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Where are some good restaurants in Newport Beach?

Corona del Mar, CA
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Where are some good restaurants in Newport Beach?

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Newport Beach

In the Newport Coast Shopping Center is Zov's Bistro and Mustard's Cafe, Mustard's is great for breakfast and lunch, Zov’s is Middle East meets California cuisine. Great for carry out is Newport Coast Pizzeria and Pavilions Deli.

The Resort at Pelican Hill has several good restaurants including the casual Pelican Grill, Coliseum Pool & Grill and the very tony, Andrea, one of Orange County's top restaurants.

Crystal Cove Promenade features Mastro’s Ocean Club, Javier’s Cantina, Bluefin Sushi, Bear Flag Fish Co., Babette's Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana, Modo Mio Cucina Rustica and coming soon, the great Marche' Moderne from South Coast Plaza.

On Coast Highway in Corona del Mar is The Five Crowns and Side Door Gastropub, The Quiet Woman, a nice steak and seafood place, but very casual. Bandera, an upscale American bistro, another nice bistro is the Summer House Restaurant. For Italian you have Pirozzi Cucina. There is also a great Indian place, Mayur Cuisine of India and a couple of Asian restaurants, Thai del Mar and Vietnamese Bamboo Bistro.

Continuing up PCH is Avila's El Ranchito for Mexican food, Rothschild's for fine Italian and the Panini Kabob Grill for eclectic Med.

Fashion Island/Newport Center has a big mix of food from high end restaurants like Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, R+D Kitchen, Roy’s, True Food Kitchen, FIG & Olive and Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, for more casual Gulfstream, Tommy Bahamas and Muldoon's.

On Balboa Island there is Royal Hen for upscale pub food on the main street of Balboa Island. There is also Wilma’s Patio, a very casual spot, Shanghai Pine Garden and Picante Martin's for Mexican. Just off Balboa Island is Sapori for very good Italian.

For intimate and romantic on Balboa Island, Basilic Restaurant, a Swiss French restaurant, is a great choice.

Mariner's Mile Newport Beach is a section of Coast Highway with a good number of restaurants, many of whom are on the waterfront. The Balboa Bay Club is famous for being an old hangout of John Wayne's and in fact the bar is named Duke's Place. Other places include Mario Batali's Pizzeria Mozza, popular Irish pub, Shamrock Bar & Grill, Billy's at the Beach, A Restaurant (formerly The Arches, just "the A" now) and Villa Nova.

West Newport has a good mix of family friendly restaurants including The Spaghetti Bender, Cuccina Alessa and Royal Thai Restaurant.

The Balboa & Newport Pier area have some hole in the wall type places. The Crab Cooker is famous for serving on paper plate; there is also Charlie's Chili; Il Farro Restaurant, not a hole in the wall, but fun for families, and the Old Spaghetti Factory, also great for families, all near the Newport Pier.

Fine dining at the Newport Pier area includes 21 Oceanfront, Sol Grill, Le Bistro Mediterranean Restaurant and The Dock.

At the Balboa Pier area there is Newport Landing for seafood with a view of the harbor; Harborside Restaurant in the historic Balboa Pavilion, for great views and casual seafood and chops; Cabo Cantina for fair Mexican food, but great margaritas in a great location. There is also BJ's Brewhouse for deep dish Pizza and Balboa Lily's for great breakfast and coffee drinks.

Also on the Balboa Peninsula closer to Lido are Bluewater Grill, Sabatino's, The Original Mama D's Italian Kitchen, Pescadou Bistro and Buddha's Favorite.

20 replies to this topic
Huntington Beach...
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1. Re: Where are some good restaurants in Newport Beach?

Good list Scott. I would add the Winery on Mariner's Mile for fine dining with a harbor view and Pain du Monde in Fashion Island for brunch/lunch. I'm sure others can think of more.

Centerville, Ohio
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2. Re: Where are some good restaurants in Newport Beach?

This is excellent information, and we have dined at several of these restaurants.

newport beach
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3. Re: Where are some good restaurants in Newport Beach?

Nice list! Duke's Place is gone, replaced by A&O. Different look and feel, but still good. Villa Nova closed a few years ago, replaced by The Winery--one of my favorite waterfront restaurants. Lido Marina Village has some nice restaurants now, including Nobu. Another favorite is Bayside, where they have live music every night (great jazz on Thursday and Friday).

Huntington Beach...
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4. Re: Where are some good restaurants in Newport Beach?

One architectural feature I love at the Winery which I wish other restaurants would copy is terraced seating, that allows all tables to have a view of the harbor, not just those at the windows. The food and service are good too but the terraced seating makes for happy customers who aren't miffed that they didn't get a window table. Simple concept.

Costa Mesa...
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5. Re: Where are some good restaurants in Newport Beach?

I'd like to add a few, too:

Up near Orange County airport (SNA), there's Moulin - which has an amazing French deli. Great place to pick up a few salads (lentil-bacon or beet are my favorites), or sandwiches or an omelette. See http://www.moulinbistro.com/

In Fashion Island, I'd add that the bar located inside Whole Foods at the very back has a delightful patio with fabulous Happy Hour options. It's called Back Bay Tavern, and they make relatively healthy food for reasonable prices. I love the roasted brussels sprouts. And if you want to eat a dessert from the store's pastry counter, they don't mind you bringing it in.

Here's a relatively new option on the Balboa Peninsula - Lighthouse Cafe (http://lighthousenb.com/). The setting is beautiful, and the food delicious. I like the crab cake benedict, and the beignets are a treat. It's City-owned, and in a City park with a harbor view. They keep the food prices lower than I'd expect, but you do pay for parking.

Edited: 20 August 2017, 20:30
Huntington Beach...
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6. Re: Where are some good restaurants in Newport Beach?

Thanks for telling us about Lighthouse Cafe. The menu looks great. I'll have to try it out soon.

Laguna Beach, CA
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7. Re: Where are some good restaurants in Newport Beach?

Moulin is in Laguna Beach too where Skandia used to be.

San Francisco...
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8. Re: Where are some good restaurants in Newport Beach?

Thanks Scott. Just saw this list and will file it and choose one or more of these places

Santa Maria...
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9. Re: Where are some good restaurants in Newport Beach?

Have you been to the Crab Cooker recently? My boyfriend loves it, he grew up going there and has fond family memories but I think the food is awful. The wine is bad and the potatoes taste like they are out of a box. I keep thinking I'm ordering the wrong thing but I am simply underwhelmed every time we go. Is there something on the menu that you truly enjoy?

The Grill at Pelican Hill is my absolute favorite in the area! They have the bsst shrimp cocktail I';ve ever had.

Corona del Mar, CA
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10. Re: Where are some good restaurants in Newport Beach?

I don't think the Crab Cooker is awful, I do think it lives on its reputation and I do go, but more out of nostalgia than for an amazing experience.

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