Looking for the best places to eat in Irvine CA? Here’s where you should start.
Irvine, California is full of food options, especially some amazing Asian cuisine. During our trip, we ate way too much trying to get through our list. We especially loved how much Asian food there is after our stint of living in Portland. The Diamond Jamboree Shopping Center, which is one of the most popular spots, has Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese food all in one area.
So grateful to Destination Irvine for hosting our trip and sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are our own. This post may contain affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. Read our full disclosure for more info. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.
Last Updated: January 31, 2023
13 Places to Eat in Irvine California
To help you plan your visit, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to eat in Irvine, California. Let us know if we’re missing anything! Some spots we visited have closed but we’ll continue to update this list. Let us know if you see anything we need to fix.
See More: Best Things to Do in Irvine California
1. 85°C Bakery (Bakeries, 💰) →
2700 Alton Pkwy Ste 123, Irvine, map
This Taiwanese Bakery opened their first U.S. location in Irvine, and when they first opened, the lines wrapped around outside. Even when we visited, it was still busy, but much more manageable than the first time we visited. They serve coffee, cakes, pastries, and more. We ordered the sea salt coffee and tried a bunch of different pastries, and our favorite is the Taro Bread.
2. A&J Restaurant (Taiwanese, 💰) →
14805 Jeffrey Rd Ste D, Irvine, map
This is a Taiwanese chain and is our friends’ go-to spot for beef noodle soup. Don’t forget to order the scallion pancakes and cucumber salad in hot garlic sauce.
3. Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails (New American, 💰💰) →
2607 Main Street, Irvine, map
If you’re looking for a feel-good food spot, 100% of the profits from Andrei’s goes towards finding a cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa. We can’t speak for the food, but we went for cocktails and loved their barrel-aged Manhattan.
4. Il Fornaio Irvine (Italian, Seafood, Pizza, 💰💰) →
3972 Barranca Pkwy N, Irvine, map
Award-winning house-made pasta and an extensive award-winning culinary menu. Be sure to try a wine pairing!
5. Urban Plates (New American, 💰💰) →
3972 Barranca Pkwy N, Irvine, map
Fresh ingredients that are sourced locally, sustainably, and ethically. Tons of vegetarian and vegan options. Two Irvine locations.
6. Fukada (Japanese, 💰💰) →
8683 Irvine Center Dr, Irvine, map
This is a really popular spot right now. They serve deliciously simple udon, soba, and rice bowl dishes. We went for lunch and got a soba + unagidon combo. YUM!
See More: 49 Best Places to Eat in Los Angeles
7. Hironori Craft Ramen (Ramen, 💰💰) →
2222 Michelson Dr #234, Irvine, map
We ate here twice during our SoCal trip! The broth is really creamy and delicious and the pork is full of flavor. We also tried their fried chicken and rice bowls. If there was only one place you could eat at during your visit, I would recommend HiroNori.
8. In-N-Out (Burgers, 💰) →
4115 Campus Dr, Irvine, map
If you haven’t gotten your In-N-Out fix yet, there are plenty in Irvine. They are also headquartered here. The funny thing is when we lived in SoCal, we rarely went, but there is no denying that at their price point, they have the best burgers.
9. Puesto (Tacos, 💰💰) →
8577 Irvine Center Dr, Irvine, map
We didn’t try the Irvine location, but if you’re in the mood for fancy tacos, go to Puesto. You can check out our full review of the San Diego location. Our favorites are the Tamarindo Shrimp Tacos and Mexican Street Bowl.
See More: Ultimate San Diego Bucket List
10. Snow Monster (Desserts, 💰) →
4255 Campus Dr A124, Irvine, map
If you’re looking for photogenic desserts and drinks, stop by Snow Monster. We got the lightbulb glass with a cotton candy cloud, but they also have a 70-200mm lens glass. Both the Thai tea and lemonade were too sweet for our taste but the lightbulbs were too cute not to get. 😂
11. Tim Ho Wan (Dim Sum, 💰💰) →
2700 Alton Pkwy, Irvine, map
Michelin Star rated dim sum, hailing from Hong Kong. Known for their baked BBQ pork buns and lotus wrapped sticky rice.
12. Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai (Ramen, 💰💰) →
14370 Culver Dr., Irvine, map
On Eater’s Hottest Restaurants in Orange County 2019. Chewy, housemade ramen in flavorful broths. Be sure to try their boiled gyoza.
13. Poached Kitchen (Breakfast/Brunch, 💰💰) →
17595 Harvard Ave Unit A, Irvine, map
Waffles here are a must and their coffee options are locals’ favorites.
More Places to Eat
We left with happy bellies but there are still plenty of places we want to try next time.
- Bistango (New American / Tapas, 💰💰💰) – CLOSED SUNDAYS
- Boiling Point (Taiwanese Hot Pot, 💰💰)
- Clay Oven (Indian, 💰💰)
- East Coast Bagel (Bagels, 💰) – decent bagel sandwiches considering they’re on the west coast.
- Honey & Butter Macarons (Macarons, 💰) – Cute character macarons, they come out at noon, so we didn’t get to try them since our flight was around then.
- Le Diplomate Cafe (Bakeries, 💰)
- Maast Indian (Indian, 💰💰) – Creative Indian cuisine with fresh made to order items.
- Mooyah Burger, Fries & Shakes (Burgers / Hot Dogs, 💰)
- Mokkoji Shabu Shabu Bar (Japanese / Hot Pot, 💰💰)
- Mr. Sandwich (Sandwiches, 💰) – Opened for over 20 years, serving fresh sandwiches and salads. Their breads are super soft and addictive!
- North Italia (Pizza, Italian, 💰💰)
- OoToro Sushi (Sushi, 💰💰💰)
- Panini Kabob Cafe – our friend who went to school here says they have the best kebabs.
- Shik Do Rak (Korean BBQ, 💰💰)- all you can eat KBQQ
- Twenty Eight Restaurant & Lounge (New American, 💰💰💰)- CLOSED SUNDAYS
- Y.N.K. (Lounge, 💰💰) – our friend’s favorite place to get cocktails.
- Bruxie (Breakfast & Brunch, 💰💰)
- Burntzilla Modern Eats (Hot Dogs, 💰)
- Caspian Hookah Lounge (Hookah Bars, 💰💰)
- Eats Kitchen and Bar (New American, 💰💰)
- EMC Seafood & Raw Bar (Seafood, 💰💰)
- Red Bar & Lounge (Lounges / Cocktail Bars, 💰💰)
- Scoops N Scoops Creamery (Ice Cream, 💰💰)
- Sweet Combforts (Desserts, 💰)
- Temakira Hand Rolls (Sushi, 💰)
Map to Help You Get Around
Best Places to Stay in Irvine
- Get comprehensive insurance for your trip.
- Find a great deal on Irvine hotels.
- Arrange a rental car for your trip.
- Book a tour for your visit.
- Get airport lounge access.
- Buy a travel charger to keep your devices charged.
- Get a new backpack for your trip.
- Buy a SoCal travel guide.
- Pack the appropriate shoes for your trip.
- Don’t forget your in-flight essentials.
Let us know if you make it to any of these spots or if there are others we should add to the list.
Did you enjoy this post? Pin it for later
SEE MORE FIRST TIMER CITY GUIDES
“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.
Follow along on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.