~ I have sadly only been to one, but this will change! ~
If you’ve lived in Southern California long enough like I have, you know there are tons of amazing restaurants tucked away in hidden places. Or perhaps they’re right out in the open and easy to find, but they don’t look very inviting from the outside. Either way, if you’re lucky enough to stumble on one of these gems, it’s like hitting the jackpot.
I’ll save you some time and point out a few of these heavenly hideaways you may have missed in SoCal. They all serve up mouthwatering meals that you won’t forget. Here are 7 restaurants to get you started, but there are so many more to discover. Have fun exploring!
1. Rutabegorz in Fullerton
Although there are 3 locations now, this spot in Fullerton is the original that was opened in 1970. Originally a coffehouse, it’s now a full service restaurant with an eclectic menu ranging from healthy wraps and sandwiches to pasta dishes, Falafels and Mexican fare. It’s a perfectly quirky experience to check out when you’re in Fullerton. Plus, the interior is cute, cute, cute!
2. Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub – Oceanside
The name alone tells you this spot isn’t any ordinary restaurant. But don’t let the Rodent in the name discourage you to check it out. Located in Oceanside, this gem of a sushi joint whips up inspired dishes with ingredients from local fisherman and local growers. You must order the ceviche — it’s one of the highlights on the menu.
3. Chicken Box – Orange County
Who needs KFC when you can get a tasty chicken dinner at Chicken Box?! When you see the exterior you might want to keep driving by, but don’t let that fool you. This place is worth the stop to order up some broasted chicken. Not sure what broasted means? It’s a method of using a pressure fryer and condiments. Broasting is code for “delicious!”
4. The Lion’s Share – San Diego
A dark and hidden hideaway that looks and feels a bit like an old speakeasy. Located in downtown San Diego in the Marina District right off the trolley tracks, you might miss this place if you didn’t know to look for it. It offers a unique menu with dishes like gourmet Deviled Eggs and Rabbit Hand Pie that will have your mouth watering. The atmosphere is equally as delicious as the menu. It’s romantic yet funky and chic. This might be one of my fave spots in this charming city.
5. Tacos Villa Corona – Los Angeles
With only tacos and burritos on the menu, you won’t have to ponder very long over what to order. But you will have to wait in line, because the secret is out that this hole in the wall serves up some amazing food. You can thank Anthony Bourdain for that. So what will you order? A taco? Maybe a burrito? Perhaps you should order both!
6. Miyagi Sushi – San Bernardino
From the outside of this San Bernardino restaurant you wouldn’t expect much. But once inside, you are transported to a bustling sushi joint that’s always packed. The fish is fresh and the rolls are flavorful and creative. Plus, it’s all you can eat, so you can chow down on sushi rolls all night long if you’d like.
7. Las Cuatros Milpas – San Diego
If you visit San Diego, you must add this little gem in Barrio Logan to your travels. It doesn’t look like much, but man alive it’s good. And everything is made fresh daily. A long line will await you no matter what time of day, but that long wait will help you work up an appetite for the huge portions.
Ready to go on a Southern California restaurant tour? I’m craving everything on every one of these menus. Which spot will you try out first? If you’ve already experienced one or all of these places, let me know in the comments which one is your favorite.
From Only in Your State