What can make or break a good vacation? Food!
Laguna Beach is quickly becoming known for its diverse selection of outstanding places to eat. Fresh ingredients, creative menus, and a draw to organic and healthy options drive the eateries of Laguna Beach to provide delicious food. Both locals and tourists flock to these places and enjoy beautiful ocean views as a bonus. When traveling with kids, it’s important to know whether a restaurant is a good fit for eating with children. Here are some tried and tested options that make dining a pleasant experience with kids.
Photo by Jim G, Flickr
Step back in time and enjoy a fun dining experience on red chairs at both Ruby’s and Johnny Rockets. Kids will love seeing the classic cars on display at Ruby’s. Save your pennies for the penny gumball machine at Ruby’s and your nickels for the table-top jukeboxes at Johnny Rockets. Hamburgers and shakes are the top ticket items at these '50s style restaurants and the prices are beneficial. Each restaurant is in a prime location with Johnny Rockets directly across the street from Main Beach in downtown Laguna Beach and Ruby’s near to Treasure Island Park and beach access to a sea arch.
Perfect for Lunch // Big Fish Tavern
The locals know where to find this restaurant that serves fresh fish, raw oysters, fish tacos, and a large variety of drafts and cocktails. Lunch is the perfect time to head upstairs off of PCH to eat at one of the cozy booths with a view of the ocean. The kids menu offers a standard selection, including fresh fish and fish n' chips at a great price including a soda. Splurge on lobster fondue for a starter or dive deep into an inexpensive bowl of clam chowder. It will take many visits to exhaust this expansive menu - so do what the locals do and enjoy lunch often under the big swordfish.
To-Go Options for the Beach // Sergio’s Empanadas
A light and flaky crust encloses delicious meat and cheese fillings that are perfect to eat at the beach. Stop in to this little shop located on PCH between Thalia and Anita St. to pick up some fresh made empanadas and head down to explore the rocks and coves of South Laguna. Kids may love the 3 cheese or the prosciutto empanada filled with ham and cheese, but all the options are delicious. A quinoa or greek salad is the perfect combination to make for a delicious meal.
Pizza // BJ's Restaurant
Photo by Laine Trees, Flickr
Kids sing the praises of pizza and parents love the selection at BJs. This isn’t your typical frozen pizza, but rather a deep dish concoction of a perfect crust, creative toppings, and perfectly melted cheese. Mini personal pizzas in the typical selection of cheese or pepperoni are great for kids while speciality pizzas, salads, and draft beers will please the adult palate. This location is right across from Main Beach for a walk on the boardwalk after dining.
Fine Dining // Lumberyard
Prime steaks and fresh seafood are what the Lumberyard is known for, but my teen son also raved about his angus burger. This restaurant is located in an historic building on Forest Avenue and is a grand place to enjoy a nice lunch or a fine dinner. Families may wish to eat near the bar area with booth seating and TVs with sports, or the restaurant area with booths. It is rather dark inside in the evening, but is not too formal. The patio seating is perfect for a lunch with kids.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so they say, and the options in Laguna Beach are delicious and healthy. Zinc Cafe specializes in vegetarian food and offers amazing egg dish selections. Lattes, cappuccinos, and teas are presented artfully and wake up the senses. Next door is Zinc Market with to-go sandwiches, salads and drink options. Orange Inn is known for it’s fresh-off-the-beach vibe with bar seating and huge muffins. Freshly squeezed juices, coffees, and teas make this place a fantastic place to start the day with kids.
Don’t miss some of the best gelato and ice cream in the world here at Laguna Beach. Gelato Paradiso is tucked down “Peppertree Alley” right inside a building. Let your nose guide you to the fresh made waffle cones. Right across from Main Beach is Chantilly Ice Cream where the selections are fresh and delicious. Stop to enjoy the local buskers under the hanging gate. A terrific option for your way out of town is Dolce Gelato, directly along Broadway St. These treats make walking the streets of Laguna Beach all that more sweet.
-Ruby's Diner photo by Milimm