Category: Food & Drink

healthy green food breakfast brunch pancakes brunch in oceanside

The 7 Best Places for Brunch in Oceanside


By Suzanne Davis

Brunch is, simply put, the best. Especially while on vacation. There’s something about indulging in a decadent, leisurely midday meal that feels oh-so lovely on a Saturday, but even better when you’re on a blissed-out vacation. We never want you to go hungry, so we rounded up a handful of our favorite brunch spots in Oceanside, including our go-to dishes to order. The only thing you need to decide? Whether or not you want to order a mimosa with that.



Tucked in The Seabird Resort, this buzzing restaurant is beloved for its housemade pastas, locally sourced ingredients and high-glam, Instagrammable interior design. But Piper’s diners tell us time and again that Piper’s brunch buffet alone is worth traveling for. Offered Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ($42 for adults, $30 for children, ages 5-12), the over-the-top spread is stocked with a jaw-dropping array of deliciousness, from stone fruit salad with fennel flowers and bee pollen to black garlic hummus with tri-colored quinoa and market veggies.


Don’t miss: The toast bar, where you can adorn your locally baked Sadie Rose Baking Co. sourdough or multigrain bread with avocado, living greens, whipped ricotta, and more.



Brunch at the Piper.
Brunch at the Piper.



Under the glowing woven pendant lights or at the seafront patio at Mission Pacific, our sister property, High/Low certainly leans more towards the high life…as proven by its locally sourced brunches. On the breakfast menu, which is served from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.? Sourdough French toast with Carlsbad strawberries and rhubarb curd, and Santa Barbara salmon scrambles with creme fraiche and herbed Boursin cheese. Note that High/Low does not take reservations — and are as busy as you’d expect with a brunch this good — so arrive early (we promise, they’ve got all manner of caffeine options from Revolution Roasters).


Don’t miss: The white corn fritters with arugula and bacon salad and sweet chile sauce, and the strawberry almond pop-tart croissant…which is just as divine as it sounds. 


Masters Kitchen and Cocktail

In a former drag car shop, Masters has, true to its name, totally mastered brunch. We love the 1920s-inspired cocktail menu (you can’t go wrong with an Aperol spritz or paloma), and the covered patio complete with cozy outdoor heaters. Their brunch, served on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is legendary for good reason, thanks to perfected classics like Belgian waffles with berries and whipped cream and biscuits and gravy served on homemade cheddar and herb biscuits. 


Don’t miss: the made-in-house crab cake burger, served on a brioche bun with remoulade, truffle fries and petite strawberry greens. 


Carte Blanche Bistro & Bar

If you’re a food obsessive who often finds themselves torn between Mexican and French fare, may we suggest a delectrible compromise? The French-meets-Mexican Carte Blanche Bistro & Bar is everything you could want. Stop by for brunch throughout the week (held Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and you’ll find staffers churning out all kinds of addictive dishes, including fluffy beignets and housecut bacon.


Don’t miss: The carne asada steak and eggs with avocado chimichurri, or the duck confit tacos with avocado crema and smoked cotija — with duck skin chicharrons for crunch! 


Petite Madeline Bakery

Raspberry cheese croissants. Pecan twists. Apricot almond danishes (swoon!). For carboholics, there may be no more toothsome destination in all of Oceanside than Petite Madeline, which makes everything on the menu from scratch. Options for brunch range from Belgian liege waffles with pearl sugar and French toast made with their croissant dough. 


Don’t miss: the chicken pesto sandwich with a heavy drizzle of buttery bechamel sauce, served on toasted pesto and cheddar jack cheese house-made rustic bread. 


Beach Break Cafe

Socal locals flock to this morning glory spot (open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.) for their oversized portions, obscenely delicious coffee cake, and charming decor (yep, those are real surfboards lining the walls). The family-owned Beach Break is known for its especially warm welcome, down to the honor system coffee station.


Don’t miss: The fluffy buttermilk pancakes with chocolate chips and the grilled mahi mahi sandwich, served on jalapeno cheesy bread. 


264 Fresco

Ok, so it’s technically in Carlsbad — an 11-minute drive from The Seabird Resort — but believe us when we say breezy Italian eatery 264 Fresco is well worth the schlep. Curl up in a tufted mint green booth and prepare to order edible thrills galore, thanks to options including wild mushroom and spinach omelets and braised short rib hash with gnocchi and broccolini with wild mushroom marsala sauce. 


Don’t miss: the thick-cut French toast with lemon curd and lavender, and the wild arugula salad with ricotta, shaved fennel and strawberries. 


Now, the question is? How long will you be staying in Oceanside so you can try out all the city’s delicious brunch spots? Enoy!

açai bowl and avocado toasts restaurant healthy menu

California Cuisine: How to Eat Healthy on Vacation

As any globetrotter will tell you, it’s not easy to eat healthy on vacay. After all, a world of deliciousness awaits, whether you want to indulge in pizza al taglio in Rome or slurp udon in Tokyo. Yet somehow, California combines the most delicious menu options with the ones that are also fantastic for you (this is the state that grows 13% of the United States’ produce, after all…talk about fresh veggies!). 


We find it’s easier to eat healthy here on vacation than anywhere else when even so-called “indulgent” meals are chock-full of fresh, local, good-for-you ingredients.


Still, staying on track with your wellness goals isn’t easy on the road, but travel is in itself a healthy thing to do. (Sure, we’re biased, but we have proof — 93% of American travelers felt happier after time away, according to this study.)


Read on for our tips for eating healthy while traveling. Or, at least relatively so, you are on vacation after all! 


Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Drinking lots of water is even more important when you’re on the move, especially in warm and sunny destinations like Southern California. Traveling by air? The Aerospace Medical Association recommends drinking about eight ounces of water for every hour of flying. Bottom’s up!



Pack your own snacks or stay in places that offer a variety of good-for-you treats.
Pack your own snacks or stay in places that offer a variety of good-for-you treats.

Stash Your Own Snacks

We’ve all done it — in a moment of travel-tiredness, we’ve either made sudden food choices that we know won’t have us feeling good later on (In-N-Out Burger as soon as we touch down in California) or been stuck with poor options (airport convenience store pre-made sandwiches). The fix? Toting your own healthy snacks with you when you travel, such as nuts, dates, and protein bars. A little thinking ahead can go a long way in staving off hunger until you can get some more satisfying, body- and soul-nourishing fare.




Healthy food options at Piper.
Healthy food options at Piper.

Research Restaurant Options

Traveling shakes up your routine in more ways than one. From unusual schedules to unfamiliar places, you likely not be eating when and how you normally do. Researching restaurants in your chosen destination before you get there can help make mealtimes more smooth and stress-free by finding recommended spots that fit your eating preferences or health goals. In Oceanside, for instance, The Seabird’s oceanfront Piper restaurant and bar has become a go-to spot for a variety of healthy options. Diners practically glow, and not just because they can opt to sit on the wraparound outdoor patio! 


Get Extra Vitamins With Organic Juices

There’s only one thing better than fresh juice…and that’s organic freshly pressed juice packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It’s also a welcome way to get the nutrients your body needs while on the move, plus is one of many healthy — not to mention tasty — offerings on Piper’s menu. For an easy boost of fruits and veggies, try the Kale for the Win blend. The cold-pressed juice is practically a spa day in a glass: a perfect blend of kale, cucumber, granny smith apple, lemon, and mint. Bliss, sip by sip. 


Go Local

10/10 locavores agree: The nearer your food source, the more nutritious (and delicious) your dishes. Piper prioritizes using organic and locally sourced ingredients in all of its dishes — from farm-fresh produce to free-range chicken. One of our go-to meals? The locally caught halibut. Its omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and magnesium are only a few of the nutritional boons in this locally-caught fish. But served with a citrus salad, cream of cardoon, and ramps, this one is even better than nutritiously delicious: It’s divine. 




You can’t beat handmade dishes for nutrition, flavor, and quality.
You can’t beat handmade dishes for nutrition, flavor, and quality.

Choose Handmade 

Any dish is better — in terms of quality, flavor, and nutrition — when it’s made in house. If you’ve ever been to Italy, you know that pasta made lovingly by hand are a transcendent experience. They’re also healthier, thanks to iron and zinc in the fresh eggs used to make them. Piper’s new handmade pasta offerings featured at The Pass are created from scratch for every serving. Enjoy a unique chef’s table experience on Fridays and Saturdays at the 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. seating to taste exquisite flavors sourced locally, and made fresh everyday. It deserves a *chef’s kiss* for sure.


Find Healthy Food the Whole Family Will Love

Kids may have a reputation for sometimes being picky eaters, which can make finding family-friendly food options while traveling a complicated affair. When staying at The Seabird, however, it’s simple to feed and please all ages with food that tastes as good as it is good for you. With the Little Seabirds Eat Free package, your kids can enjoy up to two free healthy meals at Piper during your stay. 



fresh pasta dish menu

Why This Locavore Chef Is So Excited About the Oceanside Food Scene


By Liz Sheldon


Oceanside Chef Kurtis smiling

The Seabird Resort’s Executive Chef Kurtis Habecker is no stranger to the bounty of West Coast ingredients. An Orange County native, he’s spent years exploring the flavors of California. But even he has to admit that San Diego and the Oceanside area offer something truly special when it comes to locally sourced produce and proteins. As he puts it, “the number of farms in and around San Diego is shocking.”

Highlighting those farmers and producers is central to Habecker’s approach at the casual Shelter Club, lively pasta-focused Piper (opening for dinner October 21st), and  The Shore Room. For Habecker, the bounty of the region makes eating and cooking locally thrilling. “There are so many microclimates within San Diego, we have access to incredible seasonal ingredients much longer than most places,” he says. Here’s a Habecker primer on his favorite places to eat, the producers he can’t wait to share with diners, and an inside peek at the concept behind Piper. 


The Up-and-Coming Local Dining Scene


Oceanside is the Brooklyn of San Diego. In high school I would drive down and surf Oceanside Harbor, and I love to see how far it’s come since then. My chef de cuisine Jason Carter grew up in Oceanside, and he’s a part of this new generation that’s elevating these experiences. There are quite a few people who have just gone for it and created something really interesting.

Wrench and Rodent is always a fun stop. They have an amazing sushi program, and they’re actually dry-aging their own fish. Campfire, down in Carlsbad, is a wood-fired cooking concept; the food is solid and very seasonal. It’s different from Piper but a similar approach to seasonality and thoughtful design. Bagby Beer Company is making special brews just for us, and it’s a great place to hang out. 


Putting Farmers and Producers Front and Center


We’re trying to find people who are passionate about what they do and elevate them, and in turn they will elevate us. The Shore Room overlooks Oceanside Pier, so what could be better than eating the freshest seafood? We’re working with a few local fishermen to get the catch of the day, like some really beautiful black cod. 

Seed Greens grows living microgreens in a coconut shell pot. We’re keeping them right on the line at Piper, so if you’re sitting at the counter, you can see us clip them in front of you. 

Chrystal’s Pure Honey makes an amazing citrus blend honey. The gentleman who runs it timed the production process so the bees fed off orange, lemon, and grapefruit trees, and the flavor is so intense you would swear he puts citrus rind in the honey. 


Prager Brothers has a location in San Diego, and they work with all their own sourdoughs. When you taste them, you just fall in love. We’re showcasing some of their breads — we want to produce as much as we can in-house, but some people are making stuff that’s so good you just have to work with them. Prager Brothers get all their eggs from Schaner Farms, so they introduced us, and it turns out they grow great onions and garlic we’re going to use as well. As you meet people your network grows, and it’s wonderful to be a part of this larger community of people so committed to doing their own thing. 


Piper: An Ongoing Dinner Party


Piper is the embodiment of someone who is world-traveled, has their own garden, and loves to have people over for dinner. We’re trying to re-create that feeling of coming to someone’s home — it’s warm, it’s welcoming, and you’re eating what was picked fresh that day. 

There is a focus on pasta and noodles, but it’s not an Italian restaurant. San Diego cuisine borrows a lot from Baja California, and those ideas of freshness, acidity, and texture all  influence what we’re doing. There’s a center island with ten seats where we’re featuring a special menu and making pasta right in front of you. It’s elevated but still very approachable. There’s a wood-fired oven, so there’s also the excitement of live fire cooking. Things will change as we’re creating: Ingredients are always coming and going, so we’re going to be ready at any time for what’s coming up next and how we can tweak things to best serve the season.