With its views of San Diego Bay and array of fresh seafood, it’s no wonder this local Embarcadero tradition is frequently packed. Irresistible choices at the downstairs Fish Market include crispy salt and pepper calamari rings, a killer shrimp po’boy, panko crusted scallops or simple grilled local sea bass or, for the purists, at least a half-dozen oyster varieties. A festive mood prevails in the block-long dining room; getting a table beside the windows overlooking the bay is worth the wait. Top of the Market is far more subdued and classy with white linen tablecloths, sparkly crystal and candles, and the seafood preparations are exceptional. Your decision’s easy if the Chesapeake soft shell crabs are on the menu, and the chilled seafood platter is a must-do starter (unless lobster bisque better suits your tastes). Fresh fish is flown in daily, and choices could include Dover sole from Holland or Fijian yellowfin tuna. The few from the second story dining room is stunning, especially at sunset. There’s another Fish Market in Del Mar at 640 Via de la Valle (tel. 858/755-2277).
- Frommer's Staff