Let the Ocean View Set the Mood at These Romantic Del Mar Restaurants

There are some nights—anniversaries, birthdays, and Valentine’s Day, for instance—that require a little more romance to the evening. At the Del Mar Plaza, our award-winning restaurants and breathtaking ocean views provide the perfect ambiance for a romantic, candle-lit night out. Here are a few top picks:

Del Mar Rendezvous

Building upon fresh ingredients and authentic recipes, Del Mar Rendezvous serves elevated, innovative, and modernized Chinese dishes. The restaurant continues to win Best Chinese, Best Asian Fusion, and Best Vegetarian by San Diego A-List diners, and recently ranked in the top five on CNN Travel’s 50 Best Chinese Restaurants in the United States. So regardless of whether you order a traditional rice or noodle entrée or try one of Rendezvous’ signature dishes like Duck Breast Shangri-la or Buddha’s Treasure, you know your meal will impress your date.

Up the Romance: If your and your partner’s ideal date night includes Netflix and take-out, then the fine-dining version of your favorite dishes will already lead to a more romantic vibe. Order your favorite entrees and be sure to get dessert—this is a special occasion, after all.

Il Fornaio and Enoteca Del Fornaio

If you’re looking for a romantic evening out, chances are, dining on Italian cuisine is probably high on your list. Dine like in Lady and the Tramp and share a plate of spaghetti, or opt for another favorite like Pennoni alla Vodka, Linguine Mare Chiaro, or Filetto di Bue. Il Fornaio and Enoteca Del Fornaio both use the freshest ingredients and traditional cooking techniques to create authentic Italian dishes that will make you think you’re dining in romantic Italia.

Up the Romance: Share a bottle of wine or aperitivo and watch the sun set on the restaurants’ outdoor patio and fireplace.

Pacifica Del Mar

Pacifica Del Mar has some of the best seafood in the county. Guests love the incredibly fresh Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi, Sugar-Spiced Salmon, and Pan Roasted Seabass, but there are chicken and beef dishes as well. You can even add a delicious lobster tail to any entrée you order. The restaurant also offers a romantic Sunset Dinner tasting menu, which is just as romantic as it sounds.

Up the Romance: Begin your meal with fresh oysters (the aphrodisiac can be ordered raw or baked), and end it with a nightcap. With more than 100 of the world’s finest vodkas served at the Ocean Bar, you can trust the bartender to whip you up a delicious cocktail, or let your date know how you really feel about them by ordering a “Hot One” or “Gold Standard” martini.

Shimbashi Izakaya

Shimbashi Izakaya wows guests with seasonal Japanese tapas, an incredible selection of sake, and an atmosphere that’s perfect for a romantic date. Take a seat side by side at the sushi bar or sake bar, or cozy up in a quiet booth in the dining area. Try the very special Japanese Wagyu Beef or let the chef choose your dishes with the Omakase Course, which is sure to give you a taste of the freshest fish and seasonal ingredients.

Up the Romance: Sushi is the perfect food for sharing! You and your date can each order your favorite rolls and share (feeding each other with the provided chopsticks, optional). Don’t pass up the sake either—also perfect for sharing.


Smashburger is a casual favorite with high-quality burgers, salads, and sides. You can choose from a wide variety of sandwiches and burgers or design your own. And if you order one of their hand-spun milkshakes, make sure you grab two straws.

Up the Romance: A burger and fries might not seem very romantic off the bat, but take your order to go and walk down to Powerhouse Park to enjoy your meal as a picnic while watching the sun set over the ocean.

For a full list of our restaurants, shops, and services visit Del Mar Plaza online.