Dining Guide: Mission Beach

By Kylee Niederhauser

Most people come to Mission Beach to enjoy the sunshine, sand and surf – and for good reason! But tucked between the boardwalk and the bay there are plenty of options to refuel before heading back out to the beach. Read on to learn about some of our favorite local spots, plus what to order once you get there!

For Acai Bowls + Green Juice: Juice Wave

Blink too long and you may miss this tiny gem of an eatery along Mission Boulevard in the Old Mission Beach Business District. At Juice Wave, owner and Chef Arliegh Rose prides herself in using fresh, in-season, locally-grown ingredients to serve as the bases of her cold-pressed juices and smoothies. And she’s the real deal – you’ll see her browsing nearby farmer’s markets on Instagram stories in the morning and then find the fruit she picked up topping your acai bowl.

The Pitay-Dye bowl from Juice Wave

Go-To Order: Pitay-Dye Bowl or Liquid Emerald Cold Pressed Juice

Address: 3733 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109

For Pastries: Olive Baking Company

Olive Baking Company is a bread-lover’s dream – their Goldrush sourdough is basically heaven in loaf-form – but we primarily come here for their Kolaches (pronounced “ko-lah-chee”). So if you’re in the neighborhood, definitely stop in and sample Olive’s take on the Eastern-European treat. The kolaches are served warm and come in variety of flavors, both savory and sweet. Our neighbor in Mission Beach once described them as “the best breakfast $4 will get you”, and I think he’s right!

Breakfast kolaches from Olive Baking Company

Go-To Order: Soyrizo + Cheese Kolache and an Iced Chai Latte

Address: 735 Santa Clara Place, San Diego, CA 92109

For Brunch: The Mission Cafe

Lines queue up FAST at this Mission Beach brunch staple, but it’s definitely worth the wait! The Mission has large portions, quality ingredients and a unique menu with some of our favorites being the Blackberry Banana Pancakes, Chicken Apple Sausage + Eggs, and the Desayuno Burrito. Check out their specialty coffee menu as well – they originally opened as a coffeehouse before expanding into a full-service restaurant.

Image credit: The Mission Cafe

Go-To Order: Hanger Steak Hash + Eggs… no, the pancakes… or, the Papas Loco… want to get a couple things and share?

Address: 3795 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109

For TJ-Style Tacos: Tacos el Trompo

San Diego favorite Tacos el Trompo opened the doors to its Mission Beach location in 2021 and we’re so happy they did! Their menu is similar to most authentic taquerias but our go-to is the TJ-style tacos. Order a couple (they’re on the smaller side) and take them to the beach or bay to enjoy. Best part? El Trompo is about a 2 minute walk from our Mission Beach properties. Check out their daily specials, like discounted tacos on Trompo Tuesday!

Image credit: Tacos el Trompo

Go-To Order: TJ Style Tacos (Asada, Adobada and Pollo)

Address: 3819 Mission Blvd San Diego, CA 92109

For Fish Tacos: Sandbar Sports Grill

There’s a reason why Sandbar wins the award for “Best Fish Taco at the Beach” year after year. Their signature TKO taco can be made with either grilled or Baja-style (fried) locally-caught white fish, and is served in a Cotija cheese-crusted tortilla topped with chipotle aioli, beer-brined escabeche slaw, lime crema, spicy guac, crispy onion strings and fried cilantro. Grab a table upstairs on the Sky Deck for beach and sunset views!

Image credit: Sandbar Sports Grill

Go-To Order: Chips + Queso, Baja Fish Taco (TKO Style), Harland Hazy IPA

Address: 718 Ventura Place, San Diego, CA 92109

For Sushi: Cannonball

When it comes to oceanfront dining, you’re often left paying for the view and underwhelmed by the food. But we were pleasantly surprised after our first trip to Cannonball and subsequent visits have yet to disappoint! Specialty rolls and Sashimi have a So-Cal twist and their shared plates are equal parts creative and tasty. And with a second-floor location right on the Mission Beach boardwalk, the view isn’t bad either. 😉

Photo credit: Cannonball Sushi

Go-To Order: Shishito Peppers, Baja Shashimi, Lobster Roll

Address: 3105 Ocean Front Walk, San Diego, CA 92109 (west side of the Belmont Park complex)

For Burgers: Guava Beach Bar + Grill

Guava Beach describes itself as a local’s bar for everyone. And it really does cater to a diverse clientele. It’s family-friendly (before 10pm) with a kid’s menu, high chairs, and activities for your little ones like giant Jenga and board games. They also broadcast all major sporting events on flatscreen tvs and a large projector screen. The menu has something for everyone as well, but we think the burgers are a stand out item.

Go-To Order: Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts, “The Original” El Diablo Burger

Address: 3714 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109

For a Sweet Treat: Dole Whip

No need to buy a ticket to Disneyland to try their famous Dole Whip. There’s a stand right here in Mission Beach at Belmont Park! This refreshing, whipped pineapple treat is perfect for a summer day.

Photo credit: Belmont Park

Go-to Order: Classic Pineapple Whip

Address: 3146 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109 (located inside Belmont Park, near the Sky Ropes)

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