If you find yourself in Pacific Beach with a good meal in mind, your choices are endless. The classic move would be to grab Mexican food which is usually our go to. But where we live, that does not narrow down the options much!
We are always looking for the best food, but when there is a sweet deal involved the food tastes even better. In our opinion, some of the best Mexican Seafood is served right near the beach at a placed called Oscar's. This iconic Mexican hotspot serves up some of the best Ceviche in town (we usually order the Shrimp Ceviche). But if your on a budget, be careful about what time you hit this spot. Monday through Thursday between 2:30PM and 5:30PM you can score $1 fish tacos. The limit is 4 per customer and you can't score the deal if you don't eat there.
As fishermen and conservationists, we believe in only eating sustainable, quality fish. So after doing our research, it turns out a lot of places are serving farm-raised Tilapia (avoid this stuff). Oscar's however uses locally caught Mahi-Mahi, which is amazing for fish tacos. The fact it is caught locally means it is regulated heavily so there is no by-catch or undersized fish being taken. Pretty much everything on the menu here is all time so this spot comes highly recommended.
Now if your looking for pizza, just give up haha. There is some key spots, just not in PB (check out Luigi's at Golden Hill, it's the real deal NY stuff).
Another great seafood joint would be Fish Shop. This place is located on Garnet and is always cranking. Not overpriced and the quality is super good. My go to is the fish sandwich, which is totally customizable. If they have it in stock (usually it sells out) get the Halibut on sour dough. Life changing. The fish tacos here are bomb too and some people would argue there the best one's they've ever tasted.
Taco Surf is another classic spot, located right on Mission Blvd. You'll find yourself lost in time surrounded by the coolest retro surfboards. The food here is really great but by no means a great place to bring a date (unless she's a surfer). Sometimes the most sketchy places have the best food. Our local gem that everyone seems to miss would be Valerie's. Nestled away on Ingraham between Grand and Garnet, it seems like a hole in the wall drive through spot, which it is. But the food here is unreal, and the prices are super low. If your looking for a quick bite, thats the move.
As you can see, seafood and Mexican food is the choice meals when your in PB. Ironically on Tuesdays there is a sweet deal for wings (I know there are tons for tacos!). Some of the best wings we've had I might add! On Tuesday only they offer half off wings, and the beer is pretty cheap too. Dirty Birds is the name of the restaurant/bar, and it is always packed on Tuesdays. Since it is first come, first serve, you'll have to get here either early or be prepared to wait. Usually we send someone to put the name on the list and circle back in an hour or so. But don't stray too far, if they call your name and your nowhere to be found, off to the next person in line. This place has so many bomb sauces it is hard to choose one. Since we love our Bleu Cheese, I usually do half my wings in Dirty Bleu.
The last place I am going to mention is our favorite and conveniently located down the road. Overlooking the beach, Amplified Alehouse is home to some amazing IPA's and really great Mediterranean food. You can put your own plate together, by choosing a base (rice, lettuce), a protein (lamb, falafel, steak, etc), and sauces (Tzatziki, aioli, etc). This place has an amazing atmosphere, outdoor heaters are peppered around the patio so even when it's chilly you can watch the waves and enjoy a great meal and great beer. If you haven't been here yet, it is worth going out of your way!