La Jolla is known for its fantastic supply of restaurants and world-class food. However, when you’re just looking to eat somewhere, the crowds and long wait times can be a frustration. Whether you’re looking to mix up your Friday night routine or are just too hungry to wait, don’t sacrifice quality for accessibility! Get fantastic food and skip the crowds with these off the beaten path locales–and maybe you’ll find a new favorite La Jolla restaurant!
Caroline’s Seaside Cafe
8610 Kennel Way
Caroline’s Seaside Cafe is just next to La Jolla Shores Beach, making for a meal with a great view. We recommend dining on the patio where you can feel the fresh breeze off the ocean! Caroline’s does breakfast from 8am — 11:30am and brunch from 11:30am — 3pm on weekdays, and weekend brunch from 8am-3pm. They are committed to organic and sustainable food sourcing and proudly serves locally roasted Bird Rock coffee. If you’re looking for a healthy lunch, there are several options that incorporate vegetables, and a rotating list of monthly specials for those who love variety!
Trilogy Sanctuary Vegan Cafe
7650 Girard Ave, Suite 401
If you’re looking for a refreshing break from your everyday life, just step into the rooftop Trilogy Sanctuary Vegan Cafe. This La Jolla restaurant is part of the larger Trilogy business that teaches regular and aerial yoga, wellness counseling, and sells U.S.-made and ethical athletic clothing. The all-vegan menu features uber healthy options–no need to worry about getting your vitamins and minerals for the day! There’s sandwiches, smoothies, desserts, acai/pitaya bowls, crepes (with “bacon”!) and more. Even if you’re not vegan, the soups or salads will be familiar. Their “Cheese” platter is pictured above.
Bella Vista Social Club and Caffe
2880 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr
At Sanford Consortium (next to the Salk Institute) the Bella Vista Social Club and Caffe has established itself as a premier spot for socializing with local elites and great Italian food! Network with local businesspeople, academics, and international travelers. It’s at a perfect location, at the intersection of the famous La Jolla Shores beach, UCSD and Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and Torrey Pines Golf Course. Bella Vista has the full menu of a restaurant, perfect for nourishment through conversations of any length or an after-beach dinner. Guests can enjoy gourmet Italian food with local IPAs and craft beers and quality wines.
Turmeric Thai Kitchen
6435 Caminito Blythefield
Located on Mount Soledad, Turmeric Thai Kitchen isn’t in traditional restaurant territory! This lends it a cozy, secluded vibe along with lessening crowds and traffic. It’s just off of a residential area, so pull out the GPS for this one. It is BYOB, so grab something before you arrive! A corking charge may apply. Turmeric serves a variety of traditional Thai dishes, including the popular panang beef curry and mango sticky rice. Turmeric has both balcony and indoor eating and can seat small or large parties.
The Promiscuous Fork
6984 La Jolla Blvd
The Promiscuous Fork (pictured at top) specializes in high-quality food in casual formats like sandwiches and burgers. Whether you’re an adventurous foodie or just someone who wants a good lunch, this is the place for you! The highly varied menu features a spread of meat or vegetarian options with a wide range of flavor inspirations. Try a Caprese sandwich or the Hippie sandwich pictured above.
Bubba’s Smokehouse BBQ
888 Prospect St
Thought you couldn’t find BBQ in La Jolla? Think again! This La Jolla restaurant serves up a hearty BBQ experience, hidden under office buildings just a few blocks away from La Jolla Cove. While Bubba’s Smokehouse BBQ specializes in barbeque, they also have lighter options like meal salads and sides for BBQ like traditional greens or fresh corn. Try the Jerk Chicken sandwich if you’re looking for variety, or treat yourself to a night out with a selection of beer and wine.
Farmer and the Seahorse
10996 Torreyana Rd
Farmer and the Seahorse at the Alexandria Hotel focuses on fresh, local ingredients and an excellent customer experience. This is the place to go for fine dining with a unique La Jolla twist, but it’s out of the way enough (near Torrey Pines Golf Course) that you’ll evade some of the tourist crowds. Breakfast and lunch is served 8am — 3pm Monday through Friday, Happy Hour is from 4pm — 7pm Wednesday through Friday, and Sunday brunch is hosted 10am — 2pm. Find a sample menu at their website.