The coastal community of Leucadia has small town charm in spades, and now, thanks to a flourishing downtown area, the chilled-out beach enclave also offers a slew of great dining options. From favorite, low-key dive bars and a namesake donut shop, to hip new hangouts serving gourmet sandwiches, craft beer and coffee, visitors and Leucadian locals alike can enjoy a number of top-notch eateries and watering holes scattered along this storied stretch of Highway 101.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink in Leucadia
Keep it funky at these diverse dining destinations
1. Leucadia Donut Shoppe
Locals, post-session surfers and visitors-in-the-know head to this long-time Leucadia institution for the best donut and coffee fix in town. Owned and operated by Tom and Emily Cheu, top-sellers include the colorful vanilla sprinkle glazed and chocolate glazed varieties. Open at 5 a.m. daily (closed on Mondays) be sure to get here early for the best selection.
2. Moto Deli
North County's new spot for artisanal eats features an all-day menu of gourmet sandwiches built with ingredients made in-house ranging from smoked meat to poached seafood (think beet-cured salmon and rabbit confit), bread, pickles and condiments. Cold brew coffee and kombucha are pouring on tap, with beer and wine coming soon.
3. Solterra Winery & Kitchen
Wines made using locally sourced grapes can be sipped and savored by the half glass, glass or carafe at this fully functioning winemaking facility. Flights cover the Rhone region, Iberia and Bordeaux, while food-wise there’s a strong Mediterranean focus with share plates and tapas.
4. Mozy Cafe
With many vegan and vegetarian options, there’s heart and soul in every dish at this tropical vibe café. Just a short shuffle from Beacons the chilled out spot is well loved for its Caribbean-Cuban influenced fare ranging from açaí bowls, and plantain-filled burritos to killer smoothies.
5. Fish 101
A staunch supporter of local fishermen, this casual neighborhood seafood house is well-loved for its menu of crudo, grilled fish plates, fish tacos and sandwiches. You’ll find rotating specials too, plus a daily selection of West Coast oysters.
6. Captain Keno's Restaurant
A bastion of old Leucadia/Encinitas, this much loved, cash-only roadside (somewhat) hipster hangout boasts 1960s style decor, a lively bar scene and perhaps one of the best priced breakfasts around - scrambled eggs, toast, potatoes and a cup of coffee for only $3.99. Saturday night specials include a $12 prime rib dinner and crab legs for $22.
7. Umi Restaurant
Japanese comfort food and endless sake pours await at Umi. Dish highlights range from pork bone broth ramen to tapas like and fried yams with ume mayonnaise. Ochazuke bowls (hot tea over rice with toppings) include soy-marinated hamachi and salmon flakes with wild vegetables.
8. Le Papagayo
Latin American flair, live music and a gorgeous outdoor patio bedecked with twinkling market lights make this a great anytime restaurant. Famed for its tasty sangria pitchers and small tapas plates (the spicy macadamia calamari strips are a crowd favorite) there’s an all-night happy hour every Tuesday, live music most evenings, and solid breakfast options.
9. Coffee Coffee
One of Lecuadia’s first coffee joints specializes in caffeinated beverages made with beans from local Revolution Roasters, there are French pastries from Isabelle Brien café, plus bagels and donuts from Cardiff’s VG donuts. Live music on the cherry tree-lined patio, adjacent to artsy boutique Surfy Surfy, is a semi-regular weekend feature, there’s free wi-fi and puppy parking too.
10. EVE Encinitas
Load up on creative vegan cuisine, superfood smoothies, cold-pressed juices, and local kombucha by Oceanside's Living Tea for breakfast, lunch or dinner in EVE’s relaxed and friendly community gathering space.
11. The Regal Seagull
Sausages, tater tots and a wide selection of craft beers are the order of the day at this solid spot nestled between Solterra Winery and Le Papagayo. The perfect place to grab a cold one and wind down, let the friendly and knowledgeable bartenders guide you through the rotating tap list of local breweries and out of town pours.
12. La Especial Norte
Whether you’re craving comfort food or a recovery meal, many say the tortilla and chicken soups are to die for at this colorful Mexican stalwart. Filled with a la carte favorites from tacos and enchilada combos to quesadillas, the menu also features house specials like the bistek ranchero, strong margaritas, plus generous chips and salsa refills.
13. Haggo's Organic Taco
Loosely themed on all things Jacques Cousteau, this locally owned and operated eatery was recently featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Plates, burritos, tacos and quesadillas come stuffed or piled with beef, chicken and fish, plus some vegan and vegetarian friendly options . While prices are a little steep (expect to pay around $12 for two tacos) ingredients are always fresh and organic.
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14. Birdseye Kitchen
Nestled along a prime stretch of the Encinitas/Leucadia border, the menu here features several varieties of pho (all made with organic bone broth), classics like drunken noodles and Pad Thai, plus house specialty massaman curry. Duck Foot's gluten-reduced California Blonde and Pizzaport's Swami's IPA are on tap with other local brews available by the bottle.
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15. The Lanai
Somewhat of a hidden gem, this stationary bamboo-covered food truck serves up generous helpings of authentic and tasty Hawaiian style eats at the end of West Glaucus St. Standouts include the plate lunch with pulled Kalua pork and teriyaki chicken, and creative poke bowls like poisson cru (coconut milk, lime juice) and tako tsunomono with cucumber, and kimchee.