Credit: Robert Sanchez

8 New Restaurants in Costa Mesa to Add to Your Foodie Bucket List

Be The First to Experience New Western Bars, Rooftop Lounges and LGBT Cocktail Clubs

Costa Mesa is earning itself the title of Orange County’s hottest and trendiest city. It’s the perfect mesh of hipster and hip, where foodies flock and where independent businesses thrive. When we thought Costa Mesa couldn’t get any cooler, it opened up eight new restaurants under our noses. From OC’s only spot with a mechanical bull to rooftop bars and sunlit cafes, these new restaurants are not to be missed. Not only is the Westside getting a new cocktail club, but The CAMP is coming back to life with two new Costa Mesa restaurants to try. Mark your calendars for opening dates and buckle up because this is going to be downright delicious. Here’s everything we know about what’s new and coming soon to Costa Mesa.

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Birdcage Lounge

Calling all lovebirds to Birdcage Lounge! Orange County’s favorite LGBT+ bar, STRUT, just opened a cozy new cocktail lounge. Grab your date and strut on over to Westside’s intimate new hideaway. This feather-themed bar and lounge is open Wednesday through Saturday from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.—perfect for a late-night rendezvous! For early birds, Birdcage offers happy hour from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Flocktails rotate seasonally so there’s always a reason to migrate to Birdcage. Start the night with a “Flip the Bird,” their signature tequila and lime elixir. Oh, and for our songbirds, check their Instagram for karaoke night.

Local Insight: Ask the bartender for a Blended Birdie to have your drink blended and served in a flamingo cup!


The Plot

New Restaurants Costa Mesa
Credit: Kimberly Motos

Fresh fuel and sunlit interiors are two reasons why we love The Plot in Costa Mesa. This branch of San Diego’s most well-known, plant-powered restaurant planted roots in The CAMP. If you’re looking for eco-friendly foods that are more than just lettuce, this is the place for you. Nosh on plant-based chicken and waffles for brunch or carrotfish and chips during dinner in their newly-sprouted rotunda where flavor never takes the back seat. This new zero-waste culinary experience feels slightly more upscale than trendy chains. Head over for Meatless Monday, which happens to be Sushi Night at The Plot. Their special menu of rolls, nigiri and izakaya snacks are only available at the Costa Mesa location. Oh, and did we mention the $6 sake spritzers?


Eller Bakery

Eller Bakery is not your run-of-the-mill café. Going back to the basics, this artisan bakery operates an onsite flour mill and roasts its own coffee beans. Everything is as fresh as you can get, making this triple-threat café a breakfast-lovers heaven. The interiors are on theme with Eller’s all-natural, to-the-source mission. Limestone flooring creates the look and feel of waking up in a cool-toned cave, and the gravel garden feels like dining in the desert under olive trees. Their menu is inspired by simplicity and European flavors, so you can only imagine the croissant lineup waiting in the pastry case. The cinnamon rolls reign supreme, however, and are definitely a must-try!



Shake Shack

Gone are the days of driving to Irvine for Shake Shack’s burger combos. This LA-based chain is deepening its roots in Orange County one patty at a time and plans to open a Costa Mesa restaurant location to replace the old pancake house on 17th Street. This quick and convenient fast-food restaurant doesn’t cut corners but does cut some of the best fries in town. Each crinkle cut is perfectly crisp and the jagged edges provide more surface area for holding all the Shake Shack sauce. Ultra-creamy custards are churned onsite daily, which can be ordered by the cup but are also the key ingredient to dangerously delicious shakes. 


Sugo Pizza

Sugo Pizza opened as a new restaurant in Costa Mesa just in time to quench all of our European summer desires. These authentic Roman, street-style slices will transport you to the empire with artisanal flatbreads. Sandro Nardone is the mastermind behind Sugo, and his name may sound familiar from his Michelin-recommended Newport Beach restaurant, Bello. Sugo is like Bello’s little sister with a playful pink spirit that still carries Nardone’s iconic flavor profile. We love the prosciutto and potato slices, but the lunch-only Pomo panini is definitely worth trying during a weekend rendezvous. Stracciatella is slathered between slats of house-baked bread and stuffed with prosciutto di Parma, confit tomato, fresh basil and EVOO, just like on the streets of Rome. 



Credit: Robert Sanchez

Maizano opened as the shining star of Mercado González Northgate Market at the tail end of 2023. The restaurant prides itself on elevated Mexican cuisine that is best fit for date nights or business dinners. Behind the playful mural-covered walls are relaxed yet refined interiors. We’re living for the sunset color palette and rose marble bar. If seated at said bar, start the night off with one of Maizano’s specialty cocktails. While tequila traditionally takes over any Mexican menu, the Dos Caras with prickly pear gin has to be our recommendation. You won’t find overdone tacos on the menu either. Instead, prepare your palette for mole mushrooms, grilled octopus and charred steaks. It’s truly a fresh take on the flavors of Mexico. 


Greenhouse Coffee Bar & Eatery

New Restaurants Costa Mesa
Credit: Greenhouse Coffee Bar & Eatery

Greenhouse Coffee Bar & Eatery is Costa Mesa’s new café hotspot. Exactly as the name implies, this coffee bar is inside a stunning glass greenhouse, allowing sunlight to pour in from all angles. Every detail has been thought out to a T. Warm leather accents and lobby-style lounges will make you feel right at home—and you may even want to revamp your home decor after visiting. It’s that good. The coffee bar is the first thing you see when you walk in, and the churro latte (featuring dulce de leche, vanilla and cinnamon) is their specialty. Greenhouse Coffee Bar & Eatery is open seven days a week, so it also makes for a great work-from-home spot!


Ahba (Coming Soon)

South OC’s favorite beach cottage is making its way over to The CAMP in Costa Mesa. Ahba’s retro vibe and LA-inspired menu make it the ideal hangout spot any day of the week. The new Costa Mesa restaurant location is set to be where Old Vine Kitchen and Bar once was. Look out for the pink and red painted staircase, and start to plan your evenings around the hours of the rooftop bar! Let’s just say we are counting down the days until opening. Ahba is best known for its burger. Smashed Wagyu patties and fresno chiles won this menu item the title of “Best Burger in Laguna Beach,” so let’s see how it measures up to Costa Mesa’s lineup.

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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