No Need to Join the Dark Side—Head to These Anaheim Hot Spots When Galaxy’s Edge Is Too Packed

From The Anaheim Packing House to the New MAKE Building

Written By: Jordan Ligons Love Anaheim
Photography Provided By: Visit Anaheim Love Anaheim

The city of Anaheim is on the up and up—it keeps getting better by the moment. New restaurants are popping up, breweries are scattered just in the right places, and boutique shops are filling the streets. It is no secret that Anaheim has recently launched a $6 billion destination investment to feed into the city’s thrive. This will include four new luxury hotels, Disneyland’s new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the Convention Center revamps. But, continue to look out for the Platinum Triangle (think LA Live), which will include Angels Stadium, Honda Center, City National Grove Anaheim, and ARTIC, the new transit hot-spot. Nonetheless, my love for Anaheim goes beyond the obvi affection for Disneyland; the city has so much to offer! Let me count the ways:

1 | House of Blues Anaheim

When House of Blues Anaheim says that they’ve “got you covered from daytime to playtime,” they weren’t joking around! From a killer nightlife to Gospel Brunch (aka the most amazing brunch experience ever), House of Blues is more than just a venue. It’s a place where you can take your favorite foodie, your dancing queen and your beloved rock fan and everyone will have the time of their lives. This includes the kiddos; not only is the kid’s menu full of finger-lickin’ good dishes like mini cheeseburgers and mac & cheese, on weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., kids 12 and under eat free (with the purchase of an adult entrée). For showtimes, I recommend keeping an eye out on their event calendar—they’re always promoting incredible offers, and you never know what big name is going to pop up for a performance!

House of Blues Anaheim
400 W Disney Way, Ste 337
Anaheim, CA 92802


2 | MAKE Building

With wine barrels as seats and decorative empty glass bottles lining your walkway, the MAKE Building  is an up and coming sweet spot of Downtown Anaheim. Originally built in 1917 as a marmalade factory, this revamped and reimagined site will soon be a must Insta-stop on your visit.

Unsung Brewing Company is a nifty place that models their beer after their brewery’s superheroes. Owner Mike Crea created a place for beer and comic book nerds to rejoice. Mike loved comic books and superheroes so every flagship beer is related to a character that he’s thought of; their story matches with the ingredients in the beer. The characters are painted on the bright lime green wall for reference (and for flair). Try the “Anthia” India Pale Ale for a fruity taste of pineapples and mangos. Inside MAKE, Unsung can satisfy your beer needs and, coming soon, a wine-focused restaurant and BBQ eatery to touch on your other cravings…

Native Knowledge: Unsung started hosting Beerology classes with Dr. Suds. Come, learn, drink and “increase your beer powers.”

MAKE Building
500 S Anaheim Blvd Ste B
Anaheim, CA 92805


3 | The Anaheim Packing House

This place is a hub of delicious food, sweet treats, and drinks that you wish were never ending. Georgia’s  soul food made me believe we were in the South with her jambalaya. The bowl was overflowing with flavor and the shrimp, chicken, and andouille were seasoned to perfection. The 75-year-old owner’s family recipes are what makes this restaurant tick and they do not disappoint. If hot diggity dogs are more your thing, check out the new Doggone Good Soda & Dogs; it will be your instant favorite with decorated hot dogs and customizable sodas and floats.

For dessert, you must go to Pandor Bakery for their O.M.G Bar. Yes, it will make you yell “OMG!” with a mouth full of baked cream cheese and butter, perfectly topped with powdered sugar. You’re welcome.

Native Knowledge: A speakeasy is located next to Rolling Boil on the bottom level. Once you step into the secret door (enter by pulling a tiny metal rabbit and exit through a bookcase) it will feel like you are transported in time. This craft cocktail bar’s old-timey vibes are so strong, and because it’s so hush-hush, it will make you think it’s the Prohibition Era all over again.

The Anaheim Packing House
440 S. Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805

4-7 | Breweries

The Anaheim brew scene has exploded with over 12 amazing breweries in the city. Here are a few of my stand-outs:

-Packed with history, Anaheim Brewery owner Greg Gerovac will not hesitate to explain every detail of his beloved brewery. The original Anaheim Brewery was established in 1870, but once Greg Gerovac and his wife Barbara jumpstarted the idea of “local Anaheim beer” in 2010 creating a local hub for beer lovers to turn to. From their classic flagship Anaheim 1888 beer to their 100-year-old Oktoberfest recipe, each beer houses tons of flavor and comes with a local history lesson.

Native Knowledge: While there’s no food at Anaheim Brewery, a local tip is to grab food from across Farmers Park at the Packing House or grab a yummy burger next door at Umami Burger!

Golden Road Brewing’s tap room right across from the Angels Stadium is on the verge of expansion, but I know the flavors won’t change. Whatever you do make sure the Berliner Weisse with raspberry syrup is on your flight. It’s so good, like almost too good.  

Noble Ale Works is known for its innovative flavors and some of the best beer in the world. Seriously, not only were they crowned champion at the World Beer Cup for “Best Small Brewing Company,” but their I Love It! California IPA won a gold medal! Also try their Saguaro Sipper for a nostalgic taste of orange soda (with a hint of pineapple). But, for those coffee addicts (you know who you are), Noble has their famous Naughty Sauce beer that combines Portola Coffee Lab’s coffee with a stout beer mixed with oats, milk, and sugar.

-The beautifully designed and newly opened Karl Strauss Brewing Company is a must-visit on your Anaheim brewery tour. First, their most-famed Big Barrel IIPA is a classic (and classically tasty), but jump outside of the box for their Queen of Tarts sour beer. It only comes along once a year so, when you get the chance, sip it, sip it good.


8 | Center Street Promenade

Let the twinkling lights of this street in Anaheim light your way to new discoveries. They have a place for everyone: The Yoga Mat for the yoginis, Ink & Beam for the writers, The Cheese Shop for the cheese wizards and aficionados, and Pour Vida Latin Flavor is for…everyone that really loves good food. Chef and Owner Jimmy Martinez is an innovative restaurateur, and once you taste their Tempura Oyster Taco, your taste buds will bookmark it and you’ll yearn for more.

RARE Goodwill is for all my fashionistas (and fashionistos)! This new take on our normalized Goodwill shopping experience is a place where not ordinary shoppers go. From women’s and men’s clothing and shoes to books and an area to listen-before-you-buy classic records is for sure to bring the hipster out in you. Don’t fret, I see a RARE wardrobe makeover in your future.

Oh, museum lovers, did you think I forgot about you? A walk through Center Street Promenade’s Muzeo will have you all in your artsy-feels in a matter of moments. Whether it is the Carnegie Gallery or the latest Muzeo collections, this art gallery competes with the SoCal’s top museums to bring high-profile art to the Anaheim area. Something to look forward to: In Feb. 2017, Muzeo will be the only museum on the West Coast to house fashions from PBS’s hit series Downton Abbey. Come dressed to impress on the opening gala!

241 S Anaheim Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805


9 | Flightdeck

Grab a group of your friends or tag along with your fam to check out Flightdeck, a flight simulation one-of-a-kind experience! Besides the super cool Top Gun-esque flight suit (sans aviator sunglasses), it is so fun and will for sure bring out the competitor in you! In the experience you get a 30 minute classroom briefing, in-cockpit orientation (there are a lot of buttons), take-off, dogfighting with the other jets, and multiple landings. Several fighter jets battling it out on the screen makes for an amplified video game-level thrill. No experience is necessary and packages start at $59. Get ready for take off!

1650 S. Sinclair St
Anaheim, CA 92806
Disneyland is a Given, Love Anaheim Through These Other Go-To Spots

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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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