Category: food

20
Oct

5 Instagram-Worthy Food Halls in Orange County

Your friend wants carne asada tacos, but you want a steaming bowl of pho. What do you do? Go to a food hall, of course! Food halls are modern food courts offering a wide variety of food vendors and they are the hot, new trend in Orange County! Take a look at the following guide for five of the best food halls in Orange County. Your stomach and Instagram followers will thank us later!

 

TRADE

2222 Michelson Dr.

Irvine, CA 92612

 

One of the newest food halls in Orange County, TRADE has taken over Irvine by storm. Located near John Wayne Airport, TRADE is Irvine’s first food hall and home to tasty vendors like Dos Chinos, Slapfish, Afters Ice Cream, Two Birds, Butterleaf, and GD Bro Burger. TRADE has eight restaurants and one bar serving simple, classic cocktails, boutique wines, and 10 taps of craft beer. The open-air concept gives the food hall a fresh vibe, while the delicious food keeps visitors coming back for more.

 

Must try:

  • Avocado Bombs at Butterleaf: diced avocados rolled in crushed corn chips, deep fried and topped with kimchi tiger sauce
  • Maple Bacon Jam Burger at Pig Pen Delicacy: a beef patty topped with swiss cheese, maple bacon jam, chive aioli, crispy onion strings, and a pan fried egg
  • Calamari Bowl at Portside: fresh calamari topped with a bright array of peppers and onions

 

Anaheim Packing House

440 S. Anaheim Blvd

Anaheim, CA 92805

 

Built in 1919 along the Southern Pacific rail line in downtown Anaheim, the Anaheim Packing House is a historic landmark where local farmers would pack their freshly picked citrus to be sold around the country. The restored Packing House is now home to modern cuisine, live entertainment, and so much more. This two-story food hall features a huge central atrium with communal dining surrounded by a variety of vendors as well as outdoor picnic gardens and a huge porch overlooking Farmers’ Park. The Anaheim Packing House contains 25 delicious vendors and a secret bar that you’ve got to check out.

 

Must try:

  • Orange Mocha Chip Ice Cream at Hans Homemade Ice Cream: This unique blend of ice cream is one of their signature creations and just one of their 50 distinct flavors.
  • Short Rib Poutine at The Kroft: french fries and braised short rib topped with short rib gravy, mushrooms, pickled red onions, cheese curds, and parsley
  • Jardiniere Savory Crepe at Pandor Bakery: a crepe stuffed with roasted eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, goat cheese, pesto, portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions

 

4th Street Market

201 E 4th St.

Santa Ana, CA 92701

 

With 15 different vendors like Falasophy, Chunk N Chip, and Jinny’s Pizzeria, 4th Street Market is the ideal place for foodies. Located in downtown Santa Ana, 4th Street Market offers innovative food, open kitchens, and a fun community space. 4th Street Market also offers movie and trivia nights and tennis table tournaments. So grab your friends and enjoy a fun night with mouthwatering food.

 

Must try:

  • Stoner Papas at Dos Chinos: shoestring french fries piled with carne asada, bolsa roast pork belly, chorizo fried rice, a sunny side up fried egg, salsa verde, onions, and cilantro
  • Alchemistic Blend at Portola Coffee Lab: a blend of the Nicaraguan and Helsar de Zacero blends roasted a smidge darker with distinct notes of baker’s chocolate, dried fruit, toasted almonds and spice.
  • Hawaiian Punch Pop at Front Porch Pops: a seasonal blend of mango, strawberry, and orange on a stick

 

The Camp

2937 Bristol St.

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

 

Located across the street from The Lab in Costa Mesa, The Camp is the ideal spot for health and wellness with a hipster vibe. With unique spots like Milk and Honey, Umami Burger, and Black Market Bakery, The Camp provides visitors with a culinary experience. The Camp also offers more than just yummy food as locals enjoy purposeful shopping at various stores and monthly “Last Tuesday’s” Sobeca ARTwalk, film screenings, and special events.

 

Must try:

  • Wine Flight at Wine Lab: three organic red or white wine samples picked specifically for you and poured into picturesque test tubes. Hint: Go during happy hour for $2 off select wine and beer.
  • Bacon PB and J Tacos at Taco Asylum: roasted peanut butter, carrot-ginger jam, fresh greens, sweet and spicy bacon, and pickled fresno chili served on a 5” flour tortilla made from scratch
  • Sesame Kale Macro Bowl at Native Foods Café: seared tempeh atop creamy tahini sauce, tangy sauerkraut, steamed kale and organic brown rice served with toasted sesame seeds, green onions and crunchy cucumber salad

 

Lot 579

21010 Pacific Coast Hwy

Huntington Beach, CA 92648

 

Located in Huntington Beach’s fun, new entertainment complex, Pacific City, Lot 579 is named after the three lifeguard towers on the beach directly across the street from the complex. With a variety of vendors, Lot 579 serves everything from Australian meat pies to fresh seafood and more. Pick up a delightful snack after a day at the beach or grab lunch to go as you shop at the nearby stores. Lot 579 has it all!

 

Must try:

  • Spaghetti Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Burnt Crumbs: pressed spaghetti, fresh mozzarella, and meat sauce in between slices of sourdough bread with a marinara dipping sauce
  • Grilled Seafood Sandwich at Bear Flag Fish Co.: your choice of fish served with lettuce, tomato, onion & Tommy sauce on a C’est Si Bon baguette
  • Californipa at The Dudes’ Brewing Company: This local IPA is just one of 24 different brews on tap at their new tasting room.

With all the delicious food halls in Orange County, what’s not to love? Orange County is the ideal place to live! Contact Stacy and Nicole to make Orange County your home today!

06
Oct

5 Secrets About Living in Orange County You Have to Hear

From the magic of Disneyland to the chill vibes of Huntington Beach, Orange County is home to a lot of popular tourist destinations. But what people who are new to the area wouldn’t know is that Orange County is also full of a lot of other hidden gems. Check out these five secrets about living in Orange County that only locals would know!

 

1. It’s not always how it looks on tv

Orange County is known as the infamous backdrop to popular shows like Laguna Beach, The Hills, and The O.C. These shows often depict beautiful stars having the time of their lives as they cruise along the traffic-free coast in their Mercedes or frolic down the empty beaches in Newport. While these portrayals may have some truth behind them, others are pure exaggerations for the sake of entertainment. In reality, some of these shows weren’t even filmed in Orange County. So no, locals don’t actually call Orange County “The O.C.” and not everyone drives a Mercedes, but there are so many reasons why the reality of Orange County is even better than how it appears on television. Good food? Check. Awesome people? You bet. Fun adventures? Of course. Orange County really does have it all and television shows just don’t do this extraordinary place justice.

 

2. Traffic is no joke

…but there are ways to get around it! If you’ve ever been to Orange County, you’ve probably heard people referring to the 5, the 22, the 55, and the 405. These seemingly random numbers are actually names of freeways and talking about the best way to navigate the roads is like another language to Orange County residents. Orange County natives have mastered the art of the sometimes hectic freeways and you can too by following these tips. First, avoid rush hour. Although it varies depending on the freeway and your direction of travel, the weekday morning commute is generally from 7:30am to 9am, while the after-work commute typically lasts from 4pm to 6:30pm. Fridays, however, are a whole different story with the after-work commute starting as early as 1pm. If you’re traveling on the weekend, it’s best to start early or after dinner to avoid the potential traffic from people heading off to their next adventure. Another helpful tip is to download Google Maps or Waze. Unlike some other GPS systems, these apps offer alternative routes and route changes to help you get to your destination as quickly as possible. Since Orange County has so many exciting things to do and something for everyone in each city, the freeways can get a bit crazy, but the priceless memories you’ll make from your day trip to the beach or the many laughs you’ll have during your amusement park adventure will make the commute more than worth it!

 

3. The best day to go to the beach is Wednesday

…or any weekday really. It’s no secret that Orange County is home to some of the best beaches along the West Coast. There’s the infamous Newport Beach, tourist favorite Laguna Beach, and the holy grail of surfing, Huntington Beach, just to name a few! But with the wildly popular beaches comes the huge crowds and parking nightmare. So when’s the best time to go to your favorite beach without all the hassle? Well, from our experience living in Orange County, we found that the middle of the week is the best time to escape the crowds that tend to populate every Saturday and Sunday. If you are going on a weekend, however, try to beat the rush and head to the beach in the early morning. Nothing sounds better than a peaceful morning relaxing on the beach followed by a delicious brunch along the water. Another beach tip is to avoid the peak of summer if possible. Autumn is an ideal time to visit the beach and it’s Southern California so the weather is always perfect regardless of the time of year!

 

4. Orange County is home to a lot of foodies

From the octopus ceviche at Javier’s in Newport Beach to the soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung in Costa Mesa, Orange County hosts a wide variety of cuisine. Every city has their specialties, so almost every type of food is accessible as long as you know where to go. Want to find the best food without taking all the time and effort to do the research? Check out some of our past blogs to find the best dessert spots , top brunch destinations, and more!

 

5. Orange County really is the best place to live!

Orange County has more than just gorgeous beaches and yummy grub. The fantastic sights, relaxing vibes, and plethora of things to do are giving locals so much to love about their hometowns. Comprised of 34 cities with over three million residents, Orange County is much more diverse than television may lead people to believe. Looking for a quiet place where you can walk around the farmer’s’ market or browse antique stores? Old towne Orange is the perfect place for you. Maybe you want something with a bit more nightlife? Check out Fullerton and everything the city has to offer. In Orange County, there truly is something for everyone!

 

Interested in moving to Orange County? Let us know and we’d be more than happy to help!

02
Jun

The Top 8 Dessert Spots in Orange County

Orange County is booming with fantastic restaurants and fine cuisine, so it’s not a surprise that so many companies and entrepreneurs in the area have jumped on the trend of making desserts into a delicacy. Now, if you’re craving something sweet, you can find just about anything you can imagine plus more! To top it all off, most of the desserts look like artwork! Here are a few of our favorite spots to try!

1. Creme and Sugar

Quite possibly the most “instagrammed” dessert spot in all of Orange County, Creme and Sugar serves the most colorful treats that look like they’re from a unicorn fairy land. Their signature hot chocolate comes in a neon pink, purple or blue and is topped with whipped cream and colorful sour candies. Crème and Sugar also sells colorful cupcakes and cakes to pair with that glass of hot chocolate.

2. Pie Hole

Missing your mother’s home-cooked apple pie? Don’t worry, Pie Hole has it covered! Originally based in Los Angeles, Pie Hole recently opened up their Orange County location in Orange. Here, visitors can choose from a variety of sweet and savory pies. One of the most popular pies, is their signature Earl Grey pie. Although it may sound obscure, the taste is excellent!

3. Tap Gelato

Have you ever tried ice cream so delicious that it tastes like gold? Well at Tap Gelato you can actually eat gold. Amongst the variety of gelato creations, one order gets you any flavor ice cream, dipped in milk chocolate and topped with a sliver of 24k gold.

4. The Loop

Another crowd favorite dessert for being incredibly photogenic, The Loop offers soft serve ice cream topped with a handcrafted churro. Not only is there a variety of flavors, but the churros can also be dipped in chocolate sprinkles, or even fruity pebbles! The Loop also always has special seasonal and holiday creations!

5. Afters Ice Cream

As if a doughnut wasn’t delicious enough on it’s own, now there’s ice cream inside!! Afters Ice Cream is a chain of ice cream shops throughout southern California, and what they are most known for is their doughnut ice cream sandwiches! With their signature cookie monster blue ice cream in the middle, this is certainly a dessert you can’t go wrong with!

6. The Dirty Cookie

Located at The District in Tustin, The Dirty Cookie serves your favorite milk and cookies in the best way! Customers get to choose their favorite cookie flavor amongst the variety of cookie cups, which are lined with either milk, dark or white chocolate. The customers then get to pick whether they want their cup filled with milk, vanilla cream or chocolate cream! It’s Santa’s dream!

7. Rollin’ Creamery

The name says it all! The Rollin’ Creamery specializes in ice cream served in a unique fashion. Once you choose a flavor, the Rollin’ Creamery uses tools and very cold surfaces to freeze your ice cream before your eyes and roll it up into little tubes. In one cup of ice cream you’ll find five or six rolled up ice cream tubes, which you can then top with whipped cream, sauces and much more! Customers can also order an ice cream taco. The shell is a waffle cone and the rolled ice cream fits perfectly in the middle!

8. Popbar

If you need something small and sweet after big meal, Popbar can satisfy your simple cravings! Known for serving hand-crafted gelato on a stick, Popbar offers the adult version of your favorite childhood dessert. Customers can choose between a variety of creamy or fruity flavored popsicles. Once your flavor is picked out, your pop can be fully or half dipped in white, dark or milk chocolate and topped with a choice of nuts, sprinkles or other toppings. Popbar has locations all over southern California so find the one closest to you! Popbar also caters for those fun Summer parties!

 

Is your mouth drooling yet? These are just some of the fun spots to hit up around the area! There are so many more great dessert places, and new spots opening up all the time! Orange County is a great place to live whether you’re a family, couple or single! For more information on Orange County give us a call today!