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Where to Get Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Meals in San Diego

Celebrate the holidays with a takeout or dine-in meal at one these 11 restaurants this December 24 & 25
Courtesy of JRDN
JRDN Christmas dinners

JRDN Christmas dinners

Courtesy of JRDN

Oh the weather outside is… perfect. But the fire [pits] are still delightful. And since we’ve got a million places to go…

Okay, okay you get it. Even though outside it may not look like winter has come to our little beachside city, we’re still excited to celebrate with loved ones this holiday. If you’re hoping to forego cooking this year, though, and let the city’s best chefs prepare your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals, we have just the list for you.

Grab your best attire, favorite people, and come hungry. Here are 11 restaurants serving up holiday meals on December 24 and 25 across the city.


Animae wants you to dress to impress on Christmas Eve. The theme is where “Art Deco Meets Enchanted Forest” and chef Tara Monsod will be highlighting Filipino flavors that include a Wagyu steak program and dishes from across Asia. The Christmas Eve Dinner will feature four courses highlighting many of Animae’s best dishes, alongside new ones fit for the occasion.

Guests can enjoy light dishes like hamachi crudo and Som Tom Salad alongside Filipino favorites like chicken congee and Animae’s beloved shrimp toast. Complete the evening with two more courses before indulging in pastry chef Laura Warren’s decadent Mostra Coffee Chocolate Mousse Bar with Taiyaki or Pear and Hojicha Roll Cake. Reservations are available on December 24 and 25 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Hotel del Coronado

One of the most magical times of year for the historic Hotel del Coronado, the holiday seasons here is stacked with activities, events and special dinners as they bring wintertime fun to the city. Dine in the iconic Crown Room on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with an elaborate holiday buffet of traditional favorites and culinary surprises all day long.

Sit amongst the thousands of sparkling lights, with towering Christmas trees, garlands galore, beachside igloos, and stunning holiday décor, including a fabulous two-story lobby tree in the Del’s newly restored lobby. $185 per person and $100 per child. Reservations are recommended.


Indulge in an upscale, sustainable, sea-to-table dinner experience on Serea’s expansive, two-tiered patio with ocean views. Bring the family on Christmas Eve from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. to take advantage of Serea’s extensive menu of sustainable seafood and prime meats. Their festive three-course prix-fixe menu is available for $155 per person. On Christmas Day, enjoy specials at Serea all day from 3 to 8 p.m. Reservations are recommended.


The InterContinental San Diego’s signature restaurant, Vistal, is gathering your friends and family in their dining room or round the fire pits on the terrace for a cozy meal overlooking the waterfront this Christmas Eve and Day.

Vistal’s three-course Christmas Dinner is priced at $75 per adult and includes a choice of starter, such as Chestnut & Sunchoke Bisque or Warm Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese; as well as entree options like Campbell River Salmon or Kurobuta Pork Shank. Dessert is included with choices such as chocolate mousse cake or white chocolate-peppermint crème brulée. Wine pairings are available for an additional $25. Reservations for Vistal’s Christmas and Christmas Eve dinners can be made via Resy.

Herb & Wood

Herb & Wood is welcoming you into their cozy home this Christmas Eve offering a four-course meal with the option to choose between entrees such as prime filet, halibut with brown butter hollandaise, and roasted honey nut squash with parsnip puree, brown butter and grape relish.

Traditional dish options will be available as well or try chef Carlos Anthony’s creative bites like the Hamachi with pomegranate ponzu, Asian pear and opal basil, or his beloved pork belly served with butternut squash puree, brown butter and walnut gremolata. Dessert options include a fruity lemon tart with toasted meringue, winter citrus and tangerine ice cream or a chocolatey tiramisu with mascarpone, espresso and dark chocolate ice cream made by executive pastry chef Laura Warren. Dinners are priced at $92 per adult and $37 per child.


Priced between $46-$68 a person, JRDN’s decadent holiday menu, including a three-course menu complete with optional wine pairings, will be served from 2 to 8 pm on Christmas day (reservations are highly recommended). Menu standouts include: roasted pork belly with smoked carrots, brussel sprouts and saba prime rib in a herb rub, hash brown gratin, and roasted garlic. Conclude your meal with a holiday cookie plate and a Christmas-in-a-glass eggnog martini.


Lionfish is celebrating the season with a Christmas Eve dinner featuring coastal cuisine and seasonal ingredients, all prepared with chef twists by James Beard Smart Catch Leader and executive chef JoJo Ruiz. Chef JoJo will be offering a few dish specials this year, such as an Asahi Black Braised Short Rib, served with smoked whipped potato and a chestnut gremolata; and topped off with gingerbread doughnuts with a spiked chocolate sauce for dessert. Reservations are recommended.

Town and Country Resort

Celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Chef Josh Mouzakes at ARLO inside of Town & Country Resort. Enjoy the à la carte fall menu and choose holiday specials like Air-Dried Christmas Goose, Spiked Brown Butter Egg Nog, and Snowball Flight dessert. Live music from Piano by Geoff will be featured on Christmas Eve from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

On Christmas Day, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., there will be live music from Richard Miller, an instrumental guitar solo artist. If you’re still craving a drink afterwards, head over to Monkey Bar and sip on holiday-inspired drinks such as Nut Cracker, Naughty Nog, Cranberry Old Fashioned, Peppermint Mocha Martini, and a Frosty Monkey.

Adelaide at L’Auberge Del Mar

Feast alongside loved ones on December 24 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., set on the cozy patio at Adelaide at L’Auberge Del Mar and overlook panoramic coastal views. Reservations can be made by calling 858-793-6467. Enjoy Christmas morning the next day with specialty brunch entrees and drinks on December 25 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tickets are available for $165/adult and $80/child on their website or by calling 858-793-6467.

Herb & Sea

Herb & Wood’s sister restaurant in Encinitas, Herb & Sea, is serving a classic dinner this Christmas Eve. Mirroring its everyday menu, the restaurant’s Christmas Eve menu will boast simple, clean and bright flavors from both coasts, offering guests a locally sourced and flavorful three-course feast.

Start with appetizers like endive salad or steelhead crudo before diving in to a spread of main dishes like Pistachio Crusted Lamb or Veggie Paella to be paired with family-style sides like ratatouille, green beans, and Parker House rolls. End the meal with a choice of chocolate mousse bar or citrus cheesecake. Seatings are available from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and are priced at $87 per adult, $38 per child.


Turn over your Christmas cooking to Ranch45 for a completely à la carte pickup menu and customize your holiday feast with main course choices including festive favorites like a gluten-free Whole Smoked Cornish Game Hen, Smoked Turkey Legs, Herb Crusted Prime Rib and more. A selection of soups, salads and hot sides are available as well.

The holiday food coma continues with dessert such as pecan pie, gluten-free apple crisp, gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake or assorted cookies made in-house. Place an order via the Ranch45 website before Sunday, December 18 to pick up fresh on December 24.

By Kayla Barber

Kayla Barber tells stories about culture, leadership, and sport through her writing and visual journalism as a photographer. She creates for Major League Baseball, San Diego Magazine, and is a freelance storyteller for purpose-driven entrepreneurial ventures.

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