arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Dining with a View in San Diego

Restaurants Overlooking the Ocean or San Diego Bay

From the Pacific Ocean to San Diego Bay, hundreds of restaurants offer memorable meals just steps from the shore. Here are some of local waterfront favorites.

By: Ann Wycoff

A Feast for all Your Senses

With more than 70-miles of coastline, it's no surprise San Diego is sprinkled with many spectacular spots for waterfront dining. From quaint Coronado to the sands of Cardiff Beach, there are restaurants galore offering outstanding meals with a view to match. Here are some local favorites that are as appealing to the eye as they are to the appetite. 


At San Diego's Embarcadero you'll find a bounty of bayfront restaurants waiting to be explored. In the center of Seaport Village in the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Sally's Seafood on the Water lives up to its name with outdoor tables overlooking the marina and a menu that ranges from sushi to ceviche and beyond. Just a few blocks north, you'll find the Fish Market, where the daily catch is char-grilled and oysters are served on a deck suspended above the water with a backdrop of sailboats. Or, get the ultimate view out on the water with a sunset cruise dinner aboard the Hornblower or Flagship boats.

Point Loma Peninsula

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 still rules. On Shelter Island, the 1960s hot spot, Bali Hai Restaurant, still celebrates tiki culture, and its chic renovation has further elevated its appeal as a perfect spot for Mai Tais and South Seas cuisine like coconut shrimp pupus, ahi poke and fresh catch. Diners can arrive in style by boat and dock right by Bali Hai. Vessel is the mod restaurant at Kona Kai Resort that offers up views of the yacht-dotted harbor and cliff-side mansions on Point Loma. The menu features fun small plates and handcrafted cocktails, and live music and underwater images on giant video screens add to the scene. Retro cool Island Prime - C Level Lounge and sister restaurant Coasterra 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 all the sleek yachts and water play fun. Humphreys offers inventive appetizers, fresh seafood and steaks with great views and nightly entertainment both at the BackStage Live Music Club and Humphreys Concerts by the Bay.

Mission Bay and Beaches

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 an undulating wall, highlighted by colorful spotlights and an open-air patio separated from the beach by panes of glass where diners nosh on seafood and steaks while sipping colorful cocktails and watching the sun set. At Oceana Coastal Kitchen at the Catamaran Resort & Spa, alfresco dining and a seafood-centric menu await. Enjoy sushi, crabcakes, braised scallops and more, while watching the stand-up paddle boarders and kayakers glide across Mission Bay.

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 and executive chef Bernard Guillas' delicious contemporary French cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. At George's at the Cove, three restaurants await, all with ocean vantage points. George's Cal Modern melds executive chef Trey Foshee's progressive coastal cuisine that celebrates our local farms with spectacular views of La Jolla Cove, the cliffs of Torrey Pines and the endless blue of the Pacific. Up top, Ocean Terrace calls for roof-top dining that features handcrafted cocktails and SoCal gourmet casual cuisine like fish tacos, kale salad, pastas and more. That same menu can be found at Level 2, a lovely ocean-view spot to drink in the view and sip their Sea3 margarita with mango, lime zest and chile-infused tequila, agave and fresh lime juice, all strained over a saline ice cube with suspended seaweed.

North Coastal

Pacific Coast Grill sits waterfront in lovely Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Grab a table on the patio or upper deck, an idyllic setting to sip blackberry margaritas, nibble on sushi rolls and watch the local surfing talent catch the last waves of the day at sunset. Dolphins frolic in the kelp beds and whales can be spotted seasonally as they migrate and feed off the coast.


Though not truly an island, at least not anymore, Coronado does offer nearly 360 degrees of waterfront dining. Iconic Hotel del Coronado, with its Queen Anne architecture and red roof turrets, is home to 1500 Ocean, a sophisticated gem that serves up California coastal cuisine and stellar views of the Pacific. There's also waterfront dining at the Coronado Ferry Landing where you'll find Peohe's, known for its flavorful Pacific island-inspired fare and umbrella drinks, and Candelas on the Bay for a modern upscale take on the flavors of Mexico.

So whether you're an adventure seeker looking for dramatic surf and far-flung flavors or just a seafood lover looking for a port-side perch, San Diego's restaurants deliver on picturesque views of the Pacific or San Diego Bay that are a perfect pairing to their palate-pleasing fare.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you


$13 Whale Watching Cruise Special During Migration (Save $23)

Davey's Locker Whale Watching & Sportsfishing
Valid: Jan 17 - ongoing

Enjoy 2.5 hour whale watching cruises with multiple times daily to choose from. Departing from Newport Beach view gray whales on their migration along with finback whales, minke whales, humpback...


10% off tour

Epicurean San Diego - Food, Farm & Libation Tours
Valid: Jan 3 - ongoing

Enjoy 10% off your tour.  Group size 4 to 14 people.  Must contact Stephanie to apply - Not applicable on farm dinners.


Pet-Friendly Package at the Empress Hotel of La Jolla

Empress Hotel of La Jolla
Valid: Mar 6 - ongoing

With a one-time fee, this hotel package will provide a pet bed for your special friend and a baggie of milk bones. Dogs are welcome to stay with us and enjoy exploring the beautiful La Jolla area...

Events to check out


Taste of Gaslamp

Gaslamp Quarter Association
Jun 17, 2017

Join us for the 23rd Annual Taste of Gaslamp, San Diego’s original culinary tour! On Saturday, June 17, 2017, the Gaslamp Quarter will be showcasing the excellent dining options available in our...


Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2017

The Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed strategically around the Bay...


Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 20 - Jul 23, 2017

Comic-Con ® International  is the largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, attracting thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all...

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More





Follow Us


English | Change Language

Select your country or region

ChinaGermanyGreat BritainJapanMexicoKoreaSwitzerlandBrazilFranceAustraliaCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish