The Best Restaurants in Laguna Beach and Dana Point
Collected by stacey Leasca , AFAR Local Expert
Together, Laguna and Dana Point are home to an exciting food scene, with restaurants offering everything from Mexican and Asian favorites to vegan, Belgian, and California coastal cuisine. Make a reservation at a beachfront spot overlooking the ocean, or try your luck and just walk in somewhere. The worst that can happen is you’ll have to wait at the bar with a creative cocktail or glass of California wine.
328 Glenneyre St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Inspired by the food and feel of New York City, Broadway by Amar Santana offers a taste of the big city just a block from the ocean. Here, the eponymous chef Santana, who competed on Bravo’s Top Chef, serves American cuisine made with...
222 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
At Brussels Bistro, best friends Thomas and Nicolas bring a taste of Belgium to Laguna with everything from Belgian beers on tap to large pots of mussels and fries double-cooked in beef fat. Also on the menu is a hearty beef stew served in a...
217 Broadway St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
For the most authentic Mexican food in Laguna Beach, head to Carmelita’s, where the kitchen works tirelessly to prepare each dish from scratch using as much local produce as possible. On the menu, diners will find favorites like...
619 Sleepy Hollow Ln, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
This casual, open-air restaurant sits above an untouched stretch of Laguna Beach—and capitalizes on that beautifully. Floor-to-ceiling windows encircle the dining room so it appears to be floating above the ocean, all the better to watch the...
440 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Nick’s is a Southern California institution, with coastal locations in Long Beach, San Clemente, Manhattan Beach, and Pasadena. The Laguna outpost has the others beat, however, thanks to its perch just across the street from Main Beach....
222 Ocean Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Opened in late 2018, Ocean at Main is new to the Laguna restaurant scene, but already a favorite for California coastal cuisine. Here, chef Craig Strong, who earned a Michelin star during his time at The Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena,...
1200 S Coast Hwy #105B, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Just steps from the beach, Sapphire offers outdoor dining year-round on its cozy patio. Run by executive chef Azmin Gahreman for more than a decade, the restaurant is certainly a Laguna institution, but one that’s constantly evolving to stay...
30832 CA-1, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
For something different from Laguna’s typical California fare, head to Starfish, where you can get dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea, and India. The menu ranges from sushi and satays to dumplings, noodle dishes, whole fish, and...
1540 S Coast Hwy # 201, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
For a fancy night out, head to Studio in the Montage Laguna Beach. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the restaurant offers a stylish setting in which to enjoy California coastal cuisine, much of it made with the freshest possible...
238 Thalia St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
In a haven for healthy eating like Laguna, The Stand stands out for its vegan menu full of plant-based, cruelty-free dishes. Established in 1975, the Thalia Street mainstay has switched hands from one local to another over the years, but has...
448 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Located right on the Pacific Coast Highway, Watermarc is a people-watcher’s dream, with an oversize front patio and large windows overlooking Peppertree Lane. Grab a window seat if you can, then dive deep into the extensive wine list, which...
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