guide to laguna beach & newport

guide to laguna beach & newport
orange county is one of the 
world’s best places. i think 
everyone in utah vacations
there, it’s our closest beach and
i always see someone i know when
i’m in the OC. we moved to LA
when we were first married and we
frequented laguna + newport since
we knew them so well and they felt
like home. now that we live up in 
SF we find any excuse to road trip
down the coast to our favorite 
beach towns. so it’s about time 
i posted a little guide to them!
orange inn: a MUST for breakfast in laguna beach!! it is a classic tiny place a street from the beach that you’ll love the second you walk in. get the O.I. smoothie, a breakfast burrito, and a cranberry-orange muffin. Favorite place.

bj’s pizzaright across from main beach in downtown laguna, we always eat here once or twice. go order the deep dish BBQ Chicken, and make SURE to get a pizzokie. best!!

beachcomber: favorite breakfast. coconut macadamia pancakes, fritatta, beignets. make a reservation or go early! down in crystal cove, this place is special.

scandia bakery: this place is a feast for the eyes. you have to walk in and take it all in…and get an eclair…and maybe a raspberry tart…

salt creek grille: we love this dana point location. the fire pits are my favorite! it’s a cozy comfort food dinner … love the french dip, tomato soup, the fish, and all of the yummy signature sides. also, you might want to get the butterscotch custard with salted caramel for dessert…just saying.

banzai bowls: if you want to enjoy a HUUGEE, amazing acai bowl on the beach, this is your place. yum-o.

tortilla republic: this relative newcomer to laguna beach is highly recommended by us. it’s gourmet mexican food and you need to have a lunch or dinner here for sure! try the enchiladas suizas and horchata cheesecake please!

c’est la vie: i can’t pass up this darling little french restaurant right by the beach. it’s a tad overpriced, but go sit on the patio and at least get a big croissant or a french onion soup.

art for the soul: i can’t visit laguna without stopping into this store. it’s packed with the cutest quotes, art, books, signs, etc. so eclectic and darling! there’s a location in balboa too!

downtown laguna: i can’t even list out all the boutiques and home stores i love in laguna…you just have to promise to wander through downtown…in and out of the art galleries, candy stores, and darling shops. some of my favorite purchases have been made in LB!

montage laguna beachthere are lots of great places to stay in laguna, but i have to list the best of the best. it’s a pretty penny, but it’s one of my favorite hotels i’ve ever seen in my life. even if you don’t stay, go see it and wander the grounds. gorgeous.

bandera: favorite dinner in orange county. you can’t go wrong here. get cornbread skillet appetizer and grilled artichoke! the chicken or enchiladas are great, as is the macho salad. definitely get dessert! go early!
(houston’s is the same owner, also so good.)rose bakery cafe: everyone LOVES rose’s for donuts and sandwiches. their scones are also amazing. A must!crab cookeranother oldie, but goodie. you kind of have to go here! you can’t miss the bright red building and the shrimp skewers + cheesy mashed potatoes. yummiest!

true food kitchen: new discovery in newport right at fashion island. this place is pretty much my dream and i could eat there every day if i lived by it. first off, all of their “natural refreshment” drinks. honey lemonade. kale-aid. bright eyes. obsession with all of them. the farmer’s market salad, kale crunch salad, i could go on and on..but i’ll stop. just go.

javier’ssome of the best, most amazing mexican food i’ve ever had! expensive, but worth it if you love great mexican.

seaside donuts: a newport classic! open 24 hours, and so fun to walk down the boardwalk late at night and get a fresh donut. please get the cronut, to die for!

sprinkles cupcakes: are always fun when in CA.. (must try their ice cream!)
ruby’s shake shack: right off the road above crystal cove, GREAT lunch and amazing shakes! get the date shake, a california classic!balboa: make sure you pay a little visit to balboa island, the cutest place in the world. take the ferry from newport, get a famous balboa bar or our favorite froyo at tutti frutti. walk the canals and also see all the jewel streets (all named after different jewels, my favorite!)fashion island: a fun outdoor mall in newport with the best stores. always fun to stop here! also, south coast plaza is HUGE if you’re really wanting to shop. my favorite store there is c wonder.

marriott’s newport coast villas: we’ve stayed in so many different places in newport, but just stayed here and loved it. it offers everything and even shuttles to the beaches. it’s gorgeous and we recommend it. it’s also fun to stay in newport in a beach house on the boardwalk of course!

others i’ve heard great things about but never tried:
-gulfstream, zinc cafe, baja fish tacos
utah people reading:::i know you have lots of
favorites to add to our second home, so please
add any i have missed so i know for next time!!