Best Seafood in San Diego

With 70 miles of coastline, abundant marine life, and innovative chefs offering new and classic takes on seafood from La Jolla to the Mexican border, it’s easy to see why San Diego is so in love with seafood.

You can get fresh fish tacos and shrimp burritos at dozens of coastal stands, killer cups of clam chowder in local casual dining places, or fish and chips just about anywhere seafood is served.

But if you want to elevate your seafood dining experience, there are several highly regarded fine dining restaurants up and down the coast.  Here are several that come highly recommended.

Garibaldi is located downtown at the top of the InterContinental San Diego.  Mediterranean decor and a speakeasy-style bar will put you in the mood for locally sourced uni, chilled seafood, or confit tuna with preserved lemon bianca, Calabrian chili, pistachio, and bottarga flatbread. Be sure to add a glass of regional wine or curated Italian beer selections.

South Beach Bar and Grill offers a perfect view of the Ocean Beach pier that pares perfectly with a dozen different seafood tacos, fresh yellowtail, fried oysters, grilled swordfish, and lobster sauteed in a wine and garlic butter sauce. Cannonball is another people-watching favorite on the Ocean Beach Boardwalk, with a menu highlighting sushi rolls, sashimi, oysters, and crab legs.

Sally's Fish House & Bar, located at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, has panoramic views of the harbor, Coronado Bay Bridge, and downtown skyline.  A killer wine list featuring California vintages will get you started on a menu that features grilled mahi tacos, seabass fish and chips, and a soft shell crab layered with crab salad, pancetta, and avocado, lightly dressed in chipotle caper remoulade.

Ketch Grill and Taps has two locations at Portside Pier and Point Loma.  Both offer outstanding views with a fresh catch of the day with two or three seasonal varieties you can have grilled or fried, turned into a taco or sandwich, or as part of a plate.   

The Tin Fish, located at the very end of the Imperial Beach Pier, has arguably the best fish and chips in San Diego.  Less fancy and more fresh, the lightly buttered cod is dredged in Tin Fish’s secret breading mix called “Gold Dust.”  Seafood lovers can enjoy a variety of grilled fish in tacos, burritos, and sandwiches.

Other well-deserved seafood mentions include The Fishery offering fresh seafood and sushi, George's California Modern in La Jolla with imaginative, ingredient-driven California cuisine in a setting with an ocean view.  Trulock’s, Herringbone, and The Marine Room, all in La Jolla, are also other popular seafood destinations.

Also, check out Jake's Del Mar, JRDN Restaurant at Tower 23, and The Oceanaire Seafood Room in the Gaslamp Quarter.