CVA Member Profile: The Compass Restaurant

Blog Post - April 13, 2021

Category: What's New

Established in 2011, the Compass restaurant is a delicious eatery tucked away in the heart of Carlsbad Village. The dishes are all locally sourced and support the community that the owners and staff call home.

"Compass is committed to exceptional quality in every dish and making every meal memorable for our customers," said Jess Van Driessche, Co-Owner. "Using local products has helped us keep our menu exciting and fresh and new with seasonal changes. Our customers appreciate Chef Brad's attention to detail, as well as that of our entire team."

The Compass offers a thoughtful menu curated by Executive Chef Brad Thomas whose background in fresh, farm-to-table ingredients can be tasted in every dish. A regular shopper at the weekly downtown State Street Farmers’ Market, Chef Brad incorporates fresh produce, cheese, fish, eggs and more in many of his dishes and often has Farmers’ Market nightly specials to highlight the season’s best bounty.

According to Jess, "Chef Brad's commitment to the food has never changed. He utilizes the Carlsbad Farmers' Market every week along with the relationships he has built with the local farmers to maintain his "From Scratch" kitchen which has continued to serve his community."


The menu at Compass is entensive, but a few highlights include some local favorites like their famous bacon wrapped corn dog with Dijon mustard that makes even the finest diner feel like a kid again. Their “Greens” menu includes a fire roasted beet salad with shaved brussel sprouts that is to die for. Their extensive “Hot Plates” dinner menu includes delicacies like brown buttered king crab, hanger steak Florentine, and, of course, their epic Compass burger (fried egg on top is a must.)

The Compass is so much more than just dinner though. Whether for late night food or decadent brunch, happy hour, or lunch, they have something for everyone. You haven’t lived until you’ve had their Crispy Bahn Mi Chicken Sando and a cold craft beer flight tray on a Saturday afternoon or their Southern Benedict on a cheddar jalapeno biscuit for breakfast. And for those who prefer something a little lighter or possibly meat-free, the Compass team has you covered!

Happy "hours" are plentiful with twenty craft beers, wines, and a wide variety of cocktails, along with delightful truffle pomme frites, shrimp tacos, pork sliders, and other tasty bites. Their specialty cocktails will keep you wanting more.

The Compass isn’t just about eating out as is evidenced in their “Shop With The Chef” farm-to-table private dinners. Shop With The Chef is a private dining experience started by the farmers' market staff and the Compass restaurant for up to 20 diners that begins with a chef-led, guided informational tour of the State Street Farmers’ Market. This dining experience began years ago as a one-time event and has since grown to multiple events with other Carlsbad Village restaurants following their lead with this local experience.

With outdoor dining al fresco as well as indoor bar height tables and cozy booths, the Compass is a comfortable place to slip away from it all with friends and family, or for a special night out on the town. Its lively atmosphere combined with on-point cuisine, makes it an eating destination you will come back to again and again.

300 Carlsbad Village Drive
(upper level)
760-434-1900
www.thecompasscarlsbad.com