Boat House

The Boathouse offers a waterfront setting on Harbor Island, overlooking the San Diego bay and marina. The menu offers quality steaks, seafood, and pasta dishes, with entrees such as Stuffed Salmon, Filet Mignon and Lobster duo, and Southwestern Chicken Pasta. Specialty cocktails, a weekday happy hour, and weekly specials are all reasons to keep returning to the Boathouse, as is the friendly service, comfortable atmosphere, and magnificent view. Their elegant yet cozy atmosphere is inviting for anyone, and with a menu and cocktail list as extensive as it is, any eater can feel welcome to dine with ease at the Boathouse.

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Restaurant Info

  • Address: 2040 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego CA 92101
  • Cross Street: N Harbor Drive
  • Location: Point Loma & Ocean Beach | Harbor Island
  • Cuisine: American | Seafood | Steak |
  • Cost: $$ | Inexpensive | $25 - $50
  • Category: Casual Dining
  • Star Rating:
  • Reservations: Unknown
  • Dress Code: Casual
  • Meals Served: Lunch | Dinner |
  • Parking: Street |
  • Payment Options: VISA | Amex | MasterCard |
  • Corkage Fee: N/A
  • Phone: (619) 291-8011

Business Hours



  • Full Bar
  • Ocean View
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Private Room
  • Takeout Available
  • Happy Hours


  • Child Friendly
  • Romantic Dining
  • Dining Alone
  • People Watching
  • Special Occasion


F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions

Once a month, Boat House celebrates all the birthdays for the month on one night, offering a free prime rib dinner to all those with birthdays in that month.
No, The Boat House has a view of the San Diego Bay.


Restaurant Address: 2040 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego CA 92101

User Reviews


The view was wonderful, but not as good as the food. If possible, the service was even better than the food. I was there with my 2 children who are young adults and they both agreed it was some of the best they had ever eaten. I highly recommend it.


I just found this website and am very disappointed that the only people who write a comment are the ones who have had bad experiences. I love the food, the service, the view, and have had a wonderful time everytime I have gone. Please don't let these few comments sway you from eating there. It is truely a landmark.

I love it!  

They have the best service and the food is great!

More than people give them credit for.  

I notice that a LOT of the people leaving these reviews are either quite arrogant, or quite ignorant; take your pick. My Fiancee` and I have eaten at the Boat House once or twice - particularly as a special occasion for our engagement. We both had a really great night - she ordered the Coconut Shrimp and I had a rather splendid plate of Crab while we both split some fried kalimari: perhaps the best I've had in a while. Our "Server" (apparently I'm in snoots ville and shouldn't say Waiter or Waiteress. Pah, status pigs) was very courteous, and fun if you crack a joke or two. All in all the food was great, the management and servers were fun to be around (if you treat them like human beings) and by the way, its common to be allergic to Mahi Mahi, so if you order it, don't be a retard and complain when you get sick, eesh. I have the same reaction to ANY form of Mahi Mahi when I eat it. Sorry, but it wouldn't hurt to put a few more braincells to use people. The place was more than nice to my Fiance` and I.


Good service, bread great,timely receipt of food, beverage glass never less than half full, dinner was delicious (lobster), portions perfect, mud pie heavenly, waiter super cute. I recommend the Boat House and will dine there again.

Lovely Dinner  

I made the reservation today based on a recommendation from a co-worker. Afterwards I was reading the negative reviews and considered cancelling. Decided to try it anyway. Great food, great service, and a great price. $40, for two lobster dinners, with sides of rice ilaf and vegatables, and we split a mud pie for deseert...oh, and that $40 included a 20% tip, which was well earned. I was seated promplty, and the waiter came over promplty offering beverages. We declined, went staight for the dinner specials and our waters. Being immpressed with the food and atmoshper of the place we deided to order the desert. Oh, and we enjoyed the food over a great view of the bay. Definitly would reccomend this place and definitly go there again.

some peoples children  

I frenquent the Boathouse on a regular basis, The Food is fabulos and the service is great.The Bosthouse offers many great specials, not to mention a free Prime Rib Dinner for those born In the Month, one night a month. Its quite unfortunate that cheap people that will do anything to take advantage of a business,and get more than they deserve for free, by making up stories in regards to slow service or even getting sick. Just to try and get something for free. I would think that these people should have better use of their time, But I guess not. Of course its going to be busy on special nights, due to all the free loaders taking advantage, however.If you want to have a wonderful dinner, offering one of the most beautiful views and high quailty food, and in a more than comfortable restaurant check out the boathouse. I love it, The best Banquet Service in San Diego, with the best prices. I have been to many restaurants, and the Boathouse is my very favorite. Sorry for all you haters that have nothing better to do than try to ruin a reportation just for a free meal,and or to see what you will get offered if you make up a story, " oh my tummy hurts, what can you give me for free" get a life people, and eat at home

wow, wow, wow  

It has been a long time since I ahve had such a great time at a local restaurant. The service was great, the food awesome, and very fun. the people here really know how to accomadate thier guest. I must say one of the best Managers I have ever worked with. Denise was there for us through it all. By fsr the only place to have a banquet in this town. Great prices and the view is undiscribable. Making the most inportsnt day of my life, the best it could have been. Thank You Denise, you are the BEST. We will remember this always.

situation rectified  

In fairness to the restaurant, I have to report that they gave us our money back and promised to recall all the fish that was delivered by that supplier.


MY EXPERIENCE WAS SUPER GREAT! LOVED THE FOOD AND LOVED OUR SERVER!!!! All you haters need to try it out once more... The lobster is scrumptous and it's just a great over all experience and I recommend it to anyone. THANKS!!!!!!

The "Boat House" Revisited  

I was initially worried after reading the reviews regarding service at the Boathouse at let me tell you they are wrong. The service personal, friendly and I felt like they were truly interested in making this a good experience. We were ushered in immediately by what I think was the owner and immediately set up with drinks and the specials of the day. Laurie, our server handled us from there and made sure everything was to our liking. She was so skillful at knowing the menu, contents, wine list etc. WOW is all I can say! I had the surf & turf and it couldn't have been better prepared or presented. We were here celebrating our anniversary and it couldn't have been a better choice. The shrimp Coctail is wonderful. Small amount of bite, nice mixture of baby shrimp and collosal shrimp. All I can say is I will be coming back and will be recommending this place. If you make a reservation please keep it. This is a classy place and deserves respect! Don H

Very good food, and very nice staff  

My Father and I read all the reviews on this site, and to be honest, we almost got scared away. We had reservations for Christmas Dinner, so we decided to take the risk. When we got there, we had reservations at 3 PM, and were seated the exact second we walked in the door at 3:01. The place was absolutely packed, and a table of 11 seated next to us got their order in before us. We thought we would be waiting all day, but to our surprise, our appetizer of Calamari came quickly, and was steaming hot. The Calamari was cooked perfectly, not Chewy at all. After our appetizer we promptly received our soups, mine was French Onion, and my Dad's was Clam Chowder. My dad thought his was excellent, as did I. My only complaint is that it was not a conventional French Onion soup, meaning it didn't have the crust of cheese on the top. It still had cheese and the crouton though, just not baked on.

We got our food within 3-4 minute of the table of 11 before us. We both had Prime Rib. The Prime Rid was excellent, and was cooked just like we ordered - Medium. It was an extremely large portion of meat, with a large scoop of country-style mashed potatoes, and perfectly cooked steamed vegetables. Everything was steaming hot, including the Au Jus. They had two kinds of Horseraddish, Straight, and creamy. We got the creamy, and it was a very tasty balance of spice, and I even mixed it in with my Potatoes for an extra treat. Now to the service: To be fair.. I should mention that my dad got a dirty glass, it had lipstick on the rim. We let our waitress know, and she promptly replaced the glass.

The service we received was excellent. We were even asked how everything was by other employees besides just our Waitress. Our waitress was always there to immediately refill our tea, and make sure everything was fine. We unfortunately were too full to try dessert this time, but the choices looked wonderful. Our Waitress brought our check promptly, and we did not have to wait for 10 minutes after we were through to get it like some other restaurants.

The price was right for this restaurant, not too pricey at all. For two people, with shared, ample appetizer, drinks, added soup, and our entree it was only $92.00 With tax. As an added plus, there were even Christmas Carolers in period costume going through the tables singing Christmas Songs. I would recommend anyone who reads this review, to overlook some of these other reviews, and just remember: Most people who write reviews, are the angry whining ones that are vengeful, and very few of the patrons who enjoyed the food bother to post like I did. So, make sure you post yours as well! Enjoy your meal! -Charlie

Faded glory...  

Perhaps 10-15 years ago, the Boat House might have been considered a destination restaurant. Today it is still priced that way, but the menu and the decor are tired. First, let me praise our server Michelle who was very helpful in selecting an appropriate wine from their limited selection and who relocated us back inside when breeze turned chilly. However, she couldn't make up for the fact that the crab cakes had been cooked in a fryer full of days old oil and that the steamed vegtables had been sitting too long under the heat lamp. The salmon was perfectly cooked, but the stuffing was a bland puree of butter, spinach and seafood. The halibut was frozen rather than fresh, but at least we didn't get sick. Maybe it's a good deal to visit this place on a 2:1 deal or when they have their $14.95 prime rib or lobster dinners, but for great views and creative seafood dishes head to the other end of Harbor Island and enjoy the new Island Prime restaurant. It's hard to go wrong with a David Cohn property.

First Visit inYears  

The Boathouse and the Rusty Pelican used to be the same company. Then, both were outstanding! The Rusty Pelican restaurants are now gone. Looks like this Boathouse location is stand-alone and privately owned. We actually stopped coming to the Boathouse about 13 years ago, when they eliminated their WONDERFUL prepared-at-the-table salad. That and the crab-stuffed shrimp (also no longer on the menu) were our favorites. Someone at work the other day told me about their "special" nights: lobster, prime rib and crab legs. Even though it was not one of these nights, we decided to give the Boathouse another try. My wife ordered the risotto shrimp dish and I ordered the Crusted Macadamia Halibut ($25). The risotto was more like rice in a cheese sauce than good risotto. For $26, you get 5 (not jumbo) shrimp. The halibut (small portion) was very good and the accompanying vegetables were properly steamed. The prices are outrageous and the portions small. Soup/salad are not included. Side dishes and appetizers are also overpriced. Lucky for us, we had the Entertainment card -- good for a $20 discount. (When you use the card, a 17% tip is added to the bill.) We were amazed to see no wait (as in years past) on a Saturday night. There were many unoccupied tables. Service was good and the busboy kept our water glasses filled. I give Boathouse 3 stars.

Never Again  

I went to Boat House a few days ago and I don't ever plan on going back. I went for a friend's birthday celebration and may I say Boat House has the worst service imaginable! Our dinner reservation was at 9pm and we didn't get our food till almost 10pm which is already closing time. I think I saw our waitress about 2 times the whole time I was there. She didn't come to check up on us and didn't really give us the time of day for anything. The servers slapped down the food instead of putting it properly down. Because our food came so late, we were rushed to eat and leave. Not a good idea! I personally did not tip just because the service was just aweful! The food was ok, but I like to base a lot on service and I wasn't even near to satisfied with this restraunt.


After reading other reviews, I feel lucky I didn't have as bad of an experience, I just found the place to be very boring. Nice decor and view, but the food was very uninteresting. For $25 a plate, I expect something other than really basic entrees. We ordered 2 tuna dishes, one breaded shrimp, and mahi mahi. The seared cajun ahi was okay, but everything else was pretty bland and standard. Overall, for the price, it was disappointing.

Bad service  

Bad service, very bad food

No food for dinner  

I'm sorry to say, but the service as well as the food are very bad. I had some sad appetizers before dinner, but when it came time for my actual dinner food to arrive, guess what? I never came. I left the restaurant after waiting approx. 1 hour for my food.

Poor Service and Food  

My wife and I recently had dinner at this restaurant as we have done many times in the past. We enjoy the view and the marina atmosphere. This place has to be under new management!!! We waited and waited for service. The waiter was indifferent when asked for a recommendation. Once our order was taken, we were horrified to see our waiter scoop out our salads at the Salad Station with his bare hands! When our main course arrived it was undercooked and we complained. The response from our waiter was basicly "if you don't like it, don't come back." AND I WON'T GO BACK EITHER. Another beautiful restaurant under horrible manangement. The food and service is better at Burger King!


My wife and I took two other couples out to the Boathouse for lunch. Three of us had the Mahi Mahi and became very sick within 4 hours. Severe vomiting, diarrhea, head ache and cramping. The symptoms lasted well into the night. All who became sick are doctors and know the signs of food poisoning very well. We are certain this was bad fish and not an allergy. I eat Mahi Mahi all the time, and never had this reaction. I was miserable for 8 hours. When we told the restaurant of the poisoning, they brushed it off with, "Oh, well nobody else that had the fish has complained today." No apology, offer of a refund, or "we will investigate this." Had the food poisoning not been so dramatic, I would have complained of the poor service. The waiter was average, but the wait for the food was really, really long. We happened to hear the table next to us complain of the long wait also, and the restaurant was 1/4 full. I plain to report our experience to the state health services. I highly recommend that you avoid this restaurant.

Never Again!  

There were so many things that went wrong. First, the hostess was not at her post to receive us (we had reservations). The wine list is poor. The food very average. The seafood tasted as though it had been recently thawed. The server did not check on us during this meal, which was not very good. The menu description was deceptive. The dessert was awful. We were seated at a window, (the view may have been nice during the day) and there was the most horrible draft! I wanted to put on a heavy coat! The occasion was a birthday for my mother. I felt embarrassed. We would definitely not return.

Awful and Never go there  

Beautiful views. Otherwise, don't go. I ordered mahi-mahi with risotto cake. I got rice with overcooked tuna. How stupid do they think people are. I was too hungry to care and the waiter tried his best but to no avail. Whoever rated them AWESOME never ate out in a "real" restaurant. I don't know how they are in business but would never ever go back.

Not a good lunch  

My wife and I visted the Boathouse using the discount offered from the Entertainment Group Book.It states that you get a complimentary luch or dinner when a second is purchased, upto a $20.00 value. What they also put on the discount in the smallest of letters is that a 17% gratuity will be added. Now, im no math wizard, but that just negated the discount. To me, this makes no sense. I contacted both the Boat House, (which was a dead end) and the Entertainment Group, (must live on the same street) all to no avail. I dont think it is a fair business pratice to offer this discount and then add a mandatory gratuity of 17% on service and food that didnt warrant it.FOOD**Food was ok, since it was off the lunch menu, but not worth the cost.SERVICE**We had to walk around to find someone in the bar to seat us. Not friendly at all. When we left, we advised other patrons that we had to look around to be seated and i noticed they started to do the same. When trying to advise their management about this they became very defensive and uncoopertive. I didnt expect any, but they didnt offer and refund.OVERALL**Save your money

Bad Birthday  

For my 37th birthday I took my wife and son out for The Boat house birthday special, free prime rib. We made reservations for 7:00 got seated at 7:45, ordered our overpriced fried calamari. 10 minutes later waitress took our order; my son got the fish nad chips, my wife balckened ribye. It took an hour to recieve our appetizer after countless attemps to flag the waitress to inquire about our missing appetizer. Prime rib was dry even though medium rare, fish and chips taseless and oily, better off at Long John Silvers, and ribeye was actually good. Service was bad food was average at best. Spend your money elsewhere

Birthday Surprise  

Myself, my father-in-law and my brother-in-law all have birthdays in December so we decided to take advantage of the Boast House December Birthday Bash and take our spouses out to dinner. We arrived at 6:12 for 6:15 reservations. After a 10 minute wait our waiter finally showed up and took our order. Our salads arrived at about 6:30. It was now 7:15 and we hadn't seen our waiter since the salads arrived at 6:15. During this time the three tables surrounding us, which had diners seated at them when we arrived, had had dinner, the tables cleaned, reset, new diners seated, and food served. My wife asked to see a manager at which point a young lady claiming to be the manager arrived at our table. Her reponse to our request for our food was #1, we arrived late (we were 3 minutes eary), #2, we had salads (all 3 tables surrounding us had salads), #3, seh said our order was placed with the kitchen at 7:10, approximately 45 minutes after we placed the order, and proceeded to argue with my wife that we were wrong. She said she would check further and return. We never saw her again. Our food arrived at approximately 7:35, barley warm. I went to the hostess and asked to speak to a manager. One arrived and I explained our situtation mentioning that the three surronding tables and be cleaned, new diners seated, and food served while we had none. His response was a question,put very rudly, "what did you do, sit around and look at every other table?", my response being "yes, we had nothing else to do for over 45 minutes". I asked to speak to his supervisor and he informed me he was the owner, and he would "discuss it with the others and decide what to do". We never saw him again. When the check was dropped off, I mentioned to my wife that I didn't think that the waiter deserved a tip considering the service we received. He happened to be behind me and overheard our conversation, and proceeded to tell me "That he didn't care whether we tiped him or not, we were rude and shouldn't go out to eat". We eat out 2-3 times a week in the San Diego area and travel quite a bit. I have NEVER been treated so rudely, not even and apology or reason for our poor service. Yes we got three prime ribs meals for free, but the check for the others in the party came to over4 $140.00 You can make your own choice, but I choose to frequent restaurants that provide service and good food. Good food is available anywhere, service makes it great!


This so-called restaurant is run by apathetic managers, rude servers and serve food that would have been better out of a can. I can only advise others to steer clear of this place and try any of the other charming and delicious restaurants San Diego has to offer.


FOOD POISONING: This experience was terrible and upon contacting the manager for some details, they simply said: "We are sorry that this happened, but other customers had the same food and no other complaints were received." But I am convinced, it was due to the fish. And the manager could have done more than to deny and apologize... Customer satisfaction should come first in such expensive restaurant, but obviously, in this place, it does come at all!... I hope the management and owner is reading this! At least I know you are so here is the story in detail: We went to the Boat House Rest. with 9 adults and 2 children. Most of us had Lobster(s) but since my wife does not like Lobster, she decided to get something else from the menu. Since Boat house is known to be a Fresh Fish restaurant (or that's what we thought, later I found they were frozen), I suggested she gets a specialty fish from the menu, thus she selected "Sauteed Mahi Mahi". Things were fine up to that point, we paid a large bill as a group and left. And basicly, that dinner was the only thing she had, besides a very light fruit breakfast in the morning. That night, when we got home, my wife told me, she was starting to get upset stomach and went to sleep early. We both woke up at around 3:00 AM, and she started to vomit. The only thing she had for dinner was at Boathouse and the symptoms were food poisoning. She continued Vomiting with Cramps, fever and sweating, and other symptoms of Food Poisoning, until the next morning around 11:00 AM. I constantly tried to give her fluids to help her hydrate. Of course, I had to miss work the next day to take care of my wife and daughter (3 yrs old). But she was constantly getting worse, she was in terrible pain, cramps and vomiting were getting to extreme points, she was feeling TERRIBLE. That's when she asked me to take her to the ER, so we headed to the Hospital, into Emergency Room. They immediately took her in, gave her 2 sets of ivy and some medicine against food poisoning. We were there (with my wife and daughter) for over 4 hours. She felt a little better, we headed home and she stayed in bed the whole night. Thank god, she stopped vomiting, but she was still in pain and terrible headache. As a result, the next day, she recovered slowly. But the fact that we went through HELL was really disappointing, which was most likely due to the fish. I can not say how fresh the fish was, but that is the only thing she had in her plate, that no other person in our group had that night. I had to work overtime the next day to catch-up with my work schedule, take care of her, my daughter and house chores. Basically, the last 2-3 days have been very difficult for me, hell for her. (And with ER bill, it cost us a lot more than the total dinner cost we had at the restaurant for over 10 people). So I wanted to bring this to the attention of the management by an e-mail, so I did. I wanted them to contribute for the health bill, but they called me saying how sorry they were that this happened, they do not think it was due to the fish (due to the fact that others had the same fish that night and no other complaints were received) and they would not be able to do anything about it. I am so disappointed with the way they handled it. As if they had nothing to do with it. The least they could have done was to invite us back as apology, even though they did not accept to be faulty. I will not only NOT go back there, but wanted to inform others of this situation, so you know how they handle such a fragile case. NOT PROFESSIONAL nor CUSTOMER SATISFACTION ORIENTED. Good Luck if you go back there. But I do not recommend it.

Don't Waste Your Time At The Boat House  

My husband and I had planned to dine at the Boat House several weeks ago with friends for dinner. After reading the reviews and remembering poor service previously received we decided not to go. Well, this past Sunday we thought - let's give it a try for lunch. We were seated at a very small table scrunched between two larger parties. We opted to instead eat in the bar area. After waiting 15 minutes or so, the bartender took our lunch order. And then we waited, and waited. About 30 minutes later we asked about our order and she said "you ordered?" We nodded and she then said that the kitchen was backed up and it would just be a little longer. We noticed that people who arrived after us were eating - but we were patient. About 15 minutes later - she came back to advise us that the "kitchen misplaced your ticket" and that they would have our meal ready in about 5-10 minutes. Needless to say, we left and will never again return to the Boat House. POOR SERVICE!

The worst service ever!  

Worst experience ever!  

Worst service ever. I didn't have to eat the food to realize how horrible this place was! My family and I had made reservations for this restaurant at 7:15 pm. I will admit that our party (of 15) was a fairly large party, however, this was the reason why why called ahead for reservations. The host and hostess were inhospitable. Aside from giving our table away, they continued to service other parties before us. We ended up waiting over an hour and a half for service. To top it off, the restaurant had run out of lobster, yet didn't seem the least bit apologetic for anything, especially not the long wait. When we finally decided to take our business elsewhere, the hostess had finally came out to speak to us, and rudely exclaimed, "you're leaving, right?" Eating out is about the enjoyment of food and service. I don't believe I received either here.

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