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Our picks for the sometimes less obvious winners.
Best Restaurant - North County (2012)
Phil’s Fish Market
7600 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing
A bottle of the rich Talbott “Logan” Chardonnay and a calamari steak sandwich is enough to make an affordable, fresh seafood dinner downright decadent. It’s also nice to tuck into a wholesome fish dish and a bottle of local wine without having to assess the server’s abilities—at this casual community institution you order at the counter and just leave a tip for the cashier to help your karma. It further feels good to see fishing boats in the harbor before you sit down to eat. The ciopinno remains legendary for good reason, but most any direction you go—deep fried clams, oysters Baja, Sicilian-style artichokes, blackened sea scallops, halibut tacos—leads to delicious.