Local Talent: Mitchell Conniff of Mitch's Seafood in Point Loma
When the Point Loma harbor is at your front door, seafood doesn’t get much fresher and knowing your fishermen is an understatement. At local institution Mitch’s Seafood, the walls feature faded photographs of neighborhood fishermen young and old, painting a picture of hard work and a passion for seafood.
Outside on the patio, the salty crew ties up right in front of the restaurant. A stomping ground for those about to embark on a fishing excursion or a place welcoming them home—this is community dining at its finest.
Mitchell Conniff spent seven years cooking up inspiration for his restaurant as a cook on the biggest sport fishing fleet in the world. It was a virtual playground of delicate yellowtail, sushi nights, and ample ceviche. Like his adventures at sea, the restaurant’s menu changes with the day’s freshest catch.
“There was nothing better than catching a fish in the middle of the ocean and serving dinner for friends,” says Conniff. “The model remains the same here.”
Check the restaurant’s chalkboard for old-time favorites like fisherman’s stew, and be open to surprises in the form of sheephead or monchong tostadas—all caught by San Diego fishermen. A jack-of-all-trades, Conniff still butchers the fish and oversees selection, and fishes for lobster.
“San Diego has access to some of the most amazing seafood—sought after throughout the world,” says Conniff. “Our customer base is built into our location; we are literally a fisherman’s first stop.”
Conniff’s commitment to sustainable seafood goes beyond taglines. Working with fishermen means the restaurant buys directly from friends and trusted sources—knowing not only how the fish is caught, but also the methods used to harvest. “We know how every piece of fish on the menu is sourced,” says Conniff. “I’ve spent years getting to know crews personally [because] I will always be a fisherman at heart.”
With 75% of business from San Diegans and fishermen, Conniff has gotten to know many diners by name, building a steady 10-year customer-base through word of mouth. At Mitch’s Seafood, you really can get to know your local purveyors—those that keep our oceans healthy and our fish tasty.
“We are seeing a lot of support for the community,” smiles Conniff. “San Diego, keep doing what you’re doing: Support local seafood and buy direct.”
Shop Seafood Like Mitch
Interested in buying sustainable seafood in San Diego? Check out Mitch Conniff’s top choices.
879 West Harbor Drive, San Diego
5202 Lovelock Street, San Diego
Monday to Tuesday, 8am–3pm; Wednesday to Sunday, 8am–5pm
1735 Hancock Street, San Diego
Tuesday to Saturday, 10am–7pm; Sunday, 11am–3pm
1403 Scott Street, Point Loma, San Diego
Hours: Daily, 8am-9pm