If you already live in Irvine, California, enjoying a slice of the Orange county American dream is probably already on your regular menu. For those looking for a few more local attractions, let’s talk about food and drink highlights, entertainment, shopping, recreational spots, and pet-friendly options.
Shop Until You Drop
Irvine Spectrum Center
If it’s time for a shopping spree, one of Orange County’s most popular shopping destinations is the Irvine Spectrum Center, which has name-brand anchor retailers like Nordstrom, Target and Macy’s, and also so much more. With something to pique everyone’s interest, the open-air center also features a variety of dining and entertainment options like P.F. Chang’s, The Cheesecake Factory and Dave & Buster’s. Go and browse the many shops while enjoying the spacious architectural design.
Get Your Foodie On
Fox Sports Grill
If you are looking a place to watch the game and enjoy a drink with friends, our highlighted selection is Fox Sports Grill. This mecca for all things sports provides a cool, upbeat place for watching any game or match on the schedule. The establishment crafts a nice balance between being a sports bar and a trendy gathering spot, thanks to its open design, central curvilinear bar, and comfortable leather seats.
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood
Expect classic seafood and steaks, a great beer, wine, and whiskey selection, as well as tasty desserts like the chef’s favorite, the Chocolate Bag, with white chocolate mousse, fresh berries and fresh whipped cream in a dark chocolate container. From the era when bartenders practiced the art of traditional mixology, crafting drinks with more concern for the guest’s experience than the speed in which the drink was made, this timeless art is still alive at McCormick & Schmick’s.
Phans 55 Vietnamese Bistro
The origin of Phans55 restaurant began as a family of foodies who traveled and enjoyed all the different types of cuisines all over the world.Traditional Vietnamese cuisine is infused with a modern flare here at Phans 55. Try the Crispy Imperial Spring Rolls or the Pork Bahn Mi. Your meal will feel like home-cooked Vietnamese comfort food, with no processed meat entrees, and no heavy heart-clogging sauces.
Portola Coffee Roasters
Located inside the Union Market at The District in Tustin it boasts modern industrial decor, an outside patio and a seating bar which offers a more interactive and personal experience. You can find a full menu of specialty coffee drinks as well as a selection of pastries from Cake Monkey Bakery in L.A. and macaroons from Kayla’s Cakes. Portola Coffee Roasters also serves up a pretty mean chai latte, along with a bunch of other great places in Irvine. Try and try them all!
If you’re feeling up to cooking for yourself, why not check out these amazing farmers’ markets? You might find your new favorite thing! There’s also a great variety of happy hours in Irvine, so you can grab some grub and a good deal on a cold one at the same time. Now that’s just efficient! If mimosas and brunch are more your speed, make time to check out these totally awesome brunch spots. Remember, it doesn’t have to be Mother’s Day for you to enjoy a good brunch (but you can still take mom with you).
Dog-Friendly Irvine Dining
Do you have a dog who wants to dine out on the town, too? Irvine has dog-friendly restaurants, like Urban Plates. This location is in the Crossroads shopping center with plenty of available parking. Try the Grilled Wild Albacore Nicoise, the Desert BBQ Chicken, and wash it down with their Strawberry-Basil Lemonade.
Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, is nice to dogs and also kid-friendly and family friendly, because someone has to pay the bill! Lazy Dog Cafe is a cool spot to come to if you’re looking to catch up with friends, and take the pooch out (outdoor patio only). It’s nice to know that Irvine has many dog-friendly dining options.
Irvine Central Bark Dog Park
Known to many locals as the best off-leash dog park in Orange County, Irvine Central Bark Dog Park is the spot for your furry buddy to socialize and to have room to run! This park is great for relaxing and letting your dog play off-leash. It has separate areas for small dogs from big dogs, shaded benches and seats, and more. You’ll find it right next to the Irvine Animal Care Center. There are many dog parks in the Irvine area.
There’s a bunch of other dog parks located all throughout Irvine, so explore them all and find one that’s the best fit for you and your pooch!
Work (Out) Hard
Turtle Rock Viewpoint Trail
For our health and fitness selection, hiking in Irvine is a great option to get outdoors while getting exercise. Turtle Rock Viewpoint Trail gets our top honors, because its steep hills and diverse trail routes make for a terrific workout. With 4 miles total of trail, scenic views of the city during sunset, and a dog-friendly policy, this is a great choice in Irvine to explore. The only downside are no bathrooms nearby.
Quail Hill Trailhead is another nice option in Irvine proper for hiking. Many dedicated runners and cyclists frequent this trail and also lots of families with strollers and young kids. It’s a great walking spot for families and all age groups who want to enjoy some outdoor recreation.
There are also a ton of other amazing gyms and fitness studios all across Irvine. Want to try crossfit? No problem! We’ve got you covered. Looking for something a bit more low-key, or possibly something even more intense? We’ve got you there, too.