5:30 pm

Rancho Valencia in San Diego

Rancho Santa Fe’s premiere resort, Rancho Valencia, astonishes with their Christmas dinner fetes. Dine at their signature restaurant, Veladora, on Christmas Eve and enjoy their prix fixe feast. Four–courses of exquisitely prepared bites, accompanied by live holiday music, capture the delicious flavors and romance of the season. Bring the kids to the Christmas day buffet, held on the resort’s croquet lawn. A massive traditional buffet will keep you going back for more, while little ones enjoy snow globe making, gingerbread man decorating and photos with Santa. The celebration lasts all afternoon, so that you can savor the joys of Christmas just a little longer.


The French Gourmet Christmas Eve Prix Fixe Dinner
$49.95, 5:30–8:00 pm

The French Gourmet for Christmas Dinner

The French Gourmet in San Diego may be known around town for their sensational catering, but the real way to enjoy their holiday fare is at their annual Christmas Eve Prix Fixe Dinner, an event that keeps guests coming back year after year. Each recipe on the multi–course menu is carefully curated and cooked in order to bring you the best flavors of the season. Menus of the past included such delicious, traditional Christmas dishes as Roasted Goose and Bûche de Noël; this year, the chefs at The French Gourmet will wow with new entrees and desserts to impress the palate. Relax with a glass of fine wine and savor each course during this tranquil dinner, the perfect precursor to the stress of Christmas Day.