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Dec 1, 2011 08:13 AM

Late night options; Xmas Eve

Looking for some tips for my first trip to San Diego. I'm flying in on Christmas Eve and won't have my car and be out of the airport till almost 11pm. Is anything going to be open? Would love to grab a late night meal, even some take-out to bring back to the hotel. Staying at the Island Palms on Shelter Island Drive off of Point Loma.

I've been searching the forums for a variety of tips but also open to anyone's suggestions in terms of:

1. A good place for a sit-down dinner on Christmas night.
2. Authentic, non-touristy Mexican, either hole-in-the-wall, food truck, or sit-down.
3. Anything else anyone wants to throw out there! We like almost any style of cuisine as long as it's well-made. Particularly if I can get some good local craft beer while I'm there!


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  1. Shelter Island has Bali Hai for one of the best mai tai's and decent food with great views of downtown SD bayfront...great for a Xmas Eve cocktail and to go food.
    Brigantine for everyday fish tacos at happy hour.
    Tender Greens in Liberty Station
    Point Loma Seafood for excellent scallop or calamari sandwich.
    Sessions Public for craft beer
    The Pearl for some good food and drink
    Take the ferry over to the Hotel Del for Xmas dinner
    Las Cuatro Milpas under the Coronado bridge for carnitas..hole in the wall.
    Super Cocina or Mariscos German food truck..
    Red Sails in Shelter Island for drinks on Xmas Eve...super dive can walk there from the Palms after you hit up the Bali Hai..Brig too.
    Taco Shops will probably be open till midnight.

    19 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick

      Nice list BC, I think the greatest obstacle for tobelerone with the 11 pm time, most places will probably be closed.

      1. re: cstr

        Yeah, that's the thing...I've been culling together a nice list of places to eat and drink while I'm on my trip but that first night is a bit of a killer...wondering if even In and Out Burger will be open late...or 7 11? Just need something after the long journey from the east coast!

        Thanks for the replies so far, and in advance!

        1. re: tobelerone

          Where abouts on the east coast? Your CH name may suggest BOS.

          1. re: cstr

            No, I'm on the cliffs of Weehawken, NJ, overlooking NYC. My CH name is an old real name is Toby!

            BTW why does Tobelerone suggest BOS?

            1. re: tobelerone

              It's an Italian chocolate bar, pretty popular back there.

              1. re: cstr

                I know, I used to eat em all the time..had no idea they were so popular in Boston. I grew up in NYC and they were pretty popular there too!

          2. re: tobelerone

            Humphrey's/Half Moon Inn is down the street from your hotel..619.224.3577
            You can have your hotel make some sandwiches for you and send them up to the Front Desk (close at 10pm)...or you can go to Santana's Taco Shop on Rosecrans drive thru for some killer Carne Asada burritos..
            Taco Shops are your best bet or Denny's in Point Loma.

            Everyone is drinking but not much eating going on..

            1. re: Beach Chick

              Thanks...Santana's sounds like just what the doctor ordered.

              1. re: tobelerone

                Forgot that Santana's changed their name to want the Rosecrans thru..double check with them when they close for Xmas Eve.
                Stop and get a 12pk of cold ones couple blocks from your hotel at Trader Mort's Liquor...tiki torches out front..


                1. re: Beach Chick

                  A twelve pack?? My God, BC, it's Xmas Eve dinner for one, not the 5th of May!

                  1. re: mcgrath

                    Tis the season..
                    Plus, he needs cold ones while he's in town..
                    He might need to pony up to a is the holidays!

                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      Hey as long as it's a 30 pack of Pliny the Elder!

                      1. re: tobelerone

                        Pliny the younger is delicious too!
                        So good on tap..
                        30pk of Pliny would run you about $200+..
                        You have excellent taste in beer!

                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          Thanks, BC. Pretty sure the Younger won't be available anywhere while I'm there unfortunately. But I'm greatly looking forward to trying a LOT of beer I can't get here on the east coast - particularly the Pliny and the Alpine brews too.

                  2. re: Beach Chick

                    Santana's/MXN was closed on X'Mas day last year - I tried the Hillcrest and Garnet locations and both were closed - don't know what closing time is on Xmas eve, and if all locations are closed, but may be worth checking in advance. I also know that at least the PB one is closed on thanksgiving too..

              2. re: tobelerone

                In and Out Burger is open till 2:00 am, unless they have changed the schedule from my partying days.

                BUT, the nearest one to the airport is in National City, an expensive cab drive away.

                Other Chowburger hounds will most definitely correct my info.

                1. re: Gypsy Jan

                  National City? Is that a joke?

                  There is an In-n-Out on Sports Arena Blvd., not even 4 miles away. The Mission Valley and PB In-n-Outs are closer than National City, too.

                  On the other hand, I wouldn't assume they are open on Christmas Eve. Given the inspirational messages printed on some of their packaging, I'd not be surprised if they close early on that evening.

                  1. re: RB Hound

                    There you go!

                    I knew I would be corrected by SD locals.

                    When I worked on Morena Blvd., the only Inn and Out I knew was going south to home.

                    1. re: RB Hound

                      P.S. Please don't remind the family about the time I drove through the Huntington Beach Inn and Out backwards.

                      They still served my order, reaching in through my right window.

            2. Late night menu at Starlite might eb your best bet close to the airport around 11pm

              1 Reply