restaurants in Carlsbad-suggestions

Sep 13th, 2001, 09:11 AM
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restaurants in Carlsbad-suggestions

Hello, Fodorites,
I am looking for a cozy bistro or restaurant in Carlsbad, CA for a casual dinner with friends. Anything except sushi or Chinese..
I'd like to keep to about $40-50 as person.

If it's near the Four Seasons Aviara, more the better..

Sep 13th, 2001, 02:30 PM
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Hi Michele--

I can't really think of any restaurant actually in Carlsbad that I would describe as a bistro. One of the nicer places is Belle Fleur, which is near the flower fields (and the outlet malls, but don't hold that against it!), but it is a largish and airy restaurant.

Further south there are some more interesting places, especially Pamplemousse in Del Mar, which would be perfect, but it's probably half an hour from the Four Seasons.
Sep 13th, 2001, 03:40 PM
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Fishouse Vera Cruz is one of my favorites.
Sep 14th, 2001, 07:49 AM
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I can help you here I lived there for years and all my family still does. Neimans is tops on the list. It is at the corner of Carlsbad Village drive and 101. It is a beautiful old Victorian building that had been around forever. I love the Pasta and the drinks are wonderful. They also have wonderful Sunday Brunch. It is a 5 minute stroll to the beach. Also I enjoy Caldo Pomodora on the corner of State just over the railroad tracks from Coyote bar. Coyote bar has great music and fire pits and is a great place for after dinner drinks. For mesican I suggest Fidels Norte on 101 next to the Daily News Cafe which is a great place for breakfast. I could go on and on. Please avoid the fish house vera Cruz and try Jays Gormet if you would like Seafood at a non chain restaurant. Sadly my favorite restaurant Henry's is now closed. It was right behind Jays and they turned it into a subpar fancy italian place. Anymore questions let me know. I think I have been to every restaurant there in Carlsbad and most in San Diego North County Coastal. I miss it there.
Sep 14th, 2001, 01:22 PM
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I was surprised to see Monique recomend avoiding Fish House Vera Cruz. Although, I haven't lived in San Diego since 1999, I did live there for 20 years and this was one of the most popular restaurants in North County San Diego. As far as I know, there are only two locations, the original in San Marcos and the one in Carlsbad. It was always packed, both lunch and dinner. Maybe things have changed - or maybe not. I would be curious if anyone else knows this restaurant.
Sep 14th, 2001, 11:47 PM
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Sorry I was just never impressed with this one. I didn't like the location or the menu. I guess if you love seafood you might like it but I much prefer the Charthouse in Cardiff. I haven't lived there in a while either but talking about all the great places to eat makes my mouth water.
Oct 25th, 2002, 08:19 AM
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Moving this to the top for an update - I'm looking for a place for dinner Thanksgiving day in Carlsbad - don't want turkey, etc., but do want a nice, non-chain restaurant for family dinner
Oct 25th, 2002, 10:04 AM
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Neimans is such a tourist trap. The food is over priced and not worth the crowd and long wait with tourists. Belle Fleur is a nice place.
Oct 25th, 2002, 10:21 AM
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Everytime I go to see family in CA, we always go to Fidel's in Carlsbad. It is a great Mexican restaurant and is a lot less pricey than what you have suggested.
Oct 26th, 2002, 09:31 PM
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Hi Michele,
After reading your post, what immediately came to mind was this Tuscan-style restaurant.
My husband and I were staying in Carlsbad last August attending a military reunion. We had dinner one evening at the "Belle Fluer" restaurant. Food was very good, plus the ambiance too. You can check it out on their website: although do not know if it will be open for T-giving. (You could send them an e-mail from their website.) It is located at the Carlsbad Company Stores, an upscale-discounted store mall which has just about every designer shop you can imagine.
I think you would enjoy eating here!
Nov 7th, 2002, 07:05 AM
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Nov 7th, 2002, 09:57 PM
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Carlsbad is lame. Everything is at a strip mall, outlet stores or hotel. No ambience. That's why people who live there travel down to Solana Beach or Encinitias (or La Jolla or Downtown).
Nov 8th, 2002, 08:46 AM
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I live in La Jolla and often go up to Carlsbad for dinner and to walk around. It's a much more casual beach area and less of the pretentious tourist crowds.
Nov 11th, 2002, 06:39 PM
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yeah right - little sd is a carlsbad person. no person from LJ would drive up through the mess of traffic to spend time in carlsbad. most of us don't even know how to get there.
Nov 11th, 2002, 07:30 PM
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SD: You sound like one of the pretentious people the previous poster was talking about. I live in PB and make my way up to Carlsbad on a fairly regular basis. My brother lives up there with his family and it's a nice place to meet up for a Saturday afternoon. Why are you so against Carlsbad?
Mar 2nd, 2003, 11:49 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 480
I have lived in Carlsbad for two years. Fidel's is amazingly over-rated. None of my friends would ever go back. The Coyote Grill is much better. The Fishouse Vera Cruz in Carlsbad is also over-rated, unless you like small, extremely over-cooked portions. The one in San Marcos is a little better. Nieman's is so-so.
Try the Armenian Grill (Greek) or Karl Strauss, but they're not bistros.

mscarls is offline  
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