There’s just something about walking about in a town so immersed in history that it even has its original wooden boardwalk. Here in Old Town Temecula, the old and new blend together seamlessly in perfect harmony. And this also reflects in the food. Old Town Temecula restaurants will tantalize your tastebuds with old-time favorites, surprise you with innovative dishes and fun dining experiences.
Old Town sports charming boutiques, a myriad of fascinating antique stores, museums, breweries, speakeasies, olive tasting, and, of course, wine tasting. Take a look at our other stories on Temecula here:
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But what we love most about Old Town Temecula is its impressive number of restaurants for a small town. Chefs here have created some fantastic delightful dishes and are committed to using as many local products as possible.
It’s hard to pick and choose. But here are some of our favorite places guaranteed to please your palate.
Best Old Town Temecula Restaurants
The Goat & Vine
Address: 41923 2nd St. Ste 103
Phone: (951) 695-5600
The culinary team at The Goat and Vine (named after an Aesop fable) assembles in their stone hearth kitchen each morning at 4 am to handcraft their bread and pizza dough.
It’s no surprise that there’s always a line at lunch and dinner to get in this quaint eatery. First, it’s a fairly small but intimate space, and two, the food here is superb. These talented people take pizza making to an entirely new level.
Pizzas are indeed their specialty, though the menu also includes salads, sandwiches, and desserts. My hubby and I started with a shared a Goat & Vine Salad followed by a 14-inch Goat pizza. Yes, they are plenty big enough to share when you consider the more-than-generous portions of ingredients.
Mouthwateringly good, the unique melding of flavors left our taste buds begging for more. A Sangiovese from local vintner Robert Renzoni was the perfect accompaniment.
No matter how many times we’ve visited Temecula, this restaurant is always at the top of our list.
Small Barn Old Town
Address: 28535 Old Town Front St.
The newest addition to Old Town Temecula Restaurants, Small Barn, is a modern bistro set in a transformed historic building. When the eatery opened, it quickly became a favorite local gathering place offering a unique yet casual and relaxed dining experience.
Small Barn features brunch and dinner seasonal menus using the freshest of local ingredients to celebrate the wine country lifestyle. Though the menu isn’t extensive, it’s well-thought-out, and everything we’ve eaten here has been superb. On a warm summer day, we shared an impressive Roasted Beet Salad and Ahi Tuna appetizer. We can’t wait to return and try out some of their delectable autumn menu items.
Address: 28656 Old Town Front Street
Phone: (951) 619-1909
An old historic tin-roofed warehouse that once served as a trading post and livery now houses 1909 Temecula–serving brunch, lunch, and dinner. But don’t let the rustic feel of this place fool you. 1909 isn’t pub grub. Handcrafted fluid and fare are the restaurant’s motto, and they more than live up to the name.
Craft cocktails are one of the restaurant’s top headliners. The Cedar-Smoked Old Fashioned is the star of the show. This Manhattan with a California twist is prepared tableside with Woodford Reserve Bourbon, raw sugar, bitters, and orange zest. It’s then smoked by torching a cedar plank and placing the glass upside down to trap the smoky cedar flavor. Order it and guaranteed all surrounding tables will watch the show with delight.
Every entree we’ve had here has been a winner. The Bison Burger is amazing and big enough to share, and I loved the lick-the-bowl-clean Shrimp & Chorizo–one of the staff’s favorites.
Address: 26700 Ynez Court
Phone: (951) 308-2722
For the absolute best sustainable, seasonal fish guaranteed to hook any seafood lover, Bluewater Grill is where to eat in Temecula. The restaurant even operates its own swordfish harpoon boat out of Newport Coast and purchases other seafood daily from local fishers. And they even sport a fresh retail seafood market.
Though this lunch and dinner establishment has other locations throughout Southern California, each eatery features its unique menu. Bluewater also boasts an extensive local wine list though guests are welcome to bring their favorite local wines in without a corkage fee.
Oysters on the half shell, their award-winning chowder, Cedar Plank Salmon, and Whole Roasted Fish are definite dinner favorites. There’s also a daily catch list guaranteeing the freshest fish available for seafood lovers. Meat lovers can also find alternate dining choices on the menu, but vegans and vegetarians will probably have to talk to the chef for a special order.
Address: 28693 Old Town Front St. Ste 104
Phone: (951) 506-4024
The name of this casual eatery describes it to perfection. What started as a food truck featured on several cooking channels opened as a restaurant inviting guests to come and dine on “food so good, it’s bad.”
A delicious eatery and taproom, Devilicious is known for its impressive sharable plates, amazing burgers, and sandwiches. The Butter Poached Lobster Grilled Cheese is unlike anything I’ve ever eaten, filled to the brim with chunks of savory lobster tail. And if you’re into pork belly, the Pork Belly Tacos are “deviliciously” mouthwatering.
And here’s a little secret. You’ll find the Apparition speakeasy located behind an unassuming wall of the restaurant–it’s a must-do, though reservations are required.
Crush & Brew
Address: 28544 Front Street
Phone: (951) 693- 4567
This artisan dinner restaurant and bar is known for its Southern California craft brews and extensive wine list–hence the name. Happy Hour is also served here Monday through Thursday, and the restaurant also features a late-night menu.
Crush & Brew is a trendy casual food establishment in Old Town. The menu here features small bites, salads, handhelds, and main entrees. The Drunken Crawfish Mac is a cheesy delight served over penne pasta. My hubby raved over the Manhattan, a NY steak with a creative twist of flavors.
If you have room for dessert, the Macadamia Nut C&B Zookie (cookie baked in a cast-iron skillet) topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate, and caramel sauce is a jewel. It’s big enough to share. But you might not want to!
And here’s another secret. Crush & Brew houses Thomson & Twain, a fascinating Temecula Old Western speakeasy with a “top-secret” door/wall entrance.
Address: 41955 5th Street #101
Phone: (951) 699-7300
We stumbled upon Havana Kitchen by accident at lunchtime on a weekend visit, and are we ever glad we did. This quaint, laid-back eatery tucked away in Old Town Temecula celebrates the culinary traditions of Cuba. One key feature is their premium Cuban Blend coffees, roasted fresh and ground to order. They can even make your coffee “Borracho” (drunk in Spanish) by adding a splash of Kalua or Bailey’s.
Havana Kitchen makes all their food fresh to order daily from breakfast through dinner. Patrons order at the counter, and they receive their food at their table. Everything we tasted on their extensive menu was impressive. Standouts were the Cubano Sandwich with a side of luscious plantains and Cuban Joe, made famous at the legendary Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Havana, Cuba.
Address: 41971 Main Street
Phone: (951) 676-7305
Seasonal rotating farm-to-table offerings celebrate the abundance of Southern California local produce, meats, and seafood at PUBlic House, a fun and funky Temecula gastropub.
Diners can eat indoors, on the balcony, or in a lush patio garden setting. Offerings range from “snackeroos” to main entrees, including a host of tasty, creative vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes. The menu also includes scrumptious chicken, beef, pork, and fish selections.
It’s not easy to choose an entree here as the impressive food list is so darn creative and unique. But it’s definitely foodie heaven and a place you’ll want to come back to visit again and again.
Luke’s on Front
Address: 28693 Old Town Front Street #402
Phone: (951) 699-9900
This lively restaurant and bar offer a mix of salads, burgers, pasta, sandwiches, and seafood in a picturesque rooftop setting overlooking downtown Old Town Temecula. It’s a great place to hang out and enjoy American eats and craft cocktails with live music.
Open for lunch, Sunday brunch, and dinner, the menu includes appetizers, greens, sandwiches, burgers, main entrees, and desserts. In addition, there’s always a featured soup of the day. We love the Finn’s Filet Trio, and Blackened Salmon drizzled with lemon caper sauce.
Entrees here lean more on the pricey side; however, the quality of the food and the lovely setting truly makes it worth every penny. With its romantic ambiance, it’s also the ideal place for a date night or to celebrate a special occasion. And sunsets here are so spectacular.
French chef Auguste Escoffier once said, “Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.” Maybe that’s why we’re always so darn happy when we’re dining at our favorite Old Town Temecula restaurants.
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Last Updated on July 7, 2023 by Maria Haase