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Carlsbad recommendations?


We are 2 overbaked foodies escaping the Arizona Heat for a few days in Carlsbad CA in late July.
We love good food from any culture, and prefer low down dining, but are not afraid to make a deep hip pocket move if the experience is worth it.
Our particular desires on this trip could include beach food, South east asian, and sea food including fish and chips, but we are open to any suggestion.
Thank you in advance, and we look forward to your cool breezes- J&D

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  1. It's been awhile but have had great fish n' chips at Harbor Fish Cafe right on Carlsbad blvd..oceanfront..pricey but decent.
    Pelly's Fish market has a great sea bass sandwich.
    Jay's gourmet pizza is small but great place too.
    Vigilucci's with the patio dining with the ocean views is a fun time.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick

      We also like the fish & chips at Harbor Fish Cafe. It's location near the beach is a plus and the open air picnic table-ish seating fits your request for low down.

      Beach Chick - What else is good at Jay's? Everytime we've been by there during intown getaways at the beach it's packed. So we haven't eaten there, but are always looking for suggestions to what's decent within walking distance from Tamarack Beach.

      Which Vigilucci's; any preference?

      Harbor Fish Cafe
      3179 Carlsbad Blvd Ste B, Carlsbad, CA 92008

      1. re: Island

        THe Viggies on the corner of Tamarack and Carlsbad blvd. (101) has a great view. The food at all of them is similar. Fish House Vera Cruz on Carlsbad Village Drive has a large fish selection all char-grilled, but alas no view.

        Fish House Vera Cruz
        417 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008

    2. I've been to West Steakhouse. It was good.
      I've been to Tip Top Meats. It was good.

      Been to Berlin. It was good.

      Thank you.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Fake Name

        Brevity is the soul of wit, eh?

        1. Paon is an excellent restaurant. Everyone from WineSeller and Brasserie moved here.

          1 Reply
          1. Kaito and Yu Me Ya in Encinitas.

            1. Let me add a not-expensive, family-friendly, comfort food experience which is Japanese food, both hot selections and sushi: Mikko http://www.mikkosushi.net/ Good quality versus price value there I think. And regardless of price the food is certainly better than a lot of local places. We find it a reliable choice. Since sushi is so common and I already eat it for lunch a couple times a week, we go for the hot dishes so I can't comment on their sushi.

              Also, I like The Counter, (burgers, Carlsbad). I posted a review on this: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7109...

              1. A decent Italian spot is Caldo Pomodoro, in the main part of old Carlsbad. Vigilucci's is nearby, but if you don't care if your waiter has an Italin accent, try Pomodoro, less attitude, great food (Osso Bucco, in addition to many others, very good). Garcia's, across the street is great for Mexican food..family owned and proud of their reputation for quality. Just down the hiway, in Oceanside, is Hon Sushi. Thought I would hate "all you can eat" menu, but you can also get anything from the menu. The "All you can eat" is actually pretty good, and fabulous for the price (around $18.00 for lunch, 23.00 for dinner)
                Good place for groceries is Cream of the Crop, organic grocery store in Ocanside, and the Red and White market, a throwback to the era when your Mom sent you to the corner market with a list and 3 dollars. Paon is very good for upscale offerings, extensive wine list, and delightful owner. Not inexpensive. Harbor Fish is unique, and one of a kind, do this for the experience... and enjoy a very large taco!

                Harbor Fish Cafe
                3179 Carlsbad Blvd Ste B, Carlsbad, CA 92008

                Caldo Pomodoro
                2907 State St, Carlsbad, CA 92008

                1. A few suggestions: split the big John breakfast at Tip Top Market, check out Bull taco at the Cardiff State Beach campground, have some soup at La Especial El Norte and Bird House Grill for bellydancing on the weekend. Oh and Qero on the 101 in Encinitas is quite tasty too. Have fun!

                  Bird House Grill
                  250 N Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

                  1. Pellys is great! I know someone else recommended it above.

                    Go to Pizza Port!!! You have got to go. Great pizza and even better Beer!!!

                    1. Harbour fish and chips = frozen fish and fries deep fried. Nothing fresh there and way expensive. Pellys and Vera Cruz both have very fresh fish. The sides at VC are a bit challenging but the fish is good especially if you order it to temp.

                      Caldo Pomodoro will leave you feeling ripped off as will take your pick of the Vigiluccis. Jays is very tasty for socal Italian and they do very nice seafood pastas. I love the Marco Polo.

                      Garcia's is legit mexican and Senor Grubbys make some very nice al pastor. Southeast Asian is a tough call in Cbad. SOme Vietnamese in Oside and also decent Thai.

                      Of course when in Cbad one must go to the best brewpub in the USA ...PIZZA PORT! You may argue the placing but the Great American Beer Fest has bestowed them that honor two or three years in a row. Numerous gold medal winners and the pizza is tasty. Yes I know it is not NY style or if coming from pizza heaven (Bianco) it does not compare but it is tasty. Oh how I love Bianco regardless of the wait.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: SeanT

                        Well. the concensus on Pizza Port, not only on this board, but from every other "Zonie"we asked, will make this a must stop. We'll try it out tonight. Yes Sean, You're right about Biancos. Truly sublime pie that must be experienced to understand the hubub. Almost worth a pilgramage on it's own, but if you add the stellar additions of the Barrio Cafe, DaVang Vietnamese restaurant, and America's taco shop, it would be worth a trip across the dunes.

                        Speaking of Taco Shops, we braved the lines at Lucha Libre in Downtown SD yesterday afternoon for a late lunch. Good Lord, what a spectacle! the place and the regulars were colorful enough, but add in a few kids sporting their Anime finest from the ComicCon event down the street, and we could tell we were'nt in Kansas anymore.
                        There was a spot about LL on a food network show the night before, and the place was getting killed. The staff was shell shocked, and completely overwhelmed, but the cranked out some good food, and everyone in the place played nice despite the chaos. The Surfin California Burro was very nice, as were the assorted salsas. All very strong. the TJ corn is a good idea, but if you've ever had the real thing, it paled. If you haven't been, go, but wait a few weeks until it's habitable again. Being Tourons fresh off the road, we hung in there, but if we were locals we would have fled the carnage.

                        1. re: samoraj

                          I will be there with the fam next week from AZ, too. Any good recs near the SD Zoo for brunch or lunch? We eat everything.

                      2. Wow! Post a note, go to bed, and wake up to riches!... is this a great country or what!?

                        Thank you all so much. We are leaving this hell hole tomorrow( phoenix) and are eager to try your recommendations. Bummer about the lack of Vietnamese, but the Hot-dish Japanese place sound great. We'll do our best to nosh through the list.

                        Please allow us to return the favor, anytime you tire of your perfect climate, and feel like sweating it out in the 'hood.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: samoraj

                          Since it sounds like you might opt for Japanese, let me steer you towards dantaat's rec's of Kaito and Yu Me Ya.

                          Sorry to say but these are the ONLY Japanese restaurants in North County that I know of that can stand on their own against the more plentiful options in Kearny Mesa. I wish it were otherwise, but a restaurant that does Japanese food properly is still a relatively rare find in San Diego...

                        2. I was there for a conference 2 years ago and I found a french bakery right off the 5 next to an Albertsons. Really great food. Take a big bag to your hotel for breakfasts and impromtu picnics on the beach. You can also eat there, it is not fancy.