The 7 Greatest Restaurants in Carlsbad, CA | Must-Try Carlsbad Restaurants!

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We’re going to offer you some fantastic Carlsbad restaurant choices, but first let’s talk about the location and the city.

The sky is azure. Blue-green water. Sunsets that have been painted. In the spring, there are rippling flower fields bathed in bright colors. This is Carlsbad, a vibrant and colorful California seaside town that attracts tourists all year.

Carlsbads, located halfway between San Diego to the south and Orange County to the north, radiates a laid-back feel that is infectious. Miles of beautiful coastline combined with decent wave action are seductive lures for beachgoers and surfers alike. Its lagoons are great for kayaking and stand-up paddling, and there are several outdoor activities in this Southern California seaside town.

But Carlsbad has another advantage: its wonderful food. This coastal town is a foodie’s dream, with an abundance of local farms, oceans overflowing with seafood riches, and inventive, passionate award-winning chefs. Choose a cuisine, style, or theme, and you’ll discover fantastic Carlsbad restaurants to support it.

Let’s take a look at some of the best spots to drink, eat, and take in the breathtaking vistas that this quaint community has to offer its local foodies and tourists. If you want to do things rather than consume them, I recommend checking out some of the greatest things to do in Carlsbad.

Not in the mood to dine out tonight? Click here to have Grubhub deliver right to your door from the greatest restaurants in town.

When in Carlsbad, don’t miss out on the following activities that will let you immerse yourself in the city (get them while they’re hot!):

  • Carlsbad Village: 3-Hour Local Food Tour
  • LEGOLAND California Resort: Theme Park 1-Day Admission

Carlsbad’s Top 7 Restaurants

7 Mile Restaurant

827-25145420 Grand Pacific Drive

7 Mile Kitchen, named for the seven miles of Carlsbad coast it overlooks, is the newest culinary kid on the block, with complete breakfast, lunch, and dinner service. Award-winning Executive Chef Julian Quiones’ cuisine at the Sheraton Carlsbad comprises scrumptious hand-crafted wood-fired pizzas and gourmet burgers.

For outdoor eating, the views of the shore and the neighboring illuminated pool area are stunning. The service is excellent, and our dinner meals were delicious.

A shared Roast Beet and Stone Fruit Salad was a delicious appetizer. The salad, which was made with burrata, prosciutto, and nectarines over arugula and drizzled with old balsamic, was wonderfully fresh and flavorful.

After three years in Italy, I had to sample one of the artisanal pizzas, and honestly, this is the closest thing to the thin-crusted Neapolitan treasure I enjoy.

The wild Shroom was wonderful, with roasted wild mushrooms, spinach, Reggiano cheese, and a white truffle cream.

The Big Bleu Burger, a sumptuous pound patty combination of short rib, brisket, and chuck shaved pastrami topped with Swiss, pepperoncini, caramelized onion, tomato, and a house sauce, had my husband drooling. Foodie tip: the quantities are fairly substantial, so you’ll either want to share or request a to-go box.

You can’t match this Carlsbad restaurant for award-winning cuisine and vistas.

Bandini’s Residence

Calle Barcelona (760) 634-34431901

Despite the fact that the live mariachi band has been temporarily discontinued due to COVID-19, our favorite Carlsbad Mexican restaurant still offers all of the joy, taste, and delectable fragrances of true Mexican food and culture.

The vivid, colorful restaurant has a joyous fiesta ambiance and provides flavorful Mexican meals with a Baja twist. Its legendary margaritas are, in our opinion, the greatest in the west. But be warned: the fishbowl margaritas may be rather potent.

It is difficult to choose an entree from their large menu. Yet everyone who dines at Casa de Bandini will find something they like. One of their combo plates, like as the Macho Grande, which includes a chef tasting of carne asada, chicken taco, cheese enchilada, and chile relleno, is a terrific alternative. Served with fresh guacamole, Mexican rice, beans, and salsa fresca, it’s an excellent opportunity to sample a variety of dishes at one table.

The San Germn dish, with seasoned Pacific wild shrimp sautéed in butter, brandy, and pineapple and served over a bed of yellow rice with a side slaw dressing, is one of my all-time faves. It’s absolutely unstoppable.

This Carlsbad Mexican restaurant has a distinct south of the border vibe to it.

Jays Gourmet Seafood & Pizza Restaurant

+176072096882975 Carlsbad Boulevard, Carlsbad, California 92008, USA

Jays is a popular Italian restaurant in the area. Arrive early since it might become packed on weeknights. Great wine selections for every meal. If you’ve never had this pizza before, get a bunch of friends and go to Jays!

Once we ordered our pizza, our waitress brought us some of their thin garlic Parmesan bread for us to nibble as we waited for our main entrée.

The bread was exquisite, unlike practically every other establishment’s basic bread. Once they had completed their bread and pizza, it was time for dessert.

We had the handmade Tiramisu, which was amazing! Unlike packaged sweets, this was prepared in-house with all of the love and passion it deserves, exactly like your great-grandmother from Italy! Even the smallest elements, like as its own whip cream, complete this wonderful feast!

Our waitress was lovely and accommodating to our needs. To be honest, he was a darling who treated us like we were their most prized customers!

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This isn’t your typical eatery. The menu is unique, the food is superb, the service is excellent, and the ambiance is charming, near to the beach, and serene.

The staff is kind and likes talking with their clients. Thus, whether you are visiting Carlsbad or live here, please support our local restaurants by dining at Jays; you will not be disappointed.

Chandlers Restaurant & Bar

Ponto Road, +1 (760) 683-55001

Chandlers’ exquisite farm-to-table artisan food is complemented with beautiful ocean views overlooking Carlsbad State Beach. This is the trademark restaurant of the Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach Resort, and it is one of the most stunning seaside restaurants in town.

This eatery is always crowded, and for good reason.

Since only supper is now offered on their lovely outside terrace, we had to pay accolades to our earlier this year morning visit- arguably the nicest breakfast weve had on the West Coast!

The good news is that breakfast and lunch items are available to go.

The Lobster & Shrimp Benedict is delicious. Poached eggs with lobster and shrimp are topped with a chive and hollandaise sauce.

Their Cinnamon Brown Sugar Challah French Toast was out of this world. Quantities are generous and assured, and you’ll enjoy sharing bits since the cuisine, service, and ambience are all excellent. A genuine Carlsbad institution.


+1-606-637-51212725 State Street

This one-of-a-kind café in downtown Carlsbad Village features market-driven local foods. The name honors all of the times when friends and family gathered around a campfire to enjoy the wealth of delicious food, good company, and the great outdoors.

We like the rustic Quonset hut camp-fire-themed decor, which includes picnic table seats, candles, baskets, fishing gear, and even an outside teepee tent. We, on the other hand, adore nutritious meals!

Entrees are prepared in cast-iron skillets over a wood fire using locally sourced and sustainable meats, fish, and vegetables. The menu isn’t huge, but it’s well-designed and delicious. While the name Campfire conjures up memories of hot dogs and baked beans, the cuisine served here is extremely fancy.

Guests may choose from individual land, sea, and vegetarian entrée or opt for the Camp-Out Feast, a collection of exquisite specialties. The Smashed Beets a La Plancha with cheese curd and macadamia nuts was one of my faves here. My husband raved over the Bacon Pork Belly Bahn Mi.

Leave some space for dessert. And what could be more wonderful than that? Of course, smores with all the fixings. This is Carlsbad’s go-to nice dining establishment.

Young and beautiful

State Street, +1 (760) 637-52662659

Every town needs a special occasion restaurant, and Carlsbad has one. Jeune Et Jolie, which translates to “young and lovely,” is an excellent pick. This charming new private dining establishment was voted one of Esquire’s finest new restaurants in America in 2019. It’s one of those gastronomic experiences you’ll never forget, thanks to the meals, location, service, and ambience.

Due to the unusual circumstances, the restaurant has shifted to a delightful outdoor summer tasting menu. Guests are invited to dine on five-course dinners in a magnificent illuminated, romantic environment among olive trees and sparkling stars at Starry Nights. A wine pairing is not required.

Menus alter weekly based on ingredient availability and the chefs’ unique creative choices. Hamachi (sushi), Jardin Summer Vegetables, Lobster Spaghetti, Wagyu Beef, and Panna Cotta were among the newest five-course offerings. The chef is also always willing to accommodate dietary restrictions or specific requirements.

The King’s Fish House

+1 (760) 431-34745625 The Paseo del Norte

Welcome to the Home Made by Seafood. This is the slogan of Kings Fish House, a fantastic seafood jewel among the top Carlsbad eateries. Despite the fact that this seafood restaurant has locations across Southern California, as well as one in Arizona and Nevada, it deserves to be featured on our best of list.

Menus are produced daily to represent the freshest items from the sea, and the variety here is comprehensive. The raw bar serves local oysters as well as various east and west coast varieties. The sushi menu is very remarkable. Servers, on the other hand, are highly beneficial in delivering professional advice.

The soft, delicious Parmesan Crusted Wild Alaskan Sand Dabs with lemon butter and capers are a fish house classic. The sauce complements the fish well while allowing it to speak for itself.

I ordered the Sauted Nawlins BBQ Shrimp with steaming jasmine rice and toasted bread since I adore shrimp. Indeed, I mistook myself for being in New Orleans. Request an additional serving of sourdough bread to mop up every last drop of the delectable BBQ sauce. Also, we thought the rates here to be fairly affordable given the high quality of its seafood meals.

Seafood & Steakhouse Vigiluccis

434-25803878 Carlsbad Blvd.

It doesn’t get much better than indulging your taste senses while overlooking the Pacific Ocean. And the breathtaking sunsets are simply the cherry on top for those who come for supper! This is the spot to go for superb Italian cuisine among Carlsbad restaurants!

The family-owned and managed Carlsbad restaurant Vigiluccis has long been a favorite of residents and tourists alike, specializing in great steaks and fresh seafood with an unique Italian flare. Simply said, the cuisine is excellent, the service is exceptional, and the eating experience is dependably outstanding.

It’s difficult to chose from the menu since there are so many delicious alternatives. The wine list is very large and superb. Servers, on the other hand, are here to help.

The Cappellacci di Zucca, a handcrafted hat-shaped pasta filled with butternut squash, walnuts, Ricotta, and Parmesan, and topped with brown butter, sage, and a splash of marinara, was my main entree choice. A great option for a heartier pasta meal.

Spaghetti Portofino, with calamari, rock shrimp, mussels, Manila clams, diver scallops, and jumbo prawn sautéed with Mediterranean pesto, was another hit. A fish lover’s paradise.

It’s usually a good idea to save space for an Italian dessert while eating in an Italian restaurant. We couldn’t pass up the Tiramisu, a fantastic shared dessert to top off an unforgettable star-studded evening with our due cappucini.

Which of these Carlsbad eateries do you wish to try the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!

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