7 Best Must-Visit Restaurants in Orange County CA

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Restaurants in Orange County

Restaurants in Orange County Guide

When you think of Orange County, you immediately think of heading straight to the beach to enjoy the beautiful weather and the calming sounds of the ocean. As you look up at the sky, watching the seagulls fly by, you’ll soon realize that your appetite has arrived. You’re in luck! Not only is the OC full of lovely beaches, but it’s also full of great restaurants ready to satisfy everyone’s appetite.

Orange County is filled with many restaurant options making it challenging to decide on the perfect location. Soon you’ll probably grab your phone to start navigating the web for the perfect restaurants in Orange County. Look no further because below, you will find seven excellent restaurants in Orange County that will knock your socks off.

The Cut

The Cut 2 - 7 Best Must-Visit Restaurants In Orange County Ca
A Few Menu Items From The Cut

The Cut, located in Irvine, has become one of our favorite restaurants and one we visit very often. The Cut has a fantastic variety of craft burgers, chicken sandwiches, and salads that will leave you speechless. Their appetizer menu is out of this world, from buffalo wings, shishito chili lime peppers, poutine fries, mac and cheese, and much more. Each one melts in your mouth and bursts with flavors, from the most basic burger to the fully loaded burger with bone marrow.

Everything on the menu is of the highest quality and made with the freshest ingredients. I’ve never had a burger or sandwich; so amazing. They have a full bar with many options for craft beers, wine, and crafted cocktails consisting of soju or sake. My favorite cocktail is the painkiller, which consists of soju, mango, coconut, and nutmeg. This drink is delicious, fresh, and smooth; it pairs so well with any of their food items.

If you thought this place couldn’t get any better, it could! They have a fantastic Sunday Brunch consisting of all the favorites, such as biscuits and gravy, Tres Leche french toast, mimosas, and much more. From the service to the food, this place will become a favorite and leave you wanting more. We love the Cut, and we know you will too.

Highlights

  • Craft burgers and sandwiches
  • Weekend brunch
  • Craft drinks and beer
  • Great menu variety
  • Excellent service

NICKS Laguna Beach

Nicks 1 - 7 Best Must-Visit Restaurants In Orange County Ca
Nicks: Center Cut Filet With Loaded Baked Potato

Nick’s is a great restaurant to have brunch or a fantastic dinner. Located in the heart of Laguna Beach, Nick’s is a small restaurant serving unique flavors. Their lunch and dinner menu consists of savory steaks and fresh fish dishes that will blow you away.

My favorite dish is the pan-seared Chilean sea bass. This dish bursts with flavors and melts in your mouth. Each bite is just as exciting as the last. This plate is defiantly a must when you come to Nick’s. Their salads, sandwiches, and burgers are also some of our favorites.

There are no weaknesses in any of their menu options. Nick’s serves up outstanding cocktails, and they have a great variety of wines. I recommend you make a reservation because Nick’s stays busy throughout the day.

Highlights

  • Located near the ocean
  • Serves amazing steaks
  • Offers tasty burgers
  • Delicious salads
  • Ful Bar: Beer, Wine, Cocktails
  • Fresh fish
  • Everything they serve is amazing

Gelato Paradiso Laguna Beach

Gelato Paradiso - 7 Best Must-Visit Restaurants In Orange County Ca
A Variety Of Gelato Flavors

Gelato Paradiso is located in Laguna Beach and has been serving the most amazing Gelato since 1999. So far, this has been one of the most amazing Gelatos I have ever tried. This place is tucked away in an alleyway next-door to Nick’s; you can’t miss it because there is always a line to get in.

Paradiso makes all their Gelatos and waffles from scratch daily. All the ingredients are imported from Italy to keep it as authentic as possible. All the Gelatos are made in small batches with only the freshest ingredients, which is why it’s the most amazing Gelato you’ll ever have.

If you are in the Laguna Beach area dining at one of the restaurants I mentioned, please make sure you treat yourself to the best Gelato you’ll ever have in the area. You’ll be so spoiled by the rich, authentic Italian flavors that you will never want to go elsewhere.

Highlights

  • Fresh Ingredients imported from Italy
  • made fresh daily
  • multiple flavors
  • The best Gelato

Carmelita’s

Do grilled pineapple jalapeno margaritas with a tajin rim sound good? Yes! and that’s what you’ll get at Carmelita’s. This little gem is located in Laguna Beach on the corner of PCH and Broadway. It’s a small restaurant that’s easy to miss but trust me, you wouldn’t want to.

Carmelita’s is delicious, and they have some excellent authentic Mexican food that will satisfy your taste palette. All ingredients in the food and drinks are fresh and bought locally at the Laguna Beach Famers Market. Every dish is made with the finest ingredients, and you’ll quickly notice it. Some items on their menu consist of, Enchiladas, Tacos and the most amazing Carnitas plate. They have a fantastic ceviche tostada made with seasonal fish that will blow you away.

The drinks here are out of this world; as I said before, grilled pineapple infused in your margaritas is a game changer! All their margaritas and cocktails are perfection; strawberry jalapeno, cilantro cucumber, and pomegranate margaritas are just some of the fantastic choices you’ll have here at Carmelita’s. So next time you are in Downtown Laguna and want fantastic Mexican food, this is the spot!

Highlights

  • Fresh Organic ingredients
  • Amazing Margaritas
  • Variety of food and drink options
  • Ocean views
  • Brunch on weekends from 9 am- 2 pm

Solstice Kitchen and Bar

Solstice 1 - 7 Best Must-Visit Restaurants In Orange County Ca
Vodka Cocktail 1.1 At Solstice

Solstice is changing the game when it comes to American eateries. Solstice is located in Irvine, CA, and serves some stunning dishes inspired by the different seasons. The concept of this restaurant is simply unique and a must-try. Going to Solstices means you’ll always get different food, and you will always have a new experience.

Solstice offers lunch, dinner, and brunch, with the menu consisting of steaks, salads, pasta, seafood, dessert, and vegan options. They have a full bar serving great crafted cocktails made with fresh ingredients. They also offer fantastic awarded winning wines that will take your meal to the next level.

So next time you want something amazing to eat, come to Solstice and enjoy some incredible food.

Highlights

  • Brunch
  • Crafted cocktails
  • Amazing food
  • Great for hosting large parties or meetings

The Goldfinch

Goldfinch 1 - 7 Best Must-Visit Restaurants In Orange County Ca
Maple Glazed Double Pork Chop With A Suppai Sour Cocktail

Would you like to experience a splendid lunch or dinner and enjoy every bite? Look no further. The Goldfinch will become an instant favorite.

The Goldfinch, located in Irvine, offers a variety of entrees on its menu, such as steaks, fish, pasta, burgers, salads, and sandwiches, each being amazing in taste. A must-try is their Pistachio Panko Crusted Halibut or the maple-glazed double pork chops; these plates have no words to describe their tastiness.

The cocktails are just as impressive, and the lavender drop is perfection. The Goldfinch recently opened up in Irvine and is already making a name for itself.

Highlights

  • Amazing food
  • Amazing drinks
  • Weekend brunch

Toast Kitchen and Bakery

Toast - 7 Best Must-Visit Restaurants In Orange County Ca
Friend Chicken And Waffle At Toast Kitchen And Bakery

Toast is an amazingly delicious breakfast spot that will leave you wanting more. Crispy hot fried chicken with homemade biscuits or their gooey ube french toast that will immediately melt in your mouth.

This spot has revamped the breakfast game. The coffee is always piping hot and full of flavors. Toast also has lattes, fresh juices, mimosas, and cocktails to complete your meal. Toast has two locations, one in Costa Mesa and the newly opened in Tustin. When in the area, don’t forget to visit Toast and try their fantastic unique food.

Highlights

  • Unique breakfast
  • UBE french toast
  • Crafted cocktails
  • Chicken and waffles

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