We certainly love our Southern California coastal towns, especially beautiful, charming Dana Point. It’s one of our favorites for its unique vibe, picturesque harbor location, stunning beaches, towering seaside cliffs, and a classy but casual relaxing atmosphere. If you’re into great seafood and dining with a view, Dana Point Harbor restaurants have you covered. You’ll have access to the freshest seafood and coastal ingredients its local chefs employ to create the best dishes from casual to a tad more upscale. And of course, there are the views. Whether you’re here for brunch, lunch, happy hour, sunset, or even a romantic dinner under harbor lights, dining here is magical.
Located just an hour’s drive from San Diego, Dana Point is an ideal destination for a day trip or a lovely weekend getaway. And we really love the restaurants– especially those on the waterfront.
Here are some of our favorite harbor places to drink and dine. Take a look at our favorite Dana Point Harbor Restaurants:
HARPOON HENRY’S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Address: 34555 Golden Lantern St, Dana Point, 92629
Phone: (949) 493-2933
This laid-back award-winning dockside seafood restaurant has been proudly serving guests since 1975. We love the casual ambiance, attentive service, and of course, the seafood entrees and California cuisine.
Patrons can dine indoors or on their outdoor patio with sweeping views of the harbor. No worries about dining outdoors, even on a cool Southern California evening, as the waterfront patio has plenty of heaters to keep you warm. Its outdoor bar even features a big screen TV for those wanting to follow their favorite sports teams.
Open for lunch and dinner along with an impressive Happy Hour, Harpoon Henry’s menu is extensive. It may take a while to decide what to order, but you can always check with the servers as they’re quite helpful with suggestions.
For an appetizer, we love Harpoon Henry’s Coconut Shrimp. It’s simply delectable. Calamari Steak is my favorite go-to main entree. Lightly sauteed and breaded, it’s served with a tartar sauce, but it’s so tender and flavorful, I just use a splash of lemon. The Seafood Combination entree is a definite winner, served with Coconut Shrimp, Mahi-Mahi Macadamia, and delicious pan-seared scallops. Bottom line, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
And if you’re a Mai Tai fan, guaranteed you’ll love Harpoon Henry’s!
WIND AND SEA RESTAURANT
Address: 34699 Golden Lantern St, Dana Point, 92629
Phone: (949) 496-6500
Wind and Sea started out as a premier harbor steakhouse in 1972. Today, it’s become of one Dana Point Harbor’s favorite eateries, renowned for its impressive Pacific Rim fusion cuisine.
Its abundance of outdoor seating is a huge draw for diners looking to enjoy the seascape. The restaurant is surrounded by water on three sides providing 270-degree vistas and cooling gentle harbor breezes. Hence, it’s the perfect name. When the temperatures drop, however, it’s nice warmed up by its outdoor fireplace.
Fresh-catch entrees are the main feature here with multiple daily seafood options. I’m a huge fan of Wind and Sea’s charbroiled salmon, served with lemon herb butter, garlic mashed potatoes, and fresh local veggies. Good fish should always speak for itself, and this one definitely does. My hubby raved about his Seared Ahi Tuna with sesame seeds, white rice, and a spicy Asian sauce. Prepared to perfection, it was a medium-rare melt-in-your-mouth magnificent dish.
The drink menu is extensive, featuring premium wines, beer, martinis, and specialty cocktails. If you’re looking for a picturesque restaurant for lunch or dinner with spectacular views of the harbor, you’ll love Wind and Sea.
THE HARBOR GRILL
Address: 34499 Golden Lantern St, Dana Point, 92629
Phone: (949) 240-1416
This rustic and casual waterfront restaurant situated directly in the heart of the harbor has long been known for its mesquite-grilled seafood. And guests can even watch the chef prepare their favorite dish over the mesquite grill.
Family-owned and operated since its 1984 opening, The Harbor Grill offers cozy indoor seating along with a colorful outdoor patio overlooking the ships and boats transiting the harbor. Lunch, dinner, and Sunday champagne brunch are very popular at the Grill with some amazing seafood specialties. You can enjoy live piano music during the dinner hour.
Prices are surprisingly reasonable for a water view restaurant which is why it’s such a favorite with the locals. Oysters on the half-shell are an outstanding starter. “Louie, Oh, Louie Baby” describes their amazing salads to a T. I absolutely loved my Dungeness Crab Louie.
Save room for dessert as their fresh-made daily delights include a Chocolate Blackout Cake, Mocha Mud Pie, and our all-time favorite–Key Lime Pie.
Address: 34661 Golden Lantern St, Dana Point, 92629
Phone: (949) 764-3474
Though Waterman’s Harbor is considered a bit more upscale than other restaurants on the marina, it’s certainly unpretentious as we’d expect from Dana Point. The multi-award-winning seafood restaurant is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Sunset views here are simply spectacular.
Weekly specials include Oyster Tuesdays, Wine Wednesdays, Champagne Saturdays, Happy Hours, and more. Of no surprise, seafood is the star of the show at Waterman’s. They truly give the phrase ‘dock to dish’ a whole new flair. Patrons who select one of the fresh catches of the day can select their own method of preparation. This is a really nice and refreshing choice for a seafood restaurant.
Non-seafood aficionados will appreciate other options like burgers, sandwiches, and steaks. If you’re looking for a date night, special moment with friends or family, this beautiful harbor restaurant is a perfect choice.
Address: 34689 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 92629
If you’re looking for a casual place for breakfast or lunch, Proud Mary’s delivers. One, the food is really tasty and fresh, and two, you can’t beat the spectacular harbor view from this Dana Point landmark.
The restaurant, named after the late Mary Merrill, Proud Mary’s founder, has been family-owned and operated since 1977. Breakfast features some of Southern California’s favorite dishes–burritos, omelets, benedicts, and avocado toast. The menu also includes traditional selections like corned beef hash and biscuits and gravy.
Burgers are a popular lunchtime selection. Patrons can also enjoy “south of the border” inspired plates such as burritos and tacos, in addition to a variety of land and sea-inspired sandwiches and salads.
TURK’S DANA WARF
Address: 34683 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 92626
Phone: (949) 496-9028
Yep, the restaurant is really spelled this way!
This laidback Dana Point waterfront hangout is named after surfer, movie star, fisherman, bodybuilder, and local legend named “Turk.” What he loved best was the restaurant and bar business he created in the harbor. Turk’s walls are covered with historic photos, and the restaurant is filled with nostalgic décor. The late owner’s daughter still runs Turk’s as a family-owned business.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees feature hearty seafood, burgers, and other American pub treats. You’ll also see Dana Point’s locals and salty sailors hanging out in the saloon raising a pint or two.
Diners selecting outdoor seating can enjoy the kayakers, paddle boarders, and boats gliding through the marina.
THE BRIG RESTAURANT
Address: 34461 Golden Lantern Street, Dana Point, 92629
Phone: (949) 496-9046
Located within walking distance of the harbor’s Historic Brig Pilgrim tall ship, The Brig welcomes hungry “pirates” to its Wharfside restaurant for delicious home-cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinners. And here, breakfast is a big winner, served all day, every day.
The atmosphere is friendly and casual, and the restaurant prides itself on the impressively long-standing service of its many servers and employees. This means they know the menu well and can happily recommend something to suit every diner’s palate.
We’ve dined here for lunch and I must say their salads are divine as are their fish and chips.
The next time you’re in Dana Point, head to the harbor for some great local cuisine. Somehow, we guarantee your food will taste a whole lot better accompanied by a nice glass of wine, craft beer, or a creative cocktail. And of course…you’ll love the stunning magnificent harbor view at these Dana Point Harbor restaurants!
Also take a look at our other articles about Dana Point here:
Best Dana Point Harbor Restaurants – Pin for later:
Last Updated on July 28, 2023 by Maria Haase