Who doesn’t love to eat??
If you’re a foodie, listen up because we just came back from the best location for food in Southern California!
In this post, we’re sharing our personal list of the best restaurants in Orange County, from fresh vegan eats to casual experiences.
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The Ultimate List of Best Restaurants in Orange County
Important Note: We aren’t foodies, and we certainly haven’t tried every restaurant in Orange County. But, the food we’ve tried has been incredible, and we just think they deserve their own post!
If you’re just starting to plan your Orange County trip, you might also like these posts:
> Amazing places to go in Orange County (outdoor activities)
> 15 FREE things to do in Orange County, California
Coffee Shops In Orange County
Known for their Vietnamese coffee (Nicknamed the VTM), Blk Dot Coffee has several locations, (3 in Irvine and 1 in Laguna Beach) which makes it easy for you to get that jolt of caffeine for your morning.
The drink consists of slow-drip Vietnamese craft brews with extra sweetness and includes the equivalent of FIVE shots of coffee.
Need to get some work done? You better get here ASAP and order.
The space is clean, modern, and perfect for visiting with friends or answering emails.
Make sure to try: Their signature VTM, LVTM (the lighter version), and their Lychee Tea. Don’t forget their avocado toast!
Sessions West Coast Deli
Sessions West Coast Deli is the perfect stop for a quick and fresh breakfast.
From their bottomless mimosas to mouth-watering breakfast sandwiches, their no-fuss menu makes it easy to find the right combo for you.
With four locations (and more coming soon!) spanning Huntington Beach, Irvine, and Newport Beach, it’s never a hassle to pop over to Sessions for a delicious breakfast to start your day.
Make sure to try: The OG Breakfast Sandwich with sausage, and their bottomless Mimosas on weekends.
Other Notable Mentions For Cafes and Coffee Shops in Orange County
We didn’t have time to try them all, but here are some other great recommended coffee shops in Orange County, which are on our list for our next visit!
Unique Restaurants In Orange County
Pacific City’s Modern Food Hall is everything we ever wanted in quick cuisine!
They offer a wide array of food options from local brews, signature ice cream, and carefully crafted Bahn Mi sandwiches!
There is plenty of space indoors to sit and enjoy your meal.
Small tables for two or a giant dining table for 10 of your best friends, there’s a place for everyone here at Pacific City’s Lot 579.
Make sure to try: sitting in their common area for a bite to eat. The space is impeccably designed, all the way down to the custom lighting and breezy, California vibe of the furniture and ambiance.
Oh man, where do we even begin to describe Porto’s?
Not only was it the best baked goods we’ve had in forever, but the process of buying them was its own unique experience!
We quickly discovered (from the patrons who left with SEVERAL boxes at one time) that you couldn’t just leave with one pastry.
As we waited in the long line for our turn to choose goodies at the counter, we asked our server to pick out her favorites for $20.
She brought us a mix of sweet and savory, which was the perfect way to sample some of Porto’s best.
Make sure to try: Porto’s signature cheese rolls and potato balls. Some of our favorite sweet options were the chocolate croissant and cinnamon roll!
This place was the former location site of Newport’s old City Hall, and this unique restaurant pays tribute to the historic significance of the area.
One of the first things you see as you enter the restaurant is the wall of previous mayors arranged in a gallery.
With this pub and kitchen’s thoughtful detail of architecture, colors, and ambiance, it feels like it’s been a part of Newport Beach forever!
It’s seafood forward menu is a nod to the area, providing guests with a fresh and local food experience here in Newport Beach.
Make sure to try: The seared Ahi Tuna and ever-rotating salad and sandwich combo for a refreshing lunch.
Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants In Orange County
Located in Huntington Beach with views of the ocean, Tanner’s Restaurant is an excellent place for brunch or a late lunch date.
Berty and I came here after our surf lesson and ordered fresh acai bowls. It felt like it was a match made in heaven!
While Tanner’s has a lot of great vegetarian and gluten-free options – they don’t stop there! They provided a lot of fresh fish dishes – our favorite being the Hawaiian Poke bowl, tuna, and lumpia.
Make sure to try: Their acai bowls, and fresh Hawaiian Poke (for your non-vegan friends)
Best Bars In Orange County
SOCIAL is a cafe and bar in Huntington Beach that’s known for its fresh Californian flavors and hand-made cocktails.
The ambiance was incredibly welcoming, and in true California fashion, we saw everything from date nights to groups of people wearing costumes (it was Halloween weekend) to surfers just off the waves.
Make sure to try: Any of their craft cocktails!
For beer, sports, and just a jubilant time with friends, Rock & Brews in Buena Park is the perfect casual evening getaway.
We loved that they played music, as well as the corresponding music video on one of the many TV screens around the restaurant. It was fun to sing along with the songs we knew!
They have a huge variety of beers on tap, and you can always count on it being a fun place to watch the latest sports game.
Make sure to try: Their giant soft authentic bavarian pretzel, and honestly, any kind of bar food. They do it all well!
Best Food in Orange County We’ve Yet To Try
I feel like our list of Orange County restaurants got longer – not shorter – after our trips to California!
Next time we’re in the area, here’s what is on our list to try:
- Pacific Hideaway (located at The Kimpton)
- Water Table Restaurant (Hyatt Regency Resort)
- 2nd Floor Huntington Beach (126 Main Street)
- Sugar Shack Cafe
What are some of the restaurants in Orange County that you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!