Credit: Flower Child

10 Healthy Restaurants in Orange County for Every Type of January Diet

Prioritize You With Nutrient-Dense Eats at Our 10 Favorite Health-Conscious Cafes

It may sound cliche, but there’s no better time of year to get back to your roots (literally!). With the health-conscious community so prevalent here, Orange County may be the most convenient place to hard-launch a new diet. We know most restaurants can make dietary accommodations, but we would rather avoid the waiter’s eye roll by dining at eateries with like-minded philosophies. Ease into new habits with the good stuff: we’re taking decadent charcoal waffles and delightful potato pizzas at the best healthy restaurants! Budding health gurus, long-term veg-lovers and friends of vegans will all find something they love at these 10 health-conscious restaurants in Orange County.

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Malibu Farm | 🌱Paleo or Vegan 

Must-Try Dish: Vegan Coconut Curry 

Best Healthy Restaurants OC
Credit: Malibu Farms Newport Beach

Book a reservation at Malibu Farm to treat yourself to lunch by the water. The Lido Marina Village location’s luxe interior makes eating clean feel indulgent. Follow your host to a marina-side table and start with a fresh kale and apple juice before ordering from the California-coastal menu. Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dishes are clearly labeled and made with real stuff—no substitutes. All ingredients are sourced locally, with a transparent list of Malibu Farms’ partners posted online.

Location: Newport Beach


Seabirds Kitchen | 🌱Vegan 

Must-Try Dish: Beer-Battered Avo Taco

What started as a food truck is growing into an empire of plant-based “treat-yourself” restaurants in SoCal—our favorite being Seabirds in Costa Mesa. The hip, bohemian-inspired brunch, lunch and dinner spot specializes in global cuisine. Seabirds is best known for its tacos, and a right-of-passage has to be the beer-battered avocado variation. Proceed with caution: the chaffle is also dangerously delicious! Essentially the new cronut, this waffle and churro hybrid helped put Seabirds on the map. Chaffles are topped with vanilla ice cream and fudge drizzle (vegan of course!)

Location: Costa Mesa


Taste of Beauty | 🌱Vegetarian or Vegan

Must-Try Dish: Orchid Tasting Menu

Best Healthy Restaurants OC
Credit: Taste of Beauty

Fine dining is no longer just for steakhouses. Let us introduce you to Taste of Beauty, a multiple-course experience of thoughtfully plated plant-based foods that honors both your body and Chinese tradition. The interior is as tranquil as a lotus garden, with an atmosphere that’s refined, elegant and fresh. Celebrate your next occasion over artful foods and soothing teas that evoke a sense of discovery at Taste of Beauty.

Location: Fountain Valley 



Parakeet Cafe | 🌱Vegetarian, Paleo or Keto

Must-Try Dish: Charcoal Waffle

The visionaries behind Parakeet Cafe, Carol and Jonathan Goldwasser, know the power of food as medicine and pass the plate to health gurus and non-dieters alike at their Newport Beach cafe, making it one of the best healthy restaurants in the area. Start with a mushroom latte or sparkling mimosa (if that’s on your January diet!) and follow up with all-organic brunch bowls. The activated charcoal waffle is like dopamine for your body and mind with its silky in-house Nutella drizzle. Dine across from Crystal Cove in the tropical eatery that the girls will obsess over!

Location: Newport Beach


Flower Child | 🌱Paleo

Must-Try Dish: Mother Earth Bowl 

Credit: Flower Child

Flower Child’s charismatic interior is as colorful as their menu, which is chock-full of options for every eater. Whether you’re a meat eater, vegan, paleo or keto, there’s something on the menu for everyone to enjoy. Hence, Flower Child is the perfect fast-casual restaurant for families and large parties. Everything from the ginger vinaigrettes to almond ricottas are made in the 100% scratch kitchen. Our favorite thing, besides the Mother Earth Bowl, is that Flower Child gives back to the community through Feed the Soul’s restaurant program.

Location: Newport Beach


Goop Kitchen | 🌱Keto

Must-Try Dish: Brentwood Chinese Chicken Salad

Best Healthy Restaurants OC
Credit: Christina Tadin

A newsletter turned into a viral lifestyle brand, Goop is the passion project of award-winning actress Gwneyth Paltrow. Everything on the menu is gluten-free and made without processed sugars or preservatives. We know the Costa Mesa warehouse is an unamusing front for an LA-inspired take-out kitchen, but the beach is just minutes away, and Goop makes for the perfect picnic. You can self-order at a kiosk, but save a step and order online. You’ll be texted when your order is ready for pick up.

Location: Costa Mesa



Active Culture | 🌱Vegetarian and Vegan

Must-Try Dish: Wholesome Bowl, extra OG Sauce 

Credit: Julee Ho Media

No one appreciates the simple things like Active Culture. Serving up raw foods that take you back to your roots, Active Culture’s menu of wholesome bowls and wraps are anything but basic, thanks to their OG and slammin’ sauces. This wholesome hotspot boasts life-giving lunch items and views of the Pacific from the charming cottage cafe. Gaze at Laguna Beach gallery walls while waiting for your bountiful bowl, and do yourself a favor: don’t skip the frozen yogurt! Rumor has it, live cultures make it good for you?

Locations: Laguna Beach, San Clemente


Organic Tree | 🌱Vegan

Must-Try Dish: Farm Toast 

Credit: Organic Tree

Organic Tree’s nutrient-dense remedies and veggie-forward plates are Dana Point’s hidden gem. Best known for fresh-pressed juices and elixirs, Organic Tree is a quaint juice bar across from the harbor that makes for a convenient meet-up. Power lattes, gut-friendly sandwiches and vibrant bowls make it easy to eat the rainbow! In harmony with the all-natural menu, Organic Tree’s interior is modest with simple sage green walls and wooden counters. Save your juice jar because after one visit, you might just become a regular. 

Location: Dana Point 


Everyday Eatery | 🌱Vegetarian

Must-Try Dish: Morning Market Scramble

Everyday Eatery, situated in the heart of Irvine, stands out as one of the best healthy restaurants in the area, ideal for a post-workout or pre-work breakfast. The restaurant’s interior exudes a whimsical charm, featuring playful murals that elevate your mood even before your first sip of coffee. Influenced heavily by New Zealand cuisine, the menu primarily offers vegetarian selections, with clearly labeled gluten-free options. A standout dish is the Morning Market Scramble, a classic that consistently delights. This nutrient-dense meal is a powerhouse of roasted zucchini, spinach, kale, and tomatoes, perfectly embodying the restaurant’s commitment to health and flavor.

Location: Irvine


Freesoulcaffe | 🌱Vegan 

Must-Try Dish: Potato Pizza

Mornings of settling for a muffin as the only vegan pastry to accompany your morning coffee are over. Perfectly flaky croissants, without butter? You better believe it! Freesoulcaffe’s lineup of vegan options make eyes twinkle and taste buds tingle. Their goal is to help people live a more conscious life through their plant-based scratch kitchen. They even bake their own graham crackers for cheesecake crust! Relax all day in the industrial-accented dining room that is reminiscent of a cafe in the city. 

Location: Tustin 

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Lover of the beach, food and fitness, Emily enjoys exploring all sunny Southern California has to offer! She has a passion for sharing about her favorite local gems and began writing for Locale in 2022. On the weekends, find her creating recipes for her food blog or out in Laguna!




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