This neighborhood in north San Clemente is quieter than Avenida del Mar, but it’s filled with local favorites—some old and some new.
Flights & Irons
Open since fall, this restaurant reveals its personality in its name: The bar specializes in flights of craft beer and wine, and most dishes are cooked in cast-iron pans. Enjoy upscale comfort food such as bourbon bacon meatballs ($12), salmon with ginger cream sauce ($27), and s’mores baked in the wood-fired oven ($9). 376 Camino de Estrella, 949-388-3991
Owned by Damian Brawner, son of legendary surfboard shaper Danny Brawner, this friendly shop sells the eight surfboards and two paddleboards Damian designs, along with logo T-shirts, hats, hoodies, and necessities such as fins and traction pads. The helpful staff also offers board rentals, as well as surf and SUP lessons. 220 Avenida Vaquero, 949-429-9601
It looks like a traditional doughnut shop, and yes, it offers all the glazed, old-fashioned, and maple twist options you’d expect, along with fresh-baked pastries and muffins. But the kitchen also turns out croissant sandwiches ($4 to $8), breakfast burritos ($4.50 to $8.50), and even bacon cheeseburgers ($6) at lunchtime. 430 Camino de Estrella, 949-443-2862
One of two Guichos locations in San Clemente, this spot is known for its top-notch Italian takeout. Try the chopped salad with chicken ($9), eggplant sandwich with oven-roasted tomatoes and mozzarella ($8.50), or pastas such as penne with marinara and basil ($9) and spaghettini with meatballs ($11.50). 440 Camino de Estrella, 949-248-1910
Good To Know
Weekend brunch just launched at Flights & Irons Urban Kitchen, featuring bottomless mimosas and rustic dishes such as an apple pancake baked in a cast-iron skillet.