Laguna Beach Restaurants: Where to Eat Like a Local

Laguna Beach ranks among the most charming cities in California. While beautiful beaches and artsy vibes draw visitors to the area, this coastal town also has a local food scene that features fresh ingredients and California culture. Read on for the top Laguna Beach restaurants and pick a few to try during vacation.

Laguna Beach Restaurants for Fresh, Local Cuisine

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Nick’s Laguna Beach

Ranked among the best Laguna Beach restaurants for local fare, Nick’s Laguna Beach offers indoor and outdoor seating and American comfort food in a chic environment. Guests come here for lunch, dinner and weekend breakfast.

To start, try the bacon deviled eggs or asparagus fries. Then select from salads, sandwiches and burgers. Other options include entrees with steak, seafood, fried chicken and pork ribs. For some raved-about dishes, try bistro plate, original rib-eye melt and veggie burger. Just don’t forget the butter cake for dessert.

The Cliff Restaurant

Waterfront views and coastal breezes welcome visitors to The Cliff. This local gem serves all three meals year-round, even on major holidays.

Breakfast features bagels, oats, waffles, omelets, and the signature sandwich with eggs, ham and cheese. During lunch and dinner, share a seafood tower, or try salads, soups, burgers, hot dogs and house specialties. Visitors will find Mexican dishes, steaks, seafood, chicken, and surf and turf.

laguna beach restaurants sushi


Asian coastal cuisine helps Starfish rank among the best Laguna Beach restaurants for lunch and dinner. Here, SoCal vibes meet with Asian culture to create a warm atmosphere.

Starfish serves sushi, sliders, lettuce wraps, soup, salads, dumplings, wontons, and dishes with noodles and rice. Other options include seafood dishes and traditional Asian favorites such as Mongolian beef, Thai curry, sweet and sour halibut, and vegetable-only dishes.


Mozambique has an upscale atmosphere with waterfront views and South African flavors. In addition, Mozambique ranks as a must for happy hour and live music – and serves lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Those coming for lunch will find a selection of salads, seafood, burgers and sandwiches. For something more authentic, order the South African Pie with curry gravy and seasoned fries. Coming for dinner? Select form prawns, steak, fresh fish, curry dishes and signature wood-fired steaks. There are also vegetarian options.

laguna beach restaurants seafood

Splashes Restaurant

Splashes Restaurant is one of the top Laguna Beach restaurant for views as the ocean sits only 25 feet below the dining area. Plus, it’s open for breakfast. To find it, head to Surf and Sand Resort.

Kick off the meal with oysters, octopus, brussel sprouts or lobster bisque. Chef selections include flatbreads, an artisan cheese board, fish tacos, chicken nachos and their grass-fed burger. Visitors also enjoy the seafood, duck breast, rack of lamb, vegetarian dishes.

Coyote Grill – Laguna Beach

Known for delicious Mexican food, Coyote Grill Laguna Beach sources ingredients locally and creates a Baha-loving experience for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Those coming for breakfast enjoy omelets, Benedicts, scrambles, waffles and fresh fruit. Lunch and dinner brings a selection of salads and Mexican favorites. Examples include tostadas, tamales, enchiladas, tacos, burritos and fajitas. Those who want something different should order the Coyote Grill burger.

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Driftwood Kitchen

With a focus on ocean-to-table cuisine, Driftwood Kitchen is one of the top Laguna Beach restaurants for seafood and location. Guests will love enjoying dinner and weekend brunch so close to the ocean. Plus, it’s so popular that reservations are recommended.

Appetizers range from fries and oysters to crab and cheese plates. For the main course, sample fresh seafood paired with pasta or land-lover options such as steak, pork belly, and Amish chicken. In addition, Driftwood Kitchen has vegetarian options.

The Deck

This beach-side gem welcomes guests to enjoy stunning views and coastal breezes during lunch and dinner.

Seafood fans should come to The Deck, as they offer a tower with lobster, crab, oysters, poke, shrimp and tuna. Other starters include cheese board, poke stack, hummus, shrimp and guacamole. For the main course, select from sandwiches, Laguna cioppino, lobster quesadilla, lamb, steak and farm chicken.

Las Brisas

At Las Brisas, visitors will find California ingredients paired with Mexican flavors. Plus, this restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with scenic coastal views.

Those coming early will find breakfast entrees with seafood, eggs, sauces and fresh veggies. During lunch and dinner, guests may choose from raw bar options, tacos, salads and signature entrees. House options include shrimp, steak and lobster, roasted chicken, mushroom tamales, and shareables.

After filling up on local cuisine, check out the best places to shop in Laguna Beach.

Need a place to stay? Book a private Laguna Beach vacation home.