Whether you’re brunching on the weekend, out for lunch with the ladies or planning a fancy dinner, South Orange County has some of the best restaurants to meet your every craving, desire and atmosphere. There are so many fantastic restaurants that sometimes it can be hard to choose just one! We have tried to help guide you by picking out some of our favorite spots in the area! Some of which are just minutes away from current listings on our site!
South of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen + Bar
One of many popular Nick’s restaurants in the Orange County area, South of Nick’s in San Clemente holds its own charm and character compared to some of Nick’s other restaurants in the area. If you’re looking for great Mexican food in San Clemente book a reservation at Nick’s today! It’s a great place to go with a big group because the appetizers are large and the atmosphere is friendly. Large parties usually opt for the pork or vegetable empanadas as a starter, then pick off each other’s plates when everyone’s tasty entrees arrive. Some crowd favorites at South of Nick’s are the Bacon Wrapped Sonoran Dogs and the Filete Ranchero.
Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar
Craving scrumptious seafood? Take a stroll down to The Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar on the San Clemente Pier! The Fisherman’s flies in the freshest seafood daily to ensure you are getting top of the line cuisine! The restaurant is also a great place to go after work for drinks! They offer a sunset happy hour with discounted drinks and a view of the sunset you won’t want to miss! The Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar has any type of fish you can imagine from a bucket of steamed mussels to a king crab sandwich! The prices are reasonable and the food is certainly delicious!
Ellie’s Table at North Beach
Morning person? If you need that extra kick of caffeine or bite of a muffin to wake you up then head down to Ellie’s Table at North Beach! This cute and quaint café on the coast in San Clemente is a local favorite! Their motto “where happiness is made” certainly shines through in every bite of their warm, flaky croissants and fluffly quiches. The food is homemade daily, so it feels just like your mother’s kitchen cooking. Ellie’s table also caters if you want their pastries delivered to a brunch or work meeting.
Salt Creek Grille
With a mesquite-inspired menu to die for, the Salt Creek Grille in Dana Point is never a bad choice! Although the restaurant has two locations in Orange County, we prefer the one in Dana Point because of the stunning outdoor seating, and the proximity to the coastline. The patio is so large that it is frequently rented out for wedding receptions and large events! The Salt Creek Grille pride themselves on their outstanding “scratch cooking,” and the variety of options they offer. Some of our favorites include the Citrus Glazed Jumbo Shrimp and the Mesquite Grilled Baby Back Ribs! Frequent diners are also invited to join the Grille Club which is a rewards membership for the restaurant, and being a part of it can earn you special discounts and private events!
Known as the ultimate brunch spot in San Clemente, Café Mimosa prides itself on the wide variety of tasty cocktails and juices they offer as well as the hefty breakfast dishes. Grab a classic mimosa and sit on the enclosed patio or the tight indoor seating! Café Mimosa is a great place to dine at and a great place to people watch on Sundays when the Farmer’s Market fills the streets of San Clemente! One of the most popular breakfast items is the Chorizo Scramble, but if you’re leaning more towards lunch then we definitely recommend the Mimosa Burger which is packed with white cheddar, boston lettuce, tomatoes and grainy mustard aioli!
One of the best, hidden gems in all of Orange County, The Loft is a fine dining restaurant enclosed in The Montage Hotel in Laguna. You’ll have a tough time deciding when to dine because The Montage offers an assortment of seven menus: Brunch, Breakfast, AM Dessert, Lunch, Dinner, Bistro and PM Dessert. Our favorite time to eat at The Loft is for brunch, because the views of the coastline are unbeatable and the cocktails never hurt anyone either! The blood orange mimosa pairs perfectly with the seafood cocktail starter and apple and mascarpone crepes to satisfy that sweet tooth craving. Reservations at The Loft fill up quickly so call today to try this delightful dining experience for yourself!
Last but not least, the ever instagrammable Slapfish is a necessity on our dining guide! With locations in Brea, Irvine, Laguna, Newport Beach, San Clemente and Huntington Beach there are plenty of opportunities to get your seafood fix! A few of their menu items like the Clobster Grilled Cheese stuffed with gooey cheese and fresh crab, or the Lobster Breakfast Taco filled with Maine lobster, avocado, eggs, mozzarella, bacon and red peppers speak for themselves. To get the best impression of Slapfish head to their Instagram @slapfish.
Orange County is a great place to find great food, and is also a fantastic area to reside in! To look at homes in Orange County or to speak with one of our team members, give us a call today!