Best Food in Cardiff by the Sea

San Diego gets most of the attention when it comes to foodies, but SD’s northern neighbor, Cardiff by the Sea, is filled with foodie treasures. Only befitting of a seaside town, Cardiff has a great seafood scene and plenty of restaurants overlooking the Pacific for a dining experience that can’t be beat.

 Photo Credit: Cicciotti’s Trattoria Italiana & Seafood

Photo Credit: Cicciotti’s Trattoria Italiana & Seafood

Located less than half a mile from us, Cicciotti’s Trattoria Italiana & Seafood is considered by many locals to be the best Italian in all of Cardiff. Cicciotti’s serves up a variety of Italian classics from shrimp scampi to lasagna and osso buco. We recommend starting your meal off with some lobster bisque and saving room for one of their luscious desserts.

 Photo Credit: Ki’s Restaurant

Photo Credit: Ki’s Restaurant

What doesn’t Ki’s Restaurant serve? Ki’s does everything well, but our favorites are their gorgeous acai bowls, beautiful lattes, and mouthwatering sushi. For those of you looking for that Insta-perfect shot, this place is it with gorgeous ocean views and colorful dishes that will pop on your newsfeed.

 Photo Credit: Pacific Coast Grill

Photo Credit: Pacific Coast Grill

If you’re looking for dinner with a view, Pacific Coast Grill is a must. We’re obsessed with their creative plates like this sesame crusted ahi served over a bed of forbidden rice and beech mushrooms and paired with a yuzu-ginger sauce. The best part about Pacific Coast Grill is that their fresh seafood options are extensive – soft shell crab, swordfish, halibut, etc.

 Photo Credit: VG Donuts & Bakery

Photo Credit: VG Donuts & Bakery

We could honestly eat at VG Donuts & Bakery every day and still be trying a new donut. The bakers at VG Donuts are constantly coming up with new and beautiful donuts like these cotton candy donuts pictured above plus blueberry buttermilk, spiced sweet potato, and English toffee cake donuts. With over 1,000 Yelp reviews, VG Donuts still maintains a 4.5 stars and ranks number one on Yelp, which is just proof of how good these donuts are.

 Photo Credit: Celina A. Yelp

Photo Credit: Celina A. Yelp

Pipe’s Café is within walking distance of our hotel and is a guest favorite for breakfast and lunch. They serve up classic breakfast favorites plus options inspired by cuisine south of the border. Pipe’s is also a great spot for grabbing hot drinks after a day spent at the beach.

Andrew Heisler