Where to Wine and Dine This Winter in Newport Beach
Feast your eyes! We’ve put together the ultimate food-lover’s itinerary for a full day of deliciousness this season. When it comes to Newport Beach’s assembly of award-winning restaurants, there’s no shortage of places to please your palate and warm your soul. From seafood hotspots with lobster rolls, crab cakes and calamari to farm-to-table restaurants with seasonal eats, you’ll never run out of places to indulge. Here’s a full day’s worth of spots to sip and savor this winter!
Stay at Newport Beach Hotel
Located just steps from the sand, Newport Beach Hotel on the bustling Balboa Peninsula offers visitors a casual California escape in the heart of it all. The 15-room boutique property is close to an assortment of stellar beachside restaurants including Fly ‘N’ Fish Oyster Bar & Grill (next door!), Shorebird, The Dock, Crab Cooker and local beach haunts for late night drinks. But when you’re not out and about exploring the Balboa Peninsula’s eclectic culinary scene, you’ll love the coastal comfort of your guestroom, which features hardwood floors, a king or queen bed and a flat-screen TV. Traveling with the whole family? Upgrade to one of the Sailor Suites, which comes equipped with a full kitchen, separate bedrooms and a spacious living area. Newport Beach Hotel also offers a complimentary continental breakfast, WiFi and free bike and boogie board rentals!
Enjoy Breakfast at 501 Park Avenue Bistro
Jumpstart your day with a tasty breakfast at the charming 501 Park Avenue Bistro on Balboa Island, accessible by the Balboa Ferry. This street corner cafe is the ideal spot for a cup of coffee or a morning bite. Order your brewed beverage of choice or pick up a freshly baked pastry made by Crema Artisan Bakers at the in-house coffee bar. If you prefer to relax on the outdoor patio, grab a table and pick from a menu of morning favorites, including the Bread Pudding French Toast, 501 Chicken and Waffles, Lox and Bagels or sourdough Breakfast Sandwich. Diners can also enjoy mimosa service for $18!
Explore Balboa Island
After you’ve polished off your pastries (or mimosas), take a stroll around Balboa Island, and take in gorgeous views of the surrounding harbor. The island’s perimeter features a 2.5-mile paved walking path—the perfect way to burn off those breakfast calories. Be sure to walk down Marine Avenue to explore Balboa’s abundance of family-owned restaurants, specialty shops and local boutiques!
Borrow Bikes from Seaside Bike Rentals
Take the Balboa Island Ferry back to the Balboa Peninsula, and rent your very own surrey, beach cruiser or Pedego electric bike! Seaside Bike Rentals has a wide selection of wheels for you to choose from, and all of their bikes are brand new. Each rental comes with a free helmet and lock, so you can park and dine with ease!
Grab a Light Lunch at Fable & Spirit
About 2.5 miles up the Balboa Peninsula, you’ll find Fable & Spirit, an award-winning whimsical yet sophisticated Irish restaurant. This neighborhood gem features a from-scratch menu chock-full of innovative dishes and drinks. Start with an order of Guinness Brown Bread prepared with European butter, clover honey and Jacobsen sea salt. Then, choose between main dishes like the succulent Smoked Shortrib, Cracked Pepper Bucatini or Chicken Confit with Brussels sprouts, chorizo, pearl onions and spring garlic jus. Cocktail highlights include the Fairy’s Revenge with Roku gin, Cocchi Americano, Suze and blood orange and the D4 Irish Coffee—a perfectly caffeinated cocktail.
Head to Happy Hour at The Cannery
Continue the feasting with a trip to The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific! With a stellar happy hour on Wednesday-Saturday from 4-6 p.m. and Sunday from 3:30-6 p.m. upstairs in the Jellyfish Lounge, you’re sure to love this seafood hotspot. Quench your thirst with a refreshing assortment of classic cocktails like negronis, Manhattans and Moscow mules. Then, treat your tastebuds to fresh-caught favorites, like oysters, sashimi, grilled octopus and more! Grab a table on the covered patio for a side of unbeatable bay views.
Dine at Lido Bottle Works
With a dedication to freshness, flavor and seasonality, there’s no better spot for a sit-down dinner than at Lido Bottle Works. This polished restaurant in Lido Marina Village boasts a stellar selection of craft beer, wine and cocktails and an eclectic menu of American bites that rotate based on the season. Winter menu specialties include Curried Beef Meatballs, Butternut Squash Arancini, Pork Belly Bao Buns and more. The best part? Executive Chef Joel Gutierrez sources many of the ingredients from the on-site garden, located around the perimeter of the restaurant, so you can feel good about eating locally-grown produce!
Early Lunch To-Go From Hook & Anchor
Before you leave town, stop by Hook & Anchor on the peninsula for one of their specialty Lobster Rolls! These decadent delights feature a seared brioche split-top bun stuffed with butter-poached lobster tail and claw and knuckle meat. Order it the “Chef’s way” by adding Hook & Anchor’s signature Chef’s Sauce—a combination of lemon-herb, sriracha and mayo. This is a perfect and delicious way to end your Newport Beach vacation!
Written by: Kaylin Waizinger