Harbor House Cafe in Dana Point
Well.... I never thought I would recommend a place that my son calls an "old fashioned dive joint", but here I am doing it. We've lived in South OC for 25 years and in San Clemente for the last 3. Every morning I drive past this place and it is full. You'd think I would have gotten the hint by now, but Dana Point is a touristy town so I guess I thought the tourists don't have many choices.
When we close our business on the nights it's open late, my wife and I often crave something traditional and/ or light, but what's open at 9:30 or 10PM? Last night we wanted to meet up with our son, who was at Purple Feet (A wine bar in that same area). I checked and found that Harbor House is OPEN 24 HOURS!!!! Holy accessability, Batman!!!!
So we walked in (At 10PM) and the place was packed. It was Friday night, so 60% or so appeared to be high-schoolers, glued to their cell phones and talking too loudly. But there were also a number of more 'mature' folk, and a bunch of traditional OC local types (beards and caps, with surf T-shirts & sandals, in spite of the wind and cold temp - gotta love the beach for that!). VERY typical OC scene.
My wife orderd some chicken/vegetable soup, and I one of my comfort favorites - corned beef hash. Out come two more-than-generous portions. My wife said the soup was really very good, and my hash was just what I was looking for (served with two fried eggs and hash browns & a bread of choice). Now...... this is not healthy or gourmet chow. It's your basic (every town hopefully has at least one) local coffee shop/diner food, but the quality was certainly good, considering. There are a few of them in this area, but I think this is the only one open 24 hours. We're definitely going to try it again for another sampling of this classic menu of very basic menu diner food.
Harbor House Cafe
34157 Pacific Coast Highway
Now...... if only there was a great french bistro open 24 hours????
Gotta love this place!!! It never disappoints for what it is, a local diner. We've been going there for years and also the one in Sunset Beach. It is a great place for breakfast too.
The last and only time I went here was when I was in College and had some late night cravings. Its a vague memory but it looks like I will have to return to see if it still stacks up.