• About
  • News
  • MAPS
  • Calendar & Events
Costa Mesa City Accolades

Costa Mesa City Accolades

Costa Mesa is known as the crown jewel for arts and culture in Orange County and for unparalleled shopping from high-end designers to local boutiques. But, there is so much more to this dynamic city, from its walkability, to its outdoor art and sculpture gardens to some of the best restaurants and dining experiences in Southern California. Following are some notable awards and recognition received by the city and its various businesses, and the reason millions of locals and visitors spend time in Costa Mesa each year. 

One of the most walkable cities in Orange County according to walkscore.com. 

Forbes Top 10 Places to Visit in Orange County.
Eater LA How South Coast Plaza Pulls in $2 Billion Per Year.
New York Times says California Scenario is one of "7 Sculpture Gardens that merge art and landscape". 

Kaboom! donned Costa Mesa with its Playful City USA designation for three years for bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of those in the community. 

The Bark Park was recognized as one of the Best Dog Parks in Orange County.

Angels Playground has been rated one of the best inclusive/accessible playgrounds in Orange County.

The Pacific Amphitheatre at OC Fair & Events Center ranked #40 in Top 100 venues for worldwide ticket sales by Pollstar. 

The OC Fair, located in Costa Mesa, is the 8th largest county fair in the U.S. with more than 1.4 million visitors during the five-week annual event. The OC Fair is the second largest fair in California (only San Diego County Fair is large at just over 1.5 million guests).

Costa Mesa is home to the Tony-Award Winning South Coast Repertory theater.

Avenue of the Arts – A Tribute Portfolio Hotel in Costa Mesa – named an AAA

 4-Diamond Hotel for seven consecutive years and in 2018 was named Marriott International Hotel of the Year.

Culinary Honors

Costa Mesa has received and continues to be recognized as one of the top citites for dining in LA and Orange County. A sample of the notable culinary accomplishments are listed below. We have also created the concept of an Eatcation to help guide you through the Costa Mesa's dynamic food culture.

Rand McNally named Costa Mesa in Best of the Road competition for Best in Food.

Costa Mesa is one of the Best Mid-Sized Cities for Food in the U.S. according to Orange County Register.

Bravo TV's “Top Chef” alum  own and operate unique restaurants in Costa Mesa:

Chef Amar Santana owns and operates Vaca and opening The Hall: Global Eatery in 2019

Chef Richard Blais opened The Crack Shack in Costa Mesa

Bravo’s “The Feast” features Costa Mesa in Food Scenes on the West Coast (It’s Not Where You Think) recognizing Hana Re, Black Market Bakery and Vaca. 

Best Tortilleria's in Southern California include El Toro Bravo and Taco Maria in Costa Mesa according to Gustav Arellano of "Good Food" on KCRW.

Michelin-starred restaurants name in 2019 - Taco Maria and Hana Re sushi - the only two in Orange County. 

Los Angeles Times Pulitzer Prize winning food critic Jonathan Gold named Taco Maria amongst his Top 10 in Top 101 Restaurants and in 2018 Taco Maria was named Restaurant of the Year.

Taco Maria’s Carlos Salgado is a five-time James Beard Award nominee.

Travel + Leisure named The Straw OC #1 Best Milkshake in the U.S

Din Tai Fung named one of the Top 10 Gourmet Restaurants in the World by New York Times.

Five of the Top 10 Ramen Noodle Spots in Orange County are in Costa Mesa.

Gayot.com named Din Tai Fung at Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza as one of America’s Best Restaurants.

Orange Coast Magazine's Best Food & Drink of 2020 includes steak at Costa's, dumplings at Din Tai Fung, Twain cocktail and The Guild Club and Nice Guys 100% vegan. 

Orange Coast Magazine named Crudo at The Hall Global Eatery and Knife Pleat Best New Restaurants of 2020.

Food and Wine Magazine included The Crack Shack in its list of Best Fried Chicken the U.S.

Portola Coffee Roasters named Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine.

One of 10 Best Breweries for Craft Beer in Orange County is at Gunwhale Ales – Orange County Register.

Gunwhale Ales named Best Local Brewery by Editor’s Choice and Reader’s Choice  in OC Weekly.

Orange Coast Magazine named Gunwhale Ales Best OC Beer in 2017. 

Events on