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Taste of Oceanside 2021 Review

Taste of Oceanside Review

The Taste of Oceanside returned this fall. With the recent rebirth of the hospitality industry in Oceanside this event was perfectly positioned to introduce the community to all the new options in the city. The three hour event could have probably gone one or two more hours to allow for all the options available! I was able to accomplish about 60 percent of the participants. Some were so impressive I’ve since returned on my own.

The Process

I highly suggest getting here early, check-in took a good amount of time because you need to obtain your lanyard which serves as your pass as well as your dining utensils and cup. I thought Mainstreet Oceanside was very smart to offer a reusable spork for the tasting - it limited the trash and offered a sustainable option. Also, the branded glass for the drink was an excellent souvenir!

Once you check-in you can start on your own path. I started the walk to the new hotels to be sure to check out their offerings first! You can take advantage of the buses available to take you from one side of the event to the other. The event is spread out so the bus will offer you some relief. The bus is free to the participants. Be sure to watch your clock because not only is this a timed event but food can run out at the more popular spots. Try to get everywhere at least 15 minutes before the end of the event.

The Bites

There were some exceptional restaurants and eateries featured in the Taste of Oceanside. Some Oceanside classics were included such as: Johnny Mananas, The Harbor House Cafe, and Angelo’s Burgers. Some of the fine dining establishments involved were: 333 Pacific and Valle Guadalupe Valley Kitchen - each providing us a taste of their offerings. Fresh Mexican cuisine was a common find and I was not disappointed in the bit, stops like Senor Grubby’s, Sancho’s Tacos, and Craft Coast Beer & Tacos all featured delicious options!

My favorite bites came from some of the newer locations on the route. I loved the smoked trout offered by Piper. This restaurant is located in the Seabird Hotel and is on the east side of the property. This restaurant has just introduced their dinner menu and I have to say I can’t wait to return to try more! The Rooftop bar had a taco bite which honestly was delicious and made me want to just sit down and order a whole table full but in the interest of time we kept moving! The Rooftop Bar is located on the top level of the Mission Pacific Hotel. It has beautiful views of the ocean, the pier, the band shell, and the Top Gun house! I highly recommend making a reservation so you can get a gorgeous view along the glass wall.

The Drinks

As you might know Oceanside is brimming with unique breweries and drink houses. The beverage tasting pass was definitely worth the upgrade! Some participants included: Kilowatt Brewing, Black Plague, Stone Brewing co, Locals Only Vodka, and Pacific Coast Spirits. A lot of the groups offered a choice to match your palette and personal taste. Getting through the drinks offered a difficult task - although it wasn’t an extreme amount you have to stay onsite while you drink so it did offer the challenge of time management but I definitely enjoyed the challenge!

A couple of my favorite spots were Coomber wine and Locals Only Vodka. The Coomber wine was delicious and the location is great for a lovely stop in before heading out to dinner. I did not have a chance to stop in and see the CaliFino Tequila but I did get the opportunity to visit their tasting room shortly after the event - I wanted to mention it here because they were a participant. The different offerings are amazing! At the event I learned they had infused tequila - options ranged from Passion Fruit to Habanero! My experience at the tasting room was exceptional! Read my upcoming full review later this week.


I think that the Taste of Oceanside offered a wonderful variety of items and I enjoyed the incorporation of the local businesses as tasting rooms for the drink spots. I will definitely be joining it next year and I will surely be there early! I highly suggest the same for anyone else interested in joining and be sure to buy your ticket as soon as they are available because they did sell out this year!

With the growth Oceanside is experiencing I think events like the Taste of Oceanside are excellent opportunities to learn more about and support local businesses. Additionally, I have to mention Mainstreet Oceanside has an upcoming Sip and Shop event this November that will feature some of the same participants and it will surely be an event you will not want to miss!


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