O.C.’s Best: Neapolitan Pizza

Thin-crusted, lightly topped, and baked to a blistering finish in a wood-fired oven—Neapolitan-style pizza has become the county’s pizza of choice. Katherine Nguyen’s search for the best yields five favorites, from Dana Point to Fullerton.

Tamales in Orange County

Undoubtedly in the kitchen of someone’s abuela. Honestly, naming the “best” tamale would be an impossible task (although we try here). The next-best thing...

O.C.’s Best: Happy Hour

Who doesn’t like happy hour? Tasty cocktails, cold beer, and good wine are nirvana after a long workday—especially accompanied by great snacks at special prices. Katherine Nguyen rounds up seven fabulous O.C. happy hours—some extending into late night.

O.C.’s Best: Meat on a Stick (Skewers)

Meat cooked and served on sticks is classic to many cuisines, and Katherine Nguyen finds six worthy Orange County examples to suggest, including Japanese yakitori, Turkish doner, Mediterranean shawarma, and the kebabs from countries such as Iraq.

O.C.’s Best: Tiki Drinks

Though some regard them as overly cloying concoctions, tiki cocktails such as mai tais and zombies are enjoying a resurgence in Orange County. Craft bartenders layer the rum-based drinks with multiple spirits and spices to create beguiling and complex potions. Here are five great places to get your tiki on.

O.C.’s Best: Vegan Breakfasts

Veg-heads don’t just mow down bowls of granola and slam wheatgrass shots at the break of dawn. Most want to enjoy brunching on Sunday-Funday with everyone else. And because it can be hard to find tofu scrambles and dairy-free waffles, we’ve rounded up five local eateries that provide tasty vegan options to start the morning right.

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.

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.

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.

O.C.’s Best: Power Lunches

When it’s time to impress important clients, it helps to have the right atmosphere. Our advice? Do it over a lunch that shows you mean business. Break bread at any of these five restaurants in Orange County—don’t forget to wear your best-looking suit and, of course, bring the company plastic.