How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in San Diego 2021

Valentine’s Day Owl Bao Buns at Teriyaki & Bao

From romantic meals to streaming Shakespeare to outdoor activities, your Cupid-approved roundup of food and fun is here.

Valentine’s Day in San Diego stretches over a whole weekend this year. We’ll take it! Despite ongoing trying times, we’ve rounded up some fabulous ways to celebrate—from romantic outdoor dining options, to decadent meals to-go, to a couple’s golf tournament, to a streaming production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream … Please celebrate safely and enjoy. (PSA: Cupid approves this message.)

Note: Call or check websites for pandemic-related updates and to confirm hours of operation before visiting venues as they can change without notice.

FOOD GUIDE

Strawberry-cheesecake pancakes at Breakfast Republic
Breakfast Republic | Outdoor Dining, Takeout

Feb. 13-14. Make the most important meal of the day the most romantic with Breakfast Republic’s fun holiday special. The local chain’s prix-fixe brunch includes strawberry-cheesecake pancakes; the Lovebird breakfast plate with eggs, sausage or bacon, house potatoes and bread; and the Love Potion mimosa kit with fresh-squeezed orange juice and a bottle of bubbly. The brunch package is available at all locations; no need to preorder. (See website for addresses and hours.) $40 per couple.

Cesarina | Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Delivery

Preorder Feb. 7-13. Make a reservation to dine alfresco on the patio, or order chef Cesarina Mezzoni’s five-course takeout package: the “Lilly e il Vagacondo (Lady and the Tramp) for 2.” The menu includes fagottino pere e pecorino, a honey-glazed puff pastry filled with pecorino and pears; a choice of Caesar salad or caprese; agnolotti di manzo stuffed with beef and ricotta; and delizia al limone, a decadent lemon cake. $70 per couple. 4161 Voltaire St., Point Loma, 619.226.6222.

Cloak & Petal | Outdoor Dining, Takeout

Through Feb. 14. Enjoy a four-course, prix-fixe dinner package for two; along with an opportunity to give back. The meal comprises a choice of blistered shishito peppers; roasted seasonal veggies or mashed potatoes; two specialty sushi rolls; an entree, with options such as braised short ribs and miso-glazed salmon; and lava cake or cheesecake for dessert. For each package sold, the restaurant donates two meals to people in need. Offerings are available while supplies last for pickup and patio dining. Packages start at $100. 1953 India St., Little Italy, 619.501.5505.

House-made cookies from The Gluten Free Baking Company
The Gluten Free Baking Company  | Takeout

Preorder by Feb. 9. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the bakery’s gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options, which range from breakfast to dessert. Highlights include Valentine’s cream puffs, cookies, a doughnut-topped cake, cherry crumble pie and a special “Valentine’s Decadence” cake. The bakery’s usual daily offerings also will be available—including bread, muffins, bagels, cupcakes and more. Available for pickup Feb. 12-14, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Valentine’s Day treats will also be offered in the shop’s bakery case for same-day pickup, on a first-come, first-serve basis.) 4594 30th St., North Park, 858.270.9863.

Herb & Sea and Herb & Wood | Outdoor Dining, Takeout

Preorder by Feb. 12. Dine in or order takeout with these gourmet offerings from chef Brian Malarkey’s two restaurants. At Herb & Sea, the Moonlight Deck will reopen for onsite dining Feb. 13-14—serving a special three-course dinner ($75 per person). Dishes include beef filet with truffle butter and wild mushrooms; plancha-fired whole branzino; and chocolate lava cake with macerated berries. Reservations are required. Or order a special Valentine’s Day takeout meal ($125 per person), which will be available at both Herb & Sea and Herb & Wood—a hearty beef Wellington entree; plus starters, sides and add-ons such as caviar and lobster tail. Both restaurants are also offering premade floral bouquets by local flower shop Native Poppy. Available for pickup Feb. 14, 1-3 p.m. 131 West D St., Encinitas, 760.704.8300; 2210 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy, 619.955.8495.

International Smoke Del Mar | Takeout, Delivery

Preorder 48 hours in advance. The restaurant’s special Cupid’s Luxury Tasting For Two package ($155) includes four love-inspired courses: beets with burrata cheese and toasted hazelnuts; Thai-coconut soup with Maine lobster; petite filet mignon with crab-fried rice, long beans, king mushrooms and au poivre sauce; and Valrhona Chocolate devil’s food cake, with chocolate crispy pearls and vanilla-bean whipped cream. Other offerings include a bake-at-home fondue kit ($55); and a special Cupid’s Blush cocktail kit ($45). 3387 Del Mar Heights Road, Del Mar, 619.331.4528.

Jeune et Jolie  | Takeout

Preorder by Feb. 11. It’s a rhyme and culinary experience all in one with the French bistro’s holiday offering: “Valentine’s Day Takeaway, For You or For Two.” This means six decadent courses that include canapes, lobster, ravioli, Liberty Farms duck breast, dessert and more. Add-ons include a shellfish platter, caviar, black truffles, a flower bouquet, and the restaurant’s famous Next Morning French Toast with vanilla custard. Available for pickup Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. Meals start at $100 per person. 2659 State. St., Carlsbad, 760.637.5266.

Juniper and Ivy | Outdoor Dining, Takeout

Feb. 12-14. Pick your love potion at Juniper and Ivy, with something for every speed this Valentine’s weekend. Its Date Night dinner menus for two can be enjoyed under the stars at the restaurant’s recently reopened alfresco patio, or from the comfort of home. The Meat Lovers meal ($190 dine-in, $150 takeout) includes tuna crudo, lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, beef filet and more. Or try the Vegging Out meal ($140 dine-in, $95 takeout), with dishes such as potato-and-cheese ravioli and basil risotto. Both menus include the famous Black Forest Yodel for dessert. Other options include take-home cocktail kits, gourmet candy boxes and long-stemmed red roses from Allen’s Florals. 2228 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy, 619.269.9036.

Operacaffe | Takeout, Delivery

Preorder by Feb. 12, 5 p.m. Enjoy a four-course menu for two—highlighted by dishes such as burrata with truffle oil and arugula; lobster lasagna; porcini-mushroom ravioli; and desserts such as chocolate mousse and red velvet cheesecake. $95 per couple (add a bottle of house wine for $10). 835 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.850.4569.

Valentine’s Day bonbons at Le Parfait Paris
Le Parfait Paris | Takeout, Delivery

Preorders begin Feb. 6. Looking for Valentine’s Day desserts that are as stunning as they are delicious? This bakery and cafe is known for its elegant Parisian pastries. Choose from the Valentine’s Duo, a pair of heart-shaped bonbons in flavors of chocolate and strawberry; the Valentine tart, made with rose, raspberry and passionfruit; and limited-edition holiday gift boxes filled with artisanal chocolates and macarons. Speaking of macarons, Le Parfait Paris is the mother ship for them in San Diego. The meringue-based confections are handcrafted daily and come in such flavors as garden rose, Earl Grey and jasmine, lavender honey, and Sicilian pistachio. See website for hours and ordering options. 555 G St., Gaslamp Quarter; Liberty Public Market, 2820 Historic Decatur Road, Liberty Station, 619.245.4457

Pony Camp at Rancho Valencia  | Outdoor Dining, Takeout

Feb. 12-14. Tucked away in Rancho Santa Fe, the romantic Rancho Valencia resort offers alfresco dining at its recently reopened Pony Camp outdoor tent—complete with live music and a special Valentine’s menu ($150 per person), available Feb. 12-14. Dishes include blood-orange hamachi, filet mignon, seabass and red-velvet baked Alaska. Reservations required. Or order goodies to-go, such as Chateaubriand for two, caviar, bubbly and the special Lovers Sharing Box filled with gourmet chocolate confections. (See website for pricing.) Available for pickup Feb. 13. 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, 858.759.6246.

Ranch 45  | Takeout

Preorder by Feb. 11, noon. The eatery is offering a three-course holiday menu for two. Feast on main dishes such as Brandt prime filet mignon, Campbell River salmon and truffle-cauliflower ravioli. Sides include spinach-and-strawberry salad, Chino Farms vegetables, and a choice of mashed potatoes or wild rice; plus chocolate pot du crème and a Meyer lemon tart for dessert. Available for pickup Feb. 12-14, 2-6 p.m. $150 per meal (with add-ons such as wine, lobster tail, shrimp cocktail and crab cakes also available). 512 Via de la Valle, Suite 102, Solana Beach, 858.461.0092.

Valentine’s Day dishes at Rusticucina
Rusticucina | Takeout

Preorder by Feb. 13. Enjoy executive chef Marco Provino’s Sicilian cuisine via the three-course Valentino Package for two ($135). Choose from appetizers such as salmon carpaccio, crispy burrata and oysters; entrees such as raviolis stuffed with figs and Caprino cheese, topped with black caviar; chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert; and a bottle of prosecco. Or try the “You, Me and the Couch” package ($75)—a half-dozen oysters or charcuterie board, chocolate-covered strawberries and prosecco. Available for pickup Feb. 14, 4-8 p.m. 3797 Park Blvd., Hillcrest, 619.310.5291.

Serea | Outdoor Dining

Reopens Feb. 11. The views alone from its perch at the iconic Hotel del Coronado—overlooking Coronado Beach and the Pacific—promise a memorable Valentine’s Day meal. Let executive chef JoJo Ruiz take care of the rest with his artisanal, sea-to-table dishes—such as flash-fried local rockfish, seared market tuna and wood-grilled red snapper. Serea will be open for outdoor dining all Valentine’s Day weekend. See website for reservations and full menu. Th-Su beginning at 5 p.m. 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.435.6611.

Teriyaki & Bao | Takeout

Through Feb. 14. Harumama’s spinoff eatery is offering Valentine-themed bao buns that are almost too cute to eat. Creations include buns shaped like owls that are filled with Nutella and strawberries. And now’s your chance to try Delimanjoo—a fish-shaped, South Korean bread—served at Teriyaki & Bao with pineapple filling and chocolate dipping sauce. Spend $50 or more on takeout and get an order of Delimanjoo for free. (Offer valid when ordering in-store or by phone.) 711 Grand Ave., Carlsbad, 760.637.5737.

FESTIVE HAPPENINGS

Chocolate-dipped strawberry mousse by pastry chef Aly Lyng
Friendly Feast Valentine’s Day Pop-Up 

Preorders begin Feb. 9. This signature event will feature exclusive baked goods from San Diego’s top pastry chefs—Rachel King of Kaneh Co., Aly Lyng of George’s at the Cove, Joanne Sherif of Matteo, and Lindsay Sipress of Juniper & Ivy—all in support of Friendly Feast and local nonprofit Kitchens For Good. Each box of chef-created treats includes mini chocolate Bundt cakes, chocolate-dipped strawberry mousse, laminated chocolate pastries and more. Order online for pickup at Chi Chocolat on Feb. 14, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $30 per box. 2690 Historic Decatur Road, Liberty Station.

The Old Globe’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Starting Feb. 12. Just in time for Valentine’s weekend, The Old Globe theater presents an online production of Shakespeare’s enchanting romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Directed by Sam White and performed by actors of The Old Globe and the University of San Diego Graduate Theatre Program, the timeless play centers on four plots: the upcoming wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta; the fiasco of the young lovers; the interventions of the “rude mechanicals;” and the conflict between the fairies. Set in industrial America circa 1940, the streaming production will be available to view through The Old Globe’s website and YouTube channel.

Love in Little Italy

Feb. 12-14. Pick a day during Valentine’s weekend and simply explore downtown’s popular ‘hood, where festive options abound. Take a romantic stroll through the Piazza della Famiglia, while sipping coffee from Caffe Italia. Pop into Mona Lisa Italian Foods to stock up on meats and cheese for that perfect charcuterie board. Dine alfresco on hand-made pasta dishes at Bencotto. Shop for gifts and bath products at Love & Aesthetics. Grab a scoop of authentic gelato at Pappalecco. Love is in the air at every turn. India Street (and its side streets), between Ash and Laurel streets, Little Italy.

The Loma Club Valentine’s Day Golf Tournament

Feb. 14. Enjoy the holiday with some fresh air on the golf course at The Loma Club’s special Valentine’s Day couple’s tournament. Bring your significant other or a friend (or any plus-one you want!) for a jovial nine-hole round. Tickets include a welcome drink; plus prizes awarded for best dressed, closest to the pin and more. $60 per twosome. Check-in begins at 11 a.m.; shotgun start at noon. 2960 Truxtun Road, Liberty Station.

The Sweetheart Box at Seaport Fudge Factory
V-Day Fun at Seaport Village

Feb. 14. Enjoy sea breezes and bay views with a stroll along the waterfront at Seaport Village—where fun and romantic stops and surprises await. Catch some live music near the carousel; splurge on the Sweetheart Box filled with heart-shaped truffles, along with other decadent treats at Seaport Fudge Factory; indulge in a little wine-tasting on the patio at the San Pasqual Winery Tasting Room along the Embarcadero boardwalk; and much more. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 849 W. Harbor Drive, downtown.

Photo credits: Teriyaki and Bao by Hiba Khalid. The Gluten Free Baking Company by Lindsay Kreighbaum. Rusticucina by Eckis Marketing. All other images are courtesy of the businesses featured.

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