Serving guests healthy farm-to-table fare, including plates crafted from vegetables, herbs and fruit picked fresh daily from its own local chef’s garden, West Steak and Seafood is one of Carlsbad’s best-lover restaurants. Newly appointed executive chef David Abella oversees an imaginative menu of creative surf ‘n’ turf dishes, baked blue crab cake appetizer with jalapeño aioli and roasted red pepper coulis, slow-braised prime beef chili and bean soup, and the filet mignon and Maine lobster entrée with cauliflower au gratin, balsamic-port demi-glace and beurre blanc. Handcrafted cocktails and a carefully selected wine list are also served.
West Steak and Seafood, 4980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA, USA, +1 760 930 9100
For classic Italian fare in the heart of downtown Carlsbad, look no further than Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana. Owned by San Diego-based restaurateur Roberto Vigilucci, a native of Milan, Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana first opened its doors on Carlsbad’s historic State Street in 1999, and since then has been delighting diners with its elegant ambience, award-winning wine list and classic Tuscan dishes. Try dishes like the carpaccio di manzo, raw slices of filet mignon topped with arugula, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, capers and shaved parmagiano, and homemade lobster ravioli with rock shrimp, fried leek and spinach, roasted corn and a creamy saffron sauce. Finish with a classic Italian dessert like tiramisu or cannoli.
Opened in late 2012 by proprietor Alex Morrison and executive chef Aaron Gentry, Perfect Pairings is a restaurant with a clear mission in mind – to serve exquisitely crafted seasonal plates that perfectly complement the flavors and aromas of its wines and craft beers. Guests can choose from either a four course prix fixe or six course chef’s tasting menu, each available with a choice of beer or wine flights, and with menus that change every two weeks diners can expect new and inventive dishes each time they dine at Perfect Pairings. Current standout dishes include the split pea and barley soup with ham hock and English cheddar and the roasted pork tenderloin with poached egg, rice pilaf and savoy cabbage.
Perfect Pairings, 300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA, USA, +1 760 453 7974
A dining destination perfect for history buffs, Green Dragon Tavern & Museum combines traditional and new American cuisine with a museum dedicated to the history of the American Revolution. Opened in 2013, the venue is a faithful replica of Boston’s original Green Dragon Tavern, where Samuel Adams and his fellow revolutionaries plotted the Boston Tea Party that kick-started American independence, and history fans will enjoy touring the museum and learning about colonial American before dining. A New England-inspired menu features plenty of American comfort food classics like clam chowder, steamed seasonal mussels, Maryland crab cakes and cast iron skillet-cooked mac ‘n’ cheese.
Known throughout the local region for its delicious, fresh seafood Fish House Vera Cruz started out in neighboring San Marcos where it first set up shop in 1979 before opening its second location in Carlsbad. As Fish House Vera Cruz has fresh fish delivered each day, diners are guaranteed an amazing dining experience, while the restaurant’s method of grilling its fish to perfection over a mesquite charcoal grill ensures maximum flavor. Guest favorites include the Boston clam chowder, the signature Vera Cruz shrimp cocktail and the Romano potato side dish though plenty of other mouth-watering dishes are available like little neck clams on the half shell or fish tacos.