We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Review of Dini's Bistro

Dini's Bistro
Ranked #33 of 347 Restaurants in Carlsbad
Price range: $9 - $35
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: "The Mikes," as these two are fondly referred to by the locals, opened Dini's Bistro in 1987 and it has become a Carlsbad landmark. Co-owners Michael Dini and Michael Arellano continue the heritage established by the Dini brothers- Amerigo, Columbo and Michael Sr., who were the proprietors of San Diego County's oldest bar, McDini's, founded in 1890. The Dini brothers tradition of effervescent hospitality and service to their patrons and community is alive today.
Reviewed February 28, 2013 via mobile

I needed a delicious meal while staying in CARLSBAD BY THE SEA. I was staying near Dini's and it was close to sunset. The internet gave options of Sunset Specials so I took a ride here. I sat in their outdoor patio which Is nice & very comfortable temperature-wise. Beautiful sunset with their new Iguana Cocktail special. Terra was my server and she was very prompt & knowledgeable about the menu. I had ono with a side Caesar salad (little short on dressing-but still good). The Ono was served with a delicious Beurre blanc and nicely steamed vegetables. (The cauliflower was steamed a little too much for my taste-but I am partial to raw cauliflower, broccoli etc.). Everything was very good and the Ono was outstanding. They have a great wine list and a beautiful location-OOPS I FORGOT TO SAY THIS IS OVERLOOKING THE SEA.
When this close to the ocean, who wants to be enclosed in a dining room when I can eat outside and watch the sunset & the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ijustknow29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (259)
There are newer reviews for Dini's Bistro
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

210 - 214 of 259 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2013

If you have not been here, now is the time. Great drinks and bartenders with wrap around wide flat panel screens with the Ocean as a backdrop. The Lump Crab stuffed Calif. Avocado is really tasty. So many good specials everyday. Not open Tuesday's. If you like it lively and a good mix of locals you will have a great time and enjoy the sites too.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We were staying at Tamarack Beach Resort, and just watched the beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean, so we just walked next door to Dini's By The Sea.

Lovely warm welcome by staff.
We were seated, and received prompt attention of iced water, and menus.
Lovely warm atmosphere.
We chose inside as it was a bit chilly that evening for an outside table. However if we were there for lunch, an outside table would have been lovely.
Warm bread and butter was delivered to the table after we placed our order. Yummy.
Hubby ordered Nachos, and still talking about how delicious it was.
I ordered the Macaroni Bacon and Cheese appetiser meal, as I don't eat big meals. It was very tasty, and freshly made in a delicious cheese sauce.

We just could not fit in a desert meal at all.....
I actually had some left over, which the restaurant was very obliging in giving us a takeaway container.
(We actually had the Mac Bacon & Cheese for breakfast and it also tasted good cold)

We saw some delicious huge meals come out to tables.
All staff were extremely friendly.

Would we recommend Dini's?? .....DEFINATELY. You won't be disappointed.

Thank 23ros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

The bar scene was exciting with everyone just having a good time. The views of ocean at sunset are terrific. Downside--one TV didn't work and no one knew how to fix it and the food was typical bar food. Can't recommend any of the food, just enjoy the bar scene.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank azpoet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

This was out last night in town before heading back to Arkansas early the next morning. Looking for a dining opportunity close to our cottage with an ocean view...we decided on Dini's over Ruby's cafe.

It was a Monday evening and the bar was in full swing by 10 after 5. We were seated in the dining area, upper deck. the wind was quite strong and I did not want to be seated outside. Note...this restaurant is located directly on a 4 lane road, outside seating is just off the road itself. The car noise and exhaust is dampened by a plexa glass shield in the outdoor dining. Others were outside so I will expect the barrier does a good job.

The ocean is directly opposite the dining area, making this an ideal place for sunset watching. Husband was amazed at how fast the sun seemed to set and how the ambient light remained for a long time. The back wall of the dining area is reflective glass which made for a blinding reflection during the actual sunset so...

I ordered the crab cake with dill aioli. Husband shared this with me...a slaw of cabbage on the side and the aioli was tangy and tasty. The cakes a little more filler than I had expected and I tasted nor saw any shrimp in them.

Husband jumped out of the normal and ordered the Mahi Mahi and me the Chicken Parmesan. I fiqured if he did not like his meal we could swap...this is the meat/potato man.

Ceasar salads were plain and did not inspire us. As dinner progressed the noise from the bar did grow, but not so much as to interrupt our conversations. I got cold and husband went to car to retrieve my sweater. As we dined, only two other sets of people came in..one couple to just have a glass of wine.

The mahi mahi and chicken came to the table...plenty hot. I think I had gotten confused and was disappointed the chicken was breaded. As we dug in, the sauce and noodles were accepable and husband indicated the fish was tasteless.

Best things about the visit...sunset and the dill aioli. Worst thing...a overall underwhelming dining experience. I can see now the reviews are correct about this place...must be great for bar specials as the bar area was hopping. I had asked about a posted beer and a shot special for $5, but was informed it was not available in the dining area, just in the bar. Early disappointment even before a single bite of food.

Dini's has all the makings of a great seaside restaurant. Location, view, ample seating, attentive staff, but sadly the food fell short. My advise...come for a drink and the sunset...and then have dinner at another location.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Wendy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Dini's Bistro? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing