These Orange County Restaurants Will Stun Guests With Their Incredible Views

A magic force tugs at our souls to find water. Even though we rarely give a thought to its value because of its abundance, the comfort we feel in the presence of large bodies of water is ancient and tied to our literal dependence. Whether dipping our toes in a pool, splashing through the surf, or nursing a margarita as the sun dips behind the ocean, we are at ease around water. So, if you have been confined to a cubicle, loosen your tie and make your way to that large body of water that is our backyard. Hop into one of our favorite ocean view restaurants, pull up a west-facing stool, order something served in a frosty glass and enjoy the 180 degree ocean view and 360 degrees of freedom.

Skyloft

The recently renovated Skyloft Restaurant offers a view of Laguna Beach not previously available in other establishments. The venue has a stylish and modern main dining room and music studio, but the real gem is the rooftop lounge, sure to become a fast favorite of locals and visitors alike. The rooftop lounge offers panoramic views of the ocean and Laguna, perfect for watching those world-famous Southern California sunsets while you unwind with a selection from their extensive list of cocktails, California wines and craft beers. The main dining room is also lined with large windows, allowing diners to enjoy the views even while inside, which will come in handy once the rains come. Be sure to try their classic American fare, such as the prime rib and glazed wild Atlantic salmon.

422 S Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.715.1550 | www.skyloftoc.com

The Deck

The deck specializes in seafood inspired by the restaurant’s beachfront location. Menu items include freshly caught oysters on the half shell, pan-seared Alaskan halibut and jumbo Maine scallops. All of this can be enjoyed from their beach-facing outdoor dining area with stunning views of the Pacific. Have all the fun of dining on the beach without the hassle of getting sand in your food. Feeling a little cold outside? Don’t worry, as ample heat lamps and umbrellas will keep you enjoying the great outdoors.

627 Sleepy Hollow Ln
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.494.6700 | www.deckonlaguna.com

 

A&O Kitchen+Bar

A&O Kitchen+Bar, short for “Anchors and Oceans”, is a waterside gastro pub with rustic interior that embraces coastal elements. Indoor communal seating creates the feeling of shared experiences and a community vibe that enhances the laidback atmosphere while outside patio seating takes full advantage of the luxurious Newport Harbor location. Dine amongst the beautiful yachts that line the harbor and take in the views for a luxurious evening or night out without the pressures of an overly formal atmosphere. The menu continues the communal feeling with items marked “to share” or “not to share.” Choose from pepperoni pizza fries (to share) or steak fries (not to share), watermelon salad (to share) or steamed fish (not to share) among other options. Items that are gluten free and vegan are also marked.

1221 W Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663
949.630.4285 | www.balboabayresort.com

 

Sol Cocina

Sol Cocina offers an upscale Mexican dining experience with a beautifully decorated interior. Design elements include exposed beams and warm hues, creating an elegant ambience. This is highlighted by its Newport location, surrounded by the picturesque Balboa Marina. Large windows running the length of Sol Cocina flood the space with natural light and open it up to the surrounding natural beauty. Menu items include the Sol on ice seafood sampler which includes an assortment of oysters on the half shell, gulf shrimp, lobster, crab, mussels and ceviche and serves four to six people. You can also choose from raw items like crudo and hot and raw tropical ceviche as well as various street and specialty tacos.

251 E Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949.675.9880 | www.solcocina.com

 

Studio at the Montage

Studio offers modern French cuisine with a California twist, all paired with one of their carefully selected wines from their extensive list. Studio has built a relationship with the region’s organic farmers, allowing the restaurant to fully utilize the fruits and vegetables found locally. Large windows allow diners to fully enjoy the panoramic bluffside location and the doors are often left open, allowing the ocean breezes to waft in and add to the experience.

30801 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.715.6000 | www.montagehotels.com

 

The Loft at the Montage

The Loft is Montage’s all day dining restaurant and features airy décor and light colors, which complement the large windows that frame the Pacific Ocean. The menu includes items such as morro bay black cod and pan-seared Maine scallops, as well as rotisserie chicken, various greens and soups.

30801 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.715.6000 | www.montagehotels.com

 

Stonehill Tavern at St. Regis Resort

Stonehill Tavern is Michael Mina’s Forbes Four Star acclaimed restaurant concept. Guests can enjoy modern American cuisine such as Michael’s lobster pot pie and painted hills fillet mignon. There are also various caviar selections and seasonal shellfish to choose from, all served in an elegantly designed main dining room.

1 Monarch Beach Resort N
Dana Point, CA 92629
949.234.3200 | www.stregismb.com/stonehill-tavern

Monarch Bay Club at St. Regis Resort

Monarch Bay Club offers California cuisine such as pan-seared Pacific king salmon and ahi tuna tempura with breathtaking views of the beach. The interior is lined with floor to ceiling windows, allowing diners to take in the scenery, while the patio will completely immerse you in the environment. A private resort tram is even available to shuttle guests to the restaurant, creating an unforgettable dining experience.

1 Monarch Beach Resort N
Dana Point, CA 92629
949.234.3200 | www.stregismb.com/monarch-bay-club

 

Splashes

Splashes, located in Laguna Beach’s Surf and Sand Resort, treats guests to delectable seafood dishes mere feet from the beach, or in this case, above it. Splashes uses natural wood tones and warm colors, highlighting the azure ocean framed by the windows that line the walls. Menu items include lobster bisque, wild Alaska salmon and seared scallops. For those not in the sea food mood, there are other options such as short rib, heart of palm and veal to choose from. Check out the bar for lighter meals such as crisp octopus and fish tacos, as well as sandwiches and burgers. There is also an extensive wine, beer and cocktail list to choose from.

1555 South Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
877.741.5908 | www.surfandsandresort.com/splashes

 

Las Brisas

Las Brisas serves up cuisine inspired by Mexico’s west coast prepared with the fresh ingredients found across California. The list of drinks, including the specialty sangrias, all use ingredients equally as fresh as the food and share the same inspiration. Menu items include the ceviche de pescado and the ahi poke tower. There are also fresh soups and salads and Mexican combos to choose from. Enjoy your food and drink surrounded by an interior inspired by the sea and windows that emphasize the beautiful beach side location, palm trees and all.

361 Cliff Dr
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.497.5434 | www.lasbrisaslagunabeach.com

 

Club 19 at St. Regis Resort

Club 19, named for its golf course-adjacent location, continues the trend of offering fine American dining options from breakfast burritos to pork belly and much more. The main dining room flows into the outdoor patio, creating an ambience enhancing open plan layout. Watch golfers tee off as you dine in style with views that stretch out across the course and to the ocean.

1 Monarch Beach Resort N
Dana Point, CA 92629
949.234.3200 | www.stregismb.com/club-19

 

The Dana Pool Café at the Ritz Carlton

Sip cocktails poolside and enjoy various starters like hummus, salads, sandwiches and tacos. Pool side signature cocktails include the Laguna Lemonade, mojito and Baja margarita. Whether spending an hour or an afternoon, this is the perfect location for some quality relaxation time. The ocean breezes and beautiful hotel grounds surrounding the pool will easily help you forget all your stresses.

1 Ritz Carlton Dr
Dana Point, CA 92629
949.240.2000 | www.ritzcarlton.com

 

Watertable at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Watertable, located inside the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, has old-world inspired modern design, surrounded by large arched windows and expertly maintained gardens leading to the palm tree-lined beach. For dinner, guests can create their own meal by picking entrees such as diver scallops or cedar plank roasted salmon which can be steamed, grilled, sautéed or poached. Lunch, bar breakfast and cocktail menus are also available. For those who prefer outdoor seating, a fire pit will keep you enjoying the surrounding beauty long into the night.

21500 Pacific Coast Hwy
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
714.845.4776 | www.hyatt.com

 

Fly-N-Fish

Fly-N-Fish is located right in the middle of Newport’s bustling boardwalk surrounded by the shops and sights, not to mention the beach that draws in countless tourists from around the world. Specializing in sustainable seasonal seafood, you know you are only eating the freshest of what the ocean has to offer. Enjoy the savory oysters on the half shell, fresh catches like the Mahi Mahi, house specialties, soups, salads, sandwiches and more. A full bar is also available and customers can choose from a large list of wine and craft beer among other spirits. After the meal, take some time to stroll along the pier or simply enjoy one of California’s finest beaches, all just steps away.

2304 W Oceanfront
Newport Beach, CA 92663
949.673.8400 | www.flynfishoysterbar.com

 

Driftwood Kitchen

Driftwood Kitchen and Stateroom Bar features an ocean to table dining experience with a menu inspired by the pacific framed through the brilliant windows and open air concept of the patio dining room. On warmer days, a retractable awning shields customers from the sun while ocean breezes drift in through the widows. Immerse yourself in Laguna Beach’s beauty as you dine on items such as Dungeness crab cake and hamachi collar. For dessert, try the decadent espresso coffee sabayon or one of their artisanal sorbets. If a drink is what you are after, head to the cozy stateroom and try the handcrafted cocktails that emphasize a variety of fine whiskies and bourbons.

619 Sleepy Hollow Ln
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.715.7700 | www.driftwoodkitchen.com

 

Mosaic Bar & Grille at the Montage

Mosaic Bar & Grille is Montage’s poolside restaurant, which offers California inspired beach food including seafood and sandwiches among other options. This location, only steps away from the beach, allows guests to experience the true California beach lifestyle, elements and all. As a result, weather can occasionally alter hours. Stop by in the summer to enjoy beach side service and live entertainment seven days a week and all day Saturday and Sunday.

30801 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.715.6000 | www.montagehotels.com

 

Orange Hill

Situated on top of one of Orange’s scenic hills, Orange Hill Restaurant gives patrons stunning views of the surrounding town that stretch across Orange County and out to Catalina Island. Inside, large windows frame the memorable views, making sure remain the evening’s centerpiece. If outdoor eating and the unobstructed views that come with it is more your style, look no further than the patio. With heat lamps and fire pits, the cold is no obstacle and city lights are never out of sight. Come around sunset and dine with the lights of Orange County as your backdrop. There is even a sunset menu that runs from 4:30pm-5:30pm and includes a three course prix fixe meal of your choice of starter, entree and dessert for only $24.95 per person. Other menu items include artisanal cheese, roasted cauliflower and center cut filet mignon.

6410 East Chapman Ave
Orange, CA 92869
714.997.2910 | www.theorangehillrestaurant.com

 

Raya at the Ritz Carlton

Raya was named restaurant of the year by Riviera Orange County in 2011 and features pan-Latin coastal cuisine such as sea bass ceviche and lobster tacos. Large floor to ceiling windows highlight stunning ocean views while the dining room uses colors that complement the surrounding environment. Dining 150 feet above sea level also comes with its perks, as Dana Point can be viewed from Raya, revealing the city in an entirely new light. Take in views extending to the horizon while enjoying a relaxing day out.

1 Ritz Carlton Dr
Dana Point, CA 92629
949.240.2000 | www.ritzcarlton.com

 

Ruby’s Shake Shack

Located off Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Coast, this unassuming shack with a nostalgia-inducing design offers classic American food mere steps from Crystal Cove. The menu features chicken Caesar salad, Ruby’s Chili, the Ahi and Super Burger as well as classic burgers, all-American sandwiches and seafood. Enjoy your meal in the seating terrace surrounded by the beauty of Newport’s famous coastline or get it to-go and enjoy your meal on the beach itself. Ruby’s Shake Shack represents the laidback attitude Californians are known for with its down-to-earth exterior and menu, so keep that in mind as this spot is quite popular, especially in the summer months. With that being said, who could complain when you’re surrounded by such amazing scenery?

7703 E Coast Hwy
Newport Coast, CA 92657
949.464.0100 | www.rubys.com/locations/newportcoast/index.html

 

Sunday Funday at Mutt Lynch’s

 

“What’s a Schooner?” a girl asks the waitress. “It’s what everyone’s drinking,” she says, pointing at every table in the bar. The rowdy, fun-loving crowd enjoys their goblets of beer around family-style tables, with old friends and new ones who happen to take a seat nearby. A few people walk in from the beach to grab lunch and a drink while others come to watch the game. Stick around late enough and you might see a parade of costumes from a theme party down the street. The crowd is a mix of college kids and people who have known each other for years, but they all share a love for this laid-back pub with a killer ocean view. People flow in and out of Mutt’s like it’s their second home, and this pseudo-family wouldn’t have it any other way.

Native Knowledge: For the best views, head up the steps and grab a seat at the ocean-facing bar.

2300 West Oceanfront
Newport Beach, CA
949.675.1556 | www.muttlynchs.com

 

Biz-e-ness at 3Thirty3

 

3Thirty3 offers a private view of Newport Marina, where diners sit directly above the rippling water. A woman sits at a bistro table sipping a cocktail and watching the people in the restaurant around her. Colleagues discuss business over a meal in the dining room and men in dress shirts settle in at the bar, having a beer or two before heading home. As the sun fades, the crowd transitions into a nightlife scene. Friends move from the bar to the wrap-around couches overlooking the water and order a round of drinks. The posh lounge area is open late, perfect for a pre-club drink or after-party munchies any night of the week.

Native Knowledge: Great spot for a quiet lunch or early drink.

333 Bayside Drive
Newport Beach,  CA
949.673.8464 | www.3thirty3nb.com

 

The Rooftop Lounge & Bar

On the roof of La Casa del Camino, Rooftop Lounge offers panoramic views of the piece of paradise known as Laguna Beach. Be surrounded by the hills and sea as you dine on California inspired cuisine. Menu items include salami and cheese, chilled edamame, grilled ahi nicoise salad and hibachi salmon. Visit Rooftop from 3:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday to take advantage of half-off mojitos, beer and wine as well as all well drinks. Whether you look forward to spending a casual evening with friends sipping drinks or are looking for a great spot to have a meal and enjoy the view, you will not be disappointed. Sunsets are especially magical here and make the perfect end to a busy, or not so busy day.

1289 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.497.2446 | www.rooftoplagunabeach.com/index.php/home

 

Romantic Dinner Date 21 at Oceanfront

 

Every aspect of 21 Oceanfront is elegant, romantic and sophisticated in a way that instantly sweeps a woman off her feet. Each dining room provides an intimate setting for couples and small parties to enjoy a glass of wine while admiring the view. Every waiter assists in upholding the fine dining ambience, prepared to fill your glass and meet every request at a moment’s notice. Each diner is treated like family, served and cared for with the utmost respect. This is where new couples fall in love and others celebrate special occasions, or simply enjoy a well-prepared meal in a wonderful place.

Native Knowledge: Show up early and take advantage of the people watching and views from the long oak bar.

2100 West Oceanfront
Newport Beach
949.673.2100 | www.21oceanfront.com

 

Upscale Taco Tuesday at Javier’s Cantina and Grill

 

This is destination dining at its absolute definition. Every element of the restaurant is sexy and chic, from the gorgeous Mediterranean décor to couches where diners lounge surrounded by candles, sipping cocktails and watching the sunset over the Pacific. Javier’s provides all the lavishness and leisure of a South American hotspot where one can indulge any day of the week. Grab an Organic Margarita at the door and enjoy a romantic dinner date or a fun night out with friends. The panoramic view of the coast surrounding the patio is the finishing touch to an unforgettable dining affair.

Native Knowledge: This is not your typical flip-flop joint. Dress to impress.

7832 E. PCH
Newport Beach
949.494.1239 | www.javiers-cantina.com

 

Saturday Morning Breakfast at The Beachcomber

 

Even with the miles of shore lining Orange County, there are precious few restaurants that reside on the sand. Park across the street and walk under PCH or grab the five minute shuttle for a buck. Upon arrival, do not be dismayed by the wait time. The waiting area is the Pacific Ocean guarded by cliffs dotted with colorful historic cottages. The view is so nice you might just give up your table the first time your name is called. For breakfast, order a coffee and a basket of Beach Beignets. The Bootlegger bar is fully stocked and a great place for a cocktail.

Native Knowledge: Show up at 5 and help them raise the Martini flag.

15 Crystal Cove
Newport Coast
949.376.6900 | www.thebeachcombercafe.com

 

Drinks After Work at Duke’s

 

Walking into Duke’s feels like stepping into a tropical party on the beach. A charming Hawaiian girl offers leis to guests as they are led to their table, each with its own spectacular view of waves crashing on the pier. The dining room is filled with families young and old, some grabbing a bite to eat after playing in the ocean and others who are spending the day on Main Street. The Barefoot Bar is where the real fun happens. Surfers order drinks from the tiki hut, eyeing all of the beautiful women in the room. They laugh, flirt and sip their drinks while waiting for their food to arrive. The light-hearted atmosphere encourages everyone to let loose, have fun and enjoy each other’s company.

Native Knowledge: Monday is “Aloha Hour” (happy hour) all night. Try something mixed with passion fruit juice.

317 PCH
Huntington Beach
714.374.6446
www.dukeshuntington.com

 

Family Day Getaway at the Coliseum Pool & Grill – The Resort at Pelican Hill

 

A Tiger Martini is placed on the table at the Coliseum, its red-orange color matching the sunset beyond it. This Roman-inspired oasis in the hills of Newport Coast has a subdued extravagance that is both enchanting and inviting. On one side of the terrace is a party of ten sipping glasses of wine and tasting decadent desserts, their laughter filling the air. Kids in bathing suits run in and out checking in with parents, yet nothing distracts from the tranquil mood the Coliseum exudes. This is the ideal same-day getaway that helps time stand still for a moment while you unwind. When it’s time to leave, your only thought will be planning your return.

Native Knowledge: Free Valet. Wonderful selection of toys for the kids.

22701 Pelican Hill Rd. South
Newport Coast
949.467.4676 | www.pelicanhill.com/Dining_Coliseum
 
 

The Lobby Lounge at the Montage

The lobby lounge continues the light and airy theme of Montage’s restaurants while offering beautiful panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean in a relaxed and informal environment. The lounge offers signature cocktails such as the Montage Mule and spiced pear, as well as beer, wine, vodka, whisky, rum, tequila and any other spirit you desire. For the lovers of blended Scotch whisky, Johnnie Walker Blue is available.

30801 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.715.6000 | www.montagehotels.com

E N J O Y /// The View, Orange County. 8 of Orange County’s best 180 degree+ ocean view restaurants

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This article is brought to you by one of the many talented writers associated with Locale Magazine! We are a group of locals (whether born and raised or transplanted) who love this county we now call home!

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