What restaurants have the best views in San Diego?

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Julia Weiler

Perched high atop the sea bluffs at the Torrey Pines Gliderport, the Cliffhanger Café boasts breath-taking panoramas of the sparkling Pacific Ocean situated some 320 feet below.  Diners are treated to views that stretch from the dramatic sandy coastline all the way to the glittering horizon.  They may even spot migrating whales or pods of frolicking dolphins. 

While the sea life is intriguing, those who look to the sky will be rewarded with wild life of another kind.  Paragliders, hang gliders and other airborne adventurers launch their flights right in front of the The Cliffhanger’s expansive outdoor dining area.  Take in the exciting views while noshing on fresh deli-style cuisine and hearty BBQ fare.  Visit on Saturdays from 1pm to 4pm and enjoy live music from up-and-coming San Diego bands.

The Cliffhanger Café is located at 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037 and is open from 9am until 4pm every day of the year except Christmas.


Take in one of the most jaw-dropping panoramas in all of San Diego from Bertrand at Mr. A’s, a posh penthouse restaurant situated atop the 5th Avenue Financial Center building just minutes from downtown.  Sip kumquat juleps on Bertrand’s al fresco balcony or in the dining room and drink in the scenery of San Diego’s bay and stunning city skyline.  The striking view extends as far as Coronado, Point Loma, Balboa Park and even the iconic San Diego Zoo.

In addition to the views, Bertrand’s boasts an enticing menu of modern American cuisine with French and Mediterranean influences.  Nibble on hearts of baby romaine with crab beignets and crispy roasted moulard duck breast
dressed in huckleberry sauce as the attentive staff sees to your every need.  Be sure to save room for desserts with wine pairings such as mousse with honey nougat and peanut brittle
served with a stem of Taylor’s 10-year-old tawny Port.

Gayot.com recently named Bertrand at Mister A’s as one of the Top 10 Penthouse Restaurants in the United States.  The lofty and luxurious venue is located on the 12th floor at 2550 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103.


With miles of shoreline lapped by Pacific waves, San Diego boasts a wide array of oceanfront and beachfront dining venues.  Whether you wish to soak in serene views of Mission Bay, an iconic sunset seascape or sit so close to the waves you can almost feel them crashing, here are three to savor.

Located on the lush tropical grounds of Paradise Point Resort and Spa, Baleen boasts beautiful views of gorgeous Mission Bay.  This fine-dining venue is the resort’s signature restaurant and offers both indoor and outdoor seating in a peaceful waterfront setting.  The menu, which is reflective of the scenery, focuses on sumptuous seafood such as roasted dayboat scallops with a tangerine glaze, blue crab cakes enhanced by avocado and white sea bass served with preserved lemon raviolis.  Elegant cocktails are available as well as local micro brews and an intriguing list of wines.

333 Pacific
Located in Oceanside directly across from the west coast’s longest wooden pier, 333 Pacific features surf and turf-style dining, hip high-end ambiance and beach and sunset views that are quintessentially Californian.  Watch the sunlight glisten off the ocean waves as you dine on starters such as Pacific oysters then feast on twin lobster tails and a 25oz ribeye as the sun sets behind the iconic pier.  Be sure to stick around for dessert and savor stunning views of the famous pier lighting up the night.

The Marine Room
If the Marine Room in La Jolla were any closer to the pounding waves you’d have to dine there in your bathing suit.  Built smack-dab in the midst of sea spray, this famous high-end eatery has been thrilling diners with it’s surf-front location since it opened in 1941.  Considering its spectacular and unique frontage one might assume the fare takes a back seat to the setting.  Not so.  Thanks to the culinary skills of award-winning Executive Chef Bernard Guillas and Chef de Cuisine, Ron Oliver, their French-inspired menu items such as trumpet mushroom torte easily rivals the view.

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