San Diego Restaurant Week begins on Sunday, September 22nd and runs through Sunday, September 29th, during which time over 180 of San Diego’s top restaurants will be offering special three-course dinner menus for $20, $30, $40, $50, or $60 per person and two-course lunch menus for $10, $15, $20 or $25 per person.
San Diego Restaurant Week is a great time to support local growers by visiting restaurants that source local produce and sustainable seafood.
$50 dinner and optional $24.50 wine pairings
Mille Fleurs is lucky enough to have Chino Farm just 1.4 miles from the restaurant, where they can hand-select produce.
During Restaurant Week, you can enjoy the last of summer crops and the first of fall produce with their three-course dinner prix fixe.
Start with the light and refreshing shrimp, served with Chino Farm garden vegetables and a lemon dressing. For your entree, the tagliatelle pasta is a standout, combined with Chino Farm corn, sun gold tomatoes, and pecorino cheese. The vegetables might change through the week as the chef visits the farm daily to select the best produce of the day.
Vegetarians and vegans should head straight to Cafe Gratitude in Little Italy for Restaurant Week. The plant-based menu features sustainably and responsibly sourced produce from regional farmers in the approach they’ve dubbed Sacred Commerce.
You may feel silly ordering dishes like “I am Remarkable,” but the food is worth it, both for the taste and how energized you’ll feel after eating their nutrient-rich dishes. Start with the I am Enchanting that tops mustard marinated kale with asparagus and edamame, drizzled with avocado cream. For your main, you won’t miss the meat in the I am Elated enchiladas with jackfruit tinga, hatch chili sauce, avocado, pico de gallo, black beans, and cashew queso fresco. You can end with their daily dessert special or the tangy I am Awakening key lime pie with a pecan crust.
My new go-to spot for a “wow” dinner is International Smoke in Del Mar’s One Paseo. They have broken the mold of the typical three-course Restaurant Week dinner menu, instead offering an incredible the twelve-dish menu at the $60 prix fixe price point, served in three courses.
To start, drool over Ayesha’s fresh baked cornbread with Thai red curry butter, Mama Mina’s falafel, and more. You’ll be dished up four entrees, including a Mediterranean Seabass with lemon potatoes, swiss chard, and a warm tomato vinaigrette and a tender Sinaloan style chicken featured Mary’s Chicken with achiote, chillies, sweet potatoes, and Stehly Farms avocado.
My favorite, included on the SDRW menu, is the King Crab Fried Rice using Schaner Family Farms scrambled egg. For dessert, you’ll sample Key Lime Pie from local bakery Sugar and Scribe as well as housemade soft serve.
Stone Brewing in Liberty Station is showing off the new menu they launched this summer with lots of Restaurant Week options. Depending on what you order, you might be munching on citrus from Sunrise Farms, microgreens from Fresh Origins, or beef from Belcampo's regenerative farm. For $30 you can select any Shareable Plate, plus a Burger, Sandwich, or Entree Salad, and a 16oz Draft Beer.
I recommend starting with the Chinese sticky ribs in a soy, garlic, ginger sauce and moving onto their outstanding True Craft Burger. The half-pound patty is made from 28-day dry-aged beef, which is topped with miso-maple bacon, caramelized Vidalia onions, and Hook's cheddar on a seeded brioche-potato bun. For an IPA that isn’t too bitter, try the Half-truism, a Belgian IPA made in house.
You’ll notice One Door North’s love of nature as soon as you walk in and see their tents, antler calendars, and forrest backdrops. They show a similar passion when it comes to their sourcing, working with local and sustainable farms.
It is driven by Chef Fred Piehl who grew up in Echichens, Switzerland where his family grew their own vegetables and bought beef directly from local farms. On their Restaurant Week menu, try the Gonestraw Farms half chicken with a chili rub, served with grits, roasted broccolini, and blistered cherry tomatoes. For dessert, their Strawberry Shortcake features Rodney Kawano Farms strawberries on a house-made biscuit, topped with vanilla ice cream.
In North Park, sample unpretentious French cuisine at The Smoking Goat, whose Restaurant Week menu has a substantial number of gluten-free options. Start with the Heirloom Tomato Salad, with tomatoes from Rodney Kawano Farms, olives, marinated mozzarella, and pickled red onion in an herbed vinaigrette. A sustainably sourced roasted Scottish Salmon is served with celery root puree, bloomsdale spinach, blistered tomato, and a beurre blanc classic French sauce. For dessert, their take on cheesecake is beyond good, a goat cheese cheesecake served with lavender whipped cream.
Serẽa at the beautiful Hotel del Coronado has quickly made a name for itself through a dedication to sustainable seafood sourcing, led by Chef Jojo Ruiz who was recently recognized as a James Beard Foundation Smart Catch Leader.
To start, try the local halibut ceviche with cucumber, avocado, coconut, and agave picked serrano pepper. Stick with the seafood theme and order the swordfish for your entree, served with a farmers market salad salad featuring eggplant, raisins, and mint, topped with fire roasted babaganoush.
In Bankers Hill, CUCINA urbana is a longtime favorite for bringing in fresh California produce to their delicious Italian dishes.
To start, try the squash blossoms from San Marcos, stuffed with lemon ricotta and fried, served with saffron aioli and salsa verde. For the main, the pappardelle is a standout, with short rib and cremini mushrooms. As one of their dessert options, they’ve included a cheese board, for a savory choice.
New this year, they also have some different Restaurant Week options, like a “spread the love” option for two, $25 for two glasses of wine and a bread and spread to share.