Photo Credit: meditateinthesouthbay.org
My family and I came back Monday from a four-day trip to Newport Beach to attend my cousin’s wedding. We had never been to Newport but were told that it was an upscale area in California, and it really is. The shopping malls are huge with high-end shops, the area is very clean, and there are a lot of BMW’s, Mercedes, Lexus, and Escalades roving around. I felt like I was in Beverly Hills!
Given that Newport is a fancy area, the restaurants are also elegant. However, we mostly ate at affordable places in and around the city and they were just as good! Here is my short list of eating in Newport Beach and its surrounding areas.
Roll It Sushi & Teriyaki-When we arrived at our hotel at 7:30pm, we were hungry. Unfortunately, we were in a business area and most of the eateries were closed or too far away to walk to. After a few minutes we saw this place in the corner of a strip mall. We got a small steak bowl with white rice, regular chicken teriyaki plate with brown rice and potato salad, and a salad. The thin steak pieces with teriyaki sauce is bursting with flavor; the chunks of white meat chicken are moist, and the salad is fresh. Roll It is a healthy version of Japanese food, and this place makes eating healthy really, really yummy.
Balboa Candy-Located on the quaint Balboa Island, this candy shop has every sweet piece of confection for sale: from saltwater taffy and jellybeans to gummies and chocolate. We went a little crazy in here…’nuff said.
Too Sweet-Right across the street from Balboa Candy is Too Sweet, which specializes in chocolate. There are chocolate dipped pretzels, frozen bananas, and caramel apples among their selection. I chose a peanut butter and chocolate seashell. Too cute, and really soft, creamy, and gone in a minute.
In-N-Out Burger-Newport Beach doesn’t have the iconic California burger restaurant, so the closest is in Irvine, across the street from the University of California Irvine. If you’ve never eaten at one, make a trip out West now (if not California, get your In-N-Out fix in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, or Utah). It’s a simple menu (along with a Not-So-Secret Menu) with good quality food. Everything is freshly made and you can taste it.
Lemonade-Californians are all about healthy eating, and this place caters to them. Just from looking at the menu of sandwiches, hot food, and flatbread Lemonade screams “healthy!” We split some mixed vegetables and a grilled mozzarella sandwich. Both are good, and the sandwich is huge, with a good crunch from the bread and the yummy blend of cheese, tomato, and avocado.
The Pizza Press-Located in the Metro Pointe at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, The Pizza Press makes thin-crust pizza with the option to build your own. The concept is cool: Pre-made pies are named after the country’s most well-known newspapers (The Sun, The Times), and each section of the ordering process is labeled like a publisher’s, well, process (editorial, proofing). We made our own pizza of red sauce, mozzarella, Italian sausage, and pepperoni. The pizza is crunchy, flavorful, and doesn’t make you feel bloated afterward.
And, that’s about it. Have any other affordable restaurants we have to try the next time we go to Newport Beach and/or other Orange County cities? Let me know in the comments!!