San Diego offers dozens of exceptional restaurants to celebrate milestone events, entertain clients or savor an evening of romance. And while it might seem like you can dine in casual attire almost anywhere in San Diego, these fine dining restaurants know that you can best savor their first-rate cuisine and service when you too look and feel first-class. For him, this could mean a dark suit or dress shirt with trousers and a sport coat. For her, a fancy pants outfit, skirt-blouse combination or a snazzy black dress. Likewise, with a superior dining experience, you should expect prices that reflect the higher quality of the ingredients, waitstaff and table settings.
The following restaurants were chosen for their magical blend of first-rate cuisine, excellent service and extraordinary atmosphere. Reservations are highly recommended.
A.R. Valentien - The Lodge at Torrey Pines (at The Lodge at Torrey Pines), La Jolla
Dazzling cuisine, much of it in the California/contemporary vein, is the main draw at this gorgeous dining room overlooking Torrey Pines' famous golf course. Seafood, duck, veal; even the vegetables shine at this destination for gold-card business travelers and couples seeking a special night out.
Addison (at The Fairmont Grand Del Mar), Del Mar
Southern California's only AAA Diamond and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Addison features Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef William Bradley’s artisanal approach to cooking. Highlighting local and seasonal ingredients, Chef Bradley prepares contemporary French cuisine with creativity, superb preparation and beautiful presentation. The fine dining menu is complemented by an award-winning wine list of nearly 3,600 selections.
BICE Restorante, Gaslamp Quarter
Housemade pasta with innovative combinations, delicious sauces, signature cocktails and an elegant dining room make this Italian restaurant a stand-out in San Diego. Winner of the 2014 Gold Medallion award for "Best Italian Fine Dining" by the California Restaurant Association San Diego. Also features a Cheese Bar menu and first rate wine list.
Eddie V's Prime Seafood, Downtown and La Jolla
With locations at the Headquarters at Seaport Village and in La Jolla, Eddie V's offers prime hand cut steaks, fresh seafood and live jazz in an elegant setting. Also available is a comfortable lounge and fresh oyster bar and over 200 wines curated by a Master Sommelier.
Georges at The Cove, La Jolla
Chef/Partner Trey Foshee serves "California Modern" cuisine from a beautifully appointed dining room with stunning views of the La Jolla shoreline. Locally sourced ingredients such as Chino Farms produce and Pacific seafood are just the start. The restaurant offers an 8-course Chef's Tasting Menu that's a foodies dream and other delicious dishes that change daily.
Le Fontainebleau (at the Westgate Hotel), Downtown San Diego
Only open for its dressy Sunday Champagne brunch, Le Fontainebleau is utterly refined and very French, with stunning floral displays, opulent décor and food fit for royalty. Expect formal service and classic dishes.
The Marine Room, La Jolla
Right on the beach at La Jolla Shores, the Marine Room pairs an incredible location with expertly prepared French, Mediterranean and California cuisine. Most tables offer views of surf and sky; during the winter, the restaurant hosts special High Tide Breakfasts, with the waves pounding right against the windows.
Mistral (at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort), Coronado
A combination of French sophistication and California sensibilities make the menu at Mistral both interesting and inviting. Delicious fresh seafood topped with herbs grown at the resort, or perfectly prepared steaks with truffle butter or red wine demi, are paired with sweeping views of the bay and San Diego skyline.
Truluck's Seafood, Steak & Crab House, La Jolla
Fresh juicy steak, fresh seafood and crab flown in from their own fisheries are Truluck's signature dishes. A beautiful dining room and a wine program recognized with Wine Spectator Magazine's Award of Excellence, are just the icing on the cake.
1500 Ocean Avenue (at the Hotel del Coronado), Coronado
Special occasions call for special places and 1500 Ocean Avenue restaurant at the Hotel del Coronado never fails to deliver. Surf & Turf, Duo of Duck, or American Kobe Filet are just a few of our favorites, for a delicous side try the crispy brussel sprouts or mushroom risotto with truffle butter. Enjoy the beautiful ocean views while you eat and after dinner, take a stroll along the boardwalk for a truly romantic evening.
Bertrand at Mr. A's, Downtown San Diego
Go for the view - a sweeping, 12-floor vista of downtown, San Diego Harbor, Point Loma and beyond - and stay for the contemporary American cuisine. Superb wine list, sleek surroundings (including patio dining at eye level with planes heading for the nearby airport) and exceptional service make Bertrand's perfect for any fine dining occasion.
Donovan's Steak & Chop House, Gaslamp Quarter and La Jolla
A classic steakhouse where USDA Prime steaks reign supreme and excellent market seafood is available for those non-steak moments. The wine selection has earned the prestigious Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.
Mille Fleurs, Rancho Santa Fe
Long celebrated as the area's top restaurant, Mille Fleurs boasts haute cuisine, elegant décor, top-notch service and an intimate hacienda setting. Tucked off a tree-lined lane in San Diego's priciest neighborhood, the place is exclusive, expensive and worth every cent. A courtyard offers divine outdoor dining.