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Finding The Best Seafood Restaurant In San Diego

Best Seafood Restaurant In San Diego

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Because it’s so close to the ocean, San Diego is home to a myriad of excellent seafood restaurants. From fast and fresh fish sandwiches to upscale tapas and starters, there’s no shortage of places to choose from.

We’ve rounded up a list of the best seafood restaurants in San Diego, with different atmospheres, must-try dishes, and price points. Read on to learn more about our picks and choose the perfect place for dinner!

Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar $$

2725 Shelter Island Drive
*Dine-in        *Curbside pickup       *Delivery

Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar has nine locations all over California, but we especially recommend this branch to enjoy your seafood specials with a stunning bay front view. This seafood restaurant in San Diego has earned high praise not just for its fresh seafood dishes, but for the excellent service and outstanding wine list.

Get a seat by the fireplace if it’s chilly outside, or reserve a table outdoors. We recommend dropping by during Happy Hour for appetizers and an early dinner. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., they offer a $6 menu for drinks and tasty bar chow.

Must-try dish: Start your meal with the fresh Oysters On The Half. For your main dishes, we recommend the Macadamia-Crusted Mahi-Mahi and Seared Scallops.

The Brigantine is open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Cannonball $$

3105 Ocean Front Walk
*Dine-in        *Takeout       *No Delivery

Cannonball is known as the best seafood restaurant in San Diego on the water. The accommodating staff, delicious food, and live music have made it a favorite with locals and tourists alike. Make sure you come early to avoid waiting for a table, as rooftop seats are on a first-come basis. 

The menu is dominated by sushi rolls, oysters, and sashimi, but even non-sushi eaters have praised the food here for its fresh, zingy flavors. Cannonball’s bartender also pours generously, so don’t miss out on the beach-inspired cocktails like the Beach Sangria, Spicy Margarita, or Mission Beach Mai Tai. 

Must-try dish: Take a bite of the Lobster Roll made with spicy lobster, avocado, and yamagobo (pickled burdock). We also strongly recommend the Cannonball Burrito, made with a sesame soy wrap bursting with shrimp tempura, crab, and tuna.

Cannonball is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

El Pescador Fish Market $$

634 Pearl Street, La Jolla
*Dine-in        *Takeout       *No Delivery

For fresh, no-frills seafood in San Diego, few places get better than the El Pescador Fish Market. Check out the fresh catch of the day, sourced from local fishermen and prepared right in front of you. You can take some home to enjoy or have them prepare it for you right there.

Drop by early as seats fill up fast. Note that you have to pay for your order after placing it at the counter. The wine and beer options are limited, but the simple menu is spectacular.

Must-try dish: Try the Burros, which are hearty seafood burritos with yogurt sauce, spinach, and black beans. They regularly offer local yellowtail and sea bass for these hefty wraps, but we suggest you check out the “Burro of the Day” to try a seasonal fish.

El Pescador Fish Market is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Fishery $$$

5040 Cass Street
*Dine-in        *Takeout 

Widely considered one of the best seafood restaurants in San Diego, The Fishery is known for a menu that highlights sustainably caught and fresh seafood. Reserve an outdoor table to enjoy your entrees with a view.

Not sure what to order? Take a peek at the seafood market in the center of the restaurant to see what’s freshest and in season. The menu often varies depending on the catch of the day, but one thing’s for sure: come hungry, as the portions are generous.

The Fishery is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday.

Must-try dish: The petite Seafood Tower is one of the most popular appetizers here, featuring fresh oysters, shrimp, ahi poke, and seabass ceviche.

Ironside Fish & Oyster $$$

1654 India Street
*Dine-in        *Takeout       *No Delivery

Tucked away in Little Italy, Ironside Fish & Oyster is one of the most popular seafood restaurants in San Diego. Helmed by Michelin-starred chef Jason McLeod, the menu gives shoutouts to local fishermen and the catch featured in each dish.

With the sheer number of seafood options and an impressive raw bar, Ironside’s menu can feel daunting. Ask the friendly staff for suggestions. Hot tip: visit during the weekday happy hour every 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to score $1 oysters and $3 octopus tacos.

Must-try dish: For an indulgent meal, pair the buttery Lobster Roll with a side of creamy Clam Chowder Fries. Fresh seafood lovers should try the Ironside Platter made with oysters, shrimp, rockfish ceviche, and shrimp aguachile.

Ironside is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Mitch’s Seafood $$

1403 Scott Street
*Dine-in        *Takeout       *No Delivery

For comforting, simple seafood dishes, we strongly recommend dropping by Mitch’s Seafood. Visitors have sung praises of the friendly service and the flavorful food, which is always prepared using freshly-caught local seafood.

Mitch’s is a favorite with locals, so parking is usually limited. But with a great location, craft beer, and great value-for-money seafood dishes, this spot easily beats other tourist-packed San Diego restaurants.

This casual restaurant has limited seating, so drop by early to get a table by the dock and enjoy the view. 

Must-try dish: We strongly recommend ordering the Tacos made with grilled local fish; the fish option varies depending on the fishermen’s catch of the day. If you’re sharing with a group, get the Mixed Seafood Platter laden with crispy calamari, fish, shrimp, and crab cakes.

Mitch’s Seafood is open every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Serẽa $$$$

1500 Orange Ave, Coronado
*Dine-in        *Takeout       *No Delivery

Though newer than most of the entries in this list, Serẽa is already considered by many as the best seafood restaurant in San Diego. The menu showcases the best of the region’s different cuisines using the freshest local seafood. Because of the restaurant’s commitment to sustainability, Chef Jojo Ruiz has been recognized as a James Beard Foundation Smart Catch Leader.

Book a patio table for an early sunset dinner. We suggest you treat yourself to one of the craft cocktails on the amazing bar menu. Refreshing libations before an elegant meal by the beach – it doesn’t get much better than this!

Must-try dish: The Local Halibut Ceviche is a tantalizing appetizer with the zing of agave-pickled serranos and lemon. We also strongly recommend the Ice Cold or Wood Roasted Shellfish. Simply prepared and served with a few condiments on a side, these dishes showcase the best of San Diego’s freshest catch.

Serea is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Friday to Saturday, and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Try These Restaurants For The Best Seafood In San Diego

These six hotspots are all strong contenders for the best seafood restaurant in San Diego, California. With different atmospheres, specialties, and price points, you’re sure to find a great place on this list.

If you’re planning to go to other cities for seafood specialties, check out our other guides on this site. We’ll help you find the best places for fresh and sustainably caught seafood in the area.

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