Restaurant Week revival aims to aid struggling businesses

Diners share a meal and a toast at Gravity Heights in Sorrento Mesa during a past San Diego Restaurant Week.
(Courtesy of Gravity Heights)

With the hope that 2021 will be a year of recovery for local restaurateurs, San Diego Restaurant Week will return in January for one week of dining specials at as many as 160 restaurants.

The news couldn’t be more welcome as county health officials announced Tuesday that rising COVID case numbers have pushed the county down into the most restrictive purple tier. On Saturday morning, all restaurants will be required to close their dining rooms indefinitely. In recent months, restaurants had been allowed to open up 25 percent of their indoor tables, but the growing pandemic led to tighter restrictions this week.

The local chapter of the California Restaurant Association had canceled the twice-yearly Restaurant Week promotion in September due to the pandemic. In its place, a less-structured event called Dine Diego was held, where diners could visit the website to find a list of restaurants offering a range of specials on takeout and outdoor dining.

But from Jan. 17-24, the traditional San Diego Restaurant Week format will return. Participating restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe dinner menus at $20, $30, $40, $50 or $60 per person. Also available will be two-course prix fixe lunch menus at $10, $15, $20 and $25.

The big difference in January will be that diners can customize their dishes and choose whether they’d like to pick up the meal for takeout or eat it on-site, outdoors. For details, visit

Pam Kragen writes about San Diego restaurants and new food products for The San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at