San Diego Seafood: Where to find the Freshest Catch

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Living right on the Pacific Ocean has many advantages – the salty sea breeze, great surfing, and, most importantly, fresh seafood! Some San Diego restaurants are fanatical about the freshness of their seafood and you can taste the difference. It’s easy to get hooked on the tender and flavorful fish, lobster, oysters, and more at San Digeo’s freshest seafood spots.

Point Loma Fish Shop/P.B. Fish Shop

Point Loma Fish on Rosecrans, brought to us by the same owners as P.B. Fish Shop (there are also locations in Encinitas and Hermosa Beach), is all about freshness. Serving up customizable fresh fish options in a casual atmosphere, Fish Shop stands out because they make EVERYTHING in house — even their ranch dressing.

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The personalized menu means you can pick your favorite seafood, select a seasoning, and choose between having it in a taco, sandwich, salad, or on a plate with sides (like their onion rings I’m obsessed with). To start, try the Fish Shop Lumpia — seafood egg rolls up a notch, served with sweet chili dipping sauce and jasmine rice. For your main, try you award-winning TKO Taco highlights the freshness of the fish, with grilled mahi-mahi in Fish Shop Seasoning, shredded cabbage, cheese and house-made tropical mango salsa, drizzled with house cilantro white sauce.


Located directly on the sandy shoreline of Pacific Beach with floor-to-ceiling windows showing off beautiful sunsets, Waterbar focuses on fresh seafood with confident flavors.

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To start, try 3, 6, or 12 Oysters on the Half Shell served with ginger mignonette, lemon, hot sauce. Do not miss trying the Shrimp la Plancha. Corn, crema, chile de arbol, and lime compliment fresh shrimp in my hands-down favorite dish on the menu. To make the Shrimp la Plancha an entrée, order a side of the decadent coconut rice, it perfectly compliments the flavorful corn and shrimp!


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Fresh fish is the mission behind Fishmonger’s Market in Mission Hills. This sustainable market and restaurant promises direct sourcing and global trading abilities, offering an impressive seasonal seafood collection, and presenting customers with the freshest mecca of flavors and variety at wholesale prices. Featuring a European-style seafood bar, fresh-caught fish counter, crudo bar and a menu swimming with irresistible choices, San Diego’s newest eatery showcases tasty lunch and dinner selections such as Shrimp and Mango Ceviche, Grilled Swordfish Sicilian Style, and Seared Diver Scallops with ginger rice and mango relish.

Cloak & Petal

Clock and Petal is not your typical sushi bar – it brings “Japanese social dining” to India Street. For anyone looking to escape the monotony of “safe” menus around San Diego, look no further than the inspired and well-executed menu at Cloak & Petal. On the small plates  menu I  recommend is the Salmon Tostada. With caramelized onions, truffle nikiri, lemon, cilantro, and sesame, the flavors are bright and complex. Don’t miss the Tartare Trio, exploring three different interpretations of tartare: hamachi miso, maguro caviar, salmon avocado. Each variation is delicious on its own, but comparing the three creates a culinary experience that shouldn’t be missed.

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There are so many extraordinary options on the small plates menu, you might not even miss your traditional sushi rolls! But don’t leave without ordering the Ceviche Roll — a combination of jalapeno, spicy tuna, cilantro, hamachi, garlic, and avocado.

Michelle Stansbury is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer. Feel free to reach out to her at [email protected] with story ideas!

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