What’s not to love about a seaside view and a cool breeze on hot a summer day? Absolutely nothing! Toss in some tasty food and drinks and now you’ve got yourself a totally winning combo.
But where to go in L.A.?
The options seem fairly limitless, right? But not all beachside views are created equal, and that goes double for what’s on the menu.
To help narrow it down I’ve listed 16 of my favorite beachside (and beach-adjacent) restaurants below where you’ll stay for the view and the food. Hopefully it’ll be useful in planning your next summertime dining adventure!
List starts after the jump (numbered only for reference, in no particular order).
1. The Bungalow
Right on the corner of Ocean Ave. and Wilshire is one of the hottest bars in Santa Monica, The Bungalow. With it’s eclectic vibe, mismatched furniture, multiple fire pits, a pool table and a ping pong table this is an awesome place for a night out. The Bungalow gets crowded so make sure to get there early.
2. Malibu Farm Pier Café
The restaurant is located at the end of the Malibu Pier and offer great views of the surrounding ocean and coastline. Although on the popular pier this is not a tourist trap with crappy food and service! Malibu Farm Pier Cafe whips up their dishes from fresh locally sourced organic ingredients and is true to the farm to table ideology. A great place to grab breakfast before spending a day on the beach I suggest trying one of their egg dishes (the owner brings eggs from her own chickens!)
3. Neptune’s Net
A popular spot often seen on T.V., Neptune’s Net in Malibu has one unbeatable waterfront location. First opened in 1956 they serve fresh seafood dishes like live shellfish, clam chowder and shrimp tacos. The clientele is an eclectic bunch from bikers and surfers to families.
4. Manhattan Beach Post
Manhattan Beach Post (MB Post as the locals call it) is Michelin-starred chef (Water Grill) David LeFevre’s beach side restaurant. Long, wooden rustic tables line the room reflecting the beach community’s casual seaside culture and the menu only serves seasonal small dishes made to share. Kick back with some amazing food (get the bacon cheddar biscuits) and order a tasty hand-crafted cocktail to round out the laid-back dining experience
With an awesome deck that overlooks the ocean, this Malibu beach spot is a restaurant, bar and club. Moonshadows is one of those L.A. hotspots where locals bring their out-of-town guests. Nonetheless it’s still cool enough for us Angeleno’s to hang out and relax with a tuna tartare and mimosa in hand. Personally I love to relax on the daybeds while the DJ spins tunes on the weekends.
6. Nobu Malibu
Nobu’s beachfront location in Malibu has a gorgeous wraparound patio along the coastline. Even when indoors, you’ll enjoy gorgeous views of the wide Pacific Ocean. The highly acclaimed restaurant serves gourmet seafood dishes (the black cod is amazing) created by celebrity head chef Nobu Matsuhisa. There is also a sushi bar area where you can get well executed high quality sashimi and nigiri. For those who came just for the ocean views, grab a cocktail and small bites at the bar. Reservations for the restaurant itself is highly recommended.
7. Rosenthal Wine Bar & Patio
Rosenthal Wine Bar and Patio has a beautiful tasting room right on the Pacific Coast Highway. They feature Rosenthal Malibu Estate Wines and Surfrider Label. The Wine Bar features wine flights, single glasses and bottles. Pack a picnic and enjoy an entire day there the grounds are lovely for roaming.
8. Venice Ale House
The Venice Ale House is the best place to get a drink on the Venice Boardwalk! This waterfront spot is known for their exceptional selection of craft beers. They also serve awesome organic food (brunch is pretty popular!) Snag a seat on the always happening patio and watch the sunset or people watch.
9. Geoffrey’s Malibu
If you are in the mood to get a little fancy Geoffrey’s is a great option. Each table at Geoffrey’s has a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean and the outdoor terrace is one of the most beautiful in Malibu. The menu consists of seafood like oysters, Moroccan shrimp and Maine lobster. You’ll also find delicacies such as waygu beef, chicken roulade and Pacific swordfish. Geoffrey’s is open for lunch and dinner plus brunch on the weekends.
10. The Hungry Cat Santa Monica
The Hungry Cat Santa Monica Canyon sits on the PCH with an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. Their focus is on high quality fish paired with fresh locally sourced ingredients. For the summer they have Carb Fest and happening all year long half price oysters all night Monday! For a real special occasion ask for the private dining room the panoramic window over looking the ocean is absolutely breathtaking.
11. Duke’s Malibu
Duke’s Malibu is right at the ocean’s edge, though most seats in the joint have a ocean front view the outdoor spots are probably the most popular. Enjoy the cool ocean breeze and sometimes even a cool down from the waves crashing right in front of you. Don’t worry there is a glass to protect most of you. The laid back restaurant serves up yummy Hawaiian inspired cuisine with a twist. Try the Poke Tacos and Hula pie, Dukes also has a Sunday Brunch buffet.!
12. The Lobster
If you are looking for a classic American seafood experience The Lobster is the perfect spot. The glass walls of the establishment provides guest with a breathtaking view of the ocean and Santa Monica Pier. Obviously you should order a lobster dish but I have to say their fish dishes are just as delicious. P.S. They have a “Happiest of Hour” from 4:30pm – 6:30pm weekly.
13. Sushi Roku Santa Monica
Sushi Roku is as chic as its patrons. The restaurant serves innovative Japanese fare and traditional sushi with a twist! One of the first contemporary sushi establishments in the city, each plate comes out like a work of art almost too pretty to eat. Do yourself a favor and order the tuna on crispy rice, Sushi Roku claims to be the originator of this dish and it’s damn good here. If they have the Fluke you MUST order it the dish is beautifully plated and the flavors are fresh and crisp. Bonus they have happy hour all week and weekend!
14. Water Grill Santa Monica
Water Grill has been in business for over 20 years and is known as a world-class fish eatery in Los Angeles. Located on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica this is the perfect spot for eating seafood. The chilean sea bass is a fan favorite and if you really love shellfish they have three outstanding platters that include lobster, scallops,mussels and more.
15. Malibu Seafood
This little café and fish market has a dining patio that over looks the ocean and offers some of the freshest seafood from around the world, some are even caught off the shores of Malibu each morning! Malibu Seafood has been providing quality cuisine to customers since 1972. Expect whole fish, clam chowder, and shrimp cocktails as some of the featured regulars on the menu.
16. Blue Plate Taco
Blue Plate Taco is located right across from the Santa Monica Pier at The Shade Hotel and serves farm fresh Coastal Mexican food. Conceived by those behind Blue Plate and BP Oysterette you can get plenty of seafood here like lobster tacos, a shrimp cobb, and seafood enchiladas. Sit outside on their patio overlooking the pier and ocean. When it gets chilly at night they even pass out blankets
Did we miss any of your favorite beachside dining spots in L.A.? Feel free to make some recommendations in the comments below!