Best of North Country

Best of North Country

Photo of San Diego Magazine

The best food & drink spots in North County we found are all here.

22 Places
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    We love this unassuming coffee shop for brewing each cup to order using gourmet beans that are freshly ground, adequately steeped, and expertly pressed. The cozy atmosphere, set in a former roadside motel, offers seating inside and out on the deck.
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    This intimate gastropub may only be about as big as a minute but serves fantastic fare, interesting drinks, and draws an eclectic crowd.
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    Choosing reds and whites over hops and malts can be difficult in this city. Vesper persuades you with a newly minted tasting room for sampling its wines, made exclusively with SD grapes
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    The South African menu centers around the namesake Peri-Peri sauce (it’s spicy spicy), and, in addition to regional wines includes dishes like boerewors (beef sausage), bobotie--a kind of shepherd’s pie with apricots and raisins--and prawns peri-peri.
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    Located inside the back of Bull Taco, this seafood-centric restaurant dubs itself a “pop-in.” The locally sourced fish are often rare varieties—take the hagfish, for example, an eel-like creature with five hearts.
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    The historic Boston tavern has opened a behemoth San Diego outpost measuring 22,000 square feet that also includes a museum, restaurant, coffee house, and meeting space.
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    One of the forefathers of San Diego’s brewing scene also makes award-winning spirits. Coming soon: A new line of taco shop-themed vodkas. Flavors include horchata, jamaica, pina, and habanero.
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    The Mediterranean eatery offers tapas plates and an extensive wine pairings menu with vinos fermented in-house at Solterra’s 3,400-square-foot winery.
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    East-Coasters (and wannabes), rejoice! The Encinitas restaurant, which flies in fresh, sustainable Maine lobster daily, is the answer to your lobster roll prayers.
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    Head out for lunch at this peaceful, oak tree-shaded locale in the country and know that any lettuce or kale included in what you eat or drink is organic and sourced at nearby Morning Star Ranch.
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    Stay and sip yours from a mug on the cozy sidewalk patio, or get it to go and amble down to Moonlight State Beach.
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    Tracy Borkum’s palatial restaurant-showroom continues to wow with its wildly popular farm-to-table menu, wine shop, and inventive décor (there are hanging plastic horses!).
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