5 of the Best Restaurants Near Encinitas for Date Night

A disastrous date night can easily be avoided with a little pre-date night planning. Here’s a list of five of some of the best restaurant spots in Encinitas that you may wish your date had known about!

How to Choose the Right Restaurant for Date Night

When it comes to choosing the best restaurant for your night out, there’s several things to consider:

  • Atmosphere: Choose a place with a warm and cozy vibe. You want it to be lively, but not at deafening noise levels of overly-chatty patrons, or a live band trying to be the next “Iron Maiden”. 
  • Menu: Diversity. Originality. It should also have something that appeals to each of your palates.
  • Price: This probably goes without saying, but affordability matters. If you’re sweating the check at the end of your date, the evening will be less than enjoyable.

Now, let’s explore some of the best local spots for date night in Encinitas:


1933 San Elijo Ave, Cardiff by the Sea, CA

You can’t lose going with Italian and Seafood. Gaetano Cicciotti spent his time in many North County kitchens before opening Cicciotti’s Trattoria Italiana in 2009, and it’s since become one of the most adored Italian restaurants in the Cardiff area. This is where you can go for classic Italian pasta and pizza, while taking in a view of the sunset from anywhere you sit. 


2100 N. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA

Overlooking South Ponto Beach, Vaga boasts a diverse menu and mouth-watering dishes. Taking its name from the Spanish word “vaga,” meaning “to wander,” the cuisine here draws inspiration from both near and far. You may want to try the Iberico Secreto, which you can even consume raw given that the pigs are fed a diet of acorns. However discerning your palate, Vaga is where you want to be.

Chart House

2588 South Coast Highway 101, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA

Chart House is another of Encinitas’s favorite date night restaurants. With a new waterfront lounge, you can view an ocean vista with occasional pods of regal dolphins while enjoying dishes ranging from fish to unique salads and meat specialties. Try the crab encrusted sea bass with dynamite sauce, or the savory shrimp pasta–you won’t be disappointed!

The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro

897 S. Coast Highway 101 Ste. F-104, Encinitas, CA

If you are both a wine lover and looking for something different to do on your next date night, the 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro is perfect! The concept at 3rd Corner is intriguing, serving as a retail wine shop and top-notch California Bistro restaurant. Choose your own fine wine and select from a delectable variety of dishes, including fish, meat, gelato–and of course, amazing wine!

A Secret Gem Date Night Restaurant in Encinitas… Blue Ribbon Pizza

897 S Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

No fickle fashionistas here, walk into this little pizza spot with your flip-flops on and bring along your appetite. Maestro chef Wade Hageman’s Blue Ribbon is cozy and ideal for a lovely date night, with Italian appetizers, wood-fired pizzas and salads, it has a romantic and relaxed atmosphere while also being affordable and, best of all, delicious!

Which One Will You Try First?

These five restaurants are some of the best for a romantic and enjoyable date night in Encinitas. Whether you opt for a restaurant overlooking the stunning Southern California coast, or take a little trek away, all of these spots are guaranteed to be a hit on your next date night.

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