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Seal/Hunington Beach Visit- recomendations food and fun

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I normally research travel locations like crazy- but the whole reason for this trip is the overwhelming stress from my business/personal and im finding it hard to get a free moment to research. So i am turning to my Chow board in hopes to get a jump start!

Im taking a trip for a week over the 4th to Seal Beach and Huntington Beach. Im a serious foodie from Minneapolis and im looking for some option in the area. Im looking for the local secrets to the best of the best in the area (we are staying in Seal Beach, but willing to drive).

And while im at it, non food related anything I should take a look at specifically? I will be taking surfing lessons, and maybe a hike? hot springs? maybe some shopping?

Furthermore im looking for the best small dog boutique with the largest selection of harnesses. (strange request i know).

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Just a friendly reminder, discussion that does is not food related is out of scope for Chowhound.


    1. In Seal Beach we like 320 Main but if you are looking for something unique, that's not it--they have lamp chops, mac & cheese, etc. but very good. Lots of people love Walt's Wharf for fish but it's not our favorite. In Huntington Beach I can't think of anything special. Depending on your tastes, it might be worth the drive to Westminster (10 minutes from Seal Beach) for some great Vietnamese or even Garden Grove (10 minutes from Seal Beach) for Korean.

      Walt's Wharf Restaurant
      201 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740

      4 Replies
      1. re: bohemiana

        I just read an article that mentioned that Cameron Diaz and her parents were spotted eating at 320 Main in Seal Beach recently (she grew up in nearby Long Beach), so it must be pretty good.

        1. re: HBfoodie

          Whatever you eat there, make sure you order cocktails.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Speaking of which, in between HB and Seal Beach is Mothers in Sunset Beach.
            A good time will be had.

          2. re: HBfoodie

            Just curious. Is Cameron Diaz known to be a foodlover type? :)

        2. Beachwood BBQ is very good - in Seal Beach.
          Not too far from Seal Beach (just a few miles) in Naples section of Long Beach is Michael's (Italian).
          And just down the street from Michael's is Open Sesame for Lebanese.
          Agree with previous poster, that Westminster and Garden Grove are excellent for Vietnamese and Korean, respectively.

          Beachwood BBQ
          131 1/2 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740

          Open Sesame
          5215 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803

          1. Good suggestions. Anything worth the drive for something downright amazing?

            1. First of all, if you have to get anywhere on the 4th of July, RENT A BICYCLE. Huntington Beach closes PCH from 17th to Main Street (and Main Street from PCH to Yorktown) for the huge, slow-moving parade in the morning, and the rest of the day it will be a madhouse—I mean, seriously, you could walk faster.

              Second, as far as amazing food... you are just coastward of the largest concentration of Vietnamese businesses outside Vietnam in Little Saigon. The food is cheap, it is great, it is a little divey in most cases but that's part of the fun. I suggest Vien Dong (on Brookhurst in the 13000-ish block?), Xanh Bistro (in Fountain Valley, at Brookhurst and Edinger) or Pho Thanh Lich (in Westminster, at Brookhurst and Hazard)... there are hundreds more restaurants, though.

              You should check out the farmers' markets, honestly. I lived in Minnesota and the produce there can't begin to compare. The best one local to you is Sunday the 3rd, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Long Beach Marina—head north on PCH into LA County/Long Beach, make a left on 2nd, and a left on Marina.

              Vien Dong
              14271 Brookhurst St, Garden Grove, CA 92843

              Pho Thanh Lich
              1036 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90813

              Xanh Bistro
              16161 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

              Main Street Cafe
              12939 Main St, Garden Grove, CA 92840

              2 Replies
              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                Hey Das! I thought you gave Pho Thanh Lich the downhill report several months ago? Is it back?

                1. re: Porthos

                  I've been several times. Whatever they were doing wrong, they seem to have stopped.

              2. In Seal Beach:
                Pizza: Slice of New York Pizza
                Breakfast: blackboard Bistro
                BBQ: Beachwood BBQ
                Sushi: Koi

                In Huntington Beach:
                Italian: Cucina Alessa
                Burgers: 25 Degrees

                Beachwood BBQ
                131 1/2 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740

                Koi Restaurant
                600 Pacific Coast Hwy Ste 100, Seal Beach, CA 90740

                25 Degrees
                412 Walnut Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

                1. What kinds of foods/cuisines do you enjoy, ashii? I think that would help us give you more focused answers. :)

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                    That is tough i love everything, there is nothing i dont enjoy.... I like strange ethnic, french, contemporary, American, and much more
                    Vietnamese is hug in mpls, so i may stop there, but i have my Pho down to a science from living in LA and mpls. I will be there for a week so during the week but so far i have compiled this list:


                    Barbeque in Seal Beach:

                    Soul Food/Traditional in Seal Beach:

                    Casual Seafood:

                    Outdoor swimsuit seafood, specialty caught- fish tacos:

                    Contemporary, Bar scene/hot spot:


                    Contemporary/Fun on the beach:

                    Breakfast/Lunch: Wed-Fri: 8:00am to 1:30pm
                    Sat-Sun: 8:00am to 2:00pm

                    Lunch at Crystal Cove after Hike:

                    Brunch Saturday and Sunday:

                    1. re: ashii

                      Wow. You weren't kidding when you said you like to research your trips! :)

                      Since it looks like you're willing to venture a bit farther south, I'll throw in a couple more for your consideration:

                      Marche Moderne

                      Sushi Wasabi

                      Cham Sut Geol

                      Hope you have a blast while you're here.

                      Sushi Wasabi
                      14460 Newport Ave, Tustin, CA 92780

                      Marche Moderne
                      3333 Bristol St 3001, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                      1. re: ashii

                        Let me suggest Break of Dawn and Ramos House Cafe for brunches as well.

                        Viet is OK in Minneapolis but Little Saigon is in a class of its own.

                        Slaters 50/50 may be open in Huntington Beach by the time you get here, and I'd add Sol Cocina and Raya to your Mexican. If you want more downscale, head inland and go to places like Mariscos Los Primos or Mariscos Licenciado #2.

                        Ramos House Cafe
                        31752 Los Rios St, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

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

                        Mariscos Licenciado
                        1052 N State College Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92806

                        Mariscos Los Primos
                        2600 W Edinger Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704

                        Sol Cocina
                        251 East Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663