With San Diego’s epic coastline, beachy culture, and love of craft beer and cocktails, you’d better believe it has its share of beachfront bars. When the moment (whether it’s brunch, sunset, or anything in between) calls for an unobstructed ocean view and a beverage, head to one of these spots. They don’t lack for finger lickin’ grub, either, so you’re covered there, too.
Beach House Grill
Calm your nerves after an exhilarating session of bumper cars at Belmont Park’s al fresco bar and restaurant. Grab a cabana with a front-row seat to the boardwalk, and play a round of corn hole while you have a drink and wait for slow-cooked ribs, fried seafood baskets, and desserts like churro donuts and Mexican-style paletas.
Perched just north of Crystal Pier in the heart of PB, JRDN at the Tower 23 Hotel serves up chili mango margaritas and other delights with views clear out to the blue horizon. Pair a marg with chef Stephen Gage's yellowtail crudo or some fennel pollen dusted scallops to put you in that blissed-out beach-y mood.
Jake's Del Mar
You could simply order a tiki cocktail, mai tai, or sauvignon blanc to savor the view of Del Mar’s sublime coastline from this well-liked establishment. But don’t forgo delicious eats like achiote roasted fish, steak and wedge salad, and an array of seafood and meat small plates.
OB Surf Lodge
From the dueling patios of this establishment across the street from the Ocean Beach pier, nothing stands between you, your cocktail, and an ocean breeze. The from-scratch kitchen turns out housemade brunch, lunch, and dinner while bartenders serve signature surf-inspired cocktails and nearly two dozen local craft beers and hard kombucha.
Grab a seat next to huge windows to watch over Pacific Beach’s boardwalk and nearby Crystal Pier. Food and drink specials like “mussels and mules” and “raw Wednesday” pair beverages from the full bar with items from the Baja-inspired surf-and-turf breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.
Oceanside’s iconic pier and a forest of palm trees make for an enchanted view from this steak and seafood joint equipped with an enclosed patio. Classic and decadent vodka-based cocktails (such as the San Diego Sazerac — with High West double rye, Pernod mist, simple syrup and Peychaud's bitters) round out a menu of grass fed lamb, American Wagyu meatloaf and an array of seafood options.
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