Ten Most Romantic Restaurants in San Diego for Date Night

Ten Most Romantic Restaurants in San Diego for Date Night

It’s hard to believe that the gorgeous city of San Diego has been my home for over five years now!

The city’s natural beauty and nearly perfect weather lends itself to the loveliest romantic experiences. I stand by my views that a picnic overlooking the ocean is the most romantic meal of all, and there are plenty of cute spots in San Diego for that.

However, if you are looking for something a bit more traditional, don’t panic! Some of San Diego’s restaurants have stepped up to help bring the city’s romance into it’s dining.

Here is a list of ten restaurants that are sure to wow your date!

Mister As

Picture from the Mister A’s website (Courtesy of Mister A’s)

Bertrand at Mister A’s Restaurant is arguably (and probably undisputedly) a very romantic restaurant in San Diego. This is no secret, so make a reservation well in advance, especially if you want to get the best outdoor seating. It’s perfect for a celebration, or an important date night, because they have a dress code, which always elevates the romance factor! I was pleasantly surprised that the food is great quality and extremely delicious, making Mister A’s that rare restaurant which delivers both amazing food and amazing views.

If you like to watch planes land through the buildings of downtown San Diego, while sipping on a fine glass of champagne, this is the restaurant for you!

Quick Facts :

Address – 2550 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Price Range – $$$

Style of food – French – American

Good for –  Brunch, Cocktail Hour, Dinner

Dress Code – Dressy

Coasterra

Picture posted with permission from Coasterra Restaurant. Credits : Auda & Coudayre Photography

About five minutes from the San Diego Airport is a romantic place called Shelter Island, which offers amazing views of downtown San Diego. And at the tip of Shelter Island is located a very romantic restaurant called Coasterra, serving not-very-expensive Mexican food.

The food is great, the views are even better!

This is especially a win if you are just flying in to (for that first hurrah) or flying out of (for that last hurrah) San Diego.

Quick Facts :

Address – 880 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Price Range – $$

Style of food – Modern Mexican

Good For – Lunch, Dinner

Dress Code – Casual / Dressy

Jake’s Del Mar

Picture Credit : Tanmaya Godbole @ HerTravelEdit

Jake’s Del Mar is the closest thing to fine dining on a beach in San Diego. If you reserve in advance and snag a table by the window, you can enjoy the fresh catch of the day while watching the waves crash on the sand. If you time it even better, you could watch a spectacular sunset as you sip your red wine, marveling both at the beauty you see and at the minimal effort it took to create such a perfectly romantic moment.

Quick Facts :

Address – 1660 Coast Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014

Price Range – $$$

Style of food – Seafood (but has decent vegetarian options)

Good For – Lunch, Sunset Dinner (best time!), early Dinner before sunset

Dress Code – Casual / Dressy

Cucina Urbana

Picture posted with permission from Cucina Urbana, Photo Credits : Singler Photography

Cucina Urbana was one of the first nice San Diego restaurants I was introduced to, and since then has always made my list of a celebratory dinner spot. The ambience is perfect for date night, and the food even better. Start off with their stuffed squash blossoms, and you are sure to have the best evening going forward.

Cucina Urbana is located walking distance to Balboa Park. I highly recommend bringing your jackets, and walking over after dinner, because a moonlight stroll with your date is always a good idea, right?!

Quick Facts :

Address – 505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101

Price Range – $$

Style of food – Italian

Good For – Dinner

Dress Code – Casual

Acquavite

Picture posted with permission from the Acquavite Restaurant website

Acquavite is run by an Italian couple who make the best Tuscan food you can find in San Diego. It really does feel like a home cooked meal in an elevated setting. Call ahead to make sure you have a seat by the window for views of the cove, or one in the courtyard (pictured above) for a serene dining experience.

Tip : Get the tiramisu for dessert – it’s delicious!

If you want to dine in La Jolla simply for the views, then Georges at the Cove, or Dukes La Jolla might serve you better. But if you want exceptionally good food, along with great views – head to Acquavite!

Quick Facts :

Address – 1298 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037

Price Range – $$

Style of food – Italian (Tuscan)

Good For – Lunch, early Dinner (before / for sunset)

Dress Code – Casual

 

Herringbone

Picture Credit : Tanmaya Godbole @ HerTravelEdit

Herringbone’s romance comes from the fact that you get to dine in the company of 100-year old olive trees. You could also watch your food being prepared in their open-concept kitchen, so that’s at least two talking points for your date (you know, just in case things aren’t going as smoothly as you want).

Be prepared to splurge a bit on the food, but you could always walk off all you’ve eaten by the Cove. Grab some gelato from Bobboi (cheaper and yummier than desert at a restaurant) for the finishing touches on a date you’ll be talking about for months.

Quick Facts :

Address – 7837 Herschel Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037

Price Range – $$$

Style of food – Seafood (Vegetarian flatbread options available), Ocean-to-table

Good For – Weekday Lunch (Chef’s tasting menu), Dinner

Dress Code – Dressy

Bo-beau Kitchen + Cache

Picture posted with permission from Bo Beau. Credits : Paul Body

Bo-beau Kitchen and Cache is a pretty recent addition to the Hillcrest food scene. The lovely space and delicious food are perfect for a romantic evening. They specialize in fresh California inspired French food and craft cocktails. They also have an extensive wine list.

My recommendation is to head to Cache – a cool speakeasy next door for cocktails before or after dinner. The surprise element of the speakeasy will definitely wow your date! To get into the speakeasy, go to the back of the taco shop Tacos Libertad and casually open the door of the freezer to get in.

Quick Facts :

Address – 1027 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Price Range – $$

Style of food – California – French

Good For – Dinner

Dress Code – Casual

The Red Door

Picture posted with permission from The Red Door

The Red Door is a cute little restaurant in Mission Hills, with, you guessed it, a red door. The interiors are light and fresh, just like the food. You will never leave the Red Door feeling stuffed and heavy, just very satisfied and happy. I love the ‘Blossom Pasta’ for dinner.

They recently added a Bar by Red Door next door with craft drinks that change with the seasons, so definitely something you could add on to your evening!

Quick Facts :

Address – 741 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103

Price Range – $$

Style of food – Farm-to-table American

Good For – Brunch, Dinner

Dress Code – Casual Dressy

Bleu Boheme

Picture posted with permission from Bleu Boheme, Credits : Martin Mann

Bleu Boheme is an interesting French restaurant in the hipster neighborhood of Kensington.

Their ambience is dark and old fashioned, with candles burning on tables.

The old-school candlelight dinner romance recipe, paired with delicious food, makes this restaurant a must on any romantic dining list for San Diego.

The entrees are a bit on the expensive side, so if you have a smaller budget, head there between 5-6 pm for their $32 three-course prix fixe menu. This would be sure to please your date, while also being kind on your wallet.

Quick Facts :

Address – 4090 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

Price Range – $$ – $$$

Style of food – French

Good For – Dinner

Dress Code – Casual

Herb and Wood

Picture posted with permission from Herb and Wood

Herb and Wood is a relatively new entrant to San Diego’s hip dining scene, and no one is complaining about it. This cool space with the modern decor is as romantic as you want it to be, and the food is pretty good too!

If you want a cheaper romantic date, Herb and Eatery, a day-time restaurant in the same space is a lovely breakfast / bakery / deli spot.

One of the reasons Herb & Wood is a cool spot is that it’s close to Little Italy’s new urban winery and wine garden, Carruth Cellars. This would definitely add the final touch to your perfect date night!

Quick Facts :

Address – 2210 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Price Range – $$ – $$$

Style of food – American – Seafood

Good for – Dinner

Dress Code – Casual Dressy

x x x x x

These are just the top ten in a long list of romantic San Diego restaurants!

This list is curated based on the ambience, deliciousness of the food, and the cost to benefit ratio.

I have left out a couple of more expensive but arguably romantic San Diego restaurants – The Marine Room (go during high tide!) and Addison Del Mar –  as they didn’t match my cost to benefit ratio criteria. However, if you have higher budgets, definitely check those out!

Here is a helpful map of these restaurants so you can visualize where they are in San Diego

For an extensive curated map of the best San Diego Restaurants (for all kinds of foods (including the best tacos!) and budgets), sign up for my newsletter!

If you want to save this list for future planning, pin it to Pinterest!

Top Ten Romantic Restaurants in San Diego

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18 Comments

  1. December 2, 2017 / 12:04 am

    The restaurants look lovely and who doesn’t like a good date night, huh? I’ll definitely get back to that list if I am ever in San Diego 🙂

    • Tanmaya Godbole
      December 5, 2017 / 10:32 am

      Hope you get to come back to San Diego!! 🙂

  2. December 2, 2017 / 12:32 am

    Oh my word, romantic indeed!! Those VIEWS!! I must admit, I had a bit of a chuckle at the secret speakeasy Cache (get in through the freezer door at the back of a restaurant) – San Diego sounds a lot like Melbourne if that’s what they’ve got going on! Hahaha. Definitely some winners here, though; I’m making sure to earmark this for next time I’m Stateside and in need of a bit of romance!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Tanmaya Godbole
      December 5, 2017 / 10:35 am

      Hahah speakeasys are definitely trending right now. I love to fall for such gimmicks though heheh.
      Glad you liked the list 🙂

  3. December 2, 2017 / 9:13 am

    I so loved browsing through the pictures! Looks like a great ambiance. Bookmarked it for later use 🙂

    • Tanmaya Godbole
      December 5, 2017 / 10:36 am

      Aww glad you enjoyed!! Hope you get to visit San Diego and try them sometime!

  4. December 2, 2017 / 9:43 am

    Great list! Headed there in a couple of months for my anniversary and so glad I came across this list 😉

    • Tanmaya Godbole
      December 5, 2017 / 10:37 am

      Yay!! Hope you have an amazing anniversary in San Diego!! 🙂

    • Tanmaya Godbole
      December 5, 2017 / 10:30 am

      Ahh have the best time! Let me know if you need any more tips or local recommendations 🙂

  5. December 3, 2017 / 7:53 am

    Wow! So many options there!! I love the interior of Herringbone!

    • Tanmaya Godbole
      December 5, 2017 / 10:30 am

      Me too!! It’s a bit like a fairytale!

      • December 8, 2017 / 7:31 am

        Me too! I was just about to comment how I’d pick Herringbone. 🙂

  6. Katherine
    December 3, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    I lived in San Diego for over 2 years and clearly need to try some of these! Thank you 🙂

    • Tanmaya Godbole
      December 5, 2017 / 10:29 am

      Haha, hope you get to come back and try them!

  7. December 5, 2017 / 4:48 am

    I would love to visit these Romantic Restaurants with Bae 🙂
    Bookmarking this list, thanks for sharing

    • Tanmaya Godbole
      December 5, 2017 / 10:29 am

      Aww glad you liked it!!

  8. December 8, 2017 / 8:34 am

    what a beautiful blog post – thanks for the great article. San Diego has so many great places to go out – hopefully I can visit this great city one day.

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