The holiday season is upon us, and North County San Diego is ready to dazzle your taste buds with a feast fit for the occasion. From lavish buffets to festive take-out options, we’ve curated a list of the best holiday dining experiences to ensure your celebrations are filled with culinary delights.


  • Adelaide at L’Auberge Del Mar: A Santa-Worthy Feast
    • Location: 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar

Dive into the lap of luxury at Adelaide’s Christmas Day buffet at L’Auberge Del Mar. Indulge in a feast featuring a raw bar, prime rib, lamb, and more. Afterward, relax with a post-feast nap under a poolside cabana or enjoy a lemongrass spa session at Spa L’Auberge.

  • Matsu: Karaage Night Extravaganza
    • Location: 626 South Tremont Street, Oceanside

Celebrate Christmas Eve at Matsu with a six-course meal of traditional Japanese fried chicken and strawberry shortcake. Sip on selections from Matsu’s extensive sake list for a perfect holiday night.

  • The Pony Room at Rancho Valencia: A Buffet with Festive Activities
    • Location: 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe

Revel in a Christmas Day buffet at The Pony Room with live music and family-friendly activities like horse-drawn carriage rides and cookie decorating.

  • 20|Twenty: Prix Fixe Dinners in Carlsbad
    • Location: 5480 Grand Pacific Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Enjoy prix fixe dinners at 20|Twenty, featuring choices like lobster bisque, barramundi, and prime rib for an exquisite holiday dining experience.

  • Herb & Sea: Key West Christmas Eve
    • Location: 131 W D St, Encinitas, CA 92024

A four-course festive meal with options like crab claws, tropical fruit salad, and pineapple-glazed ham.

  • Temaki Bar Sushi: Merry Maki Menu
    • Location: 575 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Offering a Merry Maki menu with sushi rolls and a menu with holiday specials!.

  • Fairmont Grand Del Mar: Winter Wonderland Dining
    • Location: 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct, San Diego, CA 92130

Explore holiday teas, ice skating, and dining options at the Amaya restaurant with four-course feasts, Nutcracker holiday teas, or a Christmas Day buffet in the Manchester Salon.


  • The Plot
    •  Location: 1733 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

A renowned eatery established in Oceanside, California, this award-winning restaurant takes pride in crafting delectable, gratifying, and occasionally innovative dishes that are exclusively plant-based. 

  • Allmine
    • Location: 119 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054

Offering a special take-home menu with party-sized lasagna bolognese, duck a l’Orange, and more.

  • Ranch45
    • Location: 512 Via De La Valle, Suite 102, Solana Beach

Ranch 45 in Solana Beach has your Christmas feast covered with a delectable selection of San Diego’s finest meats and treats.


This holiday season, let North County San Diego’s culinary scene be the highlight of your celebrations. Whether you choose a lavish buffet, festive take-out, or a prix fixe dinner, these dining spots promise to make your holidays merry and delicious. Secure your reservations and treat yourself to a culinary journey that captures the spirit of the season.

While North County San Diego county itself offers a plethora of attractions and activities, it also serves as an excellent base for exploring the surrounding areas. If you’re looking to venture beyond the north San Diego area and discover the hidden gems of Southern California, here are the top five day trips you should consider adding to your San Diego itinerary.

City of San Diego: A Vibrant Coastal Metropolis

Just a short drive south lies the City of San Diego, a vibrant coastal metropolis offering a wide range of activities for all ages. Explore the historic Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown San Diego, visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo or San Diego Safari Park, or take a stroll through the picturesque Old Town San Diego or Balboa Park, home to numerous museums and gardens. Enjoy the stunning views of the harbor from the USS Midway Museum or spend a relaxing day at one of the city’s beautiful beaches like La Jolla Cove or Coronado Island.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: A Desert Oasis

For nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, a day trip to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a must. Located east, this expansive desert park is the largest state park in California, known for its breathtaking landscapes, wildflower blooms (in spring), and diverse wildlife. Hike through the picturesque canyons, marvel at the unique rock formations, and be sure to visit the mesmerizing Badlands, a maze of eroded mud hills that resembles an otherworldly terrain.

Temecula Valley: A Wine Lover’s Paradise

Escape to the picturesque Temecula Valley, nestled in the rolling hills of Southern California’s wine country. Just north of the San Diego area, this charming region is renowned for its award-winning wineries and vineyards. Spend a day exploring the beautiful vineyards, indulging in wine tastings, and savoring delectable cuisine at the local restaurants. For a unique experience, consider heading just outside of Old Town Temecula and taking a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards, offering panoramic views of the stunning landscape.

Julian: A Quaint Mountain Town

Experience a change of scenery with a trip to Julian, a quaint mountain town nestled in the Cuyamaca Mountains. Located northeast, Julian is famous for its apple orchards, charming shops, and historic buildings. Stroll through the town’s Julian’s Main Street, indulge in freshly baked apple pies, and explore the surrounding countryside with its picturesque hiking trails of the Cuyamaca Mountains. If you visit in the fall, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the stunning display of autumn colors.

Cabrillo National Monument: Where History Meets Natural Beauty

Located on the Point Loma Peninsula, to the west, Cabrillo National Monument offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty. This picturesque site commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on the West Coast of the United States. Explore the tide pools, hike along the scenic coastal trails, and enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars for some excellent whale watching opportunities during the migration seasons.

Whether you’re seeking vibrant city life, outdoor adventures, wine tasting, or historic charm, the opportunities for unique day trips with the whole family surrounding North County San Diego are endless.

San Diego, renowned for its idyllic beaches and year-round sunshine, is a paradise for beach lovers. Let’s explore the top five beaches in North County Coastal San Diego, where you can find stunning landscapes and vibrant coastal communities. From sandy shores to exciting water activities, these beaches offer an array of experiences for all. So, grab your sunscreen and let’s embark on a journey to discover the hidden gems of North County San Diego’s coastline!


Carlsbad State Beach

Located at the heart of Carlsbad, Carlsbad State Beach, also known as Tamarack Beach, beckons visitors with its wide expanse of sandy shores. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely walk along the coastline or a sunbathing session, this beach has it all. The calm waters are perfect for swimming, surfing, and paddleboarding. And just to the south are other popular local surf spots, South Carlsbad State Beach and South Ponto Beach as well! Additionally, the beach provides picnic areas and fire pits. Make sure to explore the nearby Carlsbad Village, which offers a charming blend of coastal allure and vibrant local culture.


Moonlight State Beach

Nestled in the lively city of Encinitas, Moonlight State Beach offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This family-friendly beach boasts soft sand, inviting waves, and a host of amenities. Take a leisurely stroll along the well-maintained boardwalk, engage in beach volleyball, or discover fascinating marine life in the tide pools. With a children’s play area and convenient facilities, Moonlight State Beach ensures a memorable day of fun and relaxation for the whole family.


Del Mar Beach

Del Mar City Beach, situated in the charming seaside community of Del Mar, captivates visitors with its breathtaking vistas and laid-back atmosphere. With warm sands and excellent surfing conditions, it’s a haven for water sports enthusiasts. In addition to the delightful beach experience, the area provides fire pits for cozy bonfires and a designated dog beach area where dogs can where pups can frolic off-leash in the water! After a day in the sun in the Summer months, head to the Del Mar Fairgrounds for a fun family time or Del Mar Village to indulge in delectable dining options and browse unique boutiques.


Cardiff State Beach

Nestled between Encinitas and Solana Beach, Cardiff State Beach entices visitors with its unspoiled beauty and relaxed atmosphere. Renowned for its fantastic surf breaks, this beach is a haven for surf enthusiasts seeking the perfect wave. Explore the tide pools during low tide, engage in beach volleyball, or unwind on the sandy shores while basking in the warm sunshine. Cardiff State Beach’s stunning views and tranquil ambiance make it a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike.


Torrey Pines State Beach

For nature enthusiasts, Torrey Pines State Beach is an absolute must-visit. This picturesque stretch of coastline, adjacent to Torrey Pines State Reserve, showcases towering cliffs, rare Torrey pine trees, and scenic hiking trails. Take a leisurely stroll along the beach, observe migrating whales during the winter months, or explore the diverse plant and wildlife in the reserve. Torrey Pines State Beach offers a unique blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventure.


North County San Diego is home to some of Southern California’s most beautiful coastline and is undeniably a crown jewel – from serene relaxation to thrilling water sports, these coastal gems are waiting to be explored, offering a chance to create unforgettable memories. So, pack your beach essentials, embrace the coastal lifestyle, and embark on an adventure along North County San Diego’s captivating coastline!

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