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Best Seafood Restaurant in San Diego

Hello everyone!

I am new to this board and would like to hear some suggestions for people's favorite seafood
restaurants in San Diego and what you like about them. Thanks so much.

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  1. I judge seafood places by how fresh is the seafood and do they have some creative dishes.

    Ones that I like that are highend are Oceanaire, Top of the Market, McCormick & Schmick's, King's Fish House, Roy's and Donovan's Prime Seafood.

    I know most of these are chains, but I find them to have really fresh fish and some creative preparations.

    There are places that are not "seafood" restaurants like Blanca and Pamplemousse Grill, to name two, that have amazing seafood dishes that blow away most of the restaurants I have mentioned (Roy's being the exception).

    San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

    King's Fish House
    5625 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008

    Top of the Market
    750 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

    2 Replies
    1. re: scottca075

      Thanks for your recommendations scott. I'll check them out.

      1. I haven't found any that I love, but I enjoy eating fish at smaller restaurants. I recall having a decent meal at Solana Beach Fish House, and also a fish sandwich at El Pescador in La Jolla.

        There are also similar ones in Bay Park but I forget the names.

        Solana Beach Fish House
        124 Lomas Santa Fe Dr, Solana Beach, CA 92075

        1. The Fishery in Pacific Beach is a local gem. Very fresh, local offerings. They are even the supplier for many San Diego restaurants. Small retail operation inside the restaurant sells seafood, sauces, salads, crabcakes and some premarinated items.

          2 Replies
          1. re: foodiechick

            Fish House Veracruz in San Marcos or Carlsbad.
            The food is basic and not any thing special but the fish is very fresh and prepared simply.
            I also like their Manhattan clam chowder and they have best seafood market in north county.

            1. re: foodiechick

              Second "The Fishery". My favorite seafood restaurant in SD. Although I no longer eat swordfish, when I did, their swordfish tacos were my number one pick. I also enjoy their halibut, salads, and tuna sandwich. Great spot for both lunch and dinner. Now if only they had the view that JRDN enjoys.....

            2. Very minimalist preparation, and not really a restaurant, but great variety and all sorts of good stuff. Point Loma Seafood. The oysters are a steal and delicious; they have lots of very tasty smoked fish, and they're right where the sportfishers come in, so they've got all kinds of good fresh stuff that they'll prepare simply and deliciously for you.

              Point Loma Seafoods
              2805 Emerson St, San Diego, CA 92106

              4 Replies
              1. re: rpwilliams

                Not sure when you were last at Pt Loma Seafood, but last time I went they didn't have their usual line-up of smoked fish, the major reason I go there, because of limited space in the temp trailer for the remodel. I haven't been in a month now probably, but I am hoping they are back in their regular facility soon.

                1. re: scottca075

                  Not even close.

                  It is not a remodel. They leveled the old building and they are building a new building.

                  The good news is, their quality of food hasn't seemed to drop off at all.

                  1. re: stevewag23

                    No, the quality of the food hasn't declined, but unless they have the smoked fish someplace else, they don't have the 7-10 different kinds they used to have, they had two maybe.

                  2. re: scottca075

                    Ah, remodel, eh? Sounds good. I haven't been there in about 6 months.

                2. For American style seafood, Fishery or Point Loma are good basic places. For Mexican style, Marisco's Godoy in CV has excellent flavorful grilled Pulpos, Grilled marinated Pescado Zarandeado and Cheviche. They also have different HH daily specials.

                  1. Agree the Fishery........If you wanna pay $10-12 more and have a view go to Top of the Market.

                    Top of the Market
                    750 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ian langdon

                      Thanks for your suggestions everyone!
                      We went to Roy's in La Jolla and really enjoyed it; the fish had a nice presentation and tasted very fresh!

                    2. My fave's..

                      El Pescador in La Jolla..sea bass sandwich is sublime
                      Fish Market Downtown..oyster bar or sushi..
                      Top of the Market/Fish Market but NOT the downstairs restaurant
                      Marisco German food truck in City Heights
                      Point Loma Seafoods..best scallop sandwich
                      Pelly's Fish market Carlsbad
                      Bay Park Fish Company
                      Fishery in PB

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Beach Chick

                        Chick: I am confused. What is the difference between "Fish Market downtown" and the Top of the Market/Fish Market? Forgive my ignorance--I am visiting from out of state.

                        1. re: bhoward

                          Same restaurant. Top of the Market is just the higher end version. Both are very good, however, the FIsh Market is more family oriented and loud, where the Top of the Market is more subdued and relaxed,

                          1. re: wanker

                            I understand that. I assume BC meant to only get oysters and sushi at the Fish Market downtown and nothing else.

                            1. re: bhoward

                              I'm not a fan of the restaurant downstairs BUT love the Oyster Bar and the sushi bar on the lower level and the Top of the Market upstairs is pricey but well executed and fantastic.

                              Oyster Bar has some fab Kumamoto oysters, bowl of chowder, steamers and some cheesy bread with a glass of wine..outstanding!
                              Bayfront patio is great to have a drink and a shrimp cocktail and watch the boats go by.

                              You have a fantastic avatar...stay thristy my friend.
                              ; )

                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                Got you. Ate at the Top of the Market last evening and it was indeed wonderful. I will have to try the oyster bar downstairs, especially since Point Loma Seafood is going to be closed my entire trip!

                                1. re: bhoward

                                  Sorry to hear about PLS..place hasn't closed since the Red Sea parted..
                                  Where else are you dining in SD?

                                  My Fave's..
                                  Dobson's for the mussel bisque in the Gaslamp is excellent for lunch..sit in the bar..great burger too.
                                  Cowboy Star
                                  Cafe Chloe
                                  Grant Grill
                                  Basic for pizza
                                  Bali Hai in Shelter Island for mai tai and great food with fab views
                                  Tender Greens @ Liberty Station next to Airport
                                  Bay Park Fish Company
                                  Brigantine Shelter Island everyday happy hour..great fish tacos

                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                    Thanks for the tips. We are staying in PL and definitely want to get some fish tacos at Bragantine soon.

                                    1. re: bhoward

                                      Taco specials all day Tuesday in the bar at the Brig

                        1. at the risk of establishing myself as their personal shill, I thought Gabardine had some of the best fish dishes I've seen anywhere last night. Only got to taste mine and hers, which were great, but the others I saw going by to other diners looks amazing.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Fake Name

                            I cannot comment about you being a personal shill but I can say that I ate at Gaberdine tonight and the meal was outstanding--had Moonfish for the first time and it was superb. Full report to follow. One negative I must report--the restaurant is loud beyond belief--we had to pracitcally scream to be heard at our five top.

                            1. re: bhoward

                              Fakey is a shill and more... ; )

                              So, you had Moonfish..never seen or heard about it..what else did you have?
                              WTF on restaurants being loud beyond belief...

                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                Moonfish is otherwise known as Opah, a fish that's not uncommon on fish house menus. Trying to be a little too cute by not using the common name in my book.

                                  1. re: deckape

                                    I think The Fishery has a stuffed Opah on their wall with a little plaque, and I always misread it as OPRAH.

                            2. The Fishery. When I was away from SD for a year, I found it hard to eat fish any place else. Where else does the server say "harpooned this morning?" Often, I'll just order by the fish and ask for minimal prep just to taste the sea. Bonus: one of the most interesting wine lists by-the-glass or bottle in SD.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: pickypicky

                                The Fishery doesn't get nearly enough love on this board. +1!

                                1. re: foodiechick

                                  I know. Why is that? They do incredible business. Are packed all the time. We often sit at the bar and split an entree. Service is excellent-- the whole package. Maybe because it's in PB? No matter. They've got you and me, chica.

                                  1. re: pickypicky

                                    I like The Fishery. Its biggest issue is noise. Lots of hard flat surfaces makes it a noisy place even when it isn't filled with people. If they could only get someone in to make some sound deadening alterations I'd give the restaurant more recommendations.

                                    1. re: nileg

                                      agree noise is a problem. we usually eat early and/or sit at the bar, which works better for me, for some reason. at its peak times, you're right, it's deafening.

                                    2. re: pickypicky

                                      They had some issues early on (that aren't allowed to be posted on Chowhound) so I think a lot of people just wrote them off. heck, I didn't even know they were still in business. I used to live near there and would go often for a quick bite or for Lobster season but never think to go back now that I live elsewhere. Oops.

                                  2. re: pickypicky

                                    The Fishery has really upped their game in the last year or so. I went for one of their "Tuesday Tastings" (a very reasonably priced three-course set menu) about a month ago and really enjoyed it.