These are some of our favorites - all of these have been visited often by us and they are great. The categories are in random order and we will try to limit each category to our three favorites... if there are four... it is on purpose. The restaurants are in random order within the categories as well. We like out of the way places, great food, excellent service, value... and most of all .. having fun :-)
Vintana What I would call the Flag Ship of the Cohn Restaurant Group... is simply spectacular. Located at the top of Lexus Center in Escondido... at 1205 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA 92025 is this stunning contemporary masterpiece... with panoramic views... and what Terri and I currently feel is the finest dining experience in North San Diego County. The setting... the service... and the food... is guaranteed to put a smile on your face :-)333 Pacific Great ambiance... Great Food... Great Service... what's not to like? Beach Front watering hole for Happy Hour... or Fine Dining with Ocean Sunsets... this is a great choice. The Cohn Restaurant Group offers many great choices (that's why two top picks are theirs)... and they are all good.... But... In North San Diego County Coastal... this is a good as it gets. 333 Pacific, Oceanside, CA 92054 drinking?... just show up and if dining... call for reservations: (760) 433-3333
Lawry's The Prime Rib Dedicated to Excellence.. our favorite is in Beverly Hills. Could a restaurant make it on their "Cream Corn".. this one could. Do yourself a favor.. book a show at The Pantages Theatre .. make a reservation at Lawry's... and have the weekend of your life. Arguably the best Prime Rib in the world... certainly one of the finest dining experiences. (Must have reservations) .. unless you're at the door at opening :-) 100 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA (310) 652-2827.
Seafood and Steakhouse...
Years ago I gave them a terrible review for
the attitude of one employee... on multiple visits... but guess why we
kept going back? The food is wonderful.
The View isn't bad either.... Went back recently...
and honestly had one of the best meals we've ever had. And... maybe
they've replaced the Maitre D that ruined a prior visit. Service
and Food was excellent... pricey... and worth it. 3878
Carlsbad Blvd., (Old Highway 101) Carlsbad, CA 92008.
Fine Dining - Anytime (Means you don't need a house re-fi) :-)
Humphrey's La Jolla at the Sheraton Hotel (Used to be the Radisson)... is always good. Usually a restaurant attached to hotel is overpriced and mediocre... but not here. Try their "All inclusive Meal for Two"... Outstanding values... and the Macadamia encrusted Halibut is to die for! 3299 Holiday Ct, La Jolla, CA 92037. (866) 544-0139
Rainbow Oaks Restaurant This wins for off the beaten track... it's at the Intersection of 5th Street and Old Highway 395 at 4815 5th Street, Rainbow, California 92028. And... it wins in several categories too... The Prime Rib is spectacular... the Fried Chicken is spectacular... and while I placed them in this category... they are my Number One pick for Breakfast.. The Frisbee sized Chicken Fried Steak... with Biscuits and Gravy... Eggs over easy... and crunchy Hash Browns... will necessitate a nap before Lunch. We love this place! Only problem is lots of other people do too... so especially on weekends... be prepared to wait.
The Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen Absolutely fantastic sounds too good to be true... but it's not. Love the Menu.. .Love the Service... Love everything about it ... except... it is NOISY! It's popular... crowded... hard surfaces... and when busy like on a weekend night... almost impossible to carry on a conversation. But you want great food in downtown Oceanside... this is the spot. From their Menu: chicken & “dumplings” "jidori airline chicken, chicken confit, polenta fritters, green beans, roasted carrot & turnip, sage brown butter" a $16 treat that you will not forget :-) Get there early (open from 5:00pm daily) at... 626 Tremont Street, Oceanside, CA 92054. If a party of six or more call for reservations at 760-453-2940
Mexican (With Beer) :-)
Lourdes Mexican Food Motto... "The Best Chicken Soup in Town"... well now they are in two towns... and it is still true. Amazing Chicken Soup... ask for it loaded.. Squeeze the Limes into it... and hurt yourself eating. I like mine with Corn Tortillas. Escondido... the original... 650 S. Escondido Blvd, Escondido, CA 92025...(760) 746-1141. The outpost at the Car Wash... 615 W. El Norte Parkway, Escondido CA 92027... (760) 746-1389... and the new restaurant... 2113 San Elijo Ave., Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007 (760) 230-2610. This is an absolute must if you are a tourist.
Garcia's Mexican Restaurant "Not of Scottsdale" This is a Carlsbad original, not a chain and it is great. Wonderful food and atmosphere in the heart of Olde Carlsbad Village. Close your eyes, point at the menu, and enjoy. 2968 State Street, Carlsbad (760) 729-8565.
Family Restaurant & Cantina This is really authentic...
and this is our Absolute Favorite Go To for...
home style Mexican food. Was the center of Bonsall for years... now in
Fallbrook... wish they had more tables :-) Truly great food.. try "Ramiro's Carnitas"
or Imelda's "Mama's Tamales"... you're in for a treat. Wonderful
service.. good bar.. truly great food.. so of course it's busy! They
should add... the occasional "Chili Colorado" to the regular menu... if
it is available.... honestly... to die for! :-)
129 E. Mission Road,
Fallbrook, CA 92028. (760) 728-1200.
Sal and Ceci's Pantry & Pie Shoppe dependable great food... and lots of it... inexpensively. Comfort Food... family diner... Pie Shoppe... every time we go in here... we are amazed that they are not packed. It's great! Conveniently located at 945 S. Santa Fe Ave., Vista, CA 92083.. (760) 414-9803. Breakfast is supposed to be their specialty... but we haven't tried it. We keep going back for Lunch. You know they are good when you look at the Yelp reviews... they don't even have a web page. They rely on great value... great food... great service and word of mouth.
The Centre City Cafe Part of the San Diego Home Cooking Network... they are all good. Five locations all over the County... they will pop up as a local favorite on Yelp at all five. Chicken Fired Steak.... Chicken and Dumplings... Live and Onions... just pretend it's 1952-1963 and you are out to dinner with your parents. You get the idea? This one Center City is in Escondido at 2680 S. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92029. The live link to this one will give all their locations. I really like the Patio dining at their "Lake Murray Cafe" location.
Hob Nob Hill - One of San Diego's best choices for Breakfast or Lunch since 1944. This deserves the category of fine dining for quality of food, service, and overall experience... You will swear you are in a East Coast Diner. Just above downtown at 2271 First Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 239-8176.
The Firehouse Broiler Fallbrook is probably the last place in the world you'd actually drive to... for "Blackened Tuna Salad"... but try it. The house vinaigrette with feta cheese is to die for. Their beer batter onion rings (no longer on our diet) are the best. Across the street from Mac Donald's in downtown Fallbrook on Main. The kids will love the "Saddle Stools"... and The Building built in 1947 is a Fallbrook landmark. 1019 S. Main Avenue, (760) 728-8008.
Red Sails Inn
This was one of my Mom's favorites... and it
has been great food... and fun... for years. Great outside
dining .. overlooking the marina.. The last time we were there.. we sat
next to a couple that have breakfast there every time they come to San
Diego.. and have been for over 30 years. Try the SOS... if you don't
know what that is :-) ask them about their home made chip beef....
still fun... still good food... but don't order the SOS... after all this
time... they changed the recipe... yuk. 2614
Shelter Island Dr., San Diego, Ca (Point Loma) (619)
Nessy Burger This
is the best hamburger you will find in Southern California. Quite
a claim.. let me know if you disagree. The proof is they are always
lined up.. and the place is a portable kitchen in a gas station parking
lot at the intersection of Highway 76 and Interstate 15. Named after
the Loch Nes Monster... the owners are Scottish.. it is the least likely
success in the food business you can imagine. The only reason they
make it.. is the food is incredible. No pre shaped patties here..
this is an "old time hamburger" right out of the 1950's. Be prepared
to wait.. there are almost always a half dozen 18 wheeler's stopped across
the street in the dirt parking area... this place is a hoot. If breakfast
time try the "Hamburger and egg Sandwich"... it is to die for. They
don't have a phone :-) For you GPS... use
Old Highway 395, Fallbrook CA 92028
Cafe de Thai You just have to get by the name... it's the French History of the Thai Region I guess... we drove by it for years... even after we started really getting into Thai Food. This is really a winner. Son of a lifetime friend told us about it... then his Dad confirmed... and we went with Friends. Very very good. Very gracious service... excellent food... and they serve Sushi as well... unusual combination... but it is great. 4196 Oceanside Blvd., Oceanside CA 92056. (760) 945-5533 (Beware... closed between 3:00 and 5:00pm)
Peking Wok After living in San Francisco... we took years to find a Chinese Restaurant we really liked. Found it in Vista... then it burned. Took a couple of years for them to re-open in Bonsall... we really got lucky on that one :-) Some bumps on the reopening... but it's fine tuned now... and excellent. Live Piano Music is a nice touch... but go for the food. 5256 South Mission Road in the back of River Village Center, Bonsall, CA 92003 (760) 724-8078
The Great Wok of China .... Absolutely the best Won Ton Soup in North San Diego County! This is not fine dining like the Peking Wok... this is great for takeout... not much atmosphere. But the food is great... and fast. And... the service is excellent. Don't look too close.. the place needs a good scrubbing... but the food is wonderful. 4635 Frazee Rd, Oceanside, CA 92057 (760) 439-8939
Irina's Bar and Grill ... there hasn't been good German food in North County is several years... at least that I had found. Then somebody told me about this obscure sports bar in Oceanside... and we've been back many times... sent several friends that really know German food... and taken friends and family back for a German Treat. Everything on the German menu is authentic home cooking German food... and everything we've tried was great. They have typical sports bar food as well... and a great selection of Ice Cold Beer. Friendly excellent service... If you're in there and see an old fart in a cowboy hat... say hello... it will be me scarfing up. :-) Hidden just of Highway 76 at 3375 Mission Ave., Suite J, Oceanside, CA 92058 (760) 433-5086
If you are one this page... you probably like to eat... in that case... be sure to visit Chowhound... join up and make a contribution. Please feel free to contact us with suggestions as well. Thanks in advance.. Have Fun... we do!
Another fun one that has a San Diego Chapter is Foodieview. Check them out as well ... as many people only review on one site.
More to come as I am building our home page - Please call any time, (760) NEW-HOME (639-4663) or E-Mail for specific types of picks and/or suggestions for additions. Hope you're having fun! By the way... the list of restaurants we won't go back to.. is a much bigger list... and some of them highly recommended by others :-)