Recommendations for Vista/Oceanside/Carlsbad

Peanut butter on the Smoke Shack?! Didn’t even realize that was a possibility! Genius. Definitely trying that next time.

Actually, I have a list for SD, but now we’re in Vista (which is way father north them I’ve ever been in SD), so if you have any recs for Vista/Oceanside/Carlsbad or would be much appreciated!

The Taco Stand in Encinitias. The carne asada burrito is crave worthy. Skip the churros.

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I’m a big fan of Fish House Vera Cruz, which is actually in San Marcos – just a bit east of Vista on Hwy 78. Large variety of mesquite-grilled fresh fish from a daily menu. Don’t miss the Potatoes Romano as one of your sides. They also have a fish market in-house. There used to be outposts in Carlsbad and Temecula, but now it’s down to the mother ship. It’s my favorite restaurant in the San Diego area, and when I’m headed to SD via Hwy 15, I always stop there – it’s worth the brief detour.

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We really enjoyed Wrench & Rodent in Oceanside. Unusual, and possibly horrifying, name for a restaurant, but you don’t forget it easily, so……

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Wrench & Rodent is great.

It’s not your typical sushi joint. Sort of like if a vegan hippie chef from the 70’s decided to take on the role of itamae and rediscovered the joys of seafood.

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Some options to consider in/around Oceanside.

Masters for their burger.

Panca for great rotisserie and their Chicharron sandwich.

Petite Madeline for a great chicken salad and almond tea cakes; the pistachio bun is very good too.

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URBN coal fired pizza in Vista
Pure Project just opened up a tasting room in Vista. Great beers and food trucks. One of the best breweries in all of SD.
Richard Blais new restaurant at The Aviara is getting good reviews but I’ve never been.

If you are driving back up to LA after your visit to San Diego, consider stopping at Kawamata Seafood in Laguna Nigel / Dana Point.

Heading north on I-5, take the Camino De Estrella exit, and hang a left (west towards the coast) and the place will be on your right.

Why stop here? Because they have the best Hawai’ian style Poke this side of the Pacific (none of that pedestrian Costco or Bristol Farms junk). And their seaweed salad ain’t half bad either. Get there early because if they run out, they run out. You’ve been warned.

Kawamata Seafood
26881 Camino De Estrella
Dana Point, CA


Hi @mdpilam ,

To continue along @ipsedixit’s recommendations if you’re driving back up from SD, also in very South O.C. area is Heritage BBQ. It is the finest Texas-style BBQ in L.A. / O.C. by a wide margin! :slight_smile: Totally worth a stop.