Best (south) Orange County Restaurants

Orange County is best known for sunshine and surf, but its culinary scene has exploded in recent years, drawing foodies away from Los Angeles. While fish tacos are still a staple near the beach, complex flavors and sophisticated dishes dot menus along the Orange County coastline. Why drive all the way to LA when you can treat your palate to some of the freshest ingredients in Southern California?

Fig & Olive

One of Orange County’s newest restaurants, Fig & Olive, serves French Riviera-inspired fare, and the comprehensive menu has critics and diners returning in droves. The popular raw bar, crostini, pasta dishes, and proteins are a welcome addition to Fashion Island’s already packed culinary arena. What makes Fig & Olive one of our favorite restaurants is not only the food but also the clean lines and bright light that illuminate the restaurant. The effect is inviting, and with the consistently delicious meals and beautiful décor, Fig & Olive is the type of place that you want to visit every weekend.

A Restaurant

In Newport Beach, a charming restaurant is making quite the name for itself. With a menu packed with succulent, fresh seafood, A Restaurant takes advantage of its proximity to the water and its close relationships with local farms to provide locally sourced ingredients. The desserts and drink menus elevate traditional offerings, and we are particularly enamored with the salty caramel and lemon chamomile sorbets and the craft cocktails, including Rhyme & Reason, a delicious mixture of cachaça, apetol, and grapefruit. A Restaurant is our favorite happy hour location in Orange County, and we look forward to unwinding in the richly decorated establishment.

Lucca Cafe

Situated in Irvine, Lucca Cafe serves the most delicious brunch in Orange County. From the French rolled omelets to ciabatta bread sandwiches, Lucca has it all. If you decide to spend a bright weekend morning or afternoon brunching at Lucca, we highly suggest that you try the gooiest, warmest, and softest cinnamon rolls in OC. Every item on the brunch menu is divine, and we love that the ingredients are organic. Proteins are raised either wild or cage free and pastas are made in the kitchen. When you taste the difference between dry pasta and fresh pasta, you will have an experience and will forever need to consume freshly made pasta. Lucca also serves gluten-free pasta, so individuals with dietary restrictions can dine in peace knowing that their needs are met. The Italian food at Lucca is some of the freshest that you will taste in Orange County.

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