11 Must-Try Restaurants in Del Mar, CA

Although many people love traveling to Del Mar, California, to enjoy a day at Torrey Pines State Beach or the Del Mar Racetrack in the summer, others love stopping by the local seafood restaurants for a lovely oceanfront meal.

table set prepared at del mar restaurants

However, they also offer several other international choices if you’re looking for variety when trying new dishes in the city.

Check out my list of the best restaurants in Del Mar, California, and other nearby areas to narrow down the best flavors in town.

MARKET Restaurant + Bar

3702 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: 858-523-0007
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First up on my list of the best restaurants in Del Mar, California, is MARKET Restaurant + Bar, located just a short walk away from the Showpark of San Diego horse riding field.

This upscale eatery has a stylish ambiance with mood lighting ideal for enjoying quality seasonal Californian dishes on a fixed-price menu. They also serve sushi at their bar and lounge.

They offer plenty of options on their three-course tasting menu. Consider starting with their Braised Bacon & Poached Egg Salad or Local Grapefruit & Avocado Salad.

Then, try their Sweet Pea Tortellini & Crispy Eggplant as your second course. After dinner, indulge in their Hazelnut-Praline Mousse cake for dessert.

Jake’s Del Mar

1660 Coast Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: 858-755-2002
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Next up on my list of the best restaurants in Del Mar, California, is Jake’s Del Mar, a relaxed beachside restaurant near Powerhouse Park & Beach.

Its bright interior and beach-themed decor make it an excellent place to enjoy upscale seafood if you’re in the mood for dinner or a late lunch.

I’m a fan of their Curry & Cumin Crusted Ahi, Shrimp Scampi, Filet Mignon, and Mixed Seafood Pot. Consider adding a shrimp skewer or Maine lobster tail to your steak or seafood if you’re extra hungry.

The best drinks to pair with these dishes are their Spicy Cucumber Margarita or Strawberry Lemonade Slushie.

Pacifica Del Mar

1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: 858-792-0476
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You can find Pacifica Del Mar inside the Del Mar Plaza shopping mall. This upscale eatery offers guests a relaxed setting as they dine on the finest seafood.

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It also has an outdoor patio with a lovely waterfront view of the Pacific Ocean. They have five private dining areas for any occasion, from corporate events to weddings. Two of these areas offer open-air dining.

After starting with their Crispy Calamari or Steamed Mussels, consider ordering their Sugar-Spiced Verlasso Salmon, Grilled Swordfish, Pan-Roasted Chilean Halibut, or Center-Cut Filet Mignon with a side of Roasted Fingerling Potatoes. They also offer $5 tacos on Taco Tuesdays and half-price wine bottles every Thursday.


3263 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: 858-481-1166
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Another one of the best restaurants in Del Mar, California, you should consider visiting after spending your day at the beach is Brigantine, minutes away from the San Dieguito River.

This lively seafood restaurant serves classic San Diego-style surf & turf for anyone interested in unwinding in a casual, clubby setting.

Brigantine’s menu offers plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly dining options. They serve the best Tiger Shrimp & Grits, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Crispy Lobster Tempura Tacos, and Parmesan Crusted Sauteed Sand Dabs in the neighborhood.

If you stop by their oyster bar, try their Oysters Rockefeller or Napa Valley Nachos. They also offer brunch on the weekends.

CUCINA enoteca Del Mar

2730 Via De La Valle #1906, Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: 858-704-4500
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Are you in the mood for authentic Italian cuisine made with organic ingredients? Then, consider booking your next dinner reservation at CUCINA enoteca Del Mar, nestled within Flower Promenade Mall.

It has a stylish yet whimsical atmosphere that combines the feel of a modern Italian kitchen with creative bohemian vibes.

They also have a spacious bar and outdoor patio. Their menu offers gluten-free pasta for anyone with specific dietary preferences.

Some of their most popular options are their Whole Roasted Branzino, Brandt Beef Bullseye Steak, Rigatoni Bolognese, and Shrimp, Clam, and Squid Ink Linguine. These hearty entrees taste great with a zero-proof Lavender Lemonade or Oaxacan Sunset cocktail.

Del Mar Rendezvous

1555 Camino Del Mar #102, Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: 858-755-2669
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Nestled within Del Mar Plaza, Del Mar Rendezvous is one of the best restaurants in Del Mar, California offering quality upscale Chinese cuisine.

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It has a cozy, intimate ambiance for a casual dinner with your family or planning a date night. Their menu offers plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options.

My favorite dishes are their Tangerine Chicken, Kung Pao Filet Mignon, Imperial Shrimp, and

Vegetable Lo Mein.

I prefer ordering these entrees with Scallion Bread, Yu Hsiang Eggplant, or Egg Fried Rice on the side. If you have time for dessert, try their Xiangjiao, an eggroll rolled in cinnamon and filled with banana cheesecake.

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

3435 Del Mar Heights Rd D3, San Diego, CA 92130
Phone: 858-703-5300
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Snooze, an A.M. Eatery is a casual breakfast restaurant with a vibrant, retro aesthetic located within Del Mar Highlands Town Center Shopping Mall.

I consider it one of the best restaurants in Del Mar, California, for enjoying brunch with your friends or family because of its lively atmosphere and wide selection of creative dishes.

I recommend their Funky Monkey French Toast, Garden Harvest Omelet, Huevos Tostados, or Habanero Pork Belly Benny with a side of bacon, fresh fruit, or hash browns.

Don’t forget to enhance your morning with a refreshing Spicy Bloody, Vanilla Almond Matcha Tea Latte, or Brewmosa.

Poseidon Restaurant Del Mar

1670 Coast Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: 858-755-9345
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You can find Poseidon Restaurant Del Mar near Powerhouse Park & Beach. This relaxing, casual beachfront dining destination offers guests plenty of seafood-centric dishes and a nice view of the ocean from its patio that connects to the beach.

Their Maine Lobster Tails, Seafood Cioppino, Prime Beef Short Ribs, and Chilean Sea Bass have bold flavors that anyone can enjoy.

They also serve tacos for lunch. I love ordering my meal with a French 75 or Manhattan cocktail. If you’re treating your friends to dinner, consider browsing through their wine list to make your night classier.

Then, if you feel like treating yourself to dessert, try their cheesecake of the day or Sorbet Swirl with an Espresso Martini.


2660 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: 858-792-2225
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Another excellent family-friendly restaurant you can find in Flower Hill Promenade is Milton’s, a casual delicatessen offering smoked meat sandwiches and other Jewish delicacies.

It’s a great place to stop for lunch after going to the beach or take something to go if you don’t have time to stay. They also offer catering services for off-site events.

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I love ordering their Greek Omelet or Lox Benedict with fresh lemonade or grapefruit juice for breakfast.

I also recommend their Tuna Melt, Milton’s Pot Pie, or Pastrami Philly Cheesesteak for lunch or dinner. If you’re in the mood for dessert, try their Root Beer Float, Cherry Strudel, or Banana Pudding.

Board & Brew – Del Mar

1212 Camino Del Mar #2506, Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: 858-481-1021
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If you’re in the mood for craft beer and creative sandwiches, one of the best restaurants in Del Mar, California, you should consider visiting Board & Brew – Del Mar, minutes away from Seagrove Park and Wave Crest Resort.

It has a casual, surf-themed atmosphere. They use the freshest ingredients for their scratch-made sandwiches, enhanced with a secret sauce to ensure quality flavors.

Their best sandwiches are Baja Beef, Left Coast Pastrami, Veggie Supreme, and Tub O’Tuna. They taste great with a side of potato salad.

They also offer fresh house salads if you prefer eating a greener meal. If you’re treating your kids to lunch, let them order a grilled cheese or quesadilla from their kid’s menu.

Beeside Balcony

1201 Camino Del Mar #200, Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: 858-481-9889
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Last but not least on my list of the best restaurants in Del Mar, California, is Beeside Balcony, a coastal-chic dining destination offering the tastiest Mediterranean and Californian dishes near the Pacific.

Unwind in their intimate indoor dining room or enjoy Executive Chef Christophe’s food on their covered outdoor balcony.

Their Spanish Grilled Octopus, Pesto Shrimp Linguini, Gratin De Pasta, and Peppercorn Filet Mignon are my favorite menu options.

If you’re in the mood for a house cocktail, consider trying their Prickly Lady, Mint to Bee, or Del Mar Derby.

They have plenty of creative dessert options if you’re looking for an after-dinner treat. I usually have their Warm Apple Tart or Pineapple Delight.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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