Café Topes is a stylish eatery in the heart of Carlsbad Village, one block off the main drag at the corner of bustling Roosevelt Street. A family owned-and-operated restaurant, it’s known for its open-hearted coolness, delectable Stumptown coffee, incredible food, and legendary freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Voted best breakfast in Carlsbad, this no ‘tude hipster haven is open six days a week offering an all-day breakfast menu as well as a lunch menu, both created from old family recipes. They serve American-style fare with a modern twist in a homey ambiance. Café Topes is the ideal eatery when you’re missing home-cooked meals and the closeness family gatherings provide.
Café Topes Ambiance
An order-at-the-counter style restaurant, Café Topes’ interior is both industrial and rustic with a chic, black-steel exposed ceiling, concrete floors, wood tables, antique furnishings, and a design showstopper – a breathtaking living wall of succulents. The restaurant extends a welcoming warmth via their wide open doors and large, sunny patio where watching beach-bound foot traffic is common. The décor simply adds to the homey ambiance with lengthy bench seating adorned with Pendleton-inspired pillows, quaint four-top wooden tables with aluminum chairs, chalkboard order menus, and shelving units displaying glass jars filled with various selections of teas and coffees.
Café Topes Food
Café Topes wants their customers to “eat like family,” which is the philosophy behind their diverse and delicious menus. They’ve managed to create an assortment of dishes reflective of the love, care, and taste that can only be found in home-made meals. Prior to opening a restaurant, the very culinary creations displayed on their menu were simply family recipes they’d enjoyed over the years, including their famous cinnamon rolls.
Since breakfast is an all-day affair here, it should come as no surprise that Café Topes’ menu is an extensive one. They’ve made sure that all breakfast staples are represented and have even thrown in some culinary surprises that will rival the traditional choices. You can’t go wrong with the Mexican Benedict – two poached eggs topped with fresh chorizo or soyrizo and Chipotle hollandaise sauce.
The menu features a collection of two-egg-any-style combos, scrambles, C.T. classics, benedicts, breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos, griddle specialties such as Oreo pancakes, and small plates like a power granola parfait, and biscuits and gravy. For a change of pace, opt for one of their more interesting dishes like the CT Bacon Steak entrée – house-smoked hand-cut pork belly rubbed in bourbon and finished with a blackberry ginger balsamic served with three eggs any style, and choice of fruit, seasoned potatoes, or toast.
You can even have fun designing your perfect omelet with Café Topes’s “name your omelet” section.
Café Topes’ selections don’t slow down during the midday hours. It’s double the fun with the addition of their lunch menu that includes burgers, gourmet grilled cheeses, cold sandwiches, tacos, burritos, greens, and specialty dishes such as fish & chips. Big appetites will enjoy the aptly named Hammer of Thor – a half-pound beef patty topped with a fried egg, bacon, and hash browns. They also offer substitutions such as quinoa and turkey patties to cater to those who have food allergies or dietary restrictions. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options are included on the menu.
Café Topes Details
One great aspect of Café Topes is its location, situated in the bustling and vibrant community of Carlsbad Village. This is one of few areas in San Diego County where you don’t have to pay for street parking right away. Anywhere you park here is completely free for the first few hours allowing everyone a chance to dine and explore the area. And while Café Topes has no parking lot they do offer bike parking.
This is a neighborhood-style restaurant with a focus on connection and community, so you won’t find Wi-Fi or TVs here. They encourage guests to unplug from technology and talk to one another. Café Topes is open from early morning to mid-afternoon daily. They don’t serve alcohol, so if you’re hankering for Bloody Mary’s or mimosas, this is not the place.
The restaurant’s sign is a little faded, so if you find yourself in a panic, just look for the outdoor tables, they serve as a beacon for Café Topes’ entrance.
Café Topes Neighborhood
Carlsbad Village is the downtown area of the city of Carlsbad. This walkable area is within close proximity to the ocean and hosts the majority of the neighborhood’s retail spaces and restaurants. You’ll find a collection of thrift shops, antique stores, upscale boutiques, wine bars, and art galleries. It is home to the Carlsbad Village Art and Antique Mall, a well-known shopping area with more than 100 vendors selling everything from gold and jewelry to toys and flowers. Carlsbad Village is also the location of many famous landmarks including the Alt Karlsbad Hanse House located on Carlsbad Boulevard, which was the site of the town’s first mineral water spa, a prominent fixture of the city since the 1880s.