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Travel Costa Mesa Blog

Posts Tagged ‘costa mesa’

5 Places for Cold Brew and Craft Coffee in Costa Mesa

Posted on September 12, 2017 | 3:43pm

Costa Mesa is used to being on the cutting edge for food and drink, and the latest trends in coffee are no exception. When it comes to cold brew or a variety of craft coffees, this city is on it. Here are 5 great places to get craft coffee in the city.

Thunderking Coffee Bar

Known as one of the originators of cold brew coffee, Thunderking won’t share its secret, but says the process is ‘long’ and ‘cold’ and what makes their flagship bottled brew so smooth and pure. Thunderking recently opened a Coffee Bar located inside SOCIAL, a trendy restaurant on the west side of Costa Mesa. Along with traditional hot coffee drinks, Thunderking serves its proprietary organic cold brew on tap. Guests can enjoy a variety of innovative caffeinated beverages that combine Thunderking’s nitro-brew with SOCIAL’s house made syrups, cordials and bitters, each available with or without alcohol. The lineup of nitro-brew drinks include:

  • White Girl Latte: nitro cold brew, salted vanilla, cream, cinnamon (vodka optional)
  • Mint Mojito: nitro cold brew, mint, lime simple syrup, cream (rum optional)
  • The Better Buzz: nitro cold brew, orgeat, coconut water, salted vanilla cream (coconut rum optional)

 

To pair with its coffee creations, Thunderking offers a selection of breakfast and lunch menu items curated by the culinary team at SOCIAL, such as:

  • Nooks and Crannies: almond butter, house strawberry jam, toasted sourdough
  • Avocado Toast: crème fraiche, confit cherry tomatoes, pea tendrils, radish, tarragon
  • SOCIAL Benedict: house-made buttermilk biscuits, pulled pork, slow egg, creole mustard hollandaise

Thunderking is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Located inside SOCIAL at 512 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa.

 

coffee bar

                                                                                                                                Lavato Images

 

Portola Coffee Lab

Voted best coffee roaster in 2015, Portola Coffee Lab was the brainchild of husband and wife co-owners, Jeff and Christa Duggan. A scientist at heart, Jeff credits coffee for helping him further pursue his love of chemistry and science and allowing him to bring this love to fruition in the popular flagship location of Portola Coffee Lab inside The OC Mix at SOCO in Costa Mesa. Utilizing their on-site roasters with an all-organic line of coffee, Portola serves up many traditional coffee drinks, including a refreshing cold brew that locals crave. Fans of this craft coffee spot line up throughout the day to get their fix. On the weekends, Portola is a destination of its own as aficionados of espresso and cappuccino travel for miles to enjoy their favorite cup of coffee in the laid-back atmosphere at The OC Mix. Recently, on the six-year anniversary of Portola, the team renovated to expand the space and add more seating around the coffee bar making a more engaging customer experience. This quickly became a popular space for professionals and students to enjoy their coffee and get some work done with the background buzz of coffee grinders and visitors milling around the center. Hours: Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Located at 3313 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa.

Cafecito Organico

Located in the funky and cool outdoor center called The LAB “anti-mall,” Cafecito is a true neighborhood coffee spot with a wholehearted attempt to support livelihood and biodiversity, bringing people together one cup at a time. Originating in Los Angeles, Cafecito Organico works with small growers and family farms that produce high-quality coffees sustainably. Their commitment to delivering a quality product carries over to the staff members they employ, who are trained to brew the best cup of coffee, and treat every customer as their guest. On any given day, students can be found plugged in, studying and enjoying an iced coffee to keep them going, or business folks stopping in for an afternoon pick-me-up. The menu consists of the traditional espresso, latte and Americano, and they definitely have a quality cold brew as well as a variety of teas. While there are a few tables inside and out, there is plenty of seating in this eclectic shopping and dining area. Take a coffee to go and relax in the ‘living room’ area or sit by a soothing water feature just outside the shop. Food and snacks are limited here, but the nearby Goodtown Doughnuts or PopBar offer yummy treats to pair with your cup o’ Joe. Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Located at The LAB, 2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa.

Neat Coffee Shop

Dubbed by one customer as ‘the best cold brew in Orange County’ and known for their seasonal (fall) Golden Latte, Neat is a hidden gem located in a co-working office space in Costa Mesa. While living in Uganda, husband and wife owners, Ally and David, were inspired by the coffee roasting process. They also loved the idea that coffee brings people together, so when they moved to the U.S., they were committed to working in the business. Soon after settling in, Neat was born, carrying high-quality beans from some of the best West Coast roasters. House made seasonal syrups and locally-made almond milk make each cup extra special. Their website says “Costa Mesa’s friendly neighborhood coffee shop” and we agree; a good cup of coffee is made better by the people serving it. This small space with only has a few seats outside, and sometimes offers pastries but no permanent food menu. Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Located on the bottom floor of an office building at 270 Baker St., Suite 200, Costa Mesa.

Milk & Honey

This is a super cute spot to grab a drink and catch up with a friend while sitting on the rustic, enclosed patio off to the side. Known for their Lavender Latte and a variety of other menu items, Milk & Honey offers frozen yogurt, shaved ice, acai bowls and a peanut butter and fresh fruit sandwich, as well as many other items. The Milk and Honey Special is Strawberry ice with strawberries, bananas, kiwi and mocha, topped with red azuki bean. Not only is this treat refreshing, it’s a healthy start to the day and makes a great midday treat. Milk and Honey’s natural ambiance makes it a perfect fit at The Camp – a sustainably focused, open-air campus with a diverse offering of restaurants and locally-owned shops. Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Located at The Camp at 2981 Bristol St., Costa Mesa.

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Posted in Food, Locals, Misc

Labor Day Weekend Events in Orange County

Posted on August 18, 2017 | 10:17am

 

Thinking summer is coming to an end too quickly? Not to worry, there’s still time to enjoy the warm Southern California weather. With Labor Day Weekend right around the corner, why not plan one last weekend getaway? You could sit by the pool and relax, or get out and explore Orange County to make the most of your time and enjoy Labor Day Weekend events. Be at the center of all the fun and stay in Orange County’s theater and arts district, Costa Mesa.

 

Costa Mesa has all the right elements for a perfect Labor Day weekend away – food, shopping, arts and entertainment. Many Costa Mesa hotels offer special weekend rates and packages so you can make the most of your time away. With Costa Mesa’s close proximity to the beaches in Huntington, Newport and Laguna, it’s hard to pass up a visit to Orange County’s beautiful coastline. Make a full day of it, enjoy water sports, cruise the harbor or take an evening stroll on the beach and enjoy a stunning Southern California sunset.

PC:Visit Newport Beach

 

Costa Mesa Events

Great Labor Day Cruise – September 1 – 3, 2017

Head over to the OC Fair & Event Center for the 35th Annual Great Labor Day Cruise where 1,200 muscle cars, street rods and classics will be on display and paraded along a 1.25-mile route. There will be food, music and fun for the whole family. The three-day event is $15 for adults and free for children under age 11.

 

Heroes Hall, also on site of the OC Fair & Event Center, is a free museum open year round, serving as a tribute to Orange County veterans and others who have served our nation.

 

The Capital Grille Generous Pour – through September 3, 2017

Wine lovers will toast to one of the largest wine events in the U.S.! Labor Day is the last weekend to experience The Capital Grille’s “Generous Pour,” where you can sit back, relax and savor seven varieties of wine when you purchase an entree. The best part is that you can enjoy the flight of these seven wines over and over again. Or, select your favorite and your server will generously refill your glass throughout the evening, all for one price. Located at South Coast Plaza, this popular summer event ends September 3, so be sure to reserve your spot soon.

 

Costa Mesa Activities

Spend a day at South Coast Plaza, where this international shopping destination continues to celebrate its golden anniversary with exclusive merchandise such as Gucci’s limited edition Large Sylvie Top handbag and Porsche Design sunglasses for men and women. Starbucks even has a special Carousel Blend coffee to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. Stop by the new boutique by ladies’ luxury Italian footwear Aquazzura, and when you’re ready for a break, enjoy a gourmet pizza or other Italian favorites and specialty cocktails at newly reopened Wolfgang Puck Kitchen. If you’re in need a few more things for back-to-school, South Coast Plaza is just the place for the hot, new trends.

If being a kid at heart is what inspires your weekend away, or merely keeping the kids entertained is the goal, add Disneyland to the weekend itinerary. Staying in Costa Mesa makes it even easier to create just the right itinerary for all family members. Most Costa Mesa hotels offer convenient shuttle transportation to and from your hotel direct to the Disneyland Resort. This is definitely a perk if you want to see Minnie and Mickey while also enjoying a relaxing weekend retreat.

 

Costa Mesa’s SOCO and The OC Mix is an inspirational and creative center where you can shop, dine or simply chill out. Grab a carefully crafted and freshly brewed latte at one of the best coffee roasters around, Portola Coffee Lab. Browse new retailers like women’s athletic clothing and Korean-inspired skincare products by Bono Spera (meaning ‘Good Hope’ in Latin), or home furnishings from luxury Italian brand Natuzzi Italia and stylish multimedia products by the iconic Bang & Olufsen.

PC: Anne Watson Photography

 

A Saturday visit to this indoor/outdoor area is a must in order to experience one of Orange County’s best Farmer’s Markets – Saturday’s from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Looney Tunes lovers and art collectors can appreciate not one, but two galleries by Chuck Jones’ Center for Creativity – ‘the’ gallery for pop culture collections; the second location recently opened in The OC Mix. View and purchase from the extensive fine arts collections and various Looney Tunes-inspired gifts to take home. Think Snoopy, the Peanuts Gang, Bugs Bunny, and more.

 

If you happen to stop at SOCO and The OC Mix on Monday of Labor Day, you’re in for a real treat. Grab a bite at a new popup breakfast spot open for a limited time. Eggslice, open from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., creates perfectly crafted breakfast sandwiches, featuring unique locally made Chili Jam, combined with fresh, local ingredients from OC Baking Company, Billy’s Egg Farm, Francisco’s Meat Company, West Coast Prime Meats and Penjoyan Produce.

 

Don’t wait; start planning your weekend away now! Explore the Calendar of Events to see all the Labor Day weekend events in Costa Mesa and around Orange County.

 

 

 

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Posted in Events, Food, Hotels, Misc, Play, Shopping

Beef…it’s what’s for Father’s Day in Costa Mesa!

Posted on June 14, 2017 | 10:33am

If your dad enjoys a juicy cut of steak, grilled to perfection, give him a break this Father’s Day and treat him to one of the most decadent and flavorful steaks in Orange County. It’s hard to decide which is “best,” but we have a few recommendations to help you choose, and you won’t go wrong whether you’re looking for fine dining, family-style tapas, dinner or brunch – these restaurants are ready to welcome you on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18, 2017.

 

Mastro’s Steakhouse is a sophisticated and classy steakhouse offering dry-aged, hand-cut prime selections of meat served on its signature 400-degree steak plate, for just the right preparation. Featuring an A5 grade Japanese Wagyu New York Strip and a decadent 33 oz. “Chef’s Cut” Tomahawk Chop, there’s no doubt your craving will be satisfied at this steakhouse, especially when accompanied by side of lobster mashed potatoes and a carefully selected wine pairing to complete the meal. Treat dad on Father’s Day; he’ll be in heaven, and the family will enjoy being treated to a very special dining experience, with live music nightly. Open for dinner beginning at 3 p.m. Book a table online.

 

 

AnQi by House of AN $1 Beers and 1 lb. Tomahawk Ribeye

From 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

AnQi’s architecturally designed contemporary space is a treat in itself when dining out on a special occasion like Father’s Day. AnQi’s menu of Asian-inspired dishes with an American flair delivers appetizers like filet mignon potstickers and their famous garlic noodles made with Mama An’s secret recipe. On Father’s Day, AnQi is offering an impressive 1 lb. tomahawk ribeye chop; Szechwan lamb raviolis; Korean fried chicken wings; a salt and pepper pork chop and mile-high chocolate mocha cake with cookies ’n cream ice cream for dessert. Dad will love the $1 dollar beer selection available as part of this special menu. AnQi’s full à la carte menu will also be available all day. Prices vary per selection; specialty menu $15-$88 (exclusive of tax and gratuity) For reservations, call 714.557.5679.

 

Pueblo

Brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Dinner from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

At Pueblo, the goal is to bring people together and by featuring a menu of shareable plates. A Father’s Day celebration is perfect to bring the family together and toast to dad. Pueblo offers a tapas-plate Sunday brunch, and is also open for dinner. Having been voted one of the ‘best charcuterie platters’ in Orange County, where guests can choose from 6 different cured Spanish meats or even jamon iberico, this is a perfect platter to share with the group. On Father’s Day, Pueblo will be presenting a special menu with selection of meat along with a new dessert for chocolate lovers – a warm chocolate brownie with house-made toasted coconut ice cream. Reservations are not required, but can be made by calling 714.340.5775.

 

Vaca

5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Chef Amar Santana is known for his aged steaks, carefully selected cheeses and cured meats from his charcuterie bar, and a variety of Spanish wines. A favorite starter is the Canelon de Pollo (smoked chicken cannelloni with foie gras and sherry reduction); it will melt in your mouth. To really indulge, take one look at the Carne section of the menu and you’ll see prime selections of beef like Japanese Kobe or the grass-fed NY Strip steak. If that’s not enough to tempt you, check out this preparation by Chef Amar himself. Reservations are highly recommended. Call 714.463.6060.

 

 

The Capital Grille at South Coast Plaza

11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Especially for Father’s Day, Capital Grille is serving an off-the-menu item; it’s a mouthwatering Tomahawk bone-in ribeye. Or if dad prefers a perfectly grilled burger, try Capital Grille’s Signature Cheeseburger – a juicy, flavorful blend of chopped sirloin, smoked bacon and onions. It’s one of the best burgers in town, so be sure to get a reservation to enjoy a delicious meal and a beautiful bottle of wine from their award-winning wine list on this special day with dad.

 

Nothing says “We love you, Dad!” quite like a prime steak! Where will you be dining for Father’s Day in Costa Mesa?

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Posted in Events, Food, Misc

Costa Mesa is Your 4th of July Getaway!

Posted on May 31, 2017 | 4:44pm

The 4th of July holiday is the essence of summertime, a national holiday that brings family and friends together to celebrate American Independence; barbecues, pool parties and traditional fireworks displays. And the 4th of July also brings two great new events to Costa Mesa in 2017. It’s the perfect spot for a long weekend getaway, staycation or quick flight to John Wayne, Orange County Airport from nearby Northern California, Phoenix, Vegas and many other cities.

 

The skies will light up around Orange County, as they do every year, but for the first time, Costa Mesa is an official 4th of July destination for families and friends to gather and celebrate.

 

Live music at OC Marketplace

On Tuesday, July 4, 2017, the City of Costa Mesa will host a free family-focused 4th of July celebration at OC Fair & Event Center from 3 – 9 p.m. with a pyrotechnic show as the highlight of the evening. Visitors can spend the afternoon exploring Heroes Hall Museum (located at OC Fair & Event Center) between 3 and 5 p.m., followed by a variety of children and family-oriented attractions, live music and by shopping some of the popular OC Marketplace vendors. Various foods and beverages will be available for sale throughout the duration of the event.

 

barbecue meat

For those who have been faithful fans of the Pacific Symphony for more than 30 years, this spectacular musical event will continue for years to come, with performances at its new home in the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa.

 

The 2017 Pacific Symphony SummerFest kicks off on Tuesday, July 4th with “Symphonic Springsteen: Bruce in the USA.”

 

The concert beneath the stars is a festive way to celebrate the 4th of July with a tribute to “The Boss.” Pack a picnic dinner and enjoy the concert at 8 p.m. concluding with a spectacular display of fireworks at 10 p.m. A variety of vendor options from Spectra and the award-winning caterer 24 carrots will also be onsite to serve up selections from a gourmet menu (offering simple to elaborate!) for pre-concert dining. Guests can also dine on the Pacifica Plaza pre-concert or in the seats during the performance. Ticket prices start at $25.

Symphonic Springsteen Pacific Symphony July 4

There are plenty of activities happening around Costa Mesa throughout the summer.

Costa Mesa hotels are conveniently located, many that are walkable, a short drive, or accessible by the city’s free ART shuttle to popular attractions around Costa Mesa and Orange County. While visiting, check out Heroes Hall or Centennial Farm at the OC Fair & Event Center. Spend a day shopping at South Coast Plaza, or head over to a local’s favorite, trendy outdoor dining space at The LAB and The CAMP, or SOCO and The OC Mix, where there is often live music, a weekend farmer’s market, and kids activities. The Triangle entertainment center is a hit for the whole family with bowling, movie theaters and a diverse dining scene.

Children enjoy the animals at Centennial Farm

Wherever your plans may take you, be sure to include Costa Mesa on your list of places to visit.

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Posted in Events, Misc, Music & Art, Play

Stay All Weekend and get $100 While Enjoying Costa Mesa Events

Posted on May 19, 2017 | 2:05pm

Looking for events this weekend or for Memorial Day? The Costa Mesa events calendar has something for the everyone. And, if you stay two nights, you’ll enjoy $100 to dine in the City of Costa Mesa.

Make a night out at the original and largest Asian-themed Night Market in the U.S. when it returns to OC Fair & Event Center May 19-21. The event hosts more than 200 attractions including food vendors, crafts, music and live entertainment and merchandise. The Night Market is open from 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday and from 4 to 11 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 and parking is $8. Children under 6 get in free.

Stay with Us, Dine on Us

Stay all weekend and experience Costa Mesa events and some of the top attractions in Orange County. Right now, through Memorial Day, Costa Mesa hotels are offering some great packages to help you extend your stay and put a little money back in your pocket. Select Costa Mesa hotels and the trendy dining and retail center, SOCO and The OC Mix invite you stay with us and dine on us.

SOCO and The OC Mix Courtyard Costa Mesa

Book a two-night stay through May 29. Costa Mesa hotel guests will receive $100 to experience some of the best dining in Southern California. Choose from more than 20 restaurants including authentic French crepes at Bistro Papillote, or Spanish tapas at Pueblo, or make your own plate with hand-cut cheese from The Cheese Shop, with olive oil and wine tasting at We Olive Wine Bar. These are just a few of the flavors you’ll find at SOCO and The OC Mix.

Cheese Shop SOCO and The OC Mix Costa Mesa

If you’re wondering what to do this Memorial Day weekend, we have some ideas.

Friday, May 26, check into your hotel; take in an early dinner at Leatherby’s Café Rouge, or Water Grill…walking distance from most hotels. Get tickets to see to the popular Celtic Women at Segerstrom Center for the Arts that evening. Experience the live stage performance of the Voices of Angels. Enjoy the angelic sound of the three Celtic women while they perform alongside new Celtic violinist Tara McNeill and watch as the trio makes stunning wardrobe changes throughout the evening.

Celtic Women and Voices of Angels in Costa Mesa

 

Saturday, May 27, head over to SOCO and The OC Mix where you can start putting your $100 gift card from your Stay and Shop package to use. Grab a seat on the patio for a late breakfast or lunch at Restaurant Marin…you’ll feel like you’ve been swept away to a different time in this charming location while you enjoy the comfort of freshly crafted menu items. Be sure to take the time to visit one of Orange County’s largest farmer’s markets from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during your trip to SOCO and The OC Mix. There is plenty of fresh produce, floral arrangements and crafts for kids (gift card not redeemable at Farmer’s Market). Be sure to stroll around the center to see the creative boutiques and designer showrooms at this location.

Pueblo tapas and scallops in Costa Mesa

 

Memorial Day weekend also brings the Scottish Festival to Costa Mesa at OC Fair & Event Center on Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27. Whether or not you’re of Scottish heritage, the Highland Games are a great form of entertainment and showmanship. Spend the day outside enjoying traditional food and music while experiencing this annual Southern California event.

Scottish Fest and Highland Games Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa dining, shopping and attractions are all within minutes of each other so it’s easy to head back to SOCO and The OC Mix anytime throughout the weekend to try the exceptional brew at Portola Coffee, sample the Kombucha sodas from Farm & Culture Co., or pick up a sweet treat at ST Patisserie Chocolat.

Kombucha Farm and Culture SOCO and The OC Mix Costa mesa

In the City of the Arts™, you won’t want to miss the experiential Costa Mesa Art Walk around Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Sculptures can be found in a hotel, concert hall, along pathways throughout the performing arts complex, and at South Coast Plaza – one of the largest shopping centers in California with hundreds of retailers, unique boutiques, designer retailers and restaurants.

Art Walk Costa Mesa Samueli Theater

Getting to Costa Mesa is easy being just 90 minutes north of San Diego, one hour south of Los Angeles and an hour flight by air from San Francisco, Phoenix and Las Vegas into John Wayne Airport, Orange County.

 

See you soon!

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Posted in Events, Food, Hotels, Locals, Misc, Music & Art, Play