We can talk about location, attractions, etc. etc… but we all know what makes a good vacation great: the food.
Pictured above, Ahi Poke Bruschetta from Pete’s Sunset Grille. Wakame seaweed salad, ponzu, sriracha aioli, tobiko caviar, bread crisps, olive oil and micro basil.
Our recent trip to Huntington Beach stands out in my mind, in part thanks to the kid-friendly activities, pristine beach and gorgeous weather… and of course, because of the gastronomic delights. Here’s my food diary, showcasing my favourite spots to have a fabulous meal.
Breakfast. Especially when travelling, I love to start the day with a hearty, savoury breakfast. After all, we don’t know where the day will take us, and often, we’ll graze at lunch vs. sitting down a proper meal. For the most drool-worthy breakfasts in Huntington Beach, visit Watertable – located inside the Hyatt.
Fancy a flatbread? How about Watertable’s Breakfast Flatbread, with roasted tomato, sweet peppers, fiscalini cheddar, caramelized onions, sausage and bacon ragu, arugula and over easy eggs.
Featuring contemporary American food, the restaurant offers the best of the region’s fresh, local produce. Guests can indulge in Watertable’s health-minded breakfast buffet or order off the menu, indulging in items such as Huevos Rancheros, Crab Hash or the famed SoCa: a bacon maple waffle, poached eggs, chicken-fried chicken, country slaw and sriracha hollandaise.
Reservations and an empty stomach are recommended.
Lunch. There’s only one place I want to have a midday meal in Surf City USA: Duke’s Huntington Beach. An iconic restaurant and a fixture on the waterfront, its named for Duke Kahanamoku, who brought the sport of surfing to Huntington Beach and the Southern California shores. The menu is crammed with fresh fish entrees with a Cal-Asian twist; sides are simple offerings of rice and vegetables.
Since I indulged in a Poke Bowl at another hotspot the night before, I settled on grilled fish tacos with flour tortillas, tomatillo sauce, guacamole, pico de gallo and tortilla chips. After reading restaurants reviews after I returned home (uncharacteristically amateur on my behalf), I realize I perhaps should have ordered the Mango Burger and I definitely should have sampled the hula pie. There’s always next time!
Of course, the best thing about Duke’s is the atmosphere; perched directly on the beach, people-watchers will be in seventh heaven, while the sun-kissed waters glistening in the distance will mesmerize and delight. Aloha!
Dinner. With indoor and outdoor seating in a casual, family-friendly setting, Pete’s Sunset Grille is one of the best options for guests staying at the Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. The menu is inspired by surf destinations around the world, the most popular dishes being their signature offerings: Pete’s Famous Fish Tacos and Shrimp ‘n Chips.
My husband raved about his Grilled Ribeye skewer and after one taste I had to agree; the Maui onion puree, chimichurri and blueberry balsamic were perfectly matched to meaty kebab.
And the kids? “The best burger,” my little guy declared. You can’t get a better endorsement than that!
In the mood for Mexican? Stroll into Pacific City – only a 5 minute walk from the Hyatt – and visit Ola Mexican Kitchen. With one of the best views of the California coast from almost every seat in the house, their menu fuses authentic Mexican comfort food like tacos and burritos with elevated regional influences.
Start with the Acapulco Ceviche; traditional ceviche with Mexican rock fish, tequila citrus vinaigrette, roasted pineapple pico de gallo. The ingredients are burst-in-your-mouth fresh with just the right balance of sweet and sour. Follow with Blackened Shrimp Tacos, combining pan seared shrimp with chile-lime aioli, guacamole and pomegranate seeds on a blue corn tortilla. I’m not joking when I say that I daydream of this meal, frequently.
Now that I’ve detailed our adventures in food, I find myself presented with a dilemma: do I return to these amazing restaurants, or try something new? (If only all my dilemmas involved delicious food!)
For more information on dining options in Huntington Beach, visit surfcityusa.com.
This post is sponsored by Visit California. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.