Anthonys Fish Grotto

Anthonys Fish Grotto is a must-try if you happen to be at the Embarcadero at the San Diego Bay. This Bayside restaurant has an unassuming front entrance and you would probably not give it a second glance - except for the huge line of people waiting to get in.

This restaurant is medium-pricey but then, the inside is "medium-classy" and the food is maximum-fresh. If possible, make reservations to bypass the line-up.

The Establishment

Anthonys Fish Grotto has been in business for over 60 years and has been voted "San Diego's Best Seafood" for 11 years in a row. The restaurant is semi-classy and they will treat you well even if you arrive in casual attire.

The main dining room is efficiently packed, yet surprisingly free-flowing and uncluttered. It has just the right mix of tables, people, and employees to give a comfortable chatter yet not crazily noisy.

Most seating is in the form of tables and chairs with a few booths that line the perimeter. Tableware and decor is quite contemporary with just a hint of a ocean theme. The choice of color is refreshing. Despite the high volume of tables and chairs, the restaurant maintains an open-air feel with prominent archways and hanging banners.

The large windows offer a great view of the San Diego Bay and allow natural light to enter the dining area. If you don't mind waiting, you can ask for window seating: it's very romantic.

The waiter was knowledgeable - perhaps bordering pushy in his recommendations for wine, appetizers, and the more expensive Catch of the Day Specials.

Bathooms are modern but they get messy during peak hours.

Enlarge photo

The Food

Food is moderately expensive (about $20 per entree) but its fresh and absolutely fabulous. The menu is predominantly seafood, with a handful of chicken or steak dishes. There is an impressive selection of seafood: calamari, clam chowder, salmon salad, tuna salad sandwiches, fish & chips, Alaskan King Crab, Shrimp Pasta Primavera, salmon fillet, and more! Food came relatively quickly especially considering how busy it is.

Meals come with bread and sun dried tomato & garlic butter. Free refills on non alcoholic drinks.
Full bar. Kids menu available along with color page and crayons.

The Fishette

If you don't want to wait for a seat in the dinning room; or if you are enjoying your stroll along the Embarcadero and don't want to stop for a full, sit down meal, you can order from the Fishette.

The Fishette is immediately adjacent to the main restaurant. It is a fast-food style eatery where you order at the window and then take your food to go. Patio seating available but that's often filled too.

Location, Parking, Hours of Operation
Anthonys Fish Grotto
Downtown on the Bay
1360 North Harbor Drive        
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 232-5103
see map
see menu (subject to change)
Open daily from 11 am to 10 pm
Metered parking outside the restaurant available but it is often full. Try paid parking lots that is along Harbor Dr.

Anthonys Fish Grotto: three locations:
Downtown on the Bay
1360 North Harbor Dr      
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 232-5103
La Mesa
9530 Murray Dr
La Mesa, CA 91942  
(619) 463-0368
Chula Vista
215 West Bay Blvd.
Chula Vista, CA 91910  
(619) 425-4200