Anaheim is synonymous with Disneyland, and Disneyland is synonymous with Anaheim, California. While there is no doubting the fame of Disneyland and the fact that it brings millions of tourists to the region, there is a lot more to Anaheim than just its theme parks. Anaheim has a vibrant food culture and one that more and more people are discovering. As the second largest city in the very popular Orange County, you will find that staying here is an ideal base to explore much of this area. Its proximity to places like Los Angeles make it a very logical and very affordable choice. Many people live, work, and eat in Anaheim, so expect to be impressed with the rejuvenation of Anaheim and its food culture.
Anaheim has undergone a major regeneration in the last few years and has reinvented itself, with the Anaheim Resort district becoming a hub for locals and tourists alike. This area has palm tree-lined boulevards with some excellent hotels, restaurants and cafes. This is a city that attracts more than 20 million visitors a year and the hospitality industry has boomed. As is to be expected, there are many hotels to choose from with competitive pricing. Choose a hotel that offers a free bus shuttle to and from the theme parks. Many people choose to hire a car in Anaheim to explore more of the city and the many dining experience throughout Orange County.
Mexican Food in Anaheim
Food in Anaheim has moved ahead in leaps and bounds, and the locals are justifiably proud of this. Mexican remains a very good option in Southern California and you will find some of the best in Anaheim. Antonios Mexican Food and Mi Casa Mexicana remain firm favourites. Have a large margarita to get you started and then move on to some hot chili action and locally sourced guacamole dip. The Anaheim Resort Area offers many different foods that will have something for everyone. The Cove on Harbor is the leading market, deli, and coffee bar and it also the ingredients should you want to turn your hand to cooking your own Mexican feast.
The Food Trucks in Anaheim
Food trucks are very popular in Anaheim. The Tri Tip Man Food Truck offers gourmet sandwiches that have people coming back for more. Me So Hungry offers sliders with some very interesting combinations like bacon, balsamic onions, and blue cheese. If you are into pulled pork sandwiches, then try Porko Rico BBQ. Corn dogs are a popular choice at The Viking Truck. You won’t have to look far for a taco truck in Anaheim. It is not difficult to find a good food truck anywhere in Anaheim, and the competition is fierce. As with all of these eateries. the bigger the queue, the more promising the food.
Some Very Popular Restaurants in Anaheim
Orange Roll and Sushi remain a firm favorite as does the Big Thunder Ranch Barbeque and Cabo’s Mexican Restaurant. If you are after some soul food, then Georgia’s Restaurant will give you the comfort food that you are after. Look out for many special offerings available to visitors. With the Huntington and Newport beaches within proximity to Anaheim, you will find many beachside cafes and restaurants where you can admire the Pacific Ocean. Anaheim and Orange County are renowned for their wines and their craft beers, and many are clustered in downtown Anaheim. You will also find dedicated pubs to whiskey, bourbons, and scotches. Many of these also provide high-end dining experiences.
Eating at the Theme Parks of Anaheim
No one is ever too old to visit Disneyland Park or any of the other theme parks. Here you will find quite a few very different options to the normal theme park food, even though, many people still want this, and that is not a bad thing. If you go to Buena Vista Street, you can see and taste the foods of California in the 1920’s, replete with red trolley cars. Fancy a Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda? Check out Carnation Café on Main Street. Further along Main Street, you may feel the need for a Matterhorn Macaroon from the Jolly Holiday Bakery. If you are really feeling the love, then try a Lobster Nachos from Cove Bar, Paradise Pier, and California Adventure.
Anaheim Packing House
In Anaheim, The Packing House has become a local gathering place with many multicultural eateries keeping both locals and visitors coming back for more. The poutine and cheese sandwich from The Black Sheep is very popular, as is ambience of The Egyptian Café with its hookah bars. Dining on a Dime and Anaheim White House provide two very different yet communal eating experiences. The crowds go to Bruxie for the waffle sandwiches. Make sure to check out the craft beer offerings as well at micro-brewery, Noble Ale Works. Vegan restaurants have also made their mark and Healthy Junk is noted for it diverse offerings.
Where to Stay
Anaheim is a perfect base also to discover more of Orange County, affectionately known at The OC. If you are looking for a location, then The Desert Palms Hotel and Suites is very convenient. It is across the road from the Anaheim Convention Center within half a mile of the main gates of Disneyland. With free parking for further exploration of Orange County, this is a well-placed and affordable hotel. The Best Western Plus Meridian Inn & Suites, Anaheim-Orange and the Castle Inn and Suites are both within proximity to Disneyland Park’s main entrance, and both offer parking.
Visiting Anaheim gives you the chance to try all of the varied cuisines of this city and county. Just come on an empty stomach.
Please share this post with others who what to experience the new Anaheim and some of the great eateries to be found there. Also, send any additional tips in the comments below.
Paula McInerney is a travel writer who writes with her husband about traveling as a couple. They write about left of mainstream accommodations and destinations and showcase many unique things to see and to do. Paula can be found on Google+. She is currently working on the #HipmunkCityLove project.