Credit: Connie Aboubakare / Bamboo Bistro
Credit: Connie Aboubakare / Bamboo Bistro

13 Meals We Never Get Tired of Eating in Newport Beach

Whether It’s Date Night or Dinner With Friends, You’ll Love These Local Hotspots

With endless, mouthwatering options, you’ll never run out of dining destinations in Newport Beach. The restaurant scene in this coastal city is always growing with plenty of places for a casual date night, a night out with friends or a new spot to indulge. It can be hard to pick a place, so the next time you and your S/O or friends are having one of those, “I don’t know, what do you wanna eat?” type of nights, pick one of these local restaurants and order one of these 13 delicious, must-try dishes. Bon appetit! Best Dishes Newport Beach

 

Billy’s at the Beach

Must-Order: Mai Tai and Jumbo Coconut Shrimp

Get a taste of the island life without boarding a plane. You may have heard about their famous mai tais, which are made with Diamond Head dark rum and a fresh, housemade juice blend. You can sip them waterfront while dining in or grab some cans to go! Don’t forget their jumbo coconut shrimp, which are fried ‘til golden and oh-so crunchy! Dip it in their sweet and spicy Thai sauce for a perfect bite of tangy, crispy seafood. 

@billysatthebeach

Best Dishes Newport Beach

Gulfstream

Must-Order: Honey Mustard Glazed Beef Ribs

For some classy vibes and fine dining, Gulfstream is the place to go. Whether you dine indoors or out, you’ll love the ambiance of their softly lit restaurant. For starters, order the Northern Pacific oysters or grilled artichokes. Their honey mustard-glazed beef ribs are some of the most tender, tasty, fall-off-the-bone ribs you’ll ever enjoy. Finish up with a tres leches cake—so good that you’ll still be dreaming about it tomorrow.

@gulfstreamnewportbeach

Best Dishes Newport Beach

Bandera

Must-Order: Bandera-Style Roasted Chicken

Credit: Hillstone Restaurant Group

Since they’re known as the “home of the flying chicken,” you have to order the Bandera-style roasted chicken at this Corona del Mar gem. They roast their chickens all day in a custom stone oven, glaze them with an apricot sauce and serve them with cucumber salad. The result is a juicy, high-quality rotisserie chicken you could never get from Costco! Their banana crème pie also gets rave reviews—try it and you’ll understand the hype.

@banderarestaurants

 

San Shi Go

Must-Order: Omakase

Credit: Ryusuke Umezu

If you enjoy feasting with your eyes as much as you do your stomach, make a reservation at San Shi Go ASAP. Known for the best omakase in OC, each of their dishes is a true work of art. You’ll find unique items like tempura snow crab with a matcha dusting, Japanese uni with A5 Wagyu and much more. The menu changes daily, but whatever you’re served, you won’t be disappointed. 

@sanshigonb

Best Dishes Newport Beach

Chicken Coop

Must-Order: Chicken Fried Steak

The Chicken Coop is a local favorite. It’s a casual hole-in-the-wall with classic American and Mexican food crowd-pleasers like BLTs, Philly cheesesteaks, huevos rancheros and eggs and machaca. If you come hungry, try their chicken fried steak, which is smothered in a delicious white gravy, and pair it with a cold beer for the ultimate combo. You’ll leave full and happy!

@eatchickencoop

 

CDM Restaurant

Must-Order: Charred Octopus

Credit: CDM Restaurant

This Corona del Mar hotspot sources local, fresh ingredients to create elevated new American cuisine. The charred octopus is to die for; it comes with chorizo, roasted potatoes, confit tomato and an aji Amarillo sauce—and yes, you will still be thinking about it long after you’ve eaten it. Also, before you leave, check out their speakeasy, Under CDM, for specially curated cocktails! 

@cdmrestaurant

Best Dishes Newport Beach

El Cholo

Must-Order: Sonora Style Nachos

Credit: Wales Communication

Nestled perfectly on PCH, El Cholo is the perfect place for some happy hour margaritas and tamales. Their enchiladas are unbeatable and you must try their Sonora Style Nachos. They are the perfect happy hour companion, complete with frijoles, tomato salsa, sour cream and heaps of guacamole. The aged cheese and jalapeños makes their nachos an absolute game changer!

@elcholo1923

 

Arc Butcher

Must-Order: Wedge Salad

Credit: Marín Howarth von Blöm

Tucked away on the Balboa Peninsula, you’ll find Arc Butcher & Baker: a laid back, rustic-style eatery with an open-fire kitchen. They’re known for their homey atmosphere and unique dishes. For a salad unlike any other, order their wedge salad, which is loaded with bacon, pickled red onion, crumbled Roquefort bleu cheese and loaded with generous heaps of pork belly. This is a salad you’d come back for!

@arcbutcherbaker

Best Dishes Newport Beach

Trenta Pizza & Cucina

Must-Order: Trio Pizza

On the border of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, Trenta serves authentic Italian cuisine that you’ll love digging into during date night. Dine al fresco on their patio and make sure you order the Trenta 30-inch Signature Pizza Trio. Yes, you read that right: 30 inches! If you’re the indecisive type, why pick one pizza when you could go for three? Their Trenta Trio allows you to pick three flavors, and they’ll make it into one giant pizza just for you (and your friends). Pro tip:  save room for the tiramisu!

@trentapizzcucina

 

Bamboo Bistro

Must-Order: Bo Luc Lac

Bamboo Bistro, run by the daughter of the famed Brodard Restaurant in Westminster’s owner, offers an elegant, modern take on Vietnamese cuisine. It’s hard to go wrong with anything here, including their duck spring rolls, pad see ew and mango sticky rice. Perhaps one of the most-ordered items is their shaken beef, or “bo luc lac,” made with filet mignon so tender and buttery that you’ll want to make a reservation for a second visit before you leave!

Best Dishes Newport Beach

Cassidy’s Bar & Grill

Must-Order: Cheeseburger

You know it’s a true dive bar when they’re not on social media! They don’t even have a working phone number—they’re just here to provide quality burgers and ice-cold brews. Their burgers are known by locals as the best in the area; they’re juicy and bursting with flavor no matter what variation you order. 

Tupelo Junction

Must-Order: Dungeness Crab Cake

Tupelo Junction offers a taste of the South right here in OC. The restaurant was converted from a little cottage home to a quaint, local restaurant, so you’ll be dining in a cozy, homestyle setting. They’ve got menu items like buttermilk biscuits with jumbleberry jam, cheddar jalapeno grits and lobster gumbo. But don’t skip their Dungeness crab cake, which is a crowd favorite for good reason. Order it as is or get it with a Benedict for brunch!

@tupelojunction

 

Javier’s

Must-Order: La Tablita

 

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A post shared by Javier’s (@javierscantina)

It’s always a fun time at Javier’s! The renowned restaurant’s Newport location is perfectly situated in the Crystal Cove shopping center on PCH. If you’re indecisive and want to try a bit of everything, get the La Tablita, which is big enough to feed about 2-3 people (but we won’t judge when you order one for yourself). It comes with carne asada, chicken, queso over baked beans, rice, guac, tortillas and pico de gallo. Just don’t forget to order a spicy marg to wash it all down!

@javierscantina

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