8 of Our Favorite Places to Eat in Mission Viejo – Locale Magazine

The city of Mission Viejo is so much more than a cozy, suburban master-planned community. It’s home to arts, culture, parks, annual marathons and golf tournaments, a man-made lake, incredible shopping and something that might surprise you—top quality international cuisine. Think everything from Hawaiian, Mexican and Japanese to tasty Italian fare! We’ve discovered eight hidden gems in this underrated OC city that we can’t wait to share. The hardest part will be deciding which restaurant to try first! Best Restaurants Mission Viejo
 
At Domenico’s, a Southern California staple since 1954, you’ll feel like you’re dining off the coast of Italy while overlooking Lake Mission Viejo. This romantic dinner spot, known for their ground pepperoni pizza, is so much more than your average Italian restaurant. Start with a Little Italy Old Fashioned or Amalfi Mule and their Italian charcuterie. After devouring your starters, choose among favorites like lobster spaghettini, orange roughy over cioppino or housemade gnocchi with basil cream sauce. Also, don’t leave without ordering the tiramisu for dessert.
Authentic Italian food made from scratch—all with fresh ingredients—is what landed Delizie among OpenTable’s Top 10 Diners’ Choice Winners in South Orange County for Best Italian Restaurants. Delizie’s menu is made up of pastas, seafood and meats, and their daily specials include a Surf & Turf, served Wednesdays, that includes a filet and lobster tail that pairs nicely with a glass of fine Italian wine. For dessert, order the warm banana bread with dark chocolate gelato alongside an espresso martini!
Open for breakfast and lunch, Aloha Stacks brings island cuisine to the mainland. For breakfast, try authentic Hawaiian dishes like eggs with Spam, Portuguese sausage or loco moco. For something a little sweeter, try the Fruity Pebbles French toast, Oreo cookies and creme pancakes or macadamia nut waffles. For lunch, in addition to burgers, sandwiches and salads, Aloha Stacks serve chicken, beef and pork lunch plates with white rice and macaroni salad.
It’s no surprise that Piccolino Ristorante was also chosen as one of OpenTable’s Top 10 Diners’ Choice winners in South Orange County for Best Italian Restaurants. That’s because Piccolino and Delizie are owned by the same family! Serving regional Italian cuisine with an eye toward healthier comfort food options, Piccolino’s recipes have been passed down for generations and include fresh fish and homemade pastas that utilize both local and Italian-imported ingredients. Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, sausage and mushroom risotto and grilled filet with lobster ravioli are among their specialties.
With a cult following since the early ‘90s, Taco Mesa serves up a range of healthy Mexican dishes in their fast-casual restaurant. For breakfast, try the asada con huevos or a machaca breakfast burrito, and if you’re looking for a morning buzz, order the dirty horchata. For a heartier meal that’s equally full of flavor, you can’t beat their steak torta or pork pozole with a side of esquites. Wash it down with aguas frescas, Mexican beer or sangria, and don’t skip the flan de queso.

Los Alisos Village 
 
You can’t beat delicious sushi and sashimi and gorgeous lake views. Yama Sushi offers a vast selection of rolls, including the baked langostino roll and toro jalapeño roll. The yellowtail carpaccio and Tuna Tower are excellent starters. Sushi and sashimi combos are available for lunch and dinner, which is a great way to sample the different flavors. Order omakase and let your sushi chef prepare his unique specialties, and check out Yama’s collection of more than 45 premium sakes!
As the oldest Italian restaurant in Mission Viejo, Antonucci’s Italian Cucina is obviously doing something right! Perhaps it’s their brick oven pizza, pollo Marsala, risotto Florentine or rigatoni ala vodka with Pacific wild shrimp. Or maybe it’s the fresh cannolis paired with a key lime pie martini. In addition to their mouthwatering menu items, Antonucci’s puts on weekly events in their lounge, including industry nights, Wine Wednesdays (with $6 select wines) and Friday and Saturday night karaoke.
 
This upscale Mexican restaurant is an indecisive foodie’s dream! Start with the margarita flight to try four delicious hand-crafted margaritas (watermelon, mango, tamarind and cilantro cucumber). Next, order the guacamole sampler with three styles of guac—lobster, carnitas and classic. Treat your date to the Sol Agave Para Dos for a large array of menu items to share, including shrimp, carnitas, steak and chicken with cheese fondue. They offer both indoor and outdoor dining with weekend brunch, where you can indulge in the tres leches French toast and Chilaquiles al Gusto.
I just moved from the Palm Springs area to Orange County. I’ve been writing for a couple years and enjoy writing about culture, lifestyle, and beauty. I’m excited with the abundance of material for which Orange County will provide.
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