7 Dana Point Seafood Restaurants Vacationers Can’t Miss
Dana Point, located in southern California near San Diego, sits on the Pacific coast and houses a harbor known for providing visitors with plenty to do. One must-do activity when visiting the area is trying the city’s fresh seafood. Many of Dana Point’s best seafood restaurants feature daily catches paired with creative spins prepared by chefs from all over the world. Visitors will find dozens of dining options, so we’ve narrowed down the list. Read on to pick your favorite among these Dana Point seafood restaurants.
7 Dana Point Seafood Restaurants to Try on Vacation
Harbor Grill Restaurant
Open for lunch and dinner, Harbor Grill Restaurant specializes in mesquite grilled seafood served in a warm atmosphere. Located in the Dana Point Marina, this restaurant uses local ingredients – including herbs grown onsite.
The menu features a variety of favorites, such as burgers, tacos and salads, however the main star is the seafood selection. Options include trout, mahi mahi, seabass, shrimp, scallops and swordfish. Harbor Grill Restaurant also offers in-house specialties, including crawfish etouffee, Cajun seafood gumbo and Australian lobster tail. In addition, oyster lovers will find special deals on Thursdays.
Bonus: Couples and small groups may want to visit on Sundays for the Sunday champagne breakfast served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wind and Sea Restaurant
Wind and Sea Restaurant, located in Dana Point Harbor, offers 10 fresh-catches a day. In addition to flavorful seafood, diners will enjoy 180-degree views of the harbor and fireside dining on the outdoor patio.
The menu features a variety of salads and sandwiches, but visitors can’t get enough of the seafood selection. Fish of the day includes salmon, mahi mahi, halibut and Hawaiian ahi. Other seafood specialties range from calamari steak to lobster tail. Guests can also design their own entree using any of the menu items.
Bonus: This top among Dana Point seafood restaurants also has an extensive, award-winning wine list as named by Wine Spectator 10 years in a row.
Harpoon Henry’s Seafood Restaurant
A sister restaurant to Wind and Sea, Harpoon Henry’s Seafood Restaurant is located on the water in Dana Point Harbor. In addition to waterfront views, the restaurant has served delicious food and quality service for over 40 years.
For lunch, guests may order fish tacos, calamari, ono, swordwish and shrimp, to name a few. Its dinner menu offers the same, as well as lobster and seafood combos. Before selecting an entree, don’t forget to try an appetizer, such as oyster shooters or clam chowder.
Bonus: Harpoon Henry’s also offers an award-winning wine list and opens for Sunday brunch, perfect for a special gathering.
Chart House Restaurant – Dana Point
Ranked as one of the top Dana Point seafood restaurants, Chart House Restaurant offers breathtaking coastal views. On a clear day, diners can see as far as 50 miles out, all the way to La Jolla, while sitting atop the bluffs that overlook Dana Point Harbor.
In addition to picturesque views, chefs strive to pair local favorites with exotic flavors. For dinner, try the wok-fried whole fish, king salmon or crab, mahi mahi, or cobia. If that’s not enough to fill up, appetizers include oysters, shrimp and calamari.
Bonus: Chart House is only open for dinner, however happy hour runs Monday-Friday from 4:30-6:30.
Cannons Seafood Grill
Cannons Seafood Grill opens for dinner at 4:30 p.m., with happy hour specials running Monday-Friday. The restaurant also sits on a cliff that overlooks Dana Point Marina in a contemporary atmosphere.
This favorite offers fresh fish including ahi, salmon, king crab, swordfish and scallops caught every day. Chef specialties include salmon on field greens and romaine and avocado salad topped with king crab. In addition to seafood, Cannons also serves burgers, starters, steaks and salads.
Bonus: Guests planning a wedding in Dana Point will find space to accommodate 300 people and receive assistance from a professional events coordinator.
Two Left Forks
For upscale dining in a casual atmosphere, stop by Two Left Forks near Ocean Knoll Park. The restaurant opens for dinner every day except Monday and offers several affordable seafood entrees. To start, share the bacon-wrapped shrimp or salt spring island mussels. For something more filling, select from sea bass, black cod, halibut or seafood cioppino.
Bonus: In addition to salads, vegetarians can select from entrees including the stack and truffles rissoto.
Shwack Beach Grill
For a chill atmosphere and fun vibes, stop by Shwack Beach Grill, which opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Shwack prides itself on sourcing many ingredients from local growers and serves antibiotic-free and hormone-free meats.
This grill has seating indoor and out, and is perfect for a quick lunch after a day on the water. Seafood options include daily-catches, jumbo shrimp, tacos and ahi tuna burgers. In addition to seafood, Shwack serves burgers, sandwiches, a full breakfast menu and salads.
Bonus: Those taking an extended vacation in Dana Point may want to try the $600 surfboard and burger combo. The deal includes a homemade burger (up to 10 patties) and a custom surfboard created in San Clemente that can be displayed at home or taken to the beach.
Looking for a place to stay? Check out vacation rentals in Dana Point.