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New & Noteworthy in Carlsbad

The North County coastal town always keeps things fresh and local.

Inside the Windmill Food Hall
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Though Pea Soup Andersen’s closed in 1998, it might still be tough for some people to think of the iconic Carlsbad windmill as anything else. But it would be unfortunate to sell the Windmill Food Hall short. This foodie destination features a spectrum of delicious local dining choices to appeal to just about everyone, from comfort food to global cuisine. A glorified food court this is not; every mouth-watering offering from Windmill’s vendors is unique to them with little to no crossover, meaning you will have to go often to try everything and it will be tough to pick a favorite because it will most likely be whichever vendor you visited last. New entrants to the lineup include Cacio for pastas, District 1 Pho, The Paleta Bar’s gourmet popsicles, and Corner Coffee, adding to the established choices that include fried chicken, barbecue, pizza, Mexican, Chinese, Mediterranean, poke, and Thai. A regular events calendar of happy hours, live music, and open mic nights means dining here is anything but run of the mill. 890 Palomar Airport Road. 760.214.9127, windmillfoodhall.com

Windmill Food Hall exterior

Opened last summer, Carlsbad Brewery & Taproom is the third location for Pure Project (others are Balboa Park and the original Miramar location). The welcoming indoor/outdoor space is ideal for enjoying selections from the brewery’s rotating list of 20 taps and barrel-aged brews. If sipping an IPA here brings an instant vacation-like vibe, it’s not by accident: the brewery’s origins hearken back to a start in the jungle of Costa Rica, which molded the company’s intentions with pura vida spirit. 2825 State Street. 760.278.7550, purebrewing.org/location/carlsbad

CarA row of colorful beer cans inside the lsbad Brewery & Taproom
Carlsbad Brewery & Taproom

The owners of fan favorites Love Boat Sushi and Harumama introduced their latest must-try concept, Teriyaki & Bao, last fall, where the signature dish is a single-serving skillet-cooked meal customized to each diner’s taste with their choice of meats, vegetables, rice, and noodles. It’s open for take-out and delivery now, but once things open up again, diners can enjoy their creations straight from the skillet, which keeps things sizzling hot from first bite to last. Luckily, the almost-too-cute-to-eat character bao buns that have made Harumama a local Instagram hero are also on the menu, and are delicious no matter where you get to eat them. 711 Grand Avenue. 760.637.5737, harumamasd.com

Cow and piggy-themed bao buns at Teriyaki & Bao
Teriyaki & Bao

Mary Devlin takes no issue with opening her glassblowing studio, Barrio Glassworks, just as things shut down last December. “For a new business to be open at 20 percent was just about right to work out all the kinks,” she laughs. Visitors will find a lot to discover at her 3,000-square-foot space. Pick up treasures handcrafted by local artists including glasses, Champagne flutes, vases, and glass art in the gift shop and gallery, while just steps away you can watch the creation process in real time as artisans work in the hot shop, complete with a 2,200 degree furnace. Would-be glass artists ready to brave the heat can try their hand in a “Make Your Own” class, tentatively scheduled to launch this month pending county health guidelines. 3060 Roosevelt Street. 760.696.3288, barrioglassworks.com

Blowing glass at Barrio Glassworks
Barrio Glassworks

You’d never guess this neighborhood skate shop boasting a broad selection of gear for kids, high performance equipment, longboards and cruisers, one-wheels, and even fingerboards (it is exactly what it sounds like) had its start in a a basement. But before owner Bryan Tracey opened Status Skateshop in August 2020, he was a Wisconsin-based engineer at a tech company running a side business: the kids’ skateboarding website SkateXS. Wisconsin winters and California suppliers made a move to the West Coast a natural next step, and before he knew it, the brick-and-mortar plans for SkateXS ballooned into Status, which already draws hardcore skaters and kids alike to its door for Tracey’s wide-ranging but deep offerings in all things skate. 2801 Roosevelt Street. 760.884.8833, statusskateshop.com

Rows of colorful skateboards from Status Skateshop
Status Skateshop
Featured Photo Windmill Food Hall
Image Credits Photography by Evan Stefanko

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