San Diego's flourishing culinary scene is known for its enchanting ambiance, first-rate cuisine, and stellar services. The southern California city houses a diverse array of restaurants offering splendid services—from oceanfront coastal cuisine to white tablecloth experiences with buttoned-up service.
Fine dining in San Diego gets better by the minute, and new gems are rapidly burgeoning to keep your bucket of exceptional dining full. Thinking of savoring an evening of romance, celebrating milestone events, or entertaining clients, here are the hottest new restaurants in San Diego County:
Looking for an excellent fine dining spot is akin to hunting for the best kill. The Huntress
is a fine-dining powerhouse that eases your hunting experience by offering a bi-level luxury steakhouse and whiskey society in downtown San Diego. Experience the full Huntress ambiance in the elegant dining room in the heart of Gaslamp Quarter, the Japanese Whiskey Bar on the second-floor Mezzanine, or an intimate VIP wine tasting area with the perfect view.
Soothe your creative side by dining at the Grand Pacific Room on the third level or Huntress and chill
by placing an order and have it delivered to you by Postmates, Uber Eats, or Grubhub wherever you are.
The Huntress offers the finest high-end meat cuts and seafood selections and a rare collection of Japanese whiskey served in a contemporary and lively atmosphere with polished brass fixtures and warm, seductive lighting.
This restaurant offers you a chance to host memorable gatherings with ample flexible dining and event space and efficient event planning by RMD events. You can also treat your loved ones with an RMD Group gift card
or reserve a table on a date of your liking.
2. Monarch Ocean Pub
Photo courtesy of Monarch Ocean Pub
If you enjoy alfresco dining, then Monarch Ocean Pub
is your place. Located atop Del Mar Plaza, 75% of the restaurant is open-air, and it offers a breathtaking 180-degree view of the ocean.
The ambiance of Monarch Ocean Pub is second to none, and it offers a relaxing atmosphere to cool off, kick back and enjoy. Visit Monarch Ocean Pub any weekday from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm to enjoy their happy hour, which consists of food and drinks specials.
Monarch Ocean Pub is great at hosting special events, and they have three semi-private venues where you can host your special occasions:
'The greenroom' is a cozy living room-designed space, fitted with a 2-seater couch, individual chairs, side tables, and a coffee table. It is perfect for close-knit, special family events.
'Monarch on the deck' is a rooftop deck offering the complete outdoor feel with a splendid panoramic view of the ocean. The set-up is semi-private but offers a secluded venue to host a small private party.
'The bridge' is an ambient pathway leading from the restaurant's main entrance to the rooftop deck. It also sums up as a lounge that is exposed to the oceanic elements, offering a cool, serene section to unwind.
3. Le Papagayo
The San Diego culinary scene is rich with local and foreign cuisines. Le Papayas
is just the place for you if you revel in the Mediterranean and new American coastal cuisine. Situated in 660 Carlsbad Village, Le Papagayo, is the most popular restaurant in all of North County. The restaurant sits on a 5,500-square-foot space, offering live music and a lovely art display for lovers of fine culture.
Le Papagayo is open daily from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm. You can place a reservation for a small dinner or a large party. Le Papagayo can accommodate large parties of around 25 to 75 people, and they offer a customizable pre-fix options menu.
On Tuesdays, happy hour is served from 3:30 pm till closing. Every other day, happy hour is served from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.
is Chef William Eick's fine dining creation of modern Japanese cuisine. The 48-seat restaurant focuses on combining the best Japanese food traditions and techniques with the Southern California terroir.
Enjoy a bespoke hospitality experience with a 10-course tasting menu from fresh dishes sourced from ranchers, local farmers, fishermen, suppliers, and purveyors. The menu is ever-changing, with seasons, while carrying the best flavors.
You can book an event
or arrange for a private dinner with Matsu by writing to the management.
5. Valle Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Valle Restaurant
Chef Roberto Alcocer of the acclaimed Malva Cocina de Baja California has brought the magic of his first stateside restaurant, Mission Pacific hotel, to San Diego through the Valle restaurant
. Enjoy an à la carte option, a fine-dining restaurant that features dishes served hot from Malva's menu, a four-course tasting menu made from Baja and Southern California ingredients.
Valle Restaurant features elegant wooden fixtures and natural elements specifically designed to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere for unwinding, fine dining, and enjoying well-refined Guadalupe wine.
You can now experience culinary homage to exclusive Baja cuisine and fresh seafood from local fishermen while experiencing gorgeous Pacific Ocean views. Unfortunately, the restaurant does not accept walk-in diners – you must book a table
through the reservations services.
The Valle restaurant operates from Wednesday – Sunday from 5:00 – 9:00 pm, while the bar opens at 4:00 pm every day except Monday & Tuesday.
6. Cork & Knife
Good wine is always a good addition to your fine dining experience. Cork & Knife
at 6106 Paseo Delicias Suites A Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067 is the place for any lover of wine. The restaurant is a new specialty storefront with an unbeatable focus on select wines and a tasty tapas menu. Enjoy perfect wine and cheese pairing, cheeses, fresh artisan meats, accouterments, charcuterie, and boutique retail in a quaint and modern setting.
Cork & Knife allows you to host private events at any of their three branches by reservation, scheduled four-course wine tasting, food pairing events, and catering services on occasion. The Cork & Knife events board comes with artisan cured meat, seasonal fruit, crackers, jams, nuts, olives, crostini, and fully-staged cheese displays.
You can become a Cork & Knife VIP
for access to exclusive events, special offers and discounts, loyalty rewards, secret menus, and other special treatment. Gift your loved ones with a personalized gift card worth $5.00 - $500.00 or place an order for delivery.
7. The Waverly
Photo courtesy of The Waverly
San Diego has beautiful beaches, and there is no better way to experience the county than dining in a spot that offers ultimate coastal charm effortlessly. The Waverly
is a luxury dining spot run by SDCM, a nationally acclaimed restaurant group. The all-day café is located in Cardiff by The Sea and serves Progressive American cuisine with a European twist.
The exquisite dining spot boasts a boho-chic appearance that embodies coastal charm with a laid-back Cardiff aura. The Waverly is a full-service restaurant with a full bar that serves specialty cocktails.
Catch an all-star meal from a top collaborative team consisting of Michelin Bib Gourmand, Chef Brian Redzikowski, and Co-Bar Managers Eric Johnson and Leigh Lecap with an amazing view of custom, original artwork by Australian Artist Jai Vasicek.
8. The Wise Ox Butcher & Eatery
'In good meat we trust' is the catchphrase of the Wise Ox Butcher & Eatery
, a Trust Restaurant Group restaurant formerly a classic butcher shop named the Heart & Trotter. The Wise OX Butcher patrons can access marinated ready-to-cook meats, fresh beef, pork, poultry cuts, seafood, and sausages.
To increase efficiency, the Wise Ox introduced an on-site eatery that serves charcuterie of all meats, custom sandwiches, and ready-made meals. Visit the Wise Ox at North Park2855 El Cajon Blvd, Suite 1 or at La Costa 7750 El Camino Real, Suite P for the following sandwich menu available daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.
Philly cheese steak
9. Sky Deck
Photo courtesy of Sky Deck
Delicious date nights with sunset views are one of the best ways to spend your evening in San Diego. Sky Deck
is a luxury dining spot at Del Mar Highlands Town Center that offers you a signature rooftop dining experience to remember.
The restaurant houses ten different eating spots, each serving an exclusive menu, and has a separate dining area. The ten restaurants serve Japanese, Thai, Italian, Mexican, Greek, and French cuisines.
The dining options include:
Understory by Scott Slater
Ambrogio15, the Milano pizza experience
Urbana Mexican Gastronomy
Le Parfait Paris
J at Sky Deck
Kiin Extraordinary Thai
Zizikis Street Food
At the top of the deck is the Brewer's Deck, an outdoor brewer's deck featuring Northern Pine, Rough Draft Brewing, and Boochcraft Kombucha that serve a selection of local brews with breathtaking views of the Carmel Valley.
10. Ember & Rye
Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa is a luxury hospitality powerhouse, and Ember & Rye
is a new signature restaurant created as part of its $50 million renovations. The Ember & Rye was a product of a collaboration of Chef Richard Blais and the Park Hyatt Aviara company to bring mind-blowing fine-dining concepts. Chef Richard Blais likens the masterpiece to "not-your-parents' country club meets modern steakhouse."
The restaurant boasts an outdoor terrace with breathtaking views of the Aviara Golf Course, a well-stocked whiskey library, a tantalizing menu of vintage steaks, fresh seafood, and seasonal vegetables, an outdoor grilling station, and open bonfire fire pits.
Ember and Rye offer a welcoming Carlsbad dining atmosphere with fresh seafood, fine steaks, and delicious cocktails for lunch, dinner, and between club meals. You can enjoy special chef-choice menus on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, or order a one-of-a-kind Steak Cake for your celebrations any day.
A special feature of the Ember & Rye
is a chance to host private events in two private dining rooms with capacities of 14 and 50 guests. These private rooms offer a fantastic view of the Batiquitos Lagoon while soaking in California's sunsets as you take in the chef's exquisite vintage steakhouse flavors.
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