Oct 24, 2023 - Food and Drink

Where to find local, fresh fish and seafood in San Diego

Plates of fish and chips, brussels sprouts, baja fish tacos and fries with two drink on a picnic table.

Fish 101 in Encinitas. Photo: Kate Murphy/Axios

It's hard not to love seafood when you live this close to the coast. Anytime friends or family come to town, fresh fish is usually requested.

What you're saying: We've gathered some recommendations on where to find delicious seafood around San Diego.

Low-key, hole in the wall: Oscar's Mexican Seafood is a San Diego staple near the beach, with "some of the best tacos I've ever had," according to one reader.

  • Try the ceviche, battered and fried shrimp and the tortas or street tacos with smoked fish.
  • There are locations in Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach and Hillcrest.

An oyster experience: Do a tour and oyster tasting at the Carlsbad Aquafarm for local, sustainably-grown shellfish harvested right from the lagoon.

East Coast: Get fresh, New England-style seafood and one of the "best lobster rolls in town" at Pete's Seafood and Sandwich in North Park.

  • "Pete and the crew are friendly, efficient and serve a nice selection of classic fish & chips, clam strips, grilled shrimp and such," another reader wrote.

Of note: The Fishery in Pacific Beach won best seafood in 2023 by San Diego Magazine.

  • Mitch's, the runner-up, serves finds from local fishermen on the Point Loma Sportfishing Dock.

💭Kate's thought bubble: You'll find the best fish and chips at Fish 101 in Encinitas or Cardiff.

Yes, but: Fish Shop is my go-to spot for fresh fish, especially with visitors. The best part? You pick your fish, a marinade or rub and how you want it served (tacos, sandwich, salad or plated with sides.)

  • My order: Ahi tuna or swordfish
  • Locations in Pacific Beach, Point Loma and Encinitas

💭Andy's thought bubble: Blue Water Seafood in Mission Hills is still the GOAT. Yea, there's going to be a line, but it's that persistent demand that makes the unparalleled selection of fresh fish possible.

  • Indulge me one more recommendation: Check out the 4410 Bonita Rd. location of the TJ Oyster Bar, it's a full-service seafood restaurant, where the other spots merely serve the best fish tacos, tostados and ceviche around.
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