10 San Diego Restaurants With a View
There’s no shortage of delicious dining in San Diego. With the city set up the way it is, surrounded by waterfront not only on the ocean side but along its bays and an equally impressive downtown, San Diego restaurants with a view are pretty easy to find, too.
You just need to decide what you’re looking for in your scenery, whether that’s that quintessential San Diego ocean view, cityscapes from rooftop patios, or unparalleled sunsets.
Check out 10 of the best San Diego restaurants with a view for your next meal out and take advantage of those long summer nights.
You can’t talk about San Diego restaurants with a view without mentioning Mister A’s. Locals and visitors alike head up to the 12th floor of this Bankers Hill eatery just for the views, although the menu is pretty delicious, too.
The restaurant is a special occasion eatery, with lunch, dinner, and a Sunday brunch all served here. For dinner, expect modern American food with a French influence, like roasted duck, tartare, even escargots, or snails.
For views on a budget, visit the patio between 4-5pm nightly for light bar bites and cocktails and one of the most scenic happy hours you can have in San Diego.
Photo Credit: Mister A's / Facebook.com
Born and Raised
The inside of this Little Italy steakhouse feels like you’re about to have a luxe experience, but it’s the rooftop patio of Born and Raised that makes this one of the best downtown San Diego restaurants with a view.
The restaurant is known for their steak program, but you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy the views from up there. Visit for happy hour, instead, from 3-5pm Mondays through Fridays. Enjoy seasonal appetizers and cocktails with views of downtown and all of the Little Italy action below. All happy hour seating is first come, first served.
Photo Credit: Born & Raised / Facebook.com
A perch with a bird’s eye view of all the happenings along the Mission Beach boardwalk below makes Cannonball one of the best ocean view restaurants San Diego has to offer.
The restaurant is made for people-watching, with both Belmont Park and all of the watersports along the beach in full view during your meal.
The food’s great, too. While the decor is pool party-themed, the bites are a bit more sophisticated. Expect the freshest sushi and other Japanese-style entrees. If you’re there on Thursday nights, you’ll be able to enjoy live music from local artists to bring in the sunset.
Photo Credit: Cannonball / Facebook.com
Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
Historic Tom Ham’s Lighthouse has been around since the 1970s as a literal beacon of light along Harbor Island Drive. This is more than a seafood restaurant. It’s actually still a functioning lighthouse, making this fine dining experience with a view a visit to an architectural landmark, too.
The food here is heavy on the fresh seafood. Try anything out of the raw bar or the fresh catch of the day to try what the lighthouse is known for, other than its historical significance, of course.
If brunch with a view is what you’re after, the restaurant also hosts a weekly Sunday brunch buffet. It has all of the expected mainstays, like an omelette station and buttermilk waffles, on top of seafood-forward options like crab legs and peel-and-eat shrimp. You’ll want to make a reservation at this one no matter when you’re looking to visit.
Photo Credit: Tom Ham's Lighthouse / Facebook.com
Catania is the coastal Italian offering from the well-known San Diego restaurant group, Whisknladle Hospitality. While the homemade pastas and woodfired pizzas are certainly delicious, it’s the views here that make this eatery one of the best La Jolla restaurants with a view.
See all of downtown La Jolla and from Catania’s receded rooftop. Sunsets here are an event, too. Patrons take a break between bites of their antipasti and raise a glass as the sun goes down every night. Expect the wine and cocktail list to be Italian-inspired, too.
The Glass Door
The Glass Door is a Little Italy restaurant on the fourth floor of the Porto Vista Hotel known for not only its breakfast menu, but excellent views of Little Italy and the San Diego Bay. While recent construction in the area has blocked the former panoramas, bar seating on either side of the outdoor patio still offers great sightlines to the water.
If you’re there for dinner, the menu is seafood-focused, but the most popular options here are on the cocktail menu. Playful takes on the classics make this a fun stop on a Little Italy tour.
Photo Credit: The Glass Door / Facebook.com
The Marine Room
The Marine Room is a La Jolla classic, serving up its fine dining with the waves of the Pacific Ocean basically up against the dining room’s windows. This is where you go with family and friends you’re looking to impress, and show off the best of what San Diego has to offer.
If you want to experience this one at its finest, book one of their High Tide Dinners. Every meal during high tide is a unique experience, and the sunsets involved only make the experience of those crashing waves more special.
The menu is coastal, with fresh seafood as the highlight. A word of warning: You’ll likely be pretty distracted during your meal with the ocean views at this one. Reservations are highly recommended.
Photo Credit: The Marine Room / Facebook.com
The view at the Brigantine in Del Mar is a little bit different than all the others. You have views of the nearby beaches and the San Dieguito Valley Lagoon to take in as you munch on your fish tacos.
On race days, though, the view gets even more exciting. Their open-air patio becomes prime seating for the action at the Del Mar Racetrack below. There are other Brigantine locations throughout San Diego, but the Del Mar location is the one you want if you want to slurp oysters while watching the races.
Reservations at the Brigantine are highly recommended, especially if you’re looking to dine on race days.
Photo Credit: BrigantineSD / Facebook.com
Peohe’s at the Coronado Ferry Landing tops San Diego waterfront restaurants for its views of both the San Diego Bay and the city skyline. Dine on island-inspired food that’s still refined, as you are in Coronado, after all.
Choose from seating in their tiered dining room, dockside courtyard, or outdoor patio. The views are great no matter where you decide. The restaurant’s dockside location also means that you can arrive there via boat and dock right outside the eatery.
It’s an impressive experience no matter how you get there.
Photo Credit: Peohe's / Facebook.com
Amplified Ale Works
If you’re looking for a more casual meal with a view, Amplified Ale Works in Pacific Beach has an upper deck patio with ocean views for you to enjoy alongside their beers. The setting couldn’t be more relaxed, and the food’s delicious, too.
The menu is Mediterranean-inspired with lighter fare perfect for sitting out in the sun. Expect falafel, kebabs, and their house hummus as a starter. The beer is their own, with a variety of styles on tap depending on the season. This one is also dog-friendly, so expect plenty of furry friends on your visit there.
Photo Credit: Amplified Ale Works / Facebook.com
San Diego is made for outdoor dining, and if you know where to look, that meal can come with some pretty great scenery. Enjoy delicious eats with a side of amazing views at any of these San Diego restaurants.
Written by Agnes Groonwald for Knockaround.