Looking for the best top-rated restaurants in Orange County? You’re at the right place. Orange County, California is a land of endless sunshine, golden beaches, and a bustling metropolitan vibe that’s hard to resist. But there’s another facet of this picturesque location that can’t be overlooked – its culinary scene. With a diverse mix of cultures and cuisines, Orange County is home to some of the best restaurants in Southern California. With a plethora of options to choose from, it can be challenging to decide where to dine.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the 11 best restaurants in Orange County. From fine dining to casual eats, these restaurants are sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you with a memorable dining experience. So, get ready to embark on a culinary journey through Orange County’s vibrant food scene.
Top-Rated 11 Best Restaurants in Orange county
From fine dining establishments with breathtaking ocean views to cozy gastropubs that focus on farm-to-table ingredients, there’s something for every foodie in Orange County.
1: Marché Moderne
Marché Moderne is a contemporary French bistro located in Newport Beach, Orange County. Since its opening in 2007, the restaurant has garnered widespread acclaim for its modern take on classic French cuisine. From the moment you step inside Marché Moderne, you’re transported to a world of elegance and refinement. The restaurant features a sleek and modern design, with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
We highly recommend Roasted bone marrow served with parsley salad and grilled bread. Braised short rib, served with creamy polenta and roasted root vegetables.
Marché Moderne is located in the heart of Newport Beach, just steps away from the Pacific Ocean. The restaurant is situated inside the South Coast Plaza shopping center.
The playground is a gastropub located in Santa Ana and is a foodie’s haven, renowned for its innovative take on European-style tapas. Combining the best of California’s fresh produce and diverse culinary influences, the menu offers a delightful array of small, shareable plates. Perfectly paired with a glass of wine, Playground’s dishes are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
We highly recommend the deliciously rich Bone Marrow, served with a side of toasted bread and savory herb butter. This dish is the epitome of indulgence and is sure to satisfy any meat lover’s cravings. At the top of our list is the succulent grilled Spanish Octopus, which is perfectly cooked and paired with roasted fingerling potatoes, smoked paprika aioli, and arugula.
Playground restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Santa Ana, Orange County, California. 220 E 4th St, Suite 102, Santa Ana, CA 92701.
3: Broadway by Amar Santana
Broadway by Amar Santana is an upscale, contemporary American restaurant located in Laguna Beach, Orange County. Led by renowned Chef Amar Santana. Broadway by Amar Santana provides a refreshing change of pace with its chic, urban vibe in contrast to the laid-back surf culture of the surrounding area. The restaurant offers outdoor dining options, adding to the overall experience. Amar Santana, the owner and executive chef, leads a talented team in the restaurant’s expansive open kitchen.
The menu at Broadway by Amar Santana is diverse and inventive, featuring a range of dishes that cater to every palate. One standout dish is the Foie Gras Torchon, served with a tangy cherry gastrique and toasted brioche. The foie gras is rich and buttery, perfectly complemented by the sweet and sour flavors of the gastrique.
The main courses at Broadway by Amar Santana continue to impress with their flavorful and imaginative offerings. Examples include the spice-rubbed venison with braised red cabbage, shawarma-spiced Scottish salmon, and herb-roasted branzino accompanied by cauliflower puree, pickled clamshell mushrooms, and truffle au jus. For dessert, we highly recommend the bourbon vanilla bean panna cotta and the chocolate praline crunch with salted caramel ice cream, both of which are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Broadway by Amar Santana is located in the heart of Laguna Beach, Orange County. The restaurant is situated just steps away from the Pacific Ocean, offering breathtaking views of the beach and the town.
Raya restaurant is a renowned dining establishment located in Orange County, California. It is situated within the luxurious Ritz-Carlton resort and boasts a stunning oceanfront view. The restaurant features an elegant and contemporary design, with high ceilings and large windows that allow for natural light to fill the space. Raya restaurant provides an ideal location to witness the ocean’s natural beauty, perched 150 feet above the water. With its glass walls, diners can observe surfers catching waves and, if fortunate, even spot whales swimming by.
The menu at Raya restaurant offers a unique blend of Latin American and Asian cuisine, expertly crafted by acclaimed chef Richard Sandoval. One of the must-try dishes on the menu is the sushi rolls, which are expertly prepared with fresh seafood and served with unique sauces and flavor combinations. Another popular dish is the Peruvian-style ceviche, which features fresh fish marinated in citrus juices and served with avocado and corn.
Raya restaurant is located within the Ritz-Carlton resort in Laguna Niguel, Orange County. The resort is situated on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean,
5: The Deck on Laguna Beach
The Deck is a popular beachfront restaurant located in the picturesque town of Laguna Beach, Orange County. With breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, The Deck offers a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, making it the perfect destination for a casual meal or drinks with friends.
The Deck on Laguna Beach offers a menu that features fresh local ingredients. Their standout dishes include the Grilled Spanish Octopus, served with roasted fingerling potatoes, smoked paprika aioli, and arugula, and the Lobster Roll, made with fresh Maine lobster, tarragon aioli, and celery on a buttery brioche bun. These dishes are must-tries for seafood enthusiasts and customer favorites.
The Deck on Laguna Beach is located on the beachfront, just steps away from the Pacific Ocean. The restaurant is situated in the heart of Laguna Beach, making it easily accessible to both locals and visitors.
6: The Crab Cooker
The Crab Cooker, located in Newport Beach, is a seafood institution that has been serving up fresh catches since 1951. The exterior of the restaurant is adorned with colorful beach-themed murals, adding to its laid-back coastal vibe. The interior is cozy and welcoming, with nautical decor that transports you straight to the ocean. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in the county, and the night aesthetic vibe in the restaurant is OMG!! just amazing !!
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It is famous for its clam chowder, which is made from a secret family recipe and has been hailed as one of the best in the country. The menu also boasts an impressive selection of fresh seafood, including crab legs, shrimp, oysters, and scallops. One standout dish is the famous crab cakes, which are packed with chunks of succulent crab meat and served with a tangy remoulade sauce. For those who want a taste of everything, the seafood platter is a must-try, featuring a generous assortment of shrimp, scallops, crab, and fish.
The Crab Cooker is located on Newport Boulevard in Newport Beach, just a stone’s throw away from the beach.
7: A Restaurant
Founded in 1926, this Newport Beach restaurant has a rich history as part of a diner and service station combination on the West Coast Highway, previously known as The Arches. While the original adobe-style walls and red tile roof may be gone, the restaurant continues to be a popular destination for diners seeking memorable dishes. The menu features a variety of mouthwatering options, including filet mignon with bleu cheese butter sauce and Maine lobster with white corn.
A Restaurant’s menu features a wide variety of dishes that cater to different tastes and preferences. Some of the standout dishes that are worth trying include the filet mignon with bleu cheese butter sauce, the Maine lobster with white corn, and the grilled octopus with paprika aioli. The restaurant is also known for its delicious cocktails, including the Floozey and the Expatriate.
A Restaurant is located in the heart of Newport Beach at 3334 W. Coast Highway. The restaurant is situated in a busy area, which means that it can get crowded, especially on weekends. However, the restaurant offers ample parking, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a spot.
Adya is a contemporary Indian restaurant located in the Anaheim Packing District of Orange County. The restaurant offers traditional Indian cuisine with a modern twist and focuses on using locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. Chef Shachi Mehra, drawing inspiration from her Indian heritage and Jersey roots, has crafted a delectable goat cheese-filled naan at Adya restaurant. Her culinary creativity and skillful execution of flavors have earned her recognition, including a victory on the popular Food Network show, Chopped.
Must Try Foods
Adya’s menu offers a variety of must-try dishes such as their signature chicken tikka masala, tandoori lamb chops, and paneer makhani. One of the most popular dishes on the menu is their biryani, which is a fragrant rice dish cooked with a choice of meat or vegetables and an array of aromatic spices. Additionally, Adya’s naan bread is baked fresh in a traditional tandoor oven and is the perfect accompaniment to any meal.
It is located in the Anaheim Packing District, a historic and bustling food hall in the heart of Anaheim. The district is known for its lively atmosphere, eclectic food options, and live entertainment.
9: Sushi Noguchi Restaurant
Sushi Noguchi is a highly acclaimed restaurant located in Yorba Linda, Orange County. As you approach Sushi Noguchi in Yorba Linda, you might not expect much from its modest exterior nestled in a strip mall. But step inside and you’ll be transported to a serene and inviting atmosphere. The warm woods, delicate orchid accents, and personal family photos adorning the walls create a sense of genuine hospitality that sets the tone for an exceptional dining experience.
Must Try Foods
The restaurant specializes in traditional Japanese sushi made from the freshest seafood available. We highly recommend indulging in the omakase experience at Sushi Noguchi, where Chef Hiro will present you with a carefully curated selection of the freshest and most flavorful bites, allowing the natural flavors to shine without the need for heavy soy or wasabi. Additionally, the grilled amberjack collar and Grade A5 Wagyu beef with yellow mustard are must-tries. And for dessert, the delicate and creamy mille crêpe cake is the perfect ending to a spectacular meal.
Sushi Noguchi is located in a strip mall in Yorba Linda, a city in northeast Orange County. The restaurant’s unassuming exterior belies the culinary delights within.
Pueblo is a popular Spanish-style tapas bar and restaurant located in Orange County. The restaurant’s cozy interior and warm lighting create a welcoming atmosphere for diners to enjoy Spanish cuisine.
The menu at Pueblo features a wide range of Spanish-inspired small plates, or tapas, that are perfect for sharing. One of the must-try dishes is the Gambas Al Ajillo, which consists of sizzling garlic shrimp served in a cazuela. The Patatas Bravas, a classic Spanish dish of fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli, is another popular choice.
Pueblo is located in the heart of Costa Mesa, making it easily accessible to visitors and locals alike. The restaurant is situated on the ground floor of the LAB Anti-Mall.
Habana is a popular Cuban restaurant located in Costa Mesa, Orange County. The restaurant is housed in a beautiful Spanish-style building with a lush outdoor patio that transports you to Havana. Habana is a charming and intimate restaurant that exudes a romantic ambiance, making it an ideal spot for an intimate dinner or a night out with friends. The soft lighting, flickering candles, and cozy fireplace provide a welcoming atmosphere that sets the tone for an unforgettable dining experience.
Must Try Foods
We recommend starting off with the mouth-watering seasoned fried avocado slices or the refreshing shrimp ceviche to awaken your taste buds. Don’t forget to pair your meal with one of their famous pitchers of sangria for a truly authentic experience. The Cuban sandwich is also a favorite, with layers of roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread. The Lechon Asado is another standout, with tender roasted pork marinated in citrus and garlic.
Habana is located in Costa Mesa, just a short drive from Newport Beach and other Orange County attractions.
Orange County is home to a vibrant food scene with a range of unique and delicious restaurants to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for sushi, seafood, Indian cuisine, or classic American fare, there’s something for everyone. From the casual atmosphere of The Crab Cooker to the upscale elegance of Broadway by Amar Santana, each restaurant has its own distinctive vibe and menu. So why not take a culinary tour of Orange County and try out some of these must-visit restaurants? You won’t be disappointed!