When choosing a place to eat, does it always take a while to decide where to eat? Or better yet, are you tired of going to the same places and want to try something new? Below I listed some of our favorite family-friendly restaurants that we all enjoy as a family and are super delicious, and these places have something everyone will enjoy. Whether live in Orange County or are planning a trip there, make sure you at least one of these locations.
Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen
Gabbi’s is one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. The food is always so fresh, and it’s so authentic. I love how their menu changes throughout the seasons; everything is always on point. They have a beautiful bar serving fantastic drinks with only the freshest ingredients. Gabbi’s is always the place to be, from handmade tortillas to excellent food. Gabbi’s recipes are from Mexico, and Gabbi Patrick, the owner, is the menu’s creator. These recipes originated from her family roots in Yucatan, Mexico. This restaurant isn’t the biggest so making reservations is crucial. Gabbi’s has an incredible cellar below the restaurant where they can host 8-12 people for dinner, and it’s breathtakingly beautiful. You take a nice field trip through their kitchen and down these old stairs to get to the cellar. A quick tip, the cellar is on a reservation basis and is adult-only. Gabbi’s is located in old-town Orange and doesn’t have a sign, so it could be hard to miss, but once you find this gem, it’ll become a favorite. This location will fit the family-friendly environment you might be looking for.
Bosscat Kitchen and Libataions
Bosscat is nothing short but extraordinary! The first time we came here was for Sunday brunch, and we were instantly hooked. We knew that this would become one of our favorites. They have two locations, one in old-town Orange and the other in Irvine. We’ve only been to the orange location, which has a great background history. Where Bosscat is now was Rod’s liquor store. This liquor opened in 1949 and became a staple in the old town orange community. Bosscat kept some of Rod’s special appliances from the liquor store inside the restaurant. You will find small items throughout the restaurant that were once part of the liquor store.; I love how they preserved such an old building with so much history.
Bosscat is a whiskey bar specializing in whiskeys from around the world, from the most expensive to the more affordable ones. They have a great list of cocktails that will blow you away! My favorite is ” The Good Life,” which consists of Vodka, raspberry, blackberry, citrus liqueur, and bubbles. This drink is smooth, not too sweet, and just pairs with any food item. My husband’s favorite is “The Bosscat,” which is delicious and manly. The Bosscat is their version of a whiskey sour. The Bosscat consists of Basil Hayden bourbon, lemon, and simple syrup, topped with bitters and garnished with rosemary and orange peel. This drink hits the spot every time. The list of crafted cocktails, beer, and wine goes on; everything is delicious. The food matches the energy of these drinks. Nick’s favorite meal is the fruity pebbles french toast or their sugar barrel steak. Kayley is a burger girl and always goes for the Bosscat burger or their crispy chicken sandwich. It doesn’t matter if you come for brunch or dinner; this place will hit the spot.
If you’ve ever wanted to travel to Cuba but have yet to, Habana has you covered. This fantastic restaurant has two locations, one in Costa Mesa and the other in the Irvine Spectrum. Both are so delicious and stunning. I have never been to Cuba but being here makes it feel like I’ve been transported there.
Habana has a cart in the entrance with tons of fresh coconuts and a bartender ready to crack one open and make a special drink or serve it plain. It always feels like we’re on vacation when we come here. The food is phenomenal, and I have always ordered a great meal here. Every time I come here, I start with the ground beef empanadas. The ground beef empanadas are filled with picadillo, mango slaw, and banana habanero sauce. I always wash the food down with one of their excellent Mojitos, perfection! Habana is a Cuban restaurant, so you know these mojitos are on fire! For the main dish, I love getting their Churrasco, grilled steak topped with chimichurri sauce. The sides come with corn on the cob topped with chili lime butter, and rice; this plate always hits the spot. The Rum Pepper Shrimp is also a great dish to consider.
After our meal, I love to order some of their Cuban coffee, cafe con Leche, creamy coffee with velvety flavors that completes the whole meal. The decor of this restaurant is stunning, and the vintage furniture and decor they have throughout are so beautiful. Habana is the spot for great Cuban food and drinks if you are ever in the mood and a great family-friendly restaurant in Orange County.
Roma D’ Italia
Roma D’s is what our family likes to call a little gem in Old Town Tustin. Roma D’s is a family-owned restaurant and has been in business since 1961. I love supporting family-owned businesses, and this one is amazing. The food is always fresh and delicious. We love to order a pizza with alfredo sauce, pepperoni, bell peppers, and onion. The cheese on their pizzas is gooey and pulls apart with each bite. The dough is lightly crispy, chewy, and soft, bringing the pizza together. Everything is made fresh and is always consistent and delicious. The warm homemade dinner rolls they give you are the perfect start to your meal. They have a variety of pasta and salads, a bar serving cocktails and beer, and a phenomenal wine list to pair with some of their delicious pasta. Roma D’ Italia is a great family-friendly restaurant, perfect for a cozy family lunch or dinner. This restaurant is our go-to spot whenever we are in the mood for Italian food; Roma D’s is the best and a staple in Orange County.
Perla Mexican Cuisine
Perla is a delicious, authentic, trendy Mexican restaurant in downtown Santa Ana. Perla has the most amazing margaritas, micheladas, and martinis. They also serve delicious Mexican food that will leave you wanting more. This modern hipster restaurant is everything that I love about up-and-coming Mexican restaurants. The uniform, vibe, and area bring it all together. This restaurant is a great place to come and enjoy dinner with family and friends or even a date night. The food and drinks will hit every time. Perla carries all your favorite Mexican dishes with a little twist, from their shrimp, tacos, and enchiladas de mole, to their chile rellenos. This place will become a favorite. So next time you are in the mood for excellent Mexican food and drinks, Perla is the place to go.
Kaizen Shabu is located in downtown Santa Ana and has made a name for itself. The quality of the meats they carry is unmatched, and you’ll be craving Shabu from KaiZen every day once you try it. They have a full bar, make the most amazing cocktails, and have a great selection of Japanese whiskey. Their curry coconut broth is out of this world, and the ramen always gives it the perfect balance. The veggies and meats are always fresh, and this place is fantastic and very popular; when you come here, you’ll see why. Kaizen does Shabu right.
Wow, Trust is a unique and exciting restaurant here in Orange County. This place is fantastic, and the name Trust gives you a little insight into what this restaurant offers. Trust is located in downtown Santa Ana and has a set themed menu per day, gives you courses of different meals, and a sommelier who pairs drinks with each meal. These chefs prepare these fantastic meals in front of your eyes while they explain what they are cooking. This place is great because you have to “Trust” the chefs with your meals, but I promise you won’t be disappointed. Reservations are required, and you’ll be able to see the different themes they have each day. This place is booked weeks ahead, so make reservations ahead of time. This place is different from any restaurant you’ve ever been to; the experience is intimate, delicious, and adventurous. This is a an exciting way to be entertained while you enjoy great drinks while in a family-friendly restaurant environment. Click here to make your reservations.
All That Barbecue
My brother-in-law took us to dinner a few years ago at what is now our favorite Korean bbq place. Before coming here, we would go to other locations and were quite pleased with them until we went to All That BBQ in Irvine, CA. All That BBQ is unmatched, and until today, we have yet to try a Korean bbq spot this good. The quality of the meats is excellent, and you can tell it’s always fresh. The side dishes are just as impressive. They serve rice cakes, noodles, greens, and other traditional items as their sides. We are crazy about their lemon brisket, which is lemony, juicy, and so fresh it never disappoints. This restaurant has the best Korean BBQ in OC, and it gets busy, so come early to get a table. I promise it is worth the wait. Don’t miss out on this perfect family-friendly restaurant!
Chapter One: The Modern Local
Chapter One is a feel-good restaurant/ bar in downtown Santa ana that serves fantastic food and award-winning cocktails. The interior of this place is so unique and has so much character. Chapter One is an excellent place for brunch or dinner; you will always leave satisfied. They offer terrific Taco Tuesdays and Whisky Wednesdays. The brunch here is fantastic, and they have a great bread pudding and delicious french toast! Wash this delicious french toast with a flight of their excellent mimosas. From the duck fat fries to the Peruvian wings, this is a great spot to have a great meal and drinks.
Chaak is an excellent Mexican restaurant specializing in Yucatecan-style Mexican cuisine. Chaak was created by the owners of Gabbi’s Mexican food, and Chaak is just as unique as Gabbi’s. They have flavorful special dishes that are so authentic you will feel as if you traveled to Mexico to indulge in such flavors. The Cochnita Pibil is a favorite of mine; it’s a smoked pork shoulder that melts in your mouth immediately. The seasonings in each dish are astonishing and will leave you speechless. They also have a full bar with the best-crafted cocktails with Mexican-inspired flavors. They also have a variety of Spanish Gins and a great choice of craft beers. Alongside these fantastic cocktails, they have a superb wine selection from all over the world. They also have a Baja wine club where they import the wine from the winery in Baja, California. The wines are bursting with flavors and are simply amazing. They have different subscription packages to choose from, so if you’re a wine lover, this club is one you would love to join.