Orange County has often been seen in the media as something of an afterthought, at least when compared to the much larger and more densely populated Los Angeles County next door. But the truth is that there’s a vibrant and diverse culinary community in this oceanside locale of more than 3 million people. Inland spots reflect the flavors important to those who live there (particularly in areas like Westminster, where Vietnamese food rules, and along Anaheim’s Little Arabia corridor), while the county’s coastal locations often have upscale, white-tablecloth dining done with modern California touches.
From historic seaside stands serving some of the OC’s most notorious desserts to fine dining stalwarts backed by big names to small mom-and-pop shops that have spent decades perfecting a singular passion, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Orange County.
Here are 38 of the area’s most essential restaurants, right now.
Add: Tacos Manuel, A&J Restaurant, Kareem’s, Sushi ii, Seafood Cove 2, Nep Cafe, Detention/Trust, the Blind Pig, Lola’s by MFK, Vine Restaurant & Bar
Remove: Napa Rose, Honda-ya, Solita, Omomo Tea Shoppe, Vaca, Artisan by 7 Leaves, Porch & Swing, Honey & Butter, Hello Kitty Cafe, Harley Laguna BeachRead More