North County Restaurants Restaurants

Restaurant Reviews Dec/Jan 2018

Beesalt Balcony

This is one of the newer hidden gems in ol’ Del Mar that we are really excited to tell you about. Beesalt Balcony has a beautiful interior and a balcony patio that has sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. The beautiful views go really well with their scrumptious New American cuisine. Partner, husband, and executive chef, Costa, skillfully blends California flavors with Mediterranean in unique ways. Your taste buds will explode and fire-off signals to your brain that will make your eyebrows rise, and your lips quiver.

One of the many amazing creations of Chef Costa is his Bucatelli entrée. It’s his own creation that imitates the appearance of lasagna but is made with Bucatelli pasta noodles layered with ground short rib meat with a hint of cinnamon/nutmeg, with French Feta cheese, and topped with a very light homemade yogurt béchamel, with a wonderful San Marzano tomato sauce. It’s a large portion for only $22, so I hope you are hungry. (see photo)

Other main dishes include Papu’s Paella, Pan-Seared Salmon, Lamb Chops, Pan Roasted Chicken, and a grass-fed lamb Balcony Burger with shallot jam, tomato confit, Irish cheddar, baby greens, and a Beesalt salad, just to name a few. Lot’s of fine Starters, Salads, and Meat and Cheeses. Beesalt is open for lunch and dinner and brunch. Try one of their very fine wines, local or imported beers, or specialty Mimosa’s from their Mimosa Bar. Open for Lunch Mon – Sat, Brunch on Sunday 11-3, and Dinner Sun – Thurs 5-9 and Fri and Sat 5-10.

Beesalt Balcony is located at 1201 Camino Del Mar #200, Del Mar 92014. Call (858) 481-9889 or visit www.beesaltbalcony.com.

Le Bambou

Le Bambou is one of the finest French Indochina Vietnamese restaurants in San Diego and has been voted Best Vietnamese Restaurant every year by San Diego Magazine. Throughout their 30 years they have never advertised; but now they want to show their appreciation and reach out to the San Diego community by offering 10% OFF your entire dinner check through January 31.

Le Bambou is family owned and operated. Andy Do is a former South Vietnamese Air Force pilot; his wife and executive chef, Cuc Nguyen, is a master chef of Vietnamese cuisine. She incorporates French Indochina with traditional flavors by using the finest and freshest produce, proteins, and herbs to enhance the flavors and aromas to create a Vietnamese dining experience unlike any other in San Diego. Most patrons are surprised by their extensive menu, large entrée portions, and affordable prices. For example, their Seafood entrée #49d is a large bowl (probably enough for two people) of scallops, large shrimp, and squid with vegetables in a spicy, rich and savory tomato garlic sauce, served with rice. It’s absolutely delicious and only $20.

Try their seafood, beef, chicken, and vegetarian entrées, curry, soups, salads, appetizers and tasty desserts. Order your dishes as hot and spicy you like them. And you can select jasmine steamed or brown rice, and other sides, such as rice vermicelli noodles or crispy or pan fried noodles. They also offer imported and domestic beer and wines to complete your dining experience. If you enjoy high quality Asian food, you will certainly enjoy Le Bambou.

Le Bambou is located at 2634 Del Mar Heights Rd., Del Mar 92014 (off Del Mar Heights Road just west of the I-5 Fry in the Beachside Shopping Center). Call for your holiday reservations at (858) 259-8138 or visit www.lebamboudelmar.com.

Asian 101 Market and Catering

Asian 101 is a new Asian Market in San Marcos that offers fresh, take-home Asian Meal Kits. Unlike other take-home dining clubs, Asian 101 offers their easy-to-prepare-at-home Asian Meal Kits at affordable prices and with no monthly subscription fees! Drop off the kids at school and pick up an Asian Meal Kit to prepare at home, fresh, in your own kitchen. All of the items are cut, chopped, sliced and pre-measured and most Meal Kits take only 15 minutes to cook. They offer Japanese, Thai, Korean, Chinese, Philippine, and Vietnamese Meal Kits. Pick up a Main Kit Base, with proteins, such as chicken, shrimp, or tofu, and you can add-on additional vegetables, nuts, seeds, pickles, kimchi, soups, and ready-to-heat rice. There are many ad-ons to choose from. They don’t use MSG, and offer vegan options. All the ingredients and freshly prepared and packaged in their own commercial kitchen.

Asian 101 Market and Catering owner, Danny Chen, is a 15-year global food and retailing veteran who has provided consultation services for global food suppliers and retailers.  Danny’s vision is to bring the fun back to preparing and consuming fresh daily Asian meals.

Call ahead for holiday orders and catering. Visit their new Asian market and pick up some of your favorite Asian shelf items as well as some nice Asian kitchen supplies. While you’re there, browse the wide range of authentic Asian seasonings, sauces, snacks and other products. Asian 101 Market and Catering is located at 853 W. San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos 92078. Call (760) 471-7859 or follow them on Facebook/asian101market.

Le Papagayo

Leucadia, Encinitas, and Carlsbad residents and other locals, are long-time customers at Le Papagayo. We want everyone near and far to experience the flavors and sounds of this quaint dining establishment on Historic California Coast Highway 101 in Leucadia, because this place is awesome. You’ll love their unique fusion of Mediterranean and Latin American cuisine, along with their hang loose, beachy vibe. San Diego’s best musicians play music here nightly. Ring in the New Year at Le Papapagayo’s New Year’s Eve Party with delicious cuisine and great music! Make your reservations now for a pre-fix dinner menu at one of their three dinner seatings. Music will be performed by crowd favorite, John Bennett and Friends.

Certainly one of the most popular Encinitas/Leucadia hot spots, Le Papagayo is one of the coolest hangouts in North County. They have 4-5 star ratings on Yelp, OpenTable and Tripadvisor and are recent winners of the OpenTable Diners’ Award. Open for breakfast, try their eggs, omelets, acai bowls, fresh fruit, pancakes, chicken fried steak, or their signature Loco Moco, which is a coconut sticky rice with mushroom beef gravy, 2 natural Angus beef patties, 2 organic eggs, with grilled teriyaki pineapple, drizzled with a mango pineapple chili sauce, wow! Their lunch and dinner menu rocks and so does their Happy Hour menu with food and drink specials every day from 4-6pm and on Tuesdays all night long! Their Lobster Bisque is a local favorite as well as their Ahi Poke and Spring Rolls. Other favorites include Carne Asada, Duck Confit, Mahi Mahi and Shrimp Tacos. Their Happy Hour and regular menus offer a variety of quality, tasty and healthy items and will surely have something perfect for you. They’re open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner until 11pm.

Football fans check out all the bowl games. Music fans, you’ll love their nightly local live music. Either inside or outside along their sidewalk bar on Hwy 101, or on their beautiful outdoor patio, enjoy a cocktail, glass of wine, or craft beer. Le Papagayo is located at 1002 N. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas 92024. Call (760) 944-8252 or visit www.lepapagayoleucadia.com.

Veneto’s Cucina Italiana

Veneto’s Cucina Italiana, on Hwy 101 in Oceanside (near the Oceanside/California Welcome Center) is under new ownership by beloved local restaurateur, Pino Bottalico, of the famed Pino’s in Encinitas and Tuscany in La Costa. Pino brings his heart and soul to the restaurant every day to make sure that his guests have the best authentic Italian culinary experience ever. You’ll find fresh cut flowers on every table and a wonderful selection of Pino’s favorite wines. Veneto’s has a full bar and serves great drinks, cocktails, wine, as well as imported, domestic and local beers, and real Italian espresso.

It’s the place where lovers meet, friends reminisce, and the food is legendary. Try their many wonderful entrées including grilled salmon, ahi tuna, pollo Piccata, Melanzane alla Parmigiana, Pollo with Scampi. Or enjoy an authentic pasta dish such as our favorite, the Spaghetti alla Bolognese, or their Fettuccini Alfredo, Linguini Alla Vongole, Lasagna al Forno, Ziti, Ravioli, Tortellini, and Lasagna. They also have excellent pizza selections, soups, antipasti, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. For a real treat, try their famous homemade Tiramisu with a nice cup of espresso.

Call and make your holiday, Christmas, and New Year’s reservations. Lounge music on Fridays and Saturdays. Call to see who’s performing. They are open for lunch Wed-Sun and dinner nightly. Fridays and Saturdays open late until 11pm. Veneto’s is located at 608 N. Coast Hwy 101, Oceanside 92054. Call (760) 722-1228.

Sand Crab Tavern

The Sand Crab Tavern is well known for its delicious crab and seafood cuisine and live blues music. After 30 years as an Escondido favorite, the Sand Crab Tavern is now under new ownership, and the new owners are a friendly, local family who are excited to keep the Sand Crab Tavern the way it’s always been, with some additional love and upgrades.

This place is famous for serving the best crab, shrimp, fish and chips, crawfish, and Po’ Boys in North County for 30 years and gets 4-star ratings on Google reviews, Yelp, Facebook, Groupon, Opentable, and Tripadvisor. Try their Stone Crab Claws, Snow Crab Legs, Prime Dungeness Crab and King Crab Legs. Other items include Blackened Catfish, Voodoo BBQ Shrimp, Po’Boys and Fries, Gumbo, Jambalaya, Seafood Cocktails, Peel and Eat Shrimp, Crab Cakes, Main Lobster Rolls, and Black Angus ½ lb Burgers.

They have some excellent discounts. Kids eat free from the kid’s menu with one adult meal purchase, and seniors, students, and vets get 10% OFF. They have a dog-friendly patio until 3pm. Music jam sessions happen Saturday nights.  Clip their 1/2 OFF Entrée coupon or their $5 or $10 OFF coupons from their ad in our Dining section. The Sand Crab is open Tues-Thurs 11:30 – 8pm; and Fri-Sat 11:30 – 9pm; Sun 11:30 – 8pm and closed Mondays.  They are a little hard to find and are in an industrial area. Exit Nordahl Rd from the 78 Fry and proceed to 2229 Micro Place, Escondido 92029. Call (760) 480-2722 or visit www.sandcrabtavern.com.

Nattiya’s Thai and Northern Spirits

Have a very special evening Christmas or New Year’s Eve and make your dinner reservations now for holiday jazz and dinner. Get high on sizzling jazz and spicy Thai cuisine at North County’s only live jazz supper club and piano lounge, Northern Spirits, attached to Nattiya’s Thai Restaurant in San Marcos. The lovely Nattiya Sontisup has created a Thai food and spicy jazz experience unlike any other in San Diego. Northern Spirits features the area’s premier jazz musicians from 7:30-10:30pm Friday and Saturday nights and very lively Karaoke Nights Tuesday through Saturday nights. Sip fine wine and cocktail specialties from their full bar or try a sweet Thai iced tea. The authentic Thai cuisine is absolutely delicious and includes many different entrees including a variety of curries, noodles, salads, and awesome homemade Thai desserts. Late Night Music happens from 10:30pm-1:00am Fridays and Saturdays and includes many genres of music and DJs. Happy Hour is every day from 3-6:30pm with half-off appetizers and drink specials.

Nattiya’s Thai Restaurant serves some of the finest Thai cuisine in North County. It’s classy but unpretentious, with white tablecloths and fresh flowers. We recommend any of the Thai Curry dishes and especially the Seafood Love Boat. This savory entrée is a wonderful combination of steamed seafood overflowing with fresh salmon, calamari, mussels, shrimp, and scallops. The boat is partially filled with a special Thai garlic/lime soup and comes with a small side dish of lemongrass chili sauce. Cut their FREE ENTRÉE coupon, or their 15% OFF coupon from their ad on our Dining Pages.

Northern Spirits and Nattiya’s Thai is located at 727 West San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos 92069  (in the Denny’s shopping center, across the street from Staples and Best Buy, just a couple of blocks from Restaurant Row).  Ask about catering, musical guests, and daily specials. Nattiya’s delivers to most North County areas. Call (760) 736-9999 or visit www.nattiyathai.com.

Pizzaiolo

Micah De Luca is a third generation pizza maker from Sicilian grandparents and is an expert Italian culinary chef and master pizza chef. He has recently been handed the family pizza paddle and has officially taken over Pizzaiolo. Micah is part of the famed De Luca family that has been serving San Diegans since 1984. Chef De Luca serves some of the tastiest authentic Italian dishes in San Diego including Chicken Ziti, Baked Ziti, Eggplant Permigiana, Lasagne with Italian Sausage and Spaghetti with Meatballs.

Encinitas locals know how good Pizzaiolo’s hand-tossed, stone-baked Sicilian-style pizza really is. The pizza is made with the finest Grande cheese, fresh locally grown vegetables, imported ingredients and baked right on the oven shelf for the most perfect crispy crust. The quaint restaurant was recently remodeled with new floors, counters, displays, tables, and appliances. Many local favorites remain on the menu but the menu has increased in size with wonderful new entrees and other items.

In addition to custom gourmet pizzas, such as their Margarita, Bianca, Pesto and Shrimp, Hawaiian, Vegetarian, and Barbeque Chicken, the menu offers some amazing new choices including Calzone and Stromboli. We highly recommend their Zitti and any of their pizzas, but we especially love their fresh vegie pizza. You can also order amazing Italian Subs, Torpedos, Capicolla and Cheese and Pastrami and Cheese sandwiches. And, yes,  they still serve pizza by the slice and offer daily specials such as 2-slices and soda for $6 or 1-slice and large soda for $4.

Clip their $2 OFF any single pizza coupon from their ad in this publication. Pizziaolo is located at 554 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas 92024 in the same shopping center as El Nopalito and 7-Eleven just east of I-5 freeway. Call (760) 753-2885 to Eat-in or Take-out or visit www.pizzaioloencinitas.com.

Casa de Bandini

Searching for a location to fiesta for the holidays? Look no further than North County’s beloved Casa de Bandini in The Forum Carlsbad. Owned and operated by Diane Powers, this award-winning restaurant is an ideal location for holiday gatherings – whether you’re in a group of 5 or 125. For large holiday parties, Casa de Bandini’s vibrant dining rooms, heated outdoor patios, splashing fountains, festive strolling mariachis, frosty birdbath margaritas and authentic Mexican cuisine will give your guests something to rave about. Bandini’s seasoned staff gets the job done with an abundance of different banquet and catering menu options, made with only the finest ingredients, and paired with homemade sauces using original and regional recipes.

If you’re dining out with a smaller group of friends or family, be sure to try their new holiday-themed specials, including their famed Holiday Turkey Mole Tamales. Their Turkey Tamales are two homemade tamales filled with turkey, raisins, chopped walnuts and apples, topped with a delicious dark mole sauce and sesame seeds, and served with achiote vegetables and black beans. It’s truly a holiday feast!

In addition to their delicious cuisine, Casa de Bandini offers an extensive collection of premium and specialty tequilas, with more than 95 varieties to choose from. ¡Olé!

So whether you’re hosting an intimate holiday gathering with family and friends, or celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with your entire staff, make it a holiday fiesta to remember at Casa de Bandini, or one of Diane Powers’ other fine Mexican restaurants, which include Casa Sol y Mar in Del Mar Highlands, Casa Guadalajara in Old Town and Casa de Pico in La Mesa. Casa de Bandini is open every day and is located at 1901 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad, 92009, in The Forum Carlsbad. Call (760) 634-3443 or visit www.casadebandini.com.

Pacifica Del Mar and Breeze Café

Celebrating 27 years, Pacifica Del Mar’s enchanting atmosphere, excellent service, exquisite cuisine, fine wines, cocktails, and breathtaking Del Mar panoramic ocean views, make this one of the finest restaurants in Coastal North County. Pacifica Del Mar and Breeze Café are open every day, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. They’ll have a special prix fixe menu for the holidays or you can order off their regular menu. Christmas dinner will consist of 3 courses where you can order one of four starters; one of six entrees (Turkey, Prime Rib, Seabass, Salmon, swordfish, or Pork Chop); and one of three desserts.

New Year’s Eve will be lively with two dinner seatings; the first from 5 to 7:30pm and the other from 8 to 12 midnight, with a special 5-course prix fixe menu. Their New Year’s Eve Party has no cover and includes a midnight toast and complimentary midnight hors d’oeuvres. The party includes Happy Hour All Night and will have a DJ that you won’t want to miss. Call for reservations and check their website for updates, any changes and details.

The Ocean Bar and restaurant are a local gathering place, where high style and Del Mar culture come together for lovely libations and extraordinary cuisine. With a wide selection of premium vodkas and spirits, they are recipients of the Gold Medallion for “Best Seafood Dining in San Diego,” and Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence.”  Located downstairs, with shimmering ocean views, enjoy Pacifica Breeze Café’s gorgeous breakfasts and lunches with their signature hash specialty dishes. Try their famous Mimosas and Bloody Marys!

Happy Hour is nightly from 4-6:30 PM and all night long on Sundays and Mondays. Happy Hour features half-off items, including tacos, flatbreads, and more. Wednesdays are martini and oyster nights with oysters on the half shell 3 for $6, 6 for $12, and 12 for $24; vodka and gin drinks are $7. Thursdays are lively with half-off wine.

Pacifica Del Mar and Breeze Café are located at 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar 92014. Call (858) 792-0476 or visit www.pacificadelmar.com.

Daily News Café

Serving the community since 1990, the Daily News Café is celebrating their 27th anniversary in downtown Carlsbad Village. On any given day, enjoy an ice-cold craft beer with a delicious sandwich and salad. This historic Carlsbad restaurant is truly a North County dining destination. Many of their staff and cooks have been working there for years and have become local celebrities. Waitress Deena Vongxay has been serving happy customers for 27 years. The longevity of the staff, as well as the great food and service, are the reasons for the popularity of this downtown village bistro.

Guests enjoy homemade comfort breakfasts and lunches, inside or outside on the beautiful patio, while people watching and taking in the sunshine and fresh ocean air. Three to four times a year, retired Marine officers who flew A-4 Skyhawks, during the Vietnam war (and after) gather to meet at their favorite breakfast place in Carlsbad. These Marine Vets come from near and far to meet, for the past ten years, at the Daily News Café.

Located just steps from Carlsbad Beach, with a picturesque view of the Carlsbad sign on highway 101, breakfast is served all day every day, and lunch is served from 11am to 4pm. Their very popular menu includes a wide assortment of omelets ranging in price from $8.95 to $10.95. All omelets are three eggs and served with hash browns, sautéed red potatoes, fresh fruit or refried beans and your choice of toast, biscuit, or blueberry muffin. Other breakfast favorites include Eggs Benedict, Huevos Rancheros, and a Breakfast Burrito. Locals love their Belgian Waffles, Buttermilk Pancakes, French Toast, and wide assortment of Crepes. Try their famous Bloody Marys and Mimosas!

Lunch includes craft beer pairings with their 1/3 pound Belly Bomber Burgers, Chicken Sandwiches and many other sandwiches and salad options. We love their Half Sandwich and Soup combo and recommend their delicious Chicken Salad Sandwich served with any of their delicious seasonal soups. Daily News Café is located at 3001 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad 92008. They are open daily from 6:30am to 4pm. Call (760) 729-1023 or visit www.dailynewscafe.com.

Vigilucci’s Restaurant Group

Host your holiday party, celebration or corporate event at one of Vigilucci’s unique restaurants. Schedule an appointment with their professional planner, Kim Maniero, to plan your next event, and be sure to book early for best availability. Make your New Year’s reservations soon! New Year’s Eve dinner will offer a complimentary Prosecco toast to go with your Prix Fix dinner menu. They will also be open New Year’s Day for lunch and dinner.

The Vigilucci’s team has been in the business of creating delicious meals for over 23 years. Their popular dining destinations are renowned for award-winning cuisine, superb service and attention to detail. They offer authentic Italian homemade pastas, prime steaks and fresh seafood in casual upscale surroundings to ensure a unique dining experience.

Each restaurant offers something special. Vigilucci’s Trattoria has three patios and a piano bar. Vigilucci’s Seafood and Steakhouse has stunning 180 degree views of the Pacific Ocean. Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana, on State Street in Carlsbad Village, has recently been remodeled and now has windows that open to their expanded patio. They have a great happy hour and their mostly Italian staff creates an authentic Italian experience. If you’re seeking catering services, consult the experts at Vigilucci’s Gourmet Market and Catering on State Street in Carlsbad. They will advise you about all your needs, from made-to-order hors d’oeuvres and party trays, to full-service catering. Relax at the newly expanded curbside café, an extension of Vigilucci’s Market and enjoy a hot or cold authentic Italian Panini, lasagna or the vegetarian lunch special along with a glass of wine or a cold beer. Enjoy the afternoon Panino & Vino special for $15 that includes a made-from-scratch panino and a glass of house wine, available Mon – Thurs, from 2-6 p.m.

To book a party or for reservations, call (760) 670-7173 or visit www.vigiluccis.com or contact catering at catering@vigiluccis.com.

Pelly’s Fish Market and Grill

Pelly’s is one of the original fresh fish markets in Coastal North County, and is located just steps from Carlsbad State Beach. Enjoy grilled fish plates or customized seafood platters over the holidays! Their food is simply amazing and their Fresh Fish Market is always stocked with your favorites, including local catch.  It’s the perfect place for a late breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and the perfect choice for the freshest fish and people watching. Located in the Poinsettia Village Shopping Center, you’ll enjoy some of the freshest and tastiest char-grilled fish sandwiches, plates, or salads in San Diego.

Pelly’s is the number one place to order custom-made seafood platters to suit any size holiday party or family get-together. Select any combination of fish or crustacean from their fresh seafood display including ahi or salmon sashimi, jumbo shrimp, ceviche, stone crab, bay shrimp salad, and more. If you prefer, they will make a “cooked” seafood platter for you, too.

Depending on the season, Pelly’s Fish Market offers lobster, large fillets of fresh ahi, yellowtail, albacore, mahi-mahi, halibut, Atlantic salmon, swordfish, sea bass (perfect for the barbecue), and a wide assortment of local shellfish including oysters, clams and mussels.

Pelly’s has an excellent reputation for serving their signature char-grilled entrees. We recommend their mahi-mahi, halibut, and grilled fish tacos. If you’re in the mood for a salad, try their fresh Ono salad, Pelly’s special salad, or their stone crab salad. They have the best chowder too! Pelly’s is not a fancy sit-down restaurant; but the quality of their freshly prepared seafood more than makes up for it, and the prices are very reasonable. Check the board for their Catch of the Day.

Pelly’s Fish Market is open 7-days a week. They are located in the Poinsettia Village Shopping Center at 7110 Avenida Encinas #101, Carlsbad CA 92011. Call (760) 431-8454 or visit www.pellysfish.com.

Steakhouse at Jalapeno Grill and Cantina

Steakhouse at Jalapeno Grill is always an excellent choice to go for lunch or dinner over the holidays. One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, owner and chef, Ray Alto, from the famed Fireside Restaurant, offers his guests some of the finest steaks grilled over a mesquite flame and the best Certified Angus Prime Rib anywhere. Steak dinners come with baked bread, soup or salad, garden vegetables, and your choice of lemon rice, fries, baked potato or their famous Jalapeno Cheddar Mashed Redskin Potatoes, which are fabulous!

There are many steakhouses in San Diego, but Jalapeno’s Certified Angus Prime Rib is simply the best in town. If the Prime Rib doesn’t grab you, try the Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon, Ribeye, Porterhouse, Top Sirloin or New York Strip. Appetizers include scrumptious servings of Fried Macaroni and Jalapeno Cheese, Jalapeno Mozzarella Sticks, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Coconut Shrimp and Three Cheese Nachos. Soups and salads are perfect with any dish.

Steakhouse at Jalapeno has a bustling Happy Hour every Monday – Friday from 3-7pm with drink and food specials. Clip their coupon from our coupon pages or download from northcountysun.com/category/coupons/. GET 50% OFF ENTRÉE with the purchase of an equal or greater value entrée plus two drinks. Not valid for To Go orders, holidays, Happy Hour, Filet Mignon, or with any other offer. Must present coupon.  Steakhouse at Jalapeno Grill & Cantina is located at 503 W. Grand, Escondido, 92025. Open Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm, and Fri and Sat 11am-10pm. Call (760) 233-1104. Visit www.jalapenogrillandcantina.com.

La Tapatia Mexican Restaurant and Cantina

This is the place to be in Escondido for the holidays for great authentic Mexican cuisine, and on Saturday nights for the best Salsa, Cumbia and Merengue dancing. One of San Diego’s oldest and most treasured family Mexican restaurants, La Tapatia dates back to 1937 when it was founded and operated by Ernesto and Salome Acosta. What began as a small neighborhood diner from within their home on Grand Avenue, is now a landmark in North County where guests enjoy the finest authentic Mexican cuisine.

La Tapatia is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are famous for their signature homemade pork tamales, which are a great holiday tradition, but are on the menu every day of the week! They offer lunch specials daily from 11am-3pm. Their full bar comes to life during Happy Hour and late nights. Happy Hour is seven days a week from 3-7pm and has food specials such as $1.99 tacos, $2.25 fish tacos, chicken wings, jalapeno poppers, shrimp quesadilla, shrimp ceviche, and an assortment of Happy Hour drink specials. Make your holiday party plans now!

Other La Tapatia favorites include Chile Con Carne, Flautas Guacamole, and their famous Chicken Mole. Prices are very reasonable. You can make your own combo plate with a choice of tacos, enchilada, tamale, chile relleno, and tostada. You can also order almost anything a la carte, and they serve wonderful desserts including flan.

Clip their coupon from our coupon pages or download it from northcountysun.com/category/coupons/.  GET 50% OFF ANY ENTRÉE when you purchase an entrée of equal or greater value. Not valid Fridays, holidays, happy hour, breakfast, To Go orders, or any other discounts or offers. Must present coupon. La Tapatia is located at 340 W. Grand Ave, Escondido 92025. Call (760) 747-8282.

It’s Tabu Sushi

Tabu is always an excellent choice for a New Year’s Eve dinner and celebration. They’ll have drink and party specials all night long! This innovative sushi restaurant boasts a varied menu that includes specialties you may never have heard of, and may even be a bit tabu to some.  Tabu specializes in fresh, spicy, tangy, made-to-order sushi and Japanese fusion with a twist, and refers to their fusion flavors, such as the “Tabu Touch.” Their Lemon Cilantro Roll is crazy delicious with a very fresh and zesty cool taste. This one has crab meat inside with salmon, avocado, cucumber, slices of lemon, and Sriracha sauce. The Garlic Teriyaki Edamame is very tasty.  Another winner is the Ceviche Roll, a delicious mix of fresh raw fish and shrimp without rice. Their cream cheese stuffed Jalapeno poppers are also great. Don’t see what you’re looking for on the menu? Feel free to ask Armando or one of the other sushi chefs to create it for you.

Join Tabu on game days and bowl games. They have a bustling Happy Hour from 4-7pm; Sake Hour is Friday and Saturday nights from 7pm to close; and they offer Late Night Specials including 1/2 OFF house sake shots or $1 sake shots.  It’s Tabu Sushi offers great lunch specials, too. Located in San Marcos, across the street from California State University San Marcos, It’s Tabu is very popular for lunches, dinners, and late nights. They have a spacious floor plan with a long “L’ shaped sushi bar, a beer/wine/sake bar, plenty of tables and booths, flat screen TVs for football and sports, and a comfortable outdoor patio. There’s plenty of room for holiday parties.

CLIP THEIR 15% OFF ANY PURCHASE COUPON from our coupon pages or download it from northcountysun.com/category/coupons.  It’s Tabu Sushi is located at 344 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos 92078 (in the Ralph’s shopping center). Call (760) 591-0811 or visit www.itstabusushi.com.

Tip Top Meats

The holidays are here and Tip Top Meats is the place to find the finest whole, fresh, smoked, or oven baked, natural range-grown turkeys. You won’t find a tastier, juicier, turkey anywhere. We recommend ordering your Christmas or New Year’s turkey, turkducken, ham, or goose early! Come to Tip Top Meats with your family and friends and enjoy the best Prime Rib Dinner in San Diego. It is a massive portion served with baked or mashed potatoes and gravy, sauerkraut or broccoli, soup or salad and a roll. Tip Top always makes, serves, and sells the finest and largest variety of sausage from around the world.

For the holidays, stock up on USDA Choice and Prime cuts for a delicious celebration. They have the biggest selection of roasts to choose from. They also have the finest Homemade Sausages, Natural Diestel Turkeys, Turkducken, Duck, Lamb, Tri-Tip, and New York Steaks. Tip Top is a one-of-a-kind butcher shop, a gourmet European-style delicatessen, and a full service marketplace. Nobody in San Diego County comes close to the service and value at Tip Top. They have been providing the highest quality meat and poultry for North County residents since 1967. They serve Certified Angus Beef, the best quality there is. The Big John Breakfast and the Big John Burger are two of the heartiest and best value meals and deals in town.

Big John Haedrich  has a big heart and has given back 100-fold to residents, places of worship, schools, marine families, and community organizations.  This January John turns 89 years old. Andy Lee, Publisher of the North County Sun, says, “John is one of those amazing people who cross our paths once in a lifetime. I look up to him, and admire him and his achievements. He is a hard working, kind, and generous man with a big heart; and people who know him, love and respect him, and I wish him a Very Happy 89th Birthday!”

Tip Top Meats is located at 6118 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad 92011. Call (760) 438-2620 or visit www.tiptopmeats.com.

Top Choice Fish

Try a healthier choice over the holidays. Top Choice Fish “Fish in Motion” is Carlsbad’s and North County’s newest fish market and restaurant. It’s located next door to world famous Tip Top Meats butcher shop, Delicatessen and European Market, and near the Carlsbad Flower Fields and Carlsbad Beach. Check out their fully stocked live lobster tank, their live shrimp tank, and their live Dungeness crab tank. They now have a new caviar display case with fresh Russian, Canadian, and French caviar. You’ll be impressed with their large fresh fish display case, and beautiful interior décor. Top Choice’s fish monger, Joseph, is passionate about high quality fresh fish, and we’re sure that you’ll soon be hooked on this fully stocked fresh fish market and coastal eatery.

The fish market sells the finest quality and freshest seasonal fish and local catch at the best prices. Depending on the season, you’ll discover a wide selection of fresh fish, either whole or filet, along with shrimp, crab, oysters, muscles, Ahi poke, shrimp cocktail, crab salad, clams, squid, octopus, and lobster. The eatery offers eat-in or take-out options for grilled, fried, sautéed, steamed, and many kinds of smoked fish, just the way you like it! They prepare plates, salads, sandwiches, fish & chips and chowder, along with a selection of wine, beer, and soft drinks. We highly recommend their grilled halibut plate and their beer-battered fish and chips! You really have to try some of their smoked trout, salmon, and white fish!

Top Choice Fish is open daily for lunch and dinner and is located at 6118 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92011. Dine-in or take-out. Available for catering parties and events of any size. Call (760) 517-8682 or visit their Facebook page or website at www.topchoicefish.com.

Tower 13

Tower 13 will have great drinks and live music on NYE and college bowl games on New Year’s Day. When we think of the beach, great food, music, football on TV, and ice-cold drinks, Tower 13 always comes to mind. This fun, and very beachy, bar and restaurant is the place to go if you’re in the mood for some fine local music, perfect drinks, and excellent food. Tower 13, is one of the most popular local hangouts for meeting people, eating, drinking, watching sports on 27 TVs, and enjoying live entertainment. They have two outdoor patios and one is dog friendly. This is an excellent place for holiday gatherings and parties!

Check out their Saturday and Sunday Specials. Try their all-you-can-eat Breakfast Buffet from 9 to noon.  Adults are $15.95 and kids 12 and under are $8.95.  They serve Opera Prima mimosas from 9 to 2. Mimosa prices start at $8/bottle at 9am. We highly recommend their Apple Brie Burger or their BBQ Burger with pulled pork, bacon, onion strings and cheddar cheese! Their Wings menu is unsurpassed with the best sauces around. Happy Hour is Monday to Friday 3:30-6:30pm, and late night 9:30pm to close. Monday is Happy Hour All Day until Close and All You Can Eat Chicken Wings from 5:30-10pm! Tuesday features Tacos, Tequila, and Beer Specials from 3:30-6:30pm, and Trivia starts at 7pm. Wednesday is Live Country Music, dance lessons, and dancing! Thursday is Prime Rib with mash and veggies for $14.99, Oyster Shooters, and Martini Madness from 6:30pm-close. Friday is Fried Fish and Fries from 5-9pm for $7.99, and Martini Madness 6:30pm-close, with Live Music. Saturday is Brunch with Bottomless Mimosas 9:00am-noon, Martini Madness, and Live Rock or Pop Music. Sunday is Brunch w/Bottomless Mimosas, and Live Music.

Tower 13 is located at 2633 S. Coast Hwy 101, Cardiff by the Sea. Call (760) 635-1200 or visit www.tower13.com.

Ignite Bistro & Wine Spot

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Ignite and ring in 2018 starting with a 4-Course Dinner for Two for $115. They will have seatings at 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm. Live band begins at 9pm in the lounge, and there will be a DJ on the patio. Enjoy party favors and a Champagne toast at midnight! Please call restaurant as there are no online reservations. Don’t forget about their famous New Year’s Day Brunch from 10am-3pm with $13.50 bottomless Mimosas and live music from 11:30-2:30. Receive a $20 Thank You card if you book your NYE dinner between 4-6:15pm. Bowl games and game time menu specials with happy hour from 3-6:30pm.  By the way, they will also have a Christmas Eve Brunch from 10-3pm with $13.50 bottomless mimosas.

Kid’s Eat Free on Saturdays from 4pm to close with one free kids meal with purchase of one adult entrée! Ignite is a great place to bring friends and family, impress a client, or a date. There isn’t a bad seat in the house inside or outside on their beautifully designed and decorated Spanish-style patio garden with outside bar and fireplace. Located in La Costa, overlooking La Costa Green’s rolling hills, Ignite is one of North County’s favorite hangouts. It offers an extensive wine collection to accompany their delectable appetizers, entrees and popular wood-fired, hand crafted Neapolitan-style pizza. Other offerings include sizzling juicy burgers and tender choice steaks. Visit their Oyster Bar with oyster happy hour 6:30-7:30pm, except for Fridays.

Uncork, drink and enjoy from a large selection of domestic or imported wines. Happy Hour is daily from 3-6:30pm with $4-6 drink specials and $6-10 food specials. Saturday and Sunday Brunch is from 10am-3pm.  Enjoy live music on Sundays. Catch bowl games with the sound on in the lounge! Ignite Bistro & Wine Spot is located at 6996 El Camino Real, Carlsbad 92011. Call 760-438-7800 or visit www.ignitecarlsbad.com.

The Broken Yolk Café

The Broken Yolk Café is open every day, including holidays, for breakfast and lunch. They’ll be open Christmas, Christmas Day, New Year’s and New Year’s Day. They serve great food, with sizable portions, and provide professional service, with reasonable prices. Consistency in their food and service is what makes this place a winner.

The Broken Yolk serves $6.95 breakfast specials everyday from 6-8am, e.g.: two eggs any style with bacon or sausage, home fries and toast; two eggs, two pancakes and two pieces of bacon or sausage; and other great specials! Broken Yolk is famous for their very large tasty omelets. Offering many delicious favorites that will satisfy your appetite, you can build your own omelet with a selection of cheeses and as many ingredients as you like. We also enjoy their blueberry pancakes, crepes, French toast, and Belgian waffles. Lunch at the Broken Yolk includes a wide selection of burgers, soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps. For something really special, try their 1/2 pound Angus Burgers or their amazing Club Sandwich. The Club is a triple-decker filled with oven-roasted turkey breast, bacon strips, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a Brioche bun. It comes with your choice of onion rings, fries, potato salad or slaw. It’s a meal and a half. You can’t beat it!

For the really hungry, try their Iron Man and Iron Woman Challenge. It’s a 12-egg omelet filled with mushrooms, onions and American cheese, smothered with their house-made chili and more cheese. It’s served in a 15-inch pizza pan with a generous pile of home fries and two biscuits. This is for one person only and you get a one-hour time limit to gobble it down. It’s $24.95, but if you can eat it within one hour, the omelet is free.

The Broken Yolk Café is one of the most popular breakfast and lunch restaurants throughout San Diego. There are six locations in North County: La Costa at 7670 El Camino Real 92009; San Marcos at 101 S. Las Posas Rd. San Marcos 92078; Carmel Mountain at 11630 Carmel Mtn Rd.; Del Mar at 2642 Del Mar Heights Rd; Oceanside at 2434 Vista Way. Call (760) 943-8182 or visit www.thebrokenyolkcafe.com.

Seafire Restaurant + Bar

Make your holiday and New Year’s Eve reservations before it’s too late. They will have a special menu or you can order off their regular menu for New Year’s Eve and will have live music on their heated patio. Seafire in Carlsbad is where a husband and wife team work together in the kitchen preparing memorable seafood, Italian, Greek, and Mediterranean delights. Like a harmonious violinist and cellist, the two of them create delicious dining delicacies.  Using the freshest vegetables, seasonings and ingredients, they accent their masterpiece Lamb Chops, Steamed Mussels, Shrimp Scampi, Seared Scallops, Kabobs, Rack of Lamb, or Crispy Skin Salmon, with whipped garlic potatoes, and sautéed Brussels sprouts. Their salads and soups are delicious. Try the Ahi Sliders, Roasted Beet Salad, the Greek Salad, or Fish Chowder. Try their wood-fired pizza from their signature Napoleon-style brick oven. The Italian made, custom designed, domed brick oven produces authentic, delicious pizza with perfectly browned thin crust. You will be impressed.

Everything on the menu is delicious and their happy hour is always lively.  Remember the old Rain Tree restaurant and lounge that used to be on Paseo del Norte and Poinsettia? Well, it seems that all of those customers are now at Seafire, including the bartender. Stop in and have a drink! Located in South Carlsbad near the corner of Palomar Airport Rd. and Paseo del Norte, family owned and operated, Seafire Restaurant and Bar is definitely worth a try. The indoor décor is filled with natural light and the outdoor patio is welcoming, with a large open window and attached bar. It’s the perfect place for sipping wine, one of their 14 local craft beers, or a signature cocktail. Got the late night munchies? Seafire’s kitchen is open late every night! Live music happens on the patio Wednesday through Saturday.

Seafire is open every day. Happy Hour is ALL DAY on Sunday, daily from 3:30-6:30pm, and 10pm until close Sun-Thurs. Clip or download their coupon from their ad or on our Coupon Pages or download from northcountysun.com/category/coupons/ and get 20% OFF your entire check. Some restrictions apply. Seafire is located at 6030 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad 92011. Call (760) 603-9672 or visit www.seafirerestaurantcarlsbad.com.

Solterra Winery & Kitchen

The barrel room is a wonderful choice for a holiday celebration, or end-of-the-year party and New Year’s Eve! Happy Hour is every day M-W 3-6pm, Th-Sun 12-6pm, and all day and night on Mondays! The Tasting Room is open daily: M-Thurs 3-5pm; and F-Sun 12-5pm. Lunch is Sat-Sun 12-5pm. Dinner is served 7 days a week 5-10pm. Sunday Brunch is served from 10am and features bottomless mimosas! Tuesdays are Wine and Cheese Nights with artisanal pizzas and wine blending. Wednesdays are Ladies Nights with extended Happy Hour from 3-7:30pm. The winery is a wood barrel room with fermentation tanks, a crusher and press. It’s a real working winery! Hang out in the barrel room, sit at their long concrete outdoor fire pit bar located just inches from the sidewalk, on their exquisite real grape vine-draped back patio, at the bar, or in the dining room.

If you enjoy wine tasting, or are interested in joining a wine club, there’s nothing better than sipping award-winning wine and enjoying the finest cuisine at Solterra in Leucadia.

The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is the most prestigious and largest competition of American wines in the world; and in 2015, Solterra was the biggest winner! They won Best of Class for their Costa Azul-2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Double Gold for their Christopher Cameron Vineyards 2012 Malbec, Gold for their Solterra Winery Mestizo “GSM”, Silver for their 2013 Pinot Noir, and Silver for their 2009 Petit Sirah.

The Van Alyea family, a married couple with two young daughters and a lovely golden retriever, are answering the dreams of North County residents and visitors who love fine wine, craft beers, great food, and the SoCal beach lifestyle. Please call or check website for live music and special events. Solterra is at 934 N. Coast Hwy 101, Leucadia. Call (760) 230-2970 or visit www.solterrawinery.com.

10 Twenty Prime

Get your knives and forks ready for a memorable Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve dining experience at one of the finest steak, ribs, and seafood restaurants in North County. Locals and loyal guests enjoy this polished but casual dining establishment, not just for the great cuisine including the finest quality steaks, ribs, and fresh seafood, but for the exemplary service and prices. Two words for 10 Twenty Prime: absolutely delicious!

10 Twenty Prime has the happiest Happy Hours around and gets 5 stars on Yelp Reviews. Happy Hour is ALL DAY Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am to 7pm, and Monday – Friday 4pm to 7pm. They offer delicacies such as: (3) Angus Sliders for $6; (3) Filet Mignon sliders for $8; Sirloin and Baked Potato for $10; (3) Shrimp Tacos for $5; Coconut Shrimp for $6; Well Cocktails and all Bottle and Draft Beers for only $3.

Satisfaction is always the goal; and 10 Twenty Prime consistently hits the mark with their friendly and thoughtful service. They have a very lively bar and a beautiful wood paneled white table-clothed indoor dining room. They also have a comfortable open-air, heated outdoor patio. Signature entrées include grilled filet mignon, rib eye, top sirloin, New York steaks, baby back ribs from the grill, grilled or blackened mahi mahi, and grilled salmon. Their Daily Specials are amazing. On Sunday try their full slab baby back ribs for only $18 and on Mondays try their $20 BBQ Combo. The BBQ Combo comes with 1/2 barbecue chicken & 1/3 rack of baby back ribs!

Get 1/2 OFF lunch or dinner entrée when you purchase an entrée and two drinks. Clip their coupon from their ad or from our Coupon Pages, or download it from www.NorthCountySun.com/coupons. Must present coupon. 10 Twenty Prime is located at 1020 West San Marcos Blvd, San Marcos 92078, in Old California Restaurant Row. Call (760) 736-4343.

Bushfire Kitchen

Looking for a special place for the holidays? Bushfire, Del Mar’s latest eatery sensation always hits the mark. Located in Del Mar, in the Beach Side Shopping Center, locals have quickly discovered that this place is a real winner. With 4-5 star ratings on Yelp and Trip Advisor, they specialize in farm fresh food made the old-fashioned way – from scratch – with the finest ingredients. The Zagat review states “Organic, grass-fed BBQ is the name of the game at these popular ‘cue specialists in La Costa and now Del Mar, serving grass-fed hamburgers, antibiotic-free chicken and locally sourced vegetables, alongside scratch-made breads and dressings.” We give Bushfire high ratings for quality, healthy, organic, humanely raised food with bold flavors and affordable prices.

This December, treat a family member of friend to a free breakfast! Clip their coupon on their ad and get one free breakfast entrée with the purchase of one entrée. Bushfire serves breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner. If you’re a coffee fan, start your morning with a cup of gourmet coffee, ground fresh daily, from Zumbar Coffee of Sorrento Valley. Try a frothy steamed espresso latte for only $3.75, with an order of Eggs Benedict or French Toast. For lunch and dinner, awaken your taste buds with their tender, slow-braised Angus Beef Brisket or Chipotle Short Ribs. Their slow-braise oven cooks meats overnight and ensures the meat falls off the bone. Their 1/2 lb. succulent burgers are made from fresh, never frozen, organic grass-fed beef or lamb. Dine inside or on their comfortable and exquisitely lit outdoor patio complete with outdoor bar. They have 12 craft beers on tap and a nice wine selection.

Everything on the menu is made from scratch. Side dishes include baked sweet potato, organic brown rice, Himalayan Basmati rice, garlic mashed potatoes, and bacon and baked beans. Try their premium hot sides and cold salads. One of our favorites is quinoa, beet and wild arugula salad.  To-go boxes are made from recycled paper. Del Mar Bushfire Kitchen is located at 2602 Del Mar Heights Rd, Del Mar 92014. Call (858) 461-0946 or visit www.bushfirekitchen.com for their other locations.

Pollos Maria

Located in Carlsbad in the Village and in Oceanside at the Old Grove Market Place, Pollo’s Maria has been serving the most delicious, freshest, and healthiest Mexican food to satisfied customers for 33 years! The reason for their longevity is that they have arguably the best tasting char-broiled chicken in North County and throughout San Diego. The service is excellent and efficient; the menu is extensive, and the prices are reasonable. If you are looking for great tasting Mexican food, we just cannot say enough about this place. The Oceanside restaurant interior is spacious, beautifully decorated and perfect for parties this holiday season. Their Carlsbad Village location has a wonderful outdoor patio with umbrellas and fire pits and is the perfect place to hang out with family and friends.

Pollos Maria is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. During the holidays, they make and serve delicious tamales. Their daily menu includes Maria’s House Specialties, featuring a whole broiled chicken for $15.99, or half chicken for only $7.99. Their Combo Plates, such as Chile Rellano, Enchilladas, and Tacos, are fantastic. The chicken tacos (soft or hard shell) are as good as, if not better than, any chicken tacos in all of San Diego. You can order burritos, tacos, tostadas, or their famous chicken soup, salads, tortas, chips and salsa, quesadillas, nachos, and a selection of wonderful desserts. Come early for a breakfast burrito, menudo (served Saturday and Sunday), or their huevos rancheros or chorizo, eggs and cheese plates. They stock domestic and imported beers and wine, and catering is available.

We love Pollos Maria! They have two locations. Carlsbad: 3055 Harding Street in Carlsbad Village (760) 729-4858. Oceanside: 125 Old Grove Road #8, Oceanside (760) 435-9071 or visit www.pollosmaria.com.

Ahi Sushi and Grill

Looking for some great sushi? Extremely popular and well known in San Marcos and throughout San Diego, Ahi Sushi and Grill is open every day and serves some of the most delicious and best-valued sushi around. Located near California State University San Marcos, it is very popular with college students and faculty, residents, local business people, and everyone who loves great sushi at reasonable prices. Their sushi is high quality, and the service is absolutely outstanding. We eat here about three times a month. The service is usually fast. We have never been in a sushi restaurant where you get your order so quickly. Every day, Ahi Sushi offers 50% off cut rolls, special rolls, and sushi; and 50% off items are highlighted on their sushi menu. They also have lunch and dinner specials, sake bombs, and beers for Happy Hour. “You say sake, we say bomb!” Sake Bombs during Happy Hour are only $7.95!

Try Ahi Sushi’s very tasty 16- piece cut roll combo. It includes 4 pieces of Philly roll + 4 pieces of spicy tuna roll + 4 pieces of California roll + 4 pieces of smoked salmon roll. We highly recommend the 8 piece Caterpillar Roll, their famous 8 piece Albacore Special Roll, and their Ahi Special Roll (our all-time favorite!). Their menu is extensive and includes Teriyaki Chicken, Orange Chicken, Katsu Chicken, Yakisoba (stir fried noodles), Tempura Udon, Seafood Udon, Egg Rolls, Gyoza, a wide assortment of specialty rolls, appetizers, party platters, soups, salads, beer, wine, sake and desserts.

GET A FREE 8-PIECE CRUNCHY ROLL ($12 value) with any purchase of $15 or more! Must present coupon. Either clip from our ad, coupon pages, or download from northcountysun.com/category/coupons/. Ahi Sushi and Grill is located at 157 N. Twin Oaks Valley Road, #136, San Marcos, CA 92069 (next to L.A. Fitness). Please call (760) 761-0238.

Tony’s Jacal

Tony’s is a very popular gathering place all year long, but is especially popular over the holidays. This wonderful neighborhood restaurant is famous for their turkey or pork tamales, which are a holiday favorite, but Tony’s are available all year round. People will be ordering them like crazy over the holidays. Treat your family and friends to the most delicious Mexican cuisine anywhere in San Diego. If you are looking for a really authentic Mexican restaurant, Tony’s Jacal is “One of the most authentic north of the border…” according to the Zagat Survey. Taste the flavors of old Mexico and enjoy the history of one of the first Mexican restaurants in San Diego!

Tony’s Jacal (pronounced hakal) is one of San Diego’s oldest and most treasured Mexican restaurants. Located in Solana Beach, they serve the most authentic Mexican food and beverages this side of the border. This historic San Diego landmark opened its doors in 1946 as a small neighborhood house where neighbors would stop by for a delicious meal. Its reputation built over the years because the cuisine is absolutely delicious and the atmosphere and service are outstanding. For three generations, Tony’s Jacal has been serving family specialties, like their famous chile relleno, turkey tacos, turkey enchiladas, shrimp burritos, tantalizing tamales, and fabulous flautas.

Tony’s Jacal has a beautiful floral outdoor garden patio and live Mariachi music in the evenings. Their classic cantina has been recently remodeled with new lighting, a new bar top, and comfortable bar stools. The lounge offers a wide selection of tequila, mescal, and delicious Margaritas. Happy Hour is Monday to Friday from 5 to 7pm. Lunch is served Mon-Sat 11am – 2pm; Dinner is served weekdays 5-9:30pm, Fri and Sat 5-10pm, Sun 3-9:30pm. They are closed on Tuesdays. If you are looking for an authentic Mexican restaurant experience, with wonderful food, drinks and the finest service, Tony’s Jacal is the place!

Tony’s Jacal is located just west of the I-5 Fwy and just south of Lomas Santa Fe at 621 Valley Avenue, Solana Beach, 92075. Call (858) 755-2274 or visit www.tonysjacal.com

Gregorio’s

Gregorio’s Restaurant is open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! They are located upstairs at the Village Fair Shopping Center in Carlsbad Village. Gregorio’s serves authentic and savory Italian cuisine at very reasonable prices. Open every day for lunch and dinner, Gregorio’s is the perfect place to impress family and friends throughout the holidays. We recommend their Shrimp Fra Diavlo, a shrimp and spicy marinara tossed with linguini, or their Angel Hair Pasta with Meat Sauce. They offer a wide selection for lunch and dinner with signature dishes such as linguini, lasagna, fettuccini Alfredo, eggplant parmesan, steaks, Sicilian chicken, pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, soups, salads, appetizers and desserts, including homemade cannoli.

Their full bar has College Bowl Games on and serves Happy Hour Monday – Friday with $5 appetizers and daily drink specials. Martini Mondays are great with $2 off martinis; Tuesdays have Two-for Tuesday specials; Wednesday features 1/2 off all bottles of wine, all night; Thursdays you get $2 off all bottled beer; and Friday is TGIF with $2 off – you call it! Gregorio’s is open 11am-9pm weekdays, 11am-10pm Fridays and Saturdays, and Happy Hour is 3pm-6pm Monday through Friday. Gregorio’s offers a wide variety of light and healthy options, and is a great place to pop in and out for a quick lunch from 11-3. They will treat you as if it’s your home away from home.

Gregorio’s owner, Greg Nelson, has done more for families and children of the Carlsbad Boys and Girls Clubs than anyone can imagine. As a young boy, Greg grew up and spent his days going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Carlsbad. That experience had a profound effect on him and who he is today. From 2010 to 2012, he donated 100% of his restaurant’s profits to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Carlsbad. What a great, giving, and loving person! Gregorio’s is located in Carlsbad Village at 300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Suite 208, Carlsbad 92008. Call (760) 720-1132 or visit www.gregoriosrestaurant.com.

Patron – Tortilleria and Carniceria

If you crave delicious holiday tamales, this is the place! We love Patron and the owners and staff at Patron. We want everyone in San Marcos and nearby communities to know where to find the best authentic Mexican fresh-made-daily tamales ($1.89); tacos (.99 cents); hot, fresh, handmade daily tortillas (10 for $2.99); and Carne Asada combo plates for $6.39. Thinking about having a big holiday party? Have Patron cater your event!

Locals and Mexican-Americans already know how amazing this place is. Try their authentic Mexican food and you will be back often. Why go to a supermarket and buy mass-produced tortillas, when you can go to Patron and get freshly made, piping hot tortillas? The best time for hot tortillas is around 4-5pm. Why pay more for tacos when you can get authentic tacos for under a dollar? All tacos are made to order!

If you’re staying at the new Marriott Fairfield Inn on San Marcos Blvd, or if you’re a student at Palomar College or CSUSM, or if you live in San Elijo Hills, or nearby and you want real Mexican food, why not eat and shop where Mexican-Americans go! They have an assortment of Agua Frescas, which are fresh fruit-infused water drinks, including horchata (a cinnamon and rice drink); guacamole and salsa made fresh daily; Mexican cheeses and canned goods; fresh fruits and vegetables, including locally-grown tomatoes, avocados, lemons and papayas; and a great butcher shop with chicken, steak, goat, pork, and beef. Buy your carne asada here!

Every morning, Patron customers pick up delicious, hot tamales, and in the afternoon – piping hot, hand-made tortillas. Have Patron custom make your tacos. For your taco meat, we recommend Birria, a flavorful beef or goat stewed meat, or their Chicken mole. Top off your taco with red or green salsa, Mexican avocado sauce, cheese, onions, and fresh sliced lime. They sell out of tamales and tortillas every day; so get there early! Clip their .99 cent Taco Coupon (good every day!) from our coupon pages or download from northcountysun.com/category/coupons/. Patron is located at 204 W. San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos 92078. Call (760) 736-0086.

Bruegger’s Bagels

Bruegger’s Bagels is open every day of the year including Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year’s Eve and Day. Try a Bruegger’s Turkey Sandwich on a hot-from-the-oven Jalapeno and cheese or onion bagel.  Or start your day with one of their classic breakfast sandwiches with a poached egg and your choice of peppered bacon, ham, sausage or turkey sausage on a hot fresh bagel. We recommend their Western Bagel sandwich with egg, bacon, cheddar, chipotle sauce, green pepper, red pepper, and red onion on a hot fresh, hot bagel. Of course, our all-time favorite is their classic Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, stacked high on a fresh bagel with sliced tomato, red onions and capers. During the holidays try one of their delicious French toast bagels, with cream cheese.

In addition to their famous bagels, breakfast sandwiches and bagel sandwiches, Bruegger’s also offers a healthier “Under 500 Calorie” menu. If you are a calorie counter, try one of their Skinny Bagels. Guests can now order any of Bruegger’s 15-plus varieties “skinny,” due to Bruegger’s unique slicing process.  Instead of changing the recipe of its time-tested, New York-style bagel, Bruegger’s slices the bagels thinner using a process that removes approximately one-third of the bagel’s center but preserves its unique eggshell crust and delicious toppings. The result is a lower calorie bagel without sacrificing variety or taste.

Bruegger’s operates 300 bakeries in North America with 8 bakeries in San Diego. Renowned for its award winning bagels, Bruegger’s offers a wide variety of freshly prepared breakfast and lunch options made with high quality ingredients served with its unique brand of hospitality. You can find a Bruegger’s Bagels in North County at 7680 El Camino Real, Carlsbad 92009, or at 10625 Scripps Poway Parkway in Poway.  Call (760) 632-1432 or (858) 577-0300 or visit www.brueggers.com to find a location near you.

Harvest Ranch Market

Rancho Santa Fe Plaza’s anchor, Harvest Ranch Market, is a purveyor of fine foods, gourmet deli meats, poultry, seafood, salads, organic fruit and produce, international cheeses, wines and products of the world. This is a gourmet market that has been serving the San Diego Community for over 18 years.

Locally owned and operated, Harvest Ranch features a full-service butcher shop with premium Brandt Beef and Snake River Farms Idaho Kobe Beef, Midwestern Pork, Milk-fed Veal, Colorado Lamb, fresh air-chilled Chicken and Sushi-grade seafood. Their deli kitchens specialize in all natural, made-from-scratch, restaurant quality foods and a sandwich deli featuring Boar’s Head Brand deli meats and cheeses and a wide selection of homemade salads.  They offer sandwiches, salads and bakery items daily. They have online ordering through their website deli page using GrubHub, and deliver to your home or office. The produce department features a variety of organic and local produce, as well as imported produce from South America.

The wine department is second to none and each store has a team of experienced wine connoisseurs. They offer full service catering for all occasions, inclusive of any items from their store. Delivery options are also available to the greater Rancho Santa Fe and Encinitas areas. Harvest Ranch Market is located in the Rancho Santa Fe Plaza at 162 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, Encinitas 92014. Visit www.harvestranchmarkets.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Original Pancake House

The Original Pancake House is a third generation restaurant that originated in Portland, Oregon. Their signature breakfast dishes include The Dutch Baby, Mushroom Omelet with mushroom sherry sauce, and their Apple Pancakes. They’ve been the locals’ choice for the ultimate breakfast in San Diego ever since they opened their first franchise in San Diego in 1979. They are located in Encinitas, Vista, San Diego, Kearney Mesa, Poway and Temecula.

Their world famous original recipes are inspired from all over the world, and incorporate the very finest ingredients, such as USDA AA grade butter, pure 36% whipping cream, fresh grade AA eggs, hard wheat unbleached flour, and their own homemade sourdough starter recipe. Their batters and sauces are made fresh daily in each restaurant’s kitchen; and their coffee is their own special blend. Try the Original Pancake House’s special thick sliced bacon and their amazing omelets. We highly recommend their gourmet cherry Kijafa crepes. If you’ve never tried The Original Pancake House, you’re long overdue; and if you’re already a regular, then you know what we’re talking about. Experience the flavor, the atmosphere, the attention to quality and service, and the ultimate breakfast favorite for San Diegans for over 35 years. The Original Pancake House is located in Rancho Santa Fe Plaza at 160 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, Encinitas 92024. Call (760) 943-1939 or visit www.originalpancakehouse.com.

Firenze Trattoria

Located in the Rancho Santa Fe Plaza, at the junction where Encinitas meets Rancho Santa Fe, Firenze is celebrating their 22nd anniversary this year. Their longevity speaks volumes about their cuisine and service. As owner/restaurateur, Barry Podwell, explains, “We don’t have the luxury of having spectacular ocean views like so many restaurants along the coast, so our food has to be very good to keep us here all these years.” It’s true. Firenze Trattoria may not have the ocean, but it certainly does have spectacular food.

They are winners of the Diners Choice Award from Open Table and have won numerous awards over the years, including Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, and Best Italian by Ranch and Coast. Firenze Trattoria’s authentic Italian cuisine evokes the romance and flavors of Italy’s Tuscany coast. The menu includes an extensive lineup of local favorites, too many to list; but we especially recommend their signature Lasagne Firenze. Every Italian restaurant boasts about their lasagna, but this one is truly special. It’s hard to see the layers of ricotta cheese, a mixture of beef, chicken, and sausage, fresh Roma tomato, mushroom, and parmesan atop marinara sauce, because it’s completely covered with a very light and creamy béchamel sauce. It’s absolutely delicious. Other recommended dishes include: Calamari Fritti Antipasti, with lightly battered, deep fried calamari served with piquant marinara sauce; Risotto Portofino, grilled jumbo shrimp served with artichoke hearts and asparagus, surrounding a center mound of risotto.  From Filet Mignon al Casino to Butternut Squash Ravioli, you just can’t miss.

Happy Hour is 4-6:30pm Mon-Sun with a popular discounted bar menu for food, wine, cocktails, and beer. Jazz on the Patio is lively every Sunday evening. Call for schedule. Mondays offer 1/2 off bottles of wine. They will be open NYE and will have a Jazz duo performing. Firenze Trattoria is located at 162 South Rancho Santa Fe Rd, Encinitas 92024. Call (760) 944-9000 or visit www.firenzetrattoria.com.

Meritage Wine Market and Tasting Room

Meritage Wine Market has won multiple awards over the past fifteen years, including “Best Wine Shop in San Diego.” They opened in 2002 and have evolved into a multi-level wine experience. Whether you are looking to give that perfect holiday gift, or need a great bottle of wine for dinner, Meritage is known for its exemplary customer service and personal touch.

Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6:30pm, the staff at Meritage Wine Market is ready to help you find the perfect bottle of wine or Champagne this holiday season. Meritage invites you to stop in and enjoy tasting a selection of 16 different wines from their Enomatic Wine Tasting Machines, while relaxing on their outdoor patio.  Weekly tastings are themed and held every Friday night from 6 to 8 PM and include 6 different wines from all over the world for you to enjoy.  Meritage presents intimate wine seminars and dinners in their private Cellar Room several times a month, in addition to hosting a wine school. Ask about their Wine of the Month Club. In addition,

Meritage is actively involved with multiple charity organizations and events, including Make-A-Wish San Diego and their annual Wine & Wishes Tasting Event.

Present this article to a sales representative and receive 10% OFF ANY PURCHASE of a case or more. Some restrictions may apply. Meritage is located in the Rancho Santa Fe Plaza at 162 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, Encinitas 92024. Call (760) 479-2500 or visit their website at www.meritagewinemarket.com.

Bentley’s Steak and Chop House

Bentley’s serves the finest steaks, prime rib, lamb chops, pork, chicken, and seafood from around the world.  It is located in the Rancho Santa Fe Plaza, in the same shopping center as Harvest Ranch Market, on the corner of Encinitas Blvd. and Manchester Ave.  Enjoy the big city steakhouse experience without the big city drive and prices. Encinitas residents, Tom and Diane Fulkerson, are the owners. Tom has over 40 years experience in fine restaurant operations including Hungry Hunter, Carlos Murphy’s and others. The Fulkersons are dedicated to providing a high quality dining and entertainment experience in a classic steak house atmosphere.

Their extensive Steak and Chop menu includes: a 16 oz Kansas City Strip bone-in; a Whiskey Peppercorn New York Strip; 8 and 11 oz Filet Mignons; a Double Thick Pork Chop; and their famous BBQ Baby Back Ribs, slow roasted and glazed with their award-winning BBQ sauce. Their Prime Rib is awesome and comes in 10, 14, and 24 oz, slow-roasted for seven hours to ensure that it’s the most tender and flavorful possible.

Bentley’s features one of North County’s most extensive wine lists. They offer $15.95 dinner specials every Sunday and Monday with your choice of Filet Mignon, Prime Rib, or Atlantic Salmon. They have a great Happy Hour every day except Sunday with drink and food specials at the bar. Bentley’s is located in the Rancho Santa Fe Plaza at 162 Rancho Santa Fe Rd. in Encinitas. Call for NYE dinner reservations (760) 632-9333 or visit www.bentleyssteak.com.

Champagne French Bakery Café

Champagne French Bakery Café has locations in Del Mar Highlands, Encinitas, and Carmel Mountain. Champagne has been serving a fusion of modern and traditional French cuisine since 1987. They have an assortment of coffees, teas, breads, pastries, cakes, tarts, cookies, sandwiches, salads and soups. They are famous for their pastries, including a variety of croissants, custard brioche, cinnamon roll, raisin scone (one of our favorites), and cranberry muffin. Desserts include such delights as: Napoleon, which is a crispy puffed pastry layered with vanilla cream and topped with fondant and chocolate; crème brulee; vanilla éclair; bread pudding; and chocolate dipped strawberries. They also serve cakes, tarts, and cookies. One of our favorites is their raspberry cookie, which is two soft cookies sandwiched with raspberry preserves and half is dipped in dark chocolate.

Try Champagne French Bakery Café for lunch under an umbrella in front of the Rancho Santa Fe Plaza clock tower and fountain. Sandwiches include a wonderful assortment of French Dip, Turkey Florentine Panini, and Chicken Pesto. They also serve delicious salads and soups.  Champagne Bakery is in the Rancho Santa Fe Plaza next to Harvest Ranch Market at 162 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, Encinitas 92024. Call (760) 944-9446 or visit www.champagnebakery.com.