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Best Restaurants in Carlsbad California

Time spent in Carlsbad, California is usually filled with outdoor adventures. You can swim in the ocean, shop at local malls, and even get a few thrills in at Legoland. In the middle of it all, you will want to find some of the best food Carlsbad is known for. Therefore, you must know what the best restaurants in Carlsbad, California are. So, while there are plenty of things to do in Carlsbad California, here’s my list of the restaurants in Carlsbad, California that you must visit while visiting the best luxury hotels and resorts in Carlsbad California. Note that these fine restaurants are in no particular order, and the ratings on Trip Advisor were last updated on November 14, 2023.


Best restaurants in Carlsbad California include Beach Plum Kitchen for breakfast and lunch.

Beach Plum Kitchen is one of the best restaurants in Carlsbad, California for breakfast and lunch. They serve organic dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. This is a casual restaurant perfect for family meals.

The squash blossom frittata is an excellent choice for breakfast. The eggs and squash blossoms are combined with roasted tomatoes, pea tendrils, and goat cheese. The frittata is then placed on a bed of micro greens.

Other breakfast items to try include the southwest breakfast bowl and the machaca green chilaquiles.

As for lunch, you can’t go wrong with the New England lobster roll with tarragon mayonnaise. The crispy chicken sandwich and beach plum salad are two other popular dishes. Continued after the advertisement.

Best restaurants in Carlsbad California include Black Rail Kitchen + Bar not only for the food and service, but also for the craft cocktails.

This upscale bar and restaurant is the perfect option if you want to enjoy delicious cuisine in an elegant setting. The Mediterranean mezze and Angel’s salumi charcuterie plate are both excellent choices for shared appetizers. 

For a main entrée, the grilled prime New York Steak is popular. It is served with crispy fingerling potatoes and grilled onions with a garlic herb butter. The linguini and clams are best for those craving seafood. Vegetarians will love the hearth roasted cauliflower.

Black Rail offers indoor and outdoor dining areas, and they feature live jazz 3 nights per week.

Black Rail has two bars to serve you. They serve beer, wine, and handcrafted cocktails that pair well with all their menu items. Saving room for dessert is a must at this Carlsbad restaurant. Especially if you want to try their orange olive oil cake with whipped mascarpone and strawberry confit. Don’t see something you want on the cocktail menu? Ask one of the bartenders to make something special!

Best restaurants in Carlsbad California include Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar

The menu at Blue Ocean is filled with Asian-inspired flavors and techniques. This best restaurant in Carlsbad, California features a Japanese robata grill. It is fired up right before dinner each day. Once the grill is hot, it is piled high with skewers filled with pork belly, baby octopus, wagyu meatballs, and asparagus wrapped with bacon.

The Korean BBQ ribs are another popular dish at this restaurant. Seafood and sushi complete the menu with plenty of options for each.

If you are looking for happy hour specials, this restaurant in Carlsbad, California has you covered on Mondays through Thursdays. Continued after the advertisement.

Best restaurants in Carlsbad California include Jeune et Jolie

Dining on French cuisine while feeling the light sea breeze is exactly what you will get while at this restaurant in Carlsbad, California. This intimate restaurant features an open-concept kitchen. You can easily watch as your food is prepared. Unless you can’t tear yourself away from the outdoor views.

The four-course dinner menu allows you to choose one item for each course. Options include lamb tartare with kohlrabi, spring onion, and spruce. Or ricotta dumplings with brassicas and mustard.

Wine pairings are also offered for each dinner course. It is a wonderful way to find a new wine to enjoy.


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Best restaurants in Carlsbad California include Casa de Bandini

When people are searching for margaritas in Carlsbad, they tend to venture over to Casa de Bandini. This restaurant in Carlsbad, California serves fishbowl-sized margaritas. It goes without saying that they serve Mexican cuisine to go with those margaritas.

You could go crazy and order a bunch of items off the menu. The best way to sample it all though is by ordering the Macho Grande. It contains the perfect amounts of carne asada, cheese enchiladas, chicken tacos, and chile rellenos. All those things are paired with Mexican rice, beans, salsa, and fresh guacamole.

There are numerous vegetarian options on the menu for those who do not want to eat meat.

Best restaurants in Carlsbad California include The Village Kitchen and Pie Shoppe

One of the best restaurants in Carlsbad, California for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is the Village Kitchen. Conventional comfort foods are served alongside the more unusual requests like liver and onions. There’s always an option for whatever you are craving for any meal of the day.

The chicken fried steak or huevos rancheros will get you going in the early morning. Lunchtime and dinner might have you devouring a Tamarack beach club sandwich with roast beef, ham, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and thousand island dressing. Or there are burgers, seafood platters, and pasta dishes.

Before you leave, you must stop in the pie shoppe to grab a pie to go. There are multiple options, so you may need to restrain yourself from purchasing them all. The snicker cream, sour cream raspberry, and chocolate peanut butter are all local favorites.

Best restaurants in Carlsbad California include Vigilucci's Seafood & Steakhouse

It is recommended you visit this best restaurant in Carlsbad, California later in the day, so you can watch the sunset.

The menu is full of seafood and steak, which are all wonderfully prepared. An excellent starter is the chilled seafood platter filled with the day’s selection of ocean fresh seafood.

If you prefer seafood, the capesante ai pomodorini secchi is the perfect option. Diver scallops are served on risotto cakes. Sweet corn, red onion, bell peppers, asparagus, pancetta are placed under the risotto cakes, and it is all topped with a sun-dried tomato sauce.

Steak lovers will enjoy the numerous steak dishes. And everyone will want to save room for a serving of tiramisu for dessert.

Best restaurants in Carlsbad California include Chandler's Oceanfront Dining

Views of the ocean is what you should expect when dining at this restaurant in Carlsbad, California. The only thing better than the views of Carlsbad State Beach and ocean is the farm to table dining experience.

This restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You will love either the lobster and shrimp benedict or the cinnamon brown sugar challah French toast for breakfast. The lunch menu is small. You don’t need too many options though when fish tacos, a bacon jalapeno burger, and shrimp nachos are included.

Extra items are on the dinner menu. There’s steak, seafood, and vegetarian options for everyone. And yet you will still be happy if you simply order appetizers to eat as your main meal. Especially when those appetizers include shoyu poke, coconut shrimp, short rib flatbread, and caprese.

The ambiance at this best restaurant in Carlsbad, California revolves around good food, good company, and being in the wonderful outdoors. This is a casual restaurant in Carlsbad that never disappoints. You can spend hours making memories with family and friends within the rustic décor.

The menu is not huge at Campfire, but the options they do have are all delicious. The crudites with its raw and charred vegetables served with smoked cashew dip is the perfect starter to any meal. Chicken, brisket, and fish are all part of the entrees. You simply need to choose which one will satisfy your current cravings.

As for dessert, no one should ever leave this restaurant until they have enjoyed a few s’mores. They also have vasco cheesecake, which is topped with mulberry and honeycomb.

These are the best restaurants in Carlsbad, California. It may be difficult for you to choose just one while you are there and maybe before or after you attend the Carlsbad Farmers Market, for example. So, it may be best to consider all the restaurants in Carlsbad, California and put them in order of your interest. Then you can simply go down your list and check them off as you try them all out. While in the area you might want to visit any of the San Diego tide pools or the Carlsbad Flower Fields. Now that your taste.buds are salivating, where is Carlsbad California?