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 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
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 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.