“I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon than to occupy the most splendid post.” —Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson preceded the settlement of La Jolla by a hundred years, but he would’ve been at home in the Village with the number of cottages offering bacon on their menus today. Cottage culture is experiencing a legitimate resurgence in La Jolla through its cafes, pubs and restaurants—white picket fence and strategically placed rose intact.
Prep Kitchen, 7556 Fay Avenue: The owners of Whisknladle opened this establishment and another in Del Mar. Their personal philosophy: “PK serves great seasonal comfort food in super relaxed environment.” Brunch seems a bit fussy, but make it to PK for the more relaxed Happy Hour, daily from 3 to 6pm, with $5 sangrias and 25% all bottles of wine, paired with $3 Spanish-style tapas like Farro salad, manchego, stuffed piquillo peppers, marinated olives, calamari fritti, and bacon-wrapped dates.
Pannikin Coffee & Tea, 7467 Girard Avenue: This café, tucked between a Maserati dealership and used bookstore, might not be a cottage per se, but it is very cottagey, much like its Del Mar, Encinitas and downtown locations. Expect a collegiate feel mixed with ‘90s post-boho. The bandiera bagel and cheese tamales with veggie chili are hearty stand-bys, and the burrito is equivalent to two meals; the espresso is pleasing, and there’s wi-fi, too.
The Cottage, 7702 Fay Avenue: The trellised patio provides a picturesque frame for its clientele and cuisine. California bistro fare includes farm-fresh eggs, granola and fresh fruit, oatmeal pancakes, Belgian waffles or a vegetable frittata, plus desserts and pastries, fitting the cottage aesthetic.
Brick & Bell Cafe, 928 Silverado Street: The Brick & Bell possesses an old-country cottage vibe. Try the Mediterranean sandwich on ciabatta or any of their down-home soups, the chicken enchilada, tomato ravioli or Italian wedding varieties.
The Public House, 830 Kline Street: One of the original La Jolla cottages, here you can choose from 21 taps of Belgian ales, local San Diego beers and many hard to find microbrews, as well as over 120 bottled beers—many which are specialty and limited release bottles—and wine. Pair them with a burger, from the “Bootlegger” with whiskey barbecue sauce, onion straws, bacon and pepper jack, to the grass-fed “Kobe Wagyu” with gruyere, gorgonzola, onions, tomato and baby greens (vegetarian options also available).
Extreme Pizza, 834 Kline Street: There might be more than a few Extreme Pizza franchises, diluting some of the independent Jeffersonian homestead spirit, but with a toddler, this might be one of the most convenient cottage options. For less than a Hamilton ($10), little ones get a huge slice of pizza, orange wedges, and a fruit drink–perfect after a day of scaling rocks at the Cove. Plus you can stroll to nearby Cups for no-guilt organic cupcakes afterward.