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With more than 70-miles of sparking coastline, it's no surprise San Diego boasts a bevy of options when it comes to dining near the water. From the Pacific Ocean to San Diego Bay, hundreds of restaurants offer delectable meals just steps from the shore. Following are a few that stand above the rest for their unique proximity to the water, historic ambiance and tempting menu items.


Though not truly an island, Coronado does offer nearly 360 degrees of waterfront dining. Notable spots like Mistral at Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa and 1500 Ocean at the Hotel del Coronado are known for their cutting edge cuisine and delightful views. If you want to actually sit by the dock of the bay, head to Coronado Ferry Landing where Peohe's - Coronado Waterfront Restaurant serves up Pacific island-inspired fare and Candelas on the Bay offers a modern take on the flavors of Mexico. With patios literally on San Diego Bay, these two restaurants serve delightful cuisine in a setting that's the definition of waterfront "wow."


Head to downtown San Diego's Embarcadero and there you find a bounty of bayfront restaurants waiting to be explored. Located at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego in the center of Seaport Village, Sally's Seafood on the Water lives up to its name with outdoor tables steps from the marina and a menu that ranges from sushi to ceviche and beyond. Just a few blocks north, you’ll find more San Diego Bay landmarks: Anthony's Fish Grotto on the Bay, which for more than 60 years has lured locals with an Italian-American take on fresh seafood, and the Fish Market, where the daily catch is char-grilled and oysters are served against a backdrop of sailboats on a deck suspended above the water.

Shelter and Harbor Islands

On the other side of the bay from the Embarcadero, Shelter and Harbor Islands are home to their own waterfront icons where mid-century cool rules. On Shelter Island, the recently renovated Bali Hai Restaurant takes new advantage of the waterfront location that made it a 1960's hot spot with a revamped menu of South Seas delights and a chic, modern design. Retro cool Island Prime, on Harbor Island, also makes the most of its location with floor to ceiling windows and an over-the-water patio where it's hard not to be distracted from your spicy steak salad and lobster mac 'n cheese by boats gliding across the water.

Pacific Beach

Just steps from Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, JRDN offers a modern twist on waterfront dining. Here, overlooking the ocean waves, contemporary cuisine is paired with a cool vibe in a room filled with motion and music. The restaurant boasts a undulating wall highlighted by colorful spotlights and an open air patio separated from the beach by panes of glass where, sheltered from the ocean breeze, diners nosh on seafood and steaks while sipping colorful cocktails.

La Jolla

The grande dame of San Diego waterfront dining is most definitely the Marine Room. Built on the sands of La Jolla Shores, this iconic dining room has been a San Diego destination since debuting in 1941. The restaurant quickly became famous for pounding surf creating dramatic displays outside the expansive windows. After weathering a few intrusions by Mother Nature over the years, those windows were fitted with tempered glass so, today, diners can enjoy the action year-round without fearing the tides.

So whether you're an adventure seeker looking for dramatic surf and far-flung flavors or just a seafood lover looking for a portside perch, San Diego's restaurants deliver. From quaint Coronado to the sands of La Jolla, there are waterfront restaurants sure to satisfy your desire for fabulous dinner and a view to match.

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