The Rooftop Lounge
Photo: The Rooftop Lounge

Laguna Beach is a paradise for foodies who love open ocean views and a variety of different flavors. Some of the restaurants that made our list let you sip a cool drink and order fresh seafood or a delicious burger while enjoying spectacular views of the Pacific. Whether you are looking for Californian cuisine, Argentinian-inspired steaks, French creations, Mediterranean, Italian, Caribbean, Japanese or Asian fusion dishes, here are the best restaurants in Laguna Beach.

»The Rooftop Lounge

The Rooftop Lounge

The Rooftop Lounge is one of the hippest, trendiest hangouts in Laguna Beach, serving amazing cocktails and California casual cuisine over breathtaking panoramic ocean views. Catch an epic sunset while you savor tasty dishes such as Bacon-Wrapped Dates, Hawaiian Ahi Poke, or Shrimp Fra Diavolo. You can also stop in for brunch and try their delicious Cinnamon Apple & Cheddar Waffle.

Award-winning Chef Craig Connole, a Newport Beach native, brings his intense passion for creating culinary masterpieces to the kitchen at the Rooftop. You will find this posh lounge on the roof of the iconic La Casa del Camino hotel near Halfway Rock.

1289 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 855-990-0282

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»230 Forest Avenue Restaurant & Bar

230 Forest Avenue Restaurant & Bar

For a fun night out, you will want to check out 230 Forest Avenue Restaurant & Bar, a bistro-style eatery that serves innovative California cuisine. You can’t go wrong with incredible dishes like Seafood Fra Diavolo, Short Rib Tacos, Butternut Squash Arancini, or King Crab Spring Rolls.

Or enjoy a scrumptious appetizer with an amazing, handcrafted cocktail on the popular outdoor patio. World renowned Chef Marc Cohen founded 230 Forest Avenue in 1995, and it has been a local favorite since. Enjoy the chic, upbeat atmosphere at 230 Forest Avenue, located in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach.

230 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-494-2545

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»Studio at Montage

Studio at Montage

Enjoy breathtaking scenic views of the Pacific Ocean perched from Laguna Beach’s elegant Studio restaurant while you dine on incredible Modern French cuisine with California influences. Savor exquisitely prepared dishes like Beat & Goat Cheese Ravioli, Pineapple Cannelloni, or New Caledonian Prawn Paella, or try the Chef’s Tasting Menu.

Everything is made from the finest, freshest, local and organic ingredients. You are sure to find something amazing in their impressive wine list. San Diego native Chef Craig Strong is the mastermind behind Studio’s innovative culinary creations. Studio, modeled after a charmingly elegant beach cottage, is located inside the renowned Montage Hotel & Resort.

30801 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-715-6420

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»The Cliff Restaurant

The Cliff Restaurant

The Cliff is one of the most elegant and popular restaurants in Orange County. Enjoy the breathtaking ocean views as you pour over their fabulous menu, which focuses on classic Californian cuisine. Treat yourself to amazing dishes such as Calamari Burger, Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos, Braised Short Rib, or the Quesadilla Especial. Or stop in early and try the Apricot Orange Layered French Toast!

They also offer an extensive wine list, beer, spirits, and tasty, handcrafted cocktails. You will find this chic, sophisticated eatery nestled in the Laguna Village off Coast Highway.

577 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-494-1956

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»Laguna Beach Restaurants: K'ya Bistro

Laguna Beach Restaurants: K'ya Bistro

K’ya Bistro has become a popular local favorite and is known for serving Mediterranean and New American cuisine. You can’t go wrong with expertly prepared small plates like the Greek Meatballs, Lobster & Truffle Risotto, Nduja Seared Ahi Tuna, or Buttermilk Fried Quail. Wine, beer, bubbly, spirits, and cocktails are all available to quench your thirst and fire up your night.

Award-winning Newport Beach native Chef Craig Connole is at the helm of this kitchen, aiming to create an unforgettable culinary experience for all who visit. K’ya Bistro is located inside the historic La Casa del Camino not far from Halfway Rock.

1287 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 855-990-0281

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»The Deck

The Deck

The Deck is one of the only open-air beachside seafood restaurants in Laguna Beach. It is literally right on the sand. Treat yourself to tasty dishes such as Laguna Cioppino, Jumbo Maine Scallops, or Shrimp & Dungeness Crab Louie Salad, or stop in for a juicy Beach Burger. A full bar is at your disposal here, and they offer amazing handcrafted cocktails like the Silver Surfer.

Chef Rainer Schwarz brings his intense passion and talent to the kitchen at The Deck. Bring your beach towel and flip flops and make a day of it at The Deck, nestled between the Pacific Edge Hotel and the surf.

627 Sleepy Hollow Lane, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-494-6700

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»Alessa by Chef Pirozzi

Alessa by Chef Pirozzi

The chic Alessa by Chef Pirozzi is a delicious pizzeria that also serves some amazing traditional Italian cuisine. You can’t go wrong with incredible dishes, such as the Burrata e Melensane Pizza, Linguine Marechiaro, Aragosta Ravioli, or Nonna Tortellini Soup. The sophisticated eatery also has an impressive wine list.

Naples-born, award-winning Chef and restaurateur Alessandro Pirozzi founded the original Alessa restaurant in Newport Beach in 2008, and he opened the Laguna Beach location two years later. Enjoy a relaxing meal at Alessa by Chef Pirozzi, which is nestled in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach close to Main Beach.

234 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-497-8222

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»Eva's, a Caribbean Kitchen

Eva's, a Caribbean Kitchen

With the warm ocean breeze and relaxing island music at Eva's, you will feel you’ve gone on vacation when you eat at this Caribbean kitchen. Dive into fantastic, exotic dishes like Jerk BBQ Salmon, Pineapple Glazed Pork Loins, Blackened Catfish, or Caribbean Conch Fritters. Don’t miss their tasty rum list! Wine, beer, spirits, and cocktails are also available.

Owner Chef Eva Madray founded this tropical eatery in 2009. For a night out that feels more like a getaway, eat at Eva’s: A Caribbean Kitchen, located in South Laguna up the road from Mission Hospital Laguna Beach.

31732 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-499-6311

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»Laguna Beach Restaurants: Nirvana Grille

Laguna Beach Restaurants: Nirvana Grille

The elegant Nirvana Grille is a sophisticated restaurant that serves “Contemporary ‘Clean’ California Cuisine” made from fresh, locally sourced, organic ingredients. Savor exquisitely prepared dishes such as Grain Mustard Pulled Duroc Pork, Roasted Squash & Sage Risotto, or Ginger Mustard & Maple Glazed Steelhead Salmon. Extensive wine and cocktail lists are also available.

Renowned Chef Lindsay Smith-Rosales founded the original Mission Viejo Nirvana Grille with her husband Luis Rosales (of Ritz Carlton and Montage fame) in 2006. Two years later, they opened the Laguna Beach site downtown between the Laguna Beach Historical Society and Jahraus Park – one block from Main Beach.

303 Broadway, Suite 101, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-497-0027

Check into one of these beautiful hotels and inns on your trip to Carmel. Photo: Nirvana Grille

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»Maro Wood Grill

Maro Wood Grill

The popular Maro Wood Grill is an Argentinian-inspired steakhouse that emphasizes grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Treat yourself to incredible dishes such as the Spicy Chicken Empanada, Argentinian-Style Short Ribs, or Mesquite Baseball Steak. Or stop in for brunch and try their Brioche French Toast! The Molteni family from Argentina founded this popular restaurant in 2010.

Owner Chef Mariano leads the kitchen with his brother, world renowned Chef Martin Molteni, while Mariano’s wife Patricia and his other family members run the front of the house. Visit Maro on South Coast Highway right down the road from Heisler Park.

1915 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-793-4044

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»Laguna Beach Restaurants: Driftwood Kitchen

Laguna Beach Restaurants: Driftwood Kitchen

Driftwood Kitchen is one of the hottest new steak and seafood restaurants of Laguna Beach. Soak up the breathtaking ocean views as you feast on incredible dishes like Grilled Spanish Octopus, Butcher Steak & Pork Belly (in a chimichurri sauce), or a Buttermilk Fried Soft Shell Crab Sandwich. Or stop in for brunch and try the Scottish Smoked Salmon Bagel.

Wine, beer, spirits, and handcrafted cocktails are all available from the in-house bar, The Stateroom. Austrian-born partner Executive Chef Rainer Schwarz is the mastermind behind the culinary creations here. Visit Driftwood Kitchen, which is located just steps from Main Beach and adjacent to Pacific Edge Hotel.

619 Sleepy Hollow Lane, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-715-7700

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»O Fine Japanese Cuisine

O Fine Japanese Cuisine

Relax in the blue light ambiance at Laguna Beach’s hip O Fine Japanese Cuisine restaurant. You can’t go wrong with tasty creations such as the Cajun Tuna with Crispy Onion appetizer, Halibut with Truffle Oil, the Sexy Laguna Roll, or Lobster Dynamite.

Sake, wine, and beer are all available to quench your thirst and complete your meal. Charles and Shelley Cheng founded O Fine in 2011. You will find their chic eatery on the South Coast Highway just north of Lang Park.

30872 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-715-5551

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»Watermarc Restaurant

Watermarc Restaurant

The elegant Watermarc restaurant serves fantastic New American cuisine and focuses on pairing delicious food with amazing beverages. You will not be disappointed when you try exquisitely prepared dishes like Herb Crusted Lamb Chops, Day Boat Scallops, and Filet Three Ways. They also have an extensive selection of wine, beer, and handcrafted cocktails.

Award-winning, world-class Chef Marc Cohen opened Watermarc in 2009, and he also owns other popular local restaurants, including 230 Forest Avenue. Enjoy a romantic dinner or casual lunch on the second floor terrace dining room at Watermarc, located just south of Laguna Canyon and Main Beach.

448 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-376-6272

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»Laguna Beach Restaurants: Selanne Steak Tavern

Laguna Beach Restaurants: Selanne Steak Tavern

Selanne Steak Tavern is a gorgeous neighborhood tavern that serves delicious contemporary American cuisine. Dive into unbelievable dishes like Wagyu Beef Tartare (with fingerling chips, wild rocket, and quail egg), Filet Mignon & Half Main Lobster, or Guinea Hen. Alternatively, try something from the tavern menu like American Kobe Steak Frites. Hockey legend Teemu Salanne and his friend and neighbor Kevin Pratt opened the joint in 2013.

They’ve brought in Executive Chef Josh Severson to lead the culinary creations. Selanne Steak Tavern is situated inside the fully remodeled, landmark Laguna Cottage on the Pacific Coast Highway at Halfway Rock.

1464 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-715-9881

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»Mosaic Bar & Grille at Montage

Mosaic Bar & Grille at Montage

The delightful Mosaic Bar & Grille serves mouth-watering, California-inspired beach fare with unbelievable, panoramic ocean views. You can’t go wrong with dishes like the Grilled Lobster Sandwich Mosaic Tacos (with blackened mahi mahi, shrimp, or crispy calamari) or an Al Pastor Pork Torta. Stop in early and try the California Omelet.

Enjoy an unforgettable meal on Mosaic’s open-air, bluff-side terrace. Let Chef Miguel Ruiz wow your taste buds. In the summer, daily beach service is available, and there is live entertainment seven nights a week. Mosaic is located at the Montage Laguna Beach Hotel & Resort north of Lang Park.

30801 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-715-6000

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»Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach Bar & Grill

Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach Bar & Grill

Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach Bar & Grill is an island-inspired restaurant that serves California-style beach fare. Treat yourself to tasty dishes such as the Lobster Grilled Cheese & Roma Tomato Bisque, Ahi Tuna Poke Burger (with crispy kale, wasabi-avocado puree, and garlic aioli fries), or Grilled Baby Back Pork Ribs. Accompany your meal with a refreshing beer, delicious wine, or a handcrafted cocktail.

Chef Colin McLain is responsible the culinary creations here, and you won’t be disappointed. Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach Bar & Grill is located inside the historic Heisler Building in the heart of downtown, just steps from Main Beach.

400 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-347-6886

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»Laguna Beach Restaurants: Starfish

Laguna Beach Restaurants: Starfish

Starfish serves incredible Asian fusion cuisine, including specialties from the coastal regions of Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, China, and India. Savor exquisitely prepared dishes such as the Lobster Macadamia Roll, Kobe Banh Mi Sliders, Thai Basil Banana Leaf Sea Bass, or a hot bowl of Pho. Try something from their wine list or the full bar to accompany your delicious selection.

Gretchen Andrews, Archie McConnell, Marco Romero, and a small group of silent partners own and operate Starfish. Together, they opened the restaurant in 2011. It is located across the street from the Montage Hotel & Resort.

30832 South Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-715-9200

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»OceanView Bar & Grill

OceanView Bar & Grill

The landmark OceanView Bar & Grill serves delicious, award-winning new American cuisine and provides fantastic views of the Pacific. Enjoy the casual elegance as you dine on incredible dishes such as the Swordfish, Seafood Paella, Blackened Mushroom Tacos, or the Chef’s 50/50 Burger. Or stop in early and try the Leek & Truffle Quiche – it’s to die for! Wine, beer, spirits, and tasty handcrafted cocktails are also available.

Executive Chef Robert Hines is the mastermind behind OceanView Bar & Grill’s culinary creations. Catch a magical sunset at this chic eatery, located at the world famous Hotel Laguna.

425 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-494-1151

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»Husky Boy Hamburgers

Husky Boy Hamburgers

The iconic Husky Boy Hamburgers serves up some of the best burgers in Orange County. Chow down on classics such as the Baja Cheeseburger or the Ostrich Burger. Don’t miss the Pastrami Chili Cheese Fries! You can also stop in early and try the Polish Sausage and Egg Breakfast Sandwich. Founded in 1951, Husky Boy Hamburgers is an old school drive-in style burger joint.

Today, it is owned and operated by local hospitality experts Viva Laguna, Inc. You will find this landmark restaurant just south of the upscale Emerald Bay and Irvine Cove communities right next to Diver’s Cove.

802 North Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, Phone: 949-497-9605 Photo: Husky Boy Hamburgers

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19 Best Laguna Beach Restaurants