Tag Archives: Lighthouse Oyster Bar

Melanie’s at “OM” in Oceanside…

5 Nov

Being from Hawaii, if I could choose a bumper sticker that summed up life there, it would be “Live Aloha”. Now that I live in Oceanside, the bumper sticker that comes to mind is “COEXIST”.  Before I moved here, I had heard about the beach culture and the military influence from Camp Pendleton just North, but I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered so much more. Oceanside has the diversity of a big city with the proud community and charm of a small town. On any given day you will see a soccer mom in her X5, a tattooed guy walking his pit bull, a gorgeous pro snowboarder girl at the local health food store, and a local band posting gig flyers. Pair that with the Marines who serve our country and the organic, eco-conscious movement and you have a beautiful little town called Oceanside. I think what I love most about living here is how this community thrives on its differences and finds respect for one another. Oh… and then there’s the promiscuous eating that I have become accustomed to this past year. Being a foodie, let me tell you: it. is. delicious.

Let’s start with my fave, Hill Street Cafe. This charming little yellow Victorian house was built in 1888 and is a California historical structure. The menu is huuuge and a bit overwhelming, but let me tell you, it’s ALL good. It has a delicious coffee bar, daily happy hour specials (with organic wine and honey mead!), and is certified as a green, organic restaurant. In fact the owner, Dan, brings in much of the produce from his own farm. If the vast menu wasn’t enough, you can also order from the hip sushi bar next door, The Fish Joint. Arguably the best fish in town, featuring local artists on the walls, and a soundtrack of anything from the Clash to Bob Marley. Did I mention the two restaurants share a beautiful courtyard with an art studio, koi pond, and a Thursday night open-mike?? Even if I didn’t live literally one block away, I would still be here everyday. Om-nom-nom…

  Hill Street Cafe and another gorgeous Oceanside  sunset…

Next stop is a charming little health food store called Cream of the Crop. For over 20 years this family owned store has been taking care of the Oside community with a deli, juice and smoothie bar, and the best organic produce department in the North County. When my husband and I are home, we frequent the Crop for their banana-date smoothie with the monster addition ( bee pollen, vita-boost and other powdered yum-yums). The locals love this place and it is totally the norm to run into the likes of pro surfers, snowboarders, rock stars, and actresses. Wild.

Cream of the Crop

Thursday mornings brings us to the local farmer’s market where you can find vendors selling homemade essential oils, beautiful fresh flowers, and delicious locally grown organic fruits and veggies. Occasionally there is a Dutch woman selling freshly baked bread and even a little old bee-keeper! His honey is to die for, and the flavors range from Hawaiian Christmas Berry infused honey to my new favorite, Grapefruit Honey. Another highlight is the man with the happy chickens. He sells a dozen eggs for $3.00, re-uses your egg cartons, and tells stories about how happy his chickens are. They all have cute names,  are free range, and oh so loved by this charming man and his wife. And if, like me, a once a week trip to the farmer’s market isn’t enough, Carlsbad has one on Saturday and Wednesday afternoons just a couple of miles down the road. With markets like these and the Cream of the Crop, it’s so easy and fun to eat local and organic while staying on a budget.

Farmers Market Goodies!!!

If you’re looking for a sunset dinner with a gorgeous view of the harbor and the ocean, our next stop is the Lighthouse Oyster Bar. Located right at the Oceanside Harbor, this cute little rooftop restaurant has one of the best views in town. Their extensive wine list has a favorite of my husband and mine, the Vinho Verde from Portugal. It’s light and refreshing with a low alcohol content, perfect to pair with the fresh fish tacos (only $2 during happy hour!), steamed clams, and locally grown organic mixed salad. The menu is so reasonably priced and delicious that we have spent many sunsets working our way through each and every appetizer offered. This too, is a family owned establishment, with the owner making his rounds greeting the guests, and his talented father as the head chef.

Kaleo, his afro and I  (gotta love the Hipstamatic!)

Lighthouse Oyster Bar Sunset…

After eating so much delicious food, my guess is that you want to get some exercise, right? Well, one of our favorite things to do is walk the beautiful beaches. It literally goes on for miles! Since we live 4 blocks from the train station, it’s fun to hop the Coaster down to Carlsbad (about 4 minutes by train, and $5 fare), grab a light lunch and maybe catch a Euro league soccer match on tv, then walk the beach back to our house. The walk is about 5 miles and it is lovely. Of course if you’re looking for yoga I know the best little yoga studio in town. Ok, I’m biased because I own it, but it really is special. Yoga Oceanside is open 7 days a week with daily classes and monthly special events like workshops, concerts, Internationally recognized speakers, and a Yoga Teacher Training school. Our teachers are talented, welcoming, beautiful yogis who teach from their own practice. Try all of the classes and teachers with the new student special of 2 weeks unlimited yoga for $25.

Waiting for the train…

Kaleo taking a leisurely beach stroll…

Oceanside has gone through many phases and reputations over the years, but is now growing into her own little identity. One that is an eclectic mix of beach culture, a fun local music scene, health conscious yogis and world-class athletes, bohemian vintage clothing and antique stores, military families, and seasonal residents from all over the world. When I am not traveling, I really enjoy exploring Oceanside and discovering all she has to offer. See you on the beach!

Love,

Melanie

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