10 Best Seafood Restaurants In California, USA

california seafood restaurant
Celia
Celia
Published

Beyond miles and miles of beautiful beaches, breathtaking forests up north, and Hollywood, sun-kissed California is also known for its thriving gastronomic scene. Foodies flock to the Golden State for world-class restaurants and trend-setting dishes. With Pacific Ocean offering a wealth of marine life all year round, California is one of the best places in the country to visit for a mouthwatering seafood feast. If you’re wondering where to go to sample the best lobsters, crabs, prawns, and fresh fish that the state has to offer, this list has you covered. Keep reading to find out the best seafood restaurants in California, USA, right now.

1. San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant on Thursday, May 21, 2020

There’s a reason why San Pedro Fish Market is one of the most Instagrammed restaurants in the US. Home of the world-famous shrimp tray, the family-run restaurant remains a prominent institution in California’s seafood scene. Simply purchase fresh seafood at the counter, have it cooked to your liking with the toppings you prefer, and dig in. Highlights of this restaurant include tasty shrimp, crabs, lobsters, and oysters. Join the constant stream of tourists and locals who visit the port town of San Pedro in Los Angeles for the food. Originally known as Vista Seafood when it opened in 1956, San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant is now one of the largest restaurants in the country. Even with 3,000 seats and a 50,000-square-foot (4,645 square meters) waterfront location, it’s often packed with people jostling to get their seafood fix.

San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant

Address: 1190 Nagoya Way, San Pedro, CA 90731

Website: San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 9am - 8pm; Fri - Sat: 9am - 9pm

2. Rock'N Fish Restaurant Manhattan Beach

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Weekend plans? Spend the day in Manhattan Beach and enjoy lunch, brunch or dinner at #RockNFishMB! Reservations are available, and to book, simply visit our website (link in bio)! #ManhattanBeach

Posted by Rock'N Fish Manhattan Beach on Friday, February 21, 2020

When in sunny California, dining by the beach is a must! Enjoy the laidback vibes and views of the picture-perfect surf with a meal at Rock’N Fish Restaurant Manhattan Beach. Travelers have plenty to choose from in the Cajun-inspired menu with seafood and steaks as the undisputed specialties. While the extensive menu means you never have to keep ordering the same thing every time you visit, Rock’N Fish’s seafood jambalaya is a dish that a lot of diners come back for over and over again. Fresh fish, juicy steaks, and other staples such as pasta, sandwiches, and salads are also available. Pair your pick with a delicious drink—say, the best-selling Navy Grog rum cocktail—and you’re all set.

Rock'N Fish Restaurant Manhattan Beach

Address: 120 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Website: Rock'N Fish Restaurant Manhattan Beach

Opening hours: Fri - Tue: 11:30am - 9pm (closed on Wed & Thu)

3. Scoma's Restaurant - San Francisco

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are getting ready for New Year's Eve! We're taking pre-orders for our...

Posted by Scoma's Restaurant on Saturday, December 26, 2020

It can’t get any fresher at Scoma’s Restaurant in San Francisco. Every day, the popular “pier-to-plate” establishment offers Pacific seafood caught by local fishermen in the morning. It is then served on your plate by noon. Make sure you try the “Lazy Man’s Cioppino,” their own take on the Bay Area staple that’s basically a tomato-based stew composed of leftover seafood from the day’s catch. But ultimately, you can’t go wrong with their fresh dishes, from the cold-smoked king salmon to the Dungeness crab. Tucked in a quiet corner of Fisherman’s Wharf, the charming San Francisco eatery is also known for its excellent beer, wine, and cocktail options.

Scoma's Restaurant

Address: 1965 Al Scoma Way, San Francisco, CA 94133

Website: Scoma’s Restaurant

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 1pm - 7pm; Fri - Sat: 1pm - 8pm

4. The Fish Market - San Diego

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Green and black mussels #fishmarket. Seafood treated right - some butter, wine and herbs and nothing else. : @bay_area_foodi

Posted by The Fish Market on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

For the tastiest and freshest catches from the sea in Southern California, many argue that there’s no better place than Fish Market San Diego. The restaurant’s specialty is the Dungeness crab cioppino served with linguine, but the oyster bar and sushi bar are also major draws. While the Fish Market brand first made waves in Northern California with branches in Palo Alto and Santa Clara, the founders—all Southern California residents—eventually opened branches in Solana Beach and downtown San Diego. Now, Fish Market San Diego stands as the flagship branch of the group. Here, you can dine leisurely with amazing views of the San Diego bay.

The Fish Market - San Diego

Address: 750 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Website: The Fish Market - San Diego

5. Fog Harbor Fish House - San Francisco

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

We take chowder seriously 🥄 Happy #NationalChowderDay - Yes, you definitely need a freshly made, warm CLAM CHOWDER with tender clams, potatoes, smokey bacon topped with DUNGENESS CRAB 🦀 #fogharbor

Posted by Fog Harbor Fish House on Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Fog Harbor Fish House is a restaurant known for being the first one in the Fisherman’s Wharf to serve 100% sustainable seafood. Some of the must-try dishes include the award-winning clam chowder aptly named “The Best in San Francisco” as well as the cioppino, scallop and crab risotto, and surf and turf filet mignon. Beyond its mouthwatering food, Fog Harbor’s award-winning views make every visit here a pleasant one. Marvel at the majestic Golden Gate Bridge while dining at this iconic family-owned, family-operated San Francisco restaurant.

Fog Harbor Fish House

Address: Pier 39 San Francisco, CA 94133

Website: Fog Harbor Fish House

6. The Lobster - Santa Monica

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

IT’S NATIONAL LOBSTER DAY!! Which is particularly great news for us here at The Lobster... because we’re REOPENING! Yep,...

Posted by The Lobster on Monday, June 15, 2020

The Lobster is a Santa Monica landmark that’s been around for nearly a hundred years, and it remains at the top of the dining scene to this day! Nestled on a ridge overlooking the picturesque Santa Monica pier, it’s an amazing spot for casual fine-dining while in California. As The Lobster’s name suggests, spiny lobsters are definitely a standout in the restaurant’s seafood menu that extensively features fresh and seasonal ingredients that have been locally sourced. Enjoy the steamed or grilled Maine lobster or go for other entrées such as wild Dungeness crab gumbo, tagliatelle with wild king crab, or lobster roll.

The Lobster

Address: 1602 Ocean Drive Santa Monica, CA 90401

Website: The Lobster

7. Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market & Patio Cafe

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The famous shores of Malibu are home to some of the best seafood on the coast. Visit Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market & Patio Café to sample some of the tastiest catches of the day, particularly dishes such as king crab legs, bay scallops, and fresh Louisiana shrimp. Grab a picnic table, get a dish or two, and enjoy the stunning views of the beach just across the road—it’s a fantastic way to spend a weekend in Malibu, for sure. With the restaurant’s fresh fish market, guests can also purchase premium seafood to take home and cook on their own.

Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market & Patio Cafe

Address: 25653 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

Website: Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market & Patio Cafe

Opening hours: 11am - 6pm (daily)

8. Newport Seafood Restaurant - San Gabriel

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Newport Seafood Restaurant on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Fresh Asian flavors are the inspiration behind the renowned Newport Seafood Restaurant in San Gabriel Valley. The family-run restaurant is a lively hotspot for foodies craving a delicious fusion of Chinese, Cambodian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine. Unsurprisingly, the best-seller is Newport Seafood Restaurant’s signature spicy lobster that involves cooking a lobster in a wok with aromatic green onions and jalapeños. But other dishes can easily steal the spotlight, such as the scallop fried rice, clams with basil sauce, catfish hot and sour soup, and many more. The flagship branch of Newport Seafood is in San Gabriel, but Californians can also enjoy a meal at two other outposts in Rowland Heights and Beverly Hills.

Newport Seafood Restaurant

Address: 518 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

Website: Newport Seafood Restaurant

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11:30am - 9:30pm; Fri - Sat: 11:30am - 10pm

9. Monterey's Fish House

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

BBQ Oysters...plump and smoky with a hint of salt from the sea. Yes please!

Posted by Monterey’s Fish House on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

At Monterey’s Fish House, a rich, home-style meal is always waiting for you. Blending fresh Monterey Bay seafood with Italian cooking, the restaurant has carved out a space for itself in the crowded restaurant scene of Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row. Monterey’s Fish House serves a mean cioppino and tasty piles of fish and shellfish over delectable homemade pasta. Their super-fresh barbecue oysters are also a must-try, especially while sipping on an ice-cold craft beer or wine from the well-stocked bar.

Monterey's Fish House

Address: 2114 Del Monte Ave., Monterey, CA 93940

Website: Monterey’s Fish House

Opening hours: Thu - Fri: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 9pm; Sat - Sun: 1pm - 8pm (closed from Mon - Wed)

10. Sam's Chowder House - Half Moon Bay

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Bask in the stunning views of the Pacific while digging in some of the freshest seafood in California at the award-winning Sam’s Chowder House. The classic seafood restaurant is a tourist favorite at Half Moon Bay with its daily supply of fresh fish and shellfish, cozy indoor and outdoor dining options, and a spectacular location atop a cliff overlooking the ocean. For many loyal diners, its famous lobster rolls alone are worth every trip to the restaurant. However, there’s plenty of variety to enjoy in their sustainable seafood menu such as clam chowder, fish and chips, fried calamari, and Maine lobster.

Sam's Chowder House

Address: 4210 CA-1, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

Website: Sam’s Chowder House

Opening hours: 11am - 7pm (daily)

Fall in love with Cali’s superb seafood scene

Fresh oysters
Source: Pixabay

If you’re craving high-quality seafood that is fresh and remarkably tasty, California’s variety of pier-to-plate restaurants is sure to tickle your fancy. Whether you prefer newfound eateries or decades-old establishments, you’ll never run short of options in the Golden State. So the next time you’re exploring Cali’s coast, make sure you don’t miss popping in these restaurants for a bite of their famous dishes.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

A freelance writer from the Philippines, Celia Nachura is always in search of new people, food, adventure, and a good story.

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore California
Good things are meant to be shared!