July 04, 2023

Uncovering the Best Local Eateries in Costa Mesa, CA

Welcome, food lovers! We're thrilled to present a California food guide for beginners, focusing on the heart of Orange County, Costa Mesa. This culinary gem, known for its vibrant mix of cultures, promises a mouthwatering array of local eateries ready to tantalize your taste buds. From humble brunch spots to sophisticated dinner venues, Costa Mesa's gastronomic scene beautifully mirrors its diverse and dynamic spirit. We invite you to join us on this flavorful journey as we uncover the best local eateries in Costa Mesa, CA.

How to Chose the Best Local Eateries in Costa Mesa

Local eateries are vital in preserving a community's unique flavor and culture. By dining at these establishments, you're getting a meal and a taste of Costa Mesa's rich heritage. More than just a gastronomic endeavor, it's an opportunity to support local businesses and experience the genuine charm and authenticity they bring. It's these places that give Costa Mesa its distinctive culinary identity.

When organizing your dream family vacation, exploring the local food scene is essential to the journey. Our selection of the finest local eateries in Costa Mesa results from a meticulous and comprehensive evaluation. We've delved into food quality, ambiance, and customer feedback. Above all, we sought establishments that offer something unique - a signature dish, a distinctive setting, or an exceptional dining experience that the whole family can enjoy.

Top Breakfast/Brunch Spots

Try your breakfast in some of the best local eateries in Costa Mesa

Plums Café and Catering

Plums Café and Catering greet the day with a Pacific Northwest-inspired breakfast menu that draws in locals and visitors. Their renowned Dutch Baby, a cloud-like baked pancake served with fresh fruit and powdered sugar, has people lining up in the early hours. Not to be overlooked is their wild Northwest Smoked Salmon Hash, a savory delight perfect for brunch.

Rooster Café

Next on our list is Rooster Café, an eatery offering homestyle breakfast with a touch of Southern charm. The place is renowned for its breakfast burrito, a satisfying roll packed with eggs, cheese, potatoes, and your choice of meat. Their fluffy buttermilk pancakes are a must-try if you prefer a sweet start. If you are planning to move to Costa Mesa, Affordable Reliable Moving Company California advises you to take a break while relocating and try out Rooster Café as a fantastic way to feel connected and grounded in the bustling culinary scene of your new city.

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

Finally, we have Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee, which, as the name suggests, brings a delightful duo to your breakfast table. Start your day with their mouthwatering, made-from-scratch doughnuts, with flavors rotating monthly to keep things exciting. Pair it with a cup of their artisanal coffee, and you're off to a great start in Costa Mesa.

Lunch Hideouts Worth Exploring

Mendocino Farms

We are starting our list of lunch spots with Mendocino Farms, a charming eatery known for its fresh and locally-sourced sandwiches and salads. The "Not So Fried" Chicken sandwich and the Avocado & Quinoa Superfood Ensalada have become local favorites. With a friendly atmosphere and delightful menu, Mendocino Farms provides a refreshing break in your day.

East Borough

East Borough serves authentic and delectable Vietnamese cuisine, making it a must-visit. Standout items include the Bánh Mì sandwich and the Grilled Pork Vermicelli Bowl, packed with vibrant flavors. East Borough’s energetic atmosphere and delicious fare offer a unique lunchtime experience in Costa Mesa.


Habana, a Cuban restaurant imbued with tropical charm, is rounding off our lunch selection. Signature dishes include the Ropa Vieja and the Cuban Sandwich, which transport your taste buds straight to the Caribbean. With its rustic decor and aromatic dishes, Habana promises a delightful culinary adventure.

Dinner Delights in Costa Mesa

Savoring moments and great wine – the perfect pairing for a relaxing evening in Costa Mesa.


As the sun sets in Costa Mesa, make your way to Vaca, a delightful Spanish restaurant that stands out as a culinary beacon. Led by Chef Amar Santana, Vaca offers an unforgettable dining experience with its wide array of tapas, paellas, and premium steaks. Their Paella Mixta, a colorful medley of chicken, shrimp, clams, and chorizo, is an absolute crowd-pleaser. Interestingly, when moving to Costa Mesa, it's often suggested to reach out to local professionals for moving needs and insider tips on the best dining spots like Vaca to embrace the local lifestyle truly.

Old Vine Kitchen & Bar

Old Vine Kitchen & Bar is another standout spot, serving a menu inspired by global cuisine. Diners rave about their Rabbit Mole and Chef's Pasta - a fresh, handmade pasta of the day. Its intimate setting and carefully curated wine list make it a perfect place for a memorable dinner.

Mastro's Steakhouse

Lastly, we have Mastro's Steakhouse, a high-end chain known for its prime cuts of steak and live entertainment. Their Bone-In Ribeye is a fan-favorite, perfectly seared, and incredibly flavorful. Paired with their famous warm butter cake for dessert, a Mastro's dinner is exceptional.

Exquisite Dessert Stops

Sweet delights in vibrant colors.

Honey & Butter Macarons

First on our list of dessert stops is Honey & Butter Macarons. This whimsically themed shop creates macarons in creative shapes and vibrant flavors, from classic vanilla to exotic dragon fruit. Their Sea Salted Caramel and Crème Brûlée macarons are definite crowd-pleasers.

85°C Bakery Cafe

Next, we have the 85°C Bakery Cafe, a popular Taiwanese chain known for its assortment of pastries and coffee. Their signature Sea Salt Coffee, paired with any fresh bread like the Milk Pudding Bread, provides a sweet ending to your food journey.

Chunk-N-Chip Cookies

Lastly, Chunk-N-Chip Cookies is an absolute must-visit if you're traveling with kids. They offer a fun twist on the classic cookie and ice cream dessert with their "BOO-Yah" ice cream sandwiches. Their warm, gooey cookies combined with their handcrafted ice cream flavors create a dessert that is not only delicious but also a delightful experience for the little ones. Truly, it's a dessert stop that's worth every calorie.


From hearty breakfasts to indulgent desserts, exploring local eateries in Costa Mesa has taken us on a flavorful journey across this culinary haven. These establishments reflect the city's unique gastronomic culture and charm. Whether a resident or a visitor, we encourage you to delve into Costa Mesa's diverse food scene and experience these mouthwatering delights.

Tags: Food USA Travel
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