VISTA, CALIFORNIA is a city located within San Diego County, and it's one of the larger ones too, with a population of very close to 100,000 people. The weather is lovely here, and the location just seven miles from the Pacific Ocean makes it a perfect spot to live, work, and play. There are many great schools in the area too. If you're visiting for pleasure, it just may be that you're coming to the city to check out the Moonlight Amphitheatre or the Avo Playhouse, or perhaps to see a film at the Krikorian Cinema. You may also want to carve out some time to relax at Brengle Terrace Park, and at the beautiful Alta Vista Gardens, a botanical garden that is located within the park. If you've got kids they'll certainly want to visit the Wave Waterpark, and of course the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum. Vista also boasts a Buddhist Temple and a Japanese-American Cultural Center. While you're here, be sure to check out some of these great eateries and bars in the 92081, 92083, 92084, and 92085 zip codes!
La Paloma Restaurant
is the freshest and best source for all your favorite Mexican, Southwestern, and seafood dishes. We absolutely love their sauces and salsas here, and the service is truly superb. On the weekends you'll be able to enjoy live music here too, and any day of the week you can take advantage of their elegant fireplace and comfortable outdoor seating area. They've got a great bar too. We love the daily specials here too! Be sure to try the albondigas soup, it's unbelievable! And the blackened fish tacos are probably our favorite entree. You can find La Paloma Restaurant on Escondido Avenue near the intersection with Alta Vista Drive.
Restaurant El Callejon Vista
is another excellent Mexican restaurant in the Vista area that we just love! This one too has live music, a great outdoor dining area, and a wonderful bar area. They also have a private party room that you can rent for those special occasions, and enough TVs so you can catch the game while you dine and drink. We love the margaritas, and for a meal you can't do better than the chicken with creamy poblano sauce. Everything is fantastic! You can find Restaurant El Callejon on Main Street near the intersection with Vista Village Way.
is a chain barbecue restaurant, but it's one that we can't resist! The barbecued meats here are so flavorful and just perfectly cooked. And the prices? We don't know how they can keep them so low when the food is so fantastic. We love the Ultimate BBQ Burger which is so spicy! And how about those ribs and steaks? So good. We recommend checking the local paper because they're always running coupons that will save you even more bucks. Always a great time, and wonderful service too. You can find Famous Dave's on Vista Village Drive near the intersection with Camino Corto!
is a wonderful bar and restaurant where you can kick back with your best friends and enjoy some really great food and drinks. They've got many foods on the menu that lean towards being healthier options, but they've also got some really wonderful burgers and fries, so there's a balance here. We love the chicken sandwiches and the salads the best! And the soft tacos are very good too. The atmosphere is very casual and comfortable, and it's perfect for a quick lunch in the middle of the work day too. You can find Islands Restaurant on South Melrose Drive near the intersection with Hacienda Court.
is known for their fabulous pizzas, and you can't beat that convenient downtown location! There are lots of great options for everybody here including vegetarians and vegans, and if you're a topping addict like we are, you'll love the fact that they really pile them on heavy. We're big fans of the potato skins, and they leave just enough potato inside to make them extra hearty. It can get pretty crowded on the weekends, so shoot for a weekday or be prepared to wait a bit! We love this place and we say it's always worth a wait. You can find Lamppost Pizza on Main Street near the intersection with North Santa Fe Avenue.
Vista Entertainment Center
is one of the most fun places that you can spend an evening with friends, and it's great for the kids too! They've got bowling, karaoke, a full bar, banquet rooms, and even laser tag! There is so much to do here. The venue itself is simply enormous. It can get very busy on the weekends, and we've found that the service is actually better on the weekdays because the staff isn't so overwhelmed then. Believe it or not, Vista Entertainment Center has been going strong since 1960, and we hope it always will. Check this place out on West Vista Way near the intersection with Valencia Drive.
Original Pancake House
is the best breakfast stop in Vista if you ask us! We love the flapjacks and the chicken crepes, and oh my goodness those potato pancakes are just too good to believe! The coffee is excellent too. It's a great place to go out with friends for a hearty breakfast, or to bring your family and the kids for a really great way to reconnect over a hot breakfast. The baked apple pancakes are out of this world! You can find Original Pancake House on Melrose Drive near the intersection with County Complex!
is one of our favorite casual dining establishments for a really healthy bite to eat in the middle of a long busy day. The soups are of course what they're known for, and they are top notch. We also enjoy the pastas, and how about that Chicken Won-Ton Happiness Salad? We love the name and the taste! The salad bar is also a nice choice if you like to mix up your own special concoction! Very fresh and healthy. You can find this Souplantation location at 1860 University Drive.
Via Sicilia Ristorante Italiano
has got some of the very best Italian food in the area, as well as an incredible wine list that is really worth a look. They actually play authentic Italian music here unlike some of the other restaurants that we've frequented recently, which makes for a much more charming and old fashioned dining experience. It's family owned, which says something about the quality here, and the ambiance is simply delightful. The portions are enormous, so be prepared to take some with you! You can find Via Sicilia Ristorante Italiano on South Melrose Drive near the intersection with Las Palmas Drive.
Thai One On
not only has some of the most cute and clever wordplay out of all the SoCal restaurants that we visit, it also happens to be the best place for fresh and authentic Thai food! We are absolutely hooked on their Drunken Noodles, and would recommend those highly to you! They've also got excellent Crispy Duck Curry, Tom Kha, and Pad Thai. All of the seafood dishes are mouthwateringly good too. The staff is incredibly helpful when it comes to navigating a menu for a newcomer, and the ambiance is elegant and romantic. You will find Thai One On on South Melrose Drive near the intersection with Matagual Drive.