When it comes to seafood, San Diego is quite the catch. The bountiful Pacific Ocean and nearby lakes are a year-round playground for both amateur and savvy fishermen. Local chefs love to get creative with the catch of the day. If you are a seafood connoisseur, you can delight in coastal dishes prepared with ingredients caught nearby that same day. Better yet, you can even enjoy these fresh seafood dishes just steps away from the fishing docks and piers where they were caught.
Neighborhood: Point Loma
For more than 50 years, this family-owned fish market and restaurant has been a favorite among locals for fresh seafood. Their market has a wide selection of fish and shellfish. The restaurant offers outdoor patio seating with beautiful harbor views. Its extensive boat-to-table menu ranges from ceviche and lobster rolls to sashimi and their famous clam chowder. Caught your own? You can have Point Loma Seafoods custom fillet and smoke your fish.
Neighborhood: Ocean Beach
This Ocean Beach shop is a hidden gem for Hawaiian-style Poke. Locals flock here for their fresh pre-marinated salmon, octopus, tuna and shrimp. Favorites include the furikake salmon and shoyu ahi served by the scoop, pound or as a plate with two sides plus rice. Tip: order to-go, walk to the beach, and enjoy while watching folks fish off the Ocean Beach pier.
Neighborhood: San Diego’s Embarcadero
With incredible bay views, this San Diego staple boasts two floors of seafood heaven. The first floor, The Fish Market, is a casual seafood restaurant and market selling live and ready-to-eat smoked salmon. Its dining menu highlights abundant offerings from the sea: oysters, steamed shellfish, lobster, seafood pasta and fish steaks. You can view the USS Midway Museum, a favorite attraction among visitors, from its outdoor patio. Perched above The Fish Market, Top of the Market offers a fine dining experience. The open rooftop boasts stunning oceanfront views where you can wave at passing yachts and sailboats. The menu features sophisticated cuisine crafted with seafood from the market below, plus an expansive wine selection.
Neighborhood: Mission Beach
Located along the Mission Beach boardwalk in Belmont Park, Cannonball is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the sunset. Here, you can take in San Diego’s laid back vibes while watching surfers, beach goers and joggers enjoy the outdoors. The pool themed deck is one of the largest oceanfront rooftops in San Diego. Inspired by the Pacific Rim influences, the menu features fresh sushi and sashimi. Not far away, the Mission Beach Jetty gives fishing aficionados a sea of opportunities to catch their own fish.
Two words: fish tacos. Crafted in Baja Mexico and perfected in San Diego, fish tacos are a must-eat while in town. Many restaurants have their own versions, but a long-time favorite is still Oscar’s Mexican Seafood. Its Pacific Beach location is a block away from Crystal Pier, a premier spot for catching barred surfperch and California halibut. Currently open for takeout, the menu also includes ceviche, grilled fish dishes, seafood tacos and tortas.
Neighborhoods: Ocean Beach and Mission Hills
Both a fish market and an eatery, Blue Water Seafood offers some of San Diego’s freshest fish and shellfish. The Ocean Beach location boasts ample outdoor patio seating with views of the Ocean Beach pier. The dine-in and takeout menu features dishes crafted with seafood from local fishermen or their own fresh catch. You can select your favorite fish from their daily menu and customize the preparation, seasoning and marinade.
Neighborhoods: San Diego’s Embarcadero
Every Saturday from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM, the pier along Tuna Wharf Way comes alive with displays of seafood caught just hours earlier. With a focus on responsible fishing, the seafood market is where chefs and residents shop directly from local fishermen. Among the tables filled with fresh tuna, urchin, crab and squid, food vendors offer a taste of San Diego’s ocean. Don’t leave without having a fish taco or sandwich from Loaf and Fish. Their menu is crafted with the fish they caught that day. It doesn’t get any fresher than that.