August 15 : Where to eat in Orange County, CA #IGTravelThursday

Where to eat in Orange County, CA You may remember from last Thursday that I started a new travel feature via a linky party with Skimbaco.  I never used to think of myself as a travel blogger but when I go through my year and my instagram feed, I get around.

Today I wanted to share my favorite spots to eat at in Orange County, CA.  If you are coming from out-of-town, I think these are some of the best places in my county.  And if you are from here, well, then you KNOW just how amazing these places are.

Starting from the top left, moving right:

Baskin Robbins : Yes it is a nationwide chain, but sometimes you just need a consistently good ice cream sundae.

Dave and Busters at the Outlets at Orange (previously The Block) : I recently got to eat a ton of their new menu and it is SO good!  Then go play the games with your adult friends and act like kids or take your kids and watch them play in pure joy.  Get the chocolate fondue for dessert.

Lucca Cafe : My new favorite restaurant.  Small plates for sharing allow you to try a number of dishes.  The food is great, the wine is delicious and the atmosphere is easy and relaxed.  I can’t wait to try their brunch!

Paul Martin’s at The Irvine Spectrum : A great place for a good burger and a yummy drink.  With the entrance being on the outside of the Spectrum, it seems like it is less crowded at peak times than some of the other restaurants.  Which is great for me since I really enjoy the food and the service is always great.

Sidecar Doughnuts : See my post on these delicious gourmet donuts and then go grab a few dozen for yourself.

Cucina Enoteca at The Irvine Spectrum : An absolute favorite.  I have had many a lunch on the patio with friends and date nights here.  My favorite is the Gorgonzola Walnut Mousse served with toast, the Giant Meatball and their Moscow Mules.

In-N-Out : This is the first place the locals take their out-of-town guests.  Good quality hamburgers and friendly service in the iconic red and white retro-ish buildings.

Mesa at The Camp : This is one of my all time favorite restaurants in Orange County.  I’ve been lucky enough to try most things on the menu and they are all spectacular.  My fave appetizer is the Tempura Green Beans, my fave salad is the Heirloom Apple Salad and you should totally get the Short Ribs for your main course.  The desserts are down played here but have been some of the best I’ve had in my life and change pretty frequently.  They favor artisanal cocktails and the atmosphere is truly something special.  With a retractable roof, video projection system and live music most nights of the week, this is something that must be experienced.

Five Crowns in Corona Del Mar : See my tasting menu experience and then go check it out for yourself.  I’m a huge fan of the chef, Greg Harrison, and General Manager, Jim Colombo, who have updated not only the menu but attitude of the restaurant and dining experience.  For sure try the Pimm’s Cup and let the staff guide your ordering for a truly memorable night.  Also check out their gastro-pub next door, Side Door.

Now, go follow my friends Lala and Nicole and see what their posting for #IGTravelThursday this week.  And follow along with some of the organziers :  House of Anais, Hines Sight, and Luxury Travel Mom.




  1. says

    One thing I really miss here in Norway is proper variety in restaurants/cafes (we don’t live in a city), I kind of jealously read about all the options you have out there!! :) Hope you join in again next week!

    • says

      I am sure I take for granted all the convenience that I have around me in the way of food. Even when I moved just an hour away, and things were not as close, I freaked out. Can’t even imagine your experience in Norway!

  2. says

    ice cream, donuts and IN N OUT BURGAHHH! my whole family (sisters, parents, kids) went to disneyland this past february and we were on a mission for in n out… we ended up cabbing it to the nearest one to bring back bags of burgers, fries and shakes to our hotel! so good! you are so lucky to live so close. :) i like this instagram series, sharon! i’ve been trying to incorporate insta-G on my blog, too … love the look of those dreamy filters!

  3. says

    I’ve heard of some of these before! I’ve been to California three times, but always just for work, hopefully one day will get to explore more – including in the local restaurants! Thanks for joining us this week too!

    • says

      Oh yes, you should totally come and explore California! I was born and raised in Orange County and yet there are still so many places that I have never seen here! Hmmm, maybe that should be a new blog series…;)

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