Food, Travel

Orange County Restaurant Guide- The Best Restaurants In The OC

Hello friends and happy Wednesday.  This week has been flying by and I LOVE it!

I’m sure most of you know I was born and raised in Orange County, CA and I didn’t move to Texas until collage.  Because of this I go back to The OC all the time.  I get so many messages from y’all asking for Orange County restaurant recommendations or asking what the best restaurants in the OC are, so I decided to do a round up of some of my faves here!  I hope you enjoy my Orange County restaurant guide!

Da Bianca Trattoria

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A charming family owned Italian restaurant with mind-blowing food!  We’ve been eating at Bianca’s since I was a new born and I make sure to eat here every time I am in town.

Where: Orange

When:  Go for dinner and a reservation is a must especially Thursdays through Sundays.

What to get:  Their nightly specials change everyday and are always amazing!  My favorite on menu items are the Farfalle Veneziana and the Veal Marsala.

Good Guys Pizza

A great family owned pizza joint with AMAZING pizza and a fun and laid back atmpsphere.

Where: Orange

When:  Go for dinner.  Weekend nights tend to be pretty crowded.

What to get:  We always start with the Sicilian salad and then create our own pizza with onions, mushrooms, sausage and black olives.

Crab Cooker

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Great seafood at crazy affordable prices in a charming atmosphere.

Where:  There’s one location in Tustin and one in Newport Beach.

When:  Go for dinner.  The Newport location is very crowded on weekends.

What to get:  You MUST start with the clam chowder!  I always order the “light eaters plate” with mashed potatoes (they’re beyond amazing) and coleslaw.

Mizu

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A Japanese restaurant with large patio and bar area.

Where: Tustin

When:  I recommend going for lunch because I love their bento box lunch special which isn’t offered at dinner.

What to get:  The bento box with Teriyaki Chicken and Veggie Tempura.

Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen

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An upscale Mexican restaurant in the heart of Old Orange.  Great food, cocktails and beautiful decor.

Where: Old Orange

When:  Good for lunch or dinner.  The is always a wait weekend nights so reservations are a must!

What to get:  Literally everything is amazing!

Lemonade

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An upscale cafeteria style restaurant with fresh and amazing food!  A great spot for everyone because there are SO many options.

Where:  There are two locations- one in Irvine and one in Newport Beach

When:  Great for lunch or even a quick and casual dinner.

What to get:  I always get the BLT.

Watson’s Soda Fountain

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A retro 1950’s dinner in Orange Circle.

Where: Orange

When:  Great for breakfast or lunch.  It tends to be very busy on weekends!

What to get:  I love their hot dog and they have great onion rings!

Javier’s

A swanky and upscale Mexican restaurant that has wonderful food and beautiful decor and fun vibe!

Where:  They have one location in Irvine and one in Newport beach.

When:  Great for lunch or dinner.

What to get: The carnitas are the best I’ve ever had.

R&D

A bright an airy restaurant with beautiful food and great atmosphere.

Where: Newport Beach

When:  Great for lunch or dinner.

What to get:  I always start with the deviled eggs and for my entree I either get the The Newport Salad or Tuna Tartare.

Sky Loft

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A great rooftop restaurant with ocean views.

Where: Laguna Beach

When: Go for lunch or for happy hour to watch the sun set.

What to get:  They have great lunch specials and I always get the turkey sandwich with the kale salad.

The Cliff

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An outdoor water front American restaurant with breathtaking ocean views.

Where: Laguna Beach

When: Great for lunch or dinner. Keep in mind it is always very busy on weekends- especially in the summer.

What to get:  I always get the Mahi-Mahi tacos.

Las Brisas

A Mexican seafood spot with amazing ocean views.

Where: Laguna Beach

When: Great anytime- for brunch, lunch or dinner!

What to get:  I love their sea bass.

Sawleaf

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Casual and quick Vietnamese food.

Where:  Irvine

When: Go for lunch.

What to get:  I do their lunch combo with tofu Pho and chicken Banh Mi.

The Quiet Woman

A cozy restaurant made famous by The Real Housewives of Orange County with upscale American food and large bar.  The people watching here is always prime!

Where: Newport Beach

When: Go for dinner or for drinks after dinner.

What to get:  The rack of lamb!

Cuccina Enteca

A whimsical Italian restaurant with fresh and beautiful Italian food.

Where:  There’s a location in Newport Beach and another in Irvine.

When:  Great for lunch or dinner.

What to get:  You must start with the squash blossoms!  I alternate between the date, ricotta and bacon pizza, the short rib Pappardelle or the Bucatini.

Fig and Olive

A trendy upscale Mediterranean restaurant.

Where: Newport Beach

When: Great for lunch or dinner.  Reservations are musts most evening and every weekend.

What to get:  You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

Bandera

A swanky Southwestern restaurant with large bar and fun vibe. This is my favorite restaurant in Corona del Mar.

Where: Corona del Mar

When: Go for dinner and reservations are always a must!

What to get:  I get the grilled artichoke and Macho salad every single time.

The Rusty Pelican

A waterfront seafood restaurant with beautiful views and great seafood!

Where:  Newport Beach

When:  Go for dinner.  Make a reservation, especially on weekends and in the summer.

What to get:  I always get the Chilean Sea Bass.

Christakis

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A family owned Greek restaurant packed with charm and amazing food.

Where: Tustin

When: Go for dinner.  I recommend reservations on the weekends.  On weekends they have live music and belly dancers!

What to get:  The rack of lamb is a must!  The moussaka is also amazing!

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen

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An airy upscale latin restaurant with large bar and patio.

Where: Irvine

When: I recommend going for happy hour.

What to get: They have great happy hour specials and I recommend getting their margarita!

Kisses and California wishes,

 
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