Carlsbad offers some of the widest choices of restaurants in San Diego with American cuisine at Mariah’s on Carlsbad Village Drive, Jay’s Gourmet Restaurant, specializing in Mediterranean style seafood and pasta, Neiman’s for great food, atmosphere and live music, and Dini’s By the Sea whose name says it all. For local brewery enthusiasts, there’s the Karl Strauss Brewery on Armada Drive. A long-standing, great Chinese restaurant, Chin’s Szechwan Restaurant, is located in the downtown area specializing in spicy hot Szechwan meals, and there are plenty of great seafood, Mexican, Italian, and European restaurants, along with the usual chains such as Olive Garden and Souplantation. There’s a restaurant suited for every occasion and budget.
|Average meal prices:
||$= $14 and under
Carlsbad offers a variety of dining options that will satisfy everyone's taste buds and wallets. From fine dining to a more casual atmosphere, there are plenty of local spots to choose from, ranging from cafes to sandwich shops, to seafood and ethnic restaurants, steakhouses, pubs and specialty restaurants. Carlsbad may be a small beach town, but be prepared to bring your appetite when eating out, because this town has much to offer in terms of its dining selections.
Many restaurants are located throughout the downtown area of Carlsbad, known commonly as “the Village” and on or around Village Drive. Here you will find places that are both higher end as well as casual, serving anything from steak and seafood to pizza and beer.
Fine Dining restaurants are located throughout the town, enticing customers with their specialty menus and mastermind chefs. Prices range between $15-25 an entrée on average, but the exquisite cuisine and artistic presence, as well as the entire dining experience, are all well worth the price.
BlueFire Bar and Grill specializes in seafood, steak, French, and California cuisine. The atmosphere is one of casual elegance, which is exuded through the restaurant's décor and custom fountains and firepits, both on the outside patio or inside under the timber ceilings, giving off a lush and cozy feeling. The chefs are innovative, creating plates that appeal to all of your senses, allowing you to indulge completely in your three course meal. The menu offers a variety of seafood and meat selections, from chicken, lamb, beef, and pork loin, as well as a complete dessert menu that combines fresh, local fruit with the decadent flavors of chocolate, vanilla, almond, and caramel. (A sample menu can be found at http://sandiegorestaurants.com/menu.cfm?res_id=125) The service at BlueFire Bar and Grill is superb, creating an all around superior dining experience.
Average meal price: $$$/$$$$
Located at the La Costa Spa and Resort, Costa Del Mar Road, Carlsbad
For reservations, please call 760-929-6306
Ocean House occupies an old Victorian mansion that elicits both a feeling of elegance and comfort. Menu items include a variety of seafood and American style dishes, as well as a full selection of alcoholic drinks and a seated bar area. Ocean House also features live music that includes: salsa, rock, progressive/underground, hip hop, and swing dancing (as well as lessons). This restaurant is a great spot for locals and tourists who want a little something more out of their evening dinner plans. The atmosphere is more than casual, but not extremely fancy.
Average meal price $$
Located at 300 Carlsbad Village Drive
Casual Dining in Carlsbad is always a great option after spending a day at the beach or for a more laid back atmosphere. Here are some local favorites known in Carlsbad for their food and their dining experience that often attract more than just those residents local to the area.
Pizza Port is a popular sports pub influenced by the surf/skate/snow industry. The restaurant retains a low key, casual atmosphere, appealing to families, sports fans, and of course, those in search of some good tasting pizza and beer. Pizza Port brews most of the beers offered there, serving you at long tables set in rows similar to Bavarian bier-halls. Their beers are handcrafted and named with pride accordingly to various locations in southern California, particularly surf spots local to the area. And the pizza is nothing less to the beer. With wholegrain beercrust as their specialty pizza dough, your biggest decision will be trying to figure out which pizza will go well with your choice of beer. Their menu items range from appetizers that include portzels (a pizza port original pretzel made from their whole grain beer crust baked with sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, garlic, basil, and oregano), chicken wings, and cheese sticks, to their pizza menu that includes much more than just cheese and pepperoni. Pizza options vary from their “original” menu to their “anti wimpy gourmet” selections.
Average meal prices: $/$$
Located at 571 Carlsbad Village
The nightlife and bar scene is Carlsbad is never a dull moment. Whether you are looking to grab a drink or two, make new friends, or party all night, the downtown Carlsbad area will show you just the scene you are looking for. Along with a variety of restaurants and shops, downtown Carlsbad also caters to the local nightlife crowd, serving up nightly drink specials and happy hours, live music, food, dancing, and a welcoming local vibe that is attractive and entertaining.
Coyote Bar and Grill is always a popular nightlife stop in Carlsbad. The bar features live, local music that ranges from Blues, Pop, R&B, and classic rock, as well as a spinning DJ on the dance floor. Locals pack the bar regularly, enjoying the music, food, dancing, and the scene. And of course the bar features happy hour specials during the week, with $3 drinks and half priced appetizers. The atmosphere at the bar is energetic and welcoming, and the dress attire is casually upscale. Coyote Bar and Grill features both indoor and outdoor seating, with a firepit outside. Margaritas are always a bar favorite, as well as the variety of tequila options to choose from, just remember to choose wisely. Come on out to Coyote Bar and Grill for a taste of some local flavor, food, and fun.
Price range $/$$
Located at 300 Carlsbad Village Drive
Hennessy's is “the local meeting place,” serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a welcoming, lively attitude to any of its customers. The Irish bar prides itself on the local spirit of its Carlsbad residents, and includes nightly specials in both their food and drink menus, satisfying both an appetite and a budget. Hennessy's Irish theme is played into their specials, with their ‘Luck of the Irish Wednesdays' serving up traditional Irish meals of corned beef and cabbage. The bar is also a favorite hangout and meeting place for local sports enthusiasts who never fail to stop by for some drinks and the game. Hennessy's caters to its local residents of Carlsbad, and gives them nothing less than excellent service, food, and of course a variety of draft beer selections to get everybody in the Irish spirit.
Price range $/$$
Located at 2777 Roosevelt St.