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San Diego Holiday Dining & Events Guide 2016

From music and movies to four-course dinners and New Year's Eve parties, here's a guide to the best holiday events this season. Cheers!

By Zoryana Zaryckyj


Museum of Making Music’s Sound Lounge

The Carlsbad museum is gathering the community to celebrate the season with live music, a silent disco, a pop-up shop with local vendors, a succulent building workshop, and museum discounts. Complimentary treats include wine and craft beers from Stone Brewing and seasonal savory and sweet treats from Urban Solace.

Date: December 10

Time: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Price: $10

Address: 5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad

The USO Giving Tree

Every Saturday leading up to Christmas Eve, the Headquarters will provide free holiday entertainment in the outdoor courtyard while USO of San Diego will be collecting gifts and donations to support military families in need this holiday season.

Date: December 10 & 17

Time: December 10, noon to 1 p.m.; December 17, noon to 4 p.m.

Price: Free

Address: 789 West Harbor Drive, San Diego


This holiday season, SMARTS Farm, a non-profit urban garden and learning center, is inviting you to take part in their Holiday Open House. Activities include DIY wreath making, holiday tree decoration, kid-friendly holiday arts and crafts, a hands-on winter gardening class, and complimentary hot cocoa and pizza from SMARTS Farm’s on-site coal-fired oven.

Date: December 17

Time: 10:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

Price: $5 suggested donation

Address: 1326 Broadway Avenue, East Village

The Curious Fork

The gluten-free café offers hands-on and demonstration cooking classes, like a Tamale Party where students will learn everything it takes to make the dish, from the preparation of the masa and fillings to rolling and steaming techniques.

Date: December 17

Time: 3:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Price: $54

Address: 512 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach

Holiday Movie Night and Toy Drive at Hiatus Lounge and Hotel La Jolla

Families can enjoy a classic holiday flick on Hiatus’ outdoor screen. Cozy up to themed cocktails like hot toddies and order small plates from Cusp’s kitchen. Kids can snack on S’mores and sip hot cocoa fireside. For those who bring a toy to donate, Hiatus will offer complimentary popcorn during the film.

Date: December 17

Time: 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Price: Free

Address: 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla

Parade of Lights Viewing Event

This year the 45th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights premieres the first annual Parade of Lights Viewing Event aboard Harbor Float. For the cocktail-style event, guests can dine on Chef Deborah Scott’s south-of-the-border specialties, sip from more than 10 different wineries, and enjoy a complimentary holiday cocktail.

Date: December 18

Time: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Price: $65 per person, 21+ only

Address: 880 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island

Food + Drink

Café 222

Forget cookies and milk—Santa wants pancakes. Café 222 is whipping up chocolate chip gingerbread flapjacks, topped with homemade whipped cream and candied ginger.

Date: December 5–end of Holiday Season

Time: 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Daily

Price: $10.50

Address: 222 Island Avenue, Downtown

Quad Ale House

Quad Alehouse will cheers to good spirits with the Jolly Julep cocktail made with Bulleit 10-Year Bourbon, mint, cranberry, simple syrup, and soda water, and is garnished with fresh cranberries and a mint sprig!

Date: Throughout December

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. during happy hour

Price: $10

Address: 868 Fifth Ave, Gaslamp

Le Parfait Paris

The European-style bakery will offer a hot mulled wine to warm up even the chilliest San Diego night along with a variety of holiday treats including the Bûche de Noël and Croquembouche. The patisserie will also have its signature large eclairs available for purchase.

Date: December 24 & 25

Time: Christmas Eve 8 a.m. – midnight; Christmas Day 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Price: Varies

Location: 555 G Street, Gaslamp

Christmas Eve + Day Dinners

Mille Fleurs

The fine dining institution will offer a three-course prix-fixe meal, which includes foie gras terrine and buckwheat blinis with caviar and smoked salmon for starters, a duo of sea scallops and trout quenelle and medallions of venison loin for the main course, and bûche de noël or an artisan cheese plate with quince paste. On Christmas Day, they’ll serve a special à la carte menu.

Date: December 24 & 25

Time: Starting at 6 p.m.

Price: $89 on Christmas Eve; à la Carte on Christmas Day

Location: 6009 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe

Tasting Room Del Mar

On Christmas Eve, Chefs Steven Lona and Jenny Goycochea will be offering a prix-fixe menu. Highlights include a composed cheese course, truffled cream of mushroom soup, flatiron steak, and chocolate peppermint dessert.

Date: December 24

Price: $55

Time: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Address: 1435 Camino del Mar, Del Mar

Westgate Hotel

Enjoy a refined four-course dinner or experience a lavish Christmas Day Buffet. The hotel’s halls will be decked with lights, tinsel, and other festive trimmings.

Date: December 24 & 25

Time: Christmas Eve dinner 6 p.m.; Christmas day brunch 11 a.m.

Price: Christmas Eve dinner $69 | Christmas day brunch $85

Address: 1055 Second Avenue, Downtown


The hidden gem of Escondido is offering a special three-course menu on Christmas Eve, including dishes like braised short rib or seared scallops.

Date: December 24

Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Price: $65 with an option for wine pairings

Address: 417 W Grand Ave, Escondido


Guests can enjoy an elegant three-course menu on Christmas Eve prepared by French Master Chef Patrick Ponsaty. Appetizers include crispy lamb sweet breads. Entrée options include guinea hen breast stuffed with foie gras or baked Maine lobster.

Date: December 24

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Price: $75 per person, $30 corkage fee (2 bottle max per table)

Address: 6106 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Cat Eye Club

The retro cocktail lounge and tiki bar will be celebrating the New Year with their Abra Cat Abra Dinner & Magic Show including a magic show tiki-style dinner featuring aork belly bao taco, Kalua pork carnitas, and pineapple upside-down cake, plus drinks and entertainment.

Date: December 31

Time: Doors open at 8 p.m.

Price: $150

Address: 370 7th Ave, San Diego

Moonshine Flats

Country-rock party spot Moonshine Flats will have The Matte Gray Band live in concert this New Year’s Eve all the way from Nashville.

Date: December 31

Time: Doors open at 8 p.m.

Price: Early bird tickets $20; presale $30; general admission $40

Address: 344 7th Ave, San Diego

Rancho Bernardo Inn

Cap off 2016 with delicious dining options such as prix-fixe three-course menu at Avant or indulge in à la carte dining at Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant. New Year’s Eve at The Inn will feature live music, a balloon drop, party favors, a complimentary drink ticket and snack mix. Make a night of it and book a “One-Night Stay & Soiree Package for Two” package.

Date: December 31

Time: 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Price: $297-$389 for “One-Night Stay & Soiree Package for Two”

Address: 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive, Rancho Bernardo

Hotel del Coronado

The Hotel del Coronado offers two options this NYE: the Hotel Del’s Crown Room transformed into ‘Club Crown’ for a wild post-dinner party or “Far East Fantasy,” a black tie gala with sights, sounds, and senses inspired by the Silk Road.

Date: December 31

Time: 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Price: $120 for “Club Crown”; $370-$420 for “Far East Fantasy”

Address: 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado

Return to Versailles Masquerade

San Diego’s Parisian palace invites guests to ring in the New Year by stepping back into the 18th century for a Masquerade Night in Versailles. Upon arrival, guests will make their way up the Westgate’s grand staircase to be whisked away from the modern age and transported to a haven of French aristocratic elegance.

Date: December 31

Time: 7 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

Price: Starting at $259

Address: 1055 Second Avenue, Downtown

Bleu Bohème

Trois, deux, un… Happy New Year! Start the New Year’s Eve festivities with Bleu Bohème’s special prix-fixe menu from 5 to 10pm. on New Year’s Eve. A champagne cart and new holiday cocktail will also welcome guests.

Date: December 31

Time: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Price: $69

Address: 4090 Adams Avenue, Kensington

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

As recommended by the Anza-Borrego Foundation, a special New Year’s Eve Stargazing program begins at 7:30 p.m. and will explore constellations and include a telescope viewing (weather permitting). Attendees are instructed to meet at the Borrego Palm Canyon Campground Amphitheater to ring in the New Year.

Date: December 31

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Price: Free

Address: Borrego Desert State Park

Rustic Root

Ring in the New Year atop Rustic Root with a four-course dinner and live entertainment.

Date: December 31

Time: 8 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

Price: $95 per person with optional $75 win pairing; early bird admission to rooftop celebration is $20; VIP rooftop fire pits and tables start at $600

Address: 535 5th Avenue, Gaslamp

Kettner Exchange

Time to dust off that sparkly dress and black tie—Kettner Exchange is hosting a New Year’s Eve Rat Pack Extravaganza. Guests can enjoy a five-course prix fixe menu with suggested wine pairings, live music by David Patrone, casino games hosted by The Grand Artique, and a champagne toast as the clock strikes midnight. And on New Year’s Day, stop in for Kettner Exchange’s Tiki Oasis brunch, featuring tropical music and cocktails.

Date: December 31

Time: 5 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

Price: Starting at $100

Address: 2001 Kettner Blvd, Little Italy

Royal Stone

Royal Stone will bid adieu to 2016 with a special Champagne & Caviar New Year’s Eve Dinner, a prix-fixe meal featuring a choice of beef Wellington, stuffed chicken roulade or baby Coho salmon—all paired with a surprise caviar appetizer and Champagne toast. New Year’s Day brunch will feature the full brunch menu plus additions like house cured salmon on toast and Pennsylvania Dutch pickled deviled eggs.

Date: December 31 & January 1

Time: Dinner 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.; brunch 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Price: à la carte menu

Address: 3401 First Avenue, Bankers Hill


The Italian eatery Ambrogio15 will celebrate the change of the year with a duo of menus, including a three-course prix-fixe dinner featuring a complimentary glass of Prosecco and a six-course wine dinner with a welcome glass of Ferrari Blanc des Blancs Organic Sparkling Wine and each course paired with a biodynamic wine, which are imported from Italy and only available at Ambrogio15.

Date: December 31

Time: 4 p.m. – midnight

Cost: $29 for three courses; $59 for 6-course biodynamic wine dinner

Location: 926 Turquoise Street, Pacific Beach

Café 222

With champagne toasts come New Year’s Day hangovers, and Cafe 222 has the cure: “The Hangover” breakfast platter. The oversized breakfast includes a malted waffle topped with two pancakes, two eggs any style, two sausage links, and two strips of turkey bacon. Partygoers wearing a tuxedo, suit, dress, or other formal attire from the night before will receive the platter for half-price. (Some restrictions may apply.)

Date: January 1

Time: 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Price: $19.95

Address: 222 Island Avenue, Downtown

San Diego Holiday Dining & Events Guide 2016

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