When looking at great places for a vacation, Los Angeles is hard to beat. Home to Hollywood and countless other attractions, you’ll be spoilt for choice with so much to see and do.
And to fuel your West Coast adventures, it’s worth knowing what some of the best dining spots in the area are.
While the culinary scene in the City of Angels is incredibly rich and diverse, one could argue that the jewel in its crown is the combination of upscale food and breathtaking ocean views.
So if you’re craving some vitamin D and that classic California feel, check out my list of the best waterfront restaurants in Los Angeles.
27400 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Geoffrey’s exclusive dining experience offers oceanside views like you won’t see anywhere else in California.
Each table has a view of the ocean and surrounding tropical scenery. This upscale location is perfect for hosting special events or making a reservation, and bringing a date.
This high-end restaurant serves beautifully crafted small plates. My favorite was the Ahi Tuna Tartare and sampling the artisan cheese plates.
Malibu Farm Restaurant
23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
This casual and breezy oceanside bistro is the perfect location when you’re looking for a nice blend of rustic and chic dining options.
Located next to the Malibu Pier, it was easy to stop for dinner after a day of admiring the ocean. I was so impressed with the farm-to-table menu, and everything paired perfectly with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.
The vegan coconut ceviche was simply incredible and a perfect reflection of the atmosphere found here—high-end without losing any of its homely charms.
I’m sure this is a restaurant I will return to for fresh eats and exciting flavors.
22706 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
I reached my next stop, Nobu Malibu, heading south along the Pacific Coast Highway. I was so excited to try the cuisine created by Iron Chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa.
Perfectly blended Japanese and Californian style fare did not disappoint. This modern eatery serves up all of your classic Asian favorites, such as sashimi and miso, or you can order Kobe beef if fish isn’t your thing.
And don’t forget to try one of the decadent desserts. Sipping my Sunset Spritzer and watching the sun go down from this restaurant’s elegantly decorated deck was the ideal way to spend the evening.
1602 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Located adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier, the lobster was within walking distance of incredible nightlife and entertainment.
This stylish and modern eatery offers breathtaking ocean views with a perfect sight line to the beach. The food was easily the star of the show.
This internationally known establishment specializes in lobster and locally sourced fare. I highly recommend the lobster roll with a side of truffle fries paired with a Lobster Cosmo.
Visit this upscale eatery and have your taste buds tantalized by celebrity chef Govind Armstrong’s expert culinary skills.
117 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
For a stylish and sleek atmosphere, I visited the Strand House on Manhattan Beach at the entrance to the Manhattan Beach Pier.
I didn’t have to travel far for entertainment since there was live music all evening at the venue. Being serenaded while admiring 180° ocean views is something you’ll want to experience during your visit, too.
This incredible location serves farm-fresh dining and hearty, healthy eats. I couldn’t have asked for a better night out on the town with a plate of fresh oysters and a glass of Prosecco.
1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica 90405
Santa Monica was one of my favorite areas to enjoy dining and entertainment during my visit. I knew I wanted to eat at a restaurant near the action, so I chose Catch, which did not disappoint.
This sophisticated seafood restaurant and bar is conveniently located in the Hotel Casa Del Mar, making it a great place to stay during your trip.
This gorgeous hotel and the surrounding beach provide the perfect backdrop for this sophisticated restaurant.
1146 Nagoya Way, San Pedro, CA 90731
You will want to add Crusty Crab to your list of food destinations for a casual, fun atmosphere and some of the best seafood in California.
This market and dining experience offers an authentic look at coastal living in San Pedro. With indoor and outdoor dining offering beautiful views of the main channel, you can rest assured that all your food is freshly caught.
You can walk up to receive your meal or sit in the dining room. You can even buy seafood by the pound, and they will cook it for you. Talk about coastal living!
13534 Bali Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
This chic and trendy location offers magnificent views of the marina, giving it that perfect riverfront feel.
Conveniently located in Marina Del Rey Hotel, this is a perfect stop if you’re looking for a casual but sophisticated atmosphere.
Salt Restaurant and Bar won’t disappoint you if you’re looking for an incredible night out with friends or the perfect venue to host your event.
1111 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Sitting at the top of the Huntley Hotel, you will find The Penthouse, a classy eatery for California’s finest diners. Reserve a table for breakfast through dinner, and enjoy panoramic waterfront views.
After an exciting day exploring the town, it is luxurious to come back to your hotel and Stop by the restaurant for dinner.
Classic flavors with a contemporary twist are the perfect blend of familiar and sophisticated. I highly recommend the short rib cavatelli, one of the many signature cocktails.
141 W 22nd St Ste A, San Pedro, CA 90731
This restaurant has a rich history and is surrounded by plenty of other interesting places to see. Visit the Fort MacArthur Museum or browse the port of Los Angeles.
At the end of the day, though, make sure you stop for a meal at 22nd St. Landing Seafood Grill and Bar.
This gorgeous eatery offers waterfront views and classic coastal fare. Stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and try fresh seafood options Such as stand clams and mussels.
If you do make it in time for brunch, I highly recommend the lobster fritter benedict and a glass of champagne.
Beachfront, oceanside, and lakeside activities and dining options are all part of the essential make-up of California.
As such, it comes as no surprise that there are many great waterfront restaurants to choose from. So if given a chance, treat yourself to seafood and other delicacies at any of the listed restaurants, and it will only enrich your vacation in LA.
And here are some more of our favorite locations around town for when you want to grab a few drinks!
Did we leave some of your favorite waterfront restaurants from this list? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll make sure to check them out!
- Malibu Farm Restaurant
- Nobu Malibu
- The Lobster
- The Strand House
- Crusty Crab
- SALT Restaurant & Bar
- The Penthouse
- 22nd St. Landing Seafood Grill & Bar