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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dive Type Places Around Newport Beach

Will be staying 3 nights at the Newport Beach Hyatt on Jamboree Road. Any good places within reasonable driving distance for breakfast and lunch? Looking for great pancakes, omelets, hash browns, burgers, hot sandwiches, blue plate specials, etc. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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  1. Well..I have seen every episode of DDD on Food Network and if that is the type of place you are looking for in Newport Beach you are in the wrong town. I love that show and I can't think of anyplace like the DDD places.

    I can see maybe a place like Beachcomber Cafe, but I have never been and I am not sure everything is scratch made like the places on the show.

    http://www.thebeachcombercafe.com/

    There are some great places to eat in Newport though. I would love to see what the out Chowhounds come up with.

    1. Hmm, I think Mutt Lynch's would fit the bill for at least atmosphere: www.muttlynchs.com

      For some really fresh fish in a casual atmosphere, Bear Flag Fish Company (reminds me of the episode they did with the fish guys awhile ago): www.bearflagfishco.com

      If you don't mind driving to Fountain Valley, maybe 20 minutes, there's Paul's Coffee Shop which is on their short list to visit. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573754

      1. Thanks for the suggestions. Any thoughts on the Harbor House Cafe, one is up in Sunset Beach and the other down in Dana Point. It came up on Yelp when I was doing a search. Dana Point sounds good as we can drive through Laguna Beach.

        16 Replies
          1. re: curiousgeo

            Harbor House certainly qualifies as a DDD kind of place. I'm not that crazy about the food there although the breakfasts are pretty good. If you like a good Mexican style breakfast, brunch or lunch, a dive bar sort of place in Laguna with a great deck and view, and good food is the Coyote Grill in Laguna. This is definitely a DDD kind of place. The Original Pancake House in Aliso Viejo (20 minutes away) has the best pancakes around. I do think the Beachcomber Cafe is definitely worth it for the great setting and pretty good food.

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            Original Pancake House
            26951 Moulton Pkwy, Laguna Hills, CA 92656

            Harbor House Cafe
            34157 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629

            Coyote Grill
            31621 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

            1. re: josephnl

              Just adding the link to the Beachcomber Cafe.

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              Beachcomber Cafe
              15 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, CA 92657

              1. re: josephnl

                Yeah, Harbor House is a must for the ambiance and food. The steak chili is IMO the best chili in the L.A Area. The NY steak and eggs is one of the best also. The burgers are good and so are the soups.
                http://www.harborhousecafe.com/

                I hear lots of good talk about Break of Dawn. I never been there but will likely go soon. Wonder what they do right?
                http://breakofdawnrestaurant.com/

                The Pizza Bakery is good for a good slice and salad.
                http://www.thepizzabakery.com/

                To the OP, Go to Balboa Island for a frozen banana and try both places located on the south side of the street, almost next door to each other (Dad's Original Frozen Bananas and Sugar N Spice with that butter brickle covered banana), and report back!

                Then there was a “Date Shack” which served a pretty good Date shake. The name then became “Shake Shake.” I think I saw the place still there a few weeks ago but not sure if it is still a shake place? Can anyone help? Yeah, prety good shakes with a road-side view of the ocean.
                7703 E Coast Hwy, Newport Coast, CA 92657

                1. re: JeetJet

                  Break of Dawn is a gem. Their breakfasts are definitely unique...a blend of traditional American breakfast dishes with the Asian influences of the Vietnamese owner/chef.

                  1. re: josephnl

                    Thanks, the idea of American breakfast dishes with Asian influences sounds good to me. I recennty noticed a "Ster-Fried veggie omelette" on the menu of a place I ate at and when the customer next to me ordered it I got to see how good it looked. I plan to return to that place soon .Do you know whether BofD has anything like that?. Also, how are the potatoes?

                    1. re: JeetJet

                      I can't imagine that they wouldn't make that for you, although there are many other interesting things on the menu. Go to www.breakofdawnrestaurant.com
                      Be sure to check out their sweet as well as their savory offerings.

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                      Break of Dawn
                      24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

                    2. re: josephnl

                      The Break of Dawn isn't in Newport Beach though. It's in a crappy little strip mall in Laguna Hills, no view unless you count cars.

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                      Break of Dawn
                      24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

                      1. re: choctastic

                        Well, the OP did say "around" Newport Beach - and the word around is not exactly exact. I am going to have to try this place out. Have you been, choctastic?

                        1. re: choctastic

                          As far as strip malls go, I don't consider this one to be crappy at all.

                          1. re: choctastic

                            They don't allow crappy strip malls in Laguna Anything. But it is pretty much immediately off the freeway and it isn't a view of anything at all.

                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                              Okay, okay, I take it back. It's not a crappy strip mall. Jeesh.

                              Servorg, I have not been to to the restaurant, however I have heard very good things about it and seen lots of great-looking pictures of the food. In my response to the previous poster, I was just pointing out the location, since i pass by it all the time.

                              1. re: choctastic

                                Thanks for the reply. Next time I'm down San Juan Capo way I'll make a point of giving it a try.

                        2. re: JeetJet

                          It's now a Ruby's, but you can still order a date shake, even though not on the menu.

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                          Ruby's Shake Shack
                          7703 E Coast Hwy, Newport Coast, CA 92657

                          1. re: torta basilica

                            It's on the menu, or more correctly it's posted at the window.

                      2. re: curiousgeo

                        I had a great chili omelet at Harbor House, and the french toast is great to.

                      3. OK, I moved away from Balboa/Newport quite some time ago, but there was a very good breakfast dive on the far end of the the Balboa Peninsula that we walked to for breakfast, near the Balboa Inn and BJ's Pizza.

                        Also, there was a tiny diner on the other side of the harbor, next to the big boat storage facility where you lined up to get a seat - the city named the handkerchief-sized park on the harbor after the owner.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Gypsy Jan

                          I gotta saw that most of these suggestions fit more with the atmosphere aspect of DDD but hardly the food quality. The great thing about the restaurants profiled on DDD show is that they put food quality first by making most everything from scratch, from making their own corned beef for the hash, to grinding their own meet for the burgers, making all of their own dressings etc.

                          I guarantee most of the places listed above have a Sysco truck parked behind the restaurant every morning.

                          1. re: cdmedici

                            About 20 minutes north on PCH is "Schooner Or Later" in Long Beach. It actually appeared on the show although I never thought of it as a diner, a drive-in or a dive.

                            http://schoonerorlater.com/

                          2. re: Gypsy Jan

                            That tiny diner is The Galley...an instituion for Newport. Great Cheese Omelette (people rave about the chili cheese omelette). It's a great spot for a good breakfast. Great hashbrowns as well. Love the old school, small feel of it too. They have real fountain cokes there as well.

                          3. About 20 minutes inland is the La Palma Pie Shop, which is a very DDD-esque place. It's a throwback diner place that specializes in chicken pot pies -- no vegetables, just chicken and gravy. Plus you get a slice of pie with the dinner.

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                            La Palma Chicken Pie Shop
                            928 N Euclid St, Anaheim, CA 92801

                            1. Thanks for all the replies. The Harbor House Cafe in Dana Point looks good if we decide to drive down through Laguna Beach. Otherwise the Galley Cafe at Newport Harbor sounds like a solid, old time spot and just a short drive from our hotel. The Beachcomber might also be an option right at Crystal Cove. Breakfast at all these places look great and are just the kind of restaurants I was seeking. Although Newport Beach is an upscale area, I knew there had to be places like this where the locals go to.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: curiousgeo

                                The Beachcomber at CC is very likely filled up with reservations for the entire summer already.

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  The Beachcomber only takes reservations for dates (about) 45 days in advance, and then leaves 70% of the restaurant for walk ups. So you can just show up and get a table (but the waits can be long).

                              2. You might also want to check out the Cottage in Laguna Beach. 35 years and counting. Very charming, craftsman style architecture and the breakfast has been good in the past. We've never tried lunch or dinner so can't comment on those.

                                http://www.thecottagerestaurant.com/

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                                Cottage Restaurant
                                308 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Servorg

                                  Some small diners in South Orange County offering great food & history
                                  Turk's in Dana Point Harbor - Best Breakfast Ever!!! Total Dive on the Water but great with upscale patrons
                                  El Patio Cafe - Capistrano Beach
                                  Mollies Famous Cafe - San Juan Capistrano

                                2. DDD has 2 places near Newport Beach (1 in Long Beach and 1 in San Diege) do a search on teh DDD page on TV Food Network.

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                                  Long Beach Restaurant
                                  3320 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: yummyinmytummy

                                    Long Beach is 40 minutes from Newport and San Diego is more than an hour. Not exactly close.

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                                    Long Beach Restaurant
                                    3320 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804