Located on the coast of southern California, Carlsbad has a combination of food styles that makes it a great food destination. First of all, being on the coast, seafood is a staple at many of the restaurants and there are even some that have their own boats that provide fresh fish for the restaurant. Being in California, healthy food is certainly on most menus and there is definitely an emphasis on farm-to-table as well as ocean-to-table. Finally, with its close proximity to Mexico, there are definitely options for authentic Mexican fare as well. That doesn’t mean that you are limited to those choices as there are sushi restaurants, Italian choices, and certainly good old steak and potato places.
Since we live in Colorado, seafood was high on our list of things to eat while we were there and we certainly had our fill. With plenty of places to choose from, one of our favorites was the Bluewater Grill, which sourced their fish from their own boat and also offered fresh fish to be purchased to take home. They claimed to have an award winning clam chowder, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it and truly was delicious. Clearly that wasn’t the only seafood that we had as we enjoyed mussels at Jay’s Gourmet Seafood and Pizza, shrimp tacos and lobster and corn chowder at the Coyote Bar and Grill, and calamari at 264 Fresco.
If you want Mexican food, Senior Chubby’s is certainly a favorite of the locals and features a salsa bar where you can get some really spicy salsa if you want. We also enjoyed the atmosphere and friendly staff at Las Olas where we enjoyed a couple of margaritas and a spicy cheese and bean dip. You don’t have to go to a Mexican restaurant to find Mexican choices as we even enjoyed delicious Huevos Rancheros at Dini’s Bistro, a place we went to a couple of times at sunset as they had great views of the ocean.
Clearly there are too many choices for the time that we had, but we did our best to visit as many places as possible. Sometimes it was for a quick snack and a drink, other times it was for a full meal (shared of course). There were other times when we just stopped in for a glass of wine or beer at places like the Village Pub, a fun little outdoor place called Crackhead Crafty’s, and a unique place called Campfire. Since Carlsbad Village is so walkable, it easy to wonder around and just explore and find places that sound interesting to you. In addition to food and drinks, there were several places that offered live entertainment, even on weeknights, providing a great atmosphere for people to gather and relax.
We certainly enjoyed the food that we ate while we were in Carlsbad and there didn’t seem to be any bad choices. Being on the ocean, most places provided casual dining, even if the food was upscale. Obviously you can find a formal restaurant if that is what you are looking for, but we enjoy casual, especially when visiting the beach. We will likely return to Carlsbad someday in the future and look forward to trying some new places as well as revisiting some of our favorites.