North County and Around Restaurants

Dining in the North County tends to reflect the land where the restaurant is located. Along the coast, for example, there is one luxury fine-dining spot after another. Most have dramatic water views and offer platters of exquisite fare created by graduates of the best culinary schools. Right next door you can wander into a typical beach shack or diner for the juiciest hamburger you’ve ever tasted. Locally sourced food can be found at restaurants throughout the area, although a few chefs have adopted molecular gastronomic techniques. Backcountry cuisine is generally served in huge portions and tends toward home-style cooking, steak and potatoes, burgers, and anything fried.

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  • 1. Claire’s on Cedros

    $ | Bakery

    Breakfast foodies religiously line up for a table at this cheerful A-frame restaurant for the chance to dig in to wholesome food made from scratch...Read More

  • 2. Bellamy's Restaurant

    $$$$ | French

    Live piano music, crystal chandeliers, and leather tufted chairs set the stage at this fine-dining restaurant for a delectable menu that includes...Read More

  • 3. Bistro West

    $$ | American

    This busy spot, part of the West Inn complex, might be called the boisterous bistro, especially if you get there during happy hour, when it...Read More

  • 4. D'Carlos

    $$ | American

    The parking lot in front of D'Carlos is always full, a sure sign that Ramonans like this casual family-style dinner house. The menu offers something...Read More

  • 5. Hello Betty Fish House

    $$ | Seafood

    Overlooking the water in Oceanside, this beachside restaurant serves oysters, clam chowder, fish tacos, and several fresh catch options, which...Read More

  • 6. Jake's Del Mar

    $$$ | American

    Situated next to grassy Powerhouse Park, Jake's feels like Southern Californian dining at its best—a beachfront location coupled with beautiful...Read More

  • 7. Pacific Coast Grill

    $$$$ | Seafood

    This casual beachy-style eatery offers sweeping ocean views and seasonal Pacific Coast fare that reflects California's Mexican and Asian influences...Read More

  • 8. Prepkitchen Del Mar

    $$ | American

    This snug Del Mar restaurant is like stepping into the home of your most fashionable friend who has an industrial-meets-vintage dining room...Read More

  • 9. Solace & The Moonlight Lounge

    $$ | American

    The modern American cuisine, patio overlooking historic Highway 101, and industrial setting—garage doors that retract on sunny days and exposed...Read More

  • 10. Thyme in the Ranch

    $ | Café

    Put your phone down and lose track of time—or thyme—at this darling cottage in the heart of Rancho Santa Fe. Owner-chef Keely Barrera has created...Read More

  • 11. Vintana

    $$$ | Modern American

    Don't let its location above the Lexus dealership dissuade you; this swanky restaurant is part of the Cohen Restaurant empire and it's designed...Read More

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