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ISO outdoor dining in OC


The amazing weather lately has led me to think about outdoor dining.

So I am looking for suggestions regarding nice outdoor dining options in Orange County.

Any type of food.

Wine offerings would be a plus.

North Orange County is preferred but all of OC is welcome.

I'm looking for somewhere that has good food and a nice place to sit outside while dining and enjoying our amazing weather.

Thanks in advance everyone....


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  1. I'm a big fan of Habana, in the Lab (the anti-mall) on Bristol. Great Cuban food, full bar w/ homeade sangria, large patio, good people watching.

    1. 5 Crowns in Corona del Mar. Sit in the garden. Excellent Lawry restaurant with great food and spot on service. Really awesome for Sunday Champagne brunch.

      1. How about LUCCA in Irvine on Quail Hill Pky. www.luccacafe.net
        Here's a thread I posted back in May

        1. The patio at Marche Moderne, you almost forget you are at the mall.

          1 Reply
          1. re: I got nothin

            Concur. I think MM's patio is the best outdoor dining in OC, particularly the cabanas which offer a bit of privacy.

          2. For casual-ish seafood King's Fish House on Katella and Main.

            1. Taps in Brea has an outdoor patio. Not quite OC, but close enough is Belmont Shore in Long Beach where places like La Creperie and Open Sesame have little patios, nice for people watching. For super casual, Veggie Grill (both locations) have outdoor seating.

              1 Reply
              1. re: groover808

                I also like Taps outdoor seating area (Thursdays they have live music). If you're in the mood for beer, there's Yardhouse in Brea (on Brea Blvd), JT Schmid's in Anaheim (on Katella) and Heroes in Fullerton (on Santa Fe).

              2. In a mall, but great people-watching - Francoli at Fashion Island. Also Bloomingdale's Cafe - 57th?. Sapphire in Laguna. Bluewater Grill - Newport. Sage - Newport. Ruby's on Balboa Pier (look out for seagulls!) Gulfstream & Bungalow - CdM. Sorry, all Newport/Laguna centric. Triple concur on MM's patio 'booths.'

                4 Replies
                1. re: torta basilica

                  Check first that Francoli is still open. They lost their lease and are moving to Old Town Orange.

                  1. re: cdmedici

                    Oh No!!! I love that place for a quick bite at the bar & pretty good prices on Italian wine and their 'nibblies' at Happy Hour and their nice bartenders and... you just ruined my day. Thanks for the heads up, though - would be worse to go there looking forward to a burrata salad and Milano Panini and find them gone. I am really sad - not as sad as when Bob Burns went out, but pretty darn sad.

                    1. re: torta basilica

                      Have you tried Canaletto in Fashion Island yet?

                      1. re: cdmedici

                        Yes - unfortunately my husband had the calamari fritti, which I think is the only bad thing on their menu and it was really really bad. He's not good at giving places a second chance & it just seems a bit more upscale, not as casual as Francoli felt. And no Milano Panini... Although, now that Francoli is gone or about to be gone, maybe we'll be forced to try it again - hopefully with better results!

                2. Shenandoah at the Arbors in Los Alamitos has a lovely outdoor area with umbrellas for day, along with a lovely pond. They also have indoor seating, though even with reservations you're not guaranteed outdoor seating, but it's worth a try. This is gracious "southern style" hospitality, right down to the warm apple fritters or hot rolls doled out now and then. Good food, nice serving size, lovely atmosphere, wine available. Prices are reasonable for the good food and gracious service. Parking in front, or in the back lot.

                  Shenandoah At the Arbor
                  10631 Los Alamitos Blvd, Los Alamitos, CA 90720

                  1. Not far from North Orange County is Seal Beach. Just off the I-405 is Spaghetini's. Excellent food, and covered outdoor patio (which is technically part of the bar area, but we eat there) http://www.spaghettini.com/

                    If you want to go as far as Laguna Beach, there is The Cliff Restaurant (best view along the coast of So. Cal.) http://www.theclifflagunabeach.com/
                    and nice places along Forest Avenue:
                    Sundried Tomato Cafe (casual) www.thesundriedtomatocafe.com
                    The Lumberyard Restaurant (semi-casual) http://www.lblumberyard.com/