Credit: Knife & Spork PR
Credit: Knife & Spork PR

5 Must-Try Restaurants in Dana Point—You Will Thank Us Later

The Dana Point Foodie Scene Is One to Watch (and Taste)

From the eternal sunshine to the dazzling ocean views, Dana Point is one of Orange County’s crown jewels. But it’s much more than just a pretty face—its upscale eateries and fresh, sustainable ingredients also make it a foodie’s paradise! So whether you’re an out-of-towner who wants to get a taste of the local flavor or you’re a resident looking for your new favorite hangout, these five Dana Point restaurants are sure to keep you coming back for more. Best Dana Point Restaurants


1 | Craft House

What to Order:

🍴 Grilled meatloaf with greens and mashed potatoes, paired with the smoky Craft House Old Fashioned
🍴 Craft House fried chicken with lemon thyme gravy, paired with a sweet and tangy Sharp Shooter
🍴 BBQ shrimp with herbed polenta and veggies, paired with the bacon-infused Nate’s Old Fashioned

With its fun atmosphere, beautiful dining room and friendly backyard space, Craft House may be the most laid-back upscale restaurant you ever visit! Right next to the Lantern District, this restaurant is perfect for date night, lunch with the fam or for experiencing a truly amazing whiskey selection. Owner and executive chef Blake Mellgren prides himself on offering sustainable, locally resourced food with a Southern comfort flair, and that pride is evident in every bite!

Craft House

EXP 9/27

Best Dana Point Restaurants

2 | Glasspar

What to Order:

🍴 Daily selection of seasonal seafood with an eye-opening Glasspar Margarita
🍴 Lobster roll with brown-butter Maine lobster on toasted brioche, paired with a sweet and herbaceous Green Lantern Mocktail
🍴 IPA fish and chips with housemade tartar sauce, Atomic cocktail sauce and duck-fat fries, paired with The Pupil IPA from San Diego’s Societe Brewing Company

For some truly incredible surf and turf, head to Glasspar where Chef Rob Wilson and the team are celebrating food in its freshest and most decadent forms. The atmosphere is everything you’d expect from a fine seafood restaurant, but you can still feel relaxed and welcome. The key to the perfect Glasspar outing? Grab some seats for you and your favorite foodie at the oyster bar for mouthwatering market offerings, or you can head right to a table for an unforgettably decadent meal.


Best Dana Point Restaurants

3 | Whitestone Restaurant

What to Order:

🍴 Lamb shank ragu with pappardelle, paired with an inviting Oaxaca Old Fashioned
🍴 90 Day Cheeseburger with charred tomato jam, chipotle mayo and fresh fries, paired with a refreshing and zesty Mumbai Mule
🍴 Lobster ravioli with sea buckthorn and lobster bisque, paired with a spicy Chai Shirin

An elevated atmosphere and extravagant flavors come together at Whitestone Restaurant, making it the ideal spot to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, promotions or simply just because. With Executive Chef Anthony Celeste at the helm, you’re sure to experience locally sourced fare presented in unexpected and eclectically delicious ways. Oh, and be sure to catch Whitestone’s happy hour (Tuesday through Friday from 4-6:30 p.m.) and Sunday brunch (from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.)!

Whitestone Restaurant

4 | Gen Kai Best Dana Point Restaurants

What to Order:

🍴 Jumbo Crunchy Roll with baked snow crab leg and crab meat, paired with a floral and caramelly Kawaba ale
🍴 Spicy garlic salmon sashimi with extra special ponzu sauce paired with a refreshing cold sake
🍴 Shabu Shabu with beef and vegetables cooked in a special pot paired with a mellow, malty Echigo Stout

From its cozy atmosphere to its undeniably fresh food, it’s easy to see why Gen Kai is a must-try for any foodie who finds themselves in Dana Point. The restaurant features a large menu with tons of rolls to try, from simple, traditional handrolls to complex and unique cut rolls. Gen Kai also offers beers and drinks you won’t find at other sushi bars in the area, so be ready to try something new and delicious. Not sure what to order? Ask your sushi chef for their recommendation—you won’t be disappointed!

Gen Kai

EXP 8/20


5 | Coastal Kitchen

What to Order:

🍴 Jumbo lump crab cakes with creole mustard sauce, paired with a smooth Barrel-Aged Negroni
🍴 Northern Alaskan halibut with crispy rock shrimp and lemon butter sauce, paired with a light and sweet Blackberry Bramble
🍴 Double-cut pork chops with cider fig glaze, paired with Lot #1 Light from San Clemente’s Lost Winds Brewing Company

Fresh white paint? Check. Natural wood and navy blue accents? Check and check. Everything about Coastal Kitchen’s atmosphere screams California cool. Once a historic cafe and service station for travelers cruising along PCH in the 1920s and ‘30s, the spot is now owned and operated by Michael and Christina Grant, a local family that brought the ambiance and menu into the modern era. So if you’re looking for a scrumptious, quality meal with a side of yesteryear, you should definitely head to Coastal Kitchen.

Coastal Kitchen

Writer | Website | + posts

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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