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staying in Carlsbad, loking for wonderful food


Shmily
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Hi..We are visiting San Diego for a week in January 2007 and staying in Carlsbad. We have eaten at the "stars" such as Pamplemousse and George at the Cove and Bizcocho, etc, etc....This trip we would love to try some lesser known, simpler but really good food...surroundings can be simpler...we love fish, would love to enjoy California fruits and veggies..not Mexican...We know these places exist..it is just so difficult for an out of towner to find them...Please help us...thanks a lot in advance :biggrin:

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Hi..We are visiting San Diego for a week in January 2007 and staying in Carlsbad.  We have eaten at the "stars" such as Pamplemousse and George at the Cove and Bizcocho, etc, etc....This trip we would love to try some lesser known, simpler but really good food...surroundings can be simpler...we love fish, would love to enjoy California fruits and veggies..not Mexican...We know these places exist..it is just so difficult for an out of towner to find them...Please help us...thanks a lot in advance :biggrin:

please share some suggestions... :sad::sad:

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Hi..We are visiting San Diego for a week in January 2007 and staying in Carlsbad.  We have eaten at the "stars" such as Pamplemousse and George at the Cove and Bizcocho, etc, etc....This trip we would love to try some lesser known, simpler but really good food...surroundings can be simpler...we love fish, would love to enjoy California fruits and veggies..not Mexican...We know these places exist..it is just so difficult for an out of towner to find them...Please help us...thanks a lot in advance :biggrin:

Does it have to be in Carlsbad or can the places also be in San Diego.

In San Diego I would recommend Region, Cafe Cerise and Parallel 33 for good places to eat often focused on local produce (Region and Cafe Cerise) or an interesting concept (Parallel 33).

Edited by Honkman (log)
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Same question -- does it have to be Carlsbad specifically? Just south in Encinitas there is a great outdoor, upscale mall that has a restaurant called Meritage which is quite excellent with a great wine list. I'm sorry you aren't interested in Mexican; just north in Oceanside is Anita's which has been making amazing Mexican food for almost 40 years. Both Meritage and Anitas are on PCH.

In Carlsbad, consider Fish House Veracruz -- I used to eat at their original restaurant in San Marcos. I have to admit that when I'm in Carlsbad, I go to the fish-and-chips joint on the water, across the street from Neimans (which has a decent bar, but I wouldn't bother eating there). Walk around Carlsbad Village -- the restaurants change a bit too frequently for me to keep up with them; I used to love Brennan's, but I don't think they are open any more.

Best advise -- serendipity. Drive slowly down PCH through Solana Beach, Encinitas, Leucadia, etc and stumble on something that appeals to you. That is how I found Meritage...

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Same question -- does it have to be Carlsbad specifically? Just south in Encinitas there is a great outdoor, upscale mall that has a restaurant called Meritage which is quite excellent with a great wine list. I'm sorry you aren't interested in Mexican; just north in Oceanside is Anita's which has been making amazing Mexican food for almost 40 years.  Both Meritage and Anitas are on PCH.

In Carlsbad, consider Fish House Veracruz -- I used to eat at their original restaurant in San Marcos. I have to admit that when I'm in Carlsbad, I go to the fish-and-chips joint on the water, across the street from Neimans (which has a decent bar, but I wouldn't bother eating there). Walk around Carlsbad Village -- the restaurants change a bit too frequently for me to keep up with them; I used to love Brennan's, but I don't think they are open any more.

Best advise -- serendipity. Drive slowly down PCH through Solana Beach, Encinitas, Leucadia, etc and stumble on something that appeals to you. That is how I found Meritage...

ABSOLUTELY does not have to be in Carlsbad...I only mention Carlsbad to tell you where we plan to stay...north of San Diego would be ideal with less driving...but if we need to go into the city, we will...did I here about a place that had wonderful mussels and jazz?? does that ring a bell with anyone?? Thank you again for any and all help.... :rolleyes::rolleyes:

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Hi..We are visiting San Diego for a week in January 2007 and staying in Carlsbad.  We have eaten at the "stars" such as Pamplemousse and George at the Cove and Bizcocho, etc, etc....This trip we would love to try some lesser known, simpler but really good food...surroundings can be simpler...we love fish, would love to enjoy California fruits and veggies..not Mexican...We know these places exist..it is just so difficult for an out of towner to find them...Please help us...thanks a lot in advance :biggrin:

Does it have to be in Carlsbad or can the places also be in San Diego.

In San Diego I would recommend Region, Cafe Cerise and Parallel 33 for good places to eat often focused on local produce (Region and Cafe Cerise) or an interesting concept (Parallel 33).

As I mention below..only reason I mentioned Carlsbad was to say where we are staying...I will check into the places you mention...thank you...someone mentioned a little place that had wonderful mussels and jazz?? Does that ring a bell?? Thank you... :rolleyes:

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Hi Shmily,

You might want to check out the topic I started awhile back, San Diego cheap eats mini-reviews, which has become a grab-bag of all sorts of inexpensive places from all around the San Diego area, including some forays into North County.

Also, my two eGullet foodblogs (listed in my signature) have some more info about San Diego cheap eats.

Enjoy!

Edited by mizducky (log)
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Hi..We are visiting San Diego for a week in January 2007

January 2007 is a little far off, and I'm hesitant to recommend anything that far in advance. Places change, staff comes and goes, old favorites go downhill and sometimes even close, new places open.

I'll try to remember to check back on this thread a little closer to your travel date.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Hi..We are visiting San Diego for a week in January 2007 and staying in Carlsbad.  We have eaten at the "stars" such as Pamplemousse and George at the Cove and Bizcocho, etc, etc....This trip we would love to try some lesser known, simpler but really good food...surroundings can be simpler...we love fish, would love to enjoy California fruits and veggies..not Mexican...We know these places exist..it is just so difficult for an out of towner to find them...Please help us...thanks a lot in advance :biggrin:

Stop in at the Four Seasons resort and visit Aviara for the Friday night seafood buffet, includes all the high end stuff like lobster, oysters, scallops, etc.

You can also check out some of these places -

The Red Dahlia

Currently getting some buzz; reviews have been somewhat mixed though generally positive.

Bellefleur

Tip Top Meats

Some people swear by this place, some think it's overrated. It's more of a butcher shop/grocery type of place that also sells food. Not a bad option for lunch, stop in for a meat (of your choice) sandwich

Le Passage French Bistro

Blue Fire

located at the La Costa Resort & Spa

For pizza in Carlsbad check out Pizza Port, which quite a few people think has the best pizza in San Diego. Sammy's Woodfired Pizza is a local chain, but that shouldn't put you off, their pizza is quite respectable and not a bad choice for an easy, enjoyable lunch.

I don't believe there is a web site but Vigilucci's is one of the better choices for Italian in the North County and they are located in Carlsbad.

Moving south into Encinitias -

Meritage

Meritage is located in the Lumberyard, which is really a mall, but it's a pretty trendy, beach, upscale mall. NOT a Macy's or Nordstroms type of mall. And Meritage is pretty good, nice wine selection, waitstaff is knowledgable and engaging.

Don't have dessert at Meritage though. It happens to be almost next door to Chuao Chocolatier which is marvelous. Since you'll be there in January and it might just rain and be cool, you can also buy some of their Spicy Maya Hot Chocolate mix to take with you. Chuao does fabulous chocolates, some of the best in the U.S., this is a "don't miss" stop. They also offer chocolate making classes on some evenings at their new location in, where else, Carlsbad. The classes end with chocolate and wine pairings/tastings.

Also located in the Lumberyard is

St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro

which would be a nice stop for breakfast or lunch.

For the funkier, beachy side of Encinitas

Swami's/Honey's Bistro & Bakery/Beach Grass Cafe

Swami's has been around a long time and is extremely popular with surfers and the non-surfing locals alike, especially for breakfast.

Then we come to the Italian contingent -

Firenze Trattoria

Trattoria I Trulli

which some think is the best Italian restaurant in the entire county or San Diego, which is a pretty large place. However, Best being subjective, there are also those that swear by

When in Rome

for great Italian.

Savory opened a couple of years ago in Encinitas and generated a great deal of very positive buzz, including best new restaurant awards.

If you want to venture south into La Jolla, the best deal in town can be found at two of the better restaurants, Fresh and Roppongi. Both offer their entire appetizer menus plus drinks for half price for Happy Hour from 4 pm - 6 pm. The appetizers are substantial enough to be shared by more than 2 people and lean heavily towards creatively done seafood, especially at Fresh.

And finally, since you'll be here in January you might want to check out the

Marine Room in La Jolla for one of San Diego's oldest food traditions - High Tide Breakfast or High Tide Dinner. The Marine Room is located at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club and sits directly on the sands of the beach. Twice a year the tides get exceptionally high and come right up to the restaurant, and occassionally, when the tide has coincided with fierce winter storms, the restaurant windows have given way to the sea. Back when SD was still a sleepy Navy town, getting dressed up to go to The Marine Room was a big deal. The food is excellent here and whether you go for breakfast, which is a buffet and exceptionally well done, or dinner, it's rarely a disappointment. Hide tides in January vary, but usually it's the first and/or last week of the month. The schedule for Hide Tide Breakfast and Dinner is usually posted on their web site in early to late Fall, meaning check it around October.

Because of the explosive growth in the North County over the last 10-15 years, the restaurant business has developed right along with all that growth. It's not that hard to find good to very good, to even extremely good food in the area. Just cruising up and down PCH will yield you more choices than you could possibly try in a week's visit. Good luck, enjoy your visit and then report back to us what you found and how it was.

Edited by kalypso (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi..We are visiting San Diego for a week in January 2007 and staying in Carlsbad.  We have eaten at the "stars" such as Pamplemousse and George at the Cove and Bizcocho, etc, etc....This trip we would love to try some lesser known, simpler but really good food...surroundings can be simpler...we love fish, would love to enjoy California fruits and veggies..not Mexican...We know these places exist..it is just so difficult for an out of towner to find them...Please help us...thanks a lot in advance :biggrin:

Stop in at the Four Seasons resort and visit Aviara for the Friday night seafood buffet, includes all the high end stuff like lobster, oysters, scallops, etc.

You can also check out some of these places -

The Red Dahlia

Currently getting some buzz; reviews have been somewhat mixed though generally positive.

Bellefleur

Tip Top Meats

Some people swear by this place, some think it's overrated. It's more of a butcher shop/grocery type of place that also sells food. Not a bad option for lunch, stop in for a meat (of your choice) sandwich

Le Passage French Bistro

Blue Fire

located at the La Costa Resort & Spa

For pizza in Carlsbad check out Pizza Port, which quite a few people think has the best pizza in San Diego. Sammy's Woodfired Pizza is a local chain, but that shouldn't put you off, their pizza is quite respectable and not a bad choice for an easy, enjoyable lunch.

I don't believe there is a web site but Vigilucci's is one of the better choices for Italian in the North County and they are located in Carlsbad.

Moving south into Encinitias -

Meritage

Meritage is located in the Lumberyard, which is really a mall, but it's a pretty trendy, beach, upscale mall. NOT a Macy's or Nordstroms type of mall. And Meritage is pretty good, nice wine selection, waitstaff is knowledgable and engaging.

Don't have dessert at Meritage though. It happens to be almost next door to Chuao Chocolatier which is marvelous. Since you'll be there in January and it might just rain and be cool, you can also buy some of their Spicy Maya Hot Chocolate mix to take with you. Chuao does fabulous chocolates, some of the best in the U.S., this is a "don't miss" stop. They also offer chocolate making classes on some evenings at their new location in, where else, Carlsbad. The classes end with chocolate and wine pairings/tastings.

Also located in the Lumberyard is

St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro

which would be a nice stop for breakfast or lunch.

For the funkier, beachy side of Encinitas

Swami's/Honey's Bistro & Bakery/Beach Grass Cafe

Swami's has been around a long time and is extremely popular with surfers and the non-surfing locals alike, especially for breakfast.

Then we come to the Italian contingent -

Firenze Trattoria

Trattoria I Trulli

which some think is the best Italian restaurant in the entire county or San Diego, which is a pretty large place. However, Best being subjective, there are also those that swear by

When in Rome

for great Italian.

Savory opened a couple of years ago in Encinitas and generated a great deal of very positive buzz, including best new restaurant awards.

If you want to venture south into La Jolla, the best deal in town can be found at two of the better restaurants, Fresh and Roppongi. Both offer their entire appetizer menus plus drinks for half price for Happy Hour from 4 pm - 6 pm. The appetizers are substantial enough to be shared by more than 2 people and lean heavily towards creatively done seafood, especially at Fresh.

And finally, since you'll be here in January you might want to check out the

Marine Room in La Jolla for one of San Diego's oldest food traditions - High Tide Breakfast or High Tide Dinner. The Marine Room is located at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club and sits directly on the sands of the beach. Twice a year the tides get exceptionally high and come right up to the restaurant, and occassionally, when the tide has coincided with fierce winter storms, the restaurant windows have given way to the sea. Back when SD was still a sleepy Navy town, getting dressed up to go to The Marine Room was a big deal. The food is excellent here and whether you go for breakfast, which is a buffet and exceptionally well done, or dinner, it's rarely a disappointment. Hide tides in January vary, but usually it's the first and/or last week of the month. The schedule for Hide Tide Breakfast and Dinner is usually posted on their web site in early to late Fall, meaning check it around October.

Because of the explosive growth in the North County over the last 10-15 years, the restaurant business has developed right along with all that growth. It's not that hard to find good to very good, to even extremely good food in the area. Just cruising up and down PCH will yield you more choices than you could possibly try in a week's visit. Good luck, enjoy your visit and then report back to us what you found and how it was.

Thank you for some PERFECT suggestions...like Fresh...just went to their Website...and I will chaeck out lots of your other suggestion...so I do thank you so much... :laugh::laugh:

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  • 2 weeks later...

We just returned from that area. We had dinner one night in Del Mar at the Paradise Grille. It's in a shopping mall right off I-5, but the food was pretty good. One of the appetizers was a flat bread pizza, which was actually big enough for a main dish. It was delicious. My husband had tuna tataki and I had summer vegetable risotto. I've had better risottos. The paradise salad, which has mango and grapefruit in it and a lime vinaigrette, was quite good. Our server was excellent. I would describe the setting as pretty casual and the food quality as pretty good and not too expensive. It seems like a lot of restaurants in that area are overpriced and serve so-so food, but offer a nice view.

Some people also recommended Jake's, right on 15th Street on the beach in Del Mar, but we didn't have a chance to try it.

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We just returned from that area.  We had dinner one night in Del Mar at the Paradise Grille.  It's in a shopping mall right off I-5, but the food was pretty good.  One of the appetizers was a flat bread pizza, which was actually big enough for a main dish.  It was delicious.  My husband had tuna tataki and I had summer vegetable risotto.  I've had better risottos.  The paradise salad, which has mango and grapefruit in it and a lime vinaigrette, was quite good.  Our server was excellent.  I would describe the setting as pretty casual and the food quality as pretty good and not too expensive.  It seems like a lot of restaurants in that area are overpriced and serve so-so food, but offer a nice view.   

Some people also recommended Jake's, right on 15th Street on the beach in Del Mar, but we didn't have a chance to try it.

Hi..Thank you for sharing your experience...we had the same feeling that you did that a lot of restaurants are indeed overpriced and their food does not measure up to the cost...so that is why I posted my query...Will look into both places that you mention... :smile::smile:

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We just returned from that area.  We had dinner one night in Del Mar at the Paradise Grille.  It's in a shopping mall right off I-5, but the food was pretty good.  One of the appetizers was a flat bread pizza, which was actually big enough for a main dish.  It was delicious.  My husband had tuna tataki and I had summer vegetable risotto.  I've had better risottos.  The paradise salad, which has mango and grapefruit in it and a lime vinaigrette, was quite good.  Our server was excellent.  I would describe the setting as pretty casual and the food quality as pretty good and not too expensive.  It seems like a lot of restaurants in that area are overpriced and serve so-so food, but offer a nice view.   

Some people also recommended Jake's, right on 15th Street on the beach in Del Mar, but we didn't have a chance to try it.

Hi..Thank you for sharing your experience...we had the same feeling that you did that a lot of restaurants are indeed overpriced and their food does not measure up to the cost...so that is why I posted my query...Will look into both places that you mention... :smile::smile:

LA may be too far away from SD. But Orange County isn't. Stonehill Tavern in Dana Point is getting some good reviews from forumers. Got 3 stars from LA Times. Supposedly the "classiest" restaurant in OC. In case you change your mind about trying a "star" restaurant.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...34&hl=stonehill

Edited by savvysearch (log)
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We just returned from that area.  We had dinner one night in Del Mar at the Paradise Grille.  It's in a shopping mall right off I-5, but the food was pretty good.  One of the appetizers was a flat bread pizza, which was actually big enough for a main dish.  It was delicious.  My husband had tuna tataki and I had summer vegetable risotto.  I've had better risottos.  The paradise salad, which has mango and grapefruit in it and a lime vinaigrette, was quite good.  Our server was excellent.  I would describe the setting as pretty casual and the food quality as pretty good and not too expensive.  It seems like a lot of restaurants in that area are overpriced and serve so-so food, but offer a nice view.   

Some people also recommended Jake's, right on 15th Street on the beach in Del Mar, but we didn't have a chance to try it.

Hi..Thank you for sharing your experience...we had the same feeling that you did that a lot of restaurants are indeed overpriced and their food does not measure up to the cost...so that is why I posted my query...Will look into both places that you mention... :smile::smile:

LA may be too far away from SD. But Orange County isn't. Stonehill Tavern in Dana Point is getting some good reviews from forumers. Got 3 stars from LA Times. Supposedly the "classiest" restaurant in OC. In case you change your mind about trying a "star" restaurant.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...34&hl=stonehill

thanks..will check it out...

:smile:

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Most of the places in and around Carlsbad have already been mentioned, but I'll throw my two cents worth in.

Vigilucci's has expanded to several locations, including two in Carlsbad. The newer one emphasizes steak and seafood and is a little more upscale, and has a nice sunset view over a peek of the ocean. It's just south of the Carlsbad Village area on Carlsbad Blvd. (Coast Highway) and Tamarack. On Sate Street, in the Carlsbad Village is the other location, which is less expensive. I would recommend any of the locations.

I also heartily recommend Le Passage on State Street in the Village for an intimate French meal.

Bellefleur may be the place you heard about for jazz and mussels, although I'm not sure they still have the jazz going. It is located in the outlet mall near the flower fields. Across the street in the fairly new King's Seafood House, which is part of a chain but it has good seafood.

In the La Costa area of Carlsbad, Tuscany has good Italian food in a nice setting. The last time I was there, they had a booming happy hour early in the evening, but things quieted down a little later. By the way, there is a nice little wine shop across El Camino Real from there, just north of Tuscany. The La Costa Resort has been completely redone, and I haven't been there since it was completed.

The Four Seasons Aviara has an excellent up-scale Italian restaurant called Vivaci. The current chef was formerly at Babbo in New York. As you might expect, it's expensive.

In Encinitas, I like Savory a lot, and it might be the kind of place you are looking for. I have also had good lunches and dinners at Meritage.

In La Jolla, my favorites are George's, the Marine Room, and Tapenade. The rooftop of George's on a nice day is much less expensive and the food is great for what it is. You might get good days for lunch there, even in January.

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Most of the places in and around Carlsbad have already been mentioned, but I'll throw my two cents worth in.

Vigilucci's has expanded to several locations, including two in Carlsbad.  The newer one emphasizes steak and seafood and is a little more upscale, and has a nice sunset view over a peek of the ocean.  It's just south of the Carlsbad Village area on Carlsbad Blvd. (Coast Highway) and Tamarack.  On Sate Street, in the Carlsbad Village is the other location, which is less expensive.  I would recommend any of the locations.

I also heartily recommend Le Passage on State Street in the Village for an intimate French meal.

Bellefleur may be the place you heard about for jazz and mussels, although I'm not sure they still have the jazz going.  It is located in the outlet mall near the flower fields.  Across the street in the fairly new King's Seafood House, which is part of a chain but it has good seafood.

In the La Costa area of Carlsbad, Tuscany has good Italian food in a nice setting.  The last time I was there, they had a booming happy hour early in the evening, but things quieted down a little later.  By the way, there is a nice little wine shop across El Camino Real from there, just north of Tuscany.  The La Costa Resort has been completely redone, and I haven't been there since it was completed. 

The Four Seasons Aviara has an excellent up-scale Italian restaurant called Vivaci.  The current chef was formerly at Babbo in New York.  As you might expect, it's expensive.

In Encinitas, I like Savory a lot, and it might be the kind of place you are looking for.  I have also had good lunches and dinners at Meritage.

In La Jolla, my favorites are George's, the Marine Room, and Tapenade.  The rooftop of George's on a nice day is much less expensive and the food is great for what it is.  You might get good days for lunch there, even in January.

Thank you so much for all the wonderful information..will check it all out...and after our trip I will report back... :biggrin::biggrin:

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
If anyone has any new information, it will be welcomed...thanks in advance.. :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:

just wanted to ask again..any new suggestions in this area?? Would love to hear and our vacation is getting closer...thanks in advance :biggrin::biggrin:

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