Much more than a surf and beach getaway, Oceanside is a dining destination where parking is abundant and you can always get a seat at the table or bar. That is unless you need to get into the 35 seat speakeasy, 101 Proof, on a busy night. The city ripples with tantalizing eating and drinking options. And not just individual places, the Thursday Night Market overflows with curated vendors offering affordable and unique tastes. Choose from plank fired Salmon, Ghawazee small plates, Japanese cakes, Polish pierogi, gluten free pastries for example. Entertainment fills a plaza with live music, Bungee jumping, henna painting. Strolling, eating and enjoying the crowd makes for a relaxing night. I loved simply watching an expert baker toss pizza crust overhead next to a wood-fired grill at one the best places to eat in Oceanside.
Get a taste of the freshest, organically-certified produce from the weekend stand at Cyclops Farms. Meander up to the top of the hill for a beautiful view of the Pacific. Farmer, Luke Girling, spent the last few years filling this huge, residential acreage with unique greens, fruits, and flowers for local chefs. His inspiration has caught on as part of an urban farming movement that’s filling suburban neighborhoods with clean and bountiful harvests. The community loves it too. As I stood there on the morning of a tour, he waved to the street several times as neighbors passed by. Follow his Facebook page to sign up for one of the exclusive ‘Water Bill Dinners’ he hosts monthly at tables on the property.
The Millers Table
Staci Miller has a flair for unique details, creating a restaurant that’s an experience, as well as delicious presentations. The intimate space contains a huge community table decorated with lights and candles. Focusing on artful sandwiches, inspired vegetables, and fresh locally sourced proteins, the culinary team serves their creations without waitstaff. Curious about your hummus, where the delicious rolls come from, what the best wine or beer pairing is? Ask Staci or her team as they stop by the table. Savvy locals know to call ahead for seats or order a picnic basket for a patio or beachside meal.
Local Tap House
Don’t let the casual vibe fool you. LTH takes great food and drink seriously. Yes, the patio is pet-friendly, garage doors open to the sea breezes and bicycle teams may fill tables. It’s all affordable fun based on a menu full of surprises. LTH embodies a laid-back beach style with an eye to delicious quality.
Wrench and Rodent
With a name like that you’d better be good. Chef and founder, Davin Waite, twists his punk rock sensibilities into the freshest seafood presentations imaginable. Each ingredient is ‘chef selected.’ The ‘Sebasstropub’ is irreverently decorated (yes, there be rodent art,) and small, with a large patio in front and back, and an entrance from the parking lot through a taco shop. Sushi lovers wax eloquent. Fish connoisseurs hum with approval. Just go!
This new restaurant is making waves in the San Diego culinary scene. While Chef William Eick serves ‘small plates based on a contemporary American cuisine’ don’t assume that you’ve had anything like this. The restaurant is slender, intimate, and set along the main downtown block of Mission Boulevard. 608 is definitely buzzworthy as one of the best places to eat in Oceanside.
Mainstreet Oceanside Sunset Market
Getting to the best places to eat in Oceanside
Best places to eat in Oceanside
- Urge Gastropub and the 101 Proof Speakeasy
- Cyclops Farms Stand and Water Bill Dinners
- The Millers Table, a neighborhood eatery on the South Coast Highway
- Wrench and Rodent, Sebasstropub on South Coast Highway
- LTH, Local Tap House, in a former market building on South Coast Highway
- 608 Oceanside – American cuisine reimagined on Mission Boulevard
- Mainstreet Sunset Market in downtown Oceanside
I’ve been in and out and past Oceanside so many times while cruising between San Diego and Los Angeles. It was been so much fun discovering more about this coastal gem and I thank the Oceanside Visitors Bureau for arranging a tour for the members of IFWTWA. I’ll be back!
Sharing is caring! Here’s a pin about the best places to eat.
What a fantastic article and roundup of places to eat in Oceanside. That wonderful beach town is really having a fantastic comeback and re-awakening, especially on the food scene. Wonderful writing and photos! And tells me a few I still need to try!
Thanks, Noreen. I’m sure there are places you could introduce me to in North County as well.
Nice! Pinned, and I’ll forward this to family who frequent the San Diego area.
Great coverage of the food options in Oceanside. I love that whole outdoor market experience. Also the Gastropub looked fun. I’d try any of these.
You’d love them, Penny
I just may visit soon since I will be in Orange in a month, looks so delicious with all those venues
I hope you get a chance to visit, Noel.
Oh, Elaine. I LOVE short ribs. Looks like I’m going to have to make my way to Oceanside. Thx for the great post.
Those ribs were a phenomenon. Let me know when you’re down this way!
Well, we shouldn’t be surprised to see that Oceanside has joined in with some trendy upscale restaurants, now should we? I plan to attend the Oceanside Sunset Market one night soon.
It’s really worth a trip all on its own.
Lots of great dining options for Oceanside. The plank roasting salmon looks very inviting.
Those planks were quite the surprise. A German family runs the booth.
The variety of culinary delights in Oceanside sounds amazing. Variety is the spice of life and I always appreciate that when I’m travelling. Being British I love a good pub so the gastropub sounds right up my street. Although I must admit the market sounds wonderful for an evening after work on Thursday. I’ve not been to California for years, I need to come back and get more into the food!
You got it, Melissa. The night market is perfect after work.
What a nice round up of places to eat in Oceanside. One thing I love about visiting the west coast is the selection of fresh food. I have never eaten in a restaurant where salmon was being cooked on planks in the open. And the view, what more can I say?
Thanks, Sara, Oceanside is a gem. I hope you get to see so for yourself one day.
This looks like an incredible part of California! I really shouldn’t have read this post while I was hungry because your pictures are fantastic. 🙂 Adding this to the list of places to visit whenever we get out to the West Coast next!
Thanks and I’m so glad you liked the pictures.
I don’t get up to Oceanside as often as I should. Your last photo of the sunset and palm trees just made me remember why I HAVE loved going to Oceanside. Great collection of trendy foodstuffs here! I really like the idea of the Cyclops Farm Stand!
The farm stand is a gem too. It’s open just on weekend mornings.
This is my kind of list! I would love to visit all of these places. The food looks and sounds amazing– I like how some of it is a bit different.
There’s so much variety in that small, seaside town.
I haven’t been able to taste different food in Oceanside but after seeing this post, I really should! I love the feel of the local community through your pictures. I do have to say that the Wrench and Rodent is a really unique name though haha. I will definitely keep these places in mind when I find my way to either Oceanside or on the way to San Diego.
Yeah, that name is wicked but when there’s an artist in the kitchen it makes sense. Go and see!
Wow, now I’m starving. That is so really, really good looking food. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in SoCal, but never made it to Oceanside. Looks like it has quite the food and drink scene going on, and right along the beach!
It’s definitely worth a visit. Perhaps you’ll be stateside again before too long to check it out.
Your post made me really hungry, Elaine. I love Oceanside and it’s been a while since I’ve been there. Maybe it’s time to go back. I’d love to try The Millers Table restaurant. Their food looks delicious.
Miller’s Table was so unique and every bite went just beyond what was expected. She’s a wizard.
I have driven through and around Oceanside many times but did not realize there were so many awesome places there. I mean, it certainly makes sense. The Wrench and Rodent? Who even decides on a name like that. I mean, that place must be outstanding with that name.
You must stop and check out the scene, Charles. Well worth a detour.
Oceanside looks a great place for foodies like us. The Thursday sunset market looks like a must for the list and the Millers Table looks casual and fun. A good selection for all tastes.
I think being a foodie and hungry is the perfect predicament in Oceanside!
There is clearly a great selection of restaurants and bars to dine at in Oceanside and I like the variety and the creativity of the cuisine. Putting on my list!
It’s full of so many unique variations that I sense you’d love, Lara
I have never actually been to Oceanside and I am very intrigued to go now! It sounds like it has a lot of entertainment. My kind of place! Hope to see you soon!
Hope we rendezvous there one day!