Blick has a wide selection of professional art materials and craft supplies. Their prices are pretty steep on a lot of things, and this is usually because of the quality, but still... They do offer a student discount, however, which helps. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful.
My 2 year old sister loves to go to Little Locks and play with the wide variety of unique toys they have. We haven't done the haircut there yet, but it seems like the stylists are very friendly and great with kids. The toys are pretty expensive, but worth it, because of how unique and high quality most of them are.
I stopped into Piano Rentals Inc. looking to rent or buy a used upright piano. They had a wide selection, but none of them were very high quality brands and were pretty beat up looking. They were asking too much for what they were, and the rent to own plans are a scam. The woman was very friendly and willing to chat though, and it is nice how the business is run by a family (the father opened it years ago and it is slowly being passed to his daughter).
St. Tropez is a cute little coffee shop and bistro conveniently located in a shopping center with lots of fun boutiques. They have great coffee drinks and amazing baked goods, as well as sandwiches and soups. Service is fast and friendly, and prices are steep but worth it.
Las Olas is a great family restaurant with economical but delicious Mexican food. Service is friendly and the interior is bright and festive. You are sure to leave Las Olas full and content.
Ki's has the most creative vegetarian cuisine. They also offer a wide variety of quality seafood and steaks. The service is a little slow, but they get quite the dinner crowd. This also means there is a wait some nights, but not too long. The best thing about Ki's is the view. If you sit on the upstairs patio at sunset, it's the most beautiful ocean view of any restaurant.
Roxy is the cutest little restaurant. They have a sort of diner atmosphere, with local homemade ice cream and things like burgers. But they also serve some mediterranean dishes and a wide variety of unique vegetarian offerings. They servers are very friendly and the restaurant is conveniently located in the middle of some of Encinitas's best shopping.
I had a nigiri plate at Sakura Bana which was of very high quality and was just about $12. My dad had a huge, steaming udon soup that was less than $10. We were very happy with the quality and value, and the friendliness of the employees. We had take out, so as we waited for our order to be prepared the hostess made conversation and was very friendly.
The best thing about Price Cutter is how friendly the checkers are. They know their regulars and always have a smile and a kind word. The store itself is well laid out so its easy to find everything on your list. And true to its name, Price Cutter always has lower prices than Wal Mart's.
There are too few skating rinks left in the US. Skateland is a fun and friendly place for families on Friday and Saturday nights. They play a good mix of music, the skates are all clean (as well as the facilities themselves), and the employees are very friendly. It doesn't cost much to skate, only about $8 per person, and they have a good selection of cheap snacks. Also, you can play pool or arcade games off the floor. Way better than Keeley's in Joplin, where the employees are totally rude to kids.