25 Laguna Beach Restaurants

California, Laguna Beach Guide (D): 25 Laguna Beach Restaurants

Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to Laguna Beach each year to enjoy the art festivals, plays, the prettiest coastline in Southern California, and the very best cuisine Orange County has to offer. This guide lists 25 restaurants comprising Laguna's best and favorite establishments: diners, sushi bars, traditional, pizza, classic, and a few modern bistros. We also spotlight 6 must-sample Laguna dining-landmarks you shouldn't miss.
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Attractions Map

Guide Name: 25 Laguna Beach Restaurants
Guide Location: USA » Laguna Beach
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (D))
# of Destinations: 25
Sight(s) featured in this guide: 230 Forest Avenue - California-Contemporary   The Beach House - Seafood   BJ’s Pizza and Grill   C’est La Vie - French   The Cottage Restaurant - Traditional   Dizz’s As Is - Continental   Hennessey’s Tavern   Las Brisas - Mexican   Hotel Laguna Restaurants   Lumberyard - Traditional American   Nick’s Laguna Beach - Traditional American   Ocean Brewing Company   Polina’s Salerno Italian Restaurant   Romeo Cucina - Italian   Royal Hawaiian   Royal Thai Cuisine   Sorrento Grille and Martini Bar - Contemporary   Tivoli Terrace at Festival of Arts - Traditional   Watermarc - Contemporary   The White House - Traditional   Gina’s Pizza and Pasteria   Sushi Laguna   Brussels Bistro   Hapi Sushi   Ruby's Diner  
Author: Scott Weber
Author Bio: Scott has lived in just about every coastal town in Orange County and loves to write about his experiences there. Please check out his other guides at GPSmyCity for San Clemente, Dana Point, Newport Beach, and Las Vegas.
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230 Forest Avenue - California-Contemporary

1) 230 Forest Avenue - California-Contemporary

Located in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach, 230 Forest Avenue has earned the reputation as a landmark-dining destination. For over 10 years guests have enjoyed innovative California cuisine from award winning chef and owner Marc Cohen. The bistro style restaurant features an upbeat atmosphere with a very popular outside patio and bar. They even have an ever-changing wall of art. Seafood is the main focus at 230 Forest Avenue, but don’t forget to sample one of their steaks or their famous martinis. Reservations are recommended. Lunch is served at 11am and dinner starts at 5pm.
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The Beach House - Seafood

2) The Beach House - Seafood

The original Beach House was founded by Gale Pike in the former house of Slim Summerville, an old Hollywood character actor. The restaurant has been a Laguna Beach favorite since 1968 and considering the location, you can see why. Best known for their seafood and homemade deserts, guests can enjoy the great cuisine while watching the waves crash below the beachside patio veranda. The Beach House is open for dinner everyday from 4:30pm to 10pm and Sunday Brunch from 8am to 3:30pm. Reservations are recommended.
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BJ’s Pizza and Grill

3) BJ’s Pizza and Grill

Located right across from Main Beach, BJ’s Pizza and Grill has been the primary stop for deep dish, Chicago-style pizza lovers for more than three decades. But if great pizza isn't enough, BJ’s also serves salads, burgers, handmade soups, giant stuffed potatoes, beer and wine, and a variety of pasta favorites. BJ’s is a great place to take the family for a quick meal everyone is sure to enjoy. You can dine in, get takeout, or have your food delivered right to your hotel.
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C’est La Vie - French

4) C’est La Vie - French

C’est La Vie has been a Laguna staple for 30 years. Perched at the corner of Main Beach and the Greeter’s Corner, C’est La Vie is Laguna’s only California French restaurant in the downtown area. With their kitchen baking all manner or breads and pastries, there’s something here to satisfy even the most discerning palette. Enjoy lunch or dinner on the beachside patio or just grab a croissant and a cup of their delicious coffee and head for the beach. C’est La Vie is also a popular place to host wedding receptions. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reservations are recommended.
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The Cottage Restaurant - Traditional

5) The Cottage Restaurant - Traditional

There’s a handful of restaurants that everyone visiting Laguna Beach should try to visit and the Cottage Restaurant is one of them. Open everyday for the last 35 years, the Cottage has watched Laguna transform from a quiet, beachside artist colony into a bustling upscale tourist destination. The Cottage was built in 1917 and is representative of the early California-style craftsman homes and not much has been changed. The Cottage has a traditional menu and some unique specialties too, but their breakfasts and brunch’s are standouts and shouldn’t be missed.
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Dizz’s As Is - Continental

6) Dizz’s As Is - Continental

Another of our must-visit restaurants in Laguna Beach is Dizz’s As Is, and is probably the most eclectic restaurant in town and the cuisine matches the art deco style and cozy ambience. Only open for dinner, Dizz’s is known for its understated excellence and the chef has been mixing and matching foods for decades. The restaurant occupies a old Laguna cottage on the highway at the south end of town. The interior is dimly lit with 20’s and 30’s movie memorabilia covering the walls. They're famous for their complementary shots of vermouth and garlic toast with pork pate. If you’re in the mood for something you won’t find anywhere else, Dizz’s is an experience you won’t forget. Leave the kids with the babysitter and enjoy yourself. Call about reservations. Dizz’s is only open for dinner.
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Hennessey’s Tavern

7) Hennessey’s Tavern

Having grown from a simple Irish tavern in Hermosa Beach, Hennessey’s second venture took over the popular El Lugar in the early 90’s and has been providing tourists and locals good food and drink at reasonable prices. Located just steps from main beach, Hennessey’s covered patio is a great place to people watch while you enjoy a pint of your favorite ale and dine on one of their giant hamburgers. The atmosphere is laid-back and if the kids are fussy about food, this is a place they’ll find something they’ll like. Hennessey’s offers live music on selected evenings so check ahead to verify who’s playing. Reservations are not required. Open daily from 11am to 11pm.
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Las Brisas - Mexican

8) Las Brisas - Mexican

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more romantic place to have a drink or meal than at Las Brisas Restaurant. Set next door to the Laguna Art Museum, Las Brisas offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Laguna Beach’s sculpted rock coastline. Originally known as the Victor Hugo Inn, the inn was converted to Las Brisas in 1979 and has been a magnet for visitors ever since. Las Brisas takes prides in presenting the authentic cuisine of the Mexican Riviera and you’ll be treated to some of the best seafood, beef, and chicken entrees in Laguna Beach. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a Sunday Brunch from 8am to 11pm. They will host limited banquets and due to their popularity, it’s a good idea to make a dinner reservation well in advance of your visit to Laguna Beach. Food prices are fair, but drinks can get pricey.
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Hotel Laguna Restaurants

9) Hotel Laguna Restaurants

The Hotel Laguna has two notable restaurants and each one offers unrivaled panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Clae’s is the more upscale of the two. With a focus on seafood, steaks, and an extensive choice of wines, Clae’s chefs will prepare for you one of their signature dishes with suggestions for the appropriate wine. A refined atmosphere combined with excellent service has made Clae's a local favorite. The Terrace is better known for a relaxed at-the-beach atmosphere. The Terrace serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the Sunday brunch is usually packed. Open 10am to 10pm everyday. Call to check if reservations are necessary.
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Lumberyard - Traditional American

10) Lumberyard - Traditional American

Located in one of the most historic buildings in downtown Laguna Beach, Lumberyard serves both lunch and dinner and is known for its great American food such as rotisserie chicken, steaks, ribs and seafood, as well as some down-home favorites such as meatloaf, chicken pot-pie, cobb salad, and spaghetti and meatballs. Dine on the beautiful outside patio overlooking historic city hall and the downtown, or relax in one of the two dining rooms, either in front of a roaring fire or surrounded by a wall of wine. Or belly up to the horseshoe island bar and enjoy a signature drink and enjoy a game on one of the large flat screens. The restaurant is open from 11am to 10pm, but the bar stays open later and is a popular place to get a nightcap after an evening at the Festival or the Laguna Playhouse. Dinner reservations are recommended.
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Nick’s Laguna Beach - Traditional American

11) Nick’s Laguna Beach - Traditional American

Dine. Drink. Escape. That’s Nick’s motto. Nick's Laguna Beach features Classic American comfort food, crave-able bar snacks, plus unique cocktails & an extensive wine list. Located in the heart of Laguna Beach, the intimate 80-seat restaurant features a chic bar and beautiful outdoor patio. Decor highlights include mosaic tile floors, wood-trimmed booths, hand-blown glass lamps, and exposed brick walls. Nick's is a favorite for dining, cocktails and people watching. Open for lunch and dinner 11am to 11pm and Sunday brunch 7:30am to 11:30pm.
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Ocean Brewing Company

12) Ocean Brewing Company

Just up the street from Main Beach, the Ocean Brewing Company is a bustling cosmopolitan-style café with its own microbrewery and restaurant. The tasteful muted décor is accented by original works of art and unique floral arrangements provide a comfortable, yet unpretentious atmosphere for dining. Although they brew their own beer, they have a full bar and specialize in eclectic premium cocktails. Ocean Brewing Company is open for lunch and dinner. Hours: 11am – 10pm.
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Polina’s Salerno Italian Restaurant

13) Polina’s Salerno Italian Restaurant

If you’ve got to have good old-fashioned Italian food, Polina’s Salerno Italian Restaurant is a good bet. Midway between the beach and the festivals, Polina’s has been serving the downtown for 35 years and still offers southern-style Italian cuisine in a warm, casual atmosphere. They specialize in pastas, veal, and seafood and you won’t break the bank eating here. Polina’s Salerno Italian Restaurant is only open for dinner Tuesday thru Sunday from 5pm to 10pm. Closed Monday.
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Romeo Cucina - Italian

14) Romeo Cucina - Italian

Located a half-block from Main Beach, Romeo Cucina restaurant and bar takes average Italian cuisine and moves it up a notch. This semi-open ristorante opened in the 90’s and has been a very popular stop ever since. The interior of this warm personable restaurant reflects the artistry of the cuisine. The chefs entice you with delicious pastas, brick-oven baked pizza, a large variety of fresh fish and grilled meats, along with daily specials that only Romeo's can create. Romeo’s is open for dinner everyday from 5:30pm and open for lunch on the weekends from 11:30am to 2:30pm. Reservations are welcomed.
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Royal Hawaiian

15) Royal Hawaiian

Another one of the "old time" must-visit Laguna restaurants, the Royal Hawaiian has proven to be crowd favorite year after year and it’s no wonder why. The food and the distinctive Polynesian décor transports you right to the Islands. And if you like colorful drinks with tiny umbrellas, you’ve come to the right spot. The Royal Hawaiian opened in 1947 and was operated by the Cabang family until 2006 when new owners took it over and did some remodeling upgrades. Everyone in the family will find something on the menu they’ll like and make sure you try the house salad dressing. This one condiment has been luring dinners back year after year. The Royal Hawaiian is only open for dinners daily. The bar opens and 4pm and dinner starts at 5pm. They open for lunch on the Weekends at 11am.
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Royal Thai Cuisine

16) Royal Thai Cuisine

Voted best Thai Restaurant in Southern California and a perennial winner of local contests, the Royal Thai is one of the six restaurants you must visit while in Laguna Beach. The Royal Thai opened in 1976 and has been serving authentic Thai dishes for 35 years in the tranquility of their dining room. The menu has all the expected staples, including tom kah soup, mee krob, larb, pad thai and panang, plus specialties like honey duck and volcanic chicken. Most dishes come well spiced, but you may specify less spicy, double spicy or triple spicy. They even offer cooking classes for the truly adventurous. This is a very popular restaurant so reservations are probably a good idea. Open daily from 5pm to 10pm.
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Sorrento Grille and Martini Bar - Contemporary

17) Sorrento Grille and Martini Bar - Contemporary

For over 20 years Sorrento Grille has been one of downtown Laguna’s Beach’s most beloved and iconic restaurants. The emphasis is on rustic, flavorful, wood-fired cooking over a blend of fruitwoods, oak and grape vine cuttings. The menu features an offering of small plates, wood grilled flatbreads, seafood specialties, and grilled steaks and chops. The aromas from the open kitchen fill the restaurant as Laguna’s original martini and wine bar offers a variety of proprietary hand-shaken martinis along with an extensive offering of wines by the glass and small-batch microbrews. The airy, high ceilinged building features ground floor and balcony dining, a private wine room, and counter seating at the exhibition kitchen. Sorrento is open nightly from 5:00 pm.
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Tivoli Terrace at Festival of Arts - Traditional

18) Tivoli Terrace at Festival of Arts - Traditional

Although Tivoli Terrace is open year round as one of Laguna’s most popular wedding locations, they’re only open to the public during the Festival of Arts. But that's okay. If you're visiting the festival of arts or waiting for the Pageant of the Masters to start what better place to enjoy the superb cuisine. You'll find there’s something here for everyone. Tivoli Terrace is open everyday during the festival and reservations are recommended.
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Watermarc - Contemporary

19) Watermarc - Contemporary

Located right across the street from the Hotel Laguna, Watermarc brings together the vision of pairing great food with great beverages and is the last of our must-visit restaurants. Voted as one of Orange County’s top 10 restaurants in 2010, Watermarc is quickly making a name for itself and its unique style of dining. The primary culinary focus is on seafood and chef/owner Marc Cohen strives to fuse his love of Mexican and Pacific flavors into each dish. Prices are reasonable considering how superb the cuisine is. Watermarc also has some innovative cocktail choices and has an extensive wine collection for even the most discerning connoisseur. Reservations are recommended. Open for lunch from 11am - 3:30pm and dinner until 11pm.
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The White House - Traditional

20) The White House - Traditional

Opened in 1918, the White House is probably the oldest restaurant in Orange County and has been a Laguna favorite for decades. Recently renovated to keep up with the ever-changing “designer-chef” California cuisine, the White House covers the whole spectrum of food styles and there’s something here for everyone. The even have live music most nights starting at 9:30. The White House is open from 8am to 2 am everyday and they do not take reservations.
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Gina’s Pizza and Pasteria

21) Gina’s Pizza and Pasteria

Everyone loves pizza and Gina has been making some of the best pies in Orange County since 1975, but whose pizza is really the best is debatable. Voted best pizza in 2010, Gina has 2 locations in Laguna. One is at the north end in Boat Canyon and the other is down by the Surf and Sand Hotel. Gina’s offers pizzas in three sizes with all of the usual toppings, hot sandwiches, subs, salads, and basic pasta dishes. If you’ve got a hankering for carbs and calories, Gina’s won’t disappoint. Take out is available at all locations, but call to see if they deliver. Open 11am to 9pm weekdays, 9:30pm on weekends.
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Sushi Laguna

22) Sushi Laguna

Sushi Laguna is one of Laguna’s favorite sushi bars and you may find yourself waiting for a seat. Known for its excellence and oft times unique fare, Sushi Laguna’s owner-chef visits local fish markets daily and has special fish flown in from Japan’s famous Tokyo-Tsukiji Market to provide the highest quality fish for his customers. Sushi Laguna also serves Kubota 1000 and other premium sakes that are privately imported from Japan. The bar can only seat 22 guests and is open for lunch and dinner.
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Brussels Bistro

23) Brussels Bistro

Tucked into their urban-styled grotto, the Brussels Bistro brings the best of Belgium flavors to the heart of downtown Laguna Beach. Even though they're always coming up with new dishes, the perennial favorites are roasted salmon and steamed mussels. And complementing their wide variety of imported beers are cheese croquettes and their famous Belgium fries. The Brussels Bistro provides easy listening jazz Tuesday – Thursday from 7-11pm. The bistro is open for dinner 4pm to 11:30pm and noon to 11:30 on weekends. Reservations are welcome.
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Hapi Sushi

24) Hapi Sushi

This little hole-in-the-wall sushi bar has been a local favorite since 1983 and is a great place to eat and socialize with the locals. Hapi prides itself in serving the freshest fish, beautiful and unique presentations, and a variety of house specialties. Hapi Sushi is always busy so plan on a small wait. Hapi is open daily for dinner or take-out. Beer and wine is available at the bar.
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Ruby's Diner

25) Ruby's Diner

Ruby's took over and revamped Duke's diner in 1980 on the Coast Highway and has been a favorite on the Orange County Coast ever since. With their trademark 50's style counter and stools, stainless steel kitchen, and Edward Hopper-style diner window, guests are treated to a broad menu of classic American comfort foods. And check out their collection of classic 50's and 60's cars parked out front. Ruby's is a great place to bring the kids and grab a quick meal before or after a day at the beach. Ruby's is open everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Laguna Beach Restaurants

Laguna Beach Restaurants

Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to Laguna Beach each year to enjoy the art festivals, plays, the prettiest coastline in Southern California, and the very best cuisine Orange County has to offer. This guide lists restaurants comprising Laguna's best and favorite establishments: diners,...