Among the many attractions in Southern California are the wonderful restaurants, with chefs who make eating out a never-ending adventure. Many of our favorites are "home grown" and casual. A few have burst on the scene recently and in a big way. Others have survived decades of popularity and new generations of customers are singing their praises.
Each one is special, but they all focus on quality and innovation. Not one is a "greasy spoon," but several offer wonderfully uncommon versions of "comfort food." Just as North County San Diego real estate offers a varied menu of delights for discriminating buyers, each of these eateries provides a unique take on local "gastro-tourism."
Here are the Lund Team's Top Ten Picks, in no particular order:
1. Beach Plum Kitchen
Inexpensive and nothing if not neighborly, but upscale in attitude, Beach Plum Kitchen is the kind of place you'll return to again and again. Open only for breakfast and brunch, the name comes from a native fruit that grows in coastal areas from Maine to Virginia. Its transplanted owners serve up taste treats as varied as lemon ricotta pancakes and a "wicked good" lobster sandwich.
2. Tin Leaf Fresh Kitchen
Tin Leaf Fresh Kitchen packs a lot of surprises onto its fresh, natural, home-style menu. Where else could you get seared Ahi tuna, "Mom's meat loaf," great salads and homemade soups, as well as true Belgian-style fries with your choice of dipping sauces? It's healthy food for the most part, served with a chef-style sensibility.
3. CYO - Pizza & Salad
A third in this group is CYO or "Craft Your Own," located at 2519 Palomar Airport Road, #101. It's the home of "craft your own" Pizza and Salad. Just try it -- we'll wager you'll love it! Who would imagine Baked Potato Pizza? Lighter appetites will be swayed by the salad options. We love at stylish decor at these three sisters, as well.
4. The Landings at McClellan Palomar Airport
Who can resist the patio and the planes of The Landings at Palomar Airport? Recently remodeled, this is a great spot to enjoy delicious food, watch the planes come in, and even hear local live music from time to time.
This local butcher has been a staple of local life since 1967, with really good meats, poultry and sausages to eat on site or bring home. Eating at the market is one version of "fresh to your table meals," but they'll also roast the Thanksgiving turkey to grace your at-home dining table.
6. Argyle Steakhouse
Argyle Steakhouse at Park Hyatt Aviara has beautiful views of the Batiquitos Lagoon and Estuary. Pair the views with perfectly prepared steak with a fine wine and you’ll be enjoying Southern California dining at its best. Try their lighter fare for lunch after a round of golf or a relaxing massage at their luxurious spa. This is a true gem right in the heart of Aviara.
Bressi Ranch, Carlsbad
7. Pizza Port Bressi Ranch
The newest and largest location of this quintessential southern California eatery, Pizza Port is located in the heart of Bressi Ranch at 2730 Gateway Rd. Enjoy fresh brews from Port Brewing Company crafted on site, or select from their large list of other quality craft brews on tap. Famous for their delicious pizzas – also available on wheat crust - and their chicken wings, Pizza Port offers a variety of salads and even homemade ice creams to enjoy. This particular location was also featured on the TV show “Tanked” and has two fabulous fish tanks for the kids to enjoy, as well as video games and an outdoor patio.
8. Board & Brew
Informal and pleasant, with sumptuous-sounding sandwiches and other casual fare, good brew, and comfortable seating, it's a convenient place to meet up with friends any day of the week, any time of day. Also located in the heart of Bressi Ranch at 2675 Gateway Rd, this location is just one of its six locations, so you know they're doing a lot of things right. Other locations include Carlsbad Village, Del Mar, San Clemente, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Scripps Ranch.
9. Tommy V's
Tommy V’s is a great gathering spot right in the heart of Bressi Ranch Village Center. There is something for everyone -- from light appetizers to simple salads, artisan pizza to hearty steaks and chops. They also have a great Happy Hour to unwind with your neighbors.
Encinitas & Others
10. Naked Café – Encinitas, Carlsbad, Solana Beach, & Loma Portal
This environmentally conscious and flavorful restaurant is great for everyone and has many vegetarian options. With the addition of their newest location in Encinitas, you’re close to a Naked Café no matter where you are in San Diego. A wonderful breakfast and lunch place, we love it for quick meetings or for leisurely get-togethers. The food here is so good it's almost hard to believe that it's good for you!
As a family-owned real estate company in this beautiful area, we are thrilled to have so many local, healthful choices available to us. We support our local friends in business, and hope you'll enjoy our picks. We love to share our favorite choices in food, but if you have questions about local real estate, please give us a call; we'll be happy to discuss your needs.
Did we leave out your favorite restaurant? Tell us what it is!