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What is the freshest seafood shack in the San Diego area?

I am taking my girlfriend out to dinner for her birthday in a few weeks, we are staying in the San Diego area and have a rental car to get around. I'm looking for a place right by the beach....probably someplace where we can wear shorts and sandals.

She's from the Caribbean, and she is most impressed by simple, authentic food. She has good taste and enjoys fine dining, but I think she will be most impressed by a seafood shack that can shuck her the freshest oysters and grill the freshest, biggest fish.

Any suggestions? :)

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  1. Try Blue Water.

    Or the farmers market in Little Italy.

    Not sure about this part: "bring her where we can see the ocean".

    1. Oh, I should mention, I'm looking for a place that will serve a whole fish....eyeballs and all :)

      6 Replies
      1. re: damejugo

        One of the many Vietnamese or Chinese restaurants will have whole fish you can select from a tank and it will be prepared for you, none are seafood shacks, and none are on the beach. We don't have shacks out here.

        Blue Water , El Pescador and Point Loma Seafoods are the non-chains located here; none are fancy and they mostly serve local items. Many Mexican mariscos/seafood restaurants have oysters. San Diego more or less known for fish tacos...

        Despite being located on the ocean, San Diego is not seafood centric as Seattle or Boston are.

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

        1. re: Cathy

          Haha thanks, I am obviously not from San Diego. We are visiting from NYC! Thank you for the suggestions...I am willing to drive up to 20 miles out of town for the dinner too. I'm just looking for something really authentic, and oysters are a must!

          1. re: damejugo

            Since oysters are typically flown into san diego, I'm not sure how authentic you can get around here for those, I may be wrong though. Carlsbad mussels on the other hand are more "authentic" to this area.

            1. re: chezwhitey

              Good to know! I guess, if not oysters, then some good fish will do. :)

              1. re: damejugo

                If you want to get a taste of the local scene, I'd do fish tacos, everyone has their favorites, I think south beach or brigantine is a good choice. As far as good and whole fish go, if you really want to knock her socks off, hop on a short flight to vegas and go to estiatorio milos in las vegas. then again, you are from nyc and you have one of your own out there.

            2. re: damejugo

              The County is 4200 square miles. 70 miles are ocean coastline...

              If you want 'local' and 'shack-like', there are several Mariscos German trucks in parking lots. (Mariscos means seafood, German is the first name of the 'owner') The one at University at 35th seems to be most popular. However there are quite a few mariscos restaurants that others can recommend.

              There are oysters at El Pescador, Point Loma Seafoods and Blue Water. But not whole prepared fish.

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

              Mariscos German truck
              Cable St and Santa Monica Ave, San Diego, CA

        2. You will not be able to find your whole package in SD - a shack right by the beach with oysters and whole fish, so you will need to decide which of those points is the most important. As far as the "dress code" in SD, there are many, many more places that are OK with sandals and shorts than in NYC.

          It is a sit-down, non-shack restaurant but The Fishery may be your best bet. While they do not have whole fish on the menu, they are a fish market as well. Perhaps they would be willing to prepare something off-menu if you contacted them? They are not in view of the beach, but are close to the water.

          1. Dude, this is San Diego, you can wear shorts and sandals almost anywhere.

            Try the Sea Rocket Bistro - it has always had fresh seafood, but was inconsistent. With the new chef, it looks like they're moving in the right direction.

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            Sea Rocket Bistro
            3382 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

            1 Reply
            1. re: jmtreg

              You can also say "Dude" almost anywhere also.

              Does Sea Rocket have whole fish?

            2. Nothing like a seafood shack in the Carib..
              It's her birthday and you can do oysters and fish right by the ocean/bay..
              Top of the Market at the Fish Market Downtown SD location would be my choice..
              Kumamoto oysters and they can prepare any type of whole fish..call ahead.
              1500 Ocean at the Hotel Del Coronado is another great spot..
              Might have to gussy up those slaps and shorts..
              Super casual, I would do Bahia Don Bravo's for fish tacos, ceviche cocktails, Pacifico's in La Jolla or Bull Taco in Cardiff..

              www.thefishmarket.com/menus/downloada...
              www.hoteldel.com
              www.bulltaco.com