There are so many amazing restaurants in Southern California. That’s partly the reason why I love living here….because there’s a new place to explore anywhere you look! Here are some of my tried and true favorites that never disappoint and always have me coming back for more.
South Orange County:
The Crow Bar and Kitchen -Seconds from Corona Del Mar beach, it’s one of those places that have you dreaming about their raviolio special or chicken pot pies.
Panini Cafe -Without a doubt the best sandwich place in Corona Del Mar. They have a to-die-for breakfast menu and their panini’s are out of this world good. Order: Hummus trio and panini di prosciutto
Bear Flag Fish Company – The absolute BEST grilled fish tacos I’ve ever had. Their secret sauce is to die for and is only a three minute walk to the ocean. Order: Swordfish grilled tacos
Sprinkles Cupcakes – One of the most well known cupcake stores in California, they have the best cream cheese frosting I’ve ever tried! Order: Red Velvet cupcake and coffee ice-cream next door
Han’s Homemade Ice Cream -This homemade ice-cream is something I’ll always come back for simply because of its creamy texture. They have an assortment of flavors to choose from, making each order very difficult to choose. Order: Praline pecan
North Orange County:
Ichiban Sushi – The best sushi place for an affordable price in Orange County for sure. The nigiri sushi is always fresh with an amazing taste. Order: yellowtail and salmon sashimi
Tranquil Tea Lounge – I never knew I like anything besides iced tea until this special spot. After three years of its discovery, I still look forward to every visit. Amazing sandwiches and an even better tea selection. Order: Road To Hana tea and prosciutto sandwich
Angelos and Vincis – One of the best Italian restaurants in the area simply due to the amount of food you get for the quality. If you’re in the mood for a hearty meal with a heavy cream sauce, then this is your place. Order: Romeo and Juliet Entree
Slater’s 50/50 -The best burger I’ve had in a while (and largest), this place always has a huge wait for a reason. Each burger is custom made with some funky options such as a PB & J or macaroni and cheese burger. Order: The 50/50 (comes with an egg on it!)
Stephano’s Golden Baked Hams – I don’t actually come here for the hams, although they are probably amazing as well. This restaurant has the best panini’s I’ve ever tried because of the amount of flavor that goes into each bite. Order: Bostonian Panini
Los Angeles County:
Porto’s Bakery & Cafe – It’s probably the most popular bakery in LA County for a reason. I was recommended to visit by a coworker and it was the best foodie advice I’ve ever gotten. Order: Ham Croquette
Sotto – Each dish is impeccable with it’s Southern Italian flavor. I love this restaurant because not only is the food amazing, but the ambiance is as well. Order: margherita pizza
The Tasting Kitchen – A farm to table restaurant with complex dishes and a moody atmosphere always has me coming back. Order: any pasta dish
San Diego County:
Bahia Don Bravo – Anytime I am traveling to San Diego, I always make sure to stop at this little gem. I found this restaurant by picking up a restaurant guide book in a hotel’s nightstand when staying in San Diego last year and I’m so happy I tried it. With perfect views overlooking La Jolla and amazing fish tacos, its worth a detour.
Ghirardelli – Most people know about the magic that encompasses Ghirardelli, but I didn’t know just how amazing their desserts were until I tried the Warm Brownie Sundae, probably my favorite dessert of all time.
The New Yorker – A fun, hip restaurant in the gas lamp district of San Diego with a great bar and even better pizza. Their pizza slices are huge and theres such a wide variety to choose from. Must Order: A slice of the BCR
George’s At The Cove – Probably the best restaurant I’ve ever been to as far as ambiance and atmosphere. Sitting on a cliff in La Jolla, the views are stunning and the meals are even better. Order: Fish Taco Entree
San Bernardino County:
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ – I recommend visiting during lunch hours because they have an incredible lunch special. The meat is perfectly marinated and ready to be cooked on the grills at each table. Order: Any lunch special
Ojiya Sushi – If you want to feel as if you’ve stepped in Japan for a few hours, then this is the restaurant to visit. A super authentic atmosphere where knowing a little Japanese is always a plus, their sushi is A+ quality. Order: Tuna sashimi