From unicorn milkshakes to speakeasies and vintage rags, Huntington Beach’s distinct neighborhoods house an eclectic array of marvels. Take a tour of our favorite can’t-miss stops around town, many of which are owned and run by locals.
This is the heart of Surf City USA, with surfing, the iconic pier, historic Main Street, charming Fifth Street, and modern Pacific City. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find:
1 Look Vintage
There’s no “one look” to this carefully curated ensemble of old-school apparel and accessories, and its new owner—a Downtown local and former buyer for the shop’s previous keeper—has built upon the existing brand with an extended vinyl collection (3,000-plus albums), midcentury furniture and vintage Porsche shows, and more classic American vintage threads, like rock ’n’ roll tees and vintage motorcycle duds.
217 Fifth Street, 714.960.7771, Instagram.com/1LookVintage
Piece together a complete authentic look from any decade—including loads of stylized denim—while considering the old-school roller skates and admiring the fitting rooms decked out in vinyl.
201 Main Street, 714.969.9670, Instagram.com/ AmericanVintage_HB
Located inside Saint Marc at Pacific City, this cozy clandestine watering hole serves up spirits, cocktails, and a Spam-themed menu. Visitors are limited to an hour inside the Pig but can extend their stay with the purchase of a bottle. Reserve your spot via the #LFTP (Let’s Find The Pig) tab on Saint Marc’s website.
21058 Pacific Coast Highway, 714.374.1101, SaintMarcUSA.com
Braid Bar at Meleesa
The Salon Pop into this sustainable beauty collective and have an expert stylist weave your locks into styles starting at just $15.
221 Main Street, Suite E, 714.969.7199, MeleesaTheSalon.com
Huntington Beach Art Center
Downtown’s premier art institution curates several themed group exhibitions each year featuring local and international talent. BYOL (bring your own lunch) and pull up a chair for Art For Lunch programs held on select Thursdays.
538 Main Street, 714.374.1650, HuntingtonBeachArtCenter.org
We take our ice cream with an ocean view—and churros. This ice creamery along Pacific Coast Highway makes its soft serve and churros by hand daily, filling cups with flavors like Dole Whip and Cookie Monster, and topping them with heart-shaped and bitesize churros. Savory treats include garlic fries and popcorn Cajun chicken.
300 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 107B, 657.329.0159, IceCreamTonFresh.com
Tucked inside Bluegold at Pacific City, this sophisticated hideaway transports diners to colonial Saigon, plating a French Vietnamese menu and hosting afternoon tea.
21016 Pacific Coast Highway, 714.374.0083, DineBlueGold.com/lsxo
M.E. Helme House Furnishing Co.
Built in 1904, this quaint antique shop quietly nestled between Main and Fifth streets stands as a historic site and is chock-full of treasures. Look for the horse and buggy hitching rings on the sidewalk.
517 Walnut Avenue, 714.960.1902
North Shore Poke Co.
Savor a taste of Hawaii at this family-run poke joint, off ering a relaxed vibe and the freshest bowls in town—aptly named after popular surf spots along the islands.
214 5th Street, Suite 101, 714.465.9011, NorthShorePokeCo.com
Formed in the 1960s, this romantic, European-inspired pocket of islands and navigable waterways blends the mystique of waterfront estates and luxury yachts with adventure seekers— from boaters to boarders. Rent a kayak, stand-up paddleboard (SUP) or Duffy boat and cruise the calm waters, or be transported to Venice with a romantic gondola ride for two.
Huntington Harbour Place
Located on the harbour’s edge, this cluster of shops and eateries is home to several jewels. Step inside Harmony HB Arts & Wellness Center for yoga-inspired gifts and jewelry designed by the owner. Paint a ceramic vase at Hidden Talents. Grab a donut and boba tea from D&N’s Donuts. Or sit down to eclectic gastropub comfort food at Red Table, vegan Japanese fare at VegiLicious, DIY traditional Japanese hot pot cuisine at Tabu Shabu or a Chemex pour-over and acai bowl at AoSA. Kids love the outdoor play zone and summer movie nights.
16847 Algonquin Street, 714.840.6460, HuntingtonHarbourMall.com
This way to the beach! Connecting the freeway to the sand, Route 39 is lined with lots of offerings.
Bread Crumb Ohana Cafe
Start your morning with a big plate—and a cup—of aloha with this island-themed diner’s scrumptious Hawaiian Bread French Toast and freshly brewed Kona coffee. Also on the menu, the islands’ traditional Loco Moco. Feeling extra sweet? Opt for the Maui Coffee, a 50/50 blend of Kona coffee and hot chocolate.
19079 Beach Boulevard, 714.960.5051, Instagram.com/ HBBreadCrumbOhanaCafe
Hoodline named this 24-hour donut house one of America’s 50 Favorite Donut Shops in 2017, and with good reason. Everything is made from scratch, including the sweet red velvet rings and whipped cream filling. The menu also features “cronutteries” (this team’s take on the cronut) and vegan and gluten-free donuts.
17420 Beach Boulevard, 714.847.7000, TheDonutteryHB.com
Fat Bike Rentals
Cruise the paved beach path on an electric Fat Bike, which earns its name from its substantial 5-inch-wide, all-terrain tires. These modern rental bikes max out at 20 mph with a range of 15 to 30 miles.
20001 Beach Boulevard, 888.72. FATBIKE, HuntingtonBikes.com
Mama’s on 39
Mama serves up classic comfort food for every meal of the day, from Mama’s Famous Chicken ‘n Waffle and Patsy’s Pulled Pork Pan Nachos, to the Brie & Bacon Burger and Mama’s Killer Street Tacos. Breakfast is served all day, the bar menu covers all poisons, and daily specials beckon, including Kids Eat Free Thursdays.
21022 Beach Boulevard, 714.374.1166, MamasOn39.com
Newland House Museum
Built in 1989, the Newland House is the oldest residence in Huntington Beach. Take a tour for just $2 ($1 for kids 12 and under), then stroll through rustic Bartlett Park, once known as Hidden Valley, beyond the backyard.
19820 Beach Boulevard, 714.962.5777, HBHistory.org/Newland-HouseMuseum
SeaSalt Woodfire Grill
Living up to its “smoke meat every day” motto, this farm-tofire eatery by local powerhouse Prjkt Restaurant Group serves up smoky Santa Maria-style live-fire barbecue meats, seafood, and veggies—all seasoned with house-made sea salts. Breakfast is fit for a lumberjack, and outdoor fire pits make for a cozy spot to curl up with a craft cocktail.
21214 Beach Boulevard, 714.804.5545, SeaSaltWoodFireGrill.com
The best place in Orange County to score a lobster roll and other sustainably caught seafood. Bring your pup and grab a seat outside this modern seafood shack, which also serves up a belly-busting lobster and shrimp ramen burrito.
19696 Beach Boulevard, 714.963.3900, SlapfishRestaurant.com
Deep sea murals and scenes of outer space adorn this unique vegan restaurant, where “world peace cuisine” hits every taste bud. Spiritually inspired names accompany each dish, like the favorite Deep Sea Meditation, made of must-try shrimp-free crescents, and the Ultimate Liberation, a savory quartet of fish-free fillet tacos.
7862 Warner Avenue, Suite 110, 714.847.4080, VeganNirvana.com
A Beach Boulevard mainstay for nearly 30 years, this legendary record shop is the source for new, used, and rare vinyl. Hit the cassettes if you’re feeling extra nostalgic.
18822 Beach Boulevard, Suite 104, 714.963.1819, Instagram.com/ VinylSolutionHB
Locals know this as the home to a swimmer’s ideal beach, chirping wetlands, and must-try eateries and shops ready to be discovered off the beaten path.
Former Shark Tank hopefuls Pete Hamborg and family craft their specialty Hamboards for landsurfers right here in Huntington Beach. Capturing the feel of riding a wave, these long, wide skateboards are perfect for cruising the paved beach path. Drop by the shop for a demo, or rent a board from Jack’s Beach Concession in front of The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel.
8606 Hamilton Avenue, 714.313.3943, 714.536.8328 (Jack’s Beach Concession), Hamboards.com
Hambone’s Bar & Grill
This spot dishes out Southern comfort food in Southern California. Think all things barbecue, like hefty plates of baby back ribs, barbecue brisket, pulled pork, catfish and shrimp, and po’ boy sandwiches—and all the sides. (Spicy collard greens and candied yams, anyone?)
10056 Adams Avenue, 714.968.1261, HambonesBBQ.com
Jokers Skate Shop
This popular skate shop is no joke—visitors from near and far come for a taste of authentic SoCal skate culture. There’s new and old-school decks, and a comprehensive selection of gear.
9606 Hamilton Avenue, 714.962.8429, Instagram.com/ Jokers_Skate_Shop
Dropping a euphonious mix of metal, ska, soul, and jazz, this independent music store specializes in rare and collectible punk rock vinyl.
21405 Brookhurst Street, 714.962.0500, TKORecords.com
This pocket of Surf City USA is popular for shopping, dining, and skateboarding.
Here, you’ll find 350 acres of lushest park and the Secret Garden. The garden is home to drought-tolerant plants, blooming flowers, and fluttering butterflies. Hundreds of volunteers have worked to revitalize the lush xeriscape—a landscape requiring little or no irrigation—creating sustainable picture-perfect worlds like the Dry Stream Bed, Storybook Area, and Butterfly Garden.
7111 Talbert Avenue, 714.564.1396, HBTrees.org
Cheese lovers rejoice! Owner Lisa Albanese carefully curates a rotating roster of cheeses from around the world, plus all the accoutrements. Located at Bella Terra, it’s a one-stop shop for your wine and cheese plate needs and “Cheese 101” classes.
7631 Edinger Avenue, Suite 1512, 714.372.7706, CheeseAddiction.com
The Moo Gelato & Dessert Bar
Home of the Unicorn Shake, this whimsical sweets shop keeps it cool with fresh gelato hugged by the ultimate madeto-order Bubble Wrap waffle cone, topped with your choice of unicorn horns, mermaid tails, and other sugary delights. Go on, treat yourself.
7170 Edinger Avenue, 714.488.7298, Instagram.com/TheMooGelato
Mystery Ink Bookstore
Playing host to frequent author signings, this independent book nook specializes in signed first editions, along with mysteries and thrillers, ranging from Agatha Christie novels to bestselling new releases to works by local scribes.
8907 Warner Avenue, Suite 135, 714.960.4000, MysteryInk.com
OLD WORLD VILLAGE
Settled inside this Bavarian utopia is a mishmash of international eateries and shops—and one of Orange County’s best Oktoberfests. A stroll through the village sees visitors stocking up on traditional German bites at the European Market, sipping traditional Turkish coffee at The Coffee Tale, perusing Turkish trinkets at Anatolian Gift Shop, relaxing with a cup of Pacific Islands kava at boho-fabulous Mystic Water Kava Bar, learning healthy living at The Living Temple, rooting for their favorite Dachshund from the beer garden during monthly Running of the Wieners races, and so much more.
7561 Center Avenue, 714.895.8020, VisitOldWorld.com
Vans Off The Wall Skatepark
Off the wall since 1966, Vans opened this free skatepark in 2014, featuring a 42,500-square-foot concrete paradise of ramps, rails, rollers, bowls, gaps, stairs, kickers, planters, and a volcano component. Hit neighboring skate-themed Grinderz for delicious burgers, fries, and beer.
7471 Center Avenue, 714.379.6666, Vans.com/ Skateparks-HB.html
In this corner of Surf City, you’ll find everything from postcardperfect beach waves to the largest saltwater marsh between the Monterey Bay and the Tijuana River Estuary.
Dough Dough’s Hawaiian Cafe & Malasadas and Hula Girls Shave Ice
Sitting side by side in a strip mall near Huntington Harbour, both eateries bring the tastes of Hawaii to Huntington Beach. Find authentic island bites like Loco Moco, potato mac salad, and malasadas at Dough Dough’s, and legit Hawaiian shave ice (and Dole whip!) at Hula Girls. If you’re lucky, you’ll be serenaded by musicians and dancers while you’re there. Dough Dough’s,
16552 Bolsa Chica Street, 714.846.8253; DoughDoughsCafe.com Hula Girls, 16556 Bolsa Chica Street, 949.295.0292, HulaGirlsShaveIce.com
Green Street Café
Locals come here for breakfast and lunch. Plating tried and-true bites like chicken and waffles (with a twist), stuffed French toast, and build-your-own burritos, omelets, and burgers, it’s sure to satisfy your hunger.
4911 Warner Avenue, 714.846.4949, GreenStreetCafeHB.com
A cozy jewel serving up authentic ramen—from tonkatsu to vegan. Huntington Ramen is Japanese-owned and serves a large menu of specialty sushi and hand rolls of the same quality served in Japan.
7391 Warner Avenue, 714.715.3631, HuntingtonRamen.com
Norma Brandel Gibbs Butterfly Park
Witness the majestic monarch flutter through this well manicured grove of eucalyptus trees, and be educated on its lifecycle by a stunning mosaic under your feet.
16641 Graham Street, 714.564.1396, HBTrees.org
With a focus on sustainability, this sophisticated sushi restaurant produces Asian fusion cuisine with a California twist. Try the Fat Avo, a signature dish of fresh albacore wrapped in avocado.
16051 Bolsa Chica Street, 714-846- 6951, SlowFishUSA.com
Local artist and waterman Dave C. Reynolds has revamped his studio to feature a by appointment-only gallery of his works, now 30 years in the making. Best known for his surf trophies—all handcrafted for major national and international surfing contests—he’ll walk you through his assortment of awards, custom pinball machines, black light art, and sculptures.
5152 Bolsa Avenue, Suite 105, 714.799.9918, Facebook.com/Wavesliders
It’s a charismatic community featuring one of the widest beaches in Southern California and the 14-acre Green Belt park. Find upcoming events, including the Sunset Beach Art Festival and Halloween Party on the Sunset Beach Community Association events calendar: SunsetBeachCA.org
Anderson Art Gallery
For more than 20 years, local artist Bill Anderson has documented the evolution of Sunset Beach and surrounding areas. Stop by while you’re in this neck of the woods to experience his contemporary works—from oil paintings, acrylics, and watercolors, to drawings, lithographs, and sculptures.
16812 Pacific Coast Highway, 562.592.4393, BillAndersonArtGallery.com
Antiques of the Sea
An overwhelming treasure trove of unique nautical marine antiques and collectibles, this niche shop—a beloved local landmark—has been open since 1977 and is sure to evoke the sailor within you. How to find it: Just look for the pirate statue on the roof.
16811 Pacific Coast Highway, Sunset Beach, 562.592.1752, AntiquesOfTheSea.com
Tune up at this groovy, locally owned guitar shop stocked with rare, one-of-a-kind new and vintage acoustics, electrics, basses, amps, and more.
16802 Pacific Coast Highway, Sunset Beach, 562.592.7101, BeachMusicGuitars.com
This quintessential seafoodery has been around for more than 50 years, and is one of the rare spots along Pacific Coast Highway that offers peaceful Huntington Harbour views with dinner. A traditional coastal menu includes picks like Alaskan king crab legs, prime rib, oysters, and a lively cocktail lineup. Catch live music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.
16812 Pacific Coast Highway, 562-592-2514, CaptainJacksSunsetBeach.com
Housed inside a 1920s cottage, this darling boutique stocks a consciously curated collection of on-trend bohemian styles and accessories for ladies and their littles, all handmade in Bali. A percentage of sales are donated toward empowering women in Southeast Asia through CARE.org.
16792 14th Street, Sunset Beach, 562.310.2911, Shop.Cleobella.com
Fit Bar Superfood Cafe
Newly minted at the base of the iconic Sunset Beach Water Tower house, this health forward noshery brings its Seattle-based, nutrient-dense bowls and smoothies, locally roasted coffee, warm bone broth, detoxifying kombucha, and medicinal mushrooms to town.
16305 Pacific Coast Highway, Sunset Beach, 562.341.7675, FitBarCafe.com
Harbor House Café
A 24-hour local institution serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner—since 1939—this casual diner’s atmosphere is embellished with Hollywood memorabilia.
16341 Pacific Coast Highway, Sunset Beach, 562.592.5404, HarborHouseCafe.com
Harry’s Rooftop Patio & Grill
Boasting a rare rooftop view of the ocean, Harry’s invites you to head straight from the sand into a seat at this casual diner for breakfast, lunch, and dinner classics.
16685 Pacific Coast Highway, 562.592.9500
Owned by two local couples, this friendly bar and grill plates surf and turf favorites, from cioppino to French-style pork chops. Visit on Taco Tuesday for a coupling of Crispy Cheese Mahi Mahi Tacos washed down with a signature Ohana Margarita.
16821 Pacific Coast Highway, 562.592.1660, OhanaSunset.com
Another notable Harbour-side restaurant with waterfront views, this landmark eatery not only delivers on fresh surf and turf for dinner, but also breakfast and lunch. Kick off your day with a New England Lump Crab Cake Benedict paired with a spicy Bloody Mary. Pup in tow? Grab a seat on their dog-friendly dockside patio.
16400 Pacific Coast Highway, 562.592.3221, PelicanIsleHB.com
*Originally published in the Huntington Beach Visitor’s Guide 2018 | 2019