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Neighborhood: Buena Park

On the edge of what’s quickly becoming Orange County’s own Koreatown, the new Village Circle on Beach offers a mash-up of Asian cultures. Anchored by Taiwanese bakery 85C, Korean supermarket H Mart, and Japan’s dollar store Daiso, it’s Buena Park’s answer to Irvine’s Diamond Jamboree. Read more...

Exclusive Video Tour of Anaheim's Packing House

Click here for our Neighborhood guide to Anaheim's Packing House. Read more...

Neighborhood: Anaheim’s Packing House

An agricultural landmark and architectural gem, Anaheim’s packing house has been transformed into a European-style food hall. The venue, at 440 S. Anaheim Blvd., offers nearly 20 dining experiences ranging from customized gelato to sushi, as well as a handful of vendors making their first O.C. appearance. Read more...

Neighborhoods: Along the Boulevard

One of Newport Beach’s busiest thoroughfares may be just a block away, but the sprawling strip mall at Old Newport Boulevard and Hospital Road still seems like a local secret. It’s one worth knowing: Among the hairstylists and tanning salons, you’ll find an unexpectedly diverse collection of treasures. Read more...

Neighborhoods: Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra

Construction crews have been busy at Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra. In the past year, more than 10 stores and restaurants have opened at the shopping center just off the 405 Freeway’s Beach Boulevard exit, adding to the dinner-and-a-movie spot’s lively vibe Read more...

Hot O.C. Neighborhood: East Side Costa Mesa

This updated neighborhood doesn’t have to try hard to be interesting, original, surprising, and modern—it just is. Take the mile-long stretch of strip malls along 17th Street, between Newport Boulevard and Irvine Avenue, the heart of the renaissance. Foodies come for the Instagram-worthy Aussie-style meat pies at PieNot, coconut French toast at Plums Café, and braised pork panini at Pitfire Artisan Pizza. And that’s just the Ps. Other homegrown restaurants and shops tip toward lean-and-clean fare, such as the casual Jan’s Health Bar. Plus it’s the birthplace of Mother’s Market & Kitchen. Read more...

Hot O.C. Neighborhood: Downtown Anaheim

With a focus on food and community, downtown’s fresh look gets inspiration from the city’s rural roots. It takes resourcefulness to restore and imaginatively reuse old buildings, qualities the city’s founding farming families had, too. The new energy is centered on the Packing District, a two-block stretch of Anaheim Boulevard between Santa Ana Street and East Broadway: the restored 1920s-era Packard Building, now home to Anaheim Brewery and Umami Burger, and the 1919 Anaheim Citrus Packing House, with a food hall of locally based food-and-beverage artisans. Read more...

Neighborhoods: Costa Mesa

Chain restaurants and stores dominate most of the strip malls on Costa Mesa’s east side. But at Santa Ana Avenue and 17th Street, look a little closer and you’ll find indie boutiques and cafes tucked in among the usual suspects Read more...

Neighborhoods: Spiffed Up Shopping in Irvine

New facades and landscaping—part of a $10 million renovation—have gussied up Heritage Plaza, formerly a somewhat-tired Irvine strip mall with a few good places to eat. New tenants Habit Burger and Bruxie are breathing life into this place, along with these local favorites. Read more...

Anaheim's Growing Community

Nearly four years ago, Rose Homme rehabbed part of an Anaheim strip mall near Brookhurst Street and Orange Avenue to open a baby boutique, and invited other indie businesses such as The Makery, below, to move in. Now, the center known as Community draws shoppers looking for handmade, ecofriendly, artisan goods. Bonus: It’s near some of the county’s best Middle Eastern restaurants. Read more...
  • Best of 2014: Nutty Brûlée

    No one can resist breaking into the sugary crust of crème brûlée, and this one packs an extra surprise with its abundance of silky-smooth chocolate-hazelnut custard below—thanks to the addition of Nutella. This sinful dessert is incredibly rich and best shared with a friend. $8
    704 E. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, 949‑673‑7173, theslidingdoorcafe.com

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  • Hot Shop: Popping With Petals

    Petals and Pop would be at home in a Paris street scene. Blooms and foliage spill onto the sidewalk from old aluminum buckets and vintage German pickling jars. Inside, a floor-to-ceiling library ladder slides along the shelves of this flower and home goods store, providing access to vases, table linens, garden and kitchen tools, specialty chocolates, and cookbooks. Read More
  • Neighborhood: Buena Park

    On the edge of what’s quickly becoming Orange County’s own Koreatown, the new Village Circle on Beach offers a mash-up of Asian cultures. Anchored by Taiwanese bakery 85C, Korean supermarket H Mart, and Japan’s dollar store Daiso, it’s Buena Park’s answer to Irvine’s Diamond Jamboree. Read More
  • O.C.’s Best: Shaved Ice

    These light and downright lush desserts get tricked out with enticing toppings and mix-ins, many taking their cues from Asian favorites such as red beans, mochi balls, and lychee. But they also can be as traditional as orangesicle and strawberry shortcake. Here are six places in Orange County to get your brain-freeze on. Read More
  • O.C.’s Best: Roast Chicken

    Whether it’s cooked slowly over open flames on a spit-roast or stuffed with herbs and roasted in the oven to golden perfection, few dishes are as comforting as a simple roast chicken. While it’s hard to beat a home-cooked version, these seven diverse locales in Orange County do right by this ubiquitous classic. Read More
  • O.C.'s Best: Afternoon Tea

    The ritual dates back to the 1800s as a snacking fix and social gathering for the aristocratic ladies of Britain. Today, afternoon tea has become a fashionable alternative for birthday parties, and bridal and baby showers. Here are five teahouses in Orange County where you can practice traditional etiquette while noshing on dainty pastries and finger sandwiches. Read More
  • How to Have Tea Like a Brit

    You call it afternoon tea, but in Britain it’s just called tea. Because you don’t just have tea in the afternoon. You have tea all the time. Read More
  • O.C.’s Best: Bloody Marys

    Get your vegetables and booze in one convenient—and delicious—serving with what’s been hailed as America’s murkiest and most complex cocktail. Traditionally made with tomato juice, vodka, celery salt, horseradish, Worcestershire, and Tabasco, its origins are widely debated. Here are five superb O.C. renditions of the world-famous drink.

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