Located between San Diego to the south and Orange County to the north, Carlsbad is steadily building its reputation as a major dining destination. State Street is a food-lover’s dream and is the main hub of the Village. Several new restaurants have recently popped up on this street and State Street is also home to the city’s Michelin-star restaurant.
Read on for some of our favorite restaurants – old and new that are drawing locals and visitors alike to this sunny seaside city.
Campfire – 2725 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Campfire opened in 2016 and changed Carlsbad’s dining scene. Local ingredients are the feature of this unique restaurant in the heart of downtown Carlsbad Village. Serving American fare and cocktails amid camping décor, Campfire earned Bib Gourmand status from the Michelin Guide in 2019. We love the cozy vibe of the rustic camp-fire themed décor with picnic table seating, lanterns, baskets, fishing gear, and even a teepee tent set up outdoors.
Be sure to try the Almost Home cocktail, the broccoli and of course the s’mores.
Nick’s On State – 2742 State Street Carlsbad, CA 92008
One of the newest additions in State Street Commons, a new development in the heart of the village, Nick’s has other locations including One Paseo, Laguna and Manhattan Beach. They offer a crowd-pleasing menu of salads, sandwiches, and specialties like cioppino and maple-glazed meatloaf.
Our favorites are the Strawberry Fields cocktail, salmon poke tacos and the San Francisco cioppino.
Harumama – 711 Grand Avenue, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Harumama has reimagined traditional Asian recipes and infused them with a cute, modern flair in a fun and lively atmosphere. From their wide selection of savory ramen noodle dishes, tasty bao buns, and delicious bites, there is something for everyone to love. And don’t forget to try their Instagram-famous handcrafted character buns. Guests can visit Harumama’s locations in Little Italy, Carlsbad, Ocean Beach, or La Jolla.
Be sure to try the Garden Party, eggplant bao bao buns and the puppy character buns.
Puretaco – 2742 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008
At Puretaco, their mission is to deliver a twist to the standardized taco and globalize their hand-pressed tortillas with influence from cultures around the world like their Green Curry Shrimp and Pho Beef tacos. The atmosphere is super fun and upbeat.
Try the Paloma, TJ Ceasar, and green curry shrimp burrito.
Carruth Cellars – 2727 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Known for their Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé, Carruth Cellars Urban Winery and Tasting Room is a fun option for a pre-dinner wine tasting. Owner and wine-maker, Adam Carruth, is a Carlsbad native who used to truck grapes down to Carlsbad from Northern California’s premier wine regions to make wine. Carruth Cellars has been operating since 2006.
Jeune et Jolie – 2659 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008
When you walk into Jeune et Jolie, you feel that you have been instantly teleported to a bistro in France. Chosen as Esquire magazine’s list of the 22 best new restaurants in America for 2019, this Michelin Star restaurant is a perfect date night spot and a great excuse to get gussied up. The food, the drinks, the service, the décor are all impeccable. But be sure to make a reservation. They normally book solid a week prior.
The Goods – 2965 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008
The Goods offers locally sourced artisan donuts made from scratch every hour. Need I say more. AND they offer vegan and gluten free options. They proudly brew Stumptown Coffee and it is top-notch if you haven’t tried.
Blue Ocean – 2958 Madison Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Blue Ocean is a Japanese eatery serving specialty rolls & grilled skewers with sake & creative cocktails. Blue Ocean recently opened a second location in La Jolla, but the Carlsbad restaurant is more unique for its Japanese robata grill where you can order skewers that include pork belly, wagyu meatballs, baby octopus, and asparagus with bacon.
Try the mules, spicy edamame, popcorn shrimp, the dragon roll and the grande roll.
Choice Juicery – 430 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Head over to Choice Juicery and treat yourself to a smoothie or cold pressed juice. Choice offers organic, gluten free, dairy free, cold pressed, unpasteurized, plant based food and drinks. Check out their menu here.
Try the coffee buzz smoothie and the chunky monkey toast.
Pure Project – 2825 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Located in the heart of Carlsbad Village on bustling State Street, Pure Project has it all. Specifically designed to make you feel like you are sitting on a large porch whether sitting inside or out, the 5 roll-up doors open the space to invite the bustling activity in. They offer some murky IPAs, traditional ales, West coast IPAs, barrel aged beers, fruit forward beers, smoothie style beers, and even a collaboration with Handel’s next door. Weekly new beer releases keep things fresh.