Credit: Luis Garcia / Q&A Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Credit: Luis Garcia / Q&A Restaurant & Oyster Bar

9 Restaurants With the Best Shuckin’ Oysters in All of San Diego

Add These to Your Foodie Bucket List

Once upon a time (in the late 1800s), oysters were abundant, inexpensive and commonly served as bar snacks. These days, they’re considered a luxury when it comes to dining. True oyster aficionados know that there are over 150 varieties of this delicacy, and their flavor profiles can range from mildly sweet to briny like ocean water. Whether you like your oysters raw, grilled, baked or barbecued, these nine restaurants are serving up some of the best oysters in San DiegoBest Oysters San Diego

 

Q&A Restaurant & Oyster Bar

Credit: Luis Garcia

Downtown Oceanside is about to get a taste of the Big Easy with Q&A opening this month! The Brick Hotel’s brand new restaurant will be offering traditional chargrilled oysters and other New Orleans-inspired eats. Oysters have been a part of New Orleans’ gastronomic history since the 19th century. These days, their vibrant street food scene offers oysters dressed in parmesan and butter, wasabi and shallots. And now you no longer have to hop on a plane to get a taste—just make your way to Q&A! Q&A is helmed by Executive Chef Quinnton Austin, who also plays a role in the culinary creations at restaurants Louisiana Purchase, Miss B’s Coconut Club and PRK 101.

@localemag New rooftop in #oceanside #cococabana #sdrooftops #localemagazine #thebrickhotel #oside #northcounty #sdfoodie #sddateideas #oceansidefood 🎥: @trendyspotsofsocal ♬ California – The Lagoons


Local Insight: Be sure to check out their amazing eats, drinks and views here!

Location: Oceanside

Q&A Restaurant & Oyster Bar

Best Oysters San Diego

Herb & Sea

Credit: Dustin Bailey

This Encinitas gem intertwines East Coast traditions with local Californian flavors. They offer fresh Pacific, Atlantic and Baja oysters at their raw bar with truly unique accouterments, such as their tarragon lemon cocktail sauce, apple mignonette and housemade hot sauce. If you’re looking for a more substantial oyster experience, Herb & Sea offers a roasted bone marrow dish, which is served with pernod, kale, gruyere and bread crumbs. Talk about decadent!

Location: Encinitas

 

Valentina

Credit: Kimberly Motos

This adorable wine bar is both cozy and classy all at once. Go for the fresh seafood and large wine selection and stay for their whimsical decor and branded lemons! You’ll enjoy their Fanny Bay oysters from Vancouver, British Columbia, which are known for their balanced sweet and salty flavor profile. Douse it in mignonette, a squeeze of Valentina’s home-grown lemon and just a dash of Tabasco for that perfect slurp.

Location: Encinitas

Best Oysters San Diego

Ironside Fish & Oyster

Credit: Andy Boyd

This is the place to convert that one friend who thinks they don’t like oysters. From the decor to the presentation of each dish, Ironside has made it impossible for any person to dislike these tasty shellfish. The restaurant has an extensive variety of oysters, along with detailed descriptions and flavor profiles for each. Want even better news? You can get select oysters for just a buck during happy hour! We recommend washing it down with their signature Iron and Ginger cocktail.

Location: Little Italy

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The Duck Dive

Don’t sleep on the oysters at this local sports bar! You can get oysters raw on the half shell or Rockefeller style, which is a local favorite. They come broiled, loaded with chopped shrimp, spinach, chipotle sauce, pepper jack cheese and bread crumbs. Be warned–they’re highly addictive, and you won’t want to share. The Duck Dive’s cocktails are never more than $12 (a rarity in San Diego), and they offer beer flights for $13!

Location: Pacific Beach 

Best Oysters San Diego

Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar

Credit: Anima Visual / Unsplash

Serving oysters since 1969, Brigantine knows its stuff when it comes to these bivalves. They keep their oysters on the half shell pretty simple with just horseradish and cocktail sauce, but they also offer grilled oysters that come dressed with shallot shoyu butter and a wonton crunch. And you can even drink your oyster here with an oyster shooter that you can throw back with a splash of vodka. Cheers!

Locations: Coronado, Del Mar, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Point Loma, Poway

 

Water Grill

Credit: Water Grill

Looking for only the freshest oysters from both the East and West Coast? Water Grill updates their oyster menu daily depending on what’s fresh and available, so they’ll taste as if you shucked them yourself. They’ll usually have over 10 different varieties for you to choose from. Pro tip: order the Olde Salt from Chesapeake Bay for a true, bold brininess that pairs perfectly with their housemade habanero-lime relish mignonette.

Location: Gaslamp

Best Oysters San Diego

The Fishery

This bustling locale doubles as both a sit-down restaurant and lively fresh seafood market. You can pop by after a trip to the beach to take some oysters home to shuck yourself or dine in and go big with the seafood tower and Dungeness crab cocktail. And you definitely don’t want to skip their grilled oysters, which are slathered in garlic butter, chili oil and topped with potato and chives.

Location: Pacific Beach

 

Seasurf Fish Co.

Credit: Seasurf Fish Co.

Del Mar’s Seasurf Fish Co. boasts a low-key, no-frills setting, and they’re one of the few places where you can find fresh oysters for just $1.50 during happy hour. Pair them with their $5 glass of New Zealand sauvignon blanc and you’ll be as happy as a clam. If you’re craving something a little more hearty, their fried oysters and poke nachos will surely hit the spot.

Location: Del Mar

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