Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma


Nestled inside the Art Center of Fallbrook in the quaint downtown area sits Café des Artistes, a European-inspired contemporary bistro infused with a relaxed atmosphere. The fresh and imaginative cuisine offered at this establishment results in a memorable food and wine experience.

Café des Artistes is built around vibrant color, creative art and delectable food. “When I built this café I built the kind of café that I wanted to go to,” said owner Michael Calvanese.

With his Italian heritage and having extensively traveled throughout Europe, Calvanese had a specific vision for his bistro, involving variety and creativity.

Since February, Calvanese has produced an international culinary journey for his diners. “I decided that what our town was missing was varied dinner offerings,” said Calvanese. “So, two weekends a month, we will be offering two international theme dinners.”

February, being the month of love, featured tantalizing French cuisine. And peeking inside the months ahead, Café des Artistes will be showcasing classic Spanish, Greek and Thai fare.

“For each one of these specialty themes we are bringing in a chef with significant experience in this menu,” said Calvanese, who is committed to only using the finest and freshest ingredients.

With a few entrees to choose from, this impressive prix fixe menu offers scrumptious entrees and sublime desserts. At first, Calvanese was planning to have his theme dinner only once a month, but his clientele convinced him otherwise.

“They told me if I did this only once a month they wouldn’t be able to taste everything,” began Calvanese, “so we will have the weekend dinners in the middle and end of the month.”

To complement the global fare, a perfect choice of wines and live music will enliven the dining experience. For Spanish cuisine month, which will feature a selection of paellas, diners will take pleasure in the distinctive sounds of flamenco guitar.

Committed to wholesome foods, selections at Café des Artistes are pesticide-free and all greens are organic. “We focus on the healthier side of the menu; the quality of our produce is high, our provider ships a lot of product to restaurants in New York City,” said Calvanese, adding that New York eateries are recognized for excellence.

Known for mouthwatering paninis, Café des Artistes bakes its own bread, keeping diners coming back for more. The wild salmon panini, said Calvanese, is the most popular repeat. Lunch specials such as wild salmon, turkey and veggie burgers are enormous triumphs. “Our lunches are known throughout town as being special,” said Calvanese.

As if the ambience of art, vibrant color and great food wasn’t enough to satisfy, Café des Artistes has a slice of history in its midst: a traditional soda fountain which is set up to produce a variety of 60 drinks.

“Someone just told me the other day that there are less than 20 traditional soda fountains in California,” said Calvanese. “There are two in San Diego County – one here at the café and the other at the old drugstore in Julian.”

In the six years Café des Artistes has been in business, Calvanese has been flattered and thankful to have such a loyal clientele. Offering consistency, quality and reliability has always been his focus.

For Calvanese, eating and dining are two separate entities. “You can eat anywhere, but you can’t dine anywhere,” he said. “We want to give our diners a memorable experience.”

To learn more about Café des Artistes and its upcoming theme dinners, visit or stop by the restaurant at 103 South Main Avenue.

The café can be reached by phone at (760) 728-3350.

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