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. Moms Pie House

    $ | Bakery

    In 1984, “Mom” (aka Anita Nichols) opened her first pie shop in the old Julian Café building. People lined the streets for a slice of the guilty...Read More

  • 2. 101 Cafe

    $ | American

    A diner dating back to 1928 is both a local hangout and the headquarters of the historic Highway 101 movement. Find all kinds of Highway 101...Read More

  • 3. Harbor Fish & Chips

    $ | Seafood

    Pick up a basket of fresh-cooked fish-and-chips at this dive and you're in for a treat. The shop has been serving clam chowder, shrimp cocktail...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Morada

    $$$ | American

    Loyal locals frequent this classy farm-to-fork restaurant, where black-and-white photos of Santa Fe’s history provide a glimpse into the storied...Read More

  • 7. Don Chuy

    $ | Mexican

    Family-run and utterly charming, Don Chuy serves authentic Mexican cuisine to patrons who, before dining here, may have tasted only a pale version...Read More

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