Fullerton's 10 Best Restaurant, California's Top Local Eats
These days, Fullerton is a diverse and large city; a buzzing college town with a youthful vibe that extends to its growing culinary scene. While numerous establishments continue to uphold decade-long food traditions in the community, a wealth of new cuisines continue to bring a new energy to the town. With Asian, French, British and Italian influences to choose from, visitors will never go hungry. Here are 10 restaurants that are considered to be Fullerton’s best.
Rutabegorz Restaurant | © Eli Pousson/Flickr
Rutabegorz opened back in 1970 as a tiny hippie joint in Fullerton. The restaurant began serving just coffee and desserts but has since transformed itself into one of Orange County’s best places to eat, specializing in health food with a great choice of vegetarian and vegan dishes. There are other offerings, as well, catering to carnivores, including chicken, turkey, albacore tuna and a wide selection of deli meats. Wraps, sandwiches, soups and salads are also available, all utilizing the freshest ingredients to deliver the most eclectic fare to loyal diners in the community.
Tom’s Jr Restaurant
Serving food since 1976, it’s a testament to Tom’s Jr Restaurant’s great food that it has remained a staple in the neighborhood. Over 35 years since the first independent restaurant opened, the quality of the delicious burgers offered here continues to impress. Alongside daily classic combos such as cheeseburgers, visitors can also opt for the more adventurous pastrami or avocado bacon burger. Additionally, Tom’s Jr also serves Mexican food and steaks, while breakfast and omelettes are served for those swinging by during the first part of the day.
Tom’s Jr Restaurant, 15322 Santa Gertrudes Ave., La Mirada, CA, USA, +1 714 994 8667
Soco Sushi & Gastro Pub is a trendy dining experience that has been establishing itself as a foodie hot spot for years. Located in downtown Fullerton, sample the best of Asian fusion cuisine in an upbeat atmosphere, ensuring that your evening gets off to the right start. Looking at the menu, instant options that standout include the ‘salmon on fire,’ sashimi seared with ponzu and topped with mint and radish sprouts. Alternatively, the pork belly with cilantro cream sauce is a tantalizing option, as is the beer-battered fish. On Sundays, there is a adventurous brunch menu comprised of buttery bacon waffles, huevos rancheros and other egg-based offerings.
Summit House Restaurant
For centuries, the English inn housing Summit House has been welcoming visitors into its cozy rooms. Perhaps one of the best fine-dining establishments in Fullerton, the venue serves first-class English-style fare and boasts an innovative wine program in a stunning location. Offering mouthwatering lunch and dinner options, the latter include dishes of roast prime ribs of beef and other prime cuts, as well as soups, salads and fish specialities. Dessert will also not go amiss with the signature Summit English trifle, the creme brûlée and Granny Smith apple tarte with white chocolate cream cheese filling; just three of the glorious options.
Summit House Restaurant, 2000 E Bastanchury Rd, Fullerton, CA, USA, +1 714 671 4111
Since 2001, Roman Cucina has been providing the community with an authentic taste of Italy. The family-run restaurant is a prime example of Italian home cooking, with many of the recipes passed down from the family’s grandmother. Get your carb fill with the selection of pizzas and pastas in this welcoming environment, and you will realize why this joint has been repeatedly voted the Best Italian Restaurant in OC. For those who enjoy a good drink with their meal, come by for Martini Mondays and Wine Wednesdays.
Roman Cucina, 211 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA, USA, +1 714 680 6000
Fuoco Pizzeria Napoletana
Fuoco Pizzeria Napoletana serves authentic Napoletana pizza, baked to perfection at nearly 1000 degrees in the wood-fired oven. The restaurant proudly follows traditions implemented over 200 years ago, which is why the menu here is as good as it comes thousands of miles away from Italy. Brought to the community by a family of pizzaioli, a third generation of trained pizza makers, the restaurant makes sure to source the very best ingredients, including Caputo flour and San Marzano tomatoes straight from the native lands in Napoli.
Fuoco Pizzeria Napoletana, 101 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA, USA, +1 714 626 0727
Kentro Greek Kitchen
Located in downtown Fullerton, Kentro Greek Kitchen is what Greek cuisine should be, an exemplary establishment of Aegean culinary traditions without the tacky Hellenic-styled fonts, opulent columns and idyllic murals of Santorini. Fashioned to a modern monochromatic design, the restaurant instead boasts a contemporary style that mirrors the egalitarian approach to its food. The menu is spelled out in Greek on a huge chalkboard and offers huge appetizers to share, a myriad of soups and salads, flat breads, pitas and staples such as moussaka and char-flecked souvlaki with wild rice. Wash it all down with a selection of wines and a choice of three authentic Greek beers.
Kentro Greek Kitchen, 100 S Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA, +1 714 278 0944
Kim Loan Restaurant
Don’t be fooled by the rundown façade of this joint in the center of this tired asphalt parking lot because for those looking for fantastic Vietnamese cuisine in Fullerton, Kim Loan really is the place to go. The establishment has been around for over a quarter of a century, boasting décor from the 90s, which just adds to its charm. The hearty selection of pho is what really draws in the crowds here, but traditional rice offerings served with grilled pork or salted shrimp will also not go amiss. Come by at lunchtime when the joint is abuzz with locals on their lunch break.
Kim Loan Restaurant, 1651 W Orangethorpe Ave, Fullerton, CA, USA, +1 714 773 0374
For a romantic setting, visitors to Fullerton really cannot do better than The Cellar. Located in a basement of the historical Ville Del Sol, it is one of the best French fine-dining experiences in town, offering elegant European cuisine comprised of decadent seafood options, traditional salads and meat dishes. The famous lobster bisque is a must-try and the roasted beef tenderloin to die for. The award-winning restaurant also boasts one of the county’s most exclusive wine lists, making for a memorable dining experience that harks back to the traditions of Old Europe.
The Cellar, The Villa Del Sol, 305 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA, USA, +1 714 525 5682
Leadbelly’s Southern-Style Barbecue
Leadbelly’s Southern-Style Barbecue occupies an unpretentious strip mall in a quiet part of Fullerton, but it serves the best no-frills barbecue for miles around. With huge portions for low prices, it is impossible to leave hungry and dissatisfied with the melt-in-your-mouth smoked dishes at this joint. Alongside the meat options, diners can choose from a choice of two sides, including collard greens, creamed corn, baked beans and jalapeño macaroni ‘n’ cheese with crumbled bacon. An eating experience here won’t be complete without a portion of the burnt ends, the charred trimmings that are transformed into the most delicious delicacy of all.
Leadbelly’s Southern-Style Barbecue, 711 N Placentia Ave, Fullerton, CA, USA, +1 714 646 9560