Pacific Beach is more than just a beachside community. Within the boundaries of this laidback neighborhood, you’ll find a diverse selection of places to grab a bite to eat, satisfying almost every craving. Whether you’re hungry for pizza, sushi, seafood, or burgers, here are the best Pacific Beach restaurants.

Square Pizza Co.

Best Pacific Beach restaurants: Square Pizza
Photo credit: Darlene Horn

Detroit-style pizza is hard to come by in San Diego, and this eatery serves up several selections of the famous deep-dish pie adorned with housemade marinara. Alongside the Motor City specialties are thinner crust varieties topped with the likes of smoked pepperoni, provolone, feta, and more for a customized slice.

Insider tip: Frozen slices are available for sale to take home and bake.


Pacific Beach Fish Shop

Best Pacific Beach restaurants: Pacific Beach Fish Shop
Photo courtesy of Pacific Beach Fish Shop

This PB institution is popular for its seafood options and spacious outdoor seating overlooking bustling Garnet Avenue. The shop’s TKO taco featuring grilled mahi mahi with shredded cabbage, cheese, and salsa is a popular item but so are the Fish Shop oyster shooters served with a beer chaser.

Insider tip: Well-behaved dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio, and $1 oysters on Thursdays (from 4 p.m. until they run out) are also famous at Pacific Beach Fish Shop.


Sushi Ota

Best Pacific Beach restaurants: Sushi Ota
Photo credit: Darlene Horn

Head to an unassuming strip mall for one of San Diego’s best spots for sushi. Sushi, sashimi, and cut rolls are the obvious go-to choices for the discriminating sushi fan. If you’re looking to go big, request one of the restaurant’s omakase sets featuring a variety of nigiri and rolls.

Insider tip: Sushi Ota shares a parking lot with other businesses, but there’s additional parking in the back. Secure a reservation only by phone.

  • 4529 Mission Bay Dr.
  • 858-270-5670

Rocky’s Crown Pub

Best Pacific Beach restaurants: Rocky's Crown Pub

It’s a cash-only business at this casual sports bar where they’ve been slinging its famous burgers for more than forty years. Aside from the selection of beers, the menu is relatively simple: third or half pounder with or without cheese. Fries are extra.

Insider tip: This bar only allows guests 21+ and up, but you can phone in an order for takeaway.

  • 3786 Ingraham Dr.
  • 858-273-9140
  • rockyburgers.com

Iron Pig Alehouse

Best Pacific Beach restaurants: Iron Pig Alehouse

Unless you bring your own grill, this restaurant is the closest thing to eating barbecue near the beach. Rib tips, sliced brisket, ribs, chicken and pulled pork will quell any carnivore’s hunger pangs, but plant-based options are also available, like the smoked portobello and a selection of salads.

Insider tip: Bring your dog and treat them to the restaurant’s dog-friendly menu featuring sliced brisket.

  • 1520 Gaines St.
  • 858-412-4299
  • www.ironpigalehouse.com

JRDN

Best Pacific Beach restaurants: JRDN at Tower23
Photo credit: Darlene Horn

Only a glass partition separates diners from the boardwalk at this beachfront restaurant you’ll find nestled within the Tower23 Hotel. Considering its proximity to the water, the Pacific Beach restaurant’s menu is an appropriate mix of surf ’n’ turf featuring a raw bar, nigiri, and sashimi, as well as land-based options like lamb blade steaks and braised short ribs.

Insider tip: Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and your sunnies if you’re sitting on the patio.


Darlene Horn is a San Diego-based freelance writer and designer who has contributed to Zagat San Diego, BizBash, Mission Publishing Group, Nescafe, and Active.com. You can find her documenting her favorite food spots on Instagram as @DarleneEats.

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