Enjoy a sunset dinner at JRDN, an elegant eatery overlooking Crystal Pier located in the Tower23 hotel in Pacific Beach.
The steamed mussels with chorizo in tomato-fennel broth appetizer at JRDN. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Waterbar in Pacific Beach overlooks the ocean at 4325 Ocean Blvd.
Brews and ocean views from PB Shore Club.
Enjoy this incredible view of the sunset over La Jolla from George's at the Cove's Ocean Terrace.
Wonderland is known for toasting the sunset over every evening in Ocean Beach.
The view from rooftop deck of the three-story The Holding Company in Ocean Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean is a breathtaking experience whether you’re visiting San Diego for the first time, or have lived here all your life. If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat after a day at the beach, or to enjoy an elegant, seaside meal, beachside restaurants offer diverse dining destinations to watch the day end with delicious dinners.
Here are some of the best restaurants for sunset dining in San Diego:
JRDN — A place where surf, sky, and spirit all mix and mingle. This elegant eatery overlooking Crystal Pier is located in the Tower23 hotel in Pacific Beach. Watch the dramatic sunset and its reflection on the 70-foot-long “wave wall” while sharing the steamed mussels with chorizo in tomato-fennel broth appetizer, before indulging in the El Chicano Specialty Roll with fried asparagus, spicy crab, tuna, bonito aioli, jalapeño, charred lime, and ponzu.
“Lime is a quintessential summer flavor, so I knew we wanted to incorporate that into a roll,” said chef Dave Warner. “The bonito aioli is torched to create a nice smoky flavor.”
Wash it down with Rococo Chenin Blanc from Santa Barbara, which is aromatic and subtly sweet, according to sommelier Chris Delaney. “It is crisp and refreshing; a wonderful complement to a sunset dinner.”
723 Felspar St.
PB SHORE CLUB — Open for the majority of the day, the Shore Club is known for its tacos and pub grub. Not to mention its convenient location right on the beach, which is perfect to see the setting sun.
4343 Ocean Blvd.
PB ALEHOUSE — This two-story sports bar’s award-winning beers, pub food, and view of the beach and horizon from its second floor deck create an unforgettable Pacific Beach summer experience.
721 Grand Ave.
WATERBAR — Pacific Beach’s Waterbar is located alongside the boardwalk. Dubbed a “Social Seafood Experience,” the Waterbar offers a large space for beachgoers to gather, watch the sunset, and enjoy quality seafood and cocktails.
4325 Ocean Blvd.
BAJA BEACH CAFE — Located on the boardwalk steps from the ocean, this cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. daily so visitors can people watch while sipping margaritas. In addition to its proximity to the beach, this cafe serves up a selection of fish tacos, burgers, sandwiches, and burritos.
701 Thomas Ave.
LAHAINA BEACH HOUSE — Tucked away in the southernmost region of Pacific Beach, this cozy bar offers a more laid-back sunset viewing experience. Enjoy burgers and drinks at this location while sitting on the deck and enjoying the view.
710 Oliver Court
WOODY’S BREAKFAST AND BURGERS — Open from sunrise to sunset, Woody’s is a beachfront dining experience that overlooks the ocean. Treat yourself to a breakfast burrito to start off your day or to an award-winning burger while watching the sunset.
4111 Ocean Blvd.
TIDAL — This seafood spot is hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Pacific Beach and located in the Paradise Point Resort and Spa in Mission Bay. This dining destination offers an elegant view of the sunset and the tides while in a relaxed restaurant.
1404 Vacation Road
EL PREZ — Located on the second story and overlooking the beach, this restaurant, bar, and rooftop patio is a great place to watch the sunset. Additionally, enjoy from their great selection of Mexican dishes and cocktails.
4190 Mission Blvd.
CANNONBALL — Located above Belmont Park, this restaurant draws its inspiration from Californian coastal cuisine and flavors from the Pacific Rim. Additionally, this trendy spot offers an open, unobstructed view of the boardwalk and beach.
3105 Ocean Front Walk
OCEANA COASTAL KITCHEN — This relaxing restaurant offers an upscale seafood menu and a concealed view of the sunset over the bay. Located inside the Catamaran Resort, you’ll feel like you are dining on a tropical island.
3999 Mission Blvd.
DRAFT SOUTH MISSION — This beachside pub not only offers high-end pub grub, local craft beer, and a place to watch sports, but it is also located on the boardwalk, and proves to be a great place to enjoy great brews and even better views.
3105 Ocean Front Walk
SURF RIDER PIZZA CO. — Feast on East Coast-style pizzas while watching the sun set on the West Coast. Surf Rider has a long list of specialty pizzas and craft beers for visitors to imbibe while enjoying the golden hour.
3770 Mission Blvd.
AMPLIFIED ALE WORKS — Enjoy in-house brewed beers and Mediterranean dishes while watching the sunset from Amplified Ale’s laid-back, second-story location.
4120 Mission Blvd., Ste. 208
BEACH HOUSE — Another dining destination at Belmont Park, the Beach House abuts the boardwalk and offers a large space to view the beach and watch the sunset. This restaurant’s menu features burgers and cocktails for a perfect day at the beach.
3125 Ocean Front Walk Blvd.
GEORGE’S AT THE COVE — Voted San Diego’s Best Restaurant, George’s at the Cove serves a classic and coastal Californian cuisine while serving views of the ocean. Choose to dine on the ocean terrace for the most elegant view of the sunset.
1250 Prospect St.
DONOVAN’S STEAK HOUSE — Enjoy an elegant meal on Donovan’s newly renovated patio that overlooks the La Jolla Cove. This fine dining destination is perfect for celebrations and an excellent, soothing meal by the sea.
1250 Prospect St.
THE MED — Located inside the historic La Valencia Hotel, The Med offers seasonally driven and California-inspired dishes. Additionally, the innovative menu pairs well with the dining destination’s excellent ocean views.
1132 Prospect St.
DUKE’S LA JOLLA — Dine at this spacious restaurant for a vast view of the ocean while enjoying elegant Hawaiian dishes. Come to enjoy the food and the views, and stay to celebrate “the spirit of aloha.”
1216 Prospect St.
CATANIA — This new Italian restaurant is located on the top floor of the La Plaza Center in downtown La Jolla. This spot serves up wood-fired pizzas and a laid-back view of the water.
7863 Girard Ave., #301
CUSP DINING & DRINKS — Located on Hotel La Jolla’s 11th floor, this dining destination looks down on downtown La Jolla and out onto the horizon. While enjoying the view, order from a wide variety of Mediterranean dishes and craft cocktails.
7955 La Jolla Shores Drive
EDDIE V’S PRIME SEAFOOD AND STEAKS — Eddie V’s offers a full dining experience: fresh seafood, prime steaks, an extensive wine list, and live music. Not to mention its gorgeous views overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
1250 Prospect St.
THE MARINE ROOM — Enjoy fresh seafood and French cuisine with a backdrop of cresting waves at this romantic spot. The Marine Room is located right up against the water and offers a panoramic view of the ocean, which makes it perfect for any special occasion.
2000 Spindrift Drive
SHORES RESTAURANT — Located steps from the beach, this dining spot offers unobstructed views of the ocean in addition to a menu of seasonally inspired, locally sourced dishes.
8110 Camino Del Oro
BROCKTON VILLA RESTAURANT — This cozy restaurant overlooks the La Jolla Cove and is located in an original La Jolla beach cottage. Although this spot offers stunning views of the sunset, don’t miss out on their French toast served on the brunch menu.
1235 Coast Blvd.
WONDERLAND OCEAN PUB — Based off of the Ocean Beach amusement park of yesteryear, this pub is an homage to nautical nostalgia and whimsy. Don’t miss its great views out over the ocean, full bar, and pub grub food options.
5083 Santa Monica Ave.
BLUEWATER SEAFOOD MARKET & GRILL — As seen on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” Bluewater is a San Diego seafood establishment. Recently expanding to Ocean Beach, this location pairs excellent seafood with excellent sea views, creating one unforgettable beach dining experience.
5083 Santa Monica Ave., Ste 1B
OB BREWERY — This three-story brewpub towers over Newport Avenue and looks out over the shore, which makes it a great place to watch the sunset. Enjoy highly revered, in-house brews while watching the view.
5041 Newport Ave.
SOUTH BEACH BAR & GRILLE — This cozy spot overlooks the beach and offers a menu of seafood-focused Mexican food and large selection of microbrews. The great ocean views provide an amazing backdrop to enjoy an outstanding fish taco.
5059 Newport Ave.
THE HOLDING COMPANY — Visit this three-story building that towers over Ocean Beach and overlooks the water. This new spot aims to be OB’s premiere live entertainment venue. 21 and up.
5046 Newport Ave
WOW CAFE – This cafe provides one of the most unique sunset viewing experiences, as the restaurant is located on the OB Pier. Family owned since 1993, go to the Wow Cafe for great comfort food while surrounded by the sun setting on the ocean.
5092 Niagara Ave.
OB SURF LODGE — This new dining destination is a throwback to 1960s beach culture. It overlooks the pier and the ocean and offers a menu of burgers and other American food options.
5083 Santa Monica Ave., Ste 1F
VESSEL RESTAURANT + BAR — Located inside the Kona Kai, this swanky spot has a view of the marina, in addition to a menu of coastal-inspired, local ingredients.
3102, 1551 Shelter Island Drive
TOM HAM’S LIGHTHOUSE — Located inside a lighthouse, enjoy breathtaking sea views of the marina while enjoying fine, fresh seafood.
2150 Harbor Island Drive
BALI HAI — This Polynesian restaurant overlooks the San Diego Bay Harbor. Stop by for its weekend brunch or sip a Mai Tai in the evening while enjoying the sunset.
2230 Shelter Island Drive
QUARTERDECK AT BAY CLUB HOTEL — Visit the Quarterdeck for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all week to enjoy great food, craft beers, and a great view. Dine inside for an intimate experience or sit poolside to enjoy views of the bay and the Point Loma hillside.
2131 Shelter Island Drive
HUMPHREYS — Praised for its award-winning dining and nightclub scene, Humphreys serves amazing waterfront views in a fun, secluded, and celebratory environment. Visit for elegant dining and an entertaining evening.
2303 Shelter Island Drive
KETCH GRILL AND TAPS — Visit this modern, waterfront tavern and choose from great menu of comfort food and craft beers. Enjoy your meal on the patio that overlooks the harbor.
2614 Shelter Island Drive