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Diners' Choice: Romantic restaurants in East County

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that are the most romantic in East County? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of Lemon Grove Bistro restaurant
4.9
4.9 (51)
$30 and under
American
Lemon Grove
About the restaurant
In addition to offering comforting American favorites, our menu provides a selection of flavors inspired by our chef’s culinary experiences, ranging from classic Spanish fare to Italian favorites. Our menu changes seasonally to feature the freshest ingredients and provide an exciting dining experience throughout the year.

The Lemon Grove Bistro is in a historic mission-style building in the heart of Lemon Grove. Since 1912, it’s been a place where locals meet and build connections, whether they were picking up their mail at the Sonka General Store in 1944 or ordering custom cakes at the Grove Pastry Shop in 2012.

Come for the food. Stay to experience the inviting ambiance of the historic building and its new garden. Let’s build community--together.
Top review
SharonKvip
Dined on May 23, 2024
We had a very nice lunch with good friends. I love this place! The food is awesome and the service is excellent. It was nice to just sit and eat and talk with our friends.
A photo of Brigantine La Mesa restaurant
4.8
4.8 (4041)
$30 and under
Seafood
La Mesa
About the restaurant
A San Diego tradition since 1969, the Brigantine has received many accolades in our 40+ year history: "BEST SEAFOOD", "BEST CASUAL SEAFOOD", "BEST HAPPY HOUR", and even "BEST SWORDFISH IN THE WORLD", according to USA Today - just to name a few.



Well-known for our signature Clam Chowder, Grilled Swordfish, and Crème Brûlée, the Brigantine is a favorite among locals for consistently fresh seafood, succulent steaks and grilled meats.



With an updated nautical decor, the busy Oyster bar is hands-down the local favorite. Lush flowering foliage outdoors creates an elegant dining experience on one of two charming patios.



The La Mesa Brigantine serves dinner 7 nights a week, lunch Monday-Saturday, and brunch every Sunday.



Join us for our signature Happy Hour.
Top review
DianeMC
Dined 3 days ago
We celebrated my 87-year-old friend’s birthday here on the outdoor patio after a happy hour drink in the bar. All servers were friendly and smiling. The food and drink were good and plentiful. What a fun dinner!
A photo of Antica Trattoria restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2308)
$30 and under
Contemporary Italian
La Mesa
About the restaurant
Antica Trattoria is a warm restaurant with an old-fashioned sense of hospitality that quickly became a gathering place for dinners in Lake Murray and the rest of San Diego when it opened in 2001. For Executive Chef and Owner Francesco Basile, good cuisine is about honest flavors, fresh ingredients, and simplicity. That's the kind of food he grew up eating by the seaside in Sicily and it's what he learned in culinary school in Italy.

Why eat ordinary when you can eat extraordinary?

About reservations: We have a 15-minute grace period. Please call us if you will be running later than 15 minutes. If a later time slot is available, you may be able to switch your reservation.

We may contact you, so please ensure your email and phone number are up to date. Your table will be reserved for 1 hour 30 minutes for parties of up to 4 guests; 2 hours for parties of 5 to 8 guests; and 2 hours 30 minutes for parties of 9+. We cannot guarantee special request for tables.
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 3 days ago
We always go to Antica, it’s our Sunday night family dinner, we love all the pasta there and the service is always amazing
A photo of Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill restaurant
4.8
4.8 (343)
$31 to $50
Seafood
La Mesa
About the restaurant
Here at Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill we are committed to providing our customers with an excellent dining experience. Each dish on our menu is prepared using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients. Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill is unique with its classic Japanese design, fused with a modern bistro look combined with earth tones and lighting to create a visual atmosphere one can't forget!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 6 days ago
Entire experience was fantastic! Will definitely go again.
A photo of Giardino Neighborhood Cucina restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1014)
$30 and under
Italian
Lemon Grove
About the restaurant
Located in the middle of Lemon Grove’s charming downtown area, Giardino is a welcoming and casual Italian inspired cucina where the neighborhood gathers for fresh and flavorful classic dishes found throughout Italy.

Giardino offers an Italian-inspired menu of seasonally-driven dishes that use timeless Italian techniques and fresh ingredients. Guests will find items such as fresh seafood, pastas, pizzas and salads, as well as a variety of elements made in-house.
Top review
ChristineSvip
Dined 7 days ago
This really is a hidden gym. The weight staff was super friendly and knowledgeable. The food was fantastic and the half price bottle of wine on Wednesday is an added bonus! We live in north inland county and we will be coming back to this gym often!
A photo of Grove Steakhouse at Viejas Casino restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1696)
$31 to $50
Steakhouse
Alpine
About the restaurant
The Grove Steakhouse has been awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award. Resplendent with luxurious décor and a warm, inviting atmosphere, The Grove offers classic and contemporary cuisine for the definitive gourmet experience. Relax in calming ambience while you’re pampered by our world-class service. Our attention to detail and gourmet selections will make your dining experience a pleasure long remembered. Experience an exciting new menu, which includes an array of tantalizing entrées and desserts that are sure to satisfy and inspire you to return again and again.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 31, 2024
Anthony was an excellent server. He was very attentive to our needs.
A photo of Casa Gabriela restaurant
4.6
4.6 (626)
$30 and under
Mexican
La Mesa
About the restaurant
Chef Gabriela Lopez brings her elevated Mexican cuisine to Downtown La Mesa. Using her grandmother's recipes from Guadalajara crossed with her cosmopolitan upbringing in Tijuana, Chef Gabriela's menu features authentic hand-crafted dishes and imaginative takes on classic dishes. All of Baja California is represented along with influences from other regions in Mexico.

The spacious outdoor garden, cozy loft, and private dining areas are the perfect places to enjoy tequila and mezcal based cocktails, family celebrations, or brunch with friends.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
good selection of food. guac and salsa is great, food authentic and rich. Wish they would ring back the Brussel sprouts though.
A photo of Black Angus Steakhouse - El Cajon restaurant
4.5
4.5 (2046)
$30 and under
Steakhouse
El Cajon / Lakeside
About the restaurant
WE’VE BEEN MASTERING OUR CRAFT SINCE 1964, so you could say we know a thing or two. Our cuts are aged at least 21 days, seasoned to excellence, expertly flame-grilled and served up just the way you like it. You’ve earned it. Whether you’re here to throw back a couple with old friends or trying to finish off the High Noon Feast on your own, there’s always a seat for you. So here’s to the nights you can’t remember and the steaks you won’t forget.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 6 days ago
Excellence customer service!!! GREAT food and the waiter was fantastic!!
A photo of Prime Cut Steakhouse - Jamul Casino San Diego restaurant
4.5
4.5 (1394)
$50 and over
Steakhouse
Jamul
About the restaurant
Prime Cut is a classic American steakhouse located inside the lights and flash of an upscale Vegas-style casino just twenty minutes outside the city center. With Chef de Cuisine Greg Coyle leading our kitchen, an award-winning wine list designed by Manager & Sommelier Gary-Joseph Robertson, and a full bar featuring some of the most unique hand crafted specialty cocktails, Prime cut is the perfect place for conversation or an intimate dinner.

Specials:
Experience the best brunch in San Diego! Join us from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm every Sunday for Prime Cut’s Lobster Brunch. Enjoy a picturesque mountain view, sample from our award-winning wine list, or sip on your favorite craft cocktail while you indulge in delectable creations by Chef de Cuisine Cheryl Cruz.

Lobster Brunch • Sunday • $59.95

Only guests over 21 years old may attend.
Top review
Chrissyvip
Dined 6 days ago
Upscale restaurant with lots of ambience. Soft music in the background, great food, great server, Paloma. The dessert cart is beautiful, everything about this restaurant is elegant. This was our 2nd dinner reservation and booked another for this coming week.
A photo of Bull & Bourbon Steakhouse restaurant
4.5
4.5 (1555)
$31 to $50
Steakhouse
El Cajon / Lakeside
About the restaurant
Bull & Bourbon is a cut above other steakhouses – literally. Our innovative approach to classic steakhouse cuisine makes for a multi-sensory experience. Enjoy steaks prepared on our custom wood burning grill paired with our extensive and hand-selected bourbon menu for flavors that beautifully complement each other. Because we source local coastal California seafood, use steaks cut from our in-house butcher program, and choose select cuts from our on-site aging room, we always start with top-quality ingredients to create mouthwatering dishes. You will always know from where your food has been sourced, and our chefs approach cooking as the true art that it is.
Top review
WesleyF
Dined 3 days ago
Great meal and excellent service! Big thanks to our waiter Daniel.
Explore Diners' Choice best of East County
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