20 Best Restaurants in Santa Ana, CA (Photos, Reviews, Maps)

Santa Ana is home to some of the best restaurants in Orange County. With so many great places to eat, it can be hard to decide where to go. To help you narrow down your choices, here are 20 of the best restaurants in Santa Ana. From Mexican food to sushi, there’s something for everyone on this list.

1. Crave

$$ | (714) 907-0063 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurants in Santa Ana, CA

Are you looking for a casual cafe serving healthy American food? Crave has you covered, with a menu featuring breakfast and lunch items like garden salads, cold and hot sandwiches, and soup, and 1/2 sandwich combos. The light and airy atmosphere is perfect for enjoying a meal with friends. Try the tarragon chicken or grilled Caprese sandwich – you won’t be disappointed!



2. Benchmark

$$ | (714) 480-0225 | WEBSITE


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The Benchmark restaurant offers a lively setting with shaded outdoor patio seating. The menu features local Southern California dishes with an international twist, like Korean-style fried chicken and Steelhead Trout.

The Roasted Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts are also a hit, as are the desserts. The Brown Butter Cake is a must-try. And the drinks menu features a variety of local beers, wines, and spirits.



3. La Chiquita

$ | (714) 543-8787 | WEBSITE

Santa Ana, CA Best Restaurant

La Chiquita, a long-standing local favorite for four generations, has been a wallet-friendly Mexican restaurant. The restaurant offers authentic dishes like enchiladas, chile con carne, housemade guacamole, and drinks like domestic beer and margaritas.


4. Chapter One

$$ | (714) 352-2225 | WEBSITE


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Eclectic eatery Chapter One is housed in a former bookstore and boasts a literature-themed menu. Happy hour specials and a weekend brunch are available, as well as NFL game specials and Taco Tuesdays.

The dinner menu features duck-fat fries, ribeye steak, and sopapilla cheesecake for dessert. A wide selection of craft cocktails, beer, wine, and spirits are also available.



5. Detention DTSA

$$$ | (714) 560-4444 | WEBSITE


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Detention DTSA is sleek and upscale, with reservations strongly encouraged. The menu features meat dishes such as Huli Huli Game Hen and Wagyu Skirt Steak. The weekend brunch menu features Pork Belly Breakfast Tacos, Sourdough Potato Waffle, and cocktails. Draft beer and local wine by the glass are also available.



6. Kaizen Shabu

$$ | (714) 486-3464 | WEBSITE


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If you’re in the mood for authentic Japanese cuisine, look no further than Kaizen Shabu. This Japanese eatery offers a modern twist on traditional shabu shabu, with a wide selection of Japanese whiskey and sake.

The shabu here is made with various types of meat and broths, and the small bites like shrimp and veggie tempura are perfect for sharing. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try their wasabi roulette takoyaki with friends for kicks.



7. Bird & Barrel

$$ | (714) 584-3662 | WEBSITE


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Bird & Barrel is a restaurant that specializes in Asian fusion cuisine. They offer chicken, duck rice, noodle dishes, and pho and bo kho. They also have some vegetarian options available. In addition to their regular menu, they also offer a selection of draft beers, cocktails, and various lemonades.



8. Antonello Ristorante

$$$ | (714) 751-7153 | WEBSITE


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Antonello Ristorante is a family-crafted Northern Italian restaurant with a rustic Tuscan chic interior. The dinner menu features delicious pasta dishes like Burrata Ravioli and Spaghetti Alla Pescatore and main entrees like pork, chicken, and sea bass. The tiramisu and gelato are the perfect way to end your meal!



9. Wursthaus

$$ | (714) 760-4333 | WEBSITE


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If you’re looking for a delicious meal and a great beer to pair it with, look no further than Wursthaus. This gastropub offers a variety of German and Belgian beers and a selection of sausages that are sure to satisfy your hunger.

The Smoked Bratwurst and Spicy Polish sausages are both excellent choices, or you can try the Cajun Chicken sausage if you’re looking for something a little different. They even offer a selection of vegan sausages!



10. Fakas Island Grill

$$ | (714) 514-0593 | WEBSITE


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Fakas Island Grill is an authentic Hawaiian BBQ joint with a local flare. The mix plates are unique — the Chicken Katsu is to die for. The Surf N Chick is also excellent, and the loaded fries and nachos are mouth-watering. The Holy Faka’n Fries and the classic Spam Musubi are a must-try.



11. Tuk Tuk Thai Street Food

$$ | (714) 760-4660 | WEBSITE


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This popular eatery offers street food-style dishes like fried rice and Pad Thai, as well as Drunken Noodle and other tasty options. Plus, they have a great drink menu with options like Thai tea. You can order online for pick-up or delivery.



12. Chato’s Bar and Grill

$$ | (714) 852-3256 | WEBSITE


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Chato’s Bar and Grill offers a modern take on Mexican food with a taco menu that includes Chile Guero, Al Pastor, and Crispy Fish. The plate menu features Short Rib Enchiladas, Arrachera, and a variety of desserts. Churros and Fried Ice Cream are just a few delicious options. The casual vibes make it the perfect place to enjoy a meal with no frills.



13. Native Son

$$ | (714) 760-4422 | WEBSITE


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If you’re looking for a bar with a chill mood and good local beer, Native Son is worth checking out. They have 23 rotating taps of local beer and monthly food specials. The burgers are noteworthy – try the Devil’s Son burger. The Crispy Mozzarella Sandwich and seasonal salads are also worth trying. If you’re interested in weekend brunch, you’ll need to make a reservation.



14. The Chicken Rice

$ | (714) 852-3467 | WEBSITE


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The Chicken Rice is a great place to get your fix of affordable Thai food. They specialize in chicken and rice but offer a variety of chicken types to choose from. Their Hainan Chicken is a must-try, as well as their Orange Chicken. The sauces are also worth trying, especially their Signature Soybean Ginger. If you’re not in the mood for chicken, they also have a curry and rice menu and tofu options.



15. I Can Barbecue

$$ | (714) 805-9008 | WEBSITE


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I Can Barbecue is an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurant that offers lunch and dinner. The restaurant features tabletop barbecued meats, veggies, and special Halal menus. In addition, the restaurant offers a variety of drinks, including handcrafted soju cocktails, wine, sake, and beer.



16. Trust DTSA

$ | (714) 732-2705 | WEBSITE

Trust DTSA

Trust DTSA is a great place for a Sunday afternoon time with family and friends. Highly recommend the gin-based and Harry Potter-themed drinks were both delicious, also the loaded waffle fries with brisket and Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich are their signature dishes. The only downside is that the parking situation may not be ideal.


17. Pop’s Cafe

$ | (714) 543-2772 | WEBSITE

Restaurants in Santa Ana, CA

Pop’s Cafe is an old-school diner that has been around since 1942. They offer a breakfast menu with items such as omelets, pancakes, waffles, and french toast. Sandwiches, burgers, and even a Beef Ortega Melt are available for lunch. They also have a low-cal menu if you’re looking for something on the lighter side.



18. Country Cafe

$$ | (657) 247-5441 | WEBSITE

Restaurant in Santa Ana, CA 

If you’re looking for a down-home dining experience, look no further than Country Cafe. This restaurant serves brunch classics such as country fried steak, bacon & eggs, among other homestyle breakfast dishes. You can enjoy gourmet burgers, sandwiches, and their Mexican menu for lunch. And don’t forget to try their Chorizo & Eggs!



19. Tutto Fresco

$$ | (714) 568-1035 | WEBSITE


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Tutto Fresco is an Italian restaurant that offers classic entrees such as Chicken Parm, Margherita pizzas, and a pasta menu with Alfredo, Lobster Ravioli, and Lasagna. They also have kid’s favorites such as Mac N Cheese and desserts such as cake bites and tiramisu. Their cookies are freshly baked, and their coffee is delicious.




If you’re looking for a good meal in Santa Ana, you’ll have plenty of options. You can find everything from New American cuisine to traditional Asian dishes to delicious Italian food. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to find a great restaurant to suit your needs.

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About Restaurant Observer

Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.