Quirky Attraction: Ocean Beach Pier Cafe in San Diego

san diego ocean beach pier cafe

Ocean Beach Pier Cafe
Location: San Diego, California (5091 Niagara Ave.)
When to visit: Hours vary, but generally open between 9 am – 10 pm
Cost: $8-15 for most dishes
Time needed: 30-60 minutes for a meal
Website: Facebook site (unofficial)

Google Maps is telling me there’s a restaurant in the Pacific Ocean! How can this be? I assume the map is malfunctioning, but when I get to Ocean Beach and see the small building attached the to pier, I realized Google has been right all along. Silly me to question them!

Ocean Beach Pier Cafe – not to be confused with some other Pier Cafes on the water in other San Diego neighborhoods – sits several hundred feet out into the ocean. It must be a pain to get the food way out on that pier, and to prepare it in what must be a tiny kitchen. But those logistical issues are not our concern. We just want to eat on the ocean!

The cafe has a small dining room with great views looking back towards shore. You can get take-out. And there’s also a small bar along the pier where you can eat outside, though you may have to share your meal with the birds.

pier cafe seating

The cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll have to park near the beach and make the trek toward the end of the pier. The cafe does not take reservations but does accept credit cards. Restrooms are not in the small cafe, but there are public restrooms on the pier.

The Yelp reviews are so-so. But I suspect most people go here for the novelty of eating out in the ocean. And actually, the lobster tacos and lobster quesadillas sounds pretty intriguing.

Other menu items as of 2019 include: Captain’s Platter (pollack, halibut, and shrimp), breaded clams, clam chowder, mahi-mahi tacos, and nachons supreme. As you might expect, it’s mostly about seafood here. They do have a few more simple dishes: Caesar salads, burgers, hot dogs, and grilled cheese.

Don’t forget while you’re in San Diego to visit the kissing sailor statue, stop by the San Diego Zoo, visit the quirky Cabrillo Monument, see the Maritime Museum, and check out some of the more interesting San Diego neighborhoods.

Would you eat a meal on a pier in the ocean?

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8 Comments

  1. I love this place! We actually lived just a few blocks down from here (when we lived in San Diego) and always enjoyed walking on the pier. The cafe actually has really tasty food, and the view can’t be beat. I’d highly recommend it.

  2. The OB pier is one of my favorites in San Diego – mostly because of just how long it is. I love watching the surfers below. I’ve never actually eaten there though – but I have been to the taco shop at the end of the pier at Imperial Beach. They have some amazing fish tacos there.

    1. I spent quite a while taking pics of surfers there. It’s funny how you can stand on foot and watch surfers beneath you who are actually closer to shore than you are.

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