Located in the southern California shore, in-between San Diego and Los Angeles, San Clemente is a great city with a small beach town vibe. San Clemente is home to a diverse variety of unique restaurants that you should be sure to hit up while driving up or down the coast. Whether you’re driving by, or staying for a while, here are 10 unique restaurants in San Clemente, CA you should check out!
Board and Brew
With over 10 locations in southern California, San Clemente’s Board and Brew was the first of its kind to open in Orange County and has been a local hub ever since. Hang out inside or sit outside and enjoy some great music and choose from the many craft beers offered. Choose a sandwich from the grill or one of their many cold sandwiches, or grab a salad, but don’t forget one of their famous secret sauce’s. A local favorite, Board and Brew sauce is sure to have you coming back for more. At a low price, Board and Brew offers a great place to hang out and grab some lunch before you head down to the beach.
Pedro’s Tacos has been a staple in San Clemente beach culture since its opening in 1986, so much so that they’ve opened two in San Clemente! Drive through or walk up to the window before heading down to the beach or after a long day in the sun—and be sure to order their famous fish tacos. Pedro’s Tacos offers a great way to eat some local authentic Mexican food, with the casualty of sandy toes and beach-ware. Infamous for their fish tacos, Pedro’s also has all types of burritos, tacos and more.
A hidden gem, Lavender Lounge is located upstairs of an ice cream shop right in downtown San Clemente. Offering iced or hot tea, Lavender Lounge is mostly unique for their sweeteners. Add flavored coconut jelly, also known as choobies, Aloe Vera, or Chia seeds to spice up your tea life. Offering all types of natural teas, Lavender Lounge offers a healthy way to hydrate after beaching it all day, with a quick 5-minute walk to the San Clemente Pier beach. Sit down and enjoy your tea, because your refill is only a dollar! Make sure to stop by Tuesday through Thursday from 4pm to 6pm during happy hour for some discounted prices.
Full Moon Sushi
One of San Clemente’s newer sushi restaurants, Full Moon, offers great sushi and poke, for great prices. Full Moon has a variety of cut and hand rolls, as well as poke bowls, teriyaki bowls, and noodle options. Sit at a table or at the bar to enjoy your food. With great service and a fun atmosphere, Full Moon is a great way to get some local Japanese food—without breaking the bank.
The Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar
A local favorite, as well as a great tourist spot, located right on the San Clemente pier, Fisherman’s is a great place to eat mid beach day, after a long day at the beach, or to experience some fun night-life. Enjoy the ocean air and views as you sit right on the Pier, inside or outside. Enjoy a cocktail and some oysters at the bar or grab a table and sit for some great seafood. End your meal off right with their famous mud pie, big enough for the whole table! With a great atmosphere, and even better views, Fisherman’s is the best way to dine right on the ocean.
Hapa J’s, a local Hawaiian Restaurant located in south San Clemente, offers lunch and dinner as well as a great bar. Make sure to try their infamous man-fries, but do not attempt this solo! Also known for their taco Tuesday’s, Hapa J’s has great food all around, making it deserving of its great reviews. With a cool atmosphere, great music, and surfing footage across the TVs, Hapa J’s is for sure worth the visit if you’re going to go to any of the restaurants in San Clemente, CA!
Located right in downtown San Clemente, South Swell is the perfect way to fill a sweet tooth. Choose from a vanilla or chocolate ice cream bar, or go for the frozen banana, and dip it in a chocolate or vanilla sauce, and then choose from an abundance of toppings. So deliciously messy, the ice cream is served on a plate. Be sure to take a photo of the beautiful ice cream bar before you tackle the ice cream masterpiece! If you sweet tooth lovers check out one of the restaurants in San Clemente, CA, make it this one!
Specializing in “surfer soul food”, Nomad’s Canteen is a great place to grab a beer and hangout, or chill out with some food. Offering poke bowls, tacos, tortas and salads, Nomad’s Canteen is a definite stop on places to eat and drink in San Clemente. Located right in downtown, sit outside for a great view, or sit inside and watch the surf films on one of the TVs, or just hangout and listen to some great music. With a variety of beer and other cocktails, Nomad’s is a great place to eat and drink in San Clemente. There are tons of unique restaurants in San Clemente, CA!
There’s no better way to start the morning then heading over to Bagel Shack for one of their famous bagel egg sandwiches or enjoying the bagel plain or with cream cheese. Great coffee, and even better bagels, Bagel Shack is a local favorite. Definitely try their popular Lowers Bagel with egg, cheese and choice of meat, or opt for an egg free option with the Old Man’s bagel, with cream cheese, avocado and lemon pepper. Opening bright and early, Bagel Shack is the perfect morning stop, or lunchtime breakfast joint. Be sure to head over before they close in the late-afternoon to experience the local craze that is Bagel Shack.
A small sandwich shop located in downtown San Clemente, Captain Mauri’s is a great breakfast or lunch option while heading to or from the beach. Offering a variety of healthy sandwiches, wraps, salads, homemade soups, and more, Captain Mauri’s is also a great place for a healthy smoothie or juice. Captian Mauri’s also offers great vegetarian and vegan options. Sit inside or outside, or take your food to go and walk 5 minutes to the beach to enjoy your delicious food from this local shop. So many great restaurants in San Clemente, CA!