I have grown up loving the beach, especially the sunny southern California ones, but I hate paying for eating there. Usually, the places either fall into one of two categories. The first is the little knick-knack sandwich shops that sell hotdogs and ice cream for triple what they retail for in grocery stores. Sure, you won’t break the bank buying these quick eats, but it’s not exactly class beach food. Second are the fantastically overpriced restaurants and grills with storybook views of the beach. Now you have the class beach place with one heck of a tab afterwards. Ritz little neighborhoods along the southern California coast are especially notorious for this, especially places like Laguna Beach and Dana Point. Thus, I was delighted to discover Cannons Seafood Grill in Dana Point, with absolutely fantastic views and fairly affordable prices, an excellent combination I strongly approve of.
My friends and I had spent part of the day on Dana Point, exploring the jetties, marinas, docks and beaches in this beautiful region. We had ended up on the north part of the Point, near the Oceanographic Institute/Museum and the replica schooners. As we were contemplating where to eat for dinner, one of us spied an excellent-looking place high on the cliffs above us. The place obviously had great views of the entire harbor and accompanying beaches, plus it looked quite popular (loads of people were visible on the outside decks and patio). I was mildly interested, but not so interested in a $30 per person bill, which I expected, given the location. However, I agreed to at least check it out, and we headed up to it on Cove Road, to the Street of the Green Lantern (Dana Point has such awesome names for its roads).
A menu outside the door quickly led us to choose Cannons Seafood Grill. One section of is offered 5-10 different dishes with mouth-watering descriptions, all under $20, some as low as $13. Awesome. While I’m much more of a fan of cheap Chinese Dim Sum places (some in SoCal are as low as $6 per person, with fantastic food), $13 plates at an Western restaurant was pretty reasonable. We were seated quickly, despite the large crowd, and were given an excellent window seat upon request.
Our waitress was a little busy with the large crowd of customers, but she soon showed up and apologized to us for the delay. For some odd reason, I went with the bacon-covered meatloaf (despite it being a seafood grill). One of my friends got the Seafood Alfredo and we both received our dishes in a decent amount of time. While waiting, we got to enjoy the absolutely lovely views of the harbor and beaches making up Dana Point. The view alone with quite fantastic, as were the myriad of small cats exploring the cliff side underneath our window. Cannons Seafood Grill also offers deck seating, but the wind had picked up by the time we arrived, so we elected to remain indoors.
The dish sizes were great, much larger than expected. I was pretty stoked by this, as it is fairly common for fancier beach restaurants to give customers wimpy portions, about half the amount required to fill me up. Cannons Seafood Grill was an exception to this lousy practice and I was thoroughly full, without any room for dessert. However, the dessert menu did have some splendid-sounding dishes, some I’ll be sure to try my next time there. My friends food was great as well and we all enjoyed our evening at Cannons Seafood Grill. If you are in the Dana Point/San Juan Capistrano area and need a great seafood restaurant with great views (who doesn’t?), check out Cannons Seafood Grill.
Cannons Seafood Grill
34344 Street of the Green Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629