Located west of Los Angeles, Santa Monica is a coastal town that’s famous for its beach along the Pacific Ocean. There’s plenty of fun to be had in this oceanside town. The Santa Monica Pier is one of its most famous attractions and it features an amusement park and aquarium. Visitors who like to work out must visit Muscle Beach, a famous outdoor gym where you can spot people working on their physique. To enjoy the sunny outdoors, visitors to Santa Monica also head to Palisades Park which offers beautiful views over the coastline. And of course, being right on the sea, there’s plenty of excellent seafood to enjoy. We’ve put together a list of our favorite seafood restaurants in Santa Monica, so read on and check out the list.
1. Water Grill
Let’s start our list off with Water Grill, a high-end seafood restaurant that’s been open in Santa Monica since 1989. Its menu is updated daily, so you can order the freshest of the fresh fish. They’re known for their wide range of raw and chilled shellfish, with people raving about the oysters. And if cooked seafood is more your style, try the fish and chips or Chilean sea bass. And don’t forget the sides- we hear the mac and cheese is amazing.
Address: 1401 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
Website: Water Grill
Opening hours: Sun - Thurs: 11am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 12am
2. The Albright
The Albright is a staple of the Santa Monica Pier. The family-run joint has recently relaunched and boasts a menu full of seafood sourced locally. Inside, you’ll find communal tables and decor with pops of turquoise. Outside, they offer a sheltered seating area with fairy lights, creating a cozy, seaside atmosphere. On the menu, you’ll find classic seafood fare, the kind of stuff you’d expect to find on the Santa Monica Pier. From oysters to clam chowder and lobster to crab, there’s plenty to choose from. And to drink, enjoy a craft beer or California wine.
Address: 258 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
Website: The Albright
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 12pm - 9pm; Sat - Sun: 11am - 10pm
3. Rusty's Surf Ranch
If you’re after a more laid-back vibe, head to Rusty’s Surf Ranch. With surfboards adorning the walls, this restaurant offers seafood and bar food, and on the weekends, you’ll find bands playing live shows. While you’re listening to a cover band, you can enjoy a plate of nachos and then indulge in some crab cakes. The dive bar has been a mainstay for those who grew up in the area, so you can feel like you’re enjoying part of Santa Monica’s history while you dine here.
Rusty's Surf Ranch
Address: 256 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
Website: Rusty’s Surf Ranch
Opening hours: Mon - Thurs: 11:30am - 10pm; Fri - Sun: 11:30am - 12am
4. Enterprise Fish Co.
Enterprise Fish Co has been open for 37 years, and their aim has always been to serve up fresh fish. They’re known for grilling everything on their mesquite charcoal grill. Try the salmon or rainbow trout, all cooked on the grill. We also recommend trying some of the grilled vegetables; we hear great things about the Crispy Brussels Sprouts. They’re also known for having an excellent happy hour, where you can enjoy a few drinks and some light bites.
Enterprise Fish Co.
Address: 174 Kinney St, Santa Monica, CA 90405, USA
Website: Enterprise Fish Co.
Opening hours: Sun - Thurs: 11:30am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11:30am - 11pm
5. Blue Plate Oysterette
Blue Plate Oysterette offers a taste of New England on the west coast. This stylish seafood restaurant serves up east coast favorites like lobster rolls and, of course, oysters. But you’ll find California influence in the fish tacos and ahi tuna. The restaurant has been around since 2009, and it is located on Ocean Avenue. There are views of the ocean from the restaurant, and we can highly recommend trying to catch a sunset while you enjoy your dinner. It would make for a great romantic date spot!
Blue Plate Oysterette
Address: 1355 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
Website: Blue Plate Oysterette
Opening hours: Sun - Thurs: 11:30am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 10pm
6. Chez Jay
Chez Jay has been a staple in Santa Monica since the 1950s, and it still has plenty of its old school charm. With red checkered table cloths and framed pictures adorning its walls, you can imagine all the people who’ve gathered in this dive over the years. In addition to its vintage charm, Chez Jay is known for three things: steaks, seafood, and stiff drinks. On the seafood side of things, you can enjoy lobster tail or swordfish, and plenty more. And while you’re eating, keep your eye out for celebrities; it’s known as a hangout spot for the rich and famous.
Address: 1657 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
Website: Chez Jay
Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 9am - 2:30pm; Mon - Fri: 11:30am - 2pm, 5:30pm - 9pm
7. Seasalt Fish Grill
The owners of Seasalt Fish Grill set out to open up a restaurant that serves high-quality seafood but at inexpensive prices and with quick service. And that’s exactly what they do today. They’re committed to dishing out locally sourced, fresh foods. Their menu offers a wide variety, from seafood salads to fish tacos and grilled ahi tuna to fish sandwiches. Reviewers rave about the fish tacos, love the inexpensive prices, and are happy with the fast service. What’s not to like?
Seasalt Fish Grill
Address: 1422 5th Ct, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
Website: Seasalt Fish Grill
Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 12pm - 9pm; Mon - Fri: 11am - 9pm
8. The Galley
The Galley has been open since 1934 and it is appropriately decorated in a nautical style. Look out the portholes (windows), take a photo at the captain’s wheel, or dine on the patio which is done up with shells and fishing nets. As far as the menu goes, you can try crab cakes, shrimp scampi, or calamari. They even have a small vegetarian section; a rarity for seafood joints, so you can ask your veggie friend to join you. They’re also known for having an excellent bar, so after your meal, you can grab a stool and enjoy a nice drink or two.
Address: 2442 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405, USA
Website: The Galley
Opening hours: Mon - Thurs: 5pm - 12am; Fri - Sat: 5pm - 2am; Sun: 1pm - 12am
9. Herringbone Santa Monica
Herringbone Santa Monica is an ultra modern joint. With wood floors, industrial furnishings, and a wall of lush green foliage, it’s like you’ve set foot in a hip catalogue. And it’s not just about the looks. They serve up fresh food, with a focus on line-caught seafood and produce which is locally sourced. Try a seafood pasta or king salmon. They’re also well known for their Oyster Hour, which features 1 USD and a selection of wines which pair well with oysters.
Herringbone Santa Monica
Address: 1755 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
Website: Herringbone Santa Monica
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 4pm - 10pm; Sat: 10am - 2pm, 4pm - 11pm; Sun: 10am - 2pm, 4pm - 9pm
10. The Lobster
We’ll finish off our list with one of Santa Monica’s iconic seafood restaurants: The Lobster. It’s got a perfect location, offering panoramic views of the pier and the Pacific Ocean. Not surprisingly, it’s known for its lobster, which you can get steamed, grilled, or poached, or even in the form of lobster mashed potatoes. But they offer plenty of other seafood options, including crab, gumbo, and pasta. It’s known for being a tourist hot spot, but considering the excellent view and excellent menu, it’s worth it.
Address: 1602 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
Website: The Lobster
Opening hours: Sun - Thurs: 11:30am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11:30am - 11pm
Seafood galore in Santa Monica
It’s no surprise that the seaside city of Santa Monica has plenty of seafood restaurants to choose from. From modern and upscale to vintage dives, there’s plenty of places to go. So put your lobster bib on and prepare to dine on some excellent seafood.
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