Instagram’s endless pages of gorgeous square-shaped images can get overwhelming. With highly visual accounts dedicated to fitness, travel and especially food, it’s hard to know which to follow and which to skip over. With trendy restaurants opening up on every corner in cities like Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Irvine, searching #OCfoodie or #OCeats offers enough photos of mouthwatering meals and delectable desserts to make your head spin. Let us take the guesswork out of it—these Instagram accounts are the hottest must-follows for OC foodies!
Translating to “joy of life”, this account features a great combination of fresh, sweet and savory foods all over Orange County. Some of the most splendid images are of breakfasts at local spots like Great Maple, Le Pain Quotidien, Driftwood Kitchen, A Restaurant and Market, whose pesto egg whites are pictured, and more. Aside from donuts and avocado toast, you’ll also find the most fabulous colorful displays of Pressed Juicery freezes, topped with bright red berries, and acai bowls littered with bananas and granola. Photos of bowls packed with anti-oxidants, oh-so-unique salads and avocado-topped everything make for the perfect inspiration for healthy eating.
Local foodie Jessica Lee runs a must-follow account that features a great selection of material. Her images of Corner Bakery and Boudin sandwiches, sushi from Orange Tei, In N Out burgers and deep-fried Oreos from the OC Fair will make you want to pound the pavement and find some of these favorites ASAP. But, she combines her restaurant shots with pictures of her own cooking, and it’s nearly impossible to tell them apart. Everything she crafts looks positively delicious. And the best part? It comes with her recipe so you can create your own at home. If you’ve ever wondered how to create restaurant-worthy food in your own kitchen, this is definitely the account to keep an eye on.
Let’s face it: one of the best things about Instagram is the over-the-top desserts that grace its pages. One of the best accounts to check out the best local treats is @oceatsandsweets. From classics like donuts, macarons and crepes to some of the most innovative sugar-filled sweets to hit the OC, you’ll find your taste buds tingling as you decide which of these treats you want to hunt down. Keep your eye on the cookie shots, blueberry cream cheese cronuts, deep fried cheesecake, milky buns and churro ice cream sundaes. Aside from desserts, they also showcase unique menus like OC Night Market’s rainbow grilled cheese, Umami Burger’s truffle fries and GD BRO Burger’s raspberry buns.
Part of the fun of this account is the husband-wife duo that runs it! Their use of color and texture in their food pics makes it a treat to follow. Their page showcases a wide range of vibrant meals, including the spaghetti grilled cheese sandwich at Burnt Crumbs, the country fried poutine at The Kroft and Grinderz’s double chicken burger topped with a fried egg (pictured). The page also features some upscale dishes, like Five Crowns’ oysters and Brio Tuscany Grille’s lobster and shrimp risotto—casual or fancy, they’ve got you covered! They also have a few dessert photos—a chocolate dipped frozen banana, gourmet Sidecar Doughnuts and more.
As @100eats represents a variety of restaurants throughout Orange County, it’s no wonder that they have the must stunning shots of the most delicious dishes. Their page is filled with modern food for those who crave luxury and innovation, like the Pie Dog burger with hot Cheetos and macaroni and cheese, donuts covered in Fruity Pebbles from Playground and Mar’s poke fries (pictured). Aside from food, they also offer gorgeous photos of cocktails from all over OC. From rum cocktails in Tustin tiki cups to the Brazilian favorite, the Caipirinha, at Santa Ana’s Recess, you’ll be left wanting to eat and drink your way across Orange County.
Featuring meals like flatbread pizzas, chicken and waffles, paninis, pasta and beyond, this Instagram will have you craving savory Italian food and sandwiches on the tastiest grilled bread. Restaurants like green2Go are featured with images of their ahi poke bowl while Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen’s chipotle honey glazed salmon has a cameo as well. While mostly filled with meals out, some of her photos are meals that she crafted herself, like a fresh seafood cioppino, barbequed ribs, shakshuka and chicken with caramelized shallots. She even showcases her very own baked cinnamon peach halves, which she finished with vanilla ice cream, walnuts, brown sugar and some honey. If that isn’t food inspiration, I don’t know what is.
Those with a passion for food should check out this foodie diary, which includes photos from plenty of local spots like Slapfish, Heidelberg Café and R+D Kitchen of classics like French dip sandwiches and lobster rolls (pictured). Though she features food from Orange County, she also features restaurants in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, making this the account to follow if you travel locally. Her photos help showcase meals that can easily help you plan the food for your next day trip. From waffles and breakfast burritos to sushi, Indian style Chinese chili chicken and macarons for dessert, the selection and range of foods is pretty varied too.
Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She blogs at Pure Wander and freelances for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.