21 Best Restaurants in Oceanside, California [Must-Try Places]

Reviewed by Elina Ansary
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Find the best restaurants in Oceanside for fine dining, beachside breakfasts, chic cocktails, and all the fish tacos you can eat.

Oceanside, a laid-back beach town in San Diego County’s northern corner, is fast becoming the hottest SoCal destination for foodies. 

With several top-notch gastropubs setting up shop in the city’s downtown, Oceanside’s food scene has grown beyond fish tacos and surfer bars.

Oceanside’s new crop of upscale restaurants is drawing praise and recognition from food critics, but the location refuses to abandon its surf-culture roots.

Eat sushi in a grunge-inspired Japanese joint, watch the sunset from a high-end hotel dining room, or grab a simple fish taco: you’ll receive a warm welcome everywhere, whether you’re wearing heels or flip-flops.

So whether you’re vacationing nearby, passing through on a Pacific Coast Highway road trip, or a local looking for a new favorite place to eat, check out the best restaurants in Oceanside for yourself.

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

Sunset over a busy, palm tree-lined beach with a commercial strip of Restaurants in Oceanside

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The Miller’s Table

Best restaurant for: People looking for a healthy restaurant in Oceanside
Address: 514 South Coast Highway Unit a, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Best for: Dinner
Reserve a table here

The Miller’s Table is a wine bar with an extensive menu of Mediterranean-inspired small plates and more sizeable sharing dishes. 

Monday to Saturday, this restaurant is primarily a wine bar serving small bites on the side, like charcuterie boards and salads.

On Thursdays and Fridays, The Miller’s Table transforms for reservation-only dinners, when guest chefs take over for a multi-course event. 

The chef dictates the cuisine and style, but menus are available on the website. Buy tickets in advance for these occasions, as there are no walk-ins. 

If you’re looking for a wine-tasting experience with food to accompany your choices, The Miller’s Table is one of the best Oceanside restaurants for wine and offers a flight of wines from the vast selection. 

Sandwiches are available at lunchtime from Thursday to Sunday.

Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen

Best restaurant for: Californian pub fare
Address: 509 Mission Ave, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Dinner
No reservations

Flying Pig Bistro Pub and Kitchen is a new addition to the local restaurants, but has gained plaudits from food critics and is fast becoming one of the top Oceanside restaurants.

San Diego Magazine describes Flying Pig Pub Kitchen as “flip flop fine dining,” and that’s a fair characterization of this restaurant serving Southern-inspired cuisine in a casual location. 

Think elevated comfort food like truffle fries, bacon mac ‘n cheese, a gourmet burger, and braised pork shank.

Everyone is welcometo eat  at Flying Pig Pub Kitchen– families, dogs, tourists, locals, big groups, and solo diners– all diners receive a warm greeting on walking through the door at this new addition to the best Oceanside restaurants.

At Flying Pig Pub Kitchen, you’ll find great food, a casual atmosphere, a wide selection of craft beer, and an overall fun dining experience.

The Lab Collaborative

Best restaurant for: Upscale cooking in a relaxed setting
Address: 201 North Cleveland Street, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Dinner
Reserve a table here

Whether you’re a CEO or a surfer, The Lab Collaborative promises all diners a warm welcome and a fantastic dining experience. 

This downtown eatery is one of the best-loved Oceanside restaurants for modern Californian cuisine and prioritizes high-quality ingredients sourced locally.

Dine in the minimally-decorated interior or on the spacious patio next to a fire pit. If you’re indoors, you can watch chefs prepare your meal in the open-stye kitchen. 

The creamy potato and burnt leek soup is a standout appetizer, while the fried chicken sandwich is a great choice to eat for your entree. 

If you have room to eat dessert (a big ‘if,’ as the portions here are generous), there is a dessert waffle or creme brulee to follow.

Local Tap House

Best restaurant for: Craft beer and a burger
Address: 308 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Lunch
No reservations

Local Tap House is a new Oceanside hotspot with a lengthy bar, extensive beer selection, and spacious outdoor patio. 

Go for the beer–with 30 taps, there’s something for everyone. Try some tasty bar snacks or grab a table and enjoy a meal.

Local Tap House gets busy on weekends, so go early, or you be prepared to wait for a table. 

Waiting is not too much of a hardship, however, as it’s an excellent opportunity to try a local brew from the friendly bar staff.

The hummus plate, short ribs, and empanadas are popular with diners at Local Tap House. Order a few bar snacks for the table, tapas-style, and share the small plates for a fun lunch with friends.

Hello Betty

Best restaurant for: Fresh seafood with stunning views
Address: 211 Mission Ave., Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Seafood
Best for: Lunch
Reserve a table here

I always look for fish tacos in San Diego County, especially if I’m close enough to the ocean to enjoy the sea breeze. 

If you also appreciate the fresh flavors and crispy goodness of well-made fish tacos, head straight to Hello Betty on Mission Ave., one of the best Oceanside restaurants serving this popular dish.

From the popular rooftop lounge, appreciate the views of palm trees and the Pacific beyond with a margarita, especially at sunset. 

Or take a break from your beach activities with a taco, slider, or ceviche in the surf-inspired interior.

Bagby Beer Company

Best restaurant for: Beer and bar snacks
Address: 601 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Lunch
Reserve a table here

Bagby Beer Company is all about beer, brewed on-site by a master brewer with over 20 years of experience. 

Bagby’s craft beer takes inspiration from styles from across the globe, so whether you’re into a barrel-aged porter or an American IPA, there’s a brew for you here.

The menu is elevated pub fare, and popular items include the pizza, the cheddar smash burger, and the fried chicken sandwich. The kitchen makes as much as possible from scratch, using local ingredients whenever they can.

Bagby Beer Company offers a kid’s menu with favorites like chicken tenders, pizza, and burgers, making it one of Oceanside’s most popular local restaurants with families.

Petite Madeline Bakery

Best restaurant for: Sandwiches and a coffee
Address: 223 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Bakery
Best for: Breakfast
No reservations

Petite Madeline Bakery is something of a hidden gem. Head to this neighborhood bakery in downtown Oceanside for freshly-baked pastries, satisfying sandwiches, and a hot breakfast.

Whether you’re after a bun and latte or you’re hungry for an omelet, Petite Madeline Bakery is one of the best spots in Oceanside for breakfast.

The chicken-and-waffle benedict is delicious, as are the ham and cheese croissant sandwiches, available for takeout all day.

The inside is airy and spacious but does get crowded on weekends, and there is limited streetside outdoor seating. 

If you’re looking for a grab-and-go breakfast, this is one of the best Oceanside cafes for a pastry and hot drink.

333 Pacific

Best restaurant for: Chic beachside dining
Address: 333 N Pacific St, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Seafood
Best for: Dinner
Reserve a table here

333 Pacific is one of the best Oceanside restaurants for date nights and special occasions. This stylish spot makes the most of its prime location on the first floor of the Wyndham Oceanfront Pier Resort. 

Cohn Restaurant Group, which owns 333 Pacific, has built its reputation in San Diego County on great hospitality and exquisite food. This latest venture is now one of the top Oceanside restaurants.

The menu, inspired by views of the famous Oceanside pier and the ocean, focuses on amazing seafood dishes like shrimp ceviche tostadas and mustard-glazed salmon. 

The meat options are delicious, too, with filet mignon and New Zealand lamb making welcome appearances.

If you’re looking for a fine-dining experience with amazing views, look no further than 333 Pacific.

Stratford at the Harbor

Best restaurant for: Oceanside harbor restaurants with a great breakfast
Address: 280 Harbor Dr, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Breakfast
No reservations

Priding itself on great service and amazing food, Stratford at the Harbor is one of the most popular Oceanside restaurants for breakfast. 

French toast, omelets, and scrambles are among the most popular menu items here.

Stratford at the Harbor’s Harbor Village location provides picturesque views, and it’s an excellent spot for a casual meal. Try the Mahi fish tacos or the Backyard Burger with crispy bacon and avocado for a satisfying midday meal.

Miramar Fish Tacos

Best restaurant for: Fish tacos in a casual location
Address: 41 Douglas Dr, Oceanside, CA 92058
Cuisine: Mexican
Best for: Lunch
No reservations

Miramar Fish Tacos hits the spot if you’re looking to eat fresh and healthy fast food. 

Don’t be thrown off by its location in a shopping mall just off Highway 76, it’s the perfect pit stop when you’re in the mood to eat a fully-loaded burrito or fish tacos.

The smoked tuna and shrimp tacos are a popular choice. Order more than one if you’re hungry, as the tacos are small but full of flavor. 

Snack on the complimentary chips and salsa while you wait for your order.

The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza

Best restaurant for: High-end pizza
Address: 1706 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Italian
Best for: Lunch
Reserve a table here

The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza is one of the top Oceanside restaurants for delicious pizza. Here, they bake it in a huge coal fire. 

Expect a crispy, fire-charred base with high-quality toppings like meatballs, house-made fennel sausage, and artichoke hearts. If you’re unsure, go for the simple and delicious Margherita pizza.

Although the menu is pizza-focused, you can also order some great appetizers like chicken wings and crispy Brussels sprouts. 

The pies are generous and serve one-to-two people, so if you’re going as a group, you may want to share a few between you. 

The dining room is casual, with long picnic tables for large groups and cozy booths. While waiting for your meal, check out the wine flights for a mini-wine tasting.

Masters Kitchen and Cocktail

Best restaurant for: Tasty food with local ingredients
Address: 208 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Brunch and Happy Hour
Reserve a table here

Masters Kitchen and Cocktail is one of the top Oceanside restaurants to open in recent years, helping elevate this relaxed beach town into one of California’s leading foodie destinations.

Its location a few blocks from the beach is in a former drag-race car repair shop. Masters Kitchen and Cocktail has retained its industrial heritage with a stylish interior and a 1920’s inspired cocktail menu. 

Apart from classy cocktails, craft beer and local wines are also available.

The food makes use of local, high-quality ingredients. Standout dishes on the Masters Kitchen menu include mac ‘n cheese, truffle fries, an artisan meat and cheese board, and the Master’s Burger– a beef patty topped with bacon aioli and aged white cheddar (that’s right– bacon aioli!).

Harbor Fish and Chips

Best restaurant for: Fish and chips
Address: 276 Harbor Drive, Oceanside, CA, 92054
Cuisine: Seafood
Best for: Lunch
No reservations

If you’re craving fish and chips by the beach, head to Oceanside’s harbor for this family-owned Oceanside mainstay. 

The menu features battered fish and chips, of course, but you will also find fish tacos, burgers, onion rings, and fried zucchini.

Harbor Fish and Chips is perfect for a quick snack or a satisfying midday bite. 

And, if you grab a table outside, you’ll find this is one of the best restaurants for views of the harbor on a sunny day.

Beach Break Cafe

Best restaurant for: Breakfast classics
Address: 1802 South Coast Highway, Oceanside, California 92054
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Breakfast
No reservations

Beach Break Cafe is one of the most popular restaurants in Oceanside for breakfast, serving classic dishes with style, like omelets, eggs benedict, and corn beef hash.

If you’re heading over for a weekend brunch, get there early as wait times get long– many consider Beach Break the best breakfast restaurant in Oceanside and are willing to wait for it.

If you’re stumped over what to eat, the Club sandwich is a popular menu item, along with the killer burrito. The killer burrito–and everything else on the menu– come in generous portions, and you can wash down this great food with some great coffee.

Wrench & Rodent Sebasstropub

Best restaurant for: Creative sushi dishes
Address: 1815 South Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA, 92054
Cuisine: Japanese
Best for: Dinner
Reserve a table here

Wrench & Rodent has an intriguing name, inspired by the chef’s English heritage and signaling a rejection of the status quo. 

One of the most eclectic Oceanside restaurants, Wrench & Rodent focuses on sustainable seafood. The best way to experience it is the Omakase set menu, but there are plenty of a-la-carte options if you prefer to make your own selections.

The menu changes regularly and centers around whatever is locally available at a given time. 

Wrench & Rodent is not a traditional sushi spot by any means, but it is generating a lot of buzz in the community, and is fast becoming a local favorite among Oceanside restaurants.

Lighthouse Oyster Bar and Grill

Best restaurant for: One of the best seafood restaurants in Oceanside
Address: 262 Harbor Dr, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Seafood
Best for: Lunch
No reservations

Relax in a location by the harbor, and breathe in the ocean air while you enjoy oysters, eat fresh fish, and sip wine on Lighthouse Oyster Bar and Grill’s outdoor patio, one of the most popular Oceanside restaurants with an ocean view. 

With many of the fish sourced from local fishermen, Lighthouse is also one of the best Oceanside restaurants for seafood.

Popular dishes include the cioppino, fisherman’s fry, and oysters on the half-shell. 

Pork chop, steak, and chicken are also available from the grill if seafood isn’t your thing, or try a sandwich if you’re in the mood for a light bite to eat.

Rockin’ Baja Lobster

Best restaurant for: Coastal Mexican cuisine
Address: 258 Harbor Dr., Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Mexican
Best for: Lunch
Reserve a table here: call (760) 967-6199

Rockin’ Baja Lobster is a San Diego chain serving traditional Baja-style Mexican food, and it’s one of the best Mexican restaurants in Oceanside.

In its prime harborside location, this is one of the top restaurants in Oceanside for views over the harbor if you can snag one of the outdoor tables to eat at. 

The Baja buckets, which include lobster tails, corn, shrimp, snow crab, and soft tortillas, are the most famous dishes on the menu. Some of these buckets are huge, and it’s best to share them.

Traditional enchiladas, burritos, and tacos are also on the menu, which you can enjoy with a margarita or icy cold beer. 

On weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., join locals for Happy Hour, where you can try out some tasty food and cocktails at a discount.

Sancho’s Tacos

Best restaurant for: Casual Mexican favorites
Address: 400 Mission Ave., Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Mexican
Best for: All day dining
No reservations

Sancho’s Tacos is a SoCal chain of casual Mexican restaurants serving burritos, tacos, and quesadillas all day. 

The chain has several outposts, and each location is decked out in decor that’s colorful, fun, and a little crazy– but it works! 

Sancho’s Oceanside location is a few blocks from the beach in downtown Oceanside and is a perfect spot for breakfast burritos. 

The breakfast burrito, one of the most popular menu items, is filled with eggs, potatoes, cheese, and your choice of meat. It’s available to eat all day at one of the best Oceanside restaurants for fast, delicious Mexican food.

That Boy Good Southern BBQ Joint Oceanside

Best restaurant for: Delicious barbecue
Address: 326 North Horne Street, Oceanside CA
Cuisine: Barbecue
Best for: Lunch 
No reservations

If you are hankering for New Orleans-style brisket in San Diego, That Boy Good Southern BBQ Joint is the perfect location. 

There are no reservations for this casual restaurant and bar, so pull up a stool to eat at the bar or grab a seat in the large open-plan dining room and order away.

The name refers to a Southern slang term that means the best food and the best music. The cozy, wood-paneled location feels like somewhere you could hang out with friends for hours, making your way through the cocktails on the menu.

Unusually for Oceanside restaurants, alcoholic drinks are limited to craft beers on tap and cocktails, so don’t arrive hoping to pair your brisket with a bottle of wine. 

Popular dishes include frito pie, pulled pork, and baby back ribs.

The Switchboard Restaurant and Bar

Best restaurant for: Hawaiian and Korean-inspired dishes
Address: 131 South Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Best for: All day dining
No reservations

The Switchboard Restaurant and Bar is one of the chicest yet most relaxed Oceanside restaurants that dot the Pacific Coast Highway.

The Switchboard is ideal if you’re stopping to eat on the way to or from San Diego. There are plenty of Hawaiian dishes like kalua pork and poke, and ingredients like spam and pineapple make a few appearances too.

Some of the best food on the menu is the many Korean dishes, such as Bulgogi beef and Korean fried chicken-and-waffles. 

The Switchboard is inside The Fin, a historic hotel commandeered during the war as a communications hub– hence the name. 

The hotel has a chic, vintage vibe, which makes it perfect if you’re searching for a warm and cozy restaurant in Oceanside and a lovely dog-friendly patio outdoors.

Rosewood Kitchen

Best restaurant for: Anyone looking for fun places to eat in Oceanside
Address: 608 Mission Ave, Oceanside, CA 92054
Cuisine: European
Best for: Dinner
No reservations

Rosewood Kitchen is one of the best Oceanside restaurants for meeting up to eat with friends, after-work drinks, or a date night. 

With live music, an eclectic Euro-Mexican menu, and colorful decor, it’s ideal if you’re looking for fun downtown Oceanside restaurants for almost any occasion.

Try the fresh pastas and stone-fired pizzas, or order several tapas-style small plates for the table. 

The drinks menu has a wide selection of craft beer and wine from across the world. 

Rosewood Kitchen also makes fresh sangria daily, so don’t skip a glass or two if you love this Spanish beverage.


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Sarah McDonald

Sarah McDonald is a travel writer based in the Bay Area. She writes for the national parenting website Red Tricycle and on her own family travel blog, Tiny Trailblazers. She loves exploring California’s outdoors and has a weakness for a national park gift shop.

Sarah enjoys sharing her Bay Area expertise with readers curious to try popular restaurants and off-the-beaten-path adventures in California. When she’s not writing reviews and travel guides, you’ll likely find her trying to keep up with her kids on a hiking trail or deciphering the menu at a new restaurant.

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Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.


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