French Corner Café & Bakery in Leucadia (1200 N. Coast Hwy. 101), helmed by chef / owner Alexandra Long, is trying to bring a little bit of that authentic French eating experience to our everyday lives.
Have you seen the confusingly massive colonial-style building looming over Interstate 5 in Carlsbad? That's the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum, a new outpost of dining and Revolutionary War curiosities in a town better known for suntans and Legoland.
Using grapes from the owner's father's vineyard in Sonoma, as well as ones from around Southern California and Mexico's Valle de Guadalupe, Solterra (934 N. Coast Hwy. 101) makes its own tasty blends of wine right there in the vast, trendy space.
Café Stoked (1215 San Elijo Road) has a great selection of coffee, pastries and smoothies, including cold-brewed "Kyoto" style coffee that slowly drips, for 14 hours, through a twisty glass tube into the coffee pot below.