Hoods: New Restaurants To Try Near UC Irvine

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Taquiero Taco Patio

Folks dig into Tijuana-style tacos while waiting for a turn at the shuffleboard table at this new restaurant. The signature tacos—made with handmade tortillas and fillings such as carne asada, pollo al pastor, or portobello mushrooms ($3.50 each)—are the highlights of the menu, which also offers craft beers and aguas frescas. 4517 Campus Drive, 949-333-1671

Cafe De Paris

Customers snap photos of their strawberry bon bons ($10) in front of a wall studded with gold-tipped flowers. The dessert, filled with fresh berries and whipped cream, is created with an eye toward aesthetics, like everything else on the menu, from the milk tea ($4 to $6) to the kimchi pasta ($16) and French toast ($11). 4527 Campus Drive, 949-333-3951

Vitality Bowls

The menu here describes the acai bowls ($9.50 to $15) with ingredients (berries, mango, bananas, almond or coconut milk, and sometimes surprises such as broccoli) and what you might get from eating them (strength or stamina). Topped with organic granola, fruits, and honey, they’re served in pretty stainless-steel bowls. 4515 Campus Drive, 949-737-2082

Breakfast Republic

This San Diego minichain’s first foray into O.C. opened in May. As the name suggests, it focuses on food such as scrambles, omelets, and Benedicts, including the popular Cluck Madame, with ham, Gruyere, and bechamel sauce ($13.50). Wash it down with horchata cold brew ($10) or a white peach bellini ($9). 4213 Campus Drive, 949-379-7177

Good To Know

In addition to traditional dishes, Breakfast Republic offers tasty vegan options such as the Harvest Omelet ($17), made from mung beans.

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