Photography Provided By: Duke Loren, Snipe Island Crafthouse
Photography Provided By: Duke Loren, Snipe Island Crafthouse

8 Charming Places to Eat and Shop on Balboa Island

The Best of Balboa Island—From Bites to Boutiques

Looking for the perfect daycation? Head to Balboa Island for a day filled with beautiful weather, leisurely shopping and plenty to eat. This quaint Newport Beach neighborhood is known for its beachy charm and for being as adorable as it is walkable. Whether you’re with the whole family or are exploring with your best friend, here are eight of our favorite local restaurants and shops on Newport Beach’s Balboa Island! Balboa Island Itinerary

 

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Balboa Island Itinerary

Balboa’s Best Bites

Snipe Island Crafthouse

Whether you’re in the mood for Taco Tuesday or a cold beer during happy hour, it’s always a good time at Snipe Island Crafthouse! Featuring delicious dishes like oven-roasted prosciutto pizza, meatball bruschetta and the chipotle burger, this Balboa Island destination draws in crowds with a fun atmosphere and expertly crafted food. The restaurant has also recently added a breakfast menu, which includes French Toast served with a scoop of ice cream!

@snipeislandcrafthouse

Local Insight: Want to satisfy your sweet tooth? Walk over to Balboa Candy for classic saltwater taffy or to Dad’s Donut & Bakery Shop for an original Balboa Bar!

Balboa Island Itinerary

Wilma’s Patio

One of Balboa Island’s staple eateries, Wilma’s Patio has been feeding locals and visitors alike since 1997!  “[My parents] drew people to them and created the Wilma’s family—made up of our own personal family, employees and customers,” owner Sheri Drewry says. The menu is full of fan favorites, but Drewry says some of her go-tos are the egg enchilada, the sourdough cheeseburger and the meatloaf (her own personal recipe!).

@wilmaspatio

EXP 10/24

 

501 Park Avenue Bistro

Featuring menus inspired by Asian, American and European cuisines, 501 Park Avenue Bistro proudly pulls out all the stops. From high-quality ingredients like ABF chicken, Scottish salmon and Wagyu beef to its own in-house coffee roaster, this charming restaurant always does its best to impress. The eatery also offers local craft brews and a beautiful wine selection for you to pair with your meal as you sit and soak up the sun on the open-air patio. 

@501parkave

 

Royal Hen

If you want to experience the local nightlife on Balboa Island, heading over to Royal Hen is an absolute must. This neighborhood gastropub has an intimate atmosphere and offers a superb wine list—everything you need for the ideal night out on the town. Order the coconut curry mussels for date night or gather the gal pals around a table of shareable bites like the zucchini blossoms and steak tacos.

@royalhen

Balboa Island Itinerary

Balboa’s Best Boutiques

Hjom.

Co-owned by Rachel Morrison and Katie Lange, hjom. is a one-stop-shop for all things comfy and cozy. Inspired by the Danish hygge movement, hjom. features a curated selection that supports sustainability and craftsmanship. “We are a lifestyle store carrying decor, furniture, clothing, beauty…even kids items,” Lange explains. Lange’s favorite item in hjom.? “Shangies! Who would imagine that the perfect flip-flop would be created in Denmark?” 

@hjomstore

Balboa Island Itinerary

Bikini Ally

Need a new super-cute swimsuit? Bikini Ally’s got you (mostly) covered! Bare your skin in true Newport style and get ready to splash around the beach or catch some rays on a boat in the harbor. With Californian brands like Hannah Reed Swimwear and Vitamin A, Bikini Ally has a bathing suit that every body can rock. With Balboa Island’s perfect weather and your new bikini, you’ll be feeling the endless summer vibes all year round.

@bikinially

 

The Blu Canoe

New to the Balboa Island scene, The Blu Canoe is a beautiful home and garden shop that opened in April 2021. The shop showcases handmade artisanal items with a nod to vintage and coastal inspirations. Owner Kelley Motschenbacher of Kelley & Company wrote in a social media announcement that the shop will be “filled with vintage finds, lots of things for the cook and gardener and wonderful items from small creatives who love simple, handmade and the one of a kind.”

The Blu Canoe
@the_blu_canoe

 

Laura Matthews Designs

What’s the perfect way to wrap up your visit to Balboa Island? A stunning new piece of jewelry, of course! Local to Balboa Island for 11 years, Laura Matthews Designs offers handcrafted rings, bracelets, necklaces and more. “I have always loved working with different stones and crystals, incorporating meaningful materials into creating pieces,” says owner and designer Laura Matthews. “The love and care that goes into every handcrafted piece of jewelry in my shop is what I feel has always made my pieces unique.”

@lauramatthewsbalboaisland

Balboa Island Itinerary

About the author

Writer | Website

Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.

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