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Raine from Dallas asked

Best new restaurants in Orange County?

On a coastal drive down to San Diego and will be staying in the OC for a few days. What are great restaurants that shouldn't be missed? Not picky when it comes to food, just want to hear what your favorites are!

Orange County (California)

5 Answers
top answer by
Sally from Los Angeles

Oh man oh man, where do I begin? I'm an enthusiastic fan of restaurants myself but I'll try to keep this list to the best of the best!

Anepalco Restaurant - french/mexican/american fusion food, best for brunch. Well known for delicious chilaquiles. 

Gen Korean BBQ House: there are a few of these in terms of locations depending on where exactly you'll be. It's high quality korean bbq and very reasonable prices. There is often a line, so try to avoid especially popular times (weekend dinners, etc)

Pokinometry Drool-worthy and super fresh poke bowls, chipotle style. You get to pick your base, meats, sauce and ingredients and they mix it all up. Sashimi quality fish and prices are very reasonable. 

The Packing House can be best described as a classy, hipster food court. Tons of great restaurant, drink, dessert, etc options. Huge variety of restaurants inside and lots of cool seating in a big open space. It used to once be a meatpacking factory (hence the name) and it's seriously worth a visit. Also crowded during popular times so parking might be a pain. My fave places here are the Kroft and popbar

If you sway toward more ethnic food, Hatam Restaurant is a great place for Persian outside of Westwood (where most Persian restaurants are in LA) and Tana Ethiopian Restaurant and Market is great for Ethiopian (outside of Fairfax). Hatam has huge portions so definitely worth sharing a plate if you're going. The people at Tana are very friendly and will explain any and all questions you have. 

If you find yourself by the beach cities, Bruxie is a waffle sandwich and dessert place on the Huntington pier that's really good. In Newport, Pizzeria Mozza is a higher end Italian option with the best pizza in LA according to all the critics. 

In Long Beach, Michael's on Naples Ristorante or the pizzeria next door are really delicious options. The restaurant is higher-end Italian, and pizzeria is very well rated LA pizza. I personally prefer the pizzeria to mozza. 

Agora Churrascaria if you like meat, it's all you can eat Brazillian bbq. It's definitely on the pricier side (about $50 pp) but I believe they have a cheaper lunch option.

Dessert must-haves:

Sprinkles Cupcakes: Iconic LA cupcakes and they have ice cream too!

AFTERS Handcrafted Ice Cream - ice cream sandwiches made with donuts. Nothing more needs to be said.

If you want to do some more digging on your own, I typically write reviews on Yelp (sorry for the plug), if you want to check out my reviews here:

Happy eating!

Comments (1)

Amazing answer! I haven't spent much time in Orange County, but I think this is about to change with this list... Thanks, Sally!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Anepalco Restaurant (restaurant)
  2. Gen Korean BBQ House (restaurant)
  3. Pokinometry (restaurant)
  4. The Packing House (restaurant)
  5. popbar (restaurant)
  6. Hatam Restaurant (restaurant)
  7. Tana Ethiopian Restaurant and Market (restaurant)
  8. Bruxie (restaurant)
  9. Pizzeria Mozza (restaurant)
  10. Michael's on Naples Ristorante (restaurant)
  11. Agora Churrascaria (restaurant)
  12. Sprinkles Cupcakes (restaurant)
  13. AFTERS Handcrafted Ice Cream (attraction)
comments (1)
likes (4) thanks
answered by
Caroline from Laguna Beach


I just polled my friends. Here's what we came up with- Not new... but still delicious. 

Eat Chow in Newport Beach is a hidden gem. Awesome sandwiches, salads, and service and amazing tator tots. ($-$$)

Bayside Restaurant for the Chillean Sea Bass.

Cafe Zoolu in Laguna Beach... right off PCH  One street over.  $$$ but delicious seafood 

Watermarc downtown Laguna- Awesome burgers for happy hour...and speaking of amazing happy hour, Starfish Laguna Beach, right off of PCH in south Laguna. Sit at the bar. The bartenders are awesome!  Of course, Nick's Laguna Beach...

Laguna Beach - Maro Wood Grill. Argentine firewood deliciousness. 

Dana Point at the Harbor- Harbor Grill Restaurant. Always good.  Cozy, casual yet still romantic. 

Vine in San Clemente! Very romantic, food is amazing, soufflé to die for (so save room for dessert), and the classiest waiting staff! $$-$$$

Well there you go!  A little late, but maybe help someone else for their search of a good meal! 


Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eat Chow (restaurant)
  2. Bayside Restaurant (attraction)
  3. Cafe Zoolu (restaurant)
  4. Watermarc (restaurant)
  5. Starfish Laguna Beach (restaurant)
  6. Nick's Laguna Beach (restaurant)
  7. Maro Wood Grill (restaurant)
  8. Harbor Grill Restaurant (restaurant)
  9. Vine (restaurant)
likes (2) thanks
answered by
Valerie from Los Angeles

Hey Raine! 

I love Laguna Beach, here are some of my favorite places;

Mare Laguna Beach for Italian food. Super swanky and little pricey but worth it. Their gnocchi is out of this world and same goes for the crispy prosciutto pizza. 

Three Seventy Common for some great comfort food. Sundays are the days you want to go. The chef gets rid of the regular menu and offers a 3 course meal (for cheap)!

Watermarc for the best seafood in Laguna Beach (in my opinion) and they have a great cocktail list! Go for the seafood sausage! 

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Laguna Beach (city)
  2. Mare Laguna Beach (restaurant)
  3. Three Seventy Common (restaurant)
  4. Watermarc (restaurant)
likes (1) thanks
answered by
Mira from Los Angeles

I'm a big fan of OC Brewhouse, great beers and good burgers :)

For a nicer place, Anepalco's Cafe is SO good. It's really unique in that theres a mix between Mexican and French food...I know. Sounds so good right? A little on the pricer side but worth the splurge. 

My favorite sushi spot is Sushi Noguchi in Yorba Linda. Some of the freshest fish I've ever had. It can get crowded but it's totally worth the wait. 

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. OC Brewhouse (restaurant)
  2. Anepalco's Cafe (restaurant)
  3. Sushi Noguchi (restaurant)
likes (1) thanks
answered by
Gordon from Reading, England

TheBrussels Bistroon Forrest Ave in Laguna Beach have superb food (you could be eating in Paris) at medium prices. Unfortunately they don't open until 4pm each day.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Brussels Bistro (attraction)

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