Image: Pacific Coast Grill/Facebook
With almost perfect weather year-round, eating al fresco is a must. Many of the spots on our list of the best outdoor dining spots in North County are either on or close to the water, but that wasn’t a requirement to make our list. We look for inviting spots with great ambiance; rooftop, patios, decks and courtyards all made our list of favorite spots to dine outside.
Check it out and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorite spots to dine al fresco in North County San Diego!
Located right on the beach in Cardiff, Pacific Coast Grill boasts two levels of outdoor dining with spectacular ocean views. The heated outdoor patio and the deck both have one of the best views of the Pacific Ocean and the lineup at Cardiff Reef.
The truffle fries here are must-order; they come sprinkled with parmesan cheese in an overflowing paper bag. The Bag O’ Bonz, or apple-wood smoked Hawaiian style baby back ribs, are out of this world and so is the Sesame Crusted Ahi with Coconut Forbidden Rice.
Hello Betty Fish House – Oceanside
The Rooftop Lounge at Hello Betty FishHouse is the place to be in Oceanside. They offer a rotating selection of local craft canned beer, wine, appetizers and casual counter service through the bartender. The eclectic vibe is meant to reflect that of the local Oceanside culture and of course you’ll love the stellar view of the Oceanside Pier and the Pacific Ocean.
The rooftop menu is a pared down version of what you can get in the dining room, but you can still wolf down delicious tacos, chips and salsa, clam chowder, or various raw and ceviche dishes.
Located in the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa next to Legoland, twenty20grill has a gorgeous covered outdoor dining patio. The ocean views are distant, but you can cozy up to the outdoor fireplace if the evenings get chilly.
Some standout dishes include the Scallops and Pork Belly and the Duroc Pork Chop. They also have a great Sunday Brunch and Thursday Tapas.
There are ocean views here, but don’t let that stop you — this is a special place! As you can imagine by the name, the outdoor space is covered with succulents hanging on the wall, planted on the ground in pots and sitting on shelves. The vibe is peaceful, like you’re in someone’s garden, with a fountain and plenty of shade available on a hot day.
Though it is a café, the menu is limited; this place is best for coffee and baked goods.
Marine Room – Del Mar (not outdoor dining but must mention)
Okay, so the Marine Room doesn’t actually have outdoor dining, but we had to include it because if you are lucky enough to snag a window table here at high tide, you can have the waves crashing right at your feet! (Through the window, of course). Check their website for High Tide Dinners, and experience the thrill for yourself. Watching the sunset here is also amazing; the windows are so clear, you can hardly tell that you’re inside.
The food has earned countless accolades; you really can’t go wrong. It might be obvious that seafood is the specialty here, but we recommend the Fennel Pollen Roasted Maine Diver Scallop and Foie, Absinthe Butter Basted Lobster Tail and the Signature Lobster Bisque.
There are so many fantastic spots to eat outdoors in San Diego; we hope you enjoy our list of favorite spots to eat outside in North County!