From Oysters on the Half Shell to Fresh Sushi and Sashimi, These Restaurants Will Cure Your Seafood Cravings
You may be feeling shellfish, but San Diego’s got enough to go around when it comes to the art of seafood. Enjoy the city by the sea with the freshest it has to offer, from casual coastal to fine-dining delights. Get it grilled, taste it fried or try it raw; any way it’s served, it’s guaranteed to be fresh. With 11 sensational seafood spots in San Diego to choose from, your perfect ambiance and your favorite fish shouldn’t be hard to find.
Anything but ordinary and all-the-way amazing, Take the Bait sets the standard for all others like it. Seafood towers, specialty ceviche and a full raw bar are only a few of the delights that await you at this laid-back, new hot spot in Convoy. Let your palette explore or play it safe: the menu highlights everything from a whole fried octopus to classic fish and chips. Try a little of everything during happy hour every day from 4-6 p.m., where you’ll find $6 wines and $10 appetizer specials. The bar is another plus—specifically, Take the Bait’s garnish-stacked specialty micheladas. Of course, it’s only right a seafood platter would bring a party: catch every soccer game (and then some) on the restaurant’s 10 big-screen TVs, then stick around to watch the space transform into a DJ-equipped dance floor each weekend.
La Barca is Midway District’s newest seafood restaurant sticking to tradition. Find fresh Mexican seafood fare in a casual, inviting setting perfect for celebrating any occasion, from happy hour to birthdays. Signature homestyle dishes await—think sizzling fajitas, mouthwatering Ensenada-style tacos and the freshest ceviche! La Barca sources its ingredients from Mazatlan for the most authentic south-of-the-border experience imaginable (think mariscos and micheladas) with much of their inspiration drawing from the area’s rich, bold flavors and culinary creativity. Stop in during happy hour to enjoy specials on dishes and drinks, or you can pop in before a San Diego Gulls hockey game, where you’ll find fans ready to head over to the action at Pechanga Arena.
Location: Midway District
Put your chopsticks together for…sushi rolls and sunsets! Dive head first into the delicacies of the deep sea at Cannonball, a rooftop dining experience specializing in fresh sushi and superior vibes. Located in the heart of Mission Beach is the largest rooftop in San Diego, serving innovative dishes around social fire pits for lunch and dinner every day of the week. Catch acoustic sets at sunset every Tuesday and Thursday from 5-8 p.m. to enjoy the sounds of local artists!
Location: Mission Beach
Hook, line and sinker: this ones a catch. Sustainable seafood is at the center of every dish at Pacific Catch, from fresh fish plates and bowls to saucy sandwiches and burgers. Their menu is driven by the spirit of adventure, and their taco bar is the best place to savor it all. Explore new flavors with their three-taco plate amidst beachy decor that’s includes a full bar and heated patio.
Location: La Jolla
Casual deserves a great view too! Mitch’s Seafood is the ultimate come-as-you-are setting while maintaining the highest quality of seafood. Located right on the docks of Point Loma, enjoy a fresh fish sandwich, taco plate or salad with the ability to mix and match sauces and choice of fish! Watch the boats dock on the outdoor deck and make a seagull friend or two—if you’re lucky, you might even spot a seal!
Location: Point Loma
From views to dishes and everything in between, Tom Ham’s is top tier. Adventurous amateur historian Tom Ham built his dream restaurant in 1971 that continues to serve San Diego daily. Pop in for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch for a breathtaking view and spectacular seafood, from oysters and shellfish to gorgeous platters and entrees. If you get the chance, hold your next special event in their beautiful banquet room—until then, take your time and pop in to dine.
Location: Harbor Island
Hotel del Coronado cranks up the coastal vibes at Serẽa, a seafood dining experience specializing in sustainability with a focus on California cuisine. Each ingredient is carefully sourced to keep you feeling good from the inside out. Located just steps from the beach, this upscale oasis will tantalize your taste buds with elegant dishes. Start with oysters, continue with wood-grilled fish and finish off with coconut panna cotta—or do it your way; it’s all sure to delight.
Location: Coronado Island
Say hello to your new favorite getaway on Mission Bay. Oceana Coastal Kitchen is the Catamaran Resort’s signature restaurant, packed with seafood options and beyond for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even their champagne Sunday brunch. Start with shareable plates, then move on to sushi or cold bar options like fresh oysters and ceviche. Catch weekly specials and live music every Wednesday and Thursday from 6-9 p.m.!
Location: Mission Beach
Sophistication meets the sea at The Marine Room in La Jolla Shores, a dramatic, upscale restaurant that sits right at sea level. Dine in the elegant dining room or kick back at their new open-concept lounge. Wherever you’re seated, you’ll be one with the ocean as the waves roll in, splashing against the glass windows. Local bluefin tuna or Baja California swordfish are best served over high tide, and a full glass of red or white just takes it up one more notch.
Location: La Jolla Shores
Explore the high seas at this Pacific Beach gem! The Fishery is filled with fine seafood in a cozy, classy setting. All of their menu items feature dishes packed with ingredients in peak season to provide the most flavorful fish options possible. Try the California King salmon or Opah ‘Smash’ Burger as you nose in on the action next to the open-concept kitchen. What’s cookin’? Cross your fingers that yours is up next.
Location: Pacific Beach
Take a walk on the iron side at Ironside Fish & Oyster, specializing in…you guessed it: oysters. Catch their happy hour from 3-5 p.m. Monday through Friday for $1 oysters, or pop in any day of the week to experience their crudo catch of the day or grilled fish in caper lemon-butter sauce. Awww, shucks! Are we makin’ them blush?
Location: Little Italy
Jaclyn is a sunshine chasing San Diego native with an extensive writing background. When she isn’t word-smithing, you can find her playing beach volleyball, skating the boardwalk, or on a rooftop enjoying a drink in the sunshine with her pals.