Culinary Delights

With so much to experience in Orange County’s ever-growing culinary scene, this insider's guide gives you tips on what’s trending in all things food and drink in the OC. So if your Instagram account is a lacking on the foodie front, consider this guide your saving grace.

The Scotchery

The Scotchery serves USDA Prime Aged Beef steaks in a signature sauce complimented by sumptuous sides and a prized collection of Scotch from the bar.

  • Trend Factor: Steak House
  • Crowd Favorite: USDA Tomahawk
  • Our Recommendation: Roasted Bone Marrow

Shuck Oyster Bar

Oysters guaranteed fresh — just out of the water. Not into oysters? Try the chowda. Don't like chowda? Try the seafood stew. Not into that? Go shuck yourself.

  • Trend Factor: Oyster Bar
  • Crowd Favorite: Classic Grilled Cheese
  • Our Recommendation: Clams n’ Chorizo

Fresh Brothers

Get a taste of Fresh Brothers’ Chicago family-style goodness with items like pizza, fresh fries and seasonal salads. The added bonus: a health conscious menu that caters to various diets including vegan and gluten-free.

  • Trend Factor: Hot & New
  • Crowd Favorite: Da Works Deep Dish
  • Our Recommendation: Old School with Spicy Giardiniera

Red Bar

A day-meets-night social oasis where guests and locals alike can hold power meetings and happy hours, or just hang out, wind down and turn up.

  • Trend Factor: Top Rated Happy Hour
  • Crowd Favorite: Lobster Tacos
  • Our Recommendation: Steamed Pork Buns

TRADE Food Hall

Built around visionary merchants and chef entrepreneurs, TRADE provides an elevated retail and dining marketplace experience as Irvine’s first food hall.

  • Trend Factor: Hot & New
  • Crowd Favorite: Dos Chinos
  • Our Recommendation: Ootoro

Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fungounded in Taipei, Taiwan in 1958 as a cooking oil retail shop, Din Tai Fung has transitioned into a full fledged restaurant specializing in soup dumplings and noodles.

  • Trend Factor: Shanghai-Style Soup Dumplings & Noodles
  • Crowd Favorite: Truffle & Pork Xiao Long Bao (XLB)
  • Our Recommendation: Shrimp-Pork Wontons in Spicy Sauce

Marche Moderne

Critically acclaimed French bistro regarded as the best French restaurant in Southern California.

  • Trend Factor: Chic French
  • Crowd Favorite: Coq au Vin
  • Our Recommendation: Cold Foie Gras Terrine with Pickled Mango Confiture

Pour Vida Latin Flavor

Chef-inspired tacos, fresh-pressed juice and craft beer without the fine-dining price tag.

  • Trend Factor: Vegetarian Friendly
  • Crowd Favorite: Pineapple Skirt Steak Taco
  • Our Recommendation: Brussel Sprouts Taco

The Ranch

Though difficult to not put the spotlight on The Ranch’s red meat selection with offerings like a 36 oz. bone-in rib chop (not to mention a 58 oz. Cowboy Ribeye,) we’ve deviated from the usual steak to highlight a supporting cast of side dishes from the top rated American cuisine menu.

  • Trend Factor: Farm to Table
  • Crowd Favorite: Lobster Mac n’ Cheese
  • Our Recommendation: Kimchi Fried Rice

A Restaurant

Originally built as a restaurant and service station, when the Coast Highway opened connecting Huntington Beach to Newport Beach, today, A Restaurant boasts a seasonally-inspired, contemporary New American menu.

  • Trend Factor: New American Eatery
  • Crowd Favorite: Seared Scallops with Coconut Curry Sauce
  • Our Recommendation: Japanese A5 Miyazaki Beef

Hopdoddy

The Texas burger house took to Fashion Island in 2015 with the same high standard of quality beef from humanely raised cows and daily from-scratch buns, all chocking up to insanely delicious burgers.

  • Trend Factor: Gourmet Burgers
  • Crowd Favorite: El Diablo
  • Our Recommendation: Thunderbird

The American Dream

Craft burgers are kicked into high gear with elevated ingredient combos that have us drooling, like Wagyu beef with black truffle noir reduction or house chuck-brisket blend topped with prosciutto and burrata. As if killer burgers and a prime oceanview wasn’t enough, you can look forward to over 60 taps of local craft beers to complete the ultimate trifecta.

  • Trend Factor: Craft Burgers & Beer
  • Crowd Favorite: Wagyu Burger
  • Our Recommendation: The Pastrami Burger

Broadway by Amar Santana

Progressive, American cuisine with a foundation in French culinary techniques, highlighting seasonal ingredients and flavors. The restaurant evokes the culinary venture and ambiance of New York City, within one block of the Pacific Ocean.

  • Trend Factor: Top Chef Restaurant
  • Crowd Favorite: Grilled Marinated Prime Skirt Steak
  • Our Recommendation: Sliced Rubbed Bison with Huckleberry Red Jus

Alessa by Chef Pirozzi

Bustling Italian eatery serving pasta, thin-crust pizza pies and desserts amid a rustic dining room.

  • Trend Factor: Rustic Italian
  • Crowd Favorite: Salumi E Formaggi Plates
  • Our Recommendation: Linguine Marechiaro

Casa

This speakeasy-turned-public-access bar is Costa Mesa’s hidden craft cocktail gem with rotating seasonal drink menus whipped up by expert bartenders.

  • Trend Factor: Live Music
  • Crowd Favorite: Dementa #3
  • Our Recommendation: Dealer’s Choice

Vaca

Vaca brings Barcelona, Madrid, Andalucia, Sevilla, and the Basque to the heart of Orange County including a drink menu emphasizing traditional Spanish cocktails, wine and beer, as well as innovative craft cocktails.

  • Trend Factor: Top Chef Restaurant
  • Crowd Favorite: Vaca Tonic
  • Our Recommendation: #PermanentVacation

Mesa

Sultry, sexy, and exclusive, Mesa is not your average lounge. Sip on specially crafted cocktails around their central bar and enjoy ultra-hip tunes slung by local DJ’s.

  • Trend Factor: Sunday Disco Brunch
  • Crowd Favorite: Lychee Martini
  • Our Recommendation: Little Dragon

Common Room Roasters

Purveyors of specialty coffee featuring the finest micro-lot brews roasted using state-of-the-art equipment.

  • Trend Factor: Melbourne Coffee House Experience
  • Crowd Favorite: House Cold Brew
  • Our Recommendation: Affogato

Bosscat Kitchen and Libations

Home to an impressive whiskey stash of over 100 bottles, tasty Southern food, and an over-the-top Sunday brunch!

  • Trend Factor: Elevated Southern
  • Crowd Favorite: The Bosscat
  • Our Recommendation: Creole #2

Unsung Brewing - Tasting Room

Microbrewing connoisseurs can rejoice with new brews to whet their palates from the Unsung Brewing tasting room, situated right across from the Anaheim Packing House!

  • Trend Factor: Hot & New
  • Crowd Favorite: Anthia, American IPA
  • Our Recommendation: Troglodyte, Belgian Pale Ale

The Blind Rabbit

Just inside the Anaheim Packing House, top rated bartenders and cocktail selections keep this speakeasy at the top of every “Must Try Now” list.

  • Trend Factor: Currently Carrying Absinthe
  • Crowd Favorite: Flaming Cocktail
  • Our Recommendation: Absinthe + Old Lace

SeaLegs Wine Bar

SeaLegs boasts an impressive 4,000+ bottle selection in a floor-to-ceiling casing to ensure the all inclusive selection that keeps this wine bar OC’s top choice.

  • Trend Factor: Laid Back Luxury
  • Crowd Favorite: Dau Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015
  • Our Recommendation: Flowers Chardonnay, 2014

The Bungalow Huntington Beach

The Bungalow Huntington Beach radiates the relaxed charm of another era with rustic and vintage interior designs, expansive ocean views and uniquely curated spaces complemented by a refreshing menu of signature cocktails.

  • Trend Factor: Hot & New
  • Crowd Favorite: House Sangria
  • Our Recommendation: Shooting the Pier

Pandor Artisan Boulangerie & Cafe

Enjoy fresh Artisian French breads, pasteries, and savories by master bakers, pastry and savory chefs.

  • Trend Factor: French Bakery & Cafe
  • Crowd Favorite: OMG Bar
  • Our Recommendation: K2 Dornut

Susie Cakes

SusieCakes is an All-American bakery offering classic desserts made entirely from scratch using simple, natural ingredients.

  • Trend Factor: Made From Scratch
  • Crowd Favorite: Vanilla Susie Blue Cupcake
  • Our Recommendation: Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

The Dessert Lab

The Dessert Lab is as supreme as it is underrated (so...extremely,) embracing innovative flavor profiles with unexpected ingredients like rose, saffron, and french toast with bacon. The menu rotates each week with new and exciting desserts, so if you find something you like be sure to get it before it’s gone!

  • Trend Factor: Science Meets Sweet
  • Crowd Favorite: Mango Mini Cheesecake
  • Our Recommendation: PB&J Pie Pops

The Iron Press

While savory waffle sandwiches are on the menu’s forefront, these insanely delicious desserts definitely deserve the spotlight.

  • Trend Factor: 30 Rotating Taps of Local Craft Beer
  • Crowd Favorite: Are You Cereal? with Cap’n Crunch
  • Our Recommendation: Pressed Churro

Holsteins Shakes & Buns

Located inside Bloomingdale’s at South Coast Plaza, Holsteins Shakes and Buns offers signature contemporary burgers and an impressive variety of its Bam-Boozled, alcohol-infused milkshakes.

  • Trend Factor: Alcohol-Infused Milkshake Menu
  • Crowd Favorite: Campfire S’mores Shake with Smirnoff Marshmallow Vodka
  • Our Recommendation: Drunken Monkey Shake with Banana, Reese’s, and Frangelico

Sidecar Doughnuts

Doughnuts made fresh daily, from scratch, using only the finest ingredients possible, and no preservatives.

  • Trend Factor: Gourmet Doughnuts
  • Crowd Favorite: Country Ham & Eggs
  • Our Recommendation: Butter + Salt with Brown Butter Glaze

HoneyMee

This South Korean dessert has made its way into the hands of Orange County’s sweet-toothed foodies with premium local ingredients like 100 percent real California milk for house made ice cream topped with sticky raw honeycomb sourced from local certified bee farms.

  • Trend Factor: California-Fresh Ice Cream
  • Crowd Favorite: The HoneyMee
  • Our Recommendation: Honey Affogato

LUCCA Cafe

Cozy eatery serving Mediterranean small plates and entrees amid modern decor.

  • Trend Factor: Mediterranean-Inspired Desserts
  • Crowd Favorite: Mascarpone and Chocolate Chip Filled Cannoli Duo
  • Our Recommendation: Torched S’mores Bread Pudding