Maybe you’ve heard the buzz: eating in Oceanside is better than it’s ever been. There’s a wide range of options, yes, but what stands out is the sheer quality of everything on offer. From gussied-up gastropubs to world-class omakase with authentic BBQ in between, your next culinary tour should be spent exploring San Diego’s farthest-north coastal outpost. Here are 15 places to try.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink in Oceanside
This latest hotspot has some of the best drinking and dining in the county
1. Miramar Fish Tacos & Beer
The name says it all: fish tacos and beer. Miramar Fish Tacos & Beer, set in a shopping center a little bit inland from downtown Oceanside, has a bit of a cult following for its fish tacos and other Mexican mariscos dishes, like seafood cocktails and tostadas, ceviches and aguachiles and other raw seafood.
Talented executive chef William Eick is the man behind 608, a restaurant billed as “fine dining at affordable prices.” Committed to cooking seasonally and with local ingredients, Eick’s menu of small plates is well-executed and constantly changing, giving diners something new to look forward to every time they come in, though he personally recommends the short rib.
3. Petite Madeline Bakery & Bistro
Opened in 2011, Petite Madeline is a bakery with full brunch and lunch service—a big step up from chef-owner Christine Loyola’s days as a farmer’s market purveyor. Everything is made in-house and their savory menu follows seasonal ingredients.
4. That Boy Good Southern BBQ Joint Oceanside
Southerners swear by the barbecue served here. Spring for the brisket, ribs and pulled pork, in particular, but don’t skip the dirty fries, catfish, chicken & waffles, Mint Juleps and special Bloody Marys.
5. Hello Betty Fish House
This SoCal-style seafood restaurant is an Oceanside mainstay—especially with its popular rooftop lounge. Serving beachside classics like margaritas and fish tacos, Hello Betty sources locally and sustainably with a robust cocktail, wine and San Diego-heavy craft beer list. They also now serve brunch on weekends, beginning at 10 AM.
6. Masters Kitchen and Cocktail
Occupying a storied location in town that was a former drag racing car shop, Masters Kitchen and Cocktail now serves food and cocktails just steps from the beach. One of the best options is the burger, served with bacon aioli, horseradish-chive cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles on a bun with truffle parmesan fries.
7. Local Tap House & Kitchen
Chef Daniel Pundik runs the kitchen at this true local’s restaurant: even the website has a “built by” page crediting every inch of the restaurant to local craftsmen and purveyors. Expect food sourced directly from farms, a killer craft beer list and expertly mixed cocktails. Even the Salisbury steak is a reimagined treat sure to erase any memories of sad versions past.
8. The Miller's Table
A wine and beer tasting bar with a full menu, The Miller’s Table serves sandwiches, salads, cheese and charcuterie plates and other small plates. There is a rotating six beers on tap and a certified sommelier-chosen wine list.
9. Bagby Beer Company
Brewer Jeff Bagby and his wife, Dande, own this sprawling complex that houses a brewery and full kitchen. Bagby’s last stint before striking out on his own was at Pizza Port, and he carries with him a long career brewing beer in San Diego county. The kitchen bills itself as full-scratch, making everything in-house except for bread and tortillas, which are sourced locally.
10. Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen
With another location in Vista, the original Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen is still keeping on in Oceanside. As members of the Slow Food movement, this meat-happy restaurant bills itselves as a farm-to-table operation with house-made pasta, craft beer, carefully selected wines and other artisanal, high quality food. This means the menu regularly changes, but diners can expect weekly specials, like their special Sunday menu, Meat Mondays or spaghetti & meatball Tuesdays.
11. The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza
The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza is the sister entity to The Privateer Marketplace & Wine Bar, serving double duty for 100% coal fired pizzas, craft beer and wine. Proudly claiming themselves as the best of Oceanside’s “blue collar gourmet” options, The Privateer is owned by O-side natives Charlie Anderson and Jamey Stone, who place a priority on high quality ingredients and a religiously fine-tuned 850-900 degree oven.
12. The Whet Noodle
Also owned by Wrench & Rodent’s Davin Waite and his wife, Jessica, The Whet Noodle serves what they call a local, non-traditional take on ramen as well as specials and small plates. Like the offerings at their sister restaurant, everything is sourced locally and mostly prepared from scratch.
13. Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub
No guide to Oceanside would be complete without a mention for Wrench & Rodent Sebasstropub, the temple to sustainable fish helmed by chef Davin Waite cited by many as one of the best restaurants in the county. Pro tip: submit to the omakase experience and enjoy whatever creative delights Waite decides on that day.
14. Panca Peruvian Cuisine & Rotisserie
Panca is North County’s destination for Peruvian-style roasted chicken and other delicacies like tiraditos, lomo saltado and aguadito de pollo. Rumor has it that chef-owner Iole Revilla will also be opening up a new spot just next door.
15. Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank
This South Oceanside spot has craft beer and cocktails, 300 whiskies and a scratch kitchen—a necessary trifecta for success in Oceanside. It’s also home to Mason Ale Works R&D Brewery and has a list of rotating specials, like peppercorn crusted pork tenderloin in a whiskey glaze with crispy onions, herb whipped potatoes and Brussels sprouts. After dinner, head to the speakeasy in the back, called 101 Proof.