Best Irvine Restaurants for Foodies
If you consider yourself a foodie, then you’re in the perfect place to explore local favorites and delicious new cuisine. Living in Irvine, there are a variety of restaurants to discover, and you and your taste buds are sure to be satisfied. Take a peek at the best food in Irvine for every type of dining experience, whether you want to grab a quick lunch, are looking for the perfect place for a date night, or even the best spot to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Top Lunch Spots
- Mendocino Farms
This neighborhood sandwich spot is a great place to grab a quick bite to eat or meet up with friends for lunch. Known for their delicious sandwiches and salads, Mendocino Farms prides themselves on fresh, seasonal ingredients. They partner with local farmers and food artisans to ensure the freshest ingredients for their customers, while also supporting the Southern California food economy. If all of this doesn’t make this place tempting enough already, we can’t forget to mention the delicious sides they offer (that you can taste-test for free!). Mendocino Farms is located in University Center, near the UCI campus.
Created as a union of two of the top food trucks in Orange County, Burntzilla combines the Burnt Truck’s modern take on classic comfort food and Dogzilla’s Asian-inspired twist on the traditional hot dog. Menu options are served in small bite size portions, but these mini eats make up in bold, irresistible flavors. Located in Walnut Village Center, this popular lunch spot is easily accessible right off the 5 freeway.
If you can’t get enough of Burntzilla, be sure to try their newest spot, Bread Crumbs, opening soon at Los Olivos Marketplace. The gourmet sandwich shop brings the same vision and authentic feel of their sister restaurant.
Top Dinner Spots
- Bacchus Bistro & Bar
This wine bar takes familiar food and gives it modern twist. The menu is comprised of a variety of small plates made with fresh ingredients that are designed to be shared with the whole table. Some of their more popular items include their flavorful cheese boards that allows diners to mix and match their favorites, and their prosciutto flatbread that includes caramelized red onion, fontina, gorgonzola, and fig jam. The real stand out of this place is the wine. They have a great wine selection, offering over 350 different bottles. If wine isn’t really your thing, they also offer 6 craft beers on tap along with 20 bottled micro brews. Be prepared, this place gets pretty busy on the weekends, so reservations are always a good idea!
- TAPS Fish House & Brewery
This seafood and steakhouse offers an expansive menu of fish options and meat specialties, accompanied by a comfortable upscale environment. There is a fine dining area that is perfect for that special date night, as well as a casual, spacious bar and lounge perfect for grabbing a happy hour cocktail. They offer ales and lagers handcrafted in the European tradition, as well as an extensive wine list. You can also satisfy that oyster craving at their 21-seat oyster bar. Not only is this place a great dinner spot, they have a Sunday morning brunch that includes pancakes and waffles made to order, freshly baked pastries, homemade bananas foster, and even an interactive chocolate fountain. It’s the perfect setting to bring the family to relax and enjoy great food together.
- Umami Burger
This burger joint located at Irvine Spectrum Center takes the art of handcrafted burgers to a whole new level. Founder, Adam Fleischman set out to create a gourmet burger experience for his customers by embodying exactly what Umami means. Umami is defined as an ingredient-activated taste sensation described with words like savory, meaty and amplified. At Umami Burger, all ingredients are carefully selected to magnify this sensation in every menu item they create. Fleischman created a series of burgers based on taste profiles borrowed from fine dining experiences. Most notably is their out-of-this world truffle burger. Yes, we said truffle burger. It’s topped with truffle aioli, house truffle cheese and truffle glaze. Located right next to the Irvine Improv, Umami Burger is the perfect place for late nights and weekends. Stop in after a show and enjoy happy hour from 9PM to close, and live music on the weekends.
Top Dessert Spots
- Honey Mee
The main concept behind Honey Mee is serving soft, yet rich ice cream drizzled with quality honey and topped with honeycomb. No artificial colors or flavors are added to their ice cream. The milk comes from local, family-owned dairy farms, and the raw honey and honeycomb are 100% pure and natural coming from a local certified bee farm. This delicious treat has positive health benefits like increasing antioxidant levels and promoting digestive health. Who knew that something so yummy could also be good for you!? Honey Mee is located in Harvard Place.
- Strickland’s Homemade Ice Cream
This family establishment offers a variety of homemade frozen custard, soft-serve ice cream and sorbet. The most unique part about Strickland’s is their flavor of the day concept. Ice cream is always better when it’s fresh, so they typically only serve four flavors a day. The flavors routinely change, but one thing remains the same. You will always get fresh, deliciously different ice cream that will you keep you coming back for more. Located in Campus Plaza, close to plenty of restaurants, Strickland’s is the perfect place for a quick stop on the way home from dinner.