Neighborhoods: Mercado del Lago

Everyone gushes about Carmelita’s Kitchen, Pizza e Vino, and The Blind Pig and its sister restaurant, The Trough, in Rancho Santa Margarita’s Mercado del Lago. But there are other places in the scenic shopping center worth a visit. Check out these four after a walk around the lake.


Savor the fresh, flavorful fish and house-made sauces in the rolls at this sushi spot, which opened at the end of 2016. Don’t miss the bargain omakase (seven pieces for $20 or 10 pieces for $30). 31441 Santa Margarita Parkway, 949-713-1818

Salon 74

Get everything from extensions to a blowout at this salon, where you can enjoy pastries and sparkling water while your stylist works. Skincare pros on-site perform facials, peels, and microdermabrasion. 31431 Santa Margarita Parkway, 949-459-0808,


Luxe Organic Nails & Spa
Choose one of the OPI, Zoya, or Butter polishes, sit at the manicure bar or in a plush pedicure chair, and watch while the super-skilled manicurists create impressive nail art. 31441 Santa Margarita Parkway, 949-766-5893,


Mesa Market Wine & Spirits
Craft beer connoisseurs come to this specialty liquor store for hard-to-find brews. You’ll also discover a good selection of spirits, from small-batch bourbons to premium tequilas, as well as top-shelf wine. 31431 Santa Margarita Parkway, 949-888-8486

Photos by Melissa Valladares

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