You’re Hungry! What are the best Pacific Beach Restaurants?
We have all had it happen, you arrive to a new location like Pacific Beach, CA…maybe pretty tired and even a bit hungry and you wonder just what are the best Pacific Beach restaurants? But its a new location so you don’t know the score on the local food joints yet. Bummer…so you ask around and get a couple suggestions but the tone you detect from the person providing the info just does not seem so confident, maybe they felt bad for you so they just came up with something. So you start questioning the recommendation in your head, “hmm, not so sure about this one.” Damn if only Anthony Bourdain could have left a review, I could spend less time and risk less meals and go straight for the locals best bets on eats.
So the problem for many surf travelers is getting this sort of information prior to arriving: The solution…is to have access to local resources before arriving so you know the local scoop on where to go….My friends who rent vacation rentals do this all the time, they realize the host/owner of the property is a pseudo expert of the beach town, so they just ask…and they are dialed in from the moment they arrive. Some of the better vacation rental owners in surf towns have even created lists and reviews that are ready to go…they figure it is a great way to help their guests elevate the guest experience. If you are new to the idea of staying in places like Airbnb or even participating as a host yourself, you won’t want to miss Savvy Travelers Prefer Unique Places to Stay (and Why You Should Too).
Here are 5 Rad Pacific Beach Restaurants
So I have listed below a few of my personal favorites for those on a surfing vacation in Pacific Beach and North Mission Beach in San Diego. Your tummy will thank me later!
1. Oscars Mexican Seafood – Pacific Beach
Boom: Oscars has opened up a few locations from North Pacific Beach, La Jolla and Central Pacific Beach. If you are seeking a clean feed…this is a great bet. The ceviche is likely the best in the area and a cup of fish, shrimp or mixed ceviche is only $5, it is sure to put a bit extra hop in your step. Thats a steal. Oscars primarily focuses on seafood, however, they have a few neutral plates. Fast service, great value, clean healthy food….Top area pick.
2. La Playa Taco Shop – North Mission Beach
This is a family run shop…with that feel and incredible Mexican food…The quality here is far superior to the standard San Diego taco shop (which are usually sub-par and reserved for a late night drunk feed)..La Playa has a large menu, some of my personal favorites are red enchiladas, chicken burrito and the fish taco. Inexpensive, great atmosphere and epic food right in the heart of Mission Beach’s surf rentals. You will find many great Pacific Beach restaurants, but nothing beats a taco shop and La Playa is a must try!
3. Firehouse Grill – Pacific Beach
Feeling like splurging a bit? Consider the Firehouse Grill near the Pacific Beach fire station on Grand Avenue. A sit down, full service lounge vibe with a great american style inspired menu. You can chill out in the lounge down below or roast in the sun on the roof deck and watch the PB surf break right out front.
4. Amplified Ale Works previously known as Cali Kabob – Mission/Pacific Border
You may remember this place as California Kebab, but in 2012 the new owners kept the same theme but added the craft beer. This is a great place to feel part of the PB community and find a few locals. Enjoy great views of the surf while you eat delicious made from scratch Mediterranean-style food. And if you have a taste for craft beer, this is your place. Be sure to try their beer brewed on a 3.5 bbl brew system or any of the other featured local Cali breweries.
5. World Famous – Pacific Beach
If you are looking for great ocean views, tasty drinks and eats then look no further. World Famous is a great place to grab for a nice lunch or dinner with family, friends or that date you’ve been meaning to ask out. Oh and yes breakfast and brunch are very good here also. Enjoy delicious seafood dishes. I love the lobster bisque, fish/lobster tacos and pretty much any of their other fresh fish dishes. It can get busy but the happy hour in the bar and holding out for that restaurant patio table is definitely worth the wait.
And there you have it, 5 of our favorite Pacific Beach restaurants to recharge after a solid surf day. So the next time it is time to plan a surf trip, think about a place like an Airbnb that gives you direct access to the locals or stop by Live Swell for our tips on the best places to go in some of the top surf destinations this way you can spend a little less time researching online or with your nose glued to your phone and a little more time living life and eating great food!