Santa Ana Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Santa Ana

April 14, 2018 Esmeralda Fenner

Santa Ana /ˌsæntə ˈænə/ (Spanish for "Saint Anne") is the county seat and second most populous city in Orange County, California. The United States Census Bureau estimated its 2011 population at 329,427, making Santa Ana the 57th most-populous city in the United States.
Things to do in Santa Ana

1. Roma D Italia

611 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92780-4309 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 26 - SGD 26 +1 714-544-0273
Excellent
65%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 221 reviews

Roma D Italia

Reviewed By princpinot - North Tustin

This restaurant has been serving families since 1968 in Old Town Tustin and many customers are regulars. Some families are now bringing in a third generation and this restaurant is ideal for children of all ages. It is "old-school" Italian with red and white checkered table cloths and decor. Many of the wait staff are young people from the area and very polite. The Italian cuisine does not break any new ground, but the food is reliably good, and includes many appetizers, pastas, seafood, pizza and other specialties. The menu is huge with over twenty pastas, both thin and thick crust pizzas with any topping you could want, and ten different preparations of chicken. Prices are inline with most similar Italian restaurants with pastas ranging from $11-$15. The restaurant welcomes large groups and will do off-site catering. Parking can be tight on weekends but there is enough in the surrounding residential streets. Open for lunch Mon-Fri and dinner every day. I believe reservations only for large groups but restaurant is large and waits are reasonable on weekend nights.

2. The Capital Grille

3333 Bristol St, South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-1873 Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Validated Parking, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Steakhouse, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Drinks SGD 66 - SGD 66 +1 714-432-1140
Excellent
68%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 326 reviews

The Capital Grille

Reviewed By B&Binnlover - Florida

Bought family members a gift card so that they could enjoy a top-shelf meal at one of the best fine dining restaurants we know and was really disappointed at the experience they had. No dress code what so ever. People came in jeans, T-shirts as though they were dining at a cheap, shoddy restaurant. And food sounded under whelming. So sad that a great establishment has gone so far down. Capital Grill, what happened to no shirt, no class, no service? Will never brag about Capital Grille again!

3. The Playground

220 E 4th St, Santa Ana, CA 92701-4644 Television, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards Seafood, American, International, Gastropub, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly Dinner SGD 39 - SGD 66 +1 714-560-4444
Excellent
75%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 200 reviews

The Playground

NOTE: We're doing major renovations that will require us to close the restaurant from July 18 through July 29. We're sorry if this causes you any convenience. Chef driven, ingredient driven affordable small plates and craft cocktails and beers. A young and creative team of chefs led by Executive Chef, Jason Quinn, change up the menu daily to keep the dining experience fresh and exciting. Orange County's "Best Bartender" making exciting craft cocktails and Santa Ana's best beer program, with 15 craft beers on tap and approximately 60 bottled beers, including many rarities. The dining experience is different at Playground: You're expected to share, so don't think in terms of my dish or your dish, and we're stubborn about our no-modification rule. If you're adventurous you'll probably love it; if you need control over your dish preparation, you probably won't.

Reviewed By SDCA312 - California

Culinary connoisseurs who are looking for a new and unique dining experience will find that and much more at the Playground. Central location with easy parking near by. Order several plates to share from an eclectic menu that changes every day with exotic drinks to match. We had 8 dishes that were interesting and well designed to please the eyes and the palate. No point writing lengthy description of the various dishes – you have to try for yourself an experience that packs a few surprises even for those who tried everything in the past. Can't wait to visit again, worth every penny and a gem for those who love the art of food.

4. Basil's Restaurant & Bar

12015 Harbor Blvd, Marriott Suites, Garden Grove, CA 92840-4001 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Takeout, Television, Free Wifi American, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 714-383-6000
Excellent
72%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 156 reviews

Basil's Restaurant & Bar

An American Restaurant with contemporary atmosphere.

Reviewed By Sean S - Victoria, Canada

Me and my girlfriend stayed in Marriott suites for 4 nights. We went to Basil restaurant in the hotel and had tremendous difficulty getting a server to attend to us. My girlfriend had made eye contact with the server but that didn’t work. She had to get up and talk to him to actually get him to give us menus. Finally when he decided to come by he threw the menus down and walked away. He was unable to answer questions we had and generally seemed disinterested and seriously inconvenienced with us being there. We waited for about 10-15 minutes more before we decided to get up and leave. He didn’t notice because he was busy on his cellphone behind the bar facing away from the sitting area. This is despicable service, nothing more needs to be said.

5. Antonello Ristorante

3800 South Plaza Drive, South Coast Plaza Village, Santa Ana, CA 92704 Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 46 - SGD 105 +1 714-751-7153
Excellent
68%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 123 reviews

Antonello Ristorante

Reviewed By n2r49rs - Palm Desert, California

Walking into the restaurant was very inviting, really nice ambiance. However, as soon as the server came by things changed. He was super hyper rattling through the specials without any descriptions whatsoever. It was very unprofessional. We asked him to go through them again and to slow down. He did but still wasn’t very descriptive. No impressed at all. Wine glasses were terrible until we asked for something better....thick and heavy, not fine dining material. But the food was really tasty. We ordered the risotto special with porcini and sliced black truffle on a Parmesan crisp. We loved it but not enough porcini which were diced up and not that prevelant. For the price of $60 it was too expensive for what you received. All in all it was a nice evening notwithstanding below average service.

6. Club 33

33 Rue Royal, New Orleans Square, Disneyland, Anaheim, CA 92803-3232 Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night SGD 54 - SGD 105 +1 714-781-4011
Excellent
80%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 217 reviews

Club 33

Reviewed By Kaki T - White, Georgia

We were fortunate to know someone who entertained us at Club 33! WOW! From the minute you walk in to the minute you walk out, you are treated like royalty. The food is served as a 5 course menu. We opted for the wine pairings with our meal. Not only was the food wonderful, the wine was spectacular - like nothing you can imagine. Matt was our server - THE BEST!Truly an experience! Grateful to Angela.

7. Zov's Bistro and Bakery

17440 17th St, Ste A, Tustin, CA 92780-1953 Delivery, Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wheelchair Accessible Mediterranean, Armenian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch SGD 13 - SGD 33 +1 714-838-8855
Excellent
57%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 200 reviews

Zov's Bistro and Bakery

Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov's Bistro & Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary cuisine with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment.

Reviewed By KARXPRT - Tustin, California

Interesting menu with alternative takes on many dishes - think of the cuisine as Mediterranean or Armenian. Lots of hummus alternatives. Kebobs. Lamb. Beef/Chicken kebob was very flavorful. Seared tuna salad looked good, but the tuna was a bit more raw than my tastes. The service was excellent. The space is very nice, but on a very hot day they had the windows open and fans on. Maybe there is no A/C, but the staff and patrons were sweltering. Nice ambience, overall.

8. Bruxie

292 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866-1409 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible American, Fast Food, Vegetarian Friendly Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 714-633-3900
Excellent
59%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 230 reviews

Bruxie

Reviewed By 02corvette - Marietta, Georgia

Took our out of town guests here because it is a fun place to eat with a fun menu. Most of the group got chicken in waffle with fries. I got bacon and cheese - no egg - for mine. The gal taking the order kept asking my husband --NO EGG?? yep, no egg.Are you sure? yep. Ok she says, no egg.Our orders were ready in no time and there were a lot of laughs about how the food comes and that we are eating outside on a windy night. Hey we say -- this is Orange CA and welcome to it.
Each time we come to CA to see our daughter, this is a stopping place. The food is good but people watching is even better here.
Drink refills are do it yourself and it did not take our GA & OH guests to get in the swing of things.
AS it is only a one unisex bathroom, a bit more attention could be paid to its cleaniness.
If you read my review, please give it a thumbs up and thanks

9. Los Sanchez Mexican Restaurant

11906 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843-1601 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Mexican, Vegetarian Friendly Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch SGD 7 - SGD 13 +1 714-590-9300
Excellent
65%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 91 reviews

Los Sanchez Mexican Restaurant

Reviewed By James3678 - Austin, Texas

This is a great option. All menu items are pictured on the wall. Lots of standard fare with options. It will probably be crowded at lunch and in evening. We had multiple dishes from nachos to enchiladas to a Molcajete overflowing with meat, vegetables, cheese and avocados. Ate here three times and took food home for later every time.

10. Mastro's Steakhouse

633 Anton Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-1919 Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Steakhouse, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Late Night SGD 79 - SGD 105 +1 714-546-7405
Excellent
66%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 402 reviews

Mastro's Steakhouse

Reviewed By OCProfessor - Orange County, CA

Terrible experience. Ordered a bone-in ribeye, it was tough and full of gristle. Uneatable. Our server didn't tell us each of the sides was enough for two or more, The french fries were soggy and not worth paying attention to. The server at the next table gave a full run down on the menu, ours only said "Any questions?". then when the meat came actually asked "how was that first bite?" Well, we haven't had a first bite yet. But the big problem here is the meat. Never again.
None of this will affect Mastros. For some reason it's crazy popular.

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