Dining With a View – Orange County

With 42 miles of Pacific coastline, it’s no doubt that Orange County is home to some spectacular views.  Ocean-view dining is a favorite activity among locals and visitors alike, so if you want to experience it for yourself, we strongly recommended making reservations whenever possible.

Here is just a sampling of the many dining options where the view is on the house:

Aerial view of San Clemente Pier and Fisherman's Restaurant in San Clemente

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente

The Beachcomber Cafe

Located directly on the sand in a vintage beach cottage in Crystal Cove is The Beachcomber Cafe. Serving up California cuisine, this OC classic is home to delicious eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a diverse menu that will delight any palette. It’s a 10 minute walk from the parking lot, but guests can take the Beachcomber Shuttle from the parking lot for a nominal fee – plus, kids under 12 ride free with each paying adult. You can even make a whole day of the trip with their firepit rentals to enjoy s’mores or BBQ on the beach.

Fun fact: if you’re a fan of the classic 80’s movie Beaches, just a short walk from The Beachcomber is Cottage #13, which is the beach cottage that was used in the movie.

Duke’s Huntington Beach

Known as Surf City USA, Huntington Beach is an iconic Southern California surfing destination. Named after surf legend Duke Kahanamoku, Duke’s Huntington Beach is a popular spot known for their upscale Hawaiian décor, tasty island inspired dishes, and amazing views of the Huntington Beach Pier. Stop by for lunch, or dinner, or their weekend brunch. Regardless of when you choose to go, the perfect way to end your meal is with their famous Hula Pie—perfect for sharing, but it’s so delicious, you won’t want to!

The Lighthouse Café

A local favorite, The Lighthouse Café features floor to ceiling windows looking onto the Newport Harbor and is a popular choice for those wanting a waterfront dining experience. Those who prefer dining al fresco can also enjoy their meal on the upper patio deck. Open for brunch and dinner, The Lighthouse Café serves California cuisine with savory entrees like their daily catch of the day to all-day breakfast favorites. The Lighthouse Café is located in Marina Park on the Balboa Peninsula – if you’re not sure where that is, just look for the tall glass lighthouse.

The Rooftop Lounge

Perched atop La Casa del Camino in Laguna Beach, The Rooftop Lounge is known for having some of the most spectacular views in Orange County. You may have even seen this spot on some of your favorite TV shows. Known for their stunning panoramic views and signature mojitos, The Rooftop Lounge’s menu consists of small plates and California fare perfect for lunch or dinner. Guests can also enjoy their brunch menu on the weekends, but one of the most popular times is dinner during sunset.

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar

Enjoy dining with a scenic view of the San Clemente Pier and Pacific Ocean at The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar. Open for all-day dining, The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar is a great option for whenever hunger strikes, whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s a great location for brunch on the weekends, or stop by during the week for a stunning view and seafood fare with their Sunset Happy Hour Monday-Friday.


After enjoying the views of Orange County, enjoy a relaxing night in your own coastal paradise at Capistrano SurfSide Inn.