While you would think that a quiet and sleepy suburb like Mission Viejo would be dominated by chain restaurants and fast food joints, when you dig a little deeper you will uncover many gems in the city worth writing home about.
Here are the 15 best restaurants that Mission Viejo has to offer.
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Drop what you’re doing right now and head to Shish Taouk for some of the best Lebanese Mediterranean food in Orange County!
Shish Taouk prides itself on its shawarma, which is perfectly marianted and spit roasted, resulting in some of the most flavorful pieces of beef, chicken and lamb.
Get their sizeable chicken shawarma plate ($15.95), which comes with rice, hummus, pita and salad.
You can also find other classic Mediterranean dishes like kabobs, kaftka and falafels.
The owner here is a super nice guy and often throws in free falafels with your meals.
24001 Vía Fabricante Unit 901, Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Dublin 4 Gastropub
Located in a nondescript office park in Mission Viejo, Dublin 4 is a modern take on the Irish pub.
It opened its doors 10 years ago and on St. Patrick’s day no less, and has been serving some of the best Irish food in Orange County.
The focus at Dublin 4 is crafting dishes from the freshest ingredients possible, which means locally sourced and organic whenever possible.
Some highlights of the menu include the fish and the chips, which is Norwegian cod, battered to perfection with brewery x blonde beer.
The corn beef reuben, which comes with house-made sauerkraut, gruyere cheese, and white truffle thyme frites.
The bar offers local draught beers, a multitude of craft beers and the bartenders can whip you up some of the inventive cocktails creations, including the Forgie and Ferent, which consists of bourbon, fernet branca, Aztec chocolate and lemon essence.
26342 Oso Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92691
While some other well known Hawaiian places merely focuses on quantity, where the food leaves you feeling miserable afterwards, Aloha has found the right proportion of quality and quantity that leaves its customers deeply satisfied.
Everything on the menu is delicious, however I find myself always going back to the bbq chicken plate. The chicken is just so flavorful, the rice is soft and fluffy and the macraoni salad ties everything together.
Other highlights include the chicken katsu plate, bbq beef short ribs and of course the loco moco, which is a Hawaiian specialty that consists of white rice, topped with a hamburger, a fried egg, and brown gravy.
24000 Alicia PKWY Unit 4 Mission Viejo, CA 92691
If you are looking for some authentic upscale Mexican food that is kicked up to another level, Sol Agave will be a treat for your discerning taste-buds.
If you were to ask the server what the signature dish is, they would undoubtedly point you in the direction of the carnitas, which is long-simmered to create tender, juicy bites that fall apart with flavor. It is served alongside rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa cruda, and handmade corn tortillas.
Another standout item is the shrimp taquitos. These are not your usual taquitos where small bits of shrimp are stuffed inside a tortilla. No, these are large whole prawns stuffed with dungeness crab and wrapped inside the tortilla.
To wash everything down, treat yourself to one of their craft margaritas and if you are having a hard time deciding which one, they have a margarita flight, which lets you sample 4 flavors; tamarindo, watermelon, cilantro cucumber and mango
27741 Crown Valley Parkway #329 Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Considered one of the best Italian restaurants in Southern Orange County, Romano Cucina delivers and delights with its authentic cuisine and inviting staff and atmosphere.
Diners here can choose from a wide selection of appetizers, including pepperoni garlic bread, baked sausage mozzarella and calamari fritti.
For the mains, they have perfected Italian staples like chicken parmigiana, spaghetti and meatballs, eggplant parmesean and chicken alfredo.
Leave some room at the end for the spumoni, you won’t regret it.
25214 Cabot Rd Laguna Hills, CA 92653
The Empanada Maker
Arguably the best-known empanada eatery in town, The Empanada Maker has expanded to three locations with its extensive menu and perfectly cookies pies.
You will find over 16 varieties of empanadas here, which makes it the perfect place to grab a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner.
It’s hard for us not to recommend everything, but the breakfast empanada, which is loaded with chorizo, scrambled eggs, potatoes,peppers & onions and cheddar-jack cheese keeps us coming back.
26131 La Paz Rd # B3, Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Pub Thirty Two
Pub Thirty Two is the sister restaurant of Dublin 4 and while their menus may differ, their approach to only utilizing locally sourced and the freshest ingredients remains the same.
On their menu, you will find an eclectic array of dishes such as poutine, bangers and mash, rack of lamb and shrimp po’boy.
Alcoholic beverages include a variety of signature cocktails, craft beer and an extensive selection of whiskey and scotch.
They also bring in local singer and song writer on the weekend for live music.
23962 Alicia Pkwy Ste 2 Mission Viejo, CA 92691
If you are looking for a Mexican restaurant that leans towards the healthy side, Taco Mesa is exactly what you are looking for.
Their commitment to making fresh, authentic and healthy Mexican food has spanned 25 years and spread to 4 locations throughout Orange County.
On their menu you will find the usual Mexican fare like tacos, burrito and breakfast favorites like chilaquiles and huevos rancheros.
They also have a great Taco Tuesday special where tacos only cost around $2 and a Burrito Wednesday deal where a burrito, rice, beans and a drink cost under $10.
22922 Los Alisos Blvd Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Pho King Way Noodles and Grill
You don’t have to travel all the way to Little Saigon to get some authentic Pho. Pho King Way will impress the taste-buds of even the most discerning pho aficionados.
I like how they don’t water down the pho with American-friendly ingredients. You will find tendon and tripe in your pho.
Besides the pho, they have all the classic Vietnamese dishes like the broken rice and pork chop plate, which includes the egg-loaf and shrimp wrapped in tofu paper.
My perfect order here consists of an order of the cafe su da (Vietnamese ice-coffee), cha gió (eggrolls) and the pho with everything in it.
24000 Alicia Pkwy # 22, Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Mangi Con Amore
Mangi Con Amore is located in a nondescript office park and from a superficial glance at the outside, you would never guess that they are serving some of the finest Italian food in town.
Everything here is made from scratch using only the freshest ingredients and freshest products. Their menu boasts an excellent array of soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas and desserts.
Dishes such as the wild mushroom ravioli, butternut squash ravioli and the lasagna bolognese keeps loyal customers coming back for more.
26941 Cabot Rd #107, Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Panini Kabob Grill
Located in the Kaleidoscope shopping center, Panini Kabob Grill prides itself on crafting Mediterranean food that is not only delicious and healthy but also authentic.
On their menu, you will find a wide variety of items such as soups, salads, kabobs, koobidehs, falafals, pastas, wraps and paninis.
The most popular item on the menu is the charbroiled chicken shish kabobs, which comes with thick pieces of perfectly grilled chicken, rice, grilled onions and tomatoes and your choice of two sides.
That feeling when you leave full and satisfied and you know that you made the right decision to eat healthy is priceless.
27741 Crown Valley Pkwy Suite 212, Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Stacks Pancake House
Stack Pancake House is arguably one of the best breakfast spots in town. Their unique approach to breakfast combines influences from Hawaii, Korea, and Japan and has customers lining up outside the door.
You will find all your favorite breakfast classics in their menu with their signature touch on it. Eggs Benedict enhanced with kalua pork, portugese sausage and eggs and kalbi and eggs are some of the many delightful creations.
If you have a sweet tooth, you are in luck! Their french toast, crepes and pancake creations are phenomenal. We are partial to the captain crunch peanut butter French toast and the banana macadamia nut pancakes.
They also have a full lunch menu you where you can order burgers, sandwiches and salads.
27680 Marguerite pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Ruby’s is a classic American diner that looks, feels and taste the part. With its great decor and music blaring from the jukebox, walking into the restaurant will take you back to a time when things were more simple.
They serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a menu that features classic American fare of hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes.
While the burgers and fries have prominent placing on the menu, they have tons of options including omelettes, fish and chips, club sandwiches and much much moore.
258 Shops At Mission Viejo, Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Tikka is a family-owned and operated restaurant that takes pride in bringing authentic flavors of Pakistan and India to the southern Orange County area.
With dishes such as honey glazed chicken kabob wraps, beef boti kabob platter, paneer tikka masala curry bowl and chicken tikka masala fries, keeps customers coming back for more.
25380 Marguerite Pkwy Ste F Mission Viejo, CA 92692