By Kim Riha
My husband and I have been venturing into Vista to explore the dining scene and have been very pleasantly surprised. Although we are both quite familiar with the San Diego County area, in the past we hadn’t spent much time in Vista unless we were on jury duty! We realize now how much we had been missing out.
Vista has been undergoing a redevelopment in recent years and there are a lot of new restaurants and businesses in town. Vista is also getting a reputation in the county for its many microbreweries.
We recently met some friends at the annual “Taste of Vista” event in June. It was great fun to try a variety of food from the various local restaurants. The stand out for us was “508 Tavern.”
During the event, the Tavern was featuring its Korean BBQ Taco, which won the overall “Favorite Taste” vote from event attendees. It was a very flavorful dish that was both spicy and sweet.
We have returned to 508 Tavern a few times since, and the food has been consistently wonderful. We’ve tried numerous dishes including: the Caprese salad, fried olives, calamari, parmesan garlic fries, sliders on Hawaiian rolls with chipotle mayo, and the 508 Summer Salad (made with kale, quinoa, candied walnuts, cranberries and parmesan). Everything was high quality and fresh, and in a word… Yummo! The menu also had a nice selection of local beers and wine.
The restaurant is a small and cozy…very cozy, which I like. Everyone is friendly and the décor is rustic and comfortable. They even have a dog-friendly patio.
508 Tavern is located at 508 S. Sante Fe Ave. in Vista open every day except Monday, starting at 1:00 pm. The exterior is not very flashy so you might miss it the first time you try to find it. Look for the barber poles from the barbershop next door.
Did I mention that it is only a 20 min. drive from Hidden Meadows via Buena Creek Road? Only 2 minutes longer than going into downtown Escondido! Definitely worth the drive. I just ask that you try keep this secret place to yourself so that it doesn’t get too crazy busy for we Meadowites to get a seat.