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The Top 15 Tastiest Carlsbad Restaurants

Casa de Bandini
Norte
Pizza Port
King's Fish House
West Steak and Seafood
264 Fresco
Daily News Cafe
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Miguel's Cocina
Harbor Fish Cafe
Campfire
Crackheads 
Beach City Smoothies 
Chin’s Szechwan 
Strawberry Shack
Casa de Bandini
Norte
Pizza Port
King's Fish House
West Steak and Seafood
264 Fresco
Daily News Cafe
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Miguel's Cocina
Harbor Fish Cafe
s'mores from campfire in San Diego
Campfire
Crackheads 
Beach City Smoothies 
Chin’s Szechwan 
Strawberry Shack

Carlsbad has several attractions to enjoy, whether you want to explore a local park with family members, visit museums or attend concerts with friends, or check out the local restaurant scene. Whether you’re craving authentic Mexican food, enjoy comfort food, prefer Italian fare, to simply want to visit an eatery with one-of-a-kind entrees, here are some of the best Carlsbad restaurants to visit during your trip.

 

Photo credit: Yelp.com

1. Campfire

2725 State St, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 637-5121

With a hip and fun environment, good service, and delicious food, you’re in for a treat when you dine at Campfire. This spot was created around the spirit of a campfire, meaning sitting around drinking and eating and enjoying some great company. Start off with one of their cocktails like the “almost home” with tequila, grilled green apple, bay laurel, honey and meyer lemon. For appetizers, go for the wagyu skewers or the oysters. For dinner, they have veggie and meat options to keep any diner happy. And last but not least, it’s a no-brainer that you have to get s’mores for dessert, you are at Campfire afterall! 

 

Photo credit: Yelp.com

2. Crackheads 

430 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(442) 500-2188

If a friendly, casual environment is your vibe, this spot is gonna be right up your alley. Super cute indoor/outdoor concept, just walk right up, order and pay and then grab a seat and hang for a while. Stop in for coffee, cocktails or some bites like their breakfast sandwiches, the crack burger, wings, breakfast burritos and more tasty options. This is a great spot for happy hour after work or hanging out on a Saturday afternoon with some of your buddies. You’re going to love everything Crackheads has to offer! 

 

Photo credit: Yelp.com

3. Beach City Smoothies 

594 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 729-0011

Craving something cold and refreshing after a day in the sun? Beach City Smoothies will fix you right up. Order anything from bowls, smoothies, juices and more. Try the classic Beach City Bowl with organic acai sorbet topped with pumpkin flax granola, bananas, mango, strawberries, and blackberries. Their menu is fairly priced and everything tastes so fresh! Aside from all the healthy fruit juices, they also have some super tasty pretzels like the spinach and feta pretzel, if you need something with a little more substance. 

 

Photo credit: Yelp.com

4. Chin’s Szechwan 

2820 Roosevelt St, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 729-0348

This is about to be your new go-to spot for delicious Chinese food. Whether you’re eating in or picking up an order for takeout, you are sure to enjoy every meal here. Start your meal off with some of their comforting wonton soup or an order of pot stickers. They have plenty of lunch combos to choose from and even more dinner options. Enjoy a beef, chicken, pork, shrimp or veggie plate with some rice or noodles. From the service to the fresh, hot, homemade meals they’re serving up you are going to love this Chinese spot. 

 

Photo credit: Yelp.com

5. Strawberry Shack

2906 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 458-0734

An easy walk from the beach, Strawberry Shack is the perfect spot to check out for all things dessert, and of course all things strawberry. There’s not much that compares to enjoying a fresh strawberry shake after a day spent in the heat. But it doesn’t stop there. They have strawberry cannolis, custard, fudge, dole whip, and of course strawberry shortcake and chocolate covered strawberries. This cute little shop is serving up all the strawberry desserts you could dream of, this is definitely a must try if you’re in Carlsbad.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

6. Casa de Bandini

1901 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad, CA 92009
(760) 634-3443

Casa de Bandini is home to some of the best Mexican food in Carlsbad, especially if you’re in the mood for a healthy serving of enchiladas filled chicken and cheese. The restaurant is also known for its delicious ceviche topped with avocado and black olives, and the award-winning San German with creamy shrimp stffed in a pineapple is popular as well. The fish tacos served with black beans and yellow rice are a favorite with Carlsbad diners as well, and the “wet” bean and cheese burrito drenched in savory red sauce will make this Mexican eatery one of your favorites.

 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

7. Norte

3003 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA 92107
(760) 729-0903

Nore offers fresh Mexican food and a modern atmosphere that makes it the perfect spot for a dinner with friends or a casual date night. The restaurant serves a variety of delicious appetizers like jalapeno poppers stuffed with cream cheese, or the La Pachanga, a platter made for sharing that includes flautas, quesadillas, and mini tacos. The Carne Asada burrito is one of the best in the city, and is served with yellow rice, refried beans, and fresh salsa. You’ll also love the huevos rancheros with green chiles whether you’re dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

8. Pizza Port

571 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 720-7007

Pizza Port is one of the best Carlsbad restaurants when you’re in the mood for casual Italian food. Start your meal with flavorful garlic knots with marinara sauce for dipping or enjoy a delicious Port Salad with filled with corn, okra, fresh greens, and blue cheese crumbles. The giant pretzel dusted with corn meal and served with a side of mustard is pretty impressive as well. The eatery offers tasty pizzas like the classic pepperoni topped with Italian herbs and Pizza Roma with black olives and bell peppers. You can also opt for the seafood pizza topped with fresh cheese and flavored with herbaceous green pesto.

 

 

9. King’s Fish House

5625 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 431-3474

King’s Fish House is the place to go when you’re looking for delicious seafood in Carlsbad. The oyster platter featuring savory and spicy flavors is great for sharing, and the New England clam chowder is some of the best in town. You’ll also love the fried calamari if you want a tasty appetizer that will make you look forward to the main course. The eatery also offers a variety of sushi, such as the Rainbow Roll made with all types of succulent seafood, and the Albacore tataki topped with fresh scallions. Standout dishes include the macadamia-crusted halibut with steamed carrots and a baked potato.

 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

10. West Steak and Seafood

4980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 930-9100

If you’re looking for a great spot for a date night in Carlsbad, West Steak and Seafood is the place to go. The beef sliders served with a fresh salad is a great appetizer and it’s perfect for sharing with someone special. The French onion soup is especially flavorful, and the potatoes au gratin are a delicious choice as well. Popular meat entrees include beef carpaccio topped with onions, or the New York strip served with two sides of your choice. The free-range chicken breast topped with savory sauce and seasonal vegetables will make West Steak and Seafood one of your favorites when you’re in town.

 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

11. 264 Fresco

264 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 720-3737

Whether you’re looking for seafood, pasta dishes, or delicious beef and chicken dishes, you’ll find what you’re looking for at 264 Fresco. The fettuccine Alfredo is especially delicious, and you can enjoy this tasty dish vegetarian-style or with sautéed chicken. If you’re a fan of seafood, try the blackened seafood with risotto, corn, fresh tomatoes, and white wine sauce. The Pollo Tres Colores is one of the most impressive dishes on the menu and includes peppers, sausage, onion, and white wine. 264 Fresco also offers a pasta of the day, so you can choose from options like raviolie or farfalle any time you visit the eatery.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

12. Daily News Cafe

3001 Carlsbad Blvd ste a, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 729-1023

Daily News Cafe offers tasty meals that you can enjoy any time of day. If you’re in the mood for breakfast, try the Swiss Alps with mushrooms and Swiss cheese or the Vegetarian omelet with zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, and a combination of jack and cheddar cheese. Daily News Cafe also offers several salads that are filling enough to serve as an entree like the Rooster Cogburn with chicken, avocado and walnuts, or the Chef’s Out to Lunch with chicken, ham, bacon, eggs, and olives. The diner is also home to some of the most delicious chicken sandwiches in the city, including the Chicken Santa Fe with green chiles and the Bonsai Chicken with pineapple and teriyaki sauce.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

13. Karl Strauss Brewing Company

5801 Armada Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 431-2739

Karl Strauss Brewing Company offers tasty pub-style food with an updated twist. The Poblano Chile Sole is the perfect dish to satisfy your seafood cravings. Or you can try the Piggy Bank macaroni and cheese if you’re looking for classic comfort food. If you’re in the mood for something light, try the Bavarian pretzel or the New Squids on the Block if you want to share a seafood appetizer with friends. The eatery is also known for its beeramisu, which is tiramisu flavored with beer.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

14. Miguel’s Cocina

5980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 759-1843

Miguel’s Cocina is the perfect place to enjoy tasty Mexican food with friends. The surf and turf burrito is one of the most popular items, and it’s served with a side of yellow rice, sour cream, and guacamole. If you love enchiladas, the Enchiladas Suiza with green chile sauce and melted Swiss cheese. The chile rellenos with refried beans is a wonderful choice as well, and you’ll love the grilled shrimp tacos if you’re a fan of seafood. You can also visit the eatery for brunch and enjoy dishes like steak and eggs, coconut French toast, or the breakfast skillet with chorizo and Carne Asada.

 

Photo Credit: G G. (Yelp)

15. Harbor Fish Cafe

3179 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 729-4161

Harbor Fish Cafe is the perfect place to get a fast food-style seafood meal that is full of flavor. The fried shrimp platter with a side salad is a tasty lunch option, and you’ll love the fish taco with spicy salsa and fresh lime. Try the fish and chips plate served with ketchup and tartar sauce, and the Ahi tuna served with fries and grilled toast is especially flavorful as well. Harbor Fish Cafe is a great place to take your family, too; kids’ meal options include a corn dog, fish, or shrimp served with fries or a serving of mac and cheese.

 

Editors Note: This article was originally published on April 24, 2021 and last updated on July 14, 2022. Please refer to restaurant websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information.