Six Fantastic Fine-Dining Restaurants To Try In North County

From miles of sunshine-filled, sandy beaches, to endlessly epic hiking trails and natural preserves, San Diego’s North County area abounds in both the picturesque and pristine. Take it a step (or a surf) further than the scenery, and you’ll find some of the most elevated bites this city has to offer. Here are six to explore!

1. Ponsaty’s

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From an esteemed team of chefs, including French master Chef Patrick Ponsaty and Executive Chef Alain Delahaye, comes Ponsaty’s — where French and Spanish flavors combine with locally sourced meats and purveyors to create an artistic eating experience in Rancho Santa Fe. For days when you’re looking to soak up that warm San Diego sun, venture to the patio out back for a leisurely lunch of tapas-style plates surrounded by the chefs’ own herb garden.

2. Crudo

Mediterranean coastal fare with a Japanese-inspired infusion comes to life at Crudo in Pacific Highland Ranch. Step inside the mind of Belgian-born Chef Pascal Lorange, who has cooked for everyone from Oscar de la Renta to Barack Obama. With a style that’s sophisticated yet simple, you’ll want to give Crudo’s famous salmon tartar infused with capers, harissa, lemon and herbs a try.

3. Bellamy’s 

Nestled in Escondido, Bellamy’s is a chic but relaxed bistro offering seasonal menus of modern California fare with French twists. Settle into the experience at this hidden gem with a hibiscus margarita and some truffle popcorn and end the evening with house made fettuccine and lavender crème brûlée. Still hungry? Go for a side of the bacon green beans.

4. Paon

In coastal Carlsbad, take a journey to the twinkle-lit patio of one of the area’s most well-loved wine bars. Start your night off just steps from the beach with a tasting flight of specialty wines, and stay for the dinner menu of pan-roasted Pacific King salmon or seared rare Hawaiian yellowfin tuna. There’s a reason the locals love Paon — great wine, elegant food and a romantic atmosphere.

5. Mille Fleurs

There’s a magical courtyard patio, a lively Fountain Room, and a seasonal menu with a hint of whimsy at Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe. Fresh produce is picked up daily down the road at Chino Farms and used to craft a unique dining experience by Chef Woesle. Try a prix-fixe coursed menu and indulge in the tastes of a specialty libation like the Le Jardin, concocted with house-made lemonade and muddled strawberry.

6. Addison

Located in Del Mar, The Addison’s acclaimed Chef William Bradley artfully combines local ingredients with contemporary French influences. He’s a four-time James Beard award nominee and was recently named one of the Top 28 Creative Geniuses Who Defined Culture in 2016 by the New York Times (among the likes of Lady Gaga, Tom Ford and Massimo Bottura). It’s a creative culinary journey for your senses unlike any other you’ll find in North County — so book the experience, savor every bite, and stay a while.

From the inland hills to the coastal seas, North County’s flourishing fine-dining scene is one to explore. Whether you’re venturing out for a celebratory night with friends or saving up to indulge in a special meal solo, these six spots are sure to get your taste buds feeling inspired.