Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and if you’re a parent who doesn’t have time to research the latest and greatest restaurant hot spots (and who does?), we’ve got the intel on some seriously swoon-worthy date night restaurants in town. Included on our list are the most coveted tables in the city, along with some tried and true faves. Read on to find the most romantic restaurants in San Diego, then call the sitter and make reservations. Bon appétit!
Dinner with a View
For a truly unique date, why not cozy up with some of your closest friends for dinner in a dome? Dinner With A View is a first-of-its kind dining experience where attendees are seated in beautiful, intimate clear frameless geodesic domes that have been transformed into terrariums, each highlighting unique terrains found across the world. This premium pop-up experience will be located in Liberty Station’s Central Promenade and will feature 33 individual domes. Guests in attendance will enjoy a delicious three-course blind menu featuring meat, fish and vegan options prepared by an acclaimed chef. Dinner With A View will offer three daily seatings at 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. Each dome reservation requires a minimum of four guests and can accommodate up to six guests. Join the Dinner With A View mailing list and receive 50 percent off of the dome reservation.
This special dining event is in San Diego Feb. 6-Mar. 8, 2020.
Liberty Station's Central Promenade
2875 Dewey Rd.
San Diego, CA 92106
Make dinner a truly grand affair at San Diego's "it" restaurant, Animae. The 5.5 million dollar pan-Asian restaurant sprawls across 9,300 square feet and the ambiance is opulent and seductive. If you go on Valentine's Day, they offer a four-course menu for $95/person. Dining here any day of the year will feel like a romantic retreat. Order up a Yin or Yang martini and let the evening unfold at this luxurious escape.
969 Pacific Hwy.
San Diego CA, 92101
Can't make an evening of it? Then rise and shine for the most important meal of the day and have breakfast at San Diego's hottest breakfast joint of the moment, Morning Glory. This popular eatery commands long lines and waits for a table, but you'll see why once you're inside the dazzling rose-hued eatery complete with a 30-foot pink neon flower sculpture. Order up the ultimate in comfort food: the Japanese soufflé pancakes or the very Frenchie French toast. If the way to your partner's heart is through his/her stomach, consider a meal here as a mission accomplished.
550 W. Date St.
Little Italy, CA 92101
That's amore! If Italian cuisine is your fave, lunch or dinner at Cesarina is a must. Owner Niccolo Angius recently moved to San Diego from Rome, opened this glorious pasta haven and named it after his wife. Here you'll find a pasta-making station where you can observe fresh pasta being crafted to perfection all day long. Select your favorite pasta shape and your favorite sauce, dig in, and you'll feel like you've just taken that jaunt to Italy you keep dreaming about.
4161 Voltaire St.
San Diego, CA 92107
Pair breathtaking ocean views with coastal cuisine and you'll be riding the wave of romance while dining at Cusp in La Jolla. Tables at this romantic eatery are designed for two and perfectly poised to take in the scenic vista while dining on ceviche, the fresh catch of the day and their decadent Chocolate Crunch Bar dessert. Cusp gives new meaning to the phrase "table for two" with their attention to detail to create an unforgettable dinner out.
7955 La Jolla Shores Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92037
Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant
Dine under the stars at the gorgeous Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant. The ambiance, complete with olive trees and expansive gardens is reminiscent of the Mediterranean coastline––but it's right here in Rancho Bernardo. The cuisine is described as Mediterranean with a SoCal twist. Enjoy tuna tartare and Seared Diver Scallops and share the bread pudding for dessert. Arrive early to warm up your evening with a cocktail by the fire.
17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr.
San Diego, CA 92128
Pacific Coast Grill
Hit the beach! Pacific Coast Grill has an upscale but laid-back vibe as well as a breathtaking front row seat that's practically on the sand overlooking the water. Request a ground-level patio table so you can enjoy the sweeping ocean views. In addition to an unbeatable ambiance, the high-end seafood will satisfy your cravings. From lobster tacos to coconut crab crusted Mahi Mahi the food is fresh and delicious.
2526 South Coast Hwy. 101
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 Clasico, featuring local seafood, or oysters on the half shell. Top entrees include the roasted squash tamales and chili agave pork ribs. If you've saved room for dessert, indulge in the churros or brownie tres leches.
8800 Harbor Island Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101
This Normal Heights mainstay serves 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 crispy eggplant tikka masala, 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 macadamia and coconut crusted sea bass. The bar features an extensive list of cocktails and dessert includes key lime tart and warm butter cake.
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
––Michelle Franklin & Beth Shea