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Jun 23, 2008 12:58 PM

Food in the Sawdust Festival

and i do mean IN the festival. how is the food there? is it better to go somewhere elso on the way back from Laguna to the SFV? maybe torrance or redondo beach?

We want not greasy, not too $$$-fish and veggies and that. Can be a hole in tha wall but can't cost a limb.

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  1. I don't think you're going to find anything worthy actually IN the festival's what I pulled right off their site: Food & Beverages
    Sawdust Saloon – beer, wine, soft drinks, Dippin' Dots, coffee & other libations.
    Greek Island Grille – fresh Greek cuisine of pitas, salads, appetizers, baklava & fries
    Laguna Taco – Mexican favorites of tacos, burritos, taquitos & quesadillas.
    Deb’s Deli – sandwiches, salads & light desserts

    there's so many fantastic restaurants in laguna, you don't have to go far, and to make it even easier, the tram/trolly takes you up and down PCH, with a stop out in front of the festival. The only problem could be the wait for dinner, because every night is crowded during the festival. let me know if you want specific recommendations....

    2 Replies
    1. re: sweetpcooks

      We will be there in August, and I would love some specific recommendations for breakfast/lunch/dinner in the area. Thanks!

      1. re: sweetpcooks

        I really do not agree with sweetpcooks, while all three arts festivals in Laguna Beach; Sawdust, Art-a-Fair, and the original Festival of Arts, have some typical "Festival" foods there is also some excellent and tasty choices to be had right on the grounds. Plus, all three arts festivals have alcohol available for adults who are interested.

        If you're looking for sit down, al fresco, patio dining, gourmet fare the Tivoli Terrace at the Art Festival and the Trivoli Two at the Art-a-Fair both have four plus (4+) stars on Yelp, Menuism, TripAdvisor, Citysearch, Travel Yahoo, OC wedding Events and other restaurant rating sites. Additionally on the Art Festival grounds Gina’s Pizza & Pastaria offerings are less expensive, but still excellent, Festival style dining. Wines and beers are also available at all three of the festival grounds. (,

        The Art-a-Fair hosts the Tivoli Two which has a wonderful menu and a very pleasant patio atmosphere in the middle of some truly magnificent art. Every time I have dined at either of the Tivoli restaurants has been pleasant, memorable and I love the open-air patio next to all of the Art exhibitors. (


        At the Sawdust Festival there are two main food courts. At the Western corner you will find the THASOS GREEK ISLAND GRILLE which has a number of quality Mediterranean/Greek offerings, a little on the pricey side, but not bad. On the eastern end of the Sawdust Festival the larger food court has half dozen different offerings with a mixture of menus; my favorite is the Shrimp Taco with a strawberry lemonade (with large chunks of strawberries). Both food courts have LIVE entertainment all day and into the evening. The Sawdust Festival also has live entertainers from early morning until late at night.

        As for dining outside of the festival grounds in Laguna Beach proper; you have a large selection of utterly magnificent four and five-star restaurants with incredible ocean or mountain views (my favorites are the Beach House - 619 Sleepy Hollow Lane, Las Brisas - 361 Cliff Drive, and The Cottage - 308 North Coast Highway) to 60s hippie fast food (blackened tofu mushroom burgers) at Taco Loco - 640 South Pacific Coast Highway. This is just a small sampling of the literally hundreds of restaurants in Laguna Beach. If you cannot find the cuisine you're looking for here there's a good chance it doesn't exist.

        South Pacific Restaurant
        12215 Paramount Blvd, Downey, CA 90242

        Tivoli Cafe
        15306 W Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

        255 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

        Beach House
        619 Sleepy Hollow Ln, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

      2. Suggest going to this previous thread which has several recs in Laguna.

        2 Replies
        1. re: josephnl

          those seem mostly Mexican, which is yummy, but not what I'm after that night.

          1. re: Diana

            I enjoy the Sundried Tomato Cafe. It isn't the best food in Laguna, but it is better than merely competent and they have a wide range of options available and it is reasonably close to the festival so you can walk and not have to re-park. Plus it is out of the heart of downtown, so the waits are usually a bit less.

            Sundried Tomato Cafe - Laguna Beach
            361 Forest Avenue Ste 103, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

        2. I would agree with the dearth of food at the festival and disagree with the MANY fantastic restaurants in Laguna. As for fantastic, either restaurant at the Montage resort, but doesn't fit into the not too $$$ part.
          If you are travelling back to SFV, I would just stop in LA. Newport has Marche Moderne at South Coast Plaza (also may not fit the $$$ criteria). Golden Truffle can occasionally be interesting in Newport. You could try Old Vine Cafe off of Bristol. Very small, young guys own it and try really hard. Wine oriented.

          2 Replies
          1. re: thompkin

            Old Vine Cafe is a find, and recommended. Also Sage in Newport is a good small restaurant (go to Eastbluff location). If you like sushi, Bluefin in Newport is outstanding, but definitely not cheap.

            1. re: thompkin

              Marche Moderne is in Costa Mesa, not Newport...and so is Golden Truffle.

              Golden Truffle is on Newport Boulevard...but in Costa Mesa.


              Golden Truffle
              1767 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92627

              Marche Moderne
              3333 Bristol Street, Suite 3001, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

            2. Although Laguna is not noted for great food, within easy walking distance of the Sawdust are several restaurants which are far better than the offerings at the Sawdust. Among those within a 10 minute walk are Sun Dried Tomato, Alessa Cucina, Watermarc, Big Fish & Ice Cold Beer, 230 Forest, Sorrento Grill, Zinc Cafe, etc. There is really no reason to limit yourself to the little that is available right at the Sawdust.

              448 S Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651