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North County Places Voted Top by San Diego Magazine

It's that time of year when San Diego Magazine gives props to newbies and tips their hats to established favorites. Make sure to check out these North County favorites!

The Flying Pig, Vista
BEST GASTROPUB, NORTH

The Flying Pig, Vista

A part of Vista’s newly hip and redeveloped South Santa Fe Avenue, The Flying Pig, whose first location wowed Oceanside with its high-minded food in casual, funk-minded environs, opened in an old bank. Sit on the wraparound patio or by the old tractor (donated by a regular), try the house-made pastas or panko-crusted pork loin in green coconut sauce, and pair ’em with something from Vista’s Mother Earth Brew Co. 230 South Santa Fe Avenue, Vista

BEST SECOND LOCATION

Lobster West

Encinitas’s family-owned seafood favorite has duplicated itself on Coronado, with more outdoor seating, an expanded wine list, and craft beer on tap. Find classics on the menu like the Lobster Roll Combo or Maine Feast for Two. Enjoy the same certified, sustainable Maine lobster flown in daily from the East Coast and coleslaw from a family recipe. The Lobster West family gives back, too, providing treats and water bowls for dogs, and offering 10 percent off for active service members on Military Mondays. 1033 B Avenue, Coronado; 765 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas

BEST NORTH COUNTY BRUNCH

Urge Gastropub

This new offshoot of the original Rancho Bernardo location boasts an on-site brewery and selection of more than 300 whiskeys. At brunch, choices include tater tot bacon Benedict with crispy tomato fried kale; Drunken Challah Stuffed French Toast with apricot cream cheese, bacon, and bourbon vanilla sauce; Smoky Maria cocktail with chipotle Bloody Mary mix and garden veggies, and more. Come hungry! 2002 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

BEST CALIFORNIA BURRITO

The Taco Stand

Sure, the local food scene is moving toward a more elevated Mexican cuisine. But there’s still room in our hearts for the ol’ trusty Cali burrito. And The Taco Stand does it right: a fresh flour tortilla layered with melted and browned cheddar cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, tomatoes, and flame-grilled Angus beef. But what makes it truly great are the thick-cut french fries that somehow remain crispy down to the last bite. Don’t believe us? Believe the massive crowd that swarms the new downtown location at lunchtime. 645 B Street, Downtown; 621 Pearl Street, La Jolla; 642 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas

GIFT SHOP, NORTH

Liv3

Three cheers for Liv3, the charming boutique run by three sisters with great taste. Liv3 stocks everything from reasonably priced women’s clothes and shoes to cute gifts and a newly expanded kids’ section (hello, Freshly Picked moccasins). Check their website for upcoming workshops; past events include group yoga, cake decorating, and iPhone photography. 193 South Las Posas Road, San Marcos

To read more and find new places to check out for food, drinks and shopping go to San Diego Magazine


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