BLK Dot Coffee: This coffee shop is every bit as hip as it is good. From their specialty drinks (the sea salt coffee is our favorite!) to their drip coffee, you really can’t go wrong! Oh, and grab an avocado toast while you’re at it. It’s delish! (@blkdotcoffee)
Bobby’s pick: Flat White
Alli’s pick: Iced Sea Salt Coffee
Coffee Tomo: An extensive menu of espresso, hand drip coffee, and non-coffee drinks. Oh - and they specialize in pretzels. Order a vanilla latte with a cinnamon pretzel and you’ll wonder why this hasn’t been a thing until now!
Morning Lavender Cafe: (Located in Tustin, but close enough.) This instagrammable boutique lothing store and cafe is every girl’s dream. From their lavender lattes to their rose milk black tea, to the chic pastel interior, it’s the ultimate girly-girl’s coffee shop. They also serve a modern twist on afternoon tea!
85C: A Taiwanese chain that serves up unusual (and delicious!) pastries, coffee, and tea. It’s not really a sit-down place, more of a grab-and-go. Their Coffee Bread is addictive, and their Iced Sea Salt Coffee is an amazing fusion of flavors… Go here and you’ll want to go to Taiwan! (We sure do!) (@85cbakerycafe)
Stacks Pancake House: The Aloha vibes are strong at this tasty breakfast spot (also located in Dana Point), most famous for their (devilishly good) Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes. It’s a melting pot of flavor - whether you’re going for a Hawaiian influenced dish like Loco Moco, Japanese Fried Rice Omelette, or a traditional Eggs Benedict… they have it all! And it’s all GOOD. (@stackspancake)
Bobby’s pick: Loco Moco
Alli’s pick: Captain Crunch Peanut Butter French Toast (YOLO!)
Bruxie: Order at the counter gourmet waffle sandwiches. Need we say more?! Whether you’re wanting sweet or savory, they’ve got something for everyone. Except if you’re on a diet. Then you probably shouldn’t go here. (@bruxiewaffles)
Bobby’s pick: Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffle
Alli’s pick: PB & J
Snooze an AM Eatery (technically in Tustin, but whatever): This breakfast-only restaurant is playful, retro, and all kinds of yum. Their menu is extensive, and their drink selection is just as impressive. We’ve heard rave reviews about their Bloody Mary’s! (@snoozeameatery)
Bobby’s pick: Ham Benedict III
Alli’s pick: Pancake Flight
North Italia: Seasonal, artisanal Italian comfort food. Everything is made from scratch daily, and you can tell. The modern and lively atmosphere makes it a perfect date night spot! (We love the patio!) (@eatnorthitalia)
Bobby’s pick: Short Rib Radiatori
Alli’s pick: Margherita Pizza
Houstons: Ok, so it’s a chain… But it’s SO GOOD. (If you’ve been to a Houston’s, you know.) It’s consistently delicious American grub and they have a burger that WILL make you cry. Happy tears, of course! (@houstons.irvine)
Bobby’s pick: Ding’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Alli’s pick: California Burger
Puesto: Because when are tacos and margaritas EVER a bad idea?! Puesto is one of our Irvine (and San Diego!) go-to’s, and it has yet to disappoint. Fun and hip decor, friendly staff, and a fun and interactive take on traditional Mexican food. Hint- the menu is mostly unique tacos. We’re here for it. (@eatpuesto)
Our picks: Mix & Match tacos - they’re all delish!
Hive & Honey Rooftop Bar: Irvine’s new (and only) rooftop bar, the views are pretty, the vibes are trendy, and the drinks are honey bee themed! You’ll “bee” obsessed with this place in no time! (@hhrooftopbar)
Bobby’s pick: H&H Old Fashioned
Alli’s pick: Hey Boo Boo Too (served in a honey bear!)
YNK: “You Never Know” is what YNK stands for - and it’s true. Hidden inside the Irvine Marriott, this speakeasy style bar is one of the best kept secrets in town! And with a constantly changing theme, decor, and menu, it’s always an adventure! (@ynk_irvine)
Our picks: Whatever the mixologists recommend!
Central Bar (also technically in Tustin): This sophisticated bar looks like something you’d find in New York City - but it’s not pretentious. The bartenders are friendly, the cocktail menu changes seasonally, and the presentation is top-notch. Perfect place to begin or end the night! (@thecentralbar)
Tanaka Farms: This family-run farm has been an Irvine staple for over 20 years. I’ts the best spot to get a pumpkin in the fall and a tree for Christmas, and in the summertime you can take wagon tours to pick your own produce throughout the farm! (@tanakafarms)
Irvine Spectrum: A mall that has a ferris wheel?! We’re in! This outdoor shopping center has it all - entertainment, world-class shopping and dining, free events, and more. You could easily spend your whole day here! (@irvinespectrumcenter)
Orange County Great Park: Trails, parks, aquatics, farmers markets and a giant orange balloon - it’s over 1,300 acres of fun! For only $10 (kids are $5!) you can ride the Great Park Balloon that soars up to 400 feet above the city! (@ocgp)