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Diners' Choice: Best Ambiance restaurants in North San Diego

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OpenTable
Updated July 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants with the best ambiance in North San Diego? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Rancho Santa Fe Bistro restaurant
4.8
4.8 (320)
$30 and under
American
Rancho Santa Fe
About the restaurant
Welcome to The Rancho Santa Fe Bistro located in the heart of the beautiful downtown Rancho Santa Fe, CA. Our unique bistro offers an amazing menu and a superior wine selection for any brunch, lunch or dinner occasion.

Owner / Chef Mozy Jahanguiri, who has run restaurants in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Dallas, has opened The Rancho Santa Fe Bistro in the space formerly occupied by The Pantry on Paseo Delicias. Mozy has prepared a menu that offers a wide variety of healthy and stylish fresh grill and more offering a balanced approach to food and wine along with bistro favorites including Oysters Rockefeller, traditional escargots, baked brie with grapes and honey and more for starters. Entrees to satisfy any taste of carefully sourced meats, seafood and much more. Be sure to check out Bistro's beautiful wood wine cellar, housing an extensive collection that spans an impressive 100 years (1897-1997) at a variety of price points.

Top review
IAMSSP
Dined 5 days ago
The food, the service, the waiter and the evening were absolutely marvelous…just marvelous!
A photo of The Veranda Restaurant restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1450)
$30 and under
Californian
Fallbrook
About the restaurant
While dining at the most atmospheric restaurant in Fallbrook, you can gaze at our sparkling lake and gorgeous grounds while enjoying a delicious meal prepared with seasonal produce from our on-site vegetable and fruit gardens. We offer patio heaters during the winter months and fans during the warmer months. Reservations are recommended. Enjoy a stroll through our many gardens before or after you dine at The Veranda.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jul 11, 2024
Nice menu for brunch or lunch. Beignets with berry sauce and whipped cream, just delicious!
A photo of The Plot restaurant
4.9
4.9 (764)
$30 and under
Vegetarian / Vegan
Oceanside
About the restaurant
The Plot is a haven for culinary enthusiasts, where creative chefs transform locally sourced ingredients into stunningly plant-forward dishes. Indulge in a full-service dining experience in the evenings and for brunch, or opt for a casual lunch on weekdays. Enjoy our beautiful dining room or immerse yourself amongst the plants in our bountiful patio gardens. The Plot team is led by Jessica and Davin Waite, who have been at the forefront of San Diego's culinary scene for over a decade, gaining a loyal following for their inventive and sustainable approach to seafood and plant-based dishes, gaining the attention of critics and culinary innovators far and wide.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 6 days ago
Went to the Plot for our anniversary as my wife is vegetarian and other restaurants do not offer a white variety for her. This is our second time at the Plot, but it’s been a minute since we were there last. I was impressed with the wonderful flavors and talent coming from the kitchen and the service was wonderful as well. Highly recommend the spot.
A photo of Poseidon restaurant
4.8
4.8 (5349)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Del Mar
About the restaurant
The minute you walk into Poseidon, you’ll be swept by the fabulous view. You couldn’t be closer to the sand and the beach than sitting at Poseidon on their beautiful outdoor patio. With such a spectacular ocean view, you’ll experience breathtaking sunsets and during the right season even catch a glimpse of the whales migrating up or down the coast. The bar offers a large circular firepit, which is nice on those chilly fall or winter nights. Off to the side of the bar is a split level dining room offering every table a panoramic view of the beach and the ocean. For decades, Poseidon has delighted both local San Diegans and the tourists that love the beach.
Top review
Sunny1
Dined 1 day ago
I really enjoyed dinner at Poseidon. I ate on the patio and really enjoyed the activity on the beach. I recommend the patio if available.
A photo of The Pony Room restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1385)
$50 and over
American
Rancho Santa Fe
About the restaurant
The Pony Room is a favorite among locals and resort guests alike. In addition to an extensive selection of all expressions of agave spirits, it is also home to one of Southern California's most impressive wine and hand-crafted, seasonally inspired signature cocktail lists. The Pony Room serves exceptional, American inspired comfort classics with daily specials.

Live Music 7 nights a week

Join us every Saturday and Sunday for Brunch on our beautiful hacienda inspired terraces from 11am to 2pm.

Top review
Localvip
Dined 4 days ago
Such a lovely summer evening on the Pony Room patio. Two of us customized our meals…no problem and all was delicious. Our server, Elise was friendly, efficient and remembered all of our names! A neighborhood gem and always good!
A photo of The Watering Hole- San Diego Zoo Safari Park restaurant
4.4
4.4 (1172)
$30 and under
Gastro Pub
Escondido
About the restaurant
Located in the San Diego Safari Park
OpenTable Diners Choice 2022 Award for Best Ambiance

Enjoy an incredible view of the African Plains at the Safari Park's newest gathering spot: The Watering Hole restaurant and bar. Watch rhinos and giraffes as you dine on menu items including tasty sandwiches and fresh salads, or relax with a refreshing beverage from the full-service bar with a wide selection of craft beers, wine, and mixed drinks.

18% Gratuity charge to be added to checks for parties of 7 or more

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Good food, quick service. Highly recommend for any safari visitors.
A photo of Pacific Coast Grill - Cardiff restaurant
4.8
4.8 (8761)
$50 and over
Seafood
Cardiff By The Sea
About the restaurant
Pacific Coast Grill's oceanfront venue features unique Pacific Coastal cuisine, an oyster bar, select sushi rolls, and a plethora of seafood choices, delicious steaks and more! There are two levels of dining at the new PCG with every dining seat in the house carefully planned to have an ocean view. There are bars on both levels and a heated outdoor patio and a deck with one of the best views of the Pacific Ocean and the line up at Cardiff Reef. You can watch surfers, kite surfers, dolphins, whales and spectacular sunsets from throughout the restaurant.
Top review
BettyPvip
Dined 3 days ago
Skirt Steak Quesadilla was amazing as was my sushi. Service exceptional.
A photo of Jeune et Jolie restaurant
4.9
4.9 (3807)
$50 and over
Contemporary French
Carlsbad
About the restaurant
A culinary experience celebrating the moment, Jeune et Jolie reimagines French cuisine through the vibrant lens of our Southern California landscape with a 4-course menu offered at $120 per guest.

For those looking for a more casual evening, we feature "Le Menu du Bar”, an à la carte offering available for walk-in guests at our bar and lounge.







Top review
WendiB
Dined 1 day ago
Our favorite restaurant in San Diego! Been there 5 times now, always love everything about it. Didn't care as much for one of the courses, but they were all impeccably prepared and served, and we will absolutely positively go back again and again! One item I did notice, in the past, they always knew we were repeat customers and welcomed us back. Last night, two different people asked if it was our first time, so maybe the CRM system wasn't working? Anyway. Love love love!
A photo of Nick’s on State restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1606)
$30 and under
American
Carlsbad
About the restaurant
Classic American comfort food, crave-able bar snacks, plus unique cocktails & an extensive wine list in an upscale yet casual environment. Our intimate restaurant features a chic island bar, walls of glass and a spacious covered patio, perfect for people watching. Our exhibition kitchen highlights the talents of our passionate culinary team.

Nick’s is dedicated to perfecting the dining experience through continuous innovation, offering the highest quality food and beverage, and executing impeccable standards of hospitality. The deeply instilled Nick’s culture is personified by its Ladies and Gentlemen – professionals who share a single focus and are inspired and committed to offering great service and creating positive, memorable experiences.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Amazing food but pricey. You can definitely share an entree and get dessert. The butter cake is to die for!
A photo of Mille Fleurs restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2218)
$50 and over
French American
Rancho Santa Fe
About the restaurant
**Please note: Patio requests must call the restaurant to confirm availability for patio dining, as availability is very limited due to table spacing.*

Nestled in the heart of the historic and charming village of Rancho Santa Fe, just four miles inland from Del Mar, Mille Fleurs offers magnificent California food presentation with extraordinary French flair. The exquisite yet comfortable French country décor with inviting outside patio provides an atmosphere that is gracious, warm and welcoming. Mille Fleurs has received numerous accolades including: "Top 25 in America" from Food & Wine Magazine "Far and away the best restaurant sampled in greater San Diego" quoted in The New York Times as well as "Best French" and "Best of the Best" in San Diego Magazine. Our award winning wine cellar offers over seven hundred choices spanning the globe and varying greatly in price. A mile down the road is the Chino's Family Farm where our chef heads every day to get fresh ingredients.

Top review
Dougvip
Dined 2 days ago
This is one of San Diego’s best restaurants in all respects. It is a must - fine dining and romantic experiences - when in San Diego County. You will not be disappointed!!!
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