Celebrate Together: 5 Places in Del Mar for an Amazing Holiday Dinner with Friends

The holidays are a time to get together with the people you care about most. Whether it’s a tradition to grab holiday happy hour drinks or it’s the first year of Secret Santa with your friends, choosing the right restaurant for your holiday get-together can make all the difference. At the Del Mar Plaza, we have many award-winning restaurants, each offering its own unique menu options and ambiances to make your holiday dinner with friends a special one.

Make a reservation at one of these restaurants ahead of time, so all you have to worry about is finding the perfect gifts for your besties.

Del Mar Rendezvous

If your group of friends likes to mix it up a bit, then try the award-winning Del Mar Rendezvous. It was named one of the 50 best Chinese restaurants in the United States by CNN Travel, and serves a wide variety of dishes that will please everyone. Vegetarians, vegans, and those who follow a gluten-free diet will be happy to know the restaurant offers dishes to fit their needs.

And, if you visit between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., you can enjoy Rendezvous’ “Happy Buddha Hour,” when all dim sum is half off (with the purchase of two dinner entrees) and your second glass of wine or draft beer is just $.88. The restaurant also has daily specials—like My Wine Mondays when you can forgo any corkage fees or Wine Wednesday, when bottles of wine are $8 off—so you and your friends can save a couple dollars during the holidays.

Il Fornaio Del Mar and Enoteca del Fornaio

Teach your group of friends to say “Buon Natale” and opt for dinner at Il Fornaio Del Mar or Enoteca del Fornaio. Both restaurants offer authentic Italian plates like Pennoni alla Vodka, Linguine Mare Chiaro, and Filetto di Bue, that can all be shared family style, which gives you the opportunity to try a little bit of everything. Don’t forget to finish your meal with something dolci, like Tiramisu, Cannoli Siciliani, or Gelato. And start your night by their outdoor fireplace, enjoying an aperitivo or two from their amazing wine selection and cocktail list.

Pacifica Del Mar

Pacifica Del Mar is known for its fresh, mouthwateringly delicious seafood; the Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi, Sugar-Spiced Salmon, and Pan Roasted Seabass are all guest favorites. The restaurant has daily specials like Wednesdays’ Martini and Oyster Night, or Half-Off Wine every Thursday; and features awesome Happy Hour deals—like half off small plates, and $2 off beer, wine, featured cocktails, and bar bites—every day from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Plus, with more than 100 of the world’s finest vodkas served at the Ocean Bar, you can ask the bartender to whip up a festive cocktail to get you and your friends in the holiday spirit.

Shimbashi Izakaya

Shimbashi Izakaya serves its traditional Japanese food in a unique Izakaya, or “pub,” setting. Its different seating areas each offer their own experience; if you’re dining with a group, you’ll be more comfortable with a booth or table in the dining room, but if it’s just you and one other, opt for the sushi counter or sake bar for a more interactive experience.

Find your favorite roll or experiment with something new—the staff can offer recommendations and the menu explains what’s in each sushi roll or cooked dish. Make the most of your holiday night out and order a Japanese beer or choose from the restaurant’s hundreds of sake options.

Visit Del Mar Plaza online for more information on holiday events, restaurant hours, and to make a reservation.