Orange County Best Date Restaurants 2017

By Taylor Wade
Writer for Ambiance Matchmaking

Ambiance Matchmaking has scoured Orange County for the best restaurants for your date night. Our dating experts carefully crafted this list based on the overall ambiance, food and drink menu, and location of each restaurant. Enjoy!


LAGUNA BEACH


BROADWAY BY AMAR SANTANA

This upscale restaurant offers the perfect trio of delicious food, an incredible wine list, and friendly staff. Amar Santana has serious cooking skills, which he displayed as a finalist on Top Chef Season 13. The restaurant strives for an ambiance similar to New York City, yet within one block of the Pacific Ocean in the heart of Laguna Beach. 
Address: 328 Glenneyre Street, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Website

 

NICK'S LAGUNA BEACH

Nick's is a great date spot due to it's laid-back yet upscale environment. You will normally find their big front window open, adding a nice breeze to the open layout of the restaurant. They serve Californian comfort food, with our favorites being the asparagus fries and deviled eggs.
Address: 440 S Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Website

 

THE ROOFTOP

This casual rooftop restaurant and lounge has one of the most amazing panoramic ocean views, as it sits atop the La Casa Del Camino hotel. They offer a great happy hour where you can enjoy their well-known mojitos at half the price while nibbling on casual Californian fare. We recommend taking your date just before sunset for a truly romantic experience. 
Address: 1289 South Coast Highway, 4th Floor, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Website

 

THE DECK

Experience waterfront dining at its best! It can become overly crowded at times, but we believe it's well worth it. Enjoy some of the freshest seafood in Laguna Beach, including the daily catch of oysters, mussels, clams, shrimp, and scallops, all while taking in ocean views and sticking your feet in the sand.
Address: 627 Sleepy Hollow Lane, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Website

 

SKYLOFT

Skyloft is an upscale, trendy rooftop restaurant offering a beautiful ocean view. Their menu features smokehouse meats, fresh seafood, and live music five days a week. If you and your date visit on Tuesday, you'll experience the popular Tacos & Tequila night, or go during Wine Wednesday where you can enjoy bottles at half the price. They have a calendar full of live music and events, which you can view here.
Address: 422 S Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Website

 

LAS BRISAS

Las Brisas specializes in cuisine inspired by Mexico's West Coast. You'll find some of the best ceviche, charred octopus, and chicken mole in the area, but we recommend the Day Boat Fresh Catch featuring the catch of the day. Take your date for a romantic dinner and sit on their outdoor patio where you can watch the sunset over the ocean. 
Address: 361 Cliff Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Website

 

MOZAMBIQUE STEAKHOUSE

Mozambique Steakhouse serves wood-fired steaks alongside fish, seafood and other South African-inspired cuisine. Choose from their multiple dining "experiences," including a plush interior dining room, ocean panoramic rooftop, serene garden patio, or the renowned “speakeasy” piano lounge in the Durban Room. They offer national and regional live music shows which can be found on their live music calendar
Address: 1740 S Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Website

 

OCEANVIEW BAR & GRILL

OceanView is our top pick for outdoor cafes sitting right on the beach. It's located at the Hotel Laguna directly on the gorgeous Main Beach of Laguna Beach with views of Southern California’s Riviera coastline. It offers casual beach dining with a huge outdoor terrace and a menu for all times of the day.
Address: 425 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA
Website


NEWPORT


SETTEBELLO PIZZERIA NAPOLETANA

This pizzeria offers the most authentic pizzas from Naples! All are made with soft dough and fresh mozzarella, baked in a Neapolitan oven. We recommend splitting a Margherita pizza and bottle of red wine with your date under their covered patio.
Address: 7864 East Coast Highway, Newport Coast, CA 92657
Website

 

MASTRO'S OCEAN CLUB

Mastro's Ocean Club has a more sophisticated vibe with a touch of old-school charm. They are well-known for their steak, seafood, and craft beer list. We recommend taking your date on a night when they have live music!
Address: 8112 East Coast Highway, Newport Coast, CA 92657
Website

 

GULFSTREAM

Gulfstream gathers its inspiration from classic American seafood houses. They are most proud of their North Pacific oysters shucked to order. Other favorites include True Dover Sole (available Thursday- Saturday) which is flown in from the North Atlantic, Cedar Plank Scottish Salmon, and Vince’s Fried Shrimp. We recommend ordering the oysters and sharing a bottle from their list of hand-picked Californian wines.
Address: 850 Avocado Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Website

 

SUSHI ROKU

This upscale and sleek restaurant serves contemporary sushi and innovative Japanese cuisine. Sushi Roku is a pioneer of contemporary sushi, incorporating diverse, non-traditional ingredients from Latin America and Europe into its exotic entrées. On Thursdays, enjoy all bottles of sake and wine at half price while taking advantage of their heated outdoor patio.
Address: 327 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Website

 

PELICAN GRILL

Perched on a hilltop, this country-club casual restaurant serves wood-fired pizzas, steaks, and a great "Sunday Funday" brunch complete with bubbly mimosas, live music, and views of the ocean and golf course.
Address: 22800 S Pelican Hill Rd, Newport Coast, CA
Website

 

R&D KITCHEN

R&D Kitchen features open-air or patio seating, large windows and a central horseshoe bar. The perfect spot for afternoon lunch and a glass of wine.
Address: 555 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA
Website


CORONA DEL MAR


THE QUIET WOMAN

Since 1965, The Quiet Woman has been a favorite for locals. This cozy restaurant doubles as a live music joint which supports local musicians. They specialize in "sophisticated comfort food" and well-crafted cocktails. Check out Monday Wine and Taco Tuesday nights, and don't leave without trying their Bananarama!
Address: 3224 Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
Website

 

BANDERA

Bandera offers American cuisine with a southwestern flair. For the full romantic experience, make sure to sit next to the wood-burning fireplace with a slice of their jalapeño iron skillet cornbread. Then try their signature dish, the Kobe-style tri tip with enchilada, or the rotisserie chicken that is roasted all day over an open fire. End the night by splitting the banana cream pie with chopped bittersweet chocolate. YUM! 
Address: 3201 East Pacific Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, CA 92625
Website

 

PORT RESTAURANT & BAR

Port Restaurant offers a European vibe and a menu full of international cuisine. You'll find live music nightly, including many great jazz musicians, and a great selection of ports and other dessert wines.
Address: 440 Heliotrope Ave, Corona Del Mar, CA
Website


SAN CLEMENTE


THE FISHERMAN'S RESTAURANT & BAR

Head to the Fisherman's Restaurant & Bar located on the San Clemente Pier and enjoy numerous oysters and jumbo prawns from their happy hour menu. Other favorites include sourdough bread and clam chowder. The setting is perfect with the ocean waves crashing below you and a soothing breeze.
Address: 611 Avenida Victoria, San Clemente, CA
Website


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