Harborside is a waterfront restaurant located inside the historical Balboa Pavilion, which is over 100 years old. It is a nice casual restaurant that is perfect for hanging out with your friends or hanging out with your family. Harborside has a great selection for happy hour (deals every day of the week) with very reasonable prices. And if you’re lucky, you’ll even see some sea lions swimming in the water while you eat.
Billy’s At The Beach
Billy’s at the Beach caters to those looking for some delicious Hawaiian cuisine and an island-like atmosphere. Even though their entrées can be a little pricey, they are adequately sized and absolutely delicious. As its name states, it is located on the beach, so you can expect their fish to be fresh. You can feel the Hawaiian spirit within the restaurant and are able to follow through with it by sampling their amazing drinks and dishes as well.
CUCINA Enoteca provides a California twist to Italian meals. If given the opportunity to eat outside, it is a definite must. Their outdoor patio is beautiful and resembles a greenhouse. Being an Italian restaurant means pizza and pasta, so be sure to try one of their marvelous creations. The environment is very warm and welcoming and reminds a lot of people of a nice little farmhouse. CUCINA has a very extensive wine list (over 250 different kinds), so don’t forget to accompany your meal with a glass of wine.
SOL Cocina is a casual Mexican restaurant with a very Baja California style. Their ingredients are always fresh, so you can be sure your food will be tasty. The Baja style of their Mexican cuisine definitely adds character to the restaurant itself. The restaurant and food have a rustic feel but both are extremely welcoming nonetheless, if you are able to get a window seat you will have a great view of the dock. Overall great ambience and amazing service as well.
The Porch is a lively restaurant serving American cuisine. It is a perfect spot if you’re looking for a place to brunch. It was created with the hope of providing locals a casual, welcoming location to gather and enjoy a delicious meal. The Porch has a bit of the ‘divey’ bar about it due to the TVs, which allow you to watch any major sporting event while enjoying your meal.
The Beachcomber Café
At The Beachcomber Café, you come for the overall experience. They provide you with a fantastic view, killer drinks, and ever better food, what more could you possibly ask for? After spending some time on the beach, there’s no better place to refuel and start your morning than at The Beachcomber. Their breakfast menu is one on which you should definitely set your sights, because it’s absolutely perfect. One of the things you’ll definitely want to take advantage of while visiting is the fact that you can rent out a fire pit steps away from the ocean.
Bear Flag Fish Co.
Bear Flag prides itself on the usage of seasonal, fresh ingredients, especially with their ahi poke which is an all-time favorite of locals and newcomers. Not only can you dine here, but you can also purchase fresh seafood by the pound, and take it home with you to cook. All their seafood is spiced to perfection and can be tasted by ordering one of their delicious fish burritos. Bear Flag provides a somewhat healthier alternative to fast food restaurants by still maintaining affordable prices.
True Food Kitchen
If you’re a vegan or would like to eat vegan/vegetarian dishes, then True Food Kitchen is your place to be. They cater to everyone on the spectrum, whether you eat meat or not. All their food is healthy and organic, so it can provide a natural boost for your overall energy. Nothing beats a good ol’ grass-fed bison burger. Their décor and overall atmosphere is very airy and earthy, which heavily resembles their cuisine and allows for a rather relaxing meal.
Newport Landing is located waterfront, overlooking the Balboa Ferry. The seafood here is great, and you cannot miss out on their famous oysters. Their customer service is almost as great as the views, as the servers remain attentive to your needs, even on the busiest days. They have one of the best brunches in Orange County due to their selection of prime rib, sushi, roast beef, and even fresh crab legs.
Buddha’s Favorite is an indoor sushi bar, serving sushi and other exquisite Japanese dishes. Dishes you can’t find anywhere else can be tasted here thanks to their blend of tradition and authenticity. Their rolls are made to order and have a fresh taste. The sushi chefs are extremely personable and ensure you have a great experience.