Dining with a View – The Best of San Diego Oceanfront Dining

Whether you’re a San Diego native, hosting out-of-town family, or making the most of a San Diego vacation experience, nothing beats a meal with an incredible waterfront view. Lucky for you, San Diego County has a beautiful coastline full of delicious options – all with a not-to-be-missed view. We have a list of the best San Diego restaurants with a view that you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

When visitors come to San Diego, the first thing they have a hard time wrapping their heads around is the fact that downtown San Diego isn’t on a beach. There isn’t even a good beach to at least stick your toes in, and say you went to the beach. However, you can find amazing beaches both North and South of downtown San Diego that range from the most family-friendly, to the most dog-friendly, to beaches for the adventure junkie, or wild animal watcher. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed dinner with a stellar view and laid-back dress code, or a romantic, upscale dining experience complete with an extensive wine list and fresh seafood, San Diego has a dining room for everyone.

Pull up a chair for SoDiego’s best oceanfront dining spots – we hope you’re hungry!

Sea180 - SoDiego

Sea 180

If you’re keen for that classic “drinks on the beach; toes in the sand” vibe, Sea 180 Coastal Tavern in Imperial Beach is calling your name. This place has a great Happy Hour that runs every day of the week. Enjoy your cocktails alongside a delicious appetizer from their surprisingly large Happy Hour food selection all while watching the local surfers catch some waves.

 

Sun Deck Bar and Grill

What can you say about the Hotel del Coronado that hasn’t already been said a million times by awestruck visitors over the decades? How about “yes, the historic Victorian hotel is gorgeous; yes, the Del’s beaches are the stuff of San Diego legend BUT have you tried the Hotel del Coronado’s Sun Deck Bar and Grill?” Grab outdoor seating next to one of the fire pits overlooking the Del’s famous beaches and enjoy one of their well-mixed cocktails or a local beer to say you’ve experienced the iconic oceanfront resort, Hotel del Coronado, at sunset and it’s everything they say it is.

 

Caroline’s Seaside Cafe

This quaint little spot near La Jolla shores is the perfect place to enjoy a casual weekend brunch with family or friends. Enjoy breathtaking views from the beachfront patio as you delight in a fresh, seasonal lunch. Once you finish up your food, you can head down to the beach for some fun in the sun.

 

Ketch Grill and Taps

This new spot, located right on the San Diego Harbor is the spot to be. It’s a modern tavern with a trendy vibe (and an absolutely incredible view). Located right on the water, this spot combine delicious food and cocktails with incredible views. Enjoy lunch, brunch, dinner, and of course, happy hour! 

Map It – 2614 Shelter Island Drive

San Diego CA 92106

For knock-your-socks-off views, just a stone’s throw from downtown San Diego, head out to Harbor Island right across from the San Diego International Airport. Park your car, and enjoy a short stroll along the San Diego Bay before kicking back in Coasterra. You can either sit outside on the patio or inside the oceanfront room with floor-to-ceiling windows. Stop by on Thursday evenings for live music and tasty modern Mexican fare – just don’t forget to order one of their craft cocktails, like the crowd favorite coconut margarita!

You can’t visit San Diego without a taste of a proper fish taco.  Hit up South Beach Bar and Grill in Ocean Beach (OB, if you’re talking to a local). Head upstairs to their rooftop deck and enjoy arguably the best fish tacos in San Diego with an ocean view to rival many far more expensive restaurants in San Diego. If you’ve got a free Sunday morning, don’t miss the bottomless mimosas during Sunday Brunch.

The most happening beach boardwalk in San Diego is easily the wide, beautiful stretch from Mission Beach to Pacific Beach. This is the fun beach-town atmosphere winter dreams are made of, and now you can take a delicious, relaxing break from it all at Cannonball. Touted as San Diego’s biggest oceanfront rooftop restaurant, it’s the perfect place for a craft beach-inspired cocktail and some of the best Pacific Rim-inspired sushi and Japanese small plates in town.

 

Waterbar - SoDiego

Waterbar

Just north of Mission Beach is the equally popular Pacific Beach (PB according to locals). As far as oceanfront bars in SD go, Waterbar is the perfect place to grab a seat inside. Whether you’re escaping the sun or a chilly ocean breeze, you’ll find great food made with quality ingredients on the menu at this new PB darling. The salt and vinegar fries are the perfect complement to the ocean view room, the pork belly toast is a favorite and easily shareable, a side of their standout coconut rice goes perfectly with nearly everything on the menu, and brunch is always a good idea at this hot new venue.

The ocean views in San Diego are plentiful and amazing but don’t forget about the beautiful water views to be had around Mission Bay. The casual Barefoot Bar in Mission Bay has lush tropical landscape and beautiful views of all the sailboats in Mission Bay. It’s easy to get here by land or water since they have boat dock for those wanting to dock and enjoy their frequent live music and seasonal Californian cuisine.

If the family is in town and you really want to set the tone for an amazing visit, start with lunch in La Jolla at George’s at the Cove for a top-notch fine dining experience. While every meal at George’s is excellent, lunch on the rooftop is reasonably affordable and offers excellent views of the rocky La Jolla Cove and beautiful Pacific views. It’s also surprisingly kid-friendly with a children’s menu and a small toy (Wikki Stix last time we were there) to help keep them entertained while you catch up.

Also in La Jolla, Eddie V’s serves an extensive lunch and dinner seafood menu with great bar bites for those who don’t want to splurge. Eddie V’s has live jazz in the evenings, making it a perfect way to cap off your day of shopping, playing in the sand at La Jolla Shores and seal watching in downtown La Jolla at the Children’s Pool.

 

Poseidon - SoDiego

Poseidon

North of La Jolla in Del Mar, Poseidon should absolutely be on your to-do list. Right on the beach with indoor and outdoor patio seating and the sound of the ocean accompanying your meal, you can’t go wrong. You’ll be extra happy that you ordered the coconut shrimp, seafood grill, and seafood linguine. Between the gorgeous sunset views and delicious seafood, this restaurant makes for a great date night idea in San Diego!

If your San Diego plans include driving Hwy 101 (and let’s be honest – they absolutely should), Pacific Coast Grill in Cardiff by the Sea is the perfect place to stop. Every dining seat in the restaurant has a view of the ocean and the quality cuisine has many people saying this is the best oceanfront restaurant north of Del Mar and quite possibly in all of North County. Don’t miss the lobster tacos that everyone is raving over!

Bellies full, thirst quenched, happy and dreaming of those beautiful sunny days and gorgeous San Diego sunsets over the ocean, we’d have it no other way here in America’s Finest City!  For custom tour inquiries, make sure to consult with our expert staff. We would love to show you some of the breathtaking viewpoints in San Diego!

Book a tour today!