One of the best things about downtown San Diego living is the availability of great seafood everywhere. For a little while there, it was tough to find fresh oysters, but now there is a bounty of fabulous places in downtown with raw bars. Here are five that top our list.
1. The Oceanaire Seafood Room
A perennial favorite in the Gaslamp Quarter, The Oceanaire stands by its website motto: “To eat an oyster is to kiss the sea on the lips.” They offer a variety of oyster plates, including happy hour specials (great prices) and oyster-wine pairings. Don’t worry about the location–if you don’t want to hoof it, there’s valet parking.
2. Ironside Fish and Oyster
Ironside Fish and Oyster in Little Italy is housed in a huge and very cool 1920s warehouse. Many fans say this is the best place for oysters in the city, hands down. Don’t be fooled by the impressive surroundings and the half-dozen types of oysters typically available at the raw bar; Ironside has some fantastic prices, and you could easily make a meal of the oysters alone. Come during happy hour when oysters are just a buck apiece.
3. Water Grill
Water Grill has three locations: two in LA and one in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. Whether you prefer the Pacific Kiss variety of oyster from British Columbia or Stingrays flown in from Chesapeake Bay, you can find your perfect blend of buttery or briny flavor at Water Grill. Water Grill tends to be a bit pricier than some of the other locales on our list, but regular diners insist it’s worth it at the raw bar
4. Poppa’s Fresh Fish Company
Poppa’s Fresh Fish Company has a restaurant and seafood market on Ocean View Blvd. in the Memorial neighborhood. It’s a few minutes southeast of East Village condos in Downtown San Diego, and if you aren’t up for a short ride they also travel to a host of local farmers markets to sample their ultra fresh offerings on the go. They have an “Oyster Happy Hour” the first hour of every market, and steady customers love their reasonable prices and consistent high quality. In addition to oysters, Poppa’s is known for its amazing sea urchins.
5. Blue Point Coastal Cuisine
Blue Point Coastal Cuisine is part of the highly successful Cohn Restaurant Group, and their location in the Gaslamp Quarter is a classic with old-fashioned supper club ambiance. Offering indoor and sidewalk dining, Blue Point lists oysters as an appetizer and serves a happy hour in the bar, lounge and patio during the week with special prices on your briny friends.
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