San Diego is known for its beautiful beaches and delicious seafood. And when it comes to seafood, fried clams are a fan favorite.
There's something about the crispy coating and tender meat that makes them a must-try for seafood lovers.
But with so many restaurants and seafood shacks in San Diego, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go for the best fried clams.
That's why we've compiled a list of the top spots for this classic dish.
Whether you're a San Diego local or visiting from out of town, you won't want to miss out on these standout restaurants.
From casual beachside spots to upscale seafood restaurants, there's something for everyone on this list.
So grab your bib and get ready to indulge in some of the best fried clams San Diego has to offer.
1. Mitch's Seafood
If you're a seafood lover, Mitch's Seafood is a must-visit place for fried clams. The restaurant serves fresh, locally caught fish that is expertly prepared and cooked to perfection.
The atmosphere is relaxed and casual, with seating both inside and outside overlooking the marina.
The menu offers a wide variety of seafood options, including fish tacos, calamari, and crab cakes. Prices are reasonable, and the service is friendly and efficient.
If you're looking for a great seafood meal, head to Mitch's Seafood and indulge in their delicious fried clams.
2. Ironside Fish & Oyster
Ironside Fish & Oyster is a hip seafood restaurant and bar with a quirky nautical design.
The menu offers a great selection of seafood, including fried clams, clam chowder, oysters, and lobster rolls. The cocktails are well-made and pack a punch.
The staff is friendly and accommodating. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, making it a great spot for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner.
Highly recommended for seafood lovers visiting the area.
3. Pacific Beach Fish Shop
Looking for fresh and delicious fried clams in San Diego's Pacific Beach area, look no further than Pacific Beach Fish Shop.
This seafood restaurant offers a variety of seafood dishes, including fish and chips, tacos, salads, and sandwiches. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the atmosphere is casual and laid-back.
With both indoor and outdoor seating, this is a great spot to grab a meal with friends or family.
Don't miss out on the blackened sea bass or the jumbo shrimp tacos with creamy garlic sauce. For a tasty and affordable seafood meal, Pacific Beach Fish Shop is a must-try.
4. Blue Water Seafood Ocean Beach
Blue Water Seafood Ocean Beach is a must-visit seafood restaurant for fried clam lovers.
This casual restaurant offers a wide range of seafood plates, sandwiches, tacos, and salads with a beautiful sea view. The portions are generous, and the seafood is always fresh and perfectly cooked.
The staff is friendly, and the service is quick. The clam chowder is a must-try, and the fish tacos are highly recommended.
The prices are reasonable for the quality of food and the location. Blue Water Seafood Ocean Beach is a perfect spot for a casual dinner with friends and family.
5. The Fishery
The Fishery is a seafood restaurant that serves some of the best fried clams in town. The food is fresh, well-made, and presented beautifully.
The restaurant has a laid-back California vibe and the service is friendly and helpful. The menu is not too long or complicated, and the clam chowder soup is a must-try.
The Fishery also has a seafood market inside a midcentury, brick-and-mortar warehouse.
Although a little pricy, The Fishery delivers on their promises of fresh food, innovative cocktails, and delicious desserts. Highly recommend it for a special occasion or a lovely dinner out.
6. Bay Park Fish Company
Bay Park Fish Company is a must-visit for seafood lovers. This local gem offers a variety of fresh fish dishes, including their famous fried clams.
The seafood is always juicy, flavorful, and never frozen. The service is top-notch, with friendly and knowledgeable staff.
The atmosphere is laid-back and comfortable, making it a great spot for a casual meal with friends or family. Prices can be a bit high, but the quality of the food makes it worth it.
Don't miss out on the oyster shots and seafood stew, too. Bay Park Fish Company is a true seafood haven that you won't want to miss.
7. Crab Town
Crab Town is a laid-back seafood joint that offers fantastic fried clams. The food is served hot and quick, with excellent house flavors and cajun spices.
The service is friendly and accommodating, and the seafood is incredibly fresh.
While the prices are a bit on the expensive side, the portions are generous, and the quality of the food is worth it.
Crab Town is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious fried clams.
8. Water Grill San Diego
Water Grill San Diego is a high-end seafood restaurant that offers an extensive raw bar and daily updated menu.
The restaurant provides an excellent ambience, impeccable service, and quality food.
The fried clams are outstanding and are highly recommended. The pricing is expensive, but the quality of the food and service justifies the cost.
Water Grill San Diego is a must-visit place for seafood lovers who are looking for a sophisticated dining experience.
9. Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar
Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar is a fine seafood establishment specializing in seafood and meat dishes. The restaurant has a beautiful waterfront venue with a great view.
They serve fried clams that are exceptional in taste. The clams are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
The seasoning is perfect, and the portion size is generous. The staff is friendly and provides excellent service. The restaurant has a wide variety of seafood dishes and craft drinks, making it a great place to dine.
If you are looking for a place to enjoy some great fried clams, Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar is the place to go.
10. South Beach Bar & Grille
South Beach Bar & Grille is a lively eatery that offers ocean views and seafood-focused Mexican fare. The menu has a lot to offer, but the fried clams are definitely worth trying.
The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is great for visiting with family or watching sports while enjoying a beer.
The outdoor seating area provides a stunning view of the ocean and the OB Pier.
If you're in the mood for seafood and a good time, South Beach Bar & Grille is definitely worth a visit.
11. The Fish Market – San Diego
The Fish Market in San Diego is a must-visit for seafood lovers.
This bayfront spot offers grilled fish and seafood plates, as well as a retail market. The fried clams are a standout dish, crispy and well-cooked.
The cozy ambiance and beautiful ocean view make for a memorable dining experience.
The service is attentive and friendly, adding to the overall enjoyable experience. Don't miss out on this seafood stalwart for some of the best fried clams in San Diego.
12. Red Lobster
Red Lobster is a lively seafood chain restaurant with an extensive menu that includes fried clams.
The fried clams are crispy and flavorful, and the portions are generous. The restaurant has a clean and friendly atmosphere, and the service is prompt and attentive.
The staff is professional and welcoming, and the prices are reasonable for the quality of the food.
Red Lobster is a great place to go if you're in the mood for delicious fried clams and other seafood dishes.