Explore the eclectic neighborhoods of San Diego County like a local, with a local.
Rancho Bernardo is a beautiful, lush green residential enclave just north of San Diego. It’s home to fine and fast-casual dining, shopping, golf courses and posh neighborhoods. It also happens to be home to some seriously good fine dining.
Meet The Local
Scott Cannon, the executive chef of The Cork & Craft at Abnormal, has been serving Rancho Bernardo for over five years. He loves the sense of community in RB, where his hyper-seasonal comfort food made with locally sourced ingredients, brings in a steady crowd of regulars.
edelweissbakerysandiego.com | 11639 Duenda Road
This is a family-run European bakery that has been around for decades. People come from all over San Diego to order pastries, strudels and European favorites from them. The display cases have tons of fresh pastries to choose from, and they’re are also known for making beautiful cakes.
Pro tip: Get there early for the biggest selection of fresh-from-the-oven, warm baked goods.
Avant Restaurant at Rancho Bernardo Inn
ranchobernardoinn.com | 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive
This is a beautiful hotel and definitely the gem of Rancho Bernardo, in my opinion. The grounds make you feel transported, and their upscale restaurant, Avant, has done a great job of elevating the area’s cuisine.
I know many of the culinary team there, including the Chef de Cuisine, Chris Gentile. We used to work together at L’Auberge and have continued to collaborate on dinners throughout the years. Since Gentile has been there, they’ve developed an on-site garden. It's fantastic. Many of his dishes use produce from his garden, and he also offers a unique chefs experience called Avant Garde. It’s worth checking out. From the spa and the food, to the surroundings, it’s a place you want to experience.
urgegastropub.com | 16761 Bernardo Center Drive
One of RB’s popular spots for a good beer and solid food is Urge. They have been around for a while and serve fantastic pub fare. They’re known for burgers. My favorite is The Wild One, made with wild boar. I’m especially fond of their poutine, too.
Bernardo Winery and Artist Village & Shops
bernardowinery.com/artist-village-shops |13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte
Bernardo Winery is a destination in itself. Not only do they have their own winery and tasting room, they also have plenty of local shops in their “village”. One such shop is Manzanita Roasting Company, which produces great coffee from small sustainable farms. You can stay for a coffee or take beans home.
Pro tip: The winery is also home to a certified farmers market on Fridays from 9am-1pm, as well as a dozen other shops and galleries. This is where you’ll find the locals on Friday mornings.
Abnormal Beer Co.
abnormalbeer.co | 16990 Via Tazon
Abnormal is the brewery inside Cork & Craft. I know I’ll sound biased, but they were brewing incredible beer before I came along.
The head brewer, Nyle, is such a talent, and Abnormal constantly has new beers in the works. They collaborate with big names in the industry to create limited brews, like their most recent with Firestone Walker. The tasting room also has 40 taps, so you can try lots of Abnormal Beer plus plenty of guest brews.
Pro tip: Check their website for upcoming beer dinners, which usually sell out and include a coursed out, paired menu created by my Cork & Craft’s team. They are not-to-miss.