2-day walk from Oceanside to La Jolla

Hello, FTC’ers!

I’m doing a two day walk along the coast of San Diego County. We will walk from Oceanside to Del Mar on Day 1, and from Del Mar to La Jolla Cove on Day 2.

I’ll do some more thorough research later today, but wanted to pick your brains first. Do you have strong suggestions for quick bites along the way, especially things SD does better than SF such as fish tacos? Thoughts on Fish 101?

The first day is an 18 mile walk, so something would have to be exceptional for us to want to veer east of the South Coast Highway.


Mandatory stop every time I go down that way, either on the way there or back.

Get whatever is freshest, grilled to your liking.

a little slaw, a little crema, some salsa, you’re good.

local draft beers available/

Bluewater is south of La Jolla (near Downtown SD), which is nowhere near the OP’s walking route. Unless the OP wants to add a 3rd day, and another 15 miles or so.

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Oscar’s on Turqoise (near La Jolla Blvd) for fish tacos. The fish stew is also very good.

In Del Mar, check out Cafe Secret for Peruvian, esp. chaufa and the ceviches.

Thanks for the geography tip and those two recommendations! I’ll suggest Cafe Secret for dinner.

We’ve had a change of plans.

Day 1 (Jan 1st): Hike from Cardiff to Oceanside. Breakfast either at VG Donut & Bakery or Bull Taco. That trajectory means we’ll have hiked well past Encinitas (Fish 101, Juanitas, Brigantine Seafood, and Raul’s) before lunch. Any suggestions for a Carlsbad lunch that would be appropriate to grubby looking hikers? (Pelly’s is too far south). Pollos Maria, maybe?

On Day 2, we’re still deciding whether to go from Cardiff to La Jolla or vice versa. Once I figure out the order, I’ll post a few places and ask for feedback.

You might want to think about breakfast at Pipes in Cardiff or Besta Wan (I’ve never been for breakfast). In south Encinitas is Swami’s Cafe, which is about a 10 minute walk from Cardiff beach. For lunch, Garcia’s is bit closer to 101 than Pollo’s Maria and the food is similar. Las Olas is another option as is Land and Water Company, which is a bit more high end. All are in downtown Carlsbad.

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Bull taco: go for the view but not the food

Before starting your walk, stop by Kawamata Seafood in Capistrano Beach (Camino de Estrellas exit on the 5-Fwy) for a great Hawaiian-style poke bowl.

As well as a great spam musubi.

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Couldn’t agree more

If I’m jonesing for a breakfast burrito/taco, would you say Pipes is a better bet than Bull Taco?

I don’t like breakfast burritos but In the Encinitas area I like Bety’s Taco Shop for Mexican food in general

Don’t think Bull does breakfast burritos. Pipe’s is good though I usually get mine from Rico’s cuz it is a bit closer to the house but it is pretty far inland on El Camino Real. I also don’t think Bety’s does breakfast and it is just around the corner from Rico’s. Pipe’s is still your best bet and it is right across the street from the campground.

Las Olas, Juanita’s, Bety’s or La Especial are all good choices…
I still love Roberto’s Solana Beach on PCH and Roberto’s on Carmel Valley Rd as my fave’s of the Roberto taco shops!

Claire’s in LJ or Claire’s on Cedros in Solana Beach…
Bully’s Del Mar for old school cheeseburger
Surf and Saddle for a cold one

Thanks for the advice! We were well fed on our walk. I’ll write about Brigantine and Taco Galaxy in a later post.

Pipe’s: Basic breakfast spot, with good breakfast tacos and fluffy eggs in the breakfast burritos. Home fries and housemade muffins looked good.

VC Donuts had nothing outstanding (they use a Bakemark mix for “some” doughnuts according to a worker). Plain Buttermilk bar and the old fashioned were my favorites. Creamsicle flavored ‘orange’ was a new flavor for me. Blueberry croissant-doughnut hybrid and blueberry buttermilk bar were too sweet. Jelly was a standard Bakemark-- too much dough. Crumb on the cake and raised dough was finer and airier than I like, but YMMV.

Fish 101 : seasoning on the grilled fish tacos came through the other condiments, as did the flavor of the fish. Good ratio of fried tilapia to shredded cabbage in the Baja style taco to — the finger shaped fried fish seems to be the standard for Baja style tacos, and makes for a better taco than than the random chunks more typical in Northern California fish tacos

Juanita’s: the fried bits of the carnitas were porky, and the softer flesh was mostly not too dry. The fish taco was less successful— unripe tomatoes with lettuce couldn’t compete with the cabbage served elsewhere.

Tony’s jacal: this place was a zoo with a two hour wait on a Saturday night, so we went elsewhere.

Las Olas: the lard in the beans was a sign of good things to come, and we enjoyed a Baja style taco and a grilled fish taco platter

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Awesome pics !
Thanks for reporting back…

Brigantine : as my dining companion said upon eating an oyster which had the liquor cleaned out, “this is seafood for people who don’t like seafood.” It’s safe and innocuous. The toppings dominated the oysters with shallot-shoyu butter and wonton crunch, but I’d get it again. The baja-style taco was a piece of fried pollack on top of shredded cabbage and, inexplicably, unmelted shredded cheddar. The “small” crab and lobster salad was huge and satisfying, but the (lumpmeat ?) seafood played a minor role.

Galaxy taco was the best meal of the trip-- unfortunately my belated post means I’ve forgotten about most of what we ate! The blue corn masa’s earthiness came out best in a tostada paired with the grilled octopus.

A grilled avocado and corn taco was my favorite taco, but the fish tacos were excellent too. The blue corn masa’s texture was off in some tortillas, as if they’d been undercooked.

I seem to remember liking the queso fundido and the wood grilled trout (a delicious Clown Shoes Chocolate stout, which didn’t pair with what we ordered, has wiped my memory clean of further details)