San Diego, CA

Best Fancy Restaurants in San Diego Part 1


Alright friends. Its date night. You promised your significant other you would take them out somewhere special. The day has come, and you completely forgot to look up a place and make reservations. Your palms are sweaty. Your knees are spaghetti. WHAT DO YOU DO?!

You look up ‘fancy places to eat in San Diego’ and find my list of course! I have conveniently laid out the best places to go for a special occasion, a celebration, a date night, or a girls’ night! These places have an amazing ambiance, good food, and good service. They’re the places to go when you’re looking to drop a pretty penny, if you know what I mean. If you’re looking to get a few entrees, an app, a few drinks and a dessert, most of these places will be in the $100-$200 range (or more depending how much you want to splurge). I promise you these places are worth it though! Read on to find out why. And just my usual disclaimer: all these spots could be #1 depending on your preferences! They are all equally amazing and the order doesn’t necessarily reflect a hard best-to-worst.

1. Lumi

Lumi opened this past summer, and the moment their online reservation system went live they were completely booked out. The hype was REAL and upon visiting, I was worried it would be overblown. Boy was I wrong. Lumi is exactly what it purports to be: a dazzling, show stopping rooftop restaurant with incredibly innovative Japanese and Peruvian fusion cuisine. I would literally drop $1000 on their food if I could (maybe one day! A girl can dream lol). It’s THAT good. To get to Lumi, you step into an elevator that takes you to the top floor. The doors open, and you’re immediately taken aback by the gorgeous view and Lumi’s eccentric décor. Once seated, you’re given the menus, and good luck deciding on what to get! Now let me talk about the drinks. I ordered the Oath of Yakuza (sake, strawberry, vanilla, lavender, fresh lemon, egg white- it has pictures ‘painted’ onto them! See below.) This drink really set the tone for night- it’s one of the best drinks I’ve ever had. I followed up with the Suzume (vodka, matcha coconut, lime, aloe liqueur) and OH. MY. GOD. Amazing. I knew I was in trouble when the waiter walked by our table carrying a tray of them, because I briefly considered mugging him. Yes, right in the middle of restaurant. That’s what that drink did to me.

Now onto the food! Lumi is headed by Chef Akira Back, a Michelin starred chef with sixteen restaurants. If you were to only get one dish from the entire menu, I would without a doubt recommend the Nazo 9, or Lumi’s signature mystery box. It’s chef Akira’s version of an omakase, with different fresh ingredients used every night. You’re given nine bites, ranging from uni to wagyu to scallop. A minimum of two people is required and it totals at $90. Did your jaw drop a little? I know I know, but I promise it’ll drop even further once you have your first bite! I was absolutely floored at Chef Akira’s finesse; every ingredient was paired beautifully, every fish had a sauce, or a garnish, or fresh wasabi (which is WAY better than regular wasabi by the way). Every bite was a ‘wow’ moment. Outside of that, I would recommend the Akira Back pizza, which is a stunning tuna, serrano, red onion, beets, tomato, micro shiso, ponzu mayo, truffle oil. It might sound weird, but trust me this fish pizza works!

2. Huntress Steakhouse

Huntress is run by the same restaurant group as Lumi, and you can tell they have VERY high standards for their restaurants. The gorgeous interior of Huntress will make you feel like a million bucks. It’s opulent, it’s lux, it has one of the most show stopping interiors in all of San Diego. The moody, romantic ambiance is perfect for wowing your significant other or having a girls’ night out (ladies, THIS is where you wear your sexy black dresses!) We split an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert, and they not only hit the mark, but far surpassed it. For the entrée, we got the seared wagyu beef sashimi. Perfect sear, loads of umami, with a vinaigrette that cut through the fat perfectly. The entrée was the Miso Chilean Sea Bass with dashi consommé, floating vegetables, truffle prawn wontons. The broth was luscious and silky, the fish had a heavenly texture, and I don’t know if I’ve ever had a better sea bass in my life. The true showstopper was the dessert, the magic mushroom. A mushroom so perfect it looks fake! It comes out on a platter cloaked in smoke. The waiter lifts the cloche off and the smoke wisps away, revealing the mushroom. I probably spent half an hour taking pictures of this dessert alone. The inside is filled with cherry, vanilla, dark chocolate, pistachio gelato.

Huntress also has a brunch that I would highly recommend.

3. Top of the Market

When in San Diego, one must partake in the seafood. Look no further than Top of the Market, with not only top notch seafood, but also top notch views of the harbor. I always recommend this restaurant for those that are from out of town and looking for the quintessential bougie seafood experience. As a shrimp fanatic, I have tried all different kinds of shrimps across San Diego- and TOTM has the freshest. Straight from the sea of Cortez (which I actually thought was a fake place smh)! I lost my spiny lobster virginity here, and I have no regrets- it was everything I hoped for ;) Luscious, buttery, plump and thicc. All the other seafood we got here was cooked to perfection! And the drinks were amazing. Top of the Market is definitely a hidden, underrated gem when it comes to seafood. Come here for a classy fine dining experience with a view that’ll impress ANYBODY! Even your crotchety grandpa.

Stay on the lookout for part 2 friends!

Don’t forget to check out my Instagram page, foodventurewithanna, for more delicious bites. Check out my youtube worldventurewithanna if you’re into mukbangs or you need something to laugh at!

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Covering the latest and greatest in San Diego! Follow me on instagram for more food porn! My food page is foodventurewithanna, my personal is worldventurewithanna. You can also find me on youtube under worldventurewithanna :) Thank you for your support!

San Diego, CA

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