San Diego Magazine’s Best Of North County 2015 party at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort last week showcased the best food in America’s Finest City. Naturally, our friends from Yelp were onsite to sample the spread. Check out some of the scrumptious standouts of the evening and bookmark the eateries for a future visit.
Yummy Cupcakes (Encinitas)
Cupcake Wars winner and local favorite, Yummy Cupcakes brought the house down with a large display of multiple tasty flavors. If you’ve never had one, the cupcake-in-a-jar is an experience that should not be missed. Stop by the shop Tuesdays for a deal on their signature Cupcake Truffles, plus check the calendar online for daily featured flavors.
Pure Burger (Carlsbad)
The line to get one of these meaty creations was no joke, and well worth the wait. Pure Burger grilled up generous sliders using grass-fed, never-frozen, ground-daily beef. Locally-sourced veggies and fries complete the meal if you stop into the location. Also, don’t forget to order the hand-scooped Tillamook ice cream shake. This place has a list of additional, unique toppings too – such as honey and bananas – that burger lovers can add to customize their creations.
Real Bar & Bistro (Solana Beach)
A total hidden gem, Solana Beach’s Real Bar and Bistro delivered a plate of perfection at the party with a composition of braised pork with house-made Gnocchi and local organic green English peas. Self-proclaimed “Localvores,” the owners source their ingredients guided by principles of sustainability. Those practices, plus a new piano bar at the eatery, make for one winning combination.
VG Donuts and Bakery (Cardiff-by-the-Sea)
This bakery showed off a fully edible display of its most famous creations: the half-buttermilk half-raised blueberry donut, cinnamon rolls, cupcakes and sugar cookies. The only thing missing was a little treat dubbed the Chocolate Thumbprint, a craving that can be satisfied at the bakery daily.
Angel Salumi and Truffles (Carlsbad)
In terms of truffles, this eatery focuses on the ascomycete fungus kind, not the chocolate kind. We were obsessed with the Black Truffle Salumi samples offered at the party, a product of Perigord, France, 100 percent Berkshire and aged for three months. A stop in to the recently-opened shop will also yield truffle butters, caviars, sea salts, and of course, the truffles themselves.
Gaia Gelato (Carlsbad)
This new kid on the block from Carlsbad Village was super cool (pun intended) and set up delightful mini cones and generous gelato samples. Authenticity is created here daily, in small batches, using special Italian recipes combined with California ingredients. Swing in and get some scoops: the Nocciola (Hazelnut) is a total crowd-pleaser.
Trish Sanderson is the community manager and marketing director for Yelp North County San Diego. She leads the local community of Yelp reviewers both online and off.