The Best Restaurants in Laguna Beach

19 Best Restaurants & Places in Laguna Beach, CA | 2023 (Top Eats!)

Laguna Beach is a magnificent metropolis on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a gorgeous place to dine by facing the oceanfront.

The exuberant water bodies here, the city centers and outstanding resorts have made it a famous tourist destination.

It’s loved by travelers as the place has lots to offer.

The city showcases vibrant food choices through exquisite places to eat.

One gets to enjoy seafood here to their heart’s content with lots of freshness.

The city has a fair share of vibrant bars and diners with remarkable decoration and impressive selections.

Therefore, if you are planning to visit this oceanfront city for vacation, then you have to come to the right place.

This article will provide you with terrific dining choices through the many best restaurants in Laguna Beach.

The list is prepared by keeping various parameters in mind to help you through.

Let’s take a look at them.

The Best Restaurants in Laguna Beach This Year

1. Nick’s Laguna Beach

Nick's Laguna Beach

Why it’s so must visit?

The famous Nick’s Laguna Beach restaurant was started in 2008.

It’s a prominent American dining establishment that is located only some walk away from the beach.

It’s considered to be one of the top-rated restaurants in Laguna Beach.

It’s mostly popular for its open-air dining seating, which is adored by many.

The restaurant also has an extensive wine list with tasty, creative cocktails and a lot more.

Also, the entire space at the restaurant is surrounded by casual details.

It has hand-blown glass lamps and an eclectic menu with various vegetarian options.

Chef’s Choice

One can go for their gourmet, and expensive dish named Wagyu center cut filet.

The wagyu steak is their specialty, containing a steak butter topping with a side dish of baked potatoes.

It also comes with a choice of salad or their special daily soup.

But if you like seafood more, then you would love relishing their pan-seared Chilean sea bass.

The Chilean bass is their seafood specialty that is served with whipped potatoes, sautéed spinach with pieces of garlic and almonds, and refreshing lemon beurre blanc dressing.

Location and Contact

2. Wine Gallery

Wine Gallery

Why it’s a must visit?

The Wine Gallery restaurant is a simple American diner that was first opened in 2012.

This charming restaurant is considered to be among the top restaurants in Laguna Beach.

It’s a perfect place to enjoy appetizing dishes while sipping exquisite wines.

One is bound to have a fine dining experience here with your friends or your date.

The restaurant has a remarkable selection of craft beers and wines. 

It also has a heartwarming and welcoming ambiance with a wood-fired kitchen.

Chef’s Choice

If you want to relish incredible wood-fired cook pizzas, then go for their funghi.

The Funghi Pizza is made with homemade mozzarella cheese, goat cheese, shallot, truffle oil, provolone, Parmesan cheese, and garlic.

But if you want something on the lighter side, then you would love their chef Josh’s cheesy garlic bread.

Their Cheesy garlic bread is a mouthwatering dish that is made inside a wood oven and includes three slices of sliced butter bread with crushed garlic and tomato dressing, along with three cheese blends.

Location and Contact

3. Selanne Steak Tavern

Selanne Steak Tavern

Why it’s a must visit?

The Selanne Steak Tavern is a popular steakhouse that was opened in 1934.

The restaurant is beautifully nestled inside a historic home and is considered to be a 5-star restaurant in Laguna Beach.

It’s a perfect restaurant near me that provides one with an unforgettable dining experience.

Therefore if you are traveling to Laguna Beach, don’t miss out on this restaurant.

It has a rustic and chic ambiance with elegant decorations with modern and stylish touches.

The wide variety of wines and decadent dishes here has made it an award-winning steak house in Laguna Beach.

Chef’s Choice

Expect everything gourmet here, like their 2lb Maine lobster, a superb shellfish dish.

The lobster comes with savory butter crackers stuffing and tasty saffron beurre fondue.

It would be better to finish off your meal by ending it with their dulcey chocolate.

The chocolate comes with rejuvenating ingredients like a chocolate genoise, vanilla mousse, raspberry coulis, and almond sable.

Location and Contact

4. Thai Bros Restaurant

Thai Bros Restaurant

Why it’s a must visit?

The Thai Bros restaurant is one of the most famous restaurants in Laguna Beach.

It’s prominently famous for its serving of authentic Thai cuisine.

The exotic Thai variety here makes anyone marvel over its dishes.

Therefore, it’s a perfect place to visit if one is speculating about where to eat exquisite and authentic Thai cuisine.

There is no other rival against this reputed restaurant.

It has a relaxed interior, stylish details, and a modern twist to traditional dishes.

The beautiful decor details of the diner take inspiration from the rich culture of beautiful southeast Asian countries.

Chef’s Choice

The emperor of the north dish is a fabulous option to go for if you have a special place for a curry.

This lovely curry dish contains a tasty salmon filet with delicious gravy dressing and spinach.

One can also try their fire eater if one has a good tolerance for spicy food.

The fire eater dish comes with sliced chicken breast pieces adorned with carrots, onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers, all prepared in a spicy sauce gravy.

Location and Contact

5. Broadway by Amar Santana

Broadway by Amar Santana

Why it’s a must visit?

Amar Santana started the Broadway restaurant.

It’s a prominent new American restaurant that is located in proximity to various boutiques, stores, shops, and art galleries.

It’s one of the nicest restaurants in Laguna Beach, which also includes various gluten-free and vegetarian options.

It’s a superb choice for anyone looking for an accommodating atmosphere with great food.

The restaurant has an industrial New York-inspired decor with an open kitchen setting.

It has a talented staff with professional chefs who prepare exquisite food near me.

Chef’s Choice

The roasted heirloom beet salad makes for a fabulous option to go for, especially if you are a vegetarian.

The salad comes with tasted pistachios, blue cheese, red wine Charlotte vinaigrette, watercress, and fourme d’Ambert.

But if you have a gluten allergy, then go for their pan-roasted Maine sea scallops.

The scallops come with black trumpet mushroom, sweet corn purée, and edamame and chorizo butter dressing.

Location and Contact

6. Alessa by Chef Pirozzi

Alessa by Chef Pirozzi

Why it’s a must visit?

The Alessa by Chef Pirozzi is an Italian restaurant that is situated along Forest Avenue.

It’s a charming restaurant that provides tasty Italian delicacies at cheap rates.

It’s considered to be among the best family restaurants in Laguna Beach that also serves the finest lunch in town.

It’s a perfect place to dine with your friends or family because of its cozy ambiance and reasonable prices.

It has a rustic dining set up serving authentic Italian delicacies.

The customer service here is awe-inspiring, and the dishes here are entirely made from organic ingredients with colorful cocktails.

Chef’s Choice

Their pasta is really impressive, especially their pillow of love.

The pillow of love pasta comes with organic butternut squash ricotta ravioli, brown butter sage dressing, and special amaretto almond cookie crumbs.

It also serves the tastiest Italian sandwiches in Laguna Beach, especially its meatballs Panini.

The meatballs Panini sandwich is an enticing dish that comes with a cheese blend, homemade meatballs, and a ragu dressing.

Location and Contact

7. O Fine Japanese Cuisine

O Fine Japanese Cuisine

Why it’s a must visit?

The O Fine Japanese Cuisine restaurant was started in 2009 in Aliso Creek Plaza.

It’s a prominent Japanese restaurant that is an outstanding option for those who are looking for cool places to eat authentic Japanese cuisine.

The flavorful Japanese cuisine choices here, along with the stylish of the interior, have made it one of the best places to eat Asian food in Laguna Beach.

It has comfortable seating with charming decor.

The high-quality fresh fish offered here and authentic sake comes straight imported from Japan.

Chef’s Choice

Try their delectable O signature sashimi sampler.

The O signature sashimi sampler comes with six different types of sashimi choices and a special homemade dressing.

Another mouthwatering sashimi option is their Troy fantasy.

The troy fantasy dish comes with five tasty pieces of bluefin toro sashimi along with the decadent Japanese salsa.

Location and Contact

8. The Stand Natural Foods

The Stand Natural Foods

Why it’s a must visit?

The stand natural foods restaurant is one of the most famous vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Laguna Beach.

It was started back in 1975 and served magnificent food choices.

One can dine here guilt-free or have brunch in the healthiest form.

It’s a perfect place for anyone following a strict diet.

The restaurant offers various toothsome delicacies like burritos, smoothies, vegetables, sandwiches, and other exciting healthy options.

Chef’s Choice

Relish their tasty Acai bowl, which is a perfectly healthy dish.

The açai bowl comes in the form of a berry groovy bowl that contains tasty items like coconut, strawberries, açai, granola, bananas, and blueberries.

But if you like salads, then don’t miss out on their ‘I just want a big salad’ dish.

The big salad comes with cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, shredded carrots, Stand mixed veggies, tomatoes, cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, and a lot more.

Location and Contact

9. Penguin Cafe

Penguin Cafe

Why it’s a must visit?

The penguin café was first built during the 1940s and is a prominent family-owned restaurant.

This gorgeous cafe is located only some walk away from Laguna Beach’s beautiful beaches.

It’s a perfect place to start your day on a casual note with delicious meals.

The café is perfect for having a casual meet-up or reunion with your friends.

It has a very welcoming ambiance with a cozy setting serving freshly baked goods.

The restaurant also specifies various exciting branch options or an energized morning.

Chef’s Choice

Their penguin melt sandwich is a fantastic option to go for if you want something filling.

The sandwich comes with grilled cheese along with non-veg items like a fried eggs, bacon, and veggies like spinach, grilled onions, and tomatoes.

Their house specialty dish named penguin O’Brien is also pretty good.

The Penguin O’Brian comes with home-fried potatoes sauteed with lots of bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and a generous topping of two eggs and cheese.

Location and Contact

10. Starfish


Why it’s a must visit?

The starfish restaurant is an excellent Asian fusion diner in Laguna Beach.

The restaurant is known for its impressive 90-item menu and a specially curated beverage program.

It’s a charming diner that serves people an outstanding option when it comes to Asian cuisine.

The restaurant covers various global Asian delicacies ranging from Thailand to Vietnam, China, Japan, and Korea.

It’s one of the must-eat places when it comes to celebrating birthdays while enjoying Asian delicacies.

It offers remarkable full-service catering, dinner delivery, an intimate setting with private rooms, and customizable menus.

Because of its intimate atmosphere, it’s perfect for romantic dates with your partner.

Chef’s Choice

Without question, go for their SoLag drunken noodle, which is a kind of dish.

The noodles come with fresh raw seaweed, chili flakes, garlic soy, bamboo shoots, cherry tomatoes, Thai basil, and white onions.

Their sweet and sour halibut is also a super dish if one likes seafood.

The halibut features an eight-pan roasted halibut that comes with wok-fried prawns, a homemade sour and sweet sauce, coconut rice, bell peppers, broccoli, onions, and grilled pineapple.

Location and Contact

11. 230 Forest Avenue

230 Forest Avenue

Why it’s a must visit?

230 Forest Ave. is a bustling Californian diner situated in downtown Laguna Beach.

It’s a lively restaurant that remains a trendy food spot for its breathtaking interior.

The restaurant serves people innovative cuisine options in a stylish setting.

It has a full-service bar that introduces people to various creative cocktails and fine wines.

Its upbeat and lively ambiance and offering of fresh seafood dishes have made it one of the best restaurants in Laguna Beach.

Chef’s Choice

The most delicious option you can try here in white meat is their chicken, Milanese.

The chicken Milanese is a specialized potato purée with charred lemon, Argula tomato salad, lemon beurre blanc sauce, and pesto.

But if you want something in red meat options, then go for their maple-brined pork chop.

The maple brine pork chop comes with soft polenta, apples, Calvados demi-glaze, raisins, and pine nuts.

Location and Contact

12. Brussels Bistro

Brussels Bistro

Why it’s a must visit?

The Brussels bistro restaurant was started in 2004.

Since its opening, it has become a renowned Belgian restaurant.

It’s considered to be among the best dinner places in Laguna Beach.

The balancing of live entertainment and lively atmosphere here, with delicious cuisine, makes it pretty incredible.

The restaurant takes pride in its mouthwatering Belgian cuisine.

It also defines the vibrant nightlife of Laguna Beach with its aesthetically pleasing interior and a full-service bar.

Chef’s Choice

Try their most popular dish, named Boeuf Bourguignon, here.

The dish is slowly cooked to perfection over the time span of 24 hours.

It is made with special red wine sauce, carrots, bacon, pearl onions, and mushrooms.

The most divine dish that one can try ordering here is their Belgian endive. 

The Belgian endive dish comes with grain mustard sauce, ham, cheese, green onions, tomatoes, and blue cheese.

Location and Contact

13. Driftwood Kitchen

Driftwood Kitchen

Why it’s a must visit?

The Driftwood kitchen restaurant is a lovely beachfront diner.

The restaurant specializes in new American cuisine with an enjoyable atmosphere.

It serves people decadent food with jaw-dropping pacific ocean views.

One appreciates the beauty of the ocean here through the restaurant’s high-ceiling windows.

It’s an excellent restaurant that defines the idea of fine dining through its lovely outdoor and indoor dining options.

The panoramic scenery, classic Californian cuisine, and the coastal vibe make everything here feel blessed.

Chef’s Choice

If you like seafood and pasta, then go for their lobster spaghetti carbonara.

The lobster spaghetti carbonara comes with grated Parmesan Romano, tarragon, farm egg, and pork guanciale.

But if you have a tough time choosing which one to go for, the order their DK seafood tower is always a good option.

The dark consist of a Maine lobster tail, tuna tartare, king crab legs, Spanish octopus ceviche, poached jumbo Mexican shrimp, and oysters.

Location and Contact

14. Sapphire


Why it’s a must visit?

The Sapphire restaurant was started in 2007.

This rustic diner offers incredible American cuisine with excellent service and decadent cuisine. 

It’s loved by the local people of Laguna Beach, who appreciate its darling setting along with delectable food options.

The restaurant has an impressive array of international cuisine options, along with an outdoor fireplace and a rooftop dining setting.

Chef’s Choice

If you have a special place for red meat, then go for their juicy steaks. 

The steak here comes in an incredible variety of succulent and thick meat.

One can also consider going for their 24oz double R Ranch bone and ribeye steak.

The ribeye steak is a flavorful dish that comes with blue lake beans, small blue cheese mashed potatoes, wild mushrooms, and green peppercorn cognac reduction.

But if you want to try something different and classy, then go for their big skillet of mac & cheese.

The skillet and mac & cheese is a beloved American favorite dish that comes with different layerings of cheese toppings with more than five varieties, along with a tasty topping of crispy chicken skin.

Location and Contact

15. Splashes Restaurant

Splashes Restaurant

Why it’s a must visit?

The Splashes restaurant was started in 1991 under the title of the outrigger.

It’s considered to be among the many great restaurants in Laguna Beach offering coastal-inspired dining.

One gets to have a pleasant time dining here with their convenient choices by tasting incredible food choices.

One gets to taste all sorts of excellent food here at this restaurant with many options.

The mesmerizing oceanfront scenery from this restaurant makes everything a lot more beautiful.

It has palm-shaded patio seating along with an indoor dining setup that one can choose as per their liking.

Chef’s Choice

Looking for a rejuvenating start to your breakfast? Then go for their Buenos Diaz burrito.

The burrito comes with delicious options like scrambled eggs, pepper jack cheese, bacon, hash browns, salsa Picante, and green onions.

For dinner, nothing could beat their Colorado rack of lamb.

The Colorado rack of lamb comes with crispy cauliflower mushrooms, tarragon gnocchi, confit tomato, and salsa Macha.

Location and Contact

16. Las Brisas

Las Brisas

Why it’s a must visit?

The Las Brisas restaurant is situated high above the Californian coastline on the beautiful Laguna Beach promenade.

It’s an excellent place to enjoy lunch, breakfast, and dinner with a stunning ocean view.

The restaurant features various fusions of Mexican flavors ranging from Baja, Mexico, and California.

The restaurant runs a bit on the expensive side but is perfect for anyone looking for fancy dining.

The service here is awe-inspiring and deserves a lot of praise.

Chef’s Choice

The dinner choice for two consisting of an endive salad and shared crab that comes with mango, avocado, and lime makes for a fabulous option.

Their chili Rellenos fan is also another superb dish.

Not to mention the delicious crab and shrimp that come with queso Oaxaca, a guajillo sauce, rice, and black beans. 

In the same way, their Mediterranean Bronzino is another excellent dish, a Baja staple that comes with Swiss chard and pan-seared roasted parsnip. 

It also holds various happy hour events to serve drinks a discounted prices.

Location and Contact

17. Mozambique


Why it’s a must visit?

The Mozambique restaurant has a glamorous atmosphere with an immensely flavorsome cuisine.

It’s a glamorous restaurant that takes its cuisine inspiration from the east African coastline.

At this place, one gets to discover cuisine from South Africa, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

The colonially influenced dishes make one experience a phenomenal exotic dining adventure.

The sensational cuisine options here make everyone spellbound.

The restaurant has different thematic dining rooms and an open-air rooftop area providing splendid ocean views.

It has a Durban room that provides a delightful dining experience with a vintage piano.

It’s a perfect place to have an enjoyable dinner night with fancy embellishments.

Chef’s Choice

The restaurant provides a flavorful journey into east African cuisine through its many decadent delicacies.

Mozambique’s sampler platter is a delicious option with tender chicken pieces, prawns, beef samosas, and tasty farmer’s sausage served with peri-peri sauce.

The shareable platters here leave everyone in awe of how great they are.

The Durban curry comes with onions, tender breast lamb, carrots, and potatoes.

For a flawless finish to your meal, go for their Portuguese hot butter pudding.

The Portuguese hot butter pudding comes with vanilla ice cream, cream anglaise, and mixed berries.

Location and Contact

18. Larsen at Hotel Laguna

Larsen at Hotel Laguna

Why it’s a must visit?

As one can infer from the title, the Larsen restaurant is situated in hotel Laguna.

This prominent restaurant was recently opened and is situated inside a classic 125 years old resort.

It’s situated near the sea and has become extremely popular among the Hollywood crowd.

The entire place has been refurbished into a historic site with chic details.

It has a lofty outdoor space with incredible oceanic views.

One can come here for lunch to get impressed beyond expectations.

Chef’s Choice

The restaurant has a raw signature bar along with various appetizing starter options.

These starter options here range from tacos to salads and sandwiches.

Any seafood lover will find this place to be a personal heaven with a poached lobster plate, market oysters, and chilled jumbo shrimp.

Even half portions are enough for two people as it comes in hefty portions.

Their house favorite dish, named short rib cigars that come with horseradish cream fraiche, is also out of the world.

Location and Contact

19. The Deck on Laguna Beach

The Deck on Laguna Beach

Why it’s a must visit?

The Deck on Laguna beach restaurant is a reputed diner situated inside the Pacific Edge Hotel.

The restaurant offers people a quintessential beach dining experience with its beautiful setting.

It’s a laid-back, cozy diner, perfect for light snacks and colorful cocktails.

It also has mouthwatering seafood selections that one can eat here guilt-free.

The gentle breeze of the ocean, along with magnificent seafood choices, makes dining here feel genuinely fantastic.

Chef’s Choice

The restaurant provides spectacular hearty seafood selections like their seafood tower, oysters, sandwiches, soups, small platters, shellfish, salmon, and a lot more.

The drinks here are also superb but the most refreshing variety in Laguna Beach.

Any seafood lover would go crazy over their Dungeness crab Louis salad, which has plenty of crabs and a fresh taste.

Their grilled mahi-mahi sandwich is also the best bet here, especially if it’s sampled with their Cajun remoulade on rustic ciabatta bread.

The southern Californian vibes here, because of its outdoor dining and incredible seafood choices, give one the most heavenly dining experience.

Location and Contact

Final Thoughts 

Laguna Beach, as one can see, is a fascinating place full of exciting opportunities.

Those opportunities stretch from breathtaking beach spots to lovely dining establishments.

The wide variety of decadent cuisine here and lots of exciting places to eat have made it quite an intriguing location.

Spending vacations here will elevate the spirits of the people with their offerings of refreshing drinks and unforgettable memories.

It’s of utmost importance that one should be clear about some decent dining establishments when coming to a place like Laguna Beach.

That’s why, to help you navigate through many food destinations, we created this list of the best restaurants in Laguna Beach.

We hope you have taken a thorough look above.

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