Our Favorite OC Places


Get to know Orange County like a local through our recommendations.

Hot spots, hidden gems, and destinations simply too good not to share…


Panini Kabob Grill | Relaxed cafe serving Mediterranean & Italian entrees, plus breakfast & wine

Wild Strawberry Cafe | European-style cafe offering crepes, sandwiches, salads and more…

Rose Bakery Cafe | CDM neighborhood nook offering pastries, sandwiches, coffee & smoothies

Jan’s Health Bar | Smoothies and healthy bites for on-the-go

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop | Salads, sandwiches, and…did we mention they have a wine bar?

The Water Brewery | Purified water at its finest

El Matador | Traditional Mexican cantina serving up great margaritas and more!

True Food Kitchen | Relaxed eco-chic chain serving healthy fare

Nick’s Laguna Beach | California comfort food with flair…

La Sirena Grill | Family owned, fast casual Mexican restaurant. A favorite “hole in the wall” restaurant that the locals love!

Gulfstream | American eatery & bar for seafood & cocktails in a modern, marine-themed space

Sidecar Doughnuts | Sleek sweet shop for creative donuts, from sweet flavors to savory breakfast versions, plus coffee.

Las Brisas | Views for days…great for drinks at sunset and dinner- or Sunday brunch!

Portola Coffee Lab |Farm to cup fine coffee roasters with a passion!

Shake Shack | Stop in for a shake, burger and fries pre or post beach cruise! Perched off PCH high above Crystal Cove Historic District.

The Beachcomber | A legendary location with a special Martini Flag Raising Tradition at Sunset daily

Javier’s Crystal Cove | Upscale Mexican Restaurant- great late night spot!

Urban Plates | Delicious and affordable organic food.

Chixy Natural | Natural chicken with NO hormones, sugar, or preservatives and everything is made fresh on-site.

Kabob Republic | Best traditional Mediterranean food in OC.


Bristol Farms Market | Gourmet market chain with carefully selected items

Irvine Ranch Market | A local’s market with a killer meat and seafood counter

Mother’s Market | Grocery shopping with great produce and ready-made bar

South Coast Plaza | A given for shopping and just simply not right if we left it off the list

Downtown Laguna | From art galleries to unique boutiques, there is so much to experience…

Fashion Island | Premier shopping destination in Newport Beach


Balboa Bay Resort | Only beach-front resort in Newport Beach. Home of the Balboa Bay Club.

Lido Marina Village | Newport Beach at its best…casual, comfortable, chic in equal measure

Grit Cycle | A spin experience unlike any other

RaYoga | Learn to experience balance from within

The 12 | Cross-training classes for all – three locations

Pageant of the Masters | An experience one must see to believe

The Sawdust Festival | Celebrating over 50 years of history in Laguna Beach

Crystal Cove State Park and Beach | Camping, hiking, and beach waves…

Main Beach Laguna | Sun tans, volleyball, basketball, surfing and tide pools…

Thousand Steps Beach Laguna | It may be part of the beach, but the locals use this for a workout too!

Balboa Island | Take a trip back in time to see Orange County in the early days.  Make sure to grab a Balboa Bar while you walk around town!

Peter’s Canyon Hiking Trail | Walk through beautiful scenery and hike the trails.  Great place to escape the city and be immersed in nature.