Hoods: A Busy Corner of San Juan Capistrano Has Turned Into a Place to Stop and Linger

Club Pilates | This boutique gym helps members focus on their core in classes taught at four levels. Instructors make use of the traditional reformer apparatus, but they also use the barre, TRX, Bosu ball, and foam rollers to cover everything from high‑intensity interval training to balance and stretching. 27184 Ortega Highway, 949‑257‑2292, clubpilates.com

Basanti | At this Indian restaurant, open since June, diners share traditional dishes such as chicken tandoori ($14), tikka masala ($17), and samosas ($5), along with naan and basmati rice ($3 to $4). It’s a great place to come with vegetarian friends, as there are more than a dozen meat-free options. 27221 Ortega Highway, 949-276-2166, basantirestaurant.com

Tim Is Making Great Coffee | Coffee gets top billing at this cheekily named cafe (also known as Coast Coffee and
Tea), but owner Tim Liao is better known for his teas, which he blends himself. The chai lattes and dirty chai lattes (made with a shot of espresso) are legendary. 31431 Rancho Viejo Road, 949-332-9626, timismakinggreatcoffee.com

Cloud 9 Bakers | Visitors to this bakery—which specializes in organic, dairy-free, and gluten-free goodies—find crave-worthy muffins, brownies, and seasonal cupcakes such as chocolate with peppermint frosting ($4.25). There’s also a small lunch menu offering gourmet sandwiches on house‑made bread ($10). 31654 Rancho Viejo Road, 949‑388-8311, cloud9bakers.com

Photographs by Melissa Valladares



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