Who wouldn’t want to have fresh California cuisine, seafood, and cocktails while enjoying views of the surf, sand, and sunset? From San Diego to Santa Barbara, we have the inside look at the restaurants with the most stunning views in Southern California. Better yet, these restaurants have more than just impeccable views of the coast – their lunch and dinner menus are delicious.
Whether you’re looking for a fine dining experience equipped with filet mignon and an extensive wine list courtesy of an executive chef, or just a casual patio spot with tacos and other laidback California cuisine, our list of favorite ocean-view restaurants in so-cal has you covered.
You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful view of the city and water than the one from C Level Lounge and Island Prime. Walls made of glass and an open outdoor patio allow you to overlook the city skyline and Coronado, and experience beautiful San Diego weather while enjoying menu items like grilled oysters, rib-eye steak, king crab legs, and craft cocktails. Located on Harbor Island in Downtown San Diego, this is definitely one local hot spot you will want to see for yourself. Be aware that this popular spot doesn’t take reservations, so plan accordingly.
At the Marine Room at La Jolla Shores, you’ll experience waves coming right at you as you dine. The glass-walled dining room is so close to the water that waves actually crash into the windows during unusually high tides. Talk about a great view and a delight for anyone dining window-side! The Marine Room offers a seasonal menu of San Diego coastal cuisine and has welcomed celebrities, world figures, locals, and visitors for more than 70 years, so you won’t want to miss out on dining at one of the most iconic ocean-view restaurants in San Diego.
Rich with San Diego and Polynesian history, Bali Hai restaurant is one of the oldest tiki establishments in the world. Serving dishes like pork stir fry, Hawaiian tuna poke and, huli huli chicken, this Polynesian experience surely won’t disappoint for lunch or dinner.
When they say “any closer and you would have to swim,” they really mean it! This waterfront restaurant is in Laguna Beach and features an ocean-to-table dining experience. Driftwood Kitchen has a casual ambiance and provides the perfect backdrop for weekend brunch or a nice dinner with friends or family.
If you’re looking for a fun place to bring out-of-town guests, or you are an out-of-town guest, The Beachcomber should be one of your first stops. The quaint, cafe-style restaurant opens up to a deck that sits right on the beach and overlooks the sand, sea, and beach-goers.
Views of the ocean are available from nearly every seat in this beachfront restaurant, which includes outdoor patio seating, an exterior lounge, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Reservations are strongly encouraged, though the sushi bar and bar area offer first-come, first-served seating if you happen to be in the area.
Style, class, and romance can be found at this unique Long Beach restaurant. In addition to beautiful ocean views, the steak and seafood restaurant is owned and operated by locals and has a warm and inviting atmosphere. Head over for happy hour, from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and enjoy live music and dancing seven nights a week.
Though the Shoals Restaurant is a part of the Cliff House Inn, that doesn’t make its food or views any less amazing. The ever-changing menu offers innovative cuisine that can be enjoyed from both indoor and alfresco seating right next to the Pacific Ocean.
Are you ready to dine on the beach, with sand between your toes? Then head to the Shoreline Cafe, a fun restaurant with a relaxing atmosphere and ocean views you can’t beat. Dine on the deck, the beach, or take your food to go if you prefer to enjoy your meal even closer to the water.