Credit: Ed Visions
Credit: Ed Visions

Dads, Grads and Everything in Between—7 South OC Restaurants to Celebrate at This Summer

Celebrate in Style This Season at One of South OC’s Best Restaurants!

Break out your sundresses and kitten heels—summer is nearly upon us. While summer in SoCal offers sunshine, beach days and late nights with friends, it also brings about holidays and special occasions worth celebrating. Whether you’re commemorating a recent grad, celebrating Father’s Day or showering a loved one on their birthday, these seven spots are ready to host your celebration in style this summer. Best Summer Restaurants Orange County


Starfish Laguna Beach

Credit: Ed Visions


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If you want to take your celebration to the next level, Starfish Laguna Beach offers private dining, catering packages and an unbeatable ambiance. “We’ve curated a magnetic, tastefully provocative dining experience for our guests to get lost in,” promises owners Gretchen and Archie McConnell. Starfish, just steps away from the iconic Montage hotel, has been a cornerstone in Laguna Beach for over a decade. With over 90 impressive dishes, the menu focuses on Asian Coastal Cuisine. You won’t want to miss the Chilean sea bass with Thai basil green curry or the slow-cooked five spice baby-back “wet” ribs. Wash it down with their coconut sake-based Island Geisha!

Location: Laguna Beach

Best Summer Restaurants Orange County

Trevor’s at the Tracks

For a unique dining experience, Trevor’s offers a spacious courtyard setting in San Juan’s historic train depot. Whether you want to book a private party—which comes with your own event planner—or just pop by, you and your guests are sure to have a great time. For a burst of unique flavors, order the Fig and Fungi flatbread. Plus, their craft cocktails are garden-to-glass, so be sure to order one, such as the Don’t Throw Mama Under the Train!

Location: San Juan Capistrano




Credit: Mayfield Restaurant & Market

If you’re looking to celebrate the grad who eats with their eyes or the mom who deserves a night off from cooking, this is the spot. Mayfield’s interior is inviting, bright and airy, and the menu is rooted in Mediterranean cuisine with a touch of Californian flair. Most dishes are made for sharing, which makes this a great spot to take your party. The lamb meatballs and cauliflower shawarma are guaranteed crowd-pleasers.

Location: San Juan Capistrano

Best Summer Restaurants Orange County

Craft House

Credit: Sharon Williams

If Dad appreciates a good glass of whiskey, you must take him to Craft House in Dana Point. They offer a huge selection of whiskeys so rare that the restaurant only gets one bottle each per year, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find these selections elsewhere. Craft House also has private dining rooms and catering available for your celebratory needs. Food portions are generous and great for sharing—get the fried chicken plate and thank us later. 

Location: Dana Point

South of Nick’s

Credit: South of Nick’s

Nick’s, a well-known OC favorite, has a sister restaurant specializing in Mexican cuisine. The best part? You can still get Nick’s famous butter cake at this location! The lobster enchiladas and chimichangas are also sure to hit the spot. If you want to celebrate big, South of Nick’s knows how to throw a proper fiesta; they feature boisterous live music and dancing, plus a full-on mariachi band on Sundays. It’s a guaranteed great time for every type of summer celebration.

Location: San Clemente

Best Summer Restaurants Orange County

Rancho Capistrano Winery

Credit: Felicia Connors

For some boozy festivities, visit Orange County’s largest winery that’s home to over 40 different housemade wines from regions all over California. The vibes here are laid-back and relaxed, making this winery a great option for a celebratory brunch. They also offer all-day happy hour on Mondays, and host a Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Experience on summer weekends. For something different, try their Mexican coffee wine and strawberry bruschetta!

Location: Ladera Ranch, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano



Credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Want a more intimate, grand get-together to celebrate in style? This restaurant within the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel offers some of the best panoramic ocean views on PCH, overlooking Salt Creek Beach. 180blu’s  beautifully crafted dishes and drinks will wow you just as much as the view. Sip on a Tamarind-Togarashi Marg and savor their swordfish tacos. For an especially magical night you won’t forget, go at golden hour to catch a magnificent sunset!

Location: Dana Point

Best Summer Restaurants Orange County

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