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Where to Wine and Dine This Winter in Newport Beach

December 21, 2023

Feast your eyes! We’ve put together the ultimate food-lover’s itinerary for a full day of deliciousness. When it comes to Newport Beach’s assembly of award-winning restaurants, there’s no shortage of places to please your palate. From seafood hotspots with lobster rolls, crab cakes and calamari to farm-to-table restaurants with seasonal eats, you’ll never run out of places to indulge. Here’s a full day’s worth of spots to sip and savor this winter!

Stay at VEA Newport Beach

Situated in the center of it all, VEA Newport Beach invites locals and visitors to experience luxury redefined. This newly rebranded hotel boasts coastal-chic guest rooms, including new suite categories, a sumptuous spa, three innovative dining concepts and a destination pool experience. Its prime location near Fashion Island and the coast makes it a social sanctuary, offering foodies a place to call home while exploring Newport Beach’s diverse culinary scene. So, when you’re not taking in views from your luxury guest room, you’ll be able to wine and dine your way through the surrounding neighborhoods. Let VEA be your hub this winter for all kinds of gastronomic endeavors.

Enjoy Breakfast at Wilma’s Patio

A beloved family-owned staple on Balboa Island for over three decades, Wilma’s Patio continues to delight both locals and visitors with its quaint, old-school charm. This streetside restaurant is ideal for a morning meal, boasting a cozy interior and a menu of classic American comfort food. Dig into savory dishes like the smoked salmon omelet, eggs Florentine, huevos rancheros or egg quesadilla. Craving something sweet? Order the buttermilk pancake stack or Belgian waffle!

Explore Balboa Island

After you’ve polished off your pastries (or mimosas), take a stroll around Balboa Island, and take in gorgeous views of the surrounding harbor. The island’s perimeter features a 2.5-mile paved walking path—the perfect way to burn off those breakfast calories. Be sure to walk down Marine Avenue to explore Balboa’s abundance of family-owned restaurants, specialty shops and local boutiques!

Borrow Bikes from Seaside Bike Rentals

Take the Balboa Island Ferry back to the Balboa Peninsula, and rent your very own surrey, beach cruiser or Pedego electric bike! Seaside Bike Rentals has a wide selection of wheels for you to choose from, and all of their bikes are brand new. Each rental comes with a free helmet and lock, so you can park and dine with ease!

Grab a Light Lunch at Skål Pizza

Lunch with a view? Yes, please! The charming Lido Marina Village recently welcomed newcomer Skål Pizza, the culinary brainchild of the esteemed chef/owner Helene Henderson of Malibu Farm. Farm-to-table is the name of the game here, and pie aficionados will love the innovative creations at this waterfront hotspot. From the brown butter beet pasta with housemade capellini pasta, candied pecans, chives and brown butter beet sauce to the artichoke and white sauce pizza with white sauce, herb marinated artichoke hearts and fontina cheese, you can’t go wrong with anything at Skål.

Head to Happy Hour at The Cannery

Continue the feasting with a trip to The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific! With a stellar happy hour on Wednesday-Saturday from 4-6 p.m. and Sunday from 3:30-6 p.m. upstairs in the Jellyfish Lounge, you’re sure to love this seafood haven. Quench your thirst with a refreshing assortment of classic cocktails like negronis, Manhattans and Moscow mules. Then, treat your tastebuds to fresh-caught favorites, like oysters, sashimi, grilled octopus and more! Grab a table on the covered patio for a side of unbeatable bay views.

Sunset Dinner at VIEW Restaurant & Lounge

VEA Newport Beach’s signature restaurant, VIEW, sets the scene for a refined dinner with fellow foodies. Sure, the views are stunning (hence the name), but the menu of California coastal cuisine is the real spotlight-stealer here. Reserve a seat around one of the fire pits on the Lanai and start with a round of tableside martinis and some light bites. Then, as the evening lingers on, treat your taste buds to a few signature sushi rolls and an order of crispy confit chicken wings. Live music takes place on Friday and Saturday nights from 7-10 p.m., so plan your evening accordingly.

Treat Yourself at Salt & Straw

If you’re craving a sweet nightcap, we’ve got the inside scoop. Perched on Westcliff Drive, Salt & Straw serves “daringly delicious ice cream crafted with unthinkable care,” making it a must-visit for dessert connoisseurs. This ice cream shop churns up a variety of unique flavors you won’t find anywhere else. Try the pear and blue cheese or the strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper for the ultimate sweet and savory combination, or opt for the peanut butter brittle caramel fudge for some chocolatey goodness.

Written by: Kaylin Waizinger

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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