Best Places For Thanksgiving in San Diego

Thanksgiving is a day centered around good food and company, which is probably why nearly one-fifth of Americans say it’s their favorite holiday. Turkey Day allows us to gather with loved ones, give thanks, and kick off the holiday season, but what if you could also unwind by visiting one of the best places for Thanksgiving in the city instead of staying home?

Thanksgiving can be overwhelming, especially if you’re hosting the holiday for your family. Planning a menu, buying (lately-even-more-costly-than-usual) ingredients, coordinating cooking times, and getting your home ready for guests can be stressful, making the day more busy than extraordinary.


Why not take this year off?

If you need a break or are just looking to spice up your family’s Thanksgiving this year, we’ve got good news: many restaurants in San Diego offer incredible Thanksgiving Day menus. Dine out for Thanksgiving and let someone else do all the work—all you’ll need to do is show up with your loved ones and enjoy a delicious meal together.

Keep reading about the best places for Thanksgiving to visit in San Diego—then pick up the phone and make a reservation for your family today. You’ll be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy a stress-free holiday in one of the best places for Thanksgiving.


Traditional Favorites

These restaurants will be serving more conventional Thanksgiving fare, perfect for families who love classic dishes and want to dine out for Thanksgiving:


Hotel del Coronado

Have an elegant Thanksgiving at The Del with a “lavish feast with all of the trimmings” and live music. The Del creates an impressive buffet with every kind of meat, fish, and poultry imaginable, a “Coronado Cornucopia” of appetizers, and over 20 different desserts. This year dinner will be served in the beautiful new Southpointe Ballroom and will be the first opportunity for guests to see this elegant new space, which is now the hotel’s most significant event venue. Reserve your table on their website. 

Scripps AMG tip: Resist the urge to overeat by sticking to small portions. Instead of filling up multiple plates to bring back to your table, start and finish one small plate before you return for seconds.


Island Prime + C Level

Gaze across the water at Coronado and the San Diego skyline from this celebrated pair of Harbor Island Cohen restaurants. Each person can select an appetizer, entree, and dessert from tasty options like butternut squash soup, turkey, filet mignon, and mascarpone apple crumb cheesecake. Celebrate Turkey Day with breathtaking views of the San Diego skyline. For reservations, call 619.298.6802.

Scripps AMG tip: Take a walk along the water with your family after dinner. Walking after eating helps with digestion.


Thanksgiving with a Twist

These restaurants serve twists on classic options, giving you a chance to try something new for Thanksgiving:


Bali Hai

Shelter Island’s Bali Hai fuses Southern California and Polynesian tastes. Their Thanksgiving buffet has traditional dishes like turkey, candied yams, and pumpkin pie, as well as different choices like Kahlua braised dark turkey meat, island-style macaroni salad, and pumpkin seafood chowder. Call 619.222.1181 for reservations. 

Scripps AMG tip: Buffets are great for sampling new foods, allowing you to try just a spoonful of anything you’re curious about!


Cafe Coyote

Who says you can’t have Mexican food on Thanksgiving? Enjoy Thanksgiving in Old Town at Cafe Coyote, voted Best Mexican Restaurant eighteen years in a row! Order a traditional Thanksgiving dinner or opt for Mexican dishes while still getting your turkey fix: they’ll be serving turkey tacos, burritos, and tostadas. Call 619.291.4695 to make a reservation.

Scripps AMG tip: Cafe Coyote is a great budget-friendly Thanksgiving option!


George’s at the Cove

George’s at the Cove’s Thanksgiving menu offers modern, fall-inspired California cuisine that you probably wouldn’t have at the family dinner table, making it the best choice for more adventurous eaters. An added bonus: sweeping views of the La Jolla coastline. Call 858.454.4244 for reservations. 

Scripps AMG tip: George’s Thanksgiving menu has great fish options, a healthier choice than red meat or carb-based dishes.


Whatever your plans are for Thanksgiving, we hope you enjoy a happy and healthy holiday. If you need more tips to survive the festivities, take a look at our Thanksgiving advice.

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