Best Restaurants to Try in Orange County

In addition to playing Disneyland and Knott’s Berry FarmOrange County is known for its scenic beaches and enviable location sandwiched between San Diego to the south and Los Angeles North. These days, the sixth most populous county in the United States is also enjoying a new designation as an authentic culinary destination worth seeking out.

It makes sense: Orange County is familiar with a temperate climate that produces abundant produce year-round, is located a convenient distance from the Pacific Ocean that allows for an abundance of fresh-caught seafood, and has long been home to a growing and diverse population. population eager to share its vast culinary heritage.

From farm-to-table fare in Dana Point to the steakhouse in Laguna Beach and more, it’s easy to find interesting dishes in the CO. Whether you fancy digging into a bowl of jambalaya or prefer to indulge in hot pot shabu-shabu, we’ve put together a list of much-loved classics and some notable newcomers. So hop on or hop off on I-405 to check out these 35 restaurants that are well worth checking out.

Based in Southern California, Danielle Bauter is a freelance writer who focuses on travel, LGBTQ, and culinary topics. His writing has appeared in various print and digital publications, including Thrillist, Condstar Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet and Fodor’s Voyage. Follow his travels on IG @missbauterfly and read more of his work at

Tiffany Tse is a Thrillist contributor and sadly only had about 1/8 of those dining options available to her when she lived in the OC. See what she’s eating now by following her on @twinksy.

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