Peter's Gourmade Grill, right on the edge of Tustin, from its opening quickly became a hot spot for delicious gourmet burgers and sandwiches. If you ask anyone what to order at Peter's the answer will be quick: the signature ABC (avocado, bacon and cheddar) Burger. But the menu doesn't stop there, with all kinds of behemoth burger and sandwich combinations like The Rammer, grilled pastrami on top of a burger patty with grilled onions and all the fixings, or the basil chicken sandwich. Aside from things between bread, there are some appetizer, salad and main dish options too, some classic American and some with a Mediterranean or Mexican twist. The grill is in an old gas station so enjoy the unique surroundings as you dig into your meal.
The Anthill Pub on the UC Irvine campus has a a great drink selection and amazing pub food menu. If you're not sure what to order the fire ants dish, buffalo popcorn chicken with Louisiana hot sauce and blue cheese dipping sauce, is especially good. The rotating beer menu is carefully curated and has one of the best selections in all of Irvine - the fact that this is on a college campus is a recipe for an interesting atmosphere. Live music and other events are held here often.
Pop's Cafe in Santa Ana is a classic, old school style diner specializing in breakfast and American dishes. From the red vinyl seats to the checkerboard floor, you will definitely know you made the right choice as soon as you step in the door. Once you check out the menu, take your pick from American breakfast classics like biscuits and gravy, eggs Benedict, French toast (grilled or fried) and of course, pancakes. For those who aren't breakfast folk, they also serve classic American lunch dishes like tuna salad, burgers and BLTs.
Ruby's Shake Shack has been around since the 1940's. It is a little hidden from the road, but the crowd of vehicles parked in front makes it easily visible. As the name implies, the shack is about milkshakes, and it's originally famous for the date shake, which is so thick it makes a straw practically useless. The best part of the Shake Shack, though, is their outdoor benches. Although rustic, these benches on the bluff top of a secluded area provide the best spot for sunset watching.
Golden Dragon Chinese Food is a favorite in the area for bountiful and affordable Chinese cuisine. Dishes at Golden Dragon always taste fresh and seem to lack the layer of grease so often found accompanying Chinese food. Everything is prepared fresh to order, so you can make sure you get your food the way you want it, and they will even prepare some dishes that aren't on the menu. Favorites include the various soups, Mu-Shu dishes, potstickers and orange chicken. The interior is basic and without frills, but Golden Dragon is especially popular for take-out.
Chinese restaurants are everywhere, but few dare to deviate from the Americanized mainstream. Chong Qing Restaurant is one of those who prove good food doesn’t need to trade authenticity for popularity. Take Kung Pao Chicken as an example: forget the saucy bell peppers of all colors - chicken and peanuts with a blend of spices are all it takes to keep your chopsticks closeby. A nice surprise on the menu is the popular Chinese comfort food, Hot Pot. Similar to fondue, the mix of about ten kinds of meats and vegetables creates lots of flavor in a sizzling pot. And for just USD15, it feeds four happy eaters. Do start the meal with the cold appetizer combo for a mouth-watering deal.
Cream Pan is a family-friendly restaurant that is known for its baked items, especially croissants and breads. It also sells sweets at various shops across California. Children and adults alike can relish croissants in varieties like plain butter, almond, banana, blueberry and strawberry. The menu also features croquette and turkey avocado sandwiches, pork katsu curry and sushi platters. Seated in the charming interiors, enjoy desserts like cream puff, pear tart, mango cheesecake and Boston cream donut. And if you can't get enough of the confectioneries, hire their catering services for your next party.
One of the Biggest Chinese-owned bakery chains in the states, this location in Irvine is the place to be if desserts are your weakness. Their pastry chefs are some of the most qualified professionals in the field and produce some truly exquisite masterpieces such as their signature Almond Half Moon, Deluxe Strawberry and the Dong-Po Pastry. They also serve up some amazing savory items like the Cheese Dog, which is a must-have here.
Located in the heart of Irvine, Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Café is one of the city's most reputed confectioners, serving their loyal customers since 1849. Considered to be more of an institution, the bakery is perpetually packed with patrons who come here to purchase some of their world-famous sourdoughs. Also functioning as an eatery, their menu features a variety of breakfast specials, baguette burgers, salads, artisanal cheeses, soups, and dessert.
H2O Poke & Grill is a fast food restaurant located in The Market Place that serves delicious grill items and Hawaiian Poke. The portion servings are good in size and the service is prompt here. You can create your own poke bowls here for a reasonable rate. The diner is cozy and has a welcoming atmosphere. The decor is filled with earthly elements like white marble table tops, light brown walls, steel chairs, a massive blackboard and wooden back rests. The staff here are quite friendly and accommodating.