California Dining


San Clemente Pier Dining

Fishermans Restaurant & Bar
611 Avenida Victoria (on San Clemente Pier)
San Clemente, CA
(949) 498-6390, reservations not required thefishermansrestaurant.coms

As you travel the California coast in search of new finds, eating out was never so special as a lacquered table and plastic chair on the wood deck of Fishermans Restaurant & Bar overlooking the San Clemente Pier. You ascend up an easy ramp onto the sunny pier and can select ocean view dining to your left & your right where two buildings, each with outdoor decks, serve diners who can pick their own spot, indoors or out.

The outside seating offers protection from wind with plexiglass walls surrounding the dining area, allowing you to not miss any of the action below in the Pacific Ocean. At this casual beach restaurant where shorts and flip flops are perfectly acceptable, I always meet for lunch and order the same things, as do my friends. I get Cobb Salad. They order Fisherman's Hamburger or Seafood Melt. Occasionally someone will get Fish Tacos, and we always order a bowl of the white Clam Chowder--really delicious! If you stick to the basics and get a non-alcohol beverage, the cost is usually around $15/person, tip not included.

The price goes up at dinner time, but the restaurant excels in its seafood menu--and this makes for an great evening of dining with cocktails as the sun goes down. Before dining gets serious, local seniors and surfers flock to Sunset Happy Hour, which is an affordable buffet and discounts on cocktails. A cocktail or beer and special menu items can get you out the door for around $10-15. If you don't have a lot of money to spend, visit during this time to enjoy ambiance on a shoestring budget.

Dinner at this fish heaven includes a wonderful Oyster Bar in view for all to see, and a menu of nearly every fresh catch imaginable! Feast Style Dinners for 2 or more are a real value with 4-courses showcasing seafood (cost is around $25/person). But for those who have their eyes set on something special, you can choose Yellowtail, Sea Bass, Mako Shark, Ahi, Swordfish, Halibut, Lobster, Salmon, Rainbow Trout, and many shell fish options. There are also steaks and chicken, plus kids menu items.

Tourists find the experience "special". Sitting outdoors on enclosed decks of the San Clemente Pier, views of the surfers and waves below are a show unto themselves. Then there's the Amtrak train which blows its whistle as it passes by the base of the pier, often stopping to drop off or pick up passengers between San Diego and L.A.

The next time you want to "eat out," Fishermans is a highlight to drives along the coast. When you see a road sign that says "San Clemente", high-tale it to the pier and and Fishermans for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It's the gem of coastal pier dining, in my opinion.

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