Vaga Restaurant & Bar

Written by’s Local Expert
Beautiful view at the Vega Restaurant with specialty drinks in Encinitas, CA.
 Vaga Bar & Lounge parmesan cheese fries.
Happy hour bites and cocktails at the Vaga Bar & Lounge in Encinitas, CA.
Vaga Bar & Lounge menu.
The ocean and road view at Vaga Bar & Lounge in Encinitas, CA.
Scenic ocean view at Vaga Bar & Lounge.
Vaga Bar & Lounge outdoor scenic loungers.
Vaga Bar & Lounge daytime ocean view of Encinitas, CA.
City view at Vaga Bar & Lounge in Encinitas, CA.
Vaga Bar & Lounge patio seating and grassy area.


Overlooking California’s infamous Coast Highway and the Pacific Ocean is Vaga Lounge & Bar, which is located adjacent to the upscale Vaga Restaurant at the Alila Marea Beach Resort. 

Gorgeous patio spaces with fireside tables, hammock-inspired chairs, and table ottomans on the grassy perch overlook Ponto State Beach. This is a perfect place to sip one of their fun, expressive cocktails and enjoy a small bite to eat while soaking in the beautiful SoCal coastline.

This ‘rooftop’ bar was recommended by a local Encinitas family member, who said that it was a beautiful observation spot with great cocktails…and he was correct! 

After spending a day at Swami Beach and the Meditation Gardens in Encinitas, I decided to check out Vaga Lounge with my sister-in-law and learned that Vaga actually has three sections – the restaurant, the bar, and the lounge—all of which has absolutely gorgeous views. 

We arrived early so we could secure a couple of chairs on the grassy hillside overlooking Coast Highway and the Pacific Ocean. What a fantastic ending to a great day!

And while soaking up the last bit of sunshine, Cambria our server, brought us a lounge menu to peruse. The menu offered a variety of spirits, wine, cocktails, and a few ‘bites’ so we started off with a couple of cocktails while we decided on which bites to order. 

The bar and lounge area are open from 3 PM to 9 PM offering ‘Bites’ that are served from 3:30 PM to 9 PM. This includes Parmesan Fries, Crispy Chickarrones, Pretzel Bites, and Vegetable Crudité. 

Heartier ‘Additional Bites’ are also served from 5 PM to 9 PM and include the Vaga Burger (beef or meatless), Beef Tartare, and Local Hamachi Crudo.

We settled on the Parmesan Fries, which is actually a vegetarian dish made with fresh herb mix and served with a herbed labneh dip, and the Crispy Chickarrones which are the chicken skins—like chicharrónes (pork skins) tossed in a choice umami glaze or passion fruit, mojito sauce, green onion and served with fennel slaw. 

We chose the passion fruit and I admit that we were a little hesitant about ordering chicken skins, who ever heard of such a thing? We both love chicharrónes, but were a little weirded out at chicken skin, even though that is no doubt the most delicious part of the chicken! When in Rome as they say…

Home runs on both orders! 

We did a good number on the fries and enjoyed our cocktails, but as the sun dipped behind the ocean it was getting a bit chilly. So we packed up the rest of the Chickarrones and headed home. 

I did eat the rest of them later that night and they were just as delicious heated up—still crispy and yummy!

I would definitely recommend Vaga Lounge & Bar if you’re in the area. The outdoor space is absolutely gorgeous whether you opt for the tables, couches, or hammock chairs. It is definitely a great spot to spend a few hours and I have heard amazing things about Vaga Restaurant for those interested in dinner. 


Upscale, yet casual California vibes. Even though we were dressed extremely beach casual, we didn’t feel out of place at all—which is definitely a nod to the staff.

Vaga: Menu & Drinks

With a lounge menu in hand, we decided drinks were in order first. 

I opted for the No Place Like Home (Absolut Vodka, Plum, Grapefruit, and Caribbean Spices) and my sister-in-law chose the Convoy (Toki Japanese Whiskey, Citrus, Lemongrass, Five Spice, and Seltzer). Both were nice, refined sipping cocktails appropriate for the atmosphere.

Sipping on our cocktails we enjoyed the ocean view and decided to order some happy hour ‘bites’. 

That led us to discover the Crispy Chickarrones. Even though I was skeptical at first, I quickly discovered that they are so delicious and unique! And though mostly skin, many of them had chicken meat on them so they were kinda more long wings. 

Definitely, one of those dishes you think about long after you’ve left! 

Helpful Tips 

  • Outdoor spots fill up fast, but you can always take advantage of their breezy indoor bar with its expansive retractable panoramic window.
  • Vaga serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.
  • Vaga Lounge, Bar & Restaurant are all located at the Alila Marea Resort and there is no on-street parking close by—or very little—so you will have to valet which will cost you $14.


0/5 (0)
No Reviews

Leave a Review