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Saltwater, San Diego, CA

Saltwater

4.1
4.1
553 Reviews
$31 to $50
Seafood
Saltwater is the premiere seafood restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter, owned by the SD Dining group. As the best seafood restaurant in San Diego, we pride ourselves on the freshness of our ingredients, with fish being flown in daily from the mediteranean sea straight to our fresh fish bar where diners can choose their fish, weigh it and have it cooked to perfection, exactly how they like it! This is one of the few restaurants in California that offers this kind of seafood experience and truly sets us apart from our competition. The interior is a stunning deep royal blue that offers a romantic, premier, and nautical ambience that will make you feel like you are on a 90’ Riva yacht sailing through the Grand Canal. Come stop by for an experience that you will surely never forget.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 10 times today
Experiences are available.

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Fine Dining
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    Seafood, Steak, Contemporary American
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner Daily 4:00 pm–10:00 pm Happy Hour Mon–Thu, Sun 4:00 pm–6:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (619) 525-9990
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Owned/operated by
    Women
  • Executive chef
    Vincenzo Lo Verso
  • Private party facilities
    Equipped for intimate gatherings (10-12 guests), Saltwater’s private glass-encased wine cellar within the restaurant will provide uninterrupted and exclusive service.With our timeless yacht setting, interior accentuated by mahogany walls and scenic portholes, we will make sure to envelop you in luxury unlike anything you have ever experienced.
  • Neighborhood
    Downtown
  • Cross street
    Market Street, 5th St
  • Parking details
    We do have a parking structure near us, called Park it on Market. It is on sixth and market st.
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Dog Friendly, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Experiences

  • Lobster Feast at Saltwater! 🦞✨

    Multiple dates available
    Don’t miss out on our new Lobster Feast at Saltwater! 🦞✨ For only $99 per couple, indulge in a 4 course culinary experience like no other. Available Sunday to Tuesday. Reserve your spot now! 🍽️🥂
    Lobster Feast at Saltwater! 🦞✨ Photo
  • Taste the luxury of Caviar and Champagne

    Multiple dates available
    Indulge in a luxurious experience with a limited offering of a bottle of house Champagne paired with our domestic caviar. The Champagne boasts a complex flavor profile, with notes of citrus and brioche, and a fine mousse that dances on the tongue – a perfect complement to the rich and savory taste of the caviar. This $99 limited-edition pairing presents an opportunity for the most discerning palettes to savor a refined, sophisticated combination of flavors, and to create unforgettable memories.
    Taste the luxury of Caviar and Champagne Photo

What 553 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.1
4.1 based on recent ratings
  • 4.1Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 4.2Ambience
  • 3.7Value

NoiseModerate

553 Reviews
  1. Rick

    San Diego

    116 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    116 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    What a memorable experience. The food was to die for and the service was outstanding. I had budgeted about twice what we eventually spent even with drinks and dessert. Will gladly go back anytime.

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  2. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    It was an amazing Mother‘s Day lunch! Fresh Oysters, a whole Branzino which was shareable, paired with a crisp Italian Prosecco - a wonderful e experience. The service was impeccable also. Very attentive and friendly. I can highly recommend Saltwater!

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  3. OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta Metro

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on May 9, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    A wonderful dining experience. The food was amazing, the service was excellent and then ambiance was fantastic. I highly recommend this restaurant.

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  4. OpenTable Diner

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great experience, service and food. Very professional staff created an excellent evening.

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  5. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 28, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent service. The bread and the calimari were great. I had the big eye Tuna and it was perfect.

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  6. OpenTable Diner

    Oklahoma City

    19 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on April 19, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great Service and Great Happy Hour. Enjoyed sitting on the patio for people watching. The hostess at the front was the bright spot, super friendly and loves her job..

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  7. OpenTable Diner

    Nashville

    5 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on April 14, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    This restaurant wasn’t prepared for the crowds before the Billy Joel concert—food/service were both pretty bad…

    1 person found this helpful

  8. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 14, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    We were downtown for the Billy Joel/Sting concert and our timing was very tight. Our reservation was for 530pm, in order to make a 7pm concert at Petco Park. We weren’t seated until 6:00, and at 6:50, still no sign of any food, which forced us to cancel our food order, pay for our drinks, and basically run to get to the concert. The party next to us had the same issue, and had waited over an hour for their food. The restaurant should have planned for the increased volume due to the concert, but was obviously underprepared and the kitchen staff very overwhelmed.

    1 person found this helpful

  9. BarbY

    Las Vegas

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 14, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    Made "reservation" at the bar. Got there, reservation was confirmed and told " go on ahead. The bar is open seating." Ummm, huh? What was the point of the reservation, I asked. Was told she didn't know and I'd have to talk to the manager. Food took over an hour and although the food was delicious in taste, it was COLD. One bartender for the entire bar area and restaurant. Felt bad for the guy as it wasn't his fault but spent a LOT of money for a very disappointing experience. Won't be returning.

    1 person found this helpful

  10. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    vip
    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 14, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 1
    The food was fine, but not great. Our server tried, but the restaurant set him up to fail. I would not recommend coming here on a night when there’s a big event at Petco. They clearly added as many tables as possible to maximize profit. We were so jammed together that our server could not fit between the tables. Bar service was slow and they had food runners just unceremoniously dropping food at your table. Sometimes it was your food - sometimes not. Overall, it felt like a very loud, mediocre cruise ship on land.

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  11. AlisonG

    San Diego

    1 review

    vip
    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 14, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Chose Saltwater because it looked like they had an awesome happy hour menu. Went before the Billy Joel concert and apparently they don't do happy hour when there is a "special event" in town so we were stuck with the main menu which was pricy. Also, received a phone call and a text from someone named Sara 30 minutes before our reservation, claiming to work at Saltwater although it came from a 510 area code (obviously not local). She wanted my credit card number to reserve my table even though I had booked through Open Table, and had confirmed through the app which did not ask for a credit card number. Since I had no idea if Sara was legit or a scammer, I refused to give my credit card number. Finally, they were woefully understaffed for how busy it was on a Saturday night with a "special event" in town. My husband's fish was cold when served (wasn't supposed to be) and decided to suck it up since who knew how long it would take to get it replaced. Also, witnessed the manager being a jerk to his overworked servers. Will not return, knowing that there are so many other places to eat in the Gaslamp.

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  12. VinceO

    San Francisco

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 14, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Reservations made for 5pm on a Saturday. By time we were seated, 3 of our primary choices were no longer available. Ordered a smoked old fashioned but when brought to table, no smoke, just the smoke topper. Ordered another and watched bartender make it.. again. No smoke. Server delivered and said here is your smoked old fashioned. Server was overwhelmed and I didn’t want to distract them from bringing our entrees, which were already taking a longtime to prepare. One arrived , Food was good, bread and clams/mussel dish was fantastic, Brussel sprouts were okay, fries were awesome. Disclaimer: the place was very busy and likely overwhelmed and appeared to be under staffed due to a large concert at Petco Park. Wife went there on a prior visit and wanted me to try it. I will likely go again and will chalk it up to the place not being fully prepared for the amount of people that overwhelmed their staff.

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  13. rfogsndego

    San Diego

    30 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    30 reviews

    Dined on April 13, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Unfortunately the food was barely "OK". It was a busy night with the Billy Joel concert, but it does not excuse the excessive food delay, with an entrée wait of over 50 minutes, the barely warm bisque, and 3 of the 4 meals rated barely "OK". Way too expensive for this type of service and experience. Really disappointing!

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  14. Tony

    Orlando

    182 reviews

    2.0

    182 reviews

    Dined on April 13, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 2
    The octopus starter was exceptional, but after that everything went downhill rapidly. Two of us ordered the Ciopino, then to be told 10 minutes later that they were out. We were dining early to go to a concert so this put us behind. Two steaks and a Sea Bass were ordered. Sea Bass was average but both steaks were way overcooked. One was ordered blue, but it came out medium well, the other ordered medium was well done. When they took the steak back they also took the fries and mushrooms, which we were promised fresh portions of but which never reappeared! To cap it all the waiter splashed red wine all over my cashmere jacket ! Management did comp one of the steaks and all of the drinks and said they would pay for dry cleaning but that was not enough to make us feel like we would ever want to go back!

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  15. OpenTable Diner

    Orange County

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 13, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Food was good but waiter did not inform us that special fish was $79 when the other entrees were $35-40

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  16. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Amazing dinner. Great service and delicious food! Had a great server who even brought a complimentary dessert

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  17. KenT

    Exclusive

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 9, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Big eye tuna was average. Way too much sauce. Plate probably sat out for a long time before server brought it. Person who brought food did not know who ordered what. Choppino was tasty, though too much fatty salmon added. Grilled octopus lacked adequate spicing. Tremendous pressure the whole night to 1) upsell and 2) move is along quickly. This was my fourth night in a row dining in gaslamp. The three preceding restaurants were tastier and also better value.

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  18. OpenTable Diner

    Tahoe

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 1, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Really great food, clam linguine was super delicious. Awesome service too, got seated quickly and never ran out of a drink!

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  19. BillieC

    Milwaukee

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on March 27, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    A great spot in the Gaslamp Quarter for a nice dinner. Seating indoor and outdoor here. We enjoyed the ambiance inside, very classy with touches of character. Great service and the food was amazing. Had the calamari for a starter and scallops and lobster fettuccine for entrees. The night finished with amazing tiramisu and the beignet tree. Would go back again!

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  20. StaceyN

    Milwaukee

    36 reviews

    3.0

    36 reviews

    Dined on March 16, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    I thought this meal was overpriced and not as special as I would have wanted for that price. I ordered the lobster bisque and it arrived cold. The bowl was hot but the soup was cold. It was replaced by hot soup, in the same bowl, (I could tell by the marks I left in the bowl), which I think was tacky. I also ordered the scallops and potatoes which were also lukewarm at most. The food lacked flavor. The service was good, server was attentive and prompt with serving our food.

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  21. OpenTable Diner

    Phoenix

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great- excellent service! Food was fabulous. Easy walk from our hotel marriott pulse

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  22. 184everjung

    Sacramento

    53 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    53 reviews

    Dined on March 14, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Such a delightful dining experience. We had reservations for an early dinnerjust in case it might be a busy establishment. Our luck Happy Hour was in progress. The selection of items on the Happy Hour menu are great! We had oysters on the half shell, crabcakes, sliders, caesar salad and the hamachi/tuna sushi. The sauce on the hamachi was good but it did need a little kick. I requested some jalapeno peppers but they didn't have any. I suggest they add the option of jalapeno peppers. Our server was very attentive, gave great suggestions, and in a word "AMAZING." With all the dining options available in the GasLamp District/San Diego, we are glad that we chose Saltwater.

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  23. OpenTable Diner

    Western NC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Perfect! From the reservation to check out the experience was perfect!

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  24. Scott

    Richmond

    5 reviews

    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on March 11, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great service. I had never seen such bizarre tiny raw oysters actually served at a restaurant before, embarrassed for them (nickel sized). Tasty wine. Great entrees and dessert. Didn’t want to let one cheapskate course ruin the meal. But almost did.

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  25. Jess

    San Diego

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on March 6, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Beautiful restaurant and experience. The waiter was amiable and well-versed in the dishes we ordered. Came with a friend to try restaurant week and it was worth it! Came during the week so it felt like we had our own little section to ourselves. Would definitely go back, the stuffed sole and crab cakes were delish!

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  26. OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Was very pleased! Food was spot on and cool menu!

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  27. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on March 2, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This place was sooooo amazing came here for my boyfriends birthday and everything was great!!

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  28. GingerMorgan

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on February 24, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was too salty and one of the cooks was on the line cooking and eating food the entire time.

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  29. OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    The evening started off with receiving a broken high chair and they only had one for the entire restaurant. It came time to order but it seemed that nothing was available, the fryer was broken so I couldn’t order fish and chips and they were out of several wines that were on the menu. We settled for Cesar salads and soup. I made the mistake of requesting that my soup be warmed up due to holding my 11 month old and never saw it again. However, when it came time to pay I was charged for the fish and chips and the clam chowder that was never heated up and returned. This was a horrible experience and I will never dine there again

    1 person found this helpful

  30. JeannaH

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
     We loved everything about this restaurant – the decor is all about the ocean, the oysters were delicious, all of our entrées were interesting and delicious. Perhaps what made this so outstanding was the service from our waiter. He was attentive and knowledgeable, making the experience seamless for us. It is on the expensive side, but is perfect for a special dinner. 

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  31. GilA

    Los Angeles

    6 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    Went for Valentine’s Day dinner, food was ok but overpriced for what was received. Lobster was rubbery, tomahawk wasn’t well seasoned. We requested a split for the $185 steak but we were told that wasn’t an option. So needless to say, the service and ability to put the customer in front of the kitchen failed to happen. Definitely wouldn’t return for a $400 dinner for two.

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  32. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    We dined outside - though tight quarters, the ambiance was nice and the noise level much better than inside.

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  33. PeterT

    San Diego

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Great dinner but super loud atmosphere. Between the music and the acoustics of the room, we could barely have a conversation.

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  34. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Amazing server!! We all enjoyed our time and meals.

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  35. StephanieM

    New York State

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food was delicious and well executed. Service perfect level of attention.

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  36. MJ64

    San Diego

    21 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great location in the Gaslamp with impeccable service. The food was very good, however a bit on the pricey side. We ordered the branzino, served whole, which was plenty for two people to share, and added a couple of sides. You cannot go wrong with the lobster mac & cheese! We plan on returning to try their happy hour, many of the same dinner menu items at a much lower cost.

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  37. TiernieC

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Amazing food. Excellent service. Happy Hour on a Saturday night gets an extra star! I cant say enough about how great of a meal it was. My steak was cooked to absolutely perfection. Every side was outstanding. Out server Thomas was a sweetheart and very attentive. We appreciate you Thomas!

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  38. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    vip
    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 28, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Food wasn’t great, not the best layout, kinda loud, and dumb high prices.

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  39. Cjsz

    San Diego

    92 reviews

    4.0

    92 reviews

    Dined on January 26, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    A really great seafood restaurant - I trusted the reviews and I was SO glad. The 3 of us all enjoyed our dishes - salmon, stuffed sole and Chilean seabass. Prepared so nicely and good portions (sometimes you can hardly see the fish in places). We shared a Little Gem salad which was very good. One person had the Greek salad which was nicely done but no lettuce - authentic...? Nice atmosphere and the service was good - not great but good enough. We'll definitely go back.

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  40. TeresaK

    San Francisco

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on January 19, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Absolutely wonderful and would definitely go back

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FAQs

Saltwater is rated 4.1 stars by 553 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 10 times today
Experiences are available.
Google Map for Saltwater

565 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101-6913

Additional information

  • Cross street
    Market Street, 5th St
  • Neighborhood
    Downtown
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner Daily 4:00 pm–10:00 pm Happy Hour Mon–Thu, Sun 4:00 pm–6:00 pm
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    Seafood, Steak, Contemporary American
  • Dining style
    Fine Dining
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Parking details
    We do have a parking structure near us, called Park it on Market. It is on sixth and market st.
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Owned/operated by
    Women
  • Executive chef
    Vincenzo Lo Verso
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Dog Friendly, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Phone number
    (619) 525-9990
  • Private party facilities
    Equipped for intimate gatherings (10-12 guests), Saltwater’s private glass-encased wine cellar within the restaurant will provide uninterrupted and exclusive service.With our timeless yacht setting, interior accentuated by mahogany walls and scenic portholes, we will make sure to envelop you in luxury unlike anything you have ever experienced.
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