17 Reasons 17th Street in Costa Mesa is One of the Coolest Streets in Orange County

Here’s Your Go-to Guide to This Hip Street in Orange County

Written By: Tiffany Carter and Amanda Brenner

We may be stretching it a bit, but as girls who have traveled near and far across the globe, we’d like to nominate 17th Street as the next Wonder of the World. The Great Pyramids, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge and 17th Street. It’s a modern marvel; a street where you can find some of the best food, cocktails, workout studios, boutiques and liquor stores in the world. You could spend an entire day on 17th Street and come out a happier, fitter, more fashionable and maybe more drunk version of yourself. 17th Street has everything you could possibly need to survive, be it life or a zombie apocalypse.


Get Your Hair Did

Ra’pôr Salon and Barber

Blink and you may just think you’re in Portland or Seattle. Ra’pôr Salon and Barber is a hip addition to Costa Mesa—not exactly on 17th Street, but just at the end and around the corner on Newport Blvd. What makes this unique salon stand out is that it is also a barber shop. So bringing your bae along to get primped, then showing off your new do’s at one of the many restaurants listed here can make for an impromptu date.

“I love being in Costa Mesa because it is the most urban environment you will find in Orange County,” said owner Emily Shemke. “I love seeing people walking and riding bikes to all the local small businesses we have to offer.”

Ra’pôr Salon and Barber
1780 Newport Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92627


What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’

Oak & Coal

Oak & Coal is a Japanese restaurant by the team who brought you The Alley, The Wayfarer and another one of our 17th St favorites, Tabu Shabu.  

“Although we are new to 17th St, we already feel at home among the greatest in culinary and creative ventures that Orange County has to offer,” said Owner Jeffrey Chon.

Oak & Coal specializes in high-quality proteins and organic vegetables, slow-cooked over Japanese charcoal. “We are about organic, hormone-free quality above anything else, and we are happy to see that our neighbors believe in the same things,” said Chon. The local fave is organic chicken and pork kimchi dumplings which are house-made fresh daily. Happy hour is Monday through Thursday where guests can enjoy $5 beers and sake and 20 percent off food.

Native Knowledge: There’s no corkage on wine from Hi-Time Wine Cellars.

333 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92672

Send Noods

Tabu Shabu

There are many places in the OC to get your shabu on, but Tabu Shabu on 17th is exceptional. Let’s set aside the very-personable-Cheers-bar-everybody-knows-your-name service and talk about the food. The menu has a “create your own” map which gives the diner a canvas to create a masterpiece. We love the spicy miso with udon noodles, the Kobe short rib and a slew of sides which literally transforms these ingredients into a thing of beauty, like the Mona Lisa in a steaming pot.

“Tabu Shabu is proud to provide the highest quality veggies and proteins with Japanese-style Shabu Shabu to an amazing community that we live and breathe ourselves,” said Owner Jeffrey Chon. “We are proud to not only represent the people of Newport-Mesa but the other businesses on this street as well.”

Native Knowledge: The locals all know, if you are super hungry, get the delicious porridge! 

333 E 17th St
Costa Mesa

Meet You At the Barre

Pure Barre

Taking care of yourself is part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Do your best to eat your greens, but when it comes to firming up those abs and booty, you can leave it up to Pure Barre. It’s an all-body workout, choreographed to perfection by expert instructors who will make you sweat, scream mercy during those thigh squeezes and leave you feeling confident and accomplished.

“We are one of the best spots because you can get an amazing full body toning workout in and get all of your personal and holiday shopping done in our boutique,” said Owner Monica Pommier Grubin. “We have one of the best fitness apparel boutiques and best workout spots on 17th Street.”

Native Knowledge: Your first week is free. If you take three classes in your first week you get $20 off the intro month. You can use your membership at any of the four OC locations.

234 East 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627


Get Crack-a-Lackin’

Crack Shack

Crack Shack is the chicken baby of celebrity chef Richard Blais who has created a bold menu made of fancy chicken sandwiches like Malibu Barbie Q and California Dip. They even have a Sea Señorita made with seared rare tuna. Adding “crack spice,” a culmination of heavenly spices, turns ordinary fried chicken into an instant game-changer.

Native Knowledge: The menu also caters to the little cluckers too with a kids meal that will put the happy meal to shame.

196 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627


Caffeine Fix

Kéan Coffee

A post shared by Kean Coffee (@keancoffee) on

Kéan has been a local staple since before 17th Street was sparkling on the social scene map. Locals have relied on Kéan to supply them with their morning, afternoon and midday pick me up without sacrificing style while creating stunning coffee art in your latte.

“We love being on 17th Street (technically Westcliff Drive) because of the vibrant community—a walkable neighborhood with its mix of residential dwellings, schools and an increasingly amazing mix of foodie establishments and retail businesses,” said Owner Karen Diedrich. “The caliber of our coffees will appeal to any true coffee snob, but we have a down-home, welcoming community atmosphere that is filled daily with locals. We love the fact that Kéan Coffee is truly a part of the fabric of the community.”

Native Knowledge: Their green coffees are picked seasonally which means the selection of coffee is always rotating. The overwhelming local favorite is the Turkish Latte.

2043 Westcliff Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660


Swanky Digs

The Country Club

Nobody will judge your bad golf swing at this joint. The Country Club is a swanky new dine, drink and dance establishment, exhibiting the classic ambiance and charm reminiscent of a sports and time-honored country club. Vintage wooden racquets and golf clubs adorn the walls, quirky quotes about drinking and a modern outdoor area with fireplace perfect for those chilly OC nights. Country Club has been a haven for good conversations and libations since the early 1950s. The location has gone by a few different names over its 60-plus years as a drinking establishment before being reintroduced as The Country Club.

“It’s the Country Club where everyone is a member” said Co-Owner and Founder Andrew Gabriel.

Native Knowledge: It officially opens Dec. 5. The Country Club will serve dinner, weekend brunch and cocktail hour. The bar will be open daily until 2 a.m. DJs and live music will be featured on a regular basis.

330 East 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627


Spice Up Your Life

Caliente Southwest Grille

Caliente Southwest has been a local favorite on 17th for over 18 years. And it’s no wonder, as their menu is like a love letter written in beautiful, tasty Spanish. Burritos, street tacos, salads and enchiladas are made with farm-fresh ingredients and bursting with unique flavors. Good sized portions and prompt service make this a win-win!

“Caliente Southwest Grille is truly healthy, clean Mexican food—we make all of our sauces, salsas and marinades in house and use locally-grown and sourced veggies that are delivered daily,” said Owner Heather Flanagan.

Native Knowledge: Forget about Taco Tuesday, Caliente has Taco Wednesday all day with $2 tacos and $3 beers.

271 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627


Which Wich Do I Choose?

Mendocino Farms

If you haven’t experienced an euphoric foodgasm yet, then you probably haven’t had one of the chef-style artisan sandwiches from Mendocino Farms. Their foodie favorites include “Not So Fried” Mary’s Chicken sandwich and their Peruvian Steak Sandwich. The family-owned shop is a lunchtime hotspot on 17th with loyal locals lined up outside the door for their tasty sandwiches just like your mom used to make. Well, if your mom is a chef.

Native Knowledge: To make their veggie patties, they use pulp from the local Pressed Juicery juice bar.  

450 East 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627


Haute Haute Heat

Haute Cakes Caffe

If you feel like eating a warm, fuzzy hug on your next meal, then Haute Cakes is the always good, always kind, always comforting spot to grab a bite on 17th. Their breakfast is 5-star fancy hotel-lounging in a bathrobe-with a glass of champagne quality, but at down-to-earth prices. A few standouts include the Avocado Toast with two poached eggs, Sergio Burrito with braised short rib, and Orange Ricotta Haute Cakes.

Native Knowledge: They use Stumptown Coffee from Portland so you know it’s good to the last drop.

1807 Westcliff Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Block it Like It’s Hot

1617 Block on Westcliff

This tiny strip of nouveau establishments is like L.A. came and laid a hipster egg on 17th St on the border of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. KIT Coffee is an instagram-worthy place where you can get jacked up on caffeine and feel confident about yourself the rest of the day.


We Donut Mess Around

Sidecar Doughnuts

If you have never had a doughnut at Sidecar Doughnuts, then you are missing out. You just must experience the luscious, scrumptious, flavorful doughnuts at Sidecar. It’s a foodie’s dream! The recipes are like Betty Crocker, Anthony Bourdain and Coco Chanel all opened up a bakeshop together. Here, you’ll find the classics, but also dressed up dolls like Maple Bacon, Huckleberry and Saigon Cinnamon Crumb.

Native Knowledge: Once they run out of doughnuts they close up shop, so get there early in the morning for the best selection!

270 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

17th Street Costa Mesa

Pie Like It Like That


They say size matters, but this tiny shop on 17th Street that serves tiny meat pies doesn’t skimp on rich flavors and good service. Their Aussie-style pies come in savory and sweet and include popular flavors like Dog’s Eye, traditional meat pie with ground beef and minced onions, and Ghandi, a vegan pie made with Indian-spiced chickpeas.

Native Knowledge: Pie-Not has teamed up with Amazon Fresh so you can receive their Bake-At-Home pies delivered fresh frozen to your door.

270 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

17th Street Costa Mesa

Old School Charm

Wild Goose Tavern

As if Wild Goose wasn’t going to be on the list! Wild Goose is the place you go to unwind, watch a USC game and contemplate life over a well-made cocktail, friendly bartenders and their elevated pub grub menu that has sausages to rock your world. Other superstars include the BBQ Pulled Pork Fries, Southern Comfort Dog and the Smoked Cheddar Dog.   

Native Knowledge: Their happy hour is from 2-7 p.m. on weekdays, and all dishes on the menu are $5 or $6 and the cocktails are one dollar off.

436 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

17th Street Costa Mesa

It’s Za-mazing

Pie Society

A speakeasy in the back of a pizza joint? Only in the OC and only on 17th Street. In the way back of Pitfire Pizza you’ll find a secret space filled with the cocktails of your dreams—cocktails like the 17th Street with rye whiskey, amaretto and cacao-infused Campari. They also have an impressive wine, beer and spirits menu that will keep you swingin’ all night long.  

 “I think Pie Society has the element of surprise,” said Director of Operations Jamie Boalbey. “It’s a secret bar inside of a Pizza restaurant that focuses on fun, well-crafted cocktails and good vibes.”

Native Knowledge: They play old school hip-hop music, and you might find yourself engaged in a giant Jenga tournament or a game of Connect Four while you sip on your cocktail and snack on a pizza.

353 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

17th Street Costa Mesa

Wine About It

Hi-Time Wine Cellars

Hi-Time is like the Disneyland of liquor stores. There you’ll find booze for any occasion, even the  ‘Netflix & Chill,’ ‘I’d Rather Bring Wine than Another Candle,’ ‘Yay! I’m Divorced!’ and ‘I Didn’t Need that Job Anyway’ occasions. Their staff is so knowledgeable, they would ace the alcohol category of Jeopardy.

Native Knowledge: Tuesdays at their wine bar is the classy place for people who don’t do tacos. Get a tasting of 5 wines for just $10.

250 Ogle St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

17th Street Costa Mesa

Aloha Vibes

Kapa Collective

This specialty retailer with a down-to-earth attitude sells legit Hawaiian brands that will give you that Aloha style all year round. You’ll feel transported to Maui in this chilled-vibe atmosphere and with what you save on a pricey airfare to the Islands you can splurge on a whole new wardrobe at Kapa. Comfy graphic tees (also comes in kids’ sizes), stylish hats and designer jackets are perfect for those days at the beach.

Native Knowledge: Be sure to follow them on social media and sign up for their email list. They hold events like live music in their stores once a month.

369 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

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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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