17 Best Restaurants in Vista, CA

This article was written by local contributor Ava Williams & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Vista, CA
Matt Gush / Shutterstock.com

As a food enthusiast living in Vista, California, I must say that this city has a little something for every palate.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of exploring the vibrant culinary scene here, discovering decadent dishes and unique flavors that truly make this place special.

I'm excited to share with you some of my all-time favorite eateries that showcase the incredible variety and quality of food that Vista has to offer.

Whether you're craving something familiar or daring to try something new, you won't be disappointed with the mouthwatering options found in this hidden gem of a city.

So, without further ado, let's dive into the best restaurants in Vista, California!

Five Suits Brewing

One of my favorite places to hang out in town is Five Suits Brewing.

I love the unique casino theme and the "Dealer" bar area that makes me feel like I've stepped into a Las Vegas casino.

The service is always quick and delightful, and they host a variety of entertainment most days, including music and comedy shows.

Five Suits Brewing has some of the best beer selections I've tasted, like the Pit Boss hefe, which is absolutely spectacular!

I also appreciate their unique offerings, such as the Kiai wet hop IPA and the Al Toque Peruvian lager, which is a perfect everyday crowd-pleaser.

The atmosphere is what truly sets Five Suits Brewing apart from other breweries.

The space is filled with plush leather booths, velvet curtains, and glowing neon signs that transport you to another time and place.

Much of their decor is authentic vintage from 50s-60s Vegas casinos, making it a cool spot to experience a bit of history while enjoying a drink.

And let's not forget their amazing Peruvian food, reasonably priced and utterly delicious.

Five Suits Brewing · 2575 Pioneer Ave #104, Vista, CA 92081, United States
★★★★★ · Brewery

Corner Grill

I have been a regular at Corner Grill for as long as I can remember.

My dad first introduced me to this gem, and it has become a cherished part of my life.

I do miss the grocery store they once had, where I could grab a new treat after eating, but the fantastic food makes up for it.

The food is always hot, fresh, and beautifully plated.

I'm a fan of Mediterranean cuisine, and Corner Grill never disappoints.

Their hummus is thick, authentic, and fresh, and their tzatziki sauce is rich and creamy.

On top of their regular menu, they offer daily specials that are worth trying.

My favorite is the Friday lamb shank.

Corner Grill · 1850 Hacienda Dr Suite 11, Vista, CA 92081, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

508 Tavern

I can confidently say that the 508 Tavern is one of my favorite spots to hang out.

It's a cozy, convivial pub with a patio that offers comfort fare, craft beer, and cocktails in a laid-back atmosphere.

I especially love going there on Taco Tuesdays as it tends to get really lively with a full house.

Although the tacos are smaller than I expected, they're packed with flavor and I adore the variety of options available.

Another dish that I can't get enough of are their chorizo cheese fries – trust me, they're simply irresistible!

I also appreciate the fact that they have weekly specials from Tuesday to Friday, which adds a unique touch to the experience.

508 Tavern · 508 S Santa Fe Ave, Vista, CA 92084, United States
★★★★★ · Bar & grill

Big Jim's 395 Grill

I absolutely love going to Big Jim's 395 Grill whenever I get the chance.

The atmosphere is always warm and welcoming, and it's a great place to catch up with friends over a meal.

The portion sizes at Big Jim's are perfect for those with hearty appetites, and the flavors never disappoint.

Breakfast dishes are a favorite among the locals, but I have to say that their burgers are also a must-try.

I've even seen people ordering them at 9 am!

One of the highlights of Big Jim's menu is their Pastrami and Philly cheese steak sandwiches, which are served with homemade potato chips.

Their wide variety of options ensures that everyone can find something they love, whether it's breakfast or lunch.

Plus, with both indoor and patio seating, it's an ideal spot to dine no matter the weather.

Big Jim’s 395 Grill · 777 E Vista Way #204, Vista, CA 92084, United States
★★★★★ · Sandwich shop

Taverna Mediterranean Cuisine

One of my favorite places to grab a bite in the neighborhood is Taverna Mediterranean Cuisine.

I've visited this place multiple times, and each time, I am blown away by the quality and taste of their food.

I remember the first time I tried their take-out salad - it was hands down the best I've ever had.

The combination of gyro and grilled chicken on a bed of fresh salad leaves is an absolute delight to the taste buds.

Their feta fries are another guilty pleasure of mine, delicious and cheesy, and a perfect balance to the fresh salad.

One of the best experiences I had was when I visited Taverna with a group of 13 friends.

We all ordered different dishes ranging from salads, hummus, gyros, fried zucchini to salmon and yet, everyone was raving about how delicious their meals were.

The service was impeccable, with a friendly young lady taking our orders at the counter and bringing the food to our table with a smile.

It's no surprise that we instantly fell in love with the place and made it a regular hangout spot.

In my subsequent visits to Taverna, I've always been met with the same great customer service and scrumptious, flavor-packed Mediterranean food.

Their gyro meat is tender, juicy, and full of flavor.

Taverna Mediterranean Cuisine · 1072 E Vista Way, Vista, CA 92084, United States
★★★★★ · Greek restaurant

Hungry Bear Deli

I can confidently say that Hungry Bear Deli has become my go-to joint for lunch.

Their website doesn't exaggerate when they say they offer hearty grilled & deli sandwiches and large salads – every meal leaves me completely satisfied.

On my first visit, I was blown away by their philly cheesesteak on sourdough.

I've tried many other options on their menu since then, and I'm always impressed.

Recently, I opted for the Rachel with turkey and provolone on sourdough, and my taste buds were dancing with joy!

What really sets Hungry Bear Deli apart, though, is the fantastic customer service.

Hungry Bear Deli · 2205 S Melrose Dr #103, Vista, CA 92081, United States
★★★★★ · Deli

Pho Truc Xanh

I must say that Pho Truc Xanh has never failed to impress me.

The vibrantly colored eatery offers an excellent selection of Chinese-Vietnamese dishes such as banh mi, pho, fried rice, and lo mein.

I've been a loyal customer since they were located in Escondido and couldn't be happier when they moved to Vista.

You can check out their website here.

The food at Pho Truc Xanh is always top-notch, and the portions are generous.

My personal favorites are their banh mi, pho, and coffee.

The bun Bo hue is also a must-try if you're a fan of Vietnamese cuisine.

Every time I bring my friends and family here, they are never disappointed and always leave with a newfound love for Asian food.

Aside from the tasty dishes, the atmosphere at Pho Truc Xanh is elegant and inviting, making it a perfect spot for families, cuisine aficionados, and Asian food lovers alike.

Pho Truc Xanh · 770 Sycamore Ave, Vista, CA 92083, United States
★★★★★ · Vietnamese restaurant

Belching Beaver Pub 980

Just the other night, I was at Belching Beaver Pub 980, and I must say, it remains one of my favorite spots.

The brewery's industrial ambiance blends perfectly with its tropical vibe, and there's always a rotating selection of fantastic beers to try.

I've been coming here for years, and they never fail to make me feel at home.

Plus, the food is usually excellent.

The last time I was there, I had their grilled fish tacos, and they were absolutely amazing.

The pub is tucked away in a business park, but it's got a huge indoor space with a pool table and plenty of seating.

There's also a lovely outdoor area with fire pits where you can kick back and relax.

And unlike many other breweries, they have a decent food menu to accompany your drinks.

Belching Beaver Pub 980 · 980 Park Center Dr Suite A, Vista, CA 92081, United States
★★★★★ · Brewery


I came across Connie's while searching for a local diner and decided to give it a try.

I am so glad I did!

This small, family-owned restaurant is a hidden gem in the Oceanside area.

It has a cozy indoor seating area with about six tables, and a beautiful outdoor patio in the back.

The menu offers a variety of delicious breakfast and brunch options at very reasonable prices.

I ended up ordering the corned beef hash and it was absolutely delicious.

My partner tried the chef salad which was loaded with fresh ingredients and lean ham.

I couldn't help but notice the other dishes being served around us, and they all looked mouth-watering.

Connie's not only serves fantastic food, but the service is also impeccable.

Both Connie and Elizabeth are so personable and attentive to their customers, making you feel right at home.

After our meal, they even gave us a couple of cookies to take home.

You can find it on Google Maps.

Trust me, you won't be disappointed!

Connie’s · 1688 S Melrose Dr, Vista, CA 92081, United States
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Milk Organics

The other day, I decided to try out Milk Organics for breakfast, and let me tell you, it was an amazing experience!

I'm not vegan, but I've heard great things about their vegan options, so I decided to give them a try.

For my meal, I ordered the vegan breakfast croissant sandwich and a guava muffin.

To my surprise, the sandwich was incredibly flavorful and satisfying, and the guava muffin was nothing short of spectacular!

I can honestly say that I hadn't had a scone as a vegan before, and this scone was even better than any non-vegan scone I'd ever had.

Another thing I loved about Milk Organics was the spacious and comfortable seating area.

I felt like I could easily spend all day there, enjoying breakfast followed by a delicious lunch.

Milk Organics · 210 E Broadway, Vista, CA 92084, United States
★★★★★ · Cafe

Belching Beaver Brewery Tavern and Grill

One of my favorite spots to grab a bite and enjoy some incredible craft beer is Belching Beaver Brewery Tavern and Grill.

This rustic indoor/outdoor hangout has a spacious patio with fire pits, which creates the perfect ambiance for a relaxing outing with friends or family.

On one of my recent visits, I started with the tater tot dam, which was insanely good.

I thought I loved tater tots before, but adding gravy, cheese, a fried egg, and meat on top took it to a whole new level.

To accompany my meal, I tried several 5-ounce pours of their amazing stouts, which never disappoint.

The outdoor space added to the overall experience, making it a spot I'll always return to when I have the chance.

Not only is the food and beer top-notch, but the service is excellent as well.

I also had the opportunity to try their Spicy Pork Pozole, which was delicious – the broth was incredibly flavorful, and the pork was tender and perfectly cooked.

The environment is very comfortable, and knowing that the place used to be a bank my family used for years adds a special touch.

Belching Beaver Brewery Tavern and Grill · 302 E Broadway, Vista, CA 92084, United States
★★★★★ · Bar & grill

Mama 'n Papa's Pizza Grotto

I've had my fair share of visits to Mama 'n Papa's Pizza Grotto.

This family-owned Italian joint has always given me a sense of warmth and comfort with its checkered tablecloths and nostalgic atmosphere.

I remember the first time I tried their thick-crust pizza - it was good, but not quite the life-changing experience I'd hoped for.

The crust had a nice texture, but could have used a bit more flavor.

However, their pasta and subs definitely hit the spot for me.

And I absolutely love their chicken parmesan, which truly reminds me of the Italian food I had growing up.

Mama ’n Papa’s Pizza Grotto · 988 Civic Center Dr, Vista, CA 92083, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Lur Ros Thai Kitchen

As someone who loves Thai food, I am always on the lookout for a spot that serves delicious and authentic dishes.

I finally found my go-to place at Lur Ros Thai Kitchen.

From the moment I walked in, I was impressed by the cleanliness and beautiful decor of the restaurant.

The ambiance is so relaxing, with peaceful music playing in the background.

The food at Lur Ros is simply amazing.

I love their House Sampler appetizer, Pineapple Fried Rice, and Chicken Chow Mein without veggies.

Their Mango Sticky Rice is the perfect dessert to finish off a satisfying meal.

I must say that their sauces are great too, not too spicy but full of flavor.

What sets Lur Ros apart from other Thai restaurants is not only the taste and quality of their food, but also the huge portions and fast service.

As a picky eater, I appreciate the reasonable prices and excellent customer service at Lur Ros Thai Kitchen.

My 10-year-old daughter, who is even pickier than me, loves their food too!

Lur Ros Thai Kitchen · 1717 E Vista Way #101, Vista, CA 92084, United States
★★★★★ · Thai restaurant

Shak's Mediterranean Bistro

Just last week, my partner and I decided to try out a new spot in town and stumbled upon Shak's Mediterranean Bistro.

I have to say, we were not disappointed!

The food was absolutely delicious with a wide variety of Mediterranean dishes to choose from.

I had the chicken kebob salad and it was hands down the best chicken salad I've ever had.

My partner was equally impressed with the dish.

The portions were perfect and the flavors were just amazing.

But what really stood out to us at Shak's were their mix drinks.

Not only were they beautifully presented, but they also had a good amount of alcohol and tasted fantastic.

The bar was fully stocked with great options and the bartenders were very skilled at their craft.

Shak’s Mediterranean Bistro · 406 Main St, Vista, CA 92084, United States
★★★★★ · Mediterranean restaurant

Ciao Ristorante Italiano

As someone who loves Italian food, I am always looking for authentic and delicious Italian dishes in my local area.

I have been visiting Ciao Ristorante Italiano for years, and it never disappoints!

The family-run trattoria offers a wide selection of pasta, risotto, pizza, and other mouthwatering Italian fare, all served in a classy and welcoming atmosphere.

One of the things I appreciate most about Ciao Ristorante Italiano is the attention to detail and the level of service they provide.

This coupled with the amazing food makes it a go-to spot for my family and me for dinner, birthdays, and special holidays.

They have really grown over the years, and I can see the dedication they put into their establishment.

Besides their delicious menu, Ciao Ristorante Italiano also has a small market inside where you can buy Italian meats, cheeses, take-home meals, and condiments.

It's always nice to bring home some gelato or dried pasta after a satisfying meal.

The iced tea is also worth a mention as it's simply amazing.

Ciao Ristorante Italiano · 2015 E Vista Way, Vista, CA 92084, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Las Brisas Mexican Cuisine

I have been visiting Las Brisas Mexican Cuisine for a while now and I must say that the food is consistently good.

I've tried their Taco salad with chicken, which was both fresh and tasty.

The chips and salsa are also a great addition to the meal.

This family-owned Mexican restaurant might not be the most extravagant, but they surely know how to serve delicious cuisine.

I remember one time when I dined there with my wife, I ordered the Chimichanga platter while she got the Cali Fries.

The Chimichanga was absolutely perfect - crispy on the outside, and filled with the most amazing shredded beef sauce and beans I've ever tasted.

Both the rice and the Cali Fries were enjoyable as well.

We've been back several times since our first visit, and we never leave disappointed.

Las Brisas Mexican Cuisine · 1910 Shadowridge Dr, Vista, CA 92081, United States
★★★★★ · Mexican restaurant

Nucci's Italian Cafe & Pizza

Being a local resident, I've always been on the lookout for a place that serves authentic Italian food, and I finally stumbled upon Nucci's Italian Cafe & Pizza.

I decided to give it a try based on the amazing reviews I read online and was pleasantly surprised with my experience.

The moment I walked in, I was greeted warmly by the lady at the front, who made me feel right at home.

She recommended the grilled shrimp with veggies pasta, and it was indeed heavenly, with a perfect blend of garlic, wine, and butter.

The portion size was quite generous, and the freshness of the ingredients was evident in every bite.

Apart from the pasta, I also tried their garlic knots, which have now become my absolute favorite in town!

The bonus was that the prices were reasonable, making it a perfect spot for a casual family dinner.

Nucci’s Italian Cafe & Pizza · 1580 S Melrose Dr # 108, Vista, CA 92081, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Final Thoughts

Vista offers a diverse and exciting culinary scene that never disappoints.

From the delightful meals at Lur Ros Thai Kitchen to the mouthwatering Mediterranean dishes at Taverna, there's always something new and delicious to discover in our city.

No matter what type of cuisine you're in the mood for, you can rest assured that Vista has something for everyone.

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.