Encinitas is no longer just a sleepy beach town. On any given weekend, the bars and lounges are packed, with people walking (and stumbling) from one end of Highway 101 to the other. The bustling nightlife has had a ripple effect on the restaurant scene, with more places than ever to eat right (meaning, no fastfood drive-thrus) after hours. Here are eight restaurants to curb your late night appetite, from Cardiff to Leucadia.
897 So. Coast Hwy 101
Open till: 11pm
Since Blue Ribbon’s opening in 2010, the artisan pizzeria (it's in the name, OK) has been seemingly swarmed around the clock. The thin-crust pizzas are perfectly crisped in a wood-fired oven. It’s not your average late-night pizza joint with pie toppings like fennel sausage, garlic meatballs, white truffle oil, and cream cheese paired with chives. While you’re likely to meet a long wait early in the evening, the late night happy hour is the time to go, with $7 personal pizzas served from 9:30-11pm, Wednesday through Saturday.
820 Birmingham Dr
Open till: 24/7
Don’t let El Pueblo’s location fool you: it's the perfect after-hours stop to hit after a night out. Sure it’s inside a Valero, but you can fill up on double-wrapped, beer-battered $1 fish tacos at this 24-hour spot while you your Uber driver fills up on gas. The salsa bar almost makes you forget about the carwash just a few feet away.
897 South Coast Highway
Open till: 1am
3rd Corner is a little bit of everything. The kitchen is open until 1am on weekends and it’s right in the heart of the downtown bar scene. It’s got a retail wine shop with a huge selection at every price point so you can browse for a nice bottle before sitting down for a perfectly creamy risotto or a braised short-rib. And, this is the wrong listicle for this fact, but it's got bottomless mimosa weekend brunches.
476 S Coast Hwy 101
Open till: 24/7
When the Encinitas bars shut down, the party rages on at Filiberto’s. It's open 24 hours and does not skimp on the portions. The burritos are wrapped in a giant, warm flour tortilla and filled with a variety of Mexican staples, from eggs and cheddar for a breakfast burrito, to carne asada and french fries for a California burrito the size of your forearm.
219 N El Camino Real
Open till: 24/7
Located in New Encinitas, Cotixan is one of the few open 24 hours, which means the Cotixan fries, drenched in sour cream, guacamole, and shredded cheddar, are waiting for you at any hour of the night. Since it have a drive-thru option, you can shamelessly roll through in your dirtiest pajamas to pick up a breakfast burrito, served all day.
1953 San Elijo Ave
Open till: 11pm
If you don't mind the quick drive down to Cardiff, Wine Steals is a great place to take a date since it’s got a good wine selection, thin-crust pizza, cheese boards, and counter service, which all amount to a laid-back yet upscale fast-casual vibe. Relax on one of the comfy couches and take your time deciding amongst pies, since the kitchen stays open until 11pm on most Fridays and Saturdays, depending on demand.
996 North Coast Highway 101
Open till: 11pm
While Regal Seagull gets lots of love for its extensive, rotating beer list (spin the wheel of indecision to let fate decide your beer of the night), the premium, locally made sausages deserve some credit too. Try the sausage sampler plate and stock up on all the different condiments. The kitchen is open until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
290 North Coast Highway 101
Open till: Midnight
Those who haven’t been to Juanita’s may be a tad skeptical based on the taco shop’s outside appearance, but don’t let that stop you. It's is an unpretentious taco and burrito spot right in the heart of Leucadia. Stop in for a late night California burrito, which has the perfect ratio of carne asada, french fries, sour cream, guacamole, and cheddar cheese.
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Ellen Wright is a freelancer at Thrillist who once saw someone fall asleep into their burrito at one of the above restaurants (and will not name names here). To see what Mexican place she’s currently frequenting, follow her on Twitter: @PacificPolished
1. Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza897 S Coast Highway 101, Encinitas
2. El Pueblo Mexican820 Birmingham Dr, Cardiff-by-the-Sea
3. The 3rd Corner897 S Coast Highway 101 Ste F-104, Encinitas
4. Filiberto's Mexican Food476 S Coast Highway 101, Encinitas
5. Cotixan Mexican Food, San Diego
6. Wine Steals - Seaside Grotto1953 San Elijo Ave, Cardiff-by-the-Sea
7. The Regal Seagull996E N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas
8. Juanitas Taco Shop290 N Coast Highway 101, Encinitas
This pizzeria is a favorite among Encinitas locals and it specializes in fancy artisinal pizzas with toppings like fennel sausage, garlic meatballs, and white truffle oil. Don't worry, though, because the gourmet toppings don't effect the prices. You can get a personal pizza for as low as $7!
It is hard not to love the San Diego hot spot famous for serving Mexican food all day and all night. They have great deals on tacos and a salsa bar that is what dreams are made of. We recommend this El Pueblo to anyone who has a late night craving for a delicious and cheap fish taco.
We love everything about this Encinitas wine bar, especially the fact that it is open until 1am. Their dinner menu is delicious and open until closing time, and Encinitas locals are crazy about their brunch menu and the bottomless mimosa special.
Filiberto's is known by locals as the place to go when all of Encinitas bars start closing. Open all day and all night, Filiberto's is know for their large portion sizes served for all of their Mexican dishes, like burritos the size of your forearm.
Cotixan is one of Encinitas favorite Mexican eateries, especially since it is open 24 hours a day. Here you can enjoy specials breakfast burritos all day, and a drive thru option so that you can enjoy delicious Mexican food without having to leave you car.
Wine Steals is a great place for wine lovers who enjoy pair their favorite wines with delicious bar foods. Open until 11pm every night, the bar has an infectious casual vibe that Encinitas locals love. Grab you friends, fight for a seat on their comfy couches, and enjoy a night of cheese plates and wine.
The guys behind the Three’s Company-inspired Regal Beagle must really dig rhymes, because their latest "loveable space that needs your face" is the Regal Seagull in Encinitas, where they’re slinging locally made 1/3lb sausages by the beach, including this Moroccan-style lamb with sauerkraut and peppers.
Juanita's Taco Shop may not look too inviting on the outside, but Encinitas local know that Juanita's serves up some of the best Mexican food in San Diego. We suggest that you try the California burrito, which is filled with french fries, carne asada, sour cream, guacamole, and cheddar cheese.