Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen

Written by www.casago.com’s Local Expert
Exterior door with Chef Luke at Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen.
Interior bar and Dave at Orfila Tasting Room in Oceanside, CA.
Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen wine bar.
Interior wine bar at Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen in Oceanside, CA.
Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen interior dining area.
Mushroom flat bread with wine tasters at Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen in Oceanside, cA.
Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen food menu.
Wine menu at Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen in Oceanside, CA.
Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen outdoor patio in Oceanside.
Swag and gift area at Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen.
Window facing bar at Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen in Oceanside, CA.
Wine tasting flute at Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen.


Urban wineries and wine-tasting rooms are popping up all over, and one noteworthy establishment sits right in the heart of the very cool beach community of Oceanside, California. Orfila Tasting Room & Kitchen serves up wines from their very own vineyard and winery located in the San Pasqual Valley (not too far south of Oceanside). 

They have a great variety of sparkling, white, and red wines and they also make their own olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You can order by the glass, or bottle, or mix it up with a flight. 

To add to their delightful wine variety, Chef Luke offers up some fantastic fare with locally sourced ingredients. From soups and salads to appetizers, flatbreads, entrees, and desserts, you will definitely find more than the basic charcuterie at Orfila—not to fret though, they have that as well. 

Their indoor space is airy and fun, and their outdoor patio is pet-friendly, kid-friendly, cozy, and great for people-watching. And for those of you who are already convinced to stop by, they have one of the best Tempranillos I’ve ever had. Full-stop right there and you will be a happy camper!

Orfila was a must-visit for me since I absolutely love wine and was very intrigued at how an urban tasting room would translate in a laid-back SoCal beach community setting. I was thrilled, delighted, and surprised and it is a definite must-visit whether you’re a wine lover or not. 

As I was sitting at the bar enjoying my wine, I overheard a local SoCal couple telling out-of-towners how much they loved Orfila. 

They mentioned that they are regulars and members of Orfila’s Wine Club and that they have lived in Vista (a city nearby) since 1998. Funny enough to them, they never thought they would say, “Hey, let’s go to Oceanside for some great wine”.

It was clear to me that Orfila has a wonderfully loyal group of patrons. And they definitely had a great idea when they brought their tasting room to downtown Oceanside, truly a great way to introduce a vineyard’s wines to the mainstream public. 

Dave Robinson, Manager of Orfilia Tasting Room told me that, after a while, in order to stay in business and thrive, they changed their business model and added a full menu to showcase the talents of Chef Luke. 

I chewed Dave’s ear the entire time I was there, and he was nothing but kind. He introduced me to Chef Luke, yet another local that had such a passion for the city and its people. And Chef Luke was super personable and friendly too! 

I arrived at Orfila around 4 PM, which was perfect for me because I got front-row parking since it wasn’t too busy yet. 

The inside space is lovely—long bar, middle seating, side seating, and a great people-watching since there is a bar facing the street. The Swinging Johnsons were performing a live gig, and  are definitely a favorite band in the North County San Diego area. In addition, there’s a cozy outdoor patio complete with heaters if you run cold. 

The patio is dog-friendly, which was important to me since I have a Great Dane that tends to follow me everywhere I go, and Manager Dave himself has a Shepherd mix. They don’t encourage dogs in their indoor space, but if you have a “pocket/purse-dog” or well-behaved mutt, and they are not busy, they generally won’t give you a second look. 

Dave’s biggest advice on this front was, ”know your dog”. All well-behaved dogs (and cats) are always welcome. (Yes, I saw a person walking their cat downtown.) 

Orfila is just fun whether you know anything about wine or not. If you’re looking to broaden your ‘wine horizon’ you need not be intimidated here! Orfila goes out of their way to make sure that you feel comfortable, and the staff welcomes any and all questions you have.

Wine, food, ambiance, atmosphere, people watching, dog and kid-friendly, and live music!! What more could you ask for?


Orfila consists of great spaces with super friendly staff, and clientele as well as great food and live music. It’s a very laid-back vibe—not pretentious or uppity, and the experience is designed for your ultimate enjoyment. Their motto is literally, “wine, food, and fun”.

Great for adults and kids, the staff is enthusiastic to suggest the perfect wine for your favorite dish, and for the kids, they have a pint-size food menu. 

This easy-going spot is a wonderfully un-pretentious place to embark upon expanding your wine knowledge—and even better if you go there when they are not slammed to get the full attention of the staff.

So if you’re looking for a  ‘Cheers’ vibe—you know…“Where everyone knows your name”, then Orfila is yet another incredible gem I found in Oceanside where all the locals go! 

Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room & Kitchen: Menu & Drinks

Being my first time at Orfila, I didn’t know what to expect: Do they have a standard wine flight? Or is there a tasting menu where they pour and describe each wine to you? What’s the deal? 

So, I asked. Simple. I opted for the Tasting Flight which consists of 4 wines of your choosing. Dave then gave me the wine list and I chose my four: Sparkling, Vermentino, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo are the ones I chose. (Side note: I purchased 3 out of the 4.) 

On the sheet provided, you name your selections and then he lays them out in the order you wrote them down alongside your sheet, which I really liked so I didn’t lose track. They are served up in little carafes and all in all, totaled about one glass of wine. I saved my sparkling for last because who doesn’t love a good bubbly? 

I am a die-hard Malbec fan, so much so that I went to Argentina where the best Malbecs are produced. I am always looking to expand my palate, so I like to try anything red and not too sweet. A hearty Cabernet Sauvignon or Tempranillo is always a good choice in my book. 

Merlot and Pinot Noir are probably wines you will recognize, but personally, I find the Merlot too sweet and the Pinot too watery and mild overall. I am used to Valle de Guadalupe Tempranillos—a fantastic up-and-coming wine region on the Baja in Mexico. This wine tends to exhibit a strong terroir flavor, literally, the taste of the region and the smell of the soil in which the grapes are grown. So I was thrilled to find Orfila’s Tempranillo bold yet very smooth. 

I am not usually a white wine fan but found their Vermentino very crisp and refreshing. I also purchased a bottle of their delicious Cabernet but am sticking with the Tempranillo as my favorite.

My Wild Mushroom Flatbread was just one of many item choices that include a variety of salads, soups, apps, entrees, and desserts. They have five different flatbreads that all look amazing so I must go back and try each one! First on my list for next time is the Short Rib Flatbread (garlic cream sauce, mozzarella, braised short rib, roasted mushrooms, ricotta, caramelized onion, arugula, and hot honey). OMG! 

Other must-tries are the Japanese Sweet Potatoes, Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Short Rib Entrée, and Lobster Bisque! 

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Wild Mushroom Flatbread (white cream sauce, mozzarella, wild mushrooms, garlic, goat cheese, truffle oil, and chili flake) was the bomb and a definite must-try! 

I hit the jackpot when I found Orfila. 

Helpful Tips 

  • Reservations are not required as it is first come, first served with a 90-minute requested seat time.
  • Wine-tasting flights are usually limited to groups of 6 people or less and are available until 5 PM only, with a strict cut-off time to accommodate the dinner crowd.
  • Depending on how crowded they are some flexibility can be offered to groups of 7 or more for wine-tasting. I recommend calling ahead. 
  • There are only a few parking spaces right in front of Orfila and they are back-in-only! This means that you need to back your vehicle into the space and not pull straight in.
  • Oceanside Parking Enforcement is out and about every few minutes and they will give you a citation if you don't back in. 


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