Ah, ‘tis the holiday season, the most magical time of the year … even if our 2020 plans and longstanding traditions have been canceled or altered due because of COVID-19.
With most of us celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home this year, we recommend you skip the cooking and support the restaurant industry instead. While not a comprehensive list, here are some eateries in San Diego County offering holiday specials and meal packages.
Restaurants are organized by type of cuisine and listed in alphabetical order within those categories. This list will continue to be updated throughout the week. Food and drink specials, prices and holiday hours at subject to change; check the restaurant’s website and social media channels before ordering.
Cardellino: Great ready for some prime rib served up by Chef Brad Wise of Trust Restaurant Group, available at Cardellino in Mission Hills. Each $45 dinner served one person and includes a 12 ounce slice of prime rib, truffled mashed potatoes, green beans almandine and more. Dinner is served hot and ready to eat. Option to add on dessert or alcohol, such as holiday cocktails, paired wine, a two-person apple crisp or Mr. Trustee’s ice cream, available in holiday flavors. Place your to-go order online at exploretock.com/cardellino by Dec. 21 to pick up between 3 and 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Herb & Wood/Herb & Sea: Chef Brian Malarkey’s “Herb at Home” returns this month and offers an exclusive Christmas Eve dinner. The meal is $65 per person and available in groups of two, four, six or eight. Each dinner package comes with three family-style starters, choice of entrée, and family-style dessert. Highlights include American wagyu woodfired charred sirloin, as well as a cranberry and apple crumble with butter cream. An additional appetizer — apple cider braised local pork belly and herb pesto white beans — is available for $15. Order now through Dec. 20 for Dec. 24 afternoon pickup at either Herb & Wood in Little Italy or Herb & Sea in Encinitas. View the full menu at herbandwood.com/holidays.
Juniper and Ivy: Enjoy Juniper and Ivy’s “Holiday at Home” this Christmas Eve. The package, available for either two ($155) or six ($350) people, offers a choice of beef or tuna wellington, as well as sides like potato purée, pot roast vegetables and chocolate bundt cake. The meal is partially cooked with storage and baking instructions included. Wine pairings and cocktails are also available for purchase. Preorder at exploretock.com/juniperandivy for curbside pickup on Dec. 22, 23, or 24 between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Urban Plates: North County diners can pick up to-go holidays dinners from Urban Plates’ three San Diego locations in Carlsbad, Del Mar and La Jolla. The $129 Turkey Family Feast serves six to eight people and features herb roasted cage-free turkey breast, mushroom stuffing, gravy, cranberry relish, artisan bread, roasted Brussel sprouts and choice of potato style. The fully cooked meal — which is provided chilled and includes heating instructions — must be ordered by Dec. 20 and picked up on Dec. 23 or 24. For smaller households, the holiday three-course family dinner serves four people for $75 and includes choice of protein, salad, two sides, artisan bread and a half dozen cookie assortment. Available to order and pickup through Dec. 31. Visit urbanplates.com.
STK Steakhouse: The downtown steakhouse is offering a $69 Christmas special of roasted “Linz” prime rib, served with confit fingerling potatoes and port wine shallots with black truffle madera sauce, with an option to add shaved truffle for $15. A $50 turkey breast special, $39 children’s meal, and $49 apple pie are also available. Preorder at direct.chownow.com/order/23419/locations/34255 for Dec. 24 or 25 pickup.
Snooze: The breakfast eatery is offering holiday brunch kits with a choice of harvest egg casserole ($55), cranberry French toast bake ($30) or pancake party ($40) perfect for Christmas morning. In addition to the dish, each kit includes a green salad, fruit salad and side of bacon, along with classic and spiked hot chocolate recipes, greeting cards and a jazz playlist. A la carte options also available, as well as holiday cocktail options. Kits available through Jan. 2, 2021 for next day pickup at all three San Diego locations: Del Mar, Hillcrest and La Jolla.
Cloak and Petal: Little Italy eatery Cloak & Petal is offering dinner and cocktail packages for the holiday. Depending on the size of your stay-at-home bubble, choose from three options: The Notorious ($150, serves four), Emperor’s Bounty ($250, serves six) or Kaiju Feast ($350, serves eight). All packages include alcohol, salted edamame, karage, gyoza and and sushi platters, along with an assortment of libations like beer, sake and cocktails. If you want to kick your buzz up a a notch, additional cocktails are also available for $10 each. Preorders can be made up to one week in advance; 2 hour minimum required. Bonus: Cloak and Petal will donate two meals to front line workers and first responders with the purchase of every package. Check cloakandpetal.com for updates.
Fortunate Son: The North Park restaurant will be open on Christmas Eve for those hoping to take part in the Chinese takeout holiday tradition. Fortunate Son’s full menu is available, featuring Kung Pao chicken, shrimp lo mein, sweet and sour pork belly, egg drop soup, and General Tso’s cauliflower, among other dishes. The eatery will also offer a selection of to-go cocktails from its neighboring bar Polite Provisions, which is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Holiday hours are 4 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 24. Order online at toasttab.com/fortunateson/v3 or by phone at 619-391-3766.
Buca di Beppo: The Holiday “Cake Boss” Package from Buca di Beppo features a mixed green of Caeser salad; choice of four types of pastas; and either chicken parmigiana, chicken limone or egglant parmigiana as the entrée. All packages include a Buddy V “Cake Boss” Carlos Bakery Holiday Cake: a six inch, layered Christmas cake featuring vanilla Italian buttercream icing and festive sprinkles. Each four-course package is $95 and serves five people. Buca di Beppo locations in Gaslamp and Carlsbad are open for to-go orders 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Eve and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Day. Visit bucadibeppo.com.
Cesarina Ristorante: The Point Loma eatery is ready to celebrate both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with you. The Christmas Eve menu, coined “La Cena Della Vigilia,” includes seven dishes, such as gamberi alla catalana, paccheri polpo e pecorino and cannelloni di mare. Available for two people ($75.95) or four people ($129.95). For lunch on Christmas Day, “Il Pranzo Di Natale” offers seven dishes including sformatino, triangolini al cacao, and arrosto de pollo. A two-person feast costs $59.95, or feed four individuals for $99.95. A la carte options are also available for both days. For details and descriptions of all dishes, visit cesarinarestaurant.com. All preorders must be placed by Dec. 22 online or by phone 619-226- 6222.
Puesto: For the holiday, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar is offering an exclusive menu on Dec. 23 and 24. Created by chefs Ian Tenzer and Erik Aronow, with help from bar and sprits director Beau de Bois, features dishes such as squash en mole negro, short rib and broccolini. Each meal feeds two people and costs $100. Puesto’s regular takeout menu will also be offered. Order at eatpuesto.com for pick-up at Puesto’s Mission Valley location.
El Torito: El Torito has brought back its made-from-scratch tamales for a limited time, now through Jan. 3, 2021. Chicken, carnitas and sweet corn tamales are available, priced at $24 per dozen. Order pickup or delivery by phone at 888-TORTILLA, online at eltorito.olo.com, or in-person at the La Mesa restaurant. 24-hour notice required.
The Plot: Oceanside plant-based restaurant offers a vegan holiday meal for $40. The feast, which feeds one person, includes wild rice and lentil loaf with gravy, garlic herb roasted potatoes, rosemary sage stuffing and more. All dishes are chilled and come with heating instructions. For all orders $20 and over, use December promo code CELEBRATE for $5 off. Place your order online at toasttab.com/the-plot/v3 by Dec. 22 for pick-up on Christmas Eve.
Cafe Gratitude: Have yourself a plant-based, Little Italy Christmas with Cafe Gratitude’s holiday takeout specials, including cranberry roasted butternut squash and garnet yams ($30), maple miso brussels sprouts ($35), persimmon and pomegranate salad ($35) and more. Dessert options — maple pecan spice cake, tuscan apple cake and mocha cheesecake — are all $25. Place preorders online at cafegratitude.com or in-store by Dec. 20 for pickup on Dec. 23 by 9 p.m.
Black Angus Steakhouse: From Dec. 24 to 31 (excluding Christmas Day), indulge in a special holiday meal of two 6 ounce filet mignon, two lobster tails, one appetizer, four sides, one dessert, molasses bread, and two prosecco splits. The $99 meal serves two people. Those dining alone in quarantine on Christmas Eve can enjoy a solo dinners for $34.99, which includes a choice of an 8 ounce prime rib or filet mignon, along with lobster tail. Individual meals are only available on Dec. 24. Place to-go or curbside pickup orders at blackangus.com.
D.Z. Akin’s: The beloved Jewish restaurant/bakery/deli in La Mesa is offering a holiday feast to-go that serves 10 to 12 people. Choose either the roasted turkey ($199) or glazed ham ($225), which is accompanied by homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, sweet potato yams, green bean almandine, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and a whole pumpkin pie. Additional sides are also available for purchase. Christmas Eve hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (restaurant) and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (deli/bakery); D.Z. Akin’s is closed Christmas Day. 24-48 hour notice requested. Call 619-265-0218 to order and view menu details at dzatkinsdeli.com/merry-christmas. Note: Due to COVID-19 concerns, D.Z. Akins is currently closed for cleaning but is expected to reopen in time for the holidays. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for updates at facebook.com/dzakins.
Lionfish: Downtown’s seafood restaurant Lionfish is offering its modern coastal cuisine holiday style with its “Christmas At Home Dinner.” The to-go meal, which serves two people for $150, includes candy stripe beet salad, shrimp and chicken dumpling soup, specialty nigiri sampler, miso butter beef tenderloin, and warm sticky toffee pudding. Five add-on dishes are available, ranging from a surf and turf roll ($32) to grilled baja striped bass ($65). Order online at lionfishsd.com/christmas-at-home by 8 p.m. on Dec. 22 for pickup on either Dec. 24, noon-4 p.m. or Dec. 25, noon-2 p.m.