Pack your beach bag with great food-to-go

Local takeout places really hit the spot

You're off to the beach, you've got your sunscreen, your towel, your beach chair ... but something's missing.

Food!

Here are a few great takeout places where you can find what you need to make your day at the beach complete.

HOT TIP:

Call ahead to check business hours, and remember: You'll get your fast food a lot faster if you arrive before — or after — the lunch time rush.

Cheese Shop

2165 Avenida de la Playa

(858) 459-3921

Heading for La Jolla Shores? The go-to place here is the Cheese Shop. It calls itself "the last mom & pop shop," and it has been owned and operated by the Schutz family, longtime La Jollans, since 1972. Dorothy (Mom) is gone now, and John (Pop) recently retired, but the shop's distinctively down-home personality is maintained by their son, Phil, and his staff.

Besides hefty and interesting hot and cold sandwiches on Bread & Cie bread, there are homemade cookies, salads and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Even waiting in line can be fun as you browse through their shelves full of "treats from around the world."

HOT TIP:

Try the fresh-roasted leg of lamb sandwich with tarragon dressing, tomato, red onion, cucumber and grated mizithra cheese on multigrain or rosemary bread with a lemonade.

Brick & Bell

928 Silverado

(858) 551-0928

If you're heading for The Cove, stop in at the locals' choice for eat-in or takeout breakfasts and lunches. Good sandwiches and salads — and the iced Sakura green tea is really special. Owner Peter Watry says it's all the rage in Tokyo and a huge hit here.

HOT TIP:

The No. 1 sandwich is turkey and mayo with lettuce, tomato and provolone on lightly toasted ciabatta. And don't forget the iced green tea.

Von's

3850 Valley Centre Drive

(858) 793-4661

For beaching or après-hiking at Torrey Pines, you can't beat the deals at Von's deli counter in Piazza Carmel. For $4.99, you can try one of the "Signature Cafe Sandwiches" or build your own on artisan breads or baguettes. And just in time for summer takeout, the store is starting a buy-one-get-one-free offer.

HOT TIP:

Definitely build your own sandwich. My fave is pan-roasted turkey or Black Forest ham on a toasted whole-wheat baguette, with just about everything on it: lettuce, tomato, red onion, peperoncini, carmelized onions, artichokes, pesto, and Swiss or provolone cheese — with pickles on the side.

Waters Fine Foods to Go

125 S. Highway 101

(858) 509-9400

Going to Del Mar's Dog Beach or Solana Beach's Fletcher Cove?

Your best bet is the local tributary of Waters, whose main location is on Morena Boulevard. All food is prepared in the large catering kitchen there and delivered fresh to Solana Beach every morning. The food is healthy and tasty, and there are daily specials, too.

HOT TIP:

Try the grilled portabella sandwich with roasted peppers and truffled aioli on toasted focaccia, and if the special is Strawberry Salad, don't miss it: organic arugula spring mix with feta, candied almonds and balsamic vinaigrette.

   
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