Having participated in plenty of these types of events, the one I truly look forward to every year is Taste of Leucadia. The 2-mile stretch on Coast Highway 101 from Bull Taco to Fish 101 if you decide to go south to north is one of the most eclectic and charming in Southern California. Add in 23 of Leucadia’s amazing restaurants serving samples for ticket holders, seven Sip Stop locations including a Craft Beer Pavilion, live music and it makes for a very memorable evening.
I repeat every year that Leucadia is becoming a dining destination, and it’s about time to lose the word becoming — as the quality and quantity of eateries has been reached to earn that title. The variety is enough to satisfy even the most persnickety of foodies and if you’ve not done Leucadia recently, the Taste is a great way to check out what’s new.
With that, let’s take a stroll up the 101 for a sneak peak at what’s in store. The event starts on the south end at Bull Taco, the only participant on the east side of the 101 and also home to Shibari Organic Ramen.
Cross the highway and the tasting begins at the iconic Captain Keno’s who always has one of the more plentiful spreads available. Next up is HapiFish and Ajito Sushi to Go then a stroll up a few blocks to The Pannikin, Vigilucci’s, Bird’s Eye Kitchen and the soon to open Bread and Barley.
Next stop is Priority Public House that will be home Craft Beer Pavilion that will include lighting by Bright Ideas Lighting, garden beautification by Anderson’s La Costa Nursery and free photos for guests by Camera Camper vintage trailer photo booth. This year, Electra Bicycle Company will provide a bike valet at the Craft Beer Garden. What a brilliant idea!
Leucadia Liquor is just north of the beer pavilion, then get your vegetarian on at Peace Pies. Moto Deli is a new participant this year and I think you all know by now how much I love this place. Can’t wait to see what they are sampling! Pandora’s Pizza and Kotija Jr. Taco Shop are the last stops south of Leucadia Boulevard and both worth checking out.
Solterra Winery & Kitchen can easily be included in the conversation on the topic of the restaurants that were on the forefront of Leucadia’s dining resurgence. They are the first stop north of Leucadia Boulevard. Root Cellar Catering is another new participant this year, look for more about this husband and wife operation in an upcoming LTP column. Be sure to stop by and say hi to my friends at Coffee Coffee, then Le Papagayo and Yocadia Creamery. The delightful stroll up the coast finishes up with the fabulous Lanai, Umi Restaurant, Royal Liquor and the amazing Fish 101.
The event would not be complete without live music all along N. Coast Hwy 101. Some of the featured artists this year are: Jason Matkin, Johnny Tarr, Buena Vista SoCal Club, Ben Powell, Hummingbird Hotel, Heather Nation, DGTL CLR and Lindy Crandall.
An exciting new addition for ticket holders this year is the Glaucus Corner Ambrosia Garden at 1114 N. Coast Hwy 101. At the Ambrosia Garden ticket holders can sample elixirs such as alcoholic kombucha, cider, gluten free beer, mead and more!
Food Tasting tickets are $25 in advance ($30 the day of, if they last!). Food and Sip Stop tickets (craft beer/wine tasting included) are $40 in advance ($45 the day of). Each ticket holder with Sip Stops will receive a commemorative taster glass for their beer, wine and elixir tasting. Tickets sell out well in advance each year so make sure to buy yours as soon as possible! Close to 1,500 people attend this event and 1,000 tickets are sold. To avoid any parking frustration, Leucadia 101 will provide an eco shuttle that runs on biofuel, which will transport attendees from the upper parking lot at City Hall (505 S. Vulcan) to Leucadia and will drop off riders in the heart of the event. The shuttle will be running throughout the night to bring guests back to City Hall. The last pick up will be at 8:55 p.m. from HapiFish so plan accordingly. The event runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
For complete event details visit leucadia101.com.
David Boylan is the founder of Artichoke Creative an Encinitas based integrated marketing firm. He also hosts Lick the Plate Radio that airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. on FM94/9, Easy 98.1, and KSON. Reach him at [email protected] or (858) 395-6905.