San Diego’s Best Waterfront Restaurants and Bars
Dining and drinking alfresco is always a pleasure. Doing so while simultaneously enjoying some SoCal sunshine and warm ocean breezes just adds another whole layer of bliss to the experience. Thanks to our amazing weather and miles of coastline, San Diego is one of the best spots on Earth to head to the beach or bay when you’re in the mood for some refreshment. So if enjoying a leisurely experience just steps from the water sounds like your speed, we’ve compiled a rundown of some of San Diego’s best waterfront restaurants and bars.
Humphreys SoCal Dining and Music (located on-site)
Our own exceptional eatery is a great option for a delicious waterfront dining experience. Enjoy locally sourced seafood, steaks, and other fresh twists on creative cuisine. Not only will you be treated to the perfect plates, but the views of the marina are unbeatable! Whether you’re grabbing a bite before attending one of Humphreys Concerts, or simply want to take in the views, there’s no way to go wrong when you stop in for a visit. Locals’ tip: our famous Humphreys Brunch is back! Join us Sundays for the locals’ favorite champagne brunch, with water views, mimosas, prime rib, omelets, crab and more.
2241 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
Bali Hai (0.3 miles)
Our Shelter Island neighbors at Bali Hai offer a grand Polynesian dining experience wrapped in a delightfully kitschy, tropically Googie exterior. The potent fruity beverages (a.k.a. their infamous Bali Hai Mai Tai) and sweeping San Diego Bay views may be some of their biggest draws, but the crazy-fresh seafood and sumptuous steaks are what you’re really here for. To get there just enjoy a quick stroll across the island from us!
2230 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
Blue Wave Bar & Grill (0.5 miles)
As a classic California café, Blue Wave offers fine dining in a casual atmosphere. You’ll find them right in front of Shelter Island’s marina and alongside the stunning outdoor pool at our sister property, Best Western Plus Island Palms. The menu is fresh, local, and prepared daily — so you’re sure to find something that satisfies. Don’t forget to grab a refreshing cocktail from the full-service bar so you can sip and savor while you scope out the marina view. We suggest stopping by on a Thursday to catch live Polynesian dancers on their Aloha Thursdays.
2051 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
Ketch Grill and Taps (0.3 miles)
Ketch Grill and Taps offers fresh seafood in a modern setting just a 5-minute walk from our front door. Craft beer, an extensive wine list, and a spectacular harborside view are all on the menu here. You’ll also discover a full range of breakfast, lunch and dinner choices like New England-style chowder, a delicious short-rib melt sandwich, macadamia-crusted mahi mahi, and sweet chile-glazed salmon. Be sure to ask your server about the “Ketch of the Day”, too. It’s always fresh, locally sourced and delicious.
2614 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
The Holding Company (3.2 miles)
This inviting three-story hangout in Ocean Beach is located just half a block from the water. The always-hopping space features live music, Asian-inspired cuisine, and lively happy hours. When you arrive, head up to the rooftop for a uniquely Pacific perspective. We recommend trying the Phở Dip — a sandwich inspired by the legendarily delicious Vietnamese soup. And definitely don’t pass up their famous Skrewball Peanut Butter whiskey shot. After originating right here, this spirit has become popular nationwide.
5046 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107
Island Prime/C-Level (3.5 miles)
Island Prime (and its on-site C-Level Lounge) takes oceanfront dining to an entirely new level. Set on piles directly over the water, this eatery lets you go beyond the beach — offering exceptional views of the San Diego Bay and downtown skyline. The menu also offers an elevated experience, specializing in steaks and seafood. Start with the splendid Kumiai oysters or crab cakes before diving into grilled swordfish, prime ribeye, or the best rack of lamb in town. Their unparalleled views make this a fantastic choice for a romantic evening or first date; and is also very popular for business lunches if you’re looking to impress a client.
880 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
Cannonball (5.8 miles)
Cannonball is a favorite spot among locals. Once you check it out, you won’t be surprised as to why that might be. Directly overlooking the Mission Beach Boardwalk, Cannonball can lay claim to having the largest beachfront rooftop in the city, with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. They also serve always-fresh sushi, seafood, and fresh California cuisine. You’ll find a delightful drinks menu of beachy cocktails here, too. As an added bonus, Cannonball is located adjacent to Belmont Park in case you’re looking to ride the Great Dipper roller coaster or work up an appetite at the oceanfront amusement park before dinner.So order up, kick back, and enjoy the stunning view.
3105 Ocean Front Walk, San Diego, CA 92109
World Famous (5.8 miles)
World Famous is an aptly named beachfront dining destination, given its popularity. The vibe is casual, even though the food is decidedly a cut above. The outdoor patio is adjacent to the Pacific Beach boardwalk, affording a spectacular view, as well as world-class people-watching. The breakfasts are particularly good here, but it’s impossible to go wrong any time of day. Seafood and salads are also great choices while enjoying a sunset meal along the coast.
711 Pacific Beach Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
George’s at the Cove (15.6 miles)
There is perhaps no more upbeat place to enjoy San Diego’s famously mild weather than at this perennial local institution. Long treasured as a jewel of the city dining scene, George’s has offered rooftop seating since before rooftop seating was cool. Whether you opt for a table overlooking the ocean, or belly up to the stocked-to-the-gills full-service bar, you’ll enjoy stellar views along with a menu that’s as legendarily delicious as it gets.
1250 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037
The Marine Room La Jolla (12 miles)
If we’re highlighting waterfront dining in San Diego, we’d be remiss not to mention a true must-visit luxury dining experience: the Marine Room in La Jolla. Not only have they recently unveiled an intimate dining space called The Lounge, but they offer globally inspired seafood dishes and chef-driven cocktails. The real draw is their “High Tide Dinner”. If you’re lucky to get reservations in advance, you’ll see that you are literally on the water, with dramatic crashing waves that land right along your window-front seats. It’s common to see even the occasional sea lion enjoying dinner alongside yours from your table!
2000 Spindrift Dr. La Jolla, CA 92037
Getting hungry yet? Humphreys Half Moon Inn is the perfect place to launch your exploration of San Diego’s beautiful beachside bistros. Take a look at our Special Offers page for all of the latest and greatest San Diego travel deals, and reserve your stay today. We look forward to welcoming you!