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Where to Eat Near Moonlight Beach in Encinitas

The best beach-adjacent eats and drinks

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A favorite of locals and in-the-know visitors, Moonlight Beach is a California state park located in Encinitas, a popular beach city in the North County region on San Diego. The site of an annual surf competition, Moonlight is a magnet for wave-seekers as well as sunbathers drawn to its extra amenities, which include volleyball courts, bonfire pits, and a children’s park. Here’s where to find the best eats within walking distance or a short drive.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Fish 101

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1468 N Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 943-6221
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The owner’s an avid fisherman, so you can be sure that fresh local catch will make its way into this seafood spot’s menu which includes tacos, burritos, and sandwiches as well as poke and raw oysters.

2. Juanitas Taco Shop

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290 N Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 943-9612

A popular spot for refueling after a surf session, beachgoers love this no-frills taco shop, which is open from early in the morning to late at night serving a menu ranging from street tacos and carnitas plates to classic California burritos.

3. Lofty Coffee Company

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90 N Coast Hwy 101 #214
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 230-6747
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Fueled by beans roasted just across the street, this local coffee company’s first cafe is located just steps from the beach. The community hub offers plenty of seating and a robust menu that ranges from egg dishes to salads, toasts, and a variety of fresh-baked croissants, muffins, and cookies.

4. The Crack Shack - Encinitas

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407 Encinitas Blvd
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 230-2968
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With a culinary team that includes celebrity chef Richard Blais, this family-friendly eatery is dedicated to a casual menu of fried chicken, sandwiches, and salads served in a fun setting that includes a cocktail bar, bocce court, and plenty of outdoor seating.

crack shack Jim Sullivan

5. Q'ero Restaurant

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564 S Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 753-9050
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Brightly-colored folk art decorates the walls of this welcoming restaurant that subscribes to the Slow Food movement, incorporating local produce and seafood into a menu that celebrates the flavors and traditional cuisine of Peru and South America.

6. Himalayan Kitchen

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1337 Encinitas Blvd
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 436-8669
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The cuisines of Nepal, India, and Tibet are represented on a menu that includes a good selection of vegetarian options among its offerings that range from momo, or dumplings, to curries, kebabs, and basmati rice dishes.

7. Solace & the Moonlight Lounge

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25 East E Street
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 753-2433
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This two-level restaurant, which often hosts live music sets in its upstairs lounge, offers a full cocktail bar and an American menu of upscale dishes created with seasonal ingredients.

8. The Taco Stand

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642 S Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 230-2061
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Inspired by the taco stands of Tijuana, this relaxed but bustling eatery along the main thoroughfare in Encinitas features a pretty patio on which to enjoy its Mexican street food menu that ranges from carne asada and Baja fish tacos to breakfast burritos, quesadillas, and more.

9. Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria

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897 S Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 634-7671
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Locals have long been lining up for a seat in this cozy eatery where a wood-burning hearth bakes up 11-and-a-half inch pizzas topped with everything from homemade meatballs and arugula pesto to mozzarella and ricotta with lemon zest and basil. Don’t miss the chef’s signature dessert, a dreamy butterscotch pudding.

10. JoJo's Creamery

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937 S Coast Hwy 101 #106
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 487-5937
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Artisanal ice cream made from organic dairy is crafted in small batches at this family run shop that bakes its own waffle cones. Tried and true flavors include Bananas Foster and Cayenne Sea Salt Caramel while seasonal flavors could range from Vegan Peanut Butter Chip to Honey Lavender. As a bonus, every ice cream order comes with a mini chocolate chip cookie.

1. Fish 101

1468 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

The owner’s an avid fisherman, so you can be sure that fresh local catch will make its way into this seafood spot’s menu which includes tacos, burritos, and sandwiches as well as poke and raw oysters.

1468 N Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

2. Juanitas Taco Shop

290 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

A popular spot for refueling after a surf session, beachgoers love this no-frills taco shop, which is open from early in the morning to late at night serving a menu ranging from street tacos and carnitas plates to classic California burritos.

290 N Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

3. Lofty Coffee Company

90 N Coast Hwy 101 #214, Encinitas, CA 92024

Fueled by beans roasted just across the street, this local coffee company’s first cafe is located just steps from the beach. The community hub offers plenty of seating and a robust menu that ranges from egg dishes to salads, toasts, and a variety of fresh-baked croissants, muffins, and cookies.

90 N Coast Hwy 101 #214
Encinitas, CA 92024

4. The Crack Shack - Encinitas

407 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024
crack shack Jim Sullivan

With a culinary team that includes celebrity chef Richard Blais, this family-friendly eatery is dedicated to a casual menu of fried chicken, sandwiches, and salads served in a fun setting that includes a cocktail bar, bocce court, and plenty of outdoor seating.

407 Encinitas Blvd
Encinitas, CA 92024

5. Q'ero Restaurant

564 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Brightly-colored folk art decorates the walls of this welcoming restaurant that subscribes to the Slow Food movement, incorporating local produce and seafood into a menu that celebrates the flavors and traditional cuisine of Peru and South America.

564 S Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

6. Himalayan Kitchen

1337 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024

The cuisines of Nepal, India, and Tibet are represented on a menu that includes a good selection of vegetarian options among its offerings that range from momo, or dumplings, to curries, kebabs, and basmati rice dishes.

1337 Encinitas Blvd
Encinitas, CA 92024

7. Solace & the Moonlight Lounge

25 East E Street, Encinitas, CA 92024

This two-level restaurant, which often hosts live music sets in its upstairs lounge, offers a full cocktail bar and an American menu of upscale dishes created with seasonal ingredients.

25 East E Street
Encinitas, CA 92024

8. The Taco Stand

642 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Inspired by the taco stands of Tijuana, this relaxed but bustling eatery along the main thoroughfare in Encinitas features a pretty patio on which to enjoy its Mexican street food menu that ranges from carne asada and Baja fish tacos to breakfast burritos, quesadillas, and more.

642 S Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

9. Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria

897 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Locals have long been lining up for a seat in this cozy eatery where a wood-burning hearth bakes up 11-and-a-half inch pizzas topped with everything from homemade meatballs and arugula pesto to mozzarella and ricotta with lemon zest and basil. Don’t miss the chef’s signature dessert, a dreamy butterscotch pudding.

897 S Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

10. JoJo's Creamery

937 S Coast Hwy 101 #106, Encinitas, CA 92024

Artisanal ice cream made from organic dairy is crafted in small batches at this family run shop that bakes its own waffle cones. Tried and true flavors include Bananas Foster and Cayenne Sea Salt Caramel while seasonal flavors could range from Vegan Peanut Butter Chip to Honey Lavender. As a bonus, every ice cream order comes with a mini chocolate chip cookie.

937 S Coast Hwy 101 #106
Encinitas, CA 92024

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