Irvine is the modern melting pot of world cuisine. With Mexico at its door and a constant influx of people from different backgrounds, the state is a veritable breeding ground for inspired cooking.
From traditional American comfort foods, to world cuisine, and fusion restaurants, there are so many jaw-dropping places to choose from. While it’s impossible to compile a finite list of the best places to eat in Irvine, we did our best to suggest the top 12:
The 12 Best Irvine Restaurants:
Súp Noodle Bar
A very popular dish, pho has won the hearts of slurpers across the country. Súp Noodle Bar aims “to show the world what pho could be, not what pho is.”
They are a modern noodle bar that gives a twist to the Vietnamese classic. With two locations in Irvine and Buena Park, Súp has been described as “one of the most unique bowls of pho.”
Open every day of the week for both lunch and dinner, you can indulge in one of nine pho dishes made with a 48-hour stewed bone broth which include unlimited refills on rice noodles when you eat in!
You can start off your meal with bao bun and egg roll appetizers and wash it down with a Thai iced tea or Vietnamese coffee. Entrées range from $14 to $28.50.
Súp is easily one of favorite Irvine restaurants that we recommend the most to our friends and family.
14370 Culver Dr Unit 2H, Irvine, CA 92604
North Italia is one of the best Italian restaurants in Irvine. They focus on making mouth-watering meals using high quality ingredients for hand-crafted dishes.
They offer a daily pizza, with rotating toppings, and fresh handmade pasta, all of which is made from scratch daily. They are open for both lunch and dinner every day and serve brunch on the weekends.
Their dinner menu offers enough variety for everyone, broken down into pizza, pasta, salads, chef’s boards, and entrées, without having an overwhelmingly long list of varieties of each.
They also offer an extensive cocktail list with inventive flavor pairings.
Dishes are on the pricier side, especially if you start with sharing plates, but there is Happy Hour in the bar on both food and drink Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6pm.
2957 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612
Habana is one of the best restaurants in Irvine no doubt, it is a Cuban oasis open for lunch, dinner, and late night.
Their mouth-watering menu is choc full of Latin classics, featuring plantains, black beans, chipotle, slow-roasted pork, and more.
Entrées range from $26 to $44 per person. If you really want to indulge, the Paella a la Habana for two costs $72 total. Plus, you can add a Caribbean lobster tail for an extra $25.
Habana is a surefire indulgence in gourmet Cuban eating. You can almost feel the Havan breeze calling you as you bite into a croqueta or empanada starter.
You can also pair a Jarritos with your meal, fully cementing the whole experience. While there’s really no excuse to not eat in, you can sate your Habana craving at home too, as they offer take out.
708 Spectrum Center Dr Suite 708, Irvine, CA 92618
HiroNori Craft Ramen
How could you not want to eat HiroNori, when they proudly state being the best ramen in Irvine and possibly all of Southern California? Ten locations across the state speak to their success.
Stop in the Irvine locatin on Michelson Drive to taste their homemade, authentic Japanese ramen noodles, stock, and sauce.
They make tonkotsu, shoyu, and vegan ramens using high-quality ingredients. HiroNori (named after the two founding chefs) has been serving California since 2017 and is officially recognized in the Michelin Guide.
Choose from the traditional trio, one of their rice or poke bowls, or get a combo which also includes a salad.
Their menu is complements by classic sides, such as edamame, cucumber crab salad, and pork buns. Prices vary by location.
2222 Michelson Dr Ste 234 Irvine, CA 92612
ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen
Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen offers a menu inspired by the southern hemisphere, featuring dishes from Mexico and beyond, adapting these classics to a modern style.
Food is prepared in an open-plan kitchen, to add a busy sizzle to the atmosphere of the dining room. You van start with sopes, guacamole, flautas, and empanadas, then move on to their signature roast chicken with Yucatan spices or slow roast carnitas.
They have a separate enchilada and taco list. To finish off, ChaCha’s offers delectable flan, tres leches cake, or churros.
A Latin restaurant wouldn’t be complete without an extensive tequila menu. The experience is further complemented by wines from California, Chile, and Argentina. Entrées range from $16 to $30 per person.
This is one Irvine restaurant that you don’t want to miss!
13126 Jamboree Rd Irvine, CA 92602
Bosscat Kitchen and Libations
Bosscat is one the best-rated restaurants in Irvine as it is the perfect place to eat, sip, and discover.
Bosscat’s speciality is in its name: kitchen and librations. American comfort food is pared with an extensive whiskey list boasting over 300 different bottles.
There are currently three locations, and the one in Irvine boasts their upscale-meets-casual dining atmosphere, including brunch.
The rustic-industrial restaurant focus on seasonal flavors – all of which always pair well with whiskey. Start with pork belly poutine and California onion dip, then dig into barbecue salmon or cajun brick chicken.
Entrées vary from $21 to $36 each. There are also salads, soups, and sandwiches to choose from. Finish off with the epitome of comfort food: rich desserts like beignets and banana pudding.
Don’t forget brunch on the weeks, with a fresh take on breakfast classics.
18169 Von Karman Ave, Irvine, CA 92612
If you’re looking for a killer burger from one of the best Irvine restaurants, look no further than The Cut.
With all the new casual-fine dining, burgers seem to have been left to the fast food outlets The Cut breaks the mold by guaranteeing handcrafted burgers that are intricately simply (and so much better than your greasy quick bite).
The Cut elevates burgers beyond pub grub by pairing their dishes with craft beer and artisan cocktails.
Go all-out with The Cut, a $36 8oz. 60-day dry aged prime Angus rib patty burger with cheese on a sesame bun paired with a Pain Killer – a cocktail made with traditional Korean soju, mango, pineapple, coconut, and nutmeg.
The burgers are definitely pricier than take out, and sides cost extra, but they are well worth the price.
The take a step away from flipping patties on the weekends when they serve brunch from 10 to 2 pm, offering decadent version of all the classics.
3831 Alton Pkwy C, Irvine, CA 92606
From coast to coast, A&J Restaurant offers authentic Taiwanese cuisine. Happily, their west coast location is in Irvine.
This mouth-watering Asian hotspot offers an iconic, numbered menu in both Mandarin and English. It’s broken down among noodles, soups, rice, small plates, appetizers, and breakfast. Yes, even A&J serves weekend brunch.
Try a classic Taiwanese red bean pastry or Chinese egg wrap to start your day. All their food is also available for take out or delivery on Uber Eats.
On their beverage menu, they offer some truly authentic choices. Wash a spicy dish down with cold soy milk or pair your dumpling with black plum juice. A&J’s is open every day of the week until 8pm.
14805 Jeffrey Rd, Irvine, CA 92618
From across the East Chinese Sea, Baekjeong offers us more delicious flavors from across the globe. This Korean barbecue restaurant is the perfect place to meat again.
Baekjeong is the Korea word for butcher, echoing the restaurant’s meat-heavy menu. The restaurant only serves high-quality meats, from prime ribeye to brisket, with short rib, pork, and intestine available, too.
There are stews, noodle bowls, bibimbap, and dumplings to choose from. There’s even a squid option for seafood lovers.
Baekjeong wouldn’t have been able to open seven locations across California, becoming one of the U.S.’s top destinations for Korean barbecue, if their food wasn’t better than it looks in the pictures – and the pictures are pretty amazing.
Baekjeong easily gets one of the top spots on our list of the best restaurants in Irvine.
14160 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92604
If you’re the type of person that can keep eating until the restaurant closes, a churrascaria is the place for you.
A traditional style of Brazilian barbecue restaurant, a churrascaria is a place serving slow, spit-roasted meats cooked over open coal fire (today, more likely a brick grill), rodizo style.
Rodizio more or less means all-you-can-eat steakhouse. Servers come around the restaurant, offering various cuts of meat on skewers fresh from the grill, and serve you until you say stop.
Agora Churrascaria offers a set menu for $65 which includes access to the salad bar, hot food bar (often full of black bean stew, garlic rice, creamed corn, and more), and the meat of course!
Over fifteen different styles of meat, including chicken, pork, lamb, and beef. Pick and choose which you want to taste as the gaucho-dressed waiters come ‘round.
It only takes one visit to see why locals are crazy about Agora and why it makes our list of the best restaurants in Irvine.
1830 Main St, Irvine, CA 92614
Taiko has been around since 1980 and is one of the oldest Irvine restaurants.
For forty years, Taiko has provided an extraordinary dining experience in a traditional, but unique Japanese setting.
It’s common knowledge that there’ll be a long wait, but many reassure that it’s well worth it. Experience a taste of Japan thanks to their menu which offers a wide range of classics.
Sushi lover’s can’t resist. It’s so popular, there’s a rewards program to sign up for, offering 1 point for every dollar spent with a $2.50 bonus each 50 points your earn, plus a gifted $5 for your birthday month.
It’s an easy way for sashimi fans to get addicted to Taiko’s delicious dishes.
14775 Jeffrey Rd, Irvine, CA 92618
All That Shabu
All That Shabu offering authentic hot pot in an all-you-can-eat format.
Both hot and cold dishes are served buffet-style, with options for tapas-like small plates or family style hot pots to share.
When things get busy at this shabu-shabu, tables are limited to 2 hours, but that is still plenty of sitting time to indulge in noodles, fish balls, dumplings, banchan, tofu dishes, their sauce bar, and – yes you’re about to read these words – their unlimited beverages.
Free refills, on food and drink! Food is set at a fixed price: $25.99 for lunch, $32.99 for dinner and on weekends. There’s even beer (although that’s not unlimited refills).
15315 Culver Dr #145, Irvine, CA 92604
Map of Irvine Restaurants