Best Lunch Spots in Newport Beach
Credit: Danielle Scribner

8 Spots for Lunch in Newport Beach That Are More Than Satisfying

Your Comprehensive Guide To The Best Midday Meals in Newport Beach

Who doesn’t love lunch? It’s that time of day where you can still opt for breakfast or audible to something more savory and between buns. Really, anything is fair game at lunch. A sandwich? Sure. Taco? Why not. Pancakes? Hey, let’s call it brunch. Bloody mary? Liquid lunch, duh. Lunch is undisputedly the most versatile meal of the day, and we love the freedom it entails. Lunch might even be (dare we say) the new dinner. And in Newport Beach, there is no shortage of restaurants cooking up our favorite midday meal. Here are a few of our favorites. 


Bear Flag Fish Co.

Best Lunch Newport Beach
Credit: Timothy Kwon

As one of Newport Beach’s most popular seafood hotspots, pencil in Bear Flag for your next midday meal. This nautical-themed grill and seafood market boasts a bright, airy ambiance with natural lighting filtered through skylights—an aesthetic on par with Newport’s stylish Lido Marina. With a heart for the ocean, their two-man crew catches everything from swordfish and bluefin tuna to opah, yellowtail and white seabass using the most sustainable fishing practices. Inspired by a passion for California’s beloved marine habitat, Bear Flag is a fisherman’s dream brought to life. The team owns and operates a local distribution center to ensure that only the freshest catch ends up on their customers’ plates. You’ll rarely see the same items at this ocean-to-table locale, as their menu rotates with California’s seasonal catches. Craving fish tacos? Check. Spicy tuna roll? It’s on the menu. When chillier days call for a comfort dish, order their cozy New England clam chowder ladled into a steaming bread bowl. Whatever you order, you know it’ll be a plate (or bowl) of ocean-to-table goodness.


Tavern House

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The brainchild of restaurateurs David Wilhelm and Gregg Solomon, this neighborhood staple sits on a sliver of waterfront real estate in the heart of Newport Beach. Tavern House is laid-back in its approach, serving up classic American fare with a twist. The restaurant’s giant bayview windows offer a front-row seat to boats cruising by, and they have a new summer lunch menu to boot (served Thursday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.).  If you can’t resist a juicy prime rib dip, don’t! Sink your teeth into a ciabatta roll loaded with tender meat, gruyere, crispy onions, au jus and creamed horseradish. Prefer a lighter lunch like a bowl or salad? The all-new Maine lobster and shrimp Louis salad with romaine, avocado, tomatoes, a boiled egg and Louis dressing is sure to cure your lunchtime cravings. Other menu highlights include the ahi burger, fish and chips and crispy coconut shrimp! But whatever you choose to snack on, be sure to pair it with one of their signature cocktails, such as the blackberry mojito or blood orange margarita!

Local Insight: Feeling indecisive? Try Tavern House’s Lunch Combo Plate. Pick from a half turkey club or prime rib sandwich, a cup of clam chowder or French onion soup, a green salad and housemade salt and pepper potato chips!



Avila’s El Ranchito

Credit: Ed Visions

Avila ‘s El Ranchito is an OC staple. With multiple locations all over town, this locally loved restaurant serves up some of our favorite flautas and fajitas. The Balboa Peninsula location boasts indoor and outdoor seating and daily deals that usually entail a giant portion of food for only $20. Oh, and the margaritas are the size of your head! Need we say more? And if the day is simply too nice, get one of their party platters to go, saunter across the street to the beach and become the most popular person on the Peninsula.


Circle Hook Fish Company

Lido Marina Village is chock-full of amazing restaurants like Zinque, Lido Bottle Works and the latest and greatest addition, Skal Pizza. One of our all-time favorites, however, is Bear Flag’s baby: Circle Hook Fish Company. Serving up fresh and sustainably sourced seafood with unobstructed harbor views, this spot is always packed with hungry patrons looking to munch on some fried pickles while people-watching. Their poke bowl is a crowd pleaser, especially when paired with a Prickly Pear margarita. Want something a little stronger? Opt for the Kai Tai for a side of buzz with your burger or banh mi.


Malibu Farm

Credit: Malibu Farm

Another Lido Marina institution, Malibu Farm is the perfect spot for a ladies who lunch scenario. Grab your gals, get your gossip ready, order an adaptogen latte (or something stronger) and enjoy the ambiance of this restaurant retreat. We recommend just ordering a bunch of dishes to share; things like their chicken broccoli quesadilla, nachos and maybe an order of the silver dollar pancakes if you’re feeling flirty. The featured cocktail is a pineapple- and peach-infused tequila number garnished with pineapple salt if you’re feeling like drinking your calories this afternoon. Finally, you can always grab a scoop at Malibu Farm’s ice cream shop located right next door if you need to cool down from all the hot topics covered at lunch.



A+O Restaurant | Bar

Credit: Balboa Bay Resort

Located inside Balboa Bay Resort is A+O Restaurant | Bar, a scenic waterfront eatery featuring a menu of fresh California cuisine with seafood selections and farm-fresh offerings. The appetizers menu alone will make you want to order one of everything and call it a day—think chicken wings, elote bites, hot crab dip and more. And the mac and cheese isn’t just for the kiddos. The cocktails are handcrafted (some are even smoked tableside!), and the vibes are easy and breezy. During the summer months, A+O’s patio becomes home to The Tequila Bar, a pop-up that houses rare tequilas and mezcals available for sipping, savoring and learning the story of the spirit.


Wild Taco

Wild Taco is another fan favorite—and not just because of their grilled elote they serve up fresh daily. I mean, is there anything better? They have all of the usual suspects here: tacos, chips and guac, bowls, burritos, nachos and larger plates for those who skipped breakfast. Their watermelon margarita is one of our favorites, and their outdoor seating allows for optimal sun exposure. Hot tip: Wild Taco has a secret back room called The Cozy Taco that you can rent out for parties or large group hangouts. It boasts a pool table, spacious sitting area, TV, speakers for music and plenty to look at with awesome nautical knick-knacks and surf-centric style.


Dory Deli

Best Lunch Spots in Newport Beach
Credit: Danielle Scribner

You know we had to include one spot located in the heart of the coastal chaos, so we chose 22nd Street’s shining star, Dory Deli. Locals and passersby alike can appreciate this locale for lunch because it sits right on the Balboa Peninsula boardwalk and serves up items that range from healthy to hearty. When you can’t pick between sweet or savory, spring for the chicken and waffles, which features a buttermilk fried chicken perched atop a crispy Belgian waffle. They’re served all day, and did we mention the maple bacon rosemary butter and spicy syrup? Yeah, this one’s a winner. If you’re more of a sando person, however, Dory Deli also has a great selection of salads, bowls, burgers and sandos. We love the Lifeguard Club with freshly-sliced smoked turkey, applewood bacon, avocado, tomato, fresh greens and mayo!

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Jane Adler is a marketing and branding consultant by trade, but a writer by preference. She shares a name with Meryl Streep's iconic character from It's Complicated and is presently trying to manifest that life (particularly that Santa Barbara house) for herself. Jane is an avid consumer of content and carbs and often used the latter to write on the former.




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