Orange County has no shortage of places (or kinds of food) to meet your comfort food needs any day of the week. Of course, nothing beats macaroni and cheese made with black truffles, parmesan and fontina cheese. You’ll find that and so much more among Orange County’s best places to snag comfort food.
555 N. El Camino Real, Suite E
San Clemente, CA 92672
This is the place to go for comfort food from the South. Some of the best comfort food items here include fried green tomatoes, sweet potato fries, jambalaya and meatloaf. To top it all off, enjoy delicious bread pudding with Jack Daniel’s sauce. Also, if you visit Iva Lee’s on Thursday, Friday or Saturday, enjoy this delicious cuisine as a blues band plays. If you want to try it out, make a reservation. Iva Lee’s cannot accommodate huge crowds.
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292 N. Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92866
One definition of comfort food is something that you might make for yourself, even if your friends might think it’s weird. Now, while you may not find something like this in a cookbook, it’s easy to picture a situation in which you raid your fridge and come up with something like you can find at Bruxie. All you need to know about this place is two words: waffle sandwiches. If a patty melt or pulled pork served on freshly made waffles is not comfort food, then comfort food simply doesn’t exist.
190 S. Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92866
When you think about comfort food, probably one of the first dishes that comes to mind is macaroni and cheese. At Haven Gastropub, the macaroni and cheese is made with black truffles, parmesan and fontina cheese. It’s probably more decadent than mom used to make, but that’s what makes it so darn good. Oh, and as long as you’re indulging in comfort food at Haven, top off your meal with s’mores.
32082 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
If you’re looking for Mexican comfort food, Ricardo’s Place has all of the favorites beginning with huevos rancheros, chilaquiles or even pancakes. One of the great comfort foods here is soup, and Ricardo’s has that covered with albondigas and pozole. At Ricardo’s, comfort food is good and affordable. The most expensive item is the fajitas for two, and even that is less than $25. Not to mention that the restaurant has been open for 40 years, so you know it’s doing something right. Ricardo’s is closed on Mondays.
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Cuti Thai Restaurant
11001 Chapman Ave.
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Sometimes when you’re starting to feel a little under the weather, you need not only comfort food, but also spicy food that might help you sweat out whatever bug is coming on. That’s when you need Thai food, particularly soups. The hot and sour soup, and the coconut milk soup will certainly help in raising your core temperature. The five kinds of curry (try the green) will also satisfy your need for spice.
Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.