Looking forward to a romantic evening with your significant other with no pint-sized distractions? An adult conversation without interruption, utensils will actually be used, a cocktail might even be consumed. Sounds great, doesn’t it? The only question now is Where to go? San Diego is bustling with hip dinner spots, but we’ve got the intel on the most swoon-worthy date night restaurants in town. Read on to see where to nab a table for Valentine’s Day or to make any evening special.
This Mexican-inspired restaurant sits at the tip of Harbor Island and offers one of the best views of the San Diego skyline anywhere in the city. Modern decor inside and out, with a full menu of cocktails and special margaritas ensure your evening gets off to the right start. For dinner, start with Ceviche Mixto, featuring local seafood, or tableside guacamole. Top entrees include Yucatan Achiote Pork, Black Angus Carne Asada and Puerto Neuvo Style Maine Lobster. If you've saved room for dessert, indulge in the churros or coconut flan.
8800 Harbor Island Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92101
This Normal Heights mainstay continues to offer up delicious food in an intimate, bistro setting. Low lighting and small tables keep it cozy and an extensive wine list keeps the good vibes flowing. A back patio, festively strung in lights, adds even more romantic flair. The menu is Euro-centric with a firm foothold in Jayne's native Great Britain. Look for Maple Leaf Duck Breast, Fish and Chips and Steak Frites. For dessert, enjoy sticky toffee pudding or pots de creme.
4677 30th St.
San Diego, Ca 92116
Vintana Wine + Dine
The top of a car dealership doesn't sound like a great spot for fine dining, but that's exactly where Vintana is located: the penthouse level of The Centre at Lexus Escondido. From here you can enjoy sweeping views of the Escondido hillside while dining on modern American cuisine. Chef Deborah's Pepita and Sesame Crusted Brie is an eternal favorite. You can also sample Lobster Mac 'n' Cheese, Vintana's Cioppino and Island Prime's Filet Trio. The bar features an extensive list of cocktails and dessert includes Key Lime Tart and Warm Butter Cake.
Vintana Wine & Dine
1205 Auto Park Way
Escondido, Ca 92029
Located in Old Town, El Agave is not your typical tourist trap. Here you'll feast on authentic Mexican cuisine in a dimly lit, romantic setting. El Agave is known as a "tequileria" — which means diners have access to over 2,000 different tequilas! — and is situated inside a tequila museum. If you want some food to go along with your drinks, try their Meijilone con Chorizo (mussels in tequila sauce), Filete Chipotle (grilled steak), or one of their many moles.
2304 San Diego Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92110
If white linens and valet parking aren't your thing, but you still want a romantic setting for dinner, Cordiano Winery in North County is a great option. The menu is low-key: wood-fired pizzas, salads and breadsticks. But it's a winery, so the romance comes as soon as you pour your first glass of cabernet. Most wines are from California and can be purchased by the glass or bottle. Come at sunset for stunning views of the vineyard and surrounding San Pasqual Valley.
15732 Highland Valley Rd.
Escondido, Ca 92025
Where’s your favorite romantic dinner spot in San Diego? Tell us about it in the comments.
— Michelle Franklin