15 Best Restaurants in Newport Beach, CA

What comes to mind when you think of California? Surely it’s the beautiful weather, sprawling beaches, and, of course, versatile cuisine.

In the sunshine state alone, you can indulge in some of the best food in the country as you explore ethnic cuisines and embrace different cultures.

And one coastal city in particular, Newport Beach, has some extra special eats to offer.

But whether you’re a tourist or have lived in the area for years, keeping tabs on the best restaurants in Newport Beach is tough. Sometimes you need a trusty guide to point you toward the hottest establishments and hidden gems.

After considering the most popular cuisines in the area, culinary trends, and what people want from a restaurant, we’ve come up with a solid list of the best restaurants in Newport Beach! So sit back and relax as we point you toward your next great meal.

1. Marché Moderne

$$$ | 714-434-7900 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Traditional French cuisine meets Newport Beach with this highly-rated modern restaurant nestled along the coast.

Perfect for wine lovers, Marché Moderne is known for its small plate pairings. But if wine isn’t your thing, you can select among countless French entrees and appetizers, with fresh seafood, luscious meats, and a wide array of cheeses on offer. And that’s just the beginning.

And don’t worry, sophistication and culinary innovation don’t mean the atmosphere is stuffy. Marché prides itself on offering a relaxed atmosphere.

 

 

2. Javier’s

$$$ | 949-494-1239 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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California’s proximity to Mexico gives Newport Beach a solid reputation when it comes to authentic Mexican food.

And Javier’s, located in the Crystal Cove Promenade, is one of the best. They strive to add elegance to traditional Mexican dishes and offer a romantic ambiance and a 5-star atmosphere.

So, what should you order? A seafood dish is a great idea, as Javier’s uses only locally sourced, sustainable seafood. And don’t forget to complete your meal with a hand-shaken margarita or by sampling a rare tequila.

 

 

3. Nobu

$$$$ | 949-429-4440 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Nobu is a world-famous Japanese restaurant, with Newport Beach being one of its most vibrant and popular locations.

Located in the Lido Marina Village, guests can enjoy a clean, minimalist, and relaxing environment and a menu full of upscale Japanese delights.

To make the most of your experience, try their Omakase tasting menu. You won’t regret putting your faith in the chef’s hands!

 

 

4. Wilma’s Patio

$$ | 949-675-5542 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Known for its large covered patio, Wilma’s may be your next great find if you love homestyle cooking. They also have it all, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner to share, which can be tricky to find.

This quaint restaurant’s goal is to make you feel at home and fill you up. They’re also an excellent spot for those who love a big menu with lots of variety.

The outside has a warm and inviting cottage feel that keeps guests coming back. After all, they’ve been open since 1982 for a reason!

 

 

5. Zabb Thai Cuisine

$$ | 949-432-5443 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Zabb Thai is an affordable eatery with an extensive menu listing traditional Thai favorites. They also have plenty of vegan options, so there’s something for everyone!

Guests regularly boast about how it’s one of the most authentic Thai spots in the area and love their weekday happy hour (from 3 pm-6 pm) and lunch specials.

The decor is unique and inviting, and some of the most popular dishes include the chicken satay and pad Thai. They also have a full bar for making Singapore slings, pina coladas, and more.

 

 

6. Cucina Alessá

$$$ | 949-645-2148 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Don’t make the mistake of thinking California doesn’t have good Italian food.

Cucina stands out from the crowd with its fresh pasta, wine list, and relaxed, cozy atmosphere. They also have two locations, so they must be doing something right.

Perhaps the best offering of all is their weekday happy hour menu. Who doesn’t love a cheese platter at a lower price in the afternoon? Especially when it’s paired with a nice Merlot.

 

 

7. A Restaurant

$$$ | 949-650-6505 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A Restaurant has a demure vibe with dim lighting and luxurious booths. But its New American menu is what makes this establishment truly shine.

This romantic spot is a great choice for the foodie who appreciates seasonality and well-prepared proteins. Depending on the time of year, you can enjoy fresh Chilean sea bass, lobster, short ribs, and more.

Since it borders on being a steakhouse, this spot is well-suited for countless occasions. From first dates to dinners with your parents, their menus are suitable for all occasions.

 

 

8. Sessions West Coast Deli

$ | 949-220-9001 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Sometimes you just want a hearty, filling sandwich that’s easy to eat after a day at the beach.

Sessions is an uber-trendy deli that believes in fueling its guests with high-quality, healthy ingredients. But they don’t sacrifice taste and know how to combine flavors to make mind-blowing sandwiches and sides.

One of their most popular sandwiches is the vegetarian Summer Zephyr. It has fresh mozzarella, marinated tomato, basil aioli, pickled onion, arugula, and a balsamic reduction.

 

 

9. True Food Kitchen

$$ | 949-644-2400 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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True Food is a bright, fun establishment with protein-dense, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free menu options. They call themselves “eco-chic,” which makes perfect sense.

They do a wonderful job of making their menu appealing to everyone, from health fanatics to high-end food lovers, with many menu options, all made with nutrient-rich ingredients.

But it’s not just the food. True Food’s craft cocktails, like the hibiscus margarita and the ever-so-trendy espresso martini, set them apart from your run-of-the-mill healthy restaurant.

Their Newport Beach location certainly fits in with the beachy California vibe. They’re also dog friendly, which is always a pleasant surprise!

 

 

10. Ho Sum Bistro

$ | 949-675-0896 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Ho Sum Bistro is a modern, affordable Asian restaurant that perfects the art of fusion. They don’t like to be too traditional and add a touch of Californian flair to their dishes.

Their claim to fame would be the hand-rolled dim sum, which is prepared in an open-air concept so customers can witness the magic.

They also know the importance of having a full bar and creative cocktail menu, which is essential for many tourists!

 

 

11. The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific

$$$ | 949-566-0060 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Plenty of people flock to Newport Beach for an ocean side dining experience, and that’s what you’ll get at the Cannery.

Fresh seafood is on the menu in this historic, multi-story building, and looking out at the marina heightens the experience. At this 100-year-old restaurant, you can sit with a glass of wine and a fresh seafood platter and feel perfectly at ease.

You can even go the extra mile and rent a boat for a pre-dinner cocktail cruise. Sounds like a pretty fantastic Valentine’s Day idea or just an ideal evening for any tourist!

 

 

12. A+O Restaurant and Bar

$$$ | 949-630-4285 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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California cuisine is a melting pot of Italian, Mexican, French, and Spanish influences, and that’s what A+O is all about. Menu highlights include the grilled octopus, the Chilean sea bass, and steak frites.

The ambiance is bright and spacious, and the wrap-around patio gives you a stunning view of Newport Harbor. Resort guests can dine here every night and get the full Newport Beach experience, or locals can make a reservation for the delicious food they’ve grown to love.

Regarding decor, you can enjoy your dinner in a breezy, casual, and ocean-inspired atmosphere. A+O perks also include a Sunday seafood brunch!

 

 

13. Gracias Madre

$$ | 949-386-8100 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurants in Newport Beach, CA

Gracias Madre takes innovation and trendiness to new heights with its 100% vegetarian Mexican menu.

This may not be the spot for diehard carnivores, but if you appreciate flavors and fresh ingredients, you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

Certain menu highlights, like the loaded nachos, can even make you forget about the lack of animal protein. After all, you don’t need meat for every meal!

The atmosphere is also quite astonishing, with gorgeous light fixtures and high ceilings being some of Gracias Madre’s decor highlights.

 

 

14. The Original Mama D’s Italian Kitchen

$$ | 949-675-6262 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This spot is for groups who want delicious, Italian family-style dishes. You can easily spend hours in their hip and comfortable atmosphere as you chow down on classics like pizza, bruschetta, and pasta galore.

The next time the family is all together for an evening on vacation, try Mama D’s for a memorable experience. But since it’s a well-known establishment with some loyal patrons, you may want to head there early as it’s not clear if they take reservations.

 

 

15. Crystal Cove Shake Shack

$$ | 949-464-0100 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurant in Newport Beach, CA

Who doesn’t love a trendy diner on the cusp of a beautiful blue ocean?

Crystal Cove Shake Shake offers satisfying comfort food with classics like fish and chips and burgers readily available for tourists and locals.

But the sights are why people flock to this 1940s-style gem. And if you want, you can take your food to the beach to enjoy or grab a table on a first-come-first-serve basis.

And if you need yet another reason to check out Crystal Cove, they also have a full breakfast menu!

 

 

Summary

Finding the best restaurants in Newport Beach is no easy feat.

With so many great spots to choose from, you have to narrow your selections by shining a light on each unique cuisine. From Italian to vegan, from French to Mexican, it’s clear that California is a culinary superstar, with Newport Beach being a top coastal destination.

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