Credit: Avenue of the Arts
Credit: Avenue of the Arts

9 Costa Mesa Restaurants for Your Next Date Night

From Swanky Steakhouses to Live Music Hotspots, These Date-Night Destinations Are Sure to Impress!

Don’t sleep on Costa Mesa! This bustling hub of Orange County is home to a variety of top-notch restaurants, perfect for your next date night. From casual eateries with plenty of character to snazzy steakhouse and seafood hotspots, you’re sure to find a restaurant that fits your vibe. Spend the day at Costa Mesa’s world-class shopping destination, South Coast Plaza, then catch a Broadway show at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. And when the mood for food strikes, refer back to this list! We’ve got you covered with nine of our favorite spots for a date night to remember in Costa Mesa. date night restaurants costa mesa



Spice up the middle of your week with date night at Descanso’s Wine Wednesday. Wine Wednesday at Descanso in Costa Mesa features $5 glasses of wine, half off select bottles of wine and no corkage fee (one bottle per table)—where else do you have to be on a Wednesday night besides indulging in wine and Mexican cuisine? With live performances from local acoustic artists, a lively atmosphere and some of the most flavorful food in Costa Mesa, the two of you will be transported to Mexico for the evening. If you and bae are really looking to bring the heat, opt for the one-of-a-kind experience of Descanso’s plancha style dining—an intimate chef’s table experience where they cook right at your table—but with seasonal Mexican cuisine.



Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar

Located in Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa Hotel, Silver Trumpet is the perfect spot for a pre-show dinner before walking over to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Complimentary parking is provided at the hotel with validation when you wine and dine at Silver Trumpet. This local, lakeside restaurant serves up modern California cuisine, featuring dishes like diver scallops, cauliflower trio and truffle risotto. Depending on your appetite, consider the Chilean sea bass or grass-fed filet mignon, and be sure to leave room for dessert. Return after the show to grab a theater-inspired cocktail at the chic, purple-lit bar—their WICKED-themed Elphie’s Rise is a hit! Don’t miss happy hour from 2-6 p.m. daily, where you can enjoy signature cocktails and discounted small plates.

Local Insight: Receive a $50 food and beverage credit plus overnight parking by booking the Wine & Dine package at the Avenue of the Arts hotel.


date night restaurants costa mesa

Water Grill

Credit: Water Grill

In the mood for raw oysters, fresh lobster or wild Alaskan halibut? Then Water Grill is the place to dig in. The restaurant’s nautical vibe is sophisticated and sultry, and the seafood menu is extensive. Start with the iced shellfish platter, wild Pacific bigeye tuna poke or farmed Manila clams with chorizo. Pair the live Norwegian red king crab with a California chardonnay or the cioppino with a bold red zinfandel. Finish with the caramel bread pudding for a sweet ending to the perfect date. 




Knife Pleat

Take your amour to Knife Pleat, a classic and elegant French restaurant that recently acquired a coveted Michelin star. With caviar service and hors d’oeuvres like black truffle brie and escargot, it’s no surprise that this dining destination is a popular one. A six-course tasting menu with optional wine pairing is offered Friday evenings, and a three-course prix fixe menu is available Tuesdays through Thursdays. Wash down the Crescent Farm duck or bourride with a Smooth Operator—a brown butter bourbon drink. Save room for the macarons!


date night restaurants costa mesa

Playa Mesa

At Playa Mesa, you’ll feel like you’re on a relaxing vacation with your love, sipping margaritas south of the border. Try the Margarita de la Casa since Playa Mesa was awarded as Yelp’s 2022 “Top Margarita” award for the entire state of California! Start light with the ceviche and shrimp aguachile, but bring your appetite for the lobster enchiladas, birria tacos or surf and turf fajitas! Come on Tacos and Tequila Tuesdays for all-day specials, and there’s also a happy hour Monday through Friday.


Cafe Sevilla

At Cafe Sevilla, you and your date can enjoy nightly flamenco shows, live Latin music performed by local musicians and a live Art of Flamenco three-course dinner show on Saturday nights. Eat and drink like the Spaniards by sipping sangria, Spanish wine or a spicy paloma—salud! Then, indulge in lobster and Ibérico pork belly paella or salmón con chorizo. Try different tapas, such as the spicy octopus ceviche or Spanish ratatouille, or share the tableside orange flan flambéed. Cafe Sevilla offers happy hour Sundays through Fridays with an all-night happy hour on Tuesdays.


date night restaurants costa mesa


Outdoor Dining Orange County
Credit: Habana Restaurant

Take your sweetheart to Cuba without paying for the pricey plane ticket and hassle that comes with traveling to one of the world’s most unique places. The only flight you will need is Habana’s Rum Flight, featuring three premium rums to sample. Then, relax and take in the bold and colorful Caribbean aesthetic at one of Open Table’s top 100 open-air restaurants in the country. Plantain crusted chicken and Paella a la Habana with Caribbean lobster tail are among the Cuban and Pan-Latin cuisine menu items you need to try. Cuban fries with banana-habanero ketchup also can’t be skipped. Speaking of must-tries, go with the Caribbean flan for dessert. 



The Country Club

A modern-day speakeasy with dark wood, oversized leather booths and an 80-foot-long marble bar, The Country Club has it all: dinner, dancing, live entertainment, weekday happy hour and even table service. They pour up some quality cocktails like the Smoking Jacket—an old fashioned with bacon bourbon, maple syrup and chocolate bitters—but the California cuisine is the real winner here. Snack on plates like the hamachi crudo, truffle carbonara or the whopping 40-ounce tomahawk ribeye.


date night restaurants costa mesa

Social Kitchen + Craft Bar

Serving cocktails with names like LL Kool-Aid and Kiwi Herman, you might suspect that Social Kitchen + Craft Bar is a fun and trendy place—and you’d be right! The cozy atmosphere with egg-shaped hanging chairs and market lights will make you want to stay a while, and the crispy chicharrones with housemade guacamole and Tajin will make you never want to leave. Serving California cuisine, like a two-pound, wood-fired branzino and Wagyu skirt steak, Social is the perfect place for a casual and upbeat date night. Oh, and don’t miss all-day happy hour on Wednesdays!


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I just moved from the Palm Springs area to Orange County. I've been writing for a couple years and enjoy writing about culture, lifestyle, and beauty. I'm excited with the abundance of material for which Orange County will provide.


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