TL;DR: Dining out at the best restaurants in Newport Beach will lead you to seafood at Newport Landing Restaurant or the all-vegan mexican food at Gracias Madre. Our favorite restaurants in Newport Beach are:
- For casual dining, don’t miss the oyster bar and happy-hour discounts at Newport Landing Restaurant or the all-day menu and Sunday brunch deals at the A+O Restaurant and Bar.
- The Rusty Pelican is a local favorite with waterfront dining.
- Basilic is an intimate 24-seat French-Swiss restaurant on Balboa Island, a hidden gem serving elevated cuisine.
- If you have dietary restrictions, enjoy the upscale all-vegan menu at Gracias Madre or healthy bowls and salads at the beachside Beachcomber Café.
A good day at the beach becomes a great one when you dine at some of the best restaurants in Newport Beach, California.
Whether you’re in the mood for the fresh flavors of Baja California, a romantic night out, or a casual lunch, one of these great local restaurants will be perfect for you.
I’ve picked places with both gorgeous views over the water and tasty food, so there’s no need to compromise.
The Orange County enclave of Newport Beach is best known for its fresh fish dishes (of which this list has plenty).
However, but there are also some great vegan and meat options at the many five-star level restaurants in Newport Beach.
Whatever you choose, be sure to ask for an outside seat—with 277 days of sunshine, this Orange County town is ideal for dining al fresco, and these are the best restaurants in Newport Beach to do it at.
Note: this article contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Get your FREE California Travel Planner – including printable checklists and my favorite two-week itinerary for the state.
Map of Restaurants in Newport Beach, California
Best restaurant for breakfast on the beach
Address: 15 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, CA 92657
Contact info: (949) 376-6900; email@example.com
Best for: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Don’t miss: Braised short ribs
Reserve a table here
You’ll have to drive away from downtown along the Pacific Coast Highway to find one of the best ocean-view restaurants in Newport Beach.
Beachcomber Cafe is just steps from beautiful Crystal Cove Beach, near the luxurious Pelican Hill Resort.
With fluffy beignets, fresh fruit crepes, and steak chilaquiles on the menu, it’s no surprise that Beachcomber Cafe is always busy first thing in the morning.
Still, dinner is also an excellent time to visit for seafood pasta and braised short ribs.
After the sun goes down, rent one of the fire pits on the beach or hang out at the Bootlegger Bar and soak up the tropical vibes.
Killer views, a party atmosphere, and delicious food make the Beachcomber one of the best restaurants in Orange County.
Head there after a relaxing spa day at Pelican Hill resort.
The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific
Best restaurant for fine dining
Address: 3010 Lafayette Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Contact info: (949) 566-0060; firstname.lastname@example.org
Best for: Lunch and dinner
Don’t miss: Lobster rolls
Reserve a table here
In a crowded field, The Cannery can confidently claim to be the best seafood restaurant in Newport Beach.
You’ll find sophisticated fish dishes like grilled octopus, Chilean sea bass, crab cakes, and flavorful lobster rolls, plus an extensive wine menu.
The historic canning warehouse setting provides an upscale dining experience, and its position right on the marina offers those stunning harbor views.
For a true Newport experience, rent the restaurant’s 22-foot Duffy boat for a luxurious Sunday brunch or cocktail-hour cruise around Newport Harbor.
Best restaurant for elevated Mexican cuisine
Many Newport Beach restaurants have stunning ocean views, but the scenery inside upscale Mexican eatery Javier’s is as breathtaking as the vista over Crystal Cove outside.
The luxurious decor creates a romantic ambiance, matched by the fine quality of the food.
You’ll find delicious center-cut prime beef and fresh fish; all served with classic Mexican flavors.
If you’re torn between steak and shellfish, order the filete costeno, an 8 oz filet mignon served with Maine lobster enchilada.
Javier’s is one of the best Newport Beach restaurants for impressing someone special.
The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar
Best restaurant for a superb steak dinner
This upmarket surf and turf spot serves contemporary California regional cuisine in a sophisticated setting overlooking the harbor.
Partners JC Clow, William Lewis, and Chef Yvon Goetz have been running The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar for over a decade, and it’s well-known by locals as one of the best restaurants in Newport Beach.
The menu features classics like slow-braised beef short rib and steaks, but you can also tempt your taste buds with something new like the wild game nightly special.
Nobu Newport Beach
Best restaurant for sushi
Nobu, the fine dining restaurant chain owned by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro, and Meir Teper, is located at the luxurious Lido Marina Village.
Savor perfectly sliced sushi as you sit by the yachts at this trendy spot, which isn’t as costly as you might imagine. Entree prices are on par with similarly top-notch Newport Beach restaurants in town.
The menu offers ample choices of both hot and cold dishes, but it’s easiest to trust the chef and order the Omakase tasting menu.
Newport Landing Restaurant
Best restaurant for fresh seafood in a casual setting
With a prime waterfront location, Newport Landing Restaurant focuses on fish. The happy hour at its popular oyster bar also never disappoints.
Aside from fish, you’ll find salads, burgers, sandwiches, and pasta, plus a kids’ menu.
Sit outside under the covered lanai for an al fresco meal or head inside if the weather proves uncooperative.
Happy hour runs from 12 pm until 6 pm on weekdays, so you can keep the Bahama Mamas flowing.
Best restaurant for seafood on the water
Bluewater Grill serves sustainable seafood on the Lido Peninsula, making it the best restaurant on the water for fresh fish dishes.
Take a seat inside the nautical-themed dining room, out on the deck, or dock your boat and have the staff serve you on board your vessel.
Popular menu items include crab cakes, New England clam chowder, and ponzu sashimi sea scallops.
You’ll also find a good kids’ menu, which includes desserts they’ll love.
Fly N Fish Oyster Bar and Grill
Best restaurant for surf ‘n’ turf
Address: 2304 W Oceanfront, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Contact info: (949) 673-8400
Best for: Lunch and dinner
Don’t miss: Bacon-wrapped scallops
Call for reservations (no reservations June-August)
On the Boardwalk close to the Newport Beach Pier, this seafood restaurant is a local gem among Newport Beach restaurants.
Chef Julio Hawkins packs big flavors into favorites like an award-winning New England clam chowder and bacon-wrapped scallops.
Fly N Fish Oyster Bar and Grill is cozy, with exposed-brick walls and a full bar.
During the summer, ask for a seat outside, where you’ll get great beach views and a fresh ocean breeze.
With its prime location and reputation for high-quality fish, it’s one of the most popular restaurants in the summer and worth fighting the crowds for a seat.
Best restaurant for Italian cuisine
Pull up a seat at the communal table at the best Italian restaurant in Newport Beach.
Cucina Enoteca may be within the shopping center of Fashion Island, but this welcoming spot maintains a neighborhood restaurant vibe.
You can’t go wrong with a pizza, but the Cucina burger is a local favorite. The inside is cheerful and rustic, but the plant-filled outdoor patio has the best seats.
Best restaurant for French cuisine
Not all the best Newport Beach restaurants are fish-centric. Escape to the Swiss Alps for fine dining on Balboa Island at Basilic.
Chef Bernard Althaus blends classic French and Swiss cuisine with fresh Californian ingredients to create a unique dining experience.
Every dish at this Balboa Island eatery is prepared to order by Bernard, some with organic herbs and vegetables from the chef’s own garden.
There are only 24 seats inside, creating an intimate dinner party atmosphere.
Dishes take inspiration from French countryside fare like coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, and French onion soup.
Best restaurant for vegan food
Gracias Madre is one of the trendiest restaurants in Newport Beach, with its glamorous interior and tasty vegan food.
Whether you sit inside the whitewashed dining room or the expansive covered patio, it feels like a chic Mexican resort.
On weekends this place is buzzing, partly because of the excellent cocktail menu.
Come for brunch to sample dishes like the vegan breakfast burrito with soy chorizo and tofu scramble.
Try the Purista Margarita with lime, agave, and orange bitters served regular or spicy.
Or go for the taco flight, which comes with rice and beans for a little bit of everything.
Gracias Madre is one of the best Newport Beach restaurants for a date night or post-work drinks.
Red O Restaurant
Best restaurant for surf ‘n’ turf, Mexican style
Red O Restaurant uses local and sustainable ingredients in its Mexican-inspired steak and fish entrees at its sophisticated Fashion Island location.
Step into the sleek, wood-paneled interior for a luxurious dining experience.
The best dishes are from the grill, like filet mignon or Maine lobster tail. But there are mouthwatering small plates like spicy adobo chicken wings and crispy chicharron as well.
Take advantage of a warm evening by heading into the restaurant’s Tequila Garden, where you can relax by a fire pit.
Stay late into the night at the bar beside the main dining area, where you can sip craft cocktails while listening to live entertainment.
A+O Restaurant and Bar
Best restaurant for casual waterfront dining
A+O Restaurant and Bar is right on Newport Harbor in Corona Del Mar, featuring incredible bay views.
The restaurant offers a casual, all-day menu of fresh salads, burgers, and fish dishes.
It’s one of the best lunch restaurants in Newport Beach, especially Sunday’s all-you-can-eat extravaganza, which includes a Valrhona chocolate fountain.
A+O Restaurant offers plenty of outdoor seating to make the most of its waterfront setting.
On weekends, guests can spend a relaxing day enjoying live entertainment on the wraparound patio while sipping cocktails and local brews.
Best restaurant for beautiful views and creative dishes
The Rusty Pelican is right on the waterfront, featuring spectacular views over the harbor.
It’s perhaps the best restaurant in Newport Beach with a view and has been a local favorite since 1972.
Fresh seafood features prominently. Clam chowder New England style, spicy Cajun shrimp, and orange ginger glazed Mahi Mahi are menu highlights.
Leave space for dessert so you can enjoy the mocha almond fudge mud pie or zesty key lime pie.
Best restaurant for a date night
With fresh flavors, killer views over the harbor, and a welcoming ambiance, SOL Grill is one of the best restaurants in Newport Beach for a date night.
Ask for outdoor seating or a window seat to make the most of SOL Grill’s location on the Newport Beach Pier, where you can enjoy the sunset over the ocean.
This award-winning restaurant on the Pacific Coast Highway keeps it simple with pasta, salad, and steak dishes, plus classics like a tasty meatloaf.
Kids are welcome here as well and the children’s menu includes a drink and dessert.
Best restaurant for a classic steak dinner
Although A Restaurant is 90 years old, Chef Jonathan Blackford keeps this Newport Beach restaurant fresh with seasonally-inspired ingredients, creative dishes, and great wine pairings.
The restaurant’s decor is classic to an old-school steakhouse with red leather booths and dim lighting.
If you don’t want the steak, the fresh-caught fish is a delicious alternative. The pan-seared Chilean sea bass and the buttery diver scallops are popular choices.
Best restaurant for a healthy lunch
Uroko Cafe is a Japanese cafe near John Wayne Airport, offering popular build-your-own poke bowls.
If you’re looking for a casual restaurant on your way to the airport, this spot is perfect for a quick and healthy lunch.
Choose your protein from an assortment of raw fish or tofu, a salad, rice, or chips base, then bring the bowl together with tasty toppings and sauces.
Uroko also offers an assortment of boba drinks, tea, and refreshing cucumber-infused water.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah McDonald is a travel writer based in the Bay Area. She writes for the national parenting website Red Tricycle and on her own family travel blog, Tiny Trailblazers. She loves exploring California’s outdoors and has a weakness for a national park gift shop.
Looking for more California foodie guides? Check out these related articles below!
Pin this image for future reference
- Christmas in California: 17 BEST Places to Go in 2023 - November 29, 2023
- Top 20 Travel Essentials For Women You Haven’t Thought Of - November 25, 2023
- 30+ BEST California Gifts for 2023 [Themed & Souvenirs] - November 22, 2023