Best Romantic Dining in San Diego

10 Best Romantic Restaurants in San Diego

Spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean paired with fantastic cuisine are common at a number of San Diego's best restaurants. This means that it's easy to find a place to celebrate a romantic occasion.

One of the most popular choices for a romantic dinner is nestled in the sand of La Jolla Shores Beach. During high tides, waves actually splash against The Marine Room's windows. Go also for award-winning global cuisine by Executive Chef Bernard Guillas and Chef de Cuisine Ron Oliver. The restaurant first opened in 1941 and has been an integral part of the local fine dining scene for over 70 years.

Or, if downtown suits you, try Bertrand at Mister A's. From the restaurant, enjoy panoramic vistas of Coronado, the city's skyscrapers and more while jets fly overhead to land at the airport. Unparalleled service and exquisite modern American cuisine with a French twist add to the experience.

Just remember to make reservations at these popular romantic dining restaurants in San Diego, especially if it's Valentine's Dayy.


This Eddie V's location in the revitalized police headquarters is a big one. Occupying the space of the former courthouse, it sports a two-level interior including mixed woods, glass accents, a 20-foot wine wall, three private dining areas and a V Lounge with live jazz daily. The vibe is of an elegant steakhouse or supper club and a meal here is a splurge that very few people complain about. Service sparkles and the steak, crab cakes, lobster bisque, bananas foster, crab fried rice and fresh seafood filets do not disappoint. Seafood arrives fresh from all over the world. This restaurant is perfect for date night.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Eddie V's offers consistently outstanding steak and seafood in downtown San Diego and La Jolla which are both romantic settings.

Katie's expert tip: While the fresh bread with sea salted butter is amazing, pace yourself. You have to make it to the Georges Bank scallops and then some. So good.

Read more about Eddie V's Prime Seafood →

Prado at Balboa Park

Picturesque Balboa Park, with its museums, lush gardens and performing arts venues, is on every visitor's itinerary. And at the end of a busy day exploring the park's many treasures, there's no better place to relax than Prado, where the eclectic decor blends historic charm with modern flair. The menu is a mix of traditional and modern as well, with options such as a seared American Kobe beef sushi roll, grilled 16oz bone-in ribeye, and pan-roasted seabass. Gourmet sandwiches and salads are a great lunch option. The patio is family-friendly for both lunch and dinner and they also have a great happy hour.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: It's the perfect place for lunch or dinner after exploring Balboa Park, hand-in-hand. It's most romantic on the patio in the evenings.

Katie's expert tip: If dining on the patio, you can see planes landing at the airport.

Read more about Prado at Balboa Park →

A.R. Valentien
Photo courtesy of The Lodge at Torrey Pines

As the signature restaurant in The Lodge at Torrey Pines, A.R. Valentien is a tribute to Southern California heritage. Dine in intimate booths or on the peaceful patio. Executive Chef Jeff Jackson features dishes with basic ingredients, minimal handling and simple combinations in order to highlight texture and flavor. The innovative California cuisine changes regularly depending on what is in season and available at local markets and from small growers, ranchers and fishermen. Sample dishes include 28 Day Dry Aged Prime Rib Eye Steak, Spiced Buttermilk Marinated Sablefish, and Chimney Smoked Wagyu Brisket. Pair these with an elegant California boutique wine from their extensive menu.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The cozy vibe and golf course views are sure to spark romance.

Katie's expert tip: Check the events schedule for experiences such as the Artisan Table, four courses of informal dining at a communal table (10-16 people maximum) with wines specially selected by the chefs.

Read more about A.R. Valentien →


If you are searching for the perfect place to indulge in a stylish and relaxed La Jolla dining experience look no further. CUSP, located on the 11th floor of Hotel La Jolla boasts a fresh coastal Mediterranean-inspired menu that has an emphasis on seafood (ceviche is a favorite). Pastas and pizza doughs are made in-house as is the ice cream. Try Roasted New York Steak, Lamb Shoulder Pasta or Crispy Pulpo. Happy hour is a terrific value for both the food and drink specials, as well as the panoramic Pacific view during daylight hours. The cocktail list is massive complete with homemade juices and infused spirits.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The view is incredible and some tables near the window are formatted so that two people sit side-by-side rather than across from each other.

Katie's expert tip: The earlier you go the better as the view is absolutely spectacular through sunset.

Read more about CUSP Dining and Drinks →

Dramatically situated on Prospect Street in La Jolla overlooking the blue Pacific, George's at the Cove combines exceptional California cuisine and service with spectacular views from every level of the multi-tiered restaurant. All tend to fall into the romantic category, but California Modern is our top choice. The goal of the restaurant is to tell the story of San Diego through a seasonal menu featuring expertly prepared and presented locally-grown and harvested ingredients. George's is famous for fish tacos and here, they're as elegant as they are tasty. The menu never disappoints. If you'd really like to impress, reserve the TBL3 experience, 12-14 course tasting menu at table 3 which has the best views in the restaurant.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Go for excellent Modern California cuisine paired with romantic ocean views.

Katie's expert tip: Reserve TBL3, the one table per night that enjoys an exclusive 12-14 course tasting menu.

Read more about George's at the Cove →


Located upstairs from the more casual Fish Market, this refined venue offers views from Point Loma to the Coronado Bridge, along with cuisine that is nothing short of spectacular. An incredibly broad offering of seafood might include Scottish Isles salmon, South American lobster tail, Oregon dungeness crab, or Chilean sea bass that is all flown in daily. The romantic setting features crisp linens, flickering candlelight, impeccable service, and exhibition-style cooking. Salads and land-based dishes are also served, along with an expanded wine list. The restaurant is considered one of the best in Southern California and has an exhibition-style kitchen. The dress code is smart casual and it's an excellent date night spot.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: It's fine dining with a view that is walkable from many downtown hotels.

Katie's expert tip: Social hour (happy hour) is Monday through Friday from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and includes $2 oysters.

Read more about Top of the Market →

Rancho Santa Fe

Proprietor Bertrand Hug's French restaurant is the kind of place, even in the days of more casual dining, that you still want to get dressed up for. A favorite with visiting Hollywood stars and world-renowned chefs, it offers unabashed elegance, irresistible gourmet dishes, intimate rooms with warmly-lit fireplaces, exquisite hand-woven tapestries, and starched white linens. The menu's delicacies change with the seasons and can include short ribs with heirloom carrots, morels and polenta; and scallops with sprouting cauliflower, kohlrabi and Champagne beurre blanc. Live entertainment is featured in the Piano Bar from Wednesday through Saturday. They also have happy hour Sunday through Thursday in the bar.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Mille Fleur is a bucket list restaurant for a number of San Diegans, so why not make it a date night.

Katie's expert tip: Milles Fleurs is located in the heart of Rancho Santa Fe, a beautiful community in North San Diego County. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the town prior to your dinner to admire the flora and quaint architecture of this lovely community.

Read more about Mille Fleurs →

Photo courtesy of The Grand Del Mar Resort San Diego

Exquisite seasonal dining awaits at Addison. Appropriately located in the opulent Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Addison is certainly a special occasion spot. Be prepared for artistically-prepared, modern French cuisine paired with a bottle from their extensive fine wine collection. Executive Chef William Bradley has wowed local and national critics with his elegant, farm-to-table, artisanal approach to cooking. The decor is glamorously European in design with dark woods and large arched windows offering up views of the resort's golf course. Addison is only open for dinner (closed on Sundays and Mondays) and the menu changes daily. Choose between the four course menu or the chef's tasting menu.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Addison is Southern California's only Five Star/Five Diamond restaurant.

Katie's expert tip: You'll enjoy a seasonal four course menu or the chef's tasting menu.

Read more about Addison →

The Marine Room
Photo courtesy of The Marine Room

This popular restaurant is known for its setting right on the beach. It is so close to the ocean that waves crash on the windows during high tides. The Marine Room also happens to serve fine, globally-influenced cuisine via a menu that changes with the seasons. One could start with the signature lobster bisque, accented with enokitake mushrooms, pancetta and yuzu cream or an Ocean Trilogy (lobster medallion, ahi tuna tartare, Hiramasa sashimi). Main course highlights have included Mulberry Wine Braised Brandt Beef Cheeks and Sake Poached Maine Diver Scallops. Impeccable service, attention to detail, and an award-winning wine list round out the experience. Check the calendar for high tide happy hours and dinners as well as other not-to-be-missed events.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The restaurant offers elegant dining on the sand of gorgeous La Jolla Shores Beach.

Katie's expert tip: The Marine Room holds special events such as high tide dinners, a summer music series, and Monday night lobster. A great opportunity to watch the sunset and sample dishes is at happy hour.

Read more about The Marine Room →

Balboa Park

Mister. A's just might be one of the best places to enjoy a skyline view of downtown San Diego, Coronado, Balboa Park and Point Loma, with the occasional plane landing or taking off from the airport. The sunsets are spectacular and part of the reason why this restaurant is perpetually voted one of the most romantic places to eat in the city. Modern American cuisine is on the menu though dishes change based on seasonality of locally-sourced ingredients. Chef de Cuisine Stephane Voitzwinkler also infuses his Alsatian German upbringing into beautifully-presented dishes. Favorites include lobster bisque, prime beef filet chateaubriand, Strauss Farm veal osso buco.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The intimate ambiance combined with San Diego's most spectacular view and award-winning cuisine make this the top choice.

Katie's expert tip: Arrive at sunset to enjoy a pre-dinner drink on the patio terrace.

Read more about Mister A's →


Meet Katie Dillon

Katie Dillon originally moved to the seaside community of La Jolla to attend UC San Diego. When the opportunity presented itself, she and her husband set off for a 7 year stint overseas as...  More About Katie