Red Sails Inn is a San Diego Shelter Island landmark. Located right on Shelter Island Drive in Point Loma, Red Sails Inn has been at this location since 1957. That date just happens to be the first time I was a patron of this great boaters restaurant and now the tourists come here as well. The theme is boating, my that was difficult, seeing that boats dock right next to the outside dining patio that is shaded by, you guessed it, red sails.
A large public parking lot is across the street that makes coming to Red Sails Inn an easy access restaurant. Shelter Island is also a landmark man made Island with hotels, boat yards, marinas and restaurants. The view of San Diego Bay and the city can be seen by driving on Shelter Island Drive past all the hotels to see boats of all sizes sailing and motoring in and out of the bay, including cruise ships and the US Navy's ships and if lucky an aircraft carrier may cruise by. Red Sails Inn opens for breakfast at 7am and service is till 2pm, seven days a week. Lunch menu 11am-4pm and Dinner 4pm-11pm. Bar is open.
Entering the Red Sails Inn with its nautical theme, makes you want to break out with a "yo, ho, ho!" Lining the bar and the walls of the restaurant are objects of the sea and photos of old San Diego and Point Loma. Nothing pretentious, but a seafarer's look. Besides the dining tables inside are tables located outside on the patio that is a must area to have a meal when the weather is San Diego perfect, which is most of the time. The service is quick and the ambience is designed to let you relax and take in the sea salt air.
Favorite Dish: When I am near the ocean, anywhere on this blue marble we all call home, I crave to dine outdoors and enjoy a great brunch. Brunch being not quite breakfast nor lunch, but in-between. At the Red Sails Inn, nothing beats a great Eggs Benedict for me, accompanied by a morning staple, the alcoholic elexir Bloody Mary with a large celery stalk to swirl the concoction till the aroma of the tomato juice and the vodka are as one. Cheers!
Relax, come as you are. Sit out on the deck/patio overlooking the marina and have a great time! Red Sails is an old favorite of the fishing and boating crowd.
The restaurant stands between two ship building companies and it is an especially nice place to stop while waiting for repairs to your yacht to be completed.
Of course, I don't have a yatch to repair or anything like that. The main reason I suggest this place is that it is so informal, but still nice. It reminds me of a seafood version of the family pizza place I worked at. Not fine dining, but a nice, cozy and unpretensious place to relax in.
It opened up in the late 1950's and still has that same feel all these years later. They call themselves "a favorite local watering hole" and that just about says it. It is family friendly so nothing like a dive bar one might associate with the term, watering hole.
I've eaten indoors and out but prefer out. Heaters are turned on when the weather gets chilly. The views on the Bay and the casual atmosphere allows for a wonderful time.
Favorite Dish: This is a place to have a beer and great food to go with it. Of course, they serve wine and have a full service bar--love those Bloody Marys!
The menu offers a variety from fried chicken wings to full entrees. The service is attentive and casual. This is an old established favorite and dining in comfort is the key. I can't actually remember what I ordered, but I do remember that the food was good. So I don't think you'd be disappointed.
I have eaten at the Red Sails Inn over a 40 year period. An institution at San Diego's waterfront, I visit it each time I stay in San Diego. Originally established 1935, it's been on Shelter island since 1957. I've never had anything but wonderful seafood or steak dinners here. The bar is on the left, the main dining room toward the water, adding to the ambience. If you wish, have full meal service at the bar, appealing to the single diner. The owners will greet you & are very accomodating. The warm wooden walls are filled with nautical objets d'art. You may feel you're aboard a fine old ship with a fireplace!
In San Diego's good weather try eating on the bayside covered patio by the fountain. If arriving by your boat tie up at guest docks (two slips-three hours max) by prior phone reservation. Among local regulars, the Inn's large menu of breakfasts is popular. Auto parking in adjacent parking lot.
They are noted for their New England style clam chowder with NO potatoes but extra ration of clams. You won't be disappointed with the chowder. Full menu of seafood, including specials, halibut, salmon, lobster, mahi mahi, shrimp, scallops, swordfish, king crab, calamari, sole, sea bass, squid & monkfish in season. A variety of steaks and chops are expertly prepared to your order. Surf and Turf and seafood salads are popular. And, their fish and chips might be the best in San Diego!
Don't be fooled by the name; this is NOT an inn. You can't get a room reservation there, LOL, No one seems to know why it's called an inn, but with reputation going back to 1935, the present seasoned owners are not about to fool with name changing. They took over the inn in 1977 with partners added over 10 years ago.
Take a website tour of all menus. Pictures of the dining areas and bar & mementos for sale, including their famous red "Get your ship together" T-shirts & coffee cups. A fun place!
Hours: 7 am to 11 pm continuous serving every day of the week. Bar closes at 1130 pm.
Favorite Dish: I like the halibut lunch or dinner encrusted with slivered macadamia nuts with the included signature clam chowder, but soup of the day or salad sides are available. I usually eat seafood here, but have tried steaks as well, with the New York steak with baked potato getting a rave! Helpings are ample & side choices are included. Full bar for before dinner drinks, wine selections with the meal & after dinner drinks.
This restaurant at the Shelter Island marina features a nautical theme along with seafood and steaks.
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