Newport Beach Restaurants
Bear Flag Fish Co.
3421 Via Lido, Newport Beach
The NY Times may have deemed the fish taco as the unofficial fast food of Laguna, but that's doesn't mean they're all equal. This restaurant-market hybrid continues to impress us with theirs—Baja-style with the freshest catch and house-made slaw. Also on offer: incredible poke, chowder, seafood plates, and one of the best grilled seafood sandwiches we've had. Get here early and be prepared to wait—but trust: it's worth it. (Or if you're looking to cook, head to the market section for the daily seasonal catch and a few lemons, then head home to make the perfect meal.)
2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd, Corona del Mar
This farm-to-table restaurant is situated on more than seven acres of greenery inside Roger's Gardens—fitting, given the menu concentrates on locally-sourced produce. Chef Rich Mead serves up a mix of excellent salads and seafood for lunch and dinner. It's particularly festive around the holidays and, thanks to its popularity amongst locals, requires a bit of pre-planning to secure a reservation. Food photograph: courtesy of Diana Hossfeld
3450 Via Oporto Suite 101, Lido Marina Village
There are now thirty-two outposts of Nobu—and they draw a devoted tourist-y crowd—but the Newport Beach location, tucked into the charming Lido Marina Village, is worth braving the crowds. The two-story waterfront design is stunning—and to cap off the incredible service Nobu is know for, there's a boat valet, which makes the experience a bit more indulgent.
15 Crystal Cove, Crystal Cove
Located right in the sand of Crystal Cove Beach, this authentic seafood restaurant has been a coveted spot for locals and visitors since it opened back in 2006 largely thanks to its beachside cottage setting and nostalgic 1950's California vibe. To get there calls for a bit of a hike from the parking lot to the beach, but it's worth it once you get to the underpass tunnel, which is decorated with local children's art. When you arrive, the to-die-for ahi tuna tacos are the thing to order. Bonus: there's a pretty great bar—the Bootleg Bar—attached.
The Crab Cooker
2200 Newport Boulevard, Newport Beach
We're all about fresh, no-frills seafood (charcoal broiled shrimp and scallops on a skewer, Maryland-style crab cakes) and this Balboa Peninsula space is consistently a go-to when we've got out-of-town guests to entertain. Place an extra order of king crab legs with lots of fresh lemon and butter. (Trust.) Photo: Megan Converse.
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