Mediterranean is one of Southern California’s most coveted go-to cuisines, particularly because of its distinctive flavors. Much of the flavor depends on the fruits of the olive tree which is found in the diverse countries located adjacent to the fare’s namesake Mediterranean Sea. To eke out the best restaurants operating in Orange County that offer this tasty and inviting fare, check out the five notable outlets noted below.
o6 Best Mediterranean Cuisine In Orange County

(credit: Navid Z./yelp)

Pom & Olive
1400 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 754-1974

Fried cauliflower with tahini, tabbouleh, chicken shawarma platters and baklava for dessert. These are just some of the options for a meal that satiates any appetite for authentic Mediterranean cuisine at Pom & Olive. Kale salad is also a hit at healthy Pom & Olive, a fresh Greek food emporium and a hidden gem where other imaginative treats, like salmon shish kabob, rule.

o 13 Best Mediterranean Cuisine In Orange County

(credit: Arshad H./yelp)

Istanbul Grill California
18010 Newhope St., Suite D
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 430-1434

Hankering for a cozy place to munch on tasty Mediterranean fare? Head for this top spot in Fountain Valley where Turkish cuisine means dining on food that combines traditional tastes of both Europe and Asia. Expect lunch specials and memorable meals, many made in the on-site, wood-fire brick oven. Also, be sure to sample the signature thin crust pizza–the best in the West–and be prepared to stay for dessert, especially exciting when you order the sutlac, made from scratch.

o 21 Best Mediterranean Cuisine In Orange County

(credit: Ryan C./yelp)

Olive Pit Mediterranean Grill
2445 E Imperial Highway F
Brea, CA 92821
(714) 529-3200

Chef Yianni Koufodontis proves why Greek fare is so inviting: This former Wolfgang Puck protege presides over this Olive Pit restaurant, the original, and another one in Huntington Beach. Both offer healthy, low fat and low cholesterol dishes packed with natural ingredients like dandelion green Horta and roasted artichoke hearts. And that’s just for starters. As for entrees, choose from a classic moussaka, the pastitsio (a Greek-style lasagna) and the sizzling steak kabob, to name just a trio of the many choices on offer at this storied Mediterranean restaurant.

o 31 Best Mediterranean Cuisine In Orange County

(credit: Howie C./yelp)

Christakis Greek Cuisine
13011 Newport Ave.
Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 731-6600

Make sure to visit this Tustin-based eatery with the Santorini blue door for authentic Greek fare and the chance to dine outside next to a flowing fountain. Open for the past two decades, this family affair exudes warmth and is noted for its exceptional service. The appetizer trio, with hummus, tzatziki and kopanisti, is a must, as is the chicken Athenian and the dolmas, all prepared in the traditional ways found all over enchanting Greece, a food haven is ever there was one.

o 4 Best Mediterranean Cuisine In Orange County

(credit: Steve M./yelp)

Chicken Maison 
3332 S. Bristol St.
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 434-0244

If you love kabobs, you won’t want to miss out on this modern Mediterranean dining spot in Santa Ana favored by locals. Regulars rely on melt-in-your-mouth chicken selections, all seasoned with lots of lemon, garlic and ginger and they pick grape leaves (dolmas) and Greek coleslaw to have on the side at Chicken Maison where you’ll be beside yourself with happiness when you chose such a simple yet addictive feast.

Article bBy Jane Lasky

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