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10 Delicious Local Food Places in Carlsbad

Carlsbad California

Carlsbad is a small coastal city in northern San Diego County and an excellent place to have a relaxing vacation in. So, while you live in a vSublet nearby, you need to know which local food experiences you must try.

This list is in no particular order. Everyone likes different themes and cuisines. So, here are the best of every piece and cooking you can find in Carlsbad. Enjoy.


Situated around 200 ft. from the Carlsbad village station, Campfire is a unique way to start this list. It offers wood-lit cooking while its theme gives the rustic camp feeling. It is a lively busy place with staff and customers moving about with positive energy.

I recommend the simple Beef Kushiyaki. But there are plenty of vegetarian options in roasted broccoli, kale, and vine salad.

Baba Coffee

I am a bit biased about Baba Coffee. It is right next to both Campfire and the Carlsbad Animal Hospital that I have had to visit more than a few times (Not for myself).

Baba Coffee’s menu is exhaustive. They make every coffee under the sun, and any that I have tried have been great or unique. They offer cold brews, espressos, lattes, smoothies, cocoa, unique Baba Blends, and Hot Teas. They have you covered.

Their breakfast options are, of course, lacking, but a few sandwiches and some bowls are plenty enough for quick breakfasts.

Don’s Country Kitchen Carlsbad

Don’s Country Kitchen can be found in Carlsbad and Oceanside, San Diego. Let me tell you about the one in Carlsbad. First, they make sure to be kid and dog friendly. It is a Family-Owned and Operated Business. I do not know about your experience, but I have had great experiences with them.

We are talking about homemade biscuits, gravy, and sauces.

Of course, the décor is not modern, fancy, or romantic. It is not somewhere you might want to take someone out on the first few dates (especially since it is only open until max 1 PM). It is where you go with your family and friends to taste your grandmother’s cooking.

Swami’s Café Carlsbad

Swami’s Café Carlsbad is one of 9 locations scattered on the coast of San Diego County with a rustic feeling beachside interior, 200 m from the beach. With plenty of outside open-air seating, the location gets massive points.

Swami’s Café offers breakfast and lunch options along with juices and smoothies. The size of the café is small, but its menu is also exhaustively long. There are dozens of omelets, pancakes, burritos, and waffles to choose from for breakfasts. The lunch menu is similarly diverse and expansive.

The Naked Café

Breakfast, Lunch, Whole Food. The Naked Café is simple and to the point. Opening at 7.30 in the morning, this is great for early runners and early risers in general. You are covered here from mimosas, juices, and most types of coffee and tea.

There are burritos, wraps, tacos, soups, salads, omelets, and so much more in terms of filling your stomach. But almost everything is given a fancier touch with rare and unique ingredients. And that fancy touch shows up on the bill.

Paon Restaurant and Bar

The location is designed to be and feels like France. The cuisine is meant to be a Californian take on French dishes. This makes their Tartare, Cheese, and Ravioli unique items that give a fresh and new feeling.

I love Paon because their outdoor seating is fully private while being right on the road by being covered on the sides.

Bluewater Grill Carlsbad

Bluewater Grill is a nautically themed and inspired restaurant. This should be your go-to place for seafood and adventurous desires. The restaurant even has its own boat Pilikia to harpoon fish like swordfish.

You know the food will be good when the people are so passionate about what they are doing.

264 Fresco

264 Fresco is first an Italian restaurant. Then, it is homey chic. Their deck does not look great in daylight with the blazing sun overhead, especially since it is too close to the ground level and the main boulevard. But the lighting is fantastic during the evenings and nights. It is a beautiful location for hosting parties.

It is boxy and feels like one unit. So, its space is best utilized by larger parties. However, the deck has plenty of smaller tables to fit more minor groups.

Harbor Fish Café

Harbor Fish Café is the one to choose if you want a local and easy-going experience. Right beside the beach, the outdoor atmosphere is relaxing as well. Mostly, harbor fish café is famous for its fish and chips. But they have a wider variety of seafood to choose from depending on how adventurous you are feeling at the time.

Park 101

Park 101 has something for everyone. The Garden Pub is a large downstairs area for families and kids while being dog friendly. Originally Park 101 started by being meat centric. However, they have added more coastal cuisines to the menu.

However, you still must try the butcher board specials and the smoke menu that rotates over the week, you get what is fresh on that day, and it is fantastic.

Carlsbad Food Tours

Another option if you are looking to try some of Carlsbad’s great restaurants is Carlsbad Food Tours.  It is a 3-hour guided walking tour with food and wine tastings from 6 unique eateries.  You would also learn about Carlsbad’s history, culture, and architecture, while eating your way through the town.  Schedule your tour today at


From $75

Carlsbad Food Tours Private & Custom Group Experiences are the perfect way to get a taste of Carlsbad while enjoying the company of friends, family or co-workers.

We are happy to tailor a unique culinary experience to your group’s needs.

FOOD is the ingredient that bonds us TOGETHER, which makes it a perfect team building activity!

If you’re looking for the EASY button to set up your party, we can do the planning for you!

Visit five-six tasting locations where you’ll sample delicious food, wine, and beer tastings (enough for lunch or dinner). Number of locations will depend on time available for your group. Evening tours often move at a slower pace than daytime tour, allowing the guest to drink and linger a bit more, which is especially good for team bonding and celebrations.

Late afternoon to evening tours (4-7pm) available upon request. (Not available on Fri or Sat evenings)

Customizable to your group needs. Choose your time and day, we do the rest!

Call (760) 215-9433 or email: [email protected] to schedule your private group experience.

Up to 20 guest per tour. Large groups may be split up into 2-3 separate tours.




From $75

Offered daily 11:30 am. Celebrate your event or outing with a private food tour!  Enjoy some of the favorite restaurants in the village.  Wine tasting, pasta, gelato…

  • Let the village be your celebration venue of choice. There are so many great new eateries in our “Village by the Sea”.
  • Carlsbad is becoming quite the international foodie destination.
  • We have great Italian, Mexican, French, Latin and American Nouveau.
  • What is your flavor choice?  Can’t decide, then join us and check out 6 places in one day, find your favorites and return for dinner.
  • If you’re looking for the EASY button to set up your party or team building event, we can do the planning for you.  We plan it, You enjoy, local eateries for unique & delicious food.

Food is the Ingredient that Brings us Together!

  • Private Group Tour Experiences must have a minimum of 2 guests per tour.
  • 6 tastings locations
  • Let the village be your corporate event venue of choice with Carlsbad Food Tours. Choose your favorite tasting locations in the village.
  • Most Popular
From $68

Eat like a local! Experience the historic city of Carlsbad through food and wine. Indulge in tasty bites and sips from various restaurants while you learn about our unique culinary scene.

  • Your tour guide helps you to easily navigate the main streets of Carlsbad which house a wonderful concentration of museums, restaurants, and historic landmarks uniquely mixed with shops and art galleries and vibrant street murals.
  • Along the way you discover the diverse history, architecture, and culture in Carlsbad.
  • Stop by the Twin Inns and learn about our secret speakeasy and of course our miracle water.
  • Carlsbad is all about the water we are surrounded by including the lagoons and ocean.
  • Enjoy Carlsbad’s history, culture and architecture while eating your way through the village.