Leucadia continues to grow as a destination for culinary enthusiasts and this year’s Taste of Leucadia, happening Thursday, April 3 from 5:30-8:30PM is a direct reflection of that. New restaurants, coffee shops and juice bars continue to pop up and attending the Taste is a perfect way to sample what’s new on the Leucadia dining and drinking scene.
The Taste includes 18 restaurants and 8 local craft beer and wine sip stops along with live music at 6 locations and even live poetry in the park. That sounds like a perfect evening out so I’d like to present a guide to navigating this very cool event.
Easy parking is available at the Encinitas City Hall parking lot and a free shuttle is running so if you do need to drive to the event, parking will not be an issue. The Taste stretches 1.5 miles from Bull Taco on the South end to Fish 101 on the North side. It’s an easy walk to cover during the 5:30 – 8:30 duration of the event then just hop on the shuttle back. With that, here is my unofficial Lick the Plate guide to the Taste of Leucadia.
As mentioned, the new Bull Taco should be your first stop…it’s not open as of this writing, but based on everything else they have done, I’m thinking this is going to be worthy as well. HapiFish should be a lively stop as they always have a fun crowd and amazing sushi. Captain Keno’s is next and always has a huge spread of comfort food…and if you have not been to Keno’s, it’s pretty much embodies funky Leucadia.
My beloved Juanita’s is a short stroll up 101 and last year they had killer street tacos set up out on the sidewalk. Sugar Coffee & Tea and Fully Loaded Micro Juicery are new to the Taste this year and the feedback from my coffee and juicing enthusiasts is that they are great additions to the local scene. LTP will be checking them out soon. The iconic Pannikin is next along the route and really needs no explanation. The question is, will they be sampling sweet or savory items?
The newly remodeled Vigilucci’s will be giving a sample preview of their menu at their soon-to-open new location where Robbie’s Roadhouse was. Priority Public House is another new addition to the Taste this year and is your next stop along the route. La Especial Norte, famous for their soup is another participating restaurant representing the old guard. Pandora’s Pizza wraps up the South of Leucadia Boulevard portion of the Taste and should not be missed.
The Leucadia Roadside Park is located at the center of the Taste route and home to the bike corral where you can park your bike and head either north or south. It’s also the location for the live poetry, a Leucadia touch for sure. First up on the north of Leucadia Boulevard portion of the taste is Café Ipe, home to Revolution Roasters and some very tasty treats. Just north of that, Foodie Amore is sure to be sampling some delectable sweets and the very popular Solterra is sure to be drawing crowds with whatever they are offering.
One of my favorite old-school Leucadia markets is El Torrito so I was stoked to hear they are representing at the Taste this year. Le Papagayo always ups the sample game a bit with their gourmet offerings so make it a point to stop there.
At this point, a nice stroll through the north end of Leucadia would be in order to reach the final two destinations and they are both very worth the walk. Dos Palmas has the sweet and savory combo happening and I would walk much further to sample whatever Fish 101 is putting out.
So besides all this great food, there are 9 Sip Stop locations along the route serving beer and wine plus 6 live music locations. The folks at Leucadia 101 Main Street Association have done everything to ensure an evening of superb sights, tastes, and sounds so mark your calendar and join Lick the Plate for this fun evening. Tickets can be purchased at www.leucadia101.com, the Leucadia 101 Main Street office and Sunday’s at the Leucadia Farmer’s Market.