Ask a Local: What's It Like Living in Encinitas?"

The cultures of the cities of North County San Diego are unique and run deep. We are proud members of our communities and value locally owned restaurants, businesses, and products. Yet, we aren’t closed off to visitors and our community thrives on tourism and sharing what we cherish with people that come from all over the world. To get an idea of what it is like to live in one of our communities, one should look no further than to locals born and raised here. The following are some excerpts taken from two interviews done with Dani Tomasetti and Zachary Lax, natives to Encinitas.


Q: How do you feel your experience as a child in Encinitas was different from growing up in a different area or state?

Dani Tomasetti: “When I was growing up the beach was my playground, and it still is. During summer my family and I would go there every day. Rolling around in the sand, taking dips in the water, having lunch picnic-style and enjoying the sunshine. It’s amazing having the beach as your backyard basically and I feel like despite my going all the time it is something that I took for granted often; it’s not something everyone has and when I was little I didn’t realize that.”

Zachary Lax: “One thing that was really cool was that summer camp for me was doing junior lifeguards. We went out with the real lifeguards and they showed us how to swim properly and things like not peeing on jelly fish stings. We learned how to swim out and rescue our friends too, and how to get through a really big wave on your boogie or surfboard. I didn’t realize it at the time, but junior lifeguards is such a unique thing that you probably don’t find in other states as swimming and being safe in the water isn’t so central to the cultures of other areas.


Q: What do you do for fun around Encinitas?

DT: “Walking on the beach with my family. Taking my dog to the dog beach in Del Mar. I like to do things outside. We live in a very hilly area so there are a lot of great hiking spots. I really take advantage of our beautiful weather, it’s such a fantastic thing. We also have so many good coffee shops that are great to just hang and see friends or get work done. Lofty coffee has a lot of locations throughout north county and they have espresso that is great on its own. Ironsmith on the 101 is pretty good too. I love going to the Leucadia farmer’s market, I’ve had many experiences meeting locals there and getting local produce. I am always refreshed with a better sense of who my community is and everything we have to offer.”


ZL: “I don’t surf, I know it’s part of the culture, but I never really got into it. So I go to the 101 and hang with my pals. I’ll walk my dog on the 101 and it’s so lovely. I’ve been out of town for a while, actually, and it’s always interesting to see how things have changed. Whenever I come back some places have closed and new ones have popped up here and there. I know that progress and change are necessary, but it does sometimes feel like we are losing some of our charm. That’s why I go to locally owned restaurants and really try to support all of our great establishments that have been around for decades.”


Q: Where are your favorite places to eat when you come home?

DT: “So I have Celiac disease, but what’s really great about our area is that there are a ton of fantastic spots that are gluten-free friendly. I love Blue Ribbon pizza, their GF dough is awesome and they have a great wine selection. They also own Craftsman Tavern, which is a little more inland. Buona Forchetta is delicious; I always have to book ahead because they are packed every evening. Their GF pizza dough is what they are known for as far as gluten-free options go; it’s so fluffy. EVE on the 101 is all vegan and they make really good bowls with rice and veggies.”

ZL: “Subman is my number one go to. I’ve been going there forever. The owner used to have a second location next to Encinitas karate, and after karate practice I used to go there for a sandwich. Now he’s just in the one location. I also like to go to Jorge’s Mexicatessen they have really good soups that cure all ailments. Taco Stand has some of the better El Pastor that you can get, but the tacos from Juanita’s are really good too. Chick’s Natural is the best around closing time, they give you a ton of free food because they don’t keep it overnight. Super fresh. Then of course the 101 Diner is an institution. The avocado burger is really good at lunch time and the acaii bowl is delicious for breakfast. Their omelets are also great.”


Zachary Lax


Dani Tomasetti