This New Year’s Eve is special, marking the dawn of a new decade. To celebrate, San Diego is offering plenty of opportunities from family time at Legoland California, hanging with four-legged companions at area venues or downing craft beer at local breweries.
Want to get dressed up in your finest cocktail attire? Prefer to wear a mask? Want to take a trip down the rabbit hole? Parties of all kinds are on the docket these final days of 2019.
Here’s to good health, happiness and success in the coming year and always.
Food and libations
Ring in the new decade at Bier Garden, 641 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas. Join other revelers as they watch the ball drop while hosting an East Coast Toast at 9 p.m. Bier Garden has a dog-friendly patio so your pup can enjoy the New Year, too. Doors close at 11:30 p.m. 760-632-2437. biergardenencinitas.com.
The Corner Drafthouse at 495 Laurel Street, Bankers Hill, is the spot for appetizing bites and brews, as well as to view the New York ball drop. Doors close at 11 p.m. 619-255-2631. thecornerdrafthouse.com.
Slide into a seat at the Chef’s Counter at Fort Oak at 1011 Fort Stockton Drive for one of two New Year’s Eve seatings, which are open to 10 people each, where guests will watch Executive Chef Brad Wise and his culinary team create perfect plates. The 6 p.m. event has a five-course tasting menu. The second seating is 8:30 p.m. and features a seven-course tasting menu. In the main dining room diners can enjoy a 45-day house dry-aged Tomahawk, plus the regular menu of hearth-fired flare. Times vary. 619-722-3398. fortoak.com.
Lionfish, at the Pendry Hotel, 435 Fifth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter. Celebrating New Year’s Eve with a special prix-fixe menu curated by James Beard Smart Catch Leader and Executive Chef Jose “JoJo” Ruiz. An amuse-bouche with a savory bite of specialty crafted caviar sandwich will kick off the meal, followed by a variety of succulent appetizers, entrees and desserts. Starting at 5 p.m. $120.20. 619-738-7200. lionfishsd.com.
NYE Beachfront Bash rings in 2020 with a multi-venue celebration. Start at South Draft Mission, 3105 Ocean Front Walk, Mission Beach. Feast, drink and dance from beach to rooftop at San Diego’s hottest New Year’s Eve celebration with rotating DJs, live music and a champagne toast. The boardwalk will come alive with unique atmospheres across multiple venues, including Beach House, Draft South Mission and Cannonball. Must be 21 or older. 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Tickets start at $49. nyebeachfrontbash.com.
San Diego’s newest steakhouse, Rare Society at 4130 Park Boulevard, University Heights, will ring in the New Year with retro steakhouse fare including champagne-friendly starters such as oysters Rockefeller with bechamel, spinach and arugula, fennel and bread crumbs, and wood-fired steaks like the 16-ounce prime bullseye ribeye with a choice of sauces, or the shareable executive and associate platters featuring selections of chef-determined cuts and accoutrements of the night. 619-501-6404. raresocietysd.com.
Stone Craft Beer New Year, 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido. Relive the music and vibes of one of the most colorful and unique decades, with the added bonus of all the excellent craft beer that wasn’t around back then. The Stone Craft Beer New Year will include its take on the ’80s comfort foods we all love—from meatloaf bites to a Pop-Tarts dessert station. Ticket includes three drink tokens good for draft beer and select wines, specialty commemorative glass and midnight toast, tasty bites and desserts. Live music from Rock of Ages, followed by DJ Earl Henry (DJ Early). 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. $79-$99. 760-294-7866. stonebrewing.com.
Stone Craft Beer New Year, 2816 Historic Decatur Road, Liberty Station. Overboard will take you back to the late ’70s/early ’80s, when artists like Christopher Cross, Doobie Brothers, Hall & Oates and Toto dominated the airwaves. Celebrate New Year’s Eve and relive the music and vibes of one of the most colorful and unique decades. Complete the night with craft beer and unique ’80s comfort foods. 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. $79-$99. 619-269-2100. stonebrewing.com.
Celebrate the New Year with dinner and dancing by the ocean at Tower23 and JRDN at 723 Felspar Street, Pacific Beach. Enjoy a prix-fix menu at JRDN before you dance 2019 away to DJ vibes at Tower23. JRDN will offer two dinner seatings at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. JRDN’s prix-fixe dinner includes entry to the Tower23’s party. Those who choose to opt out of dinner at can join in on the party for a separate entry. Doors open at 10 p.m. $45-$85. 858-270-2323. t23hotel.com.
New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party at Common Theory, 4805 Convoy Street, Clairemont. Join Chef Jonathan Bautista for an enchanted evening inside the Realm, and ring in the New Year at this exclusive masquerade party. Live music, hosted punch bowls, tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, raffles and a midnight champagne toast. VIP tables with bottle service available. Masquerade masks encouraged. Cocktail attire required and strictly enforced. Hors d’oeuvres at 8:30 p.m. Prices start at $95. 858-384-7974. commontheorysd.com.
The Mad Hatter’s Ball at The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa, 5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad. Toast to the New Year at The Mad Hatter’s Ball, a family-friendly event that is sure to keep everyone entertained. Guests can enjoy a night filled with kid-friendly activities, a gourmet buffet and live DJ, and balloon drop. Guests are encouraged to dress in “Alice and Wonderland” attire, and prizes will be given for the best-dressed family and best-dressed couple. Doors open 6:30 p.m. $65-$150. 760-827-2800. westincarlsbad.com.
At The Westgate Hotel’s Versailles Ballroom at 1055 Second Avenue, Downtown, partiers can ring in 2020 in dazzling style. The party will feature pre-dinner cocktails, a celebratory Latin-influenced buffet dinner, a DJ and a memorable live music performance from Westgate Hotel favorite Julio De La Huerta. Fiesta vibes, chic cocktails, fabulous cuisine and a champagne toast at midnight are expected at San Diego’s most elegant New Year’s celebration. Cocktail attire is required. 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. $165. 619-238-1818. westgatehotel.com.
Don your most festive holiday dresses and getups and head out for a night of New Year’s festivities in Little Italy at Zinqué, 2101 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy. For a bite to eat before the ball drops, try Zinqué, the city’s newest French bistro, café and wine bar. Cozy up by the fire and pop a bottle and toast to the new decade. 619-915-6172. lezinque.com.
OMNIA Nightclub San Diego at 454 Sixth Avenue, Gaslamp District, invites guests to usher in the new decade with a New Year’s Eve lineup spanning Friday, December 27, to Tuesday, December 31. They will hear the acclaimed sounds of NGHTMRE and Savi, while New Year’s Eve partygoers will ring in 2020 in a confetti-filled atmosphere paired with a DJ set by Klingande. 619-544-9500. omnianightclubs.com.
New Year’s Day food and libations
Forget the hangover on New Year’s Day, get out and imbibe more—on food and breakfast drinks.
The annual New Year’s Day Pajama Party at the Corvette Diner, located at 2965 Historic Decatur Road, will keep the festivities going with free gaming credits for those who show up in PJs, plus a pajama contest at 1 p.m. Enjoy a brunch menu including a breakfast burrito and chicken and waffles, and specialty brunch drinks for only $2.20 for the grown-ups. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 619-542-1476. cohnrestaurants.com/corvettediner.
Fort Oak Dog-Friendly Brunch, 1011 Fort Stockton Drive. On New Year’s Day, Fort Oak will host a dog-friendly New Year’s Day brunch in collaboration with Tito’s Vodka. Bring your pups to celebrate 2020 on the patio with brunch specials, celebratory cocktails, dog-friendly treats, and games. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prices vary. fortoak.com. 619-722-3398.
Neighborhood favorite Trust, located at 3752 Park Boulevard, Hillcrest, will celebrate 2020 with a selection of new dishes including smoked carrot and baby beets, Icelandic cod, and pork and beef dumplings. The signature special is a 45-day house dry-aged tomahawk. Keep the celebration going at a boozy brunch with Cutwater Spirits from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy a hair-of-the-dog cocktail special and New Year’s brunch dishes. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 619-795-6901. trustrestaurantsd.com.
New Year’s Eve-themed family parties
Families can get in on the New Year’s Eve revelry as well—just a little earlier.
Kids’ New Year’s Eve at Legoland, 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad. “Midnight” comes early for families at Legoland California Resort who are celebrating the New Year together without missing their bedtimes. Legoland California re-creates the Times Square ball drop with a giant Lego brick that falls 22 feet. Join in the festivities with party hats and special glasses for viewing fireworks. The party concludes just in time for the countdown at 6 p.m. with a fireworks display illuminating the sky. 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Prices vary. legoland.com/california.
New Year’s Eve Soiree on the Bay at Loews Coronado Bay Hotel. Enjoy stunning bay views, culinary delights, and live music by the Redwoods Revue, along with a midnight countdown, balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight. This family-friendly event also includes access to a kids’ zone featuring video games, movies, activities and a 9 p.m. bounce house with its own balloon drop. 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. $35-$50. 619-424-4000. loewshotels.com.