As “taste of” events go, Taste of Leucadia is by far my favorite. The stroll from Encinitas Boulevard almost to La Costa Avenue along Coast Highway 101 with the eclectic array of eateries makes for a perfect evening. A word of warning if you want to make it through the entire list of participating restaurants, don’t get hung up at one spot as that’s very easy to do. I had a similar incident a few years back when our stop at Captain Keno’s went long and next thing I knew we had very little time to make it through the rest of the event.
That said, and before I get into some of the highlights of this year’s event, I’d like to introduce the new staff at Leucadia 101 Mainstreet who work so hard to make this event so amazing. Annika Walden is the new executive director and is a local’s local who is a perfect fit for the job. She is the former business development director at the very cool Surfhouse Boutique Hotel in Lecuadia and prior to that worked as executive director at Cardiff by the Sea Foundation and Cardiff Mainstreet. She is an avid surfer and attended the University of Lund, Sweden.
Zanni Miranda is the assistant director and started out working with former director and current City Councilwoman Kellie Shay Hinze last year. She has extensive event planning experience and a degree in anthropology from University of Arizona. She plans the fabulous events Leucadia 101 Mainstreet is known for and works to add new community Memberships to the L101 roster.
Running Leucadia 101 Mainstreet, Annika and Zanni are dedicated to the historic preservation and revitalization of Leucadia’s North Coast Highway 101 Corridor and recognizing Leucadia’s historical value as one of the last remaining old-fashioned beach towns in Southern California. Leucadia 101 Main Street also promotes the area as destination full of culture and activities for residents, businesses and visitors alike.
One of their big events is the sixth annual Taste of Leucadia happening April 4 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. It’s an evening to celebrate our beloved restaurants, retailers, craft brewers, local vintners and small production kombucha makers.
Twenty-five of Leucadia’s amazing restaurants will be serving samples for ticket holders highlighting their tasty menus, including exciting new restaurants like ChiKo and The Cantine along with past Platinum Plate Award Winners Umi, Birdseye Kitchen and Pandora’s Pizza. Thirteen Sip Stop locations (the most ever!) will be open after hours for attendees to enjoy local libations at their unique locations on Highway 101 and Vulcan Avenue. Sip Stops are a chance for attendees to explore some of Leucadia’s best retail, spa, and service locations, including newcomers Corah Workspace (new co-working spot) and Three Sisters Jewelry.
One of my favorite new restaurants ChiKo will have a pop-up location at Priority Public House right in the heart of the event. Other fun attractions like free photos for guests by Camera Camper vintage trailer photo booth, and a new mobile bar service called KombiKeg who will be serving up nonalcoholic sips of Superfood & Company Kefir Soda and Coffee. Another one of my favorite newcomers is Live Culture Café that you may have read about in a recent column. I love what Michael Zonfrilli and Patrick Otterson are doing there and it is definitely worth a stop.
Electra Bicycle Company is back again this year, providing a bike valet at the Priority Public House lot, so you can ride your bike to the event and forget about parking. That is my preferred way to get to this event for sure.
The event would not be complete without live music all along N. Coast Highway 101. Crowd favorites Buena Vista SoCal Club will be at Coffee Coffee again this year and there is a new music location at Moonlight Lofts! Check out leucadia101.com for the full line up and set times.
All Access tickets (Food and 21+ Sip Stop) are $40 in advance ($45 the day of), Taste Only tickets are $25 in advance ($30 the day of, if they last!), and Sip Only tickets (21+ only) are $20 ($25 the day of). Each 21+ ticket holder with Sip Stops will receive a commemorative taster glass for their beer, wine and elixir tasting. Tickets sell out well in advance each year so make sure to buy yours as soon as possible.
Close to 1,200 people attend this event and 1,000 tickets are sold. I would suggest parking remotely and utilizing the two shuttles sponsored by Le Papagayo that will transport attendees from the upper parking lot at City Hall (505 S. Vulcan) to Leucadia and will drop off riders in the heart of the event. The shuttle will be running throughout the night to bring guests back to City Hall. The last pick up will be 8:55 from HapiFish so plan accordingly.
For complete event details visit www.leucadia101.com.