The "Top Gun House" in Oceanside
The “Top Gun House” in Oceanside

It’s not very often that I make the drive up north allllll the way to Oceanside. But that’s exactly what I did last weekend. There’s a lot of great stuff in North County that I have yet to explore. So while I was in NoCo, I did a little sightseeing. Since I used to work in a U.S. Navy public affairs office, I’m well aware of the impact that the movie “Top Gun” has had on Navy recruitment. Since several scenes in the movie were filmed in San Diego, I went out of my way to visit the “Top Gun House” in Oceanside where Kelly McGillis lived.

The house is on an empty lot (all the other beach cottages have since been torn down) overlooking the water at 102 Pacific St. It looks like an idyllic vacation home to me! The 500-square-foot Queen Anne Cottage was built in 1887, but has been well-preserved by the San Diego Save Our Heritage Organisation. Note: there’s a metal fence surrounding the house to keep intruders out, which makes photography difficult. The movie was filmed in 1985, but the house has since been repainted and two murals were added to the front windows. Rumor has it they may eventually turn the house into a business – possibly a coffee shop. Can’t you just see it — Feel the need for speed at Maverick’s Coffee House!

Hello Betty Fish House in Oceanside has a rooftop patio
Hello Betty Fish House in Oceanside has a rooftop patio

Right behind the cottage is popular seafood restaurant Hello Betty Fish House. The rooftop patio is a favorite local hangout, especially during the summer when they have live music and deejays. You won’t find better or fresher oysters anywhere in town. They come with a tasty jalapeno mignonette sauce.

Oysters at Hello Betty (photo courtesy of @worldonyourpalate)
Oysters at Hello Betty (photo courtesy of @worldonyourpalate)

I also like the Baja Stone Crab & cheese dip appetizer, served with tortilla chips. For the main course, I usually get the fresh fish platter that comes with two sides and a sauce for your fish (garlic butter is my fave). You can’t go wrong with the cod or halibut. The fish always tastes so fresh and is prepared to perfection. Hello Betty has a sizable craft beer list, but if cocktails are more your thing, try the ring of fire or O’side rita. Or if you’re having a particularly rough day, go for the bird of prey cocktail that’s served in a pineapple! It’s the drink that never ends…

The bird of prey cocktail at Hello Betty Fish House is served in a pineapple
The bird of prey cocktail at Hello Betty Fish House is served in a pineapple (courtesy photo)
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