I am no food critic nor expert, but I do love food.. and I do love Encinitas.
I did a post a year or so ago about places to go in Encinitas, but I wanted to update it with a few new (and old) favorites of mine that should not be passed up. I like the fact that there is such diversity in regards to the different types of restaurants and cafes that have popped up in my neighboring town, and I love that most aren’t too rough on the piggy bank.
In no particular order, here are some places I’d recommend to anyone looking for a new spot to check out, whether it be for breakfast, lunch, or dinner:
Blue Ribbon: One of my absolute favorite restaurants in North County. Anyone who knows me well knows this (along with Rimel’s in Cardiff) is my favorite, go-to restaurant. Pizza, bruchetta, salads, dessert… every item I’ve ordered has been a winner. Recommendation: their truffle parmesan popcorn & the BLT bruchetta.
The Craftsman: A sister/brother restaurant to Blue Ribbon, and a new favorite of mine. They have really great and affordable lunch deals, and they too offer the famous popcorn I love so much. Recommendation: any of their soups of the day.
Solterra: I love the ambiance of this place. It’s a perfect spot to both grab a casual glass of wine with friends or to have a romantic (and dimly light) date night with someone special. I’ve only had their seasoned nuts as an appetizer (SO good), but I’ve heard from several reliable sources that the food is delightful.
Lotus Cafe: I’ve just recently discovered Lotus, but it’s been around for quite some time. It provides lots of different clean/healthy options, as well as several plates for vegetarians. However, Lotus also serves up an awesome grilled cheese sandwich that comes with a great sized side salad.
Pandora’s Pizza: Such. Good. Pizza… and salad for that matter. I discovered this place last year with my mom, and we were instantly obsessed. I love the moody purple walls, the mounted pink antlers, and the upstairs loft that is set up as a living room (with a couch and flat screen and everything!). Even though the decor is great, their pizza and salad could stand on their own — so good. Recommendation(s): Demeter salad & Four Cheese pizza.
Lofty Coffee Co.: I love the location of this cafe, boasting a mere 5 minute walk to the beach. They offer delicious tea, pastries, and breakfast entrees. And did I mention their iced tea comes in mason jars?! You know I’m all over that. Recommendation: Ezekiel toast with cream cheese & the Moroccan Mint Iced Tea
Cafe Ipe: My favorite place for iced tea. This sweet little cafe not only has awesome food and beverages, but also has a great vibe outside, with lots of outdoor seating, and often times, live music. Their White Coconut Cream tea is out of this world good, as is their BLT sandwich… for like $7, you get probably one of the best BLT’s you’ll ever have!
Public Priority House: This new spot on Coast Highway is small, but full of character. It is cozy and warm, while also being open and airy.. if that makes sense. I love the old vintage pictures of downtown Encinitas that they have hung up, and the menu is impressive as well. Awesome place to go to for a beer, particularly during summer when you can sit a the windowsill. Recommendation: their mac ‘n’ cheese
Hapifish: I’m not a huge fish – or raw fish – fan, but I do like the occasional Crunchy Roll. Despite my picky-ness, I had to mention this spot because of their awesome ‘hapi hour’. They have great prices and a great menu, and the happy hour deals last until 7pm, which is later than most restaurants. This place is awesome for a small catch up with friends and for larger group events . Recommendation(s): their red sangria & the ginger/house salad.
I hope you enjoy a few (or all) of these recommendations!