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The fast-casual Napizza opened its fourth location in downtown Encinitas. Photo by David Boylan
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Lick the Plate: Summer 2017 restaurant happenings in North County

This sounds like a broken record, but there continues to be a lot going on in the North County culinary scene these days with recent and anticipated openings adding to the plethora of dining options. I’ve also made some recent discoveries of places that have been around for a while that are definitely worth checking out. With that, let’s get to it.  

One of my favorite South Park restaurants, Buona Forchetta, is opening an Encinitas location in the old Bird House Grill spot. It’s scheduled for late this year but will be worth the wait even if it is the 500th pizza joint in Encinitas. I jest, but really, there is no shortage of fabulous pies in this town. The Encinitas location will be similar to the original Buona Forchetta, which opened in South Park in 2013, and offer much of the same menu. It will also feature Buona Forchetta’s signature gleaming gold-tiled Neapolitan wood fired pizza oven.

While on the topic of pizza and the need for more of it in Encinitas, the fast-casual Napizza opened its fourth location in downtown Encinitas recently. This joint serves “pizza al taglio,” or rectangular pies sold whole or by the square-shaped slice. It’s based on a traditional style from Rome, the owner’s hometown and the source of the eatery’s pizza ovens, yeast and flour for its special dough, which rises for three days for a light and crispy texture. The 1,400-square-foot, 48-seat space on South Coast Hwy 101 is in the heart of downtown Encinitas. The also offer local delivery on an electric bike. All the details at

Open House is the new restaurant from Kristie and Wade Hageman, owners of local favorites Blue Ribbon and Craftsman. Their latest is a four-concept emporium of food and drink in a whopping 7,000-square-feet of Moonlight Plaza formerly occupied by El Callejon. Look for a full Lick the Plate column on this coming soon. Visit  

Viewpoint Brewing Co., Del Mar’s first brewery and restaurant, has a fabulous new location on the banks of the San Dieguito Lagoon and River Park just north of Del Mar Village and within sight of the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The 7,000-square-foot brewery and restaurant puts a seasonal spin on gastropub fare. Nothing new there but the place sounds like a great place to eat, drink, see and be seen and take in some killer views. Visit

The Lanai, one of my favorite funky cool joints in Leucadia, opened a Del Mar location recently at 1101 Camino Del Mar between 11th and 12th streets. I’ve not been yet but I’m sure they are keeping their coastal vibe going albeit in a bit more upscale neighborhood.

Returning Sept. 15 to Sept. 17 for its third year at Del Mar Fairgrounds, KAABOO music festival, or Coachella for middle-age rockers who demand upscale bathrooms as I call it, has announced the chefs and restaurants participating this year. KAABOO’s Palate programming will include almost 100 food and beverage vendors and chef demos. Some of the big names who are scheduled for demos on the main culinary stage are Juniper & Ivy’s Richard Blais, Los Angeles star chef duo Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, standout “Top Chef” alums Michael Voltaggio and Kevin Gillespie plus singer/chef Kelis. The food vendors include Crab Hut, Puesto, Searsucker, STK, Mariposa Ice Cream and The Oceanaire Seafood Room. And the KAABOO Rock ‘N Chef Competition, presented in partnership with Chef’s Roll, is back; the final round of the cooking contest will be featured live on the Palate stage.

Large, expansive restaurants continue to be a theme and Park 101 in Carlsbad Village is no exception. This 8,000-square-foot destination includes a market, shops, picnic-friendly plaza and four dining and drinking options. It includes grab-and-go and sit-down options and the market serves takeout hot sandwiches, juices, coffee and house-made doughnuts. There is a very cool deck and a lot more going on here that I will cover in a future column. Visit

And while Frazier Farms in Oceanside is not new, it’s new to me and I’ve been really enjoying the gourmet yet down-to-earth Oceanside vibe of this store. It’s a quick drive from my office and we have been hitting it up weekly for their amazing sandwiches. I’ve also started doing my weekly shopping there. Much more on this cool new discovery coming soon as well. Visit

Get out there and eat, Coast News readers!

Lick the Plate can now be heard on KPRi, 102.1 FM Monday – Friday at 4:10 and 7:10 p.m.  David Boylan is founder of Artichoke Creative and Artichoke Apparel, an Encinitas-based marketing firm and clothing line. Reach him at [email protected] or (858) 395-6905.