7 Best Restaurants Near the Aquarium of the Pacific

Hang out with majestic creatures of the sea, then grab a table to indulge in flavorful local cuisine. A perfect California evening (or afternoon!) awaits.

Dive into an underwater world of wonder at Aquarium of the Pacific. Watch sea otters, penguins, and sharks navigate glassy waters, then gaze in awe at coral reefs in every shade of vivid color. Once you’ve had your fill of watery exhibits, you’ll probably be left with quite an appetite! Make the short trek to one of these restaurants near Aquarium of the Pacific. 

Centered around the tantalizing Pacific Ocean, exhibits in Aquarium of the Pacific house over 12,000 animals. In the lineup of exhibits, you’ll find the Tropical Pacific Gallery, Coral Reefs exhibit, and Pacific Visions exhibit. Of course, you can’t skip swinging by the new “Babies!” exhibit.

After you explore every nook and cranny of this fascinating sea life extravaganza, the fun continues in the form of California flavors. Whether the aquarium has you craving seafood or anything but seafood, there’s a dish for you. Keep reading for a list of restaurants near Aquarium of the Pacific Long Beach, CA, that caters to every taste!

Café Scuba

Distance from Aquarium of the Pacific: Located inside the aquarium

If you’re on the hunt for kid-friendly restaurants near Aquarium of the Pacific, you won’t have to go far. You can’t get more convenient than an on-site restaurant! Located inside Aquarium of the Pacific, Café Scuba serves up tasty noms alongside breathtaking views. Watch seals and sea lions splish and splash in their exhibit, which the restaurant overlooks!

On the menu, a round-up of classics means even the pickiest of eaters will find something they like. Chicken strips, burgers, and grilled cheeses make up the list of fan-favorite fare. If you’re a little more health-conscious, grab a turkey sandwich or chicken caesar salad.

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Pro Tip: After your meal, grab dessert at the Blue Whale Café Coffee Cart! Scarf down a cinnamon roll, brownie, or cookie. Then, wash it all down with a cup of Starbucks coffee.

Bamboo Bistro

Distance from Aquarium of the Pacific: Located inside the aquarium

Bamboo Bistro is another dining option located conveniently inside Aquarium of the Pacific. If you’re hoping to make a quick meal stop so you can return to the exhibits as quickly as possible, this is the place to grab a speedy bite!

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Enjoy chicken strips with a side of fries or a hot dog alongside some kettle chips. Make it a chili cheese dog if you’re really hungry! Additionally, ooey gooey cheese or pepperoni pizza is impossible to resist.

If a snappy snack is all you’re in the mood for, chow down on a soft-baked pretzel or some churro bites!

Pro Tip: Craving dim sum? Get your Asian food fix in nearby Los Angeles. Unfortunately, there aren’t many restaurants known for dim sum in the Long Beach area, but the commute to LA only takes about half an hour!

photo credit: Aquarium of the Pacific

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Distance from Aquarium of the Pacific: 200 feet, about 1 minute

Transport yourself to the charming Southern setting of the ever-popular Forrest Gump for a good dose of seafood in every form you can imagine (barbecued, broiled, boiled, baked… shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo…). If you don’t get the reference, go watch this classic movie stat!

This is one of the best seafood restaurants near the Aquarium of the Pacific! Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is a small chain of restaurants that originated nearby in Monterey, California. The Long Beach location happens to be right next to Aquarium of the Pacific

Start with an appetizer: the ultra-cheesy Shrimp Shack Mac & Cheese. For the main course, you can’t go wrong with shrimp. However, you’ll also find salmon, crab, and mahi mahi on the menu! If seafood isn’t your thing, we suggest Mama’s Fried Chicken. 

photo credit: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (87 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA) via Facebook

Yard House

Distance from Aquarium of the Pacific: 0.6 miles, about 3 minutes

The Yard House is another option practically down the street from Aquarium of the Pacific! If you’re looking for variety, Yard House has you covered. Oh, and beer — they have lots of that too. 

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Kick off your meal with an onion ring tower, firecracker shrimp, or chicken lettuce wrap. Afterward, tacos, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and steaks with all the works are sure to satisfy your appetite! Finish it off with a big slice of chocolate fudge cake.

Pro Tip: Searching for Mexican restaurants near Aquarium of the Pacific? Several taco varieties, from carne asada to baja fish, will appease your Mexican food cravings at Yard House.

Take in waterfront views while you take in the flavors! Dining with a view is the only way to go when visiting California.

photo credit: Yard House (Long Beach, CA) via Facebook

Gladstone’s Long Beach

Distance from Aquarium of the Pacific: 0.3 miles, about 2 minutes

At Gladstone’s Long Beach, your mouth will be watering long before the waiter or waitress brings out your food! The freshest oysters and fish straight from the sea ensure the best flavor. For tropical flair, go with the Hawaiian Ahi Tuna or Hawaiian Mahi Mahi.

If you’d prefer to stick to the shore, the Huli Huli Chicken Sandwich is served on golden brioche with a grilled pineapple. Delish!

While all of the food sounds delectable, the best part may be the view. Imagine a table situated seaside. Go at night for a striking view of surrounding city lights reflecting off the dark water! If you can’t get enough of the waterfront ambiance after your visit to Aquarium of the Pacific, the oceanic after party is here.

photo credit: Gladstone’s Long Beach via Facebook

L’Opera Italian Restaurant

Distance from Aquarium of the Pacific: 0.6 miles, about 4 minutes

What’s better than Italian food in an elegant dining room? Steer away from the seafood after your trip to Aquarium of the Pacific and load up on pasta to your heart’s content! L’Opera Italian Restaurant is on the fancy side. So, come prepared for an upscale dining experience.

Visit at happy hour for drinks and appetizers! This takes place every day from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

photo credit: Jill Feldman McMahon via Facebook

Shenanigans Irish Pub & Grille

Distance from Aquarium of the Pacific: 0.6 miles, about 4 minutes

An Irish pub is the perfect place to cozy up for dinner and drinks, especially if you’re leaving the kiddos at home during your visit to Aquarium of the Pacific. This Long Beach social hub is complete with an ongoing buzz of chatter and a full menu!

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Start off with some Irish Nachos. Then, we recommend the steak sandwich or buffalo chicken sandwich! If you like it hot, the Diablo Burger includes hot sauce and chipotle. Add a pretzel bun, and you’ve got a recipe for one delicious burger! Finish it off with chocolate lava cake, of course.

Pro Tip: Shenanigans makes it on the list of breakfast restaurants near Aquarium of the Pacific! Burritos, omelets, and hot cakes will satisfy your morning cravings.

photo credit: Shenanigans Irish Pub & Grille via Facebook

Which of These Best Restaurants Near the Aquarium of the Pacific Will You Try After Your Aquarium Visit?

After your Aquarium of the Pacific tour, try flavors of the United States and beyond at one of these first-rate restaurants near the Aquarium of the Pacific. Whether you’re in the mood for seafood, steak, or something in between, there’s a Long Beach restaurant for you!

What Did We Miss?

Are there any restaurants you would add to our list?

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Written by Michaela Satterfield

Michaela is a journalist who views every story she writes as an adventure, leading her to explore new places and meet new people....

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