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10 Best Restaurants in Carlsbad – Exceptional Restaurants with Amazingly Talented Chefs

Carlsbad’s  mild  weather  and  stunning  beaches  make  it  one  of  the  perfect  southern   California  destinations  all  year  round.  But  don’t  mistake  Carlsbad  for  a  sleepy  surfer   village.  Whether  your  tastes  lie  in  fine  arts,  live  concerts,  classic  cars  or  craft  beers   or  fine  eateries,  Carlsbad  is  never  short  on  amazing  experiences.  Carlsbad  has  some   exceptional  restaurants  with  amazingly  talented  Chefs,  here  is a list of the 10  Best Restaurants in Carlsbad,  just  to  give   you  a  taste  of  what  Carlsbad  has  to  offer.

  • Vigilucci’s Italian Restaurants – Best Restaurants in Carlsbad
  • Vigilucci's Italian Restaurants

Vigilucci’s  Italian  Restaurants  are  now  celebrating  20  years,  Vigilucci’s  offers   authentic  Italian  recipes  from  Milan.    Roberto  Vigilucci  has  a  passion  for  traditional   Italian  cuisine.  In  Italy  the  kitchen  is  the  center  gathering  spot  for  the  family.     Roberto  has  many  happy  memories  of  childhood  in  Milano  and  the  delicious  Italian   home  cooking  he  enjoyed.  Vigilucci’s  has  several  locations  in  the  San  Diego  region   including  2  restaurants  and  a  Gourmet  Market  in  Carlsbad  Village.       Vigilucci’s  specialty  dishes  including  homemade  pasta,  savory  veal,  chicken,  steak   and  seafood.    Vigilucci’s  also  offers  an  award-­‐‑winning  wine  list  to  tempt  your  taste   buds.  Vigilucci’s  Cucina  is  Italian  cuisine  at  it’s  best!  Located  in  the  heart  of   downtown  Carlsbad,  Vigilucci’s  Cucina  Italiana  is  the  perfect  spot  for  a  quiet  night   out,  with  fabulous  food.   Vigilucci’s  new  Gourmet  Market  has  everything  Italian,  that  you  may  want  to  make   extraordinary  meals  at  home.    One  of  my  favorites  is  the  mushroom  vodka  sauce  and   pasta.    The  Market  also  offers  full-­‐‑service  catering  to  suit  any  party  or  celebration.   Custom  menus  are  available.

  • Branci Caldo Pomodoro Italian Restaurant – Best Restaurants in Carlsbad

The    “Hot  Tomato”  creates  old  world  Sicilian  style  cuisine  with  specialty  pasta’s  and   gourmet  pizza.    They  offer  a  fabulous  Cajun  Gorgonzola  cream  sauce  tossed   w/artichoke  hearts,  sun  dried  tomatoes  &  Cajun  seasonings  that  is  to  die  for.     Another  one  of  my  favorites  is  their  Baked  Artichoke  dip  with  lots  of  garlic,  cheese   and  olives,  yum!    And  let’s  not  forget  their  award  winning  garlic  bread,  that  has  won   the  award  of  “Best  Garlic  Bread  in  San  Diego”  for  many  years  .website

  • Gregorio’s Italian Restaurant – Best Restaurants in Carlsbad

Gregorio’s  specialty  items  on  the  menu  include  traditional  Sicilian  style  Italian   cuisine.    They  also  offer  a  multitude  of  gluten  free  items  to  their  customers.    One  of   my  favorite  things  on  the  menu  is  their  “Eggplant  Slider”.    Basically  it  is  the  Eggplant   parmesan  on  a  delicious  Hawaiian  bun.   Gregorio’s  owner  Greg  Nelson  is  a  community  philanthropist.    As  a  boy  Greg   growing  up  in  Carlsbad,  Greg  used  to  go  to  the  local  Boys  and  Girls  Club  quite   frequently.  So  for  3  consecutive  years,  Greg  gave  all  the  earnings  from  the  restaurant   to  the  “Boys  and  Girls  Club”.

  • Cicciotti’s Trattoria – Best Restaurants in Carlsbad

Cicciott's Tratoria Italiana & Seafood

Cicciott’s Tratoria Italiana & Seafood

Cicciotti’s is casual Italian dining cooked by a Published Author & Chef Gaetano Cicciotti. Cicciotti’s Trattoria serves classic Italian pasta like fettuccine Alfredo which you might find in Italian restaurants, but you won’t find Italian restaurants that cook fresh Italian food the way Gaetano Cicciotti does.

  • Campfire – Best Restaurants in Carlsbad 

Campfire’s menu is based around its two 48″ round grills that will cook up locally-sourced and sustainable meat and seafood as well as seasonal veggies all in the name of Argentinian barbecueCampfire offers a nostalgic, modernist take on camping culture in its communally-inclined, 185-seat indoor/outdoor space, which includes a 25-seat copper bar and a kid-friendly custom teepee.
Bringing fresh heat to the North County dining landscape is Campfire.

  •   Paon Restaurant, Wine Bar & Specialty Wine Shop – Best Restaurants in Carlsbad

Chef  David  Gallardo’s  spotlights  organic  prime  meats,  game  and  fish  prepared  with   traditional  French  sophistication.    Paon  Restaurant  offers  French-­‐‑Californian   cuisine,  an  “excellent  wine  list”  and  “top-­‐‑notch”  service  in  a  “romantic”  Art  Deco   setting  that  is  perfect  for  special  occasions.  Paon  Restaurant  &  Wine  Bar  Restaurant   Review:  Chef  David  Gallardo  delivers  a  variety  of  dining  experiences  at  this  little   gem  in  Carlsbad.  Try  the  yellowfin  tartare,  Carlsbad  Aquafarm  oysters  or  artisan   cheese  plate  while  sipping  one  of  their  fabulous  wines.  Or  sit  on  the  patio  by  the   fountain  and  taste  the  lightly  smoked  salmon  salad  with  red  beet  vinaigrette,  or   duck  confit  with  white  bean  cassoulet.    Gallardo’s  signature  pan-­‐‑roasted  pheasant   with  its  crisp  skin  and  Madeira  sauce  will  bring  guest  coming  back  for  more  every   time.    Paon  is  elegant  and  casual  dining,  the  service,  food  and  ambience  are   impeccable.    They  use  locally  sourced  seasonal  produce  to  create  the  most  delicious   salads  and    soups.    Their  butternut  squash  soup  is  absolutely  fabulous.  website

  •  Land & Water Company – Best Restaurants in Carlsbad

Chef  Robert  Ruiz  of  the  Land  &  Water  Company  continues  to  redefine  what  real   sushi  is.  Ruiz’s  strong  desire  for  knowledge  and  inventiveness  has  given  him  a   distinct  household  reputation  as  a  destination  chef.    He  has  had  extensive  training   under  Hawaii’s  finest  chefs  and  he  is  now  known  as  one  of  San  Diego’s  best  non-­‐‑ traditional  sushi  chefs.     Chef  Ruiz  is  also  very  committed  to  saving  and  preserving  our  Oceans  through  his   sustainability  movement  is  changing  how  fish  and  sushi  will  be  served  worldwide.

  •  Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar



The Blue Ocean Robata is a splashy Japanese eatery serving specialty rolls & grilled skewers with sake & creative cocktails.  Blue Ocean is the most trendy new restaurant in town. Sushi lovers flock to this restaurant. It can be crowded but that is a sign that it is also very good! Chef Andy Halvorsin has done an excellent job creating the menu at Blue Ocean. The building is shaped like a modern aquarium. The owners also run the Loveboat Sushi which also an excellent choice for sushi in North County San Diego. website

  • Vivace Park Hyatt Aviara – Best Restaurants in Carlsbad

Vivace is a AAA Four-Diamond restaurant that offers a vibrant dining scene, serving a fresh and innovative Italian cuisine, Vivace has a sleek, modern, contemporary atmosphere to relax and enjoy delicious food and great wine. The word Vivace means “alive” in Italian and that is what Vivace offers in a farm to table environment with seasonal favorites. Enjoy a romantic dinner by the fireplace in the winter or outside on the patio in the summertime. website

  • West Steak & Seafood – Best Restaurants in Carlsbad

West Restaurant
West  Steak  and  Seafood  is  known  for  its  authentic  farm-­‐‑to-­‐‑ table  approach,  sourced  from  the  restaurant’s privately owned three-acre farm, located close to the restaurant. West specializes in USDA  prime  steak,  chops  and   fresh  seafood.    Executive  Chef  David  Abella  was  born  and  raised  in  Honolulu,  Hawaii, started  his  career  with  Roy  Yamaguchi  of  Roy’s  Restaurants  and  worked  as  their   Executive  Chef  for  over  20  years.  Abella  incorporates  the  Euro-­‐‑Asian  influence  into   his  creations  at  West  Steak  and  Seafood.