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Christmas Dinner San Diego: Where to Get Take-Out in 2020

Normally, this post would be about the fabulous restaurants you could go to for Christmas dinner in San Diego. Alas, this isn’t the year for that. You can skip doing dishes and cooking by ordering a gorgeous meal to-go from your favorite hotel or local eatery.

Note: This list is a work in progress so if I’m missing San Diego restaurants with Christmas or New Year’s offerings for pick-up, please leave a comment or email me. Prices listed below also do not include tax, service fees, or gratuities.

George’s Curbside Christmas and Christmas Eve Dinner

In addition to Sunday meals with a Chinese theme, Thursday–Sunday takeout, and the ability to pick up just a Bûche de Noël yule log dessert ($30), you can take home a delicious George’s at the Cove Christmas dinner that includes:

  • Choice of Prime Rib with twice-baked potato or Vegetable Pot Pie with squash veloute and fines herbes powder
  • Baby Beet Salad, blue cheese, candied walnut, honeycrisp apple, champagne vinaigrette
  • Bûche de Noël Dessert

Price: $50/person. Pick-up on December 24–25. Order online.

Cesarina Holiday Boxes (Proceeds to Staff) and Meals

Wait under holiday decor while you pick up your holiday box or dinner.

You have quite a few options at Cesarina and they will deliver to select neighborhoods, including La Jolla. But, those picking up at the restaurant will be treated to a glistening tunnel of lights, garlands, cascading icicles, poinsettias, and oversized ornaments throughout Cesarina’s anterior walkway and patio into a socially distant walk-through exhibit.

Cesarina is also offering complimentary vin brulé (Italian-style mulled wine) and hot cocoa while their staff retrieves guests’ orders.

>>Limited Edition “I Pasticcini di Cesarina” — Proceeds to Staff<<

Cesarina is pledging 100% of profits from their limited-edition holiday boxes, “I Pasticcini di Cesarina,” which are priced at $99 each and feature two dozen specialty tartes, biscotti, cannoli, and other Italian pastries made with love by Chef Cesarina, who hopes to raise $15,000 – $20,000 for her family of employees.

Holiday Meals

Each to-go order for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve will come equipped with a custom QR code, which will populate convivial videos of Chef Cesarina Mezzoni greeting guests, discussing her inspiration for the menu and more.

  • Christmas Eve Special A La Carte Add-Ons —  Inspired by the Feast of Seven Fishes, Cesarina’s lineup of Christmas Eve specials will embrace elevated seafood fare. Cesarina’s full dinner menu will also be available for takeout.
  • Christmas Day Prix Fixe Menu — On Christmas Day Cesarina will be open and offering a multicourse prix-fixe menu available for takeout from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • New Year’s Eve Celebration Package — Say “arrivederci, 2020!” with Cesarina’s New Year’s Eve package. The multi-course takeout program will showcase various antipasti, pasta and risotto, alongside entrée offerings like Lenticche e Cotechino, a traditional celebratory dish said to bring prosperity in the new year. The celebration package will also include add-on prosecco bottles and access to Cesarina’s NYE playlist, featuring the restaurant’s signature electric jazz tunes.
  • New Year’s Day — Cesarina will be open on New Year’s Day.

Advanced orders should be placed by calling the restaurant direct at 619.226.6222 before Sunday, December 20th for pick-up on Wednesday, December 23rd or Thursday, December 24th. Free delivery will be available to select neighborhoods.

Juniper & Ivy Holiday at Home

Choose from several fun and tasty packages that are securely packaged and picked up curbside at Juniper & Ivy to easily cook at home.

Hannukah-inspired Festivus for the Rest of Us (feeds 4-6, available December 11-13):

  • Poppy Seed Challah Bread
  • 1/2 Dozen Knish with Cabbage and Potato
  • Matzo Ball Soup
  • Choice of Beef Brisket Bourguignon with Root Vegetables & Red Wine Sauce OR Everything Crusted Salmon with Caramelized Fennel & Citrus Caper Butter
  • Noodle Kugel with Quince & Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Dozen Sufganiyot (Traditional Jelly Filled Donut Filled w/ Apple Butter).

Holidays at Home (feeds two or six people):

  • Beef Wellington
  • Potato Puree
  • Pot Roast Vegetables
  • Beef Jus
  • Kale Caesar Salad
  • Chocolate Bundt Cake
  • Sourdough Loaf

Price: $155/two people or $350/six people. Pick-up is between December 22–24. Order online.

Cardellino Christmas Eve Prime Rib Dinner

Cardellino Prime Rib Dinner, each course served on white plates.
This looks delicious.

Trust Restaurant Group’s Chef Brad Wise is serving up a Prime Rib Dinner to-go this Christmas Eve.

Available for pick-up at Cardellino in Mission Hills, each dinner is individually prepared and includes:

  • A 12 oz slice of prime rib
  • Mixed greens salad
  • Truffled mashed potatoes
  • Green beans almandine
  • Horseradish cream
  • Jus

Sweet add-ons include Pastry Chef Jeremy Harville’s homemade Apple Crisp (feeds two) and festive pints of Mr. Trustee ice cream.

Price: $45 per person. Dessert and beverages are available for an additional cost. Place your order by December 21 and pick up on December 24 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Cardellino located at 4033 Goldfinch Street. Order online.

Top of the Market Holiday Mains & Sides

For those of you who just need sides for Christmas dinner in San Diego, turn to Top of the Market for their bundle of mashed potatoes and more. Or go for the full meal with prime rib and roasted chicken.

Prime Rib & Roasted Chicken Dinner (up to 4 people):

  • Ready to Roast Bone-In Ribeye Roast and Whole Chicken
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Fire Roasted Baby Carrots
  • Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
  • Roasted Honeynut Squash
  • Chicories Salad
  • Au Jus
  • Sadie Rose Assorted Dinner Rolls
  • Whipped Butter
  • Apple Pie
  • $275.00

Price: $275 or sides only without protein is $95. You can also opt for a decadent seafood platter or a platter of lobster mac and cheese. Order by December 21 to pick up on December 24. Order online.

The Westgate Hotel Christmas Dinner in San Diego To-Go

Christmas Dinner to-go from The Westgate Hotel is a 4-course dinner for two that includes:

  • Porcini Mushroom & Chestnut Soup
  • Artisan Salad & Persimmon with Duck Breast Prosciutto, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Candied Almonds
  • 16 oz Angus Beef Tenderloin with Yukon Gold Potato Gratin, Brussels Sprouts, Red Wine Demi – Horseradish Crème Fraiche
  • Chocolate Holiday Yule Log & Hazelnut Gelato

Price: $138. Pre-orders close on December 22 and pick-up is Thursday, December 24 or Friday, December 25 between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

La Valencia Holiday Afternoon Tea & Christmas Dinners To-Go

Take The Med’s afternoon tea home!

La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla is offering a few options to get you into the holiday spirit.

Holiday Tea To-Go: Pick up your multi-course afternoon tea complete with a pink pop-up tea stand. When you order online, you can add on a bottle of bubbly or even some caviar.

Holiday Tea To-Go is available on the following dates for pick up between 12-4 p.m.: Dec. 11, Dec. 12 | Dec. 18, Dec. 19, and Dec. 26. The Holiday Tea Set is prepared for one person so for two or more people, update the quantity in your cart.

Price: $50 per person. Order online.

Christmas Eve & Christmas Dinner To-Go: Celebrate this year with a festive ready-to-heat takeout meal for four from La Valencia in the comfort of your home.

Must order by Monday, December 21st and pick up on Wednesday, December 23rd only between 2–6 p.m. The menu includes:

  • Forest Mushroom Soup with Porcini Oil, Mushroom “Chips”
  • Diestel Smoked Ham with French Green Beans, Organic Carrots, Potato Tart OR Beef Wellington with Brussels Sprouts Mushroom Duxelle, Zinfandel Glace OR Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Baby Kale, Pistachio, Mushrooms, Parsnips
  • Carrot Cake with Spiced Pecans, Butter Rum Sauce

Price: $250 for four people. Order online.

Lionfish Christmas Dinner

Chef Jojo Ruiz at Pendry San Diego will offer to-go Christmas dinner in San Diego for two that includes:

  • Candy Stripe Beet Salad
  • Shrimp & Chicken Dumpling Soup
  • Specialty Nigiri Sampler
  • Miso Butter Beef Tenderloin
  • Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding

You can add on the likes of Center King Crab Legs, 20oz Mashima, or other delicious sushi rolls. Contact Lionfish to order.

Hotel del Coronado Christmas Dinner

Most holiday events at Hotel del Coronado were canceled but you can still pick up Christmas dinner to eat at home. They’ll validate parking so plan a few extra minutes to shop and enjoy their pretty decor.

The menu for four people includes:

  • Del Lobster Bisque with Garnish
  • Braised Bone-In Short Rib
  • Red Wine Sauce
  • Loaded Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Beans with Smoked Pork Belly
  • Spice Roasted Acorn Squash
  • Flourless Chocolate Tart
  • Whipped Cream

Price: $215. Order by 3 p.m. on December 18 for pick-up at ENO Market on Wednesday, December 23, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Order online.

Teriyaki & Bao Snowman Buns

Holiday buns! (Photo Credit: Hiba Khalid)

December 21 through January 4, Teriyaki & Bao will be serving up Instagrammable snowman bao buns filled with fresh sliced bananas and Nutella. You’ll also find dishes inspired by viral internet Asian food trends, like the Tornado Fried Rice, Creamy Matcha Udon, and Almond Cauliflower Bites.

The restaurant is open regular hours, even during the holidays, and is currently offering takeout and delivery through their website, or you can find them on Postmates, Grubhub and DoorDash.

 Estancia La Jolla Christmas Dinner To-Go

Greenfinch Restaurant at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is offering a special 11-course dinner to go on Christmas Day that serves 4-6 people. The menu includes:

  • Mini Baked Brie / Fig Jam/Baguette
  • Wild Mushroom & Feta Cheese Phyllo Triangles
  • Butternut Squash Soup / Toasted Pepitas
  • Mixed Organic Greens Salad / Pomegranate Seeds / Point Reyes Blue Cheese / Toasted Cashews / Champagne Vinaigrette
  • Brussels Sprouts / Bacon / Shallot-Balsamic Dressing/Cotija Cheese
  • Green Beans / Crispy Onions
  • Roasted Carrots / Spiced Honey Glaze
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
  • Pork Roast / Pecan-Apricot & Apple Stuffing
  • Tomato-Bacon Jam
  • Individual Pecan Tartlet and Yule Log

Price: $350. Pick up between 12–5 p.m. on December 25. Call to order.

Rusticucina Christmas Dinner with a Sicilian Twist

Christmas baskets make excellent gifts. (Photo Credit: Eckis Marketing)

Farm-to-neighborhood eatery, Rusticucina, is offering a prefix takeout menu that includes:

  • Short Ribs in red wine reduction sauce with soft polenta
  • Cannelloni Pasta with roasted chicken in mozzarella spinach + pesto creamy sauce
  • A full Panettone for dessert.

Ordering options are available from 2-10 people, ranging in price from $65-$200. You can also add-on Charcuterie and Wine for $25 for up to four people, a “Pop The Bottle” Christmas basket for $70 with Panettone and Italian cookies, 1 bottle of Champagne + 1 bottle of Red + 1 bottle of White Wine, along with a $120 “You Made It To 2020” Christmas basket with the above-mentioned items in addition to rice, truffle creamy sauce, tomato sauce, artichoke in olive oil, truffle oil, and a 4 person portion of Pappardelle dry pasta.

Pre-orders can be made by calling the restaurant at (619) 310-5291 or through the website and they will be accepting orders until December 24th. 

Vistal Christmas Eve and Christmas Dinner

Vistal Restaurant inside of InterContinental San Diego is offering both Christmas and Christmas Eve dinners for pick-up.

Dinners include your choice of Roasted Turkey Breast or Prime Rib, paired with holiday sides including:

  • Local Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Yorkshire Pudding
  • Sautéed Haricot Verts
  • Gravy or Au Jus

Price: $32 per person.

Guests also have the option of adding on a Seasonal Local Squash & Apple Soup with Spiced Sunflower Seeds and Thyme Scented Crème Fraiche for $9 per person. Orders, which will be available for pickup from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Christmas, can be placed by calling the restaurant at (619) 535-0485 or by emailing [email protected].

How good does this pie look? (Photo Credit: Maraelia Romaine)

Don’t need a full meal? No problem. Turn to Ranch 45’s completely a la carte holiday pick up menu so that you can customize your Christmas or Christmas Eve feast.

Choices include:

  • Herb-crusted Prime Rib
  • Smoked Turkey Leg
  • Smoked Cornish Game Hens
  • Roasted Broccoli with parmesan and garlic
  • Olive Oil Smashed Potatoes
  • Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, or Carrot Cake

The Solana Beach butcher shop and eatery will be accepting orders up to 48 hours in advance. Check out their breakfast box which would be awesome for Christmas morning.

Fortunate Son Chinese Christmas Take-Out

Get your Chinese food on Christmas (Photo Credit: James Tran and Olivia Beall)

Fortunate Son, CH Project’s newest venue located in North Park adjacent to Polite Provisions, is honoring the time-honored tradition of ordering Chinese takeout on Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or New Year’s Day by offering their full menu to-go all three days.

Get your fix of favorites like Kung Pao Chicken, Shrimp Lo Mein, Sweet & Sour Pork Belly, Orange Chicken, and Egg Drop Soup, or try something new with the restaurant’s signature take on classic dishes like Beef & Shishito Peppers and General Tso’s Cauliflower.

The restaurant will be open from 4 pm to 10 pm on Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day, and will also be serving up a selection of Polite Provisions’ Christmas and general cocktails to-go.

Orders can be placed by calling the restaurant at (619) 391-3766 or via their online ordering form here

Turn to Café Gratitude for your plant-based and flavor-filled pies and sides. And, don’t forget about their market for gift-giving ideas.

Holiday Take-Out Specials: You can pre-order family-style favorites such as:

  • Cranberry Roasted Butternut Squash & Garnet Yams ($30)
  • Maple Miso Brussels Sprouts ($35)
  • Persimmon & Pomegranate Salad ($35)
  • Gluten-free Maple Pecan Spice Cake, Tuscan Apple Cake, and Mocha Cheesecake ($25)
  • and more

All orders for holiday pies and sides may be placed online or in-store by December 20th and picked up on December 23rd by 9 p.m. at Café Gratitude. 

Holiday Cookie Kits: Take home plant-based and gluten-free cookie kits, made with the highest quality ingredients and 100% organic products, free of artificial colorings and shortening. We’re talking red frosting colored with beet juice and green frosting made with matcha powder. These kits are available to ship nationwide. Price: $25. Order online.

The Gluten-Free Baking Co. Pies

Gluten free chocolate donuts with peppermint crumbles on a tray.
Delicious and gluten-free! (Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Gluten Free Baking Co.)

If you need gluten-free holiday desserts, The Gluten Free Baking Co. has you covered. Pick up traditional Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie. Or, go for some Apple Crumb Filed Donuts, Pecan Bars, or a Holiday Cookie Tin.

They also offer some holiday gifts including Hot Cocoa in a Mug, Cookie Mix in a Jar as well as DIY Gingerbread House Kits. Orders must be placed 48 hours in advance through this online form. 

Where will you pick up Christmas dinner in San Diego? See also: Ultimate Guide to Christmas in San Diego.

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