5 Orange County restaurants that perfectly highlight its laid back vibe

Eugene Adams

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Orange County has a lot going for it. There are great beaches, the Angels, Disneyland, and multiple colleges. 

It also has one of the best food scenes around. The combination of its laid-back vibe and all the other things it has makes the OC a huge tourist destination. 

Whether you're one of those tourists or a local, here are five restaurants that fit Orange County perfectly. 

Solita Tacos & Margaritas

Solita Tacos & Margaritas is a great place to relax and enjoy good food. The restaurant itself has a spacious patio and cozy fireplace, making it the perfect setting to enjoy a cold margarita or beer. 

The menu is filled with great taco options, but their Spicy Shrimp Tacos are my hands-down favorite. 

They have great Happy Hour and Taco and Tequila Tuesday menus if you're looking for a deal.

Solita currently has locations in Huntington Beach and Valencia. They will open Anaheim and Long Beach locations later this year. 

Hours: 

Monday — Thursday: 11 am- 1 pm
Friday: 11 am- 11 pm
Saturday: 9 am- 11 pm
Sunday: 9 am- 10 pm

Happy Hour
Monday, Wednesday, & Friday: 3 pm- 6 pm

Taco & Tequila Tuesday
Every Tuesday: 3 pm to close

Brunch
Saturday & Sunday: 9 am- 2 pm

Address: 7631 Edinger Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Phone: (714) 894–2792

Website: www.solitatacos.com

Heritage Barbecue

Heritage Barbecue is located in Historic Downtown San Juan Capistrano. Award-winning pitmaster Daniel Castillo knows his BBQ. 

Everything on the menu is cooked to perfection. The brisket and ribs are a great place to start. The pork belly sandwiches and brisket tacos are delicious as well. 

One thing to keep in mind is that Heritage Barbecue is entirely cashless. You will need to pay with a card or Apple Pay.

Hours:

Monday — Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday — Sunday: 11 am- 5 pm or Sold Out

Address: 31721 Camino Capistrano San Juan Capistrano, California

Website: www.heritagecraftbbq.com

Harley Laguna Beach

Burgers and fried chicken aren't generally thought of as high-quality food. Harley Laguna Beach might change that. 

Their double cheeseburger, in particular, is quickly building a reputation as the best around. 

Hours: 

Sunday — Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday — Thursday: 5 pm- 9 pm
Friday — Saturday: 5 pm- 10 pm

Address: 370 Glenneyre St.Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Phone: (949) 715–1530

Website: www.harleylagunabeach.com

Taco María

When it comes to food, there are different levels of quality. 

There's good food; then there is Michelin food. Taco Maria is Michelin good. It won a Michelin Star in 2019 and 2021.

The inventive chefs have made something as simple as a taco feel like fine dining. The diner menu isn't huge, but it's all high-quality. 

Hours:

Tuesday — Saturday: 5 pm- 9 pm

Address: 3313 Hyland Ave. Ste C21 Costa Mesa, CA, 92626

Phone: (714) 538–8444

Website: www.tacomaria.com

The Beachcomber

The Beachcomber's location is tough to beat. 

There aren't many places in the world that serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner with an ocean view. 

Located at the historic Crystal Cove State Beach, The Beachcomber offers one of the most picturesque views you will ever see. Combine that with great food, and it has a tough combination to beat. 

The menu is filled with great food for any time of day. 

Their Huevos Rancheros and Avocado Toast are perfect for breakfast. Their tacos, burgers, and sandwiches are perfect for lunch. The Filet Mignon, Salmon, and Braised Short Ribs are excellent dinner options. 

Whatever time of day you come, there are plenty of beer, wine, and cocktail options to wash it all down. 

Hours: 

Monday — Sunday: 7 am- 9:30 pm

Address: 15 Crystal Cove Newport Coast, CA 92657

Phone: (949) 376–6900

Website: www.thebeachcombercafe.com

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Southern California raised Henderson transplant. I write about all things Henderson.

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