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. Addison

    $$$$ | French

    Indulge in the finer things in life at this AAA 5-Diamond, Michelin-starred restaurant by acclaimed chef William Bradley who serves up haute...Read More

  • 2. AVANT

    $$$$ | American

    The appropriately named AVANT—meaning stylistically advanced and original—delivers contemporary California cuisine—duck, lobster, lamb, fish...Read More

  • 3. Argyle Steakhouse

    $$$$ | Steakhouse

    Even if you don't play golf, the elegant Argyle, occupying the Aviara Golf clubhouse, is an excellent choice for some of the finest cuts of...Read More

  • 4. Barona Oaks Steakhouse

    $$$ | Steakhouse

    The elegant, dinner-only restaurant at Barona Resort is one of the few fine-dining venues east of San Diego. It caters to high rollers whose...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. CUCINA enoteca

    $$ | Italian

    An offshoot of Bankers Hill's Cucina Urbana, enoteca occupies a grand two-story space in the Flower Hill Promenade shopping center and is as...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Pamplemousse Grille

    $$$$ | French

    One of North County's best restaurants, across the street from the Del Mar Fairgrounds and racetrack, offers French cuisine with California...Read More

  • 10. Red Tracton's

    $$$$ | Steakhouse

    Across the street from the Del Mar racetrack, this classic old-fashioned, family-owned,steak and seafood house is a high-roller's heaven and...Read More

  • 11. Veladora

    $$$$ | Modern American

    Setting the stage for your dining journey at Veldora are open wood beams, iron chandeliers, and a Damien Hirst butterfly-wing art piece valued...Read More

  • 12. Vigilucci's Cucina Italiana

    $$$ | Carlsbad | Italian

    Restaurateur Roberto Vigilucci's fell in love with San Diego in the '80s and decided to bring Milan to North County with four eateries that...Read More

  • 13. Vincent's

    $$$ | French

    This French restaurant is an excellent choice for dinner before an event at the nearby California Center for the Arts. Original paintings decorate...Read More

  • 14. BlueFire Grill

    $$$ | Mediterranean

    Fire and water drama defines this signature restaurant that's part of La Costa resort complex. The centerpiece of the resort's entrance plaza...Read More

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