A neighborhood institution for over 50 years, Anthony’s serves a variety of seafood favorites with an Italian twist, perfectly encapsulating San Diego’s history of Italian Americans in the fishing industry. The restaurant sits by a charming little lake, so you can enjoy your Shrimp Louie or grilled squid steak Milanese right on the water.
9530 Murray Drive, La Mesa | 619-463-0368
Azuki Sushi offers a traditional Japanese sushi experience updated to modern standards. The fish is sourced locally and from the famous Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, allowing Azuki to serve specialties like kinmedai (golden-eye snapper) and monkfish liver.
2321 Fifth Avenue, Bankers Hill | 619-238-4760
The name really says it all: Beerfish offers seafood tacos and burritos, fish and chips, and a substantial selection of craft beers to go with it. All of this is available at a reasonable price in a cheerful setting.
2933 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights | 619-363-2337
Known especially for their fish tacos, Blue Water Seafood has a beautiful beachfront patio at their Ocean Beach location. You can choose from any one of 12 varieties of seafood to be prepared in a taco, salad, sandwich, or plate, not counting specials fresh off the boat.
5083 Santa Monica Avenue, Ocean Beach | 619-255-8497
A San Diego institution, Brigantine delivers award-winning surf-and-turf cuisine for lunch, dinner, and brunch. The oyster bar is the center of the menu, but their grilled, marinated swordfish might be even more well known.
3263 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar | 858-481-1166
A classic California chain, The Fish Market’s San Diego location has a clear view of the bay and the USS Midway. The setting perfectly complements the selection of fresh fish and shellfish, and dishes like their famous dungeness crab cioppino.
750 North Harbor Drive, Downtown | 619-232-3474
The Fishery has a unique setup for a restaurant: It’s attached to the family’s original wholesale fish business. The restaurant has an extensive wine list that ventures as far afield as Armenia, complementing a menu of local and imported seafood.
5040 Cass Street, Pacific Beach | 858-272-9985
While Old Town might not seem like the place to find high-quality sushi, Harney Sushi delivers. The menu is centered around the creative specialty rolls, combining sushi with modern American and Mexican cuisine. They also serve a more expansive vegetarian section than is common for a sushi restaurant.
3964 Harney Street, Old Town | 619-295-3272
Combining sushi and Japanese cuisine with Mexican influences, Himitsu is a thoroughly modern take on a traditional sushi joint. Lunch is donburi (assorted rice bowls) and bento boxes, while dinner has a truly expansive selection of sushi and sashimi along with a premium sake selection.
1030 Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla | 858-263-4463
Come for the extensive raw bar with freshly shucked oysters and seafood towers, refreshing cocktails, and the roll stuffed with lobster tossed in brown butter mayo. Patio seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, and they’re also offering $1 oysters during happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
1654 India Street, Little Italy | 619-269-3033
The Joint is an interesting combination of sushi restaurant, tapas bar, and craft beer paradise. Don’t expect the traditional and well-known—both sides of the menu feature inventive and exciting options like a rasta roll (spicy tuna topped with thinly sliced lemon, microgreens, and avocado) or shrimp and cheddar grits.
4902 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach | 619-222-8272
Kaito teamed up with its neighboring restaurants to turn its parking lot into a patio for outdoor dining. In contrast to other sushi restaurants, it puts more emphasis on the noodles and bowls, but still has a large selection of fresh rolls and sashimi.
130-A North El Camino Real, Encinitas | 760-634-2746
Even though we are about as far from Maine as you can get in the lower 48, you can find classic New England–style seafood at Lobster West. Fresh crab, lobster, and shrimp are shipped across the country to make authentic lobster rolls and crab soup.
765 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas | 760-634-1684
Landing local catch right off the boat, Mitch’s selection changes daily; it all depends on what the fishermen catch. This commitment to local food means that whether you order a seafood salad, fish taco, or fisherman’s stew, you’re getting peak freshness.
1403 Scott Street, Point Loma | 619-222-8787
Musahi’s in La Jolla is renowned not only for its friendly service and reasonable prices, but also for quality sushi like their chirashi (various sashimi over rice in a bowl). Beyond the sushi, they also have a selection of classic Japanese favorites like curry and prized salmon kama (collar).
3211 Holiday Court, La Jolla | 858-587-9848
The high-end seafood restaurant features the biggest wine list in this article, with a large patio overlooking the ocean. They also do happy hour every day from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar | 858-792-0476
The premier location for fresh fish in San Diego, Point Loma Seafoods is more than a restaurant; it’s also a market for fresh-caught fish. The fish sandwich with a lemonade is a classic lunch, but they also have sushi and a large selection of seafood cocktails.
2805 Emerson Street, Point Loma | 619-223-1109
Dining here is an education in sake. The menu comes with a guide to the sake grading scale, and has nine different categories of sake flights arranged by flavor. To go along with the spirit, Saiko offers a selection of creative modern sushi rolls.
2884 University Avenue, North Park | 619-677-3907
Soichi is entirely focused on the concept of omakase, leaving it to the chef to decide what to serve and how. Omakase is a huge part of dining in Japan, and Soichi captures this feeling expertly. The menu changes depending on seasonal availability, and they recently received a large shipment of kinmedai from Japan, so get it before it’s gone.
2121 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights | 619-677-2220
Twenty years ago, owner Yukito Ota decided to leave his life as a sushi chef in Japan behind and open Sushi Ota here in San Diego. He brought with him his expertise in delivering a traditional Japanese dining experience, and sushi connoisseurs know that this is the place for the best uni and spot prawns in the city. Several area sushi chefs trained under Ota; come watch the master at his craft.
4529 Mission Bay Drive, Mission Bay | 858-270-5670
A dining experience at Sushi Tadokoro is a special one that offers a look into Japan’s culinary past. They make sushi in one of its oldest forms: Edomae, or Tokyo style. Dating from the early 19th century or even earlier, Edomae sushi was in many ways the first that modern consumers would recognize as sushi, where the fish is cured before being served atop rice.
2244 San Diego Avenue, Old Town | 619-297-0298
Wrench and Rodent styles itself a “Seabasstropub,” which does a pretty good job of explaining what they do. The menu is mostly sushi, both traditional and creative, accompanied by a selection of sake, beer, cider, and wine.
1815 South Coast Highway, Oceanside | 760-271-0531