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Best of Newport Beach: 2019

Orange County is the crown jewel of Southern California, home of foodies, fashionistas, and fun seekers alike. There’s no better place to be during the summer than in The O.C., with a tourist reputation built around beaches, palm trees, shopping centers, and theme parks. Take a romantic walk along Corona Del Mar Beach, frolic in the clear, warm waters of Laguna Beach, shop til you drop at the extravagant South Coast Plaza or ride the rollercoasters at Disneyland.

Here are this year’s Best of Newport Beach by Newport Dunes, voted on by experts, travelers, social influencers & bloggers and foodies. Best of Newport Beach provides readers with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in Orange County and the City of Newport Beach. No business paid to be listed. Check out this year’s 2019 Fan Favorite at the end!

Best of Newport Beach — Shopping 

Fashion Island

401 Newport Center Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Overlooking the ocean, Fashion Island offers distinctive shopping and dining in a coastal resort setting. The outdoor shopping experience is Orange County’s premier coastal shopping destination, offering a unique blend of luxury, designer and fashion specialty boutiques—including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Home Store, Macy’s—and a vast array of fine and al fresco dining.

Best of Newport Beach — Grocery 

Whole Foods Market

415 Newport Center Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Located in beautiful Fashion Island, Whole Foods Market Newport Beach offers a collection of all things good. Whole Foods Market is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. It seeks out the finest natural and organic foods available, maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry and have an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture.

Best of Newport Beach — Brunch 

Back Bay Bistro

1131 Back Bay Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Year-after-year, the Back Bay Bistro continues to be awarded the best brunch in Orange County by the Times OC’s Readers’ Choice. With breathtaking views, a vibrant ambiance, a brunch buffet with bottomless mimosas and truly exceptional service, Back Bay Bistro is the ideal place to socialize, talk business, celebrate, and elevate your brunch experience.

Best of Newport Beach — Steakhouse 

Mastro’s Restaurant

633 Anton Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Known for juicy steaks and frequent sightings of celebrities, Mastro’s collection of sophisticated, classic Steakhouses are recognized for their combination of world-class service, highly acclaimed cuisine, and live entertainment in an elegant yet energetic atmosphere. A truly unparalleled dining experience.

Best of Newport Beach — Seafood 

EMC Seafood & Raw Bar

14346 Culver Dr.
Irvine, CA 92604

EMC is one of those rare casual restaurants that’s good for everything and everyone’s price point, but also interesting and fun. The fact they’re serving very solid seafood is almost just a bonus. With favorites like Uni Pasta to Salmon Carpaccio, the seafood at EMC is simply divine and delicious. A fan of oysters? Get some for the table. Not only because they’re good, but also because every day from 4 – 7pm and 10pm – close, they’re a dollar each.

Best of Newport Beach — Drinks 

7 Leaves Cafe

2800 Harbor Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Dubbed the Asian Starbucks, 7 Leaves Cafe is the favorite coffee shop and boba shop among millions in Southern California. Recently opening locations in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the company utilizes traditional Vietnamese methods, such as stovetop cooking and hand-drip Vietnamese coffee phin filters. The minimalistic menu specializes in exotic teas, coffees, and 10 flavors of macarons. Beverage choices include oolong milk or sunset passion fruit teas, sea cream black coffee or jasmine tea, Vietnamese coffee, and Japanese matcha soy lattes.

Best of Newport Beach — Family Fun

Balboa Village

600 E. Bay Ave.
Newport Beach, CA 92661

You name it, Balboa Village has it – great beaches, restaurants, water sports, shopping, art galleries, sportfishing, whale watching and of course, the Fun Zone and more. It is one of Southern California’s oldest and last great coastal amusement areas and a popular family-friendly attraction for visitors to Newport Beach. Visitors can enjoy rides on the waterfront Ferris Wheel, play games in the arcade or tour the nautical museum while enjoying their favorite beach treats. This is also a popular place to rent bikes, harbor cruises, whale watching or take off for a day trip to nearby Catalina Island on the Catalina Flyer.

Best of Newport Beach — Hiking Trail

Upper Newport Bay Preserve

2301 University Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660

One of only a few remaining estuaries in southern California, Upper Newport Bay is a tranquil setting where fresh and saltwater meet and mix. Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and Ecological Reserve represent approximately 1,000 acres of open space and miles of hiking and biking trails. It is the home of nearly 200 species of birds, including several endangered species, as well as numerous varieties of mammals, fish, and native plants.

Best of Newport Beach — Hidden Gem

Orange Coast Winery

869 W 16th St.,
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Take a journey to wine country in the heart of Newport Beach. Experience full wine tastings, wine by the glass, or by the bottle in this family-owned, urban winery. Sample award-winning wines ranging from luscious sparkling, complex whites, to rich, bold reds. Whether you’re a novice or an aficionado, the highly trained staff will guide and educate you. Enjoy artisan cheese platters and gourmet flat bread creations made to pair perfectly with the wines.

Best of Newport Beach — Fan Fave

Mama D’s Italian Kitchen

3012 Newport Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663

There’s no restaurant with better service than at this mom and pop Italian restaurant. Mama D’s is proud to be the “World Class Crazy Ones”. They strive to do something extraordinary with their culinary skills and customer service. However, dining at Mama D’s is no easy task, since there is at least an hour wait on weekends. Fortunately, time goes by really quick because the servers happily offer guests in line complimentary samples of their popular dishes and delicious garlic bread throughout their wait.

Best of Newport Beach — Arts & Gardens 

Sherman Library & Gardens

2647 East Coast Hwy.
Corona del Mar, CA 92625

Boasting a smorgasbord of exotic plants and trees, the Sherman Library and Gardens is one of the lushest and leafiest places to go in the city. The 2.2-acre horticultural wonderland features everything from intricately designed succulent beds to fountains lined with vibrant blooms. Follow the pathways, and you’ll see a myriad of fuchsias and anthuriums, towering euphorbias and a koi fish pond.

Best of Newport Beach — Sports 

Newport Beach Country Club

1 Clubhouse Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Sophisticated. Social. Contemporary. Casual. For more than 60 years, this celebrated social haven has captured the spirit of one of Southern California’s most sought-after destinations through exceptional golf, a warm atmosphere and a spectacular location that boasts panoramic views of emerald fairways and sapphire seas. The Newport Beach Country Club invites you to experience a fresh take on Newport Beach belonging. Where resort-style amenities and welcoming atmosphere cater to a new generation of members in search of a private home-away-from-home experience in the heart of Newport Beach.