Tag Archives: costa mesa

The Best Coffee in Costa Mesa

When I was in France, I developed a bit of a keurig pods drinking habit.  I figured the habit would disappear once I returned home, but I found myself craving a nice cup of coffee every morning.  Since I have the flexibility to work from home, a lot of my client meetings take place in little cafes and coffee shops which led me to begin my quest to find the best coffee in Costa Mesa.

One of my clients, Taste of Paleo (did you get your tickets yet?) was game to try my new endeavor, and we began meeting at various local coffee shops to determine who had the best brew. While there are still many more coffee shops to explore, I wanted to share the three places I consider to have the best coffee in Costa Mesa.

1. Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee

sidecarcoffeeLike there was even a question that this place would be on my list.  I always order the same thing when I come in: large drip coffee with steamed almond milk.  The place is always packed, everyone is incredibly friendly and there’s a smell of freshly baked doughnuts wafting through the air.  What’s not to love?

2. Outpost Kitchen

best coffee in costa mesaOutpost Kitchen is tucked away in a small industrial park in Costa Mesa and serves a variety of gluten-free, paleo and vegetarian dishes.  Their Four Barrel Coffee is excellent, and I often pick up a paleo bar or two as well.  Plus they have free wi-fi which is an added bonus

3.  Chocxo Coffee and Chocolate

best coffee in costa mesaI’ll admit, it wasn’t love at first sip at Chocxo, but their coffee quickly grew on me.  I also love their selection of bean to bar chocolate and the mellow vibe.  It’s a great place to pop in and get some work done without the hustle and bustle of a Starbucks (better tasting coffee too!).

So those are my three top coffee places (so far).  Where should Taste of Paleo and I venture next?

Costa Mesa Favorites

I have lived in Costa Mesa for nearly three years now, and I’ll be the first to say that I just adore my little neighborhood.  From the back bay trails to the coffee shops and restaurants, Costa Mesa is pretty much the best.  So here are a few of my personal Costa Mesa Favorites.

Best Coffee: Sidecar Doughnuts

costa mesa favoritesI’ve written about Sidecar Doughnuts a few times now, but I most recently discovered their delicious coffee.  I’m not really a coffee drinker at all, but there’s something special about their iced coffee, especially after a sweaty spin class at Grit Cycle (another Costa Mesa fave!).

Best Brunch: SOCIAL

socialcostamesaCosta Mesa is home to a lot of fabulous brunch spots, but SOCIAL is my current fave.  The brunch prices are decent, the menu is seasonal, and they have live music at brunch as well.  Plus, champagne with guava juice? What’s not to love?

Best Crossfit: Crossfit Vibe

crossfitvibegroupIt’s no surprise that Crossfit Vibe made the list.  I’ve been going to this box for nearly two years and I love it to pieces.  If you are local and want to try crossfit, I highly recommend them.

Best Salad: Mendocino Farms

MendocinoFarmsThe Sophisticated Chicken and Prosciutto Salad gets me every time. Mendocino Farms also has a seasonal menu and offers a wide variety of salads and sandwiches, but my heart belongs to the Sophisticated salad.

Best Drinks: Boathouse Collective

boathousecollectiveI’ve only been to Boathouse Collective once and didn’t try the food, but I LOVED the large outdoor space and garden.  Boathouse may have a small menu, but what they have is delicious.

Best Running Path: Back Bay Loop

backbayloopThis may be considered partially Newport Beach, but I love running the back bay loop.  I trained for both of my half marathons on this loop and it offers the right amount of rolling hills and lovely scenery.

Fireside Tavern in Costa Mesa

I’m very lucky to live in a part of Orange County where delicious new food establishments seem to be popping up all over the place.  I had heard a lot of great things about the Fireside Tavern in Costa Mesa for quite some time now and the Englishman and I finally decided to give it a shot.

What makes Fireside Tavern unique is that it is located inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  I’ll admit, I was first turned off by the idea of dining at a hotel restaurant, but after reading that Chef Scott Brandon (who also opened The Crow Bar and Kitchen and Linx) was behind the helm, I decided to go check out Fireside Tavern with an open mind.

The restaurant has a nice, cozy pub feel to it and a great outdoor patio space so it almost feels like you aren’t in a hotel at all.  The bar offers a variety of different beers on tap, a selection of various wines and some signature cocktails.  The Englishman and I decided to dine at the bar and started our evening off with a glass of wine and a beer.

Fireside Tavern in Costa Mesa DrinksFor our starter course, we went with the Charcuterie and Cheese Board which came with a variety of different cheeses, meats and a grilled seedy bread.

Fireside Tavern in Costa Mesa meat and cheeseThis board had a great selection of meats and cheeses and was the perfect start to our meal.  I would’ve liked to have seen what cheeses were included on the board (I think it was goat, blue, gouda and cheddar) but it was still tasty regardless.

For dinner, the Englishman went with the Tavern Mac n’ Cheese which was cooked in a small cast iron skillet and came with homemade noodles and sausage and a variety of different cheeses.

fireside tavern in costa mesa mac n cheeseI don’t usually order mac n’ cheese at restaurants and only had a couple bites of his, but it was good.  The sausage and cheese complemented each other perfectly and I loved the peppery watercress that was placed on top for garnish. They served it with kaiser rolls on the side.

I went with the Tavern Cobb which came with egg, avocado, bacon, turkey, lettuce, tomato and cheese.

fireside tavern in costa mesa cobbCobb salads aren’t necessarily the most exciting thing to order, but when they are good, they are good.  This one was good.  The turkey and bacon both had a nice smoky flavor to it which really enhanced the salad.

We also split an order of the Hand-Cut Fries which came with a spicy ketchup and lemon aioli.

fireside tavern in costa mesa friesI loved the little spicy kick that came with the ketchup and thought the fries were cooked to perfection and perfectly seasoned.  I don’t know if it was just because we had gone for a 7 mile run earlier in the day and I was craving salt, but the fries were some of the best I’ve had in a long time.

When it came to dessert, I wasn’t feeling inspired by any of the options, but when our waiter told us that the Adult Milk and Cookies came with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies made in-house I was sold.

fireside tavern in costa mesa cookiesI’m convinced nothing beats a delicious chocolate chip cookie and these cookies delivered.  They were warm and had the right balance of chewiness and crispiness to them.  I wasn’t the biggest fan of the adult milk made with baileys and vodka, but it was a fun spin on a classic childhood dessert.

I was really impressed by the Fireside Tavern.  I love that they do happy hour 7 days a week (from 3-7!) and have a seasonal menu.  I can definitely see myself returning here and trying some of their other offerings like the roast chicken, burger and grilled cheese.  And of course the fries.

Summer at Sidecar Doughnuts

It’s been quite some time since I wrote about Sidecar Doughnuts.  For those who aren’t familiar, Sidecar Doughnuts is a delightful doughnut shop in Costa Mesa that bakes fresh doughnuts daily made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives.  The Englishman and I pop in there every so often for a weekend treat, and when I heard about all the exciting things happening this summer at Sidecar Doughnuts, I knew I had to pop in and check it out.

Summer at Sidecar Doughnuts Summer nightsThis summer, Sidecar Doughnuts is introducing what they call “Sidecar Nights,” where the shop will be open on Fridays and Saturdays until 9pm!  Perfect for any time you have a doughnut craving after dinner.  And since the doughnuts are made fresh hourly, you won’t have to choose from the morning’s leftovers.  Psst – if you come in the morning keep your receipt for $2 off your doughnut later in the day!

Summer at Sidecar Doughnuts Forty WinksThe other exciting thing happening this summer at Sidecar Doughnuts is the introduction of their signature coffee, Forty Winks.  Admittedly the Englishman and I do not really drink coffee at all, but there’s something special about this blend.  Sidecar partnered with famed Stumptown Coffee to create their Forty Winks blend and it is good.  If you are a coffee enthusiast, I definitely recommend checking it out.

Summer at Sidecar Doughnuts Summer FlavorsOf course each month Sidecar Doughnuts introduces delicious new flavors and this month is no exception.  Some of the August flavors include a Malasada doughnut with strawberry jam, a Mid-Summer Garden Cake made with zucchini, a Buttermilk Old Fashioned, and Fig and Goat Cheese.  I’d like to think that the Buttermilk Old Fashioned was made in honor of my birthday month because it is that good.

Summer at Sidecar DoughnutsLazy weekend mornings with coffee and a doughnut.  Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Now who wants to go get a doughnut with me?