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Del Mar/Carmel Valley Family Dining - Help!

Arizona chowhound vacationing in Carmel Valley/Del Mar (I-5/Del Mar Heights Area) seeking family friendly dinner options in the area. Prefer non-chains....have already had a bad experience at Sammy's.

Our kids are 16 months and 3 1/2 and well behaved....sometimes!

Need your help! Thanks.


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  1. try Americana or Del Mar Rendezvous.

    Americana Restaurant
    1454 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

    Del Mar Rendezvous
    1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

    1. Pacifica Breeze Cafe in the Del Mar Plaza

      Alborz off Del Mar Heights for decent Persian food.

      Crepes and Cork in Del Mar, although I have not been yet, it might be worth a shot.

      The Naked Cafe in Solana Beach

      Pizza Nova in Solana Beach, off the Lomas Santa Fe exit

      It's pretty bleak in CV for non-chain, family-friendly places...

      1. Most dining in San Diego is fairly children friendly. We've taken children to Arterra in the Del Mar Marriott and Market with no problems.

        Also try the lounge at The Brigantine (Del Mar) for fish tacos and Fidel's and Tony's Jacal in Solana Beach for Mexican. We also like the happy hour/patio dining at Pacific Coast Grill in Solana Beach.

        1. Maybe you'll like Iris Food & Spirits in Carmel Valley just west of I-5 . I had a tasty chicken milanese for dinner one evening, alongside families with kids. Sunsets, the wildlife preserve and a distant view of the Del Mar coastline can't be beat.

          Pacifica Breeze Cafe isn't open for dinner, but a great suggestion nonetheless. Breakfast and lunch are served on a patio and they validate your parking tix if you park underneath the building. The City of Del Mar enforces their parking meters everyday up to 6pm.
          Check this out: http://www.delmar.ca.us/visitors/Page...

          Prepare to spend a bit more, but everytime we dine @ Market Restaurant/Bar, there always seems to be big groups of families there...that's how it was a couple of Sundays ago. They do have a unique children's menu that doesn't serve subpar chicken tenders and bland pasta w/marinara sauce.

          Speaking of markets...maybe you might want to venture out to a local farmer's market in town. Here's a great link: http://sdfarmbureau.org/BuyLocal/Farm...

          Market Restaurant & Bar
          3702 Via de la Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014

          Iris Food & Spirits
          2334 Carmel Valley Rd, Del Mar, CA 92014

          Pacifica Del Mar
          1555 Camino del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

          1. Try Papachinos for Italian / Pizza. They fuss over the kids and it's great to watch the hot air balloons go by. Also try Ming Courthe chinese place at the corner of Del Mar Hts and Carmel country good chinese and very kid mess-tolerant. Del Mar Pizza on 10th is small and near the beach...they understand about sand and mess and make a good pizza. Sbiccas on 10th is good, but crowded on sunday morning, so pick your time.

            1. Try Don Chuy in Solana Beach. Good Mexican food and very kid-friendly

              1. Unfortunately, a great venue is no longer there. Little Bavaria used to be a great family place there in Carmel Valley. It featured German food, an um-pah band, and dancing. I spent many evenings there in the 50' 60's and 70's with family and friends.

                3 Replies
                1. re: NVJims

                  There was a Carmel Valley before the 80s? Serious question - I've seen little construction there that would indicate anything was built before the mid 80s.

                  1. re: RB Hound

                    IIRC (and this is all *very* IIRC), it was in the building at Via Cortina and Carmel Valley Rd. What looks like today is a convalescent hospital/retirement home. When it was Little Bavaria, it was a stone facade building w/arches and a set-back second floor (could possibly have been quite old). Looks like they stuccoed over that to make it look like mid-80's strip mall...

                    1. re: mikec

                      Though that is off Carmel Valley Road, I didn't think anything west of the 5 is considered to be "Carmel Valley."