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. Julian Pie Company

    $ | Café

    The apple pies that made Julian famous come from the Smothers family bakery in a one-story house on Main Street. In pleasant weather you can...Read More

  • 2. Julian Tea & Cottage Arts

    $$$ | Café

    Sample finger sandwiches, scones topped with whipped cream, and lavish sweets, which are served during afternoon tea inside the Clarence King...Read More

  • 3. Soups and Such Cafe

    $ | Café

    It's worth the wait for breakfast or lunch at this cozy café, where everything is fresh and made to order. The breakfast standout is eggs Benedict...Read More

  • 4. 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

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