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Shortlist: 8 Restaurants In Seal Beach, CA, That Locals Love!

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California is known for sunny beaches and quaint coastal towns. Seal Beach is no different, offering panoramic views of Long Beach and a down-to-earth lifestyle that thrives on surf culture. Hanging ten is a way of life, and this surf town’s laid-back attitude permeates everything around it.

The town may be small, but it boasts plenty of attractions, from seaside piers, nature preserves, historical sites, and all the quirky restaurants you could dream of. So when hunger strikes after a long day of catching waves, you might want to end the evening on a high note at one of the multitudes of beautiful eateries Seal Beach has to offer.

And to help you out, we’ve compiled a little guide so you can find some of the best restaurants in Seal Beach, CA. Let’s get started!

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+

1. Spaghettini

A great venue for outdoor dining, live entertainment, and divine Italian meals!

There’s a reason Spaghettini is the talk of the town. Founded over three decades ago, nobody could have predicted the success to come. They now sit amidst a list of some of the best music venues in America.

That’s right, not only can you find an incredible restaurant, but on Sundays, you can indulge in eclectic North Italian cuisine while listening to live music.

They’re the venue of choice for jazz musicians to feature on The Wave, one of L.As most popular radio stations. No wonder they’re considered one of Seal Beach’s best restaurants, not just by us but by locals too.

Exceptional entertainment can only highlight exquisite cuisine. The owners and team are passionate about authenticity and regularly travel to Italy to gather inspiration and learn more about their food. They try their utmost to ensure everything is made fresh in-house. So don’t be shy to give their homemade pasta a try. The menu itself holds plenty of options, each as beautifully flavored as it is stunning to look at.

As we mentioned, they’re a hub of activity, which also stands for their food. So if you’re not interested in their brunch specials for Smooth Jazz Sundays, perhaps you’d want to indulge in their Tuscan Tuesdays, where the menu takes on a new specialty item for the day. They also serve a 3-course menu from Sunday through Wednesday. And we can’t forget their Happy Hour.

To top it all off, all of this is encapsulated in one charming venue. From their large outdoor patio to the relaxing ambiance of their indoor dining, you’ll be more than impressed with Spaghettini’s modern and trendy vibe.

For obvious reasons, Spaghettini can be extremely busy, and while we applaud their success, we must advise you that reservations are essential to enjoy every second of this experience.

Opening Hours: 4 pm – 9 pm Sun & Mon; 11:30 am – 9 pm Tues – Thurs; 11:30 am – 10 pm Fri; 3 pm to 10 pm Sat

Location: 3005 Old Ranch Pkwy, Seal Beach, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only:

2. ILIOS Mediterranean Cuisine

A beautiful Mediterranean escape located in the heart of Seal Beach.

There’s no seaside destination quite like the glittering shores of Greece, but Ilios Mediterranean Cuisine tries its utmost best to bring the experience to Seal Beach. They’re a laid-back establishment specializing in Greek and fusion foods that carry the taste of the Mediterranean to your table.

The venue is a stunning retreat for romantic date nights and celebrations. The soft glow of the lights to the hum of Greek music overhead set the tone for an unforgettable dining experience. While you might not find excessive frills and decor, the venue exudes comfort.

Impeccable service and delightful staff are the driving force for an impressionable evening here, and in conjunction with unbelievably delicious meals, you’ll be itching to come back.

Their menu is a celebration of flavor, and we’d highly recommend that guests savor in mezze before moving on to their entrees. After all, their salads are one of the best features on the menu, so you wouldn’t want to skip out on your greens here.

For mains, you have plenty of choices, but by far, one of their most popular options is the Plates. You can pick from a few, and each has a different variety of foods to taste, including a Vegan-friendly Falafel option! They also serve Kofte Burgers, a Spanish-inspired Seafood pasta, and a mouth-watering, tender Lamb Rack.

And, to quench your thirst, Ilios has a broad menu of imported and local wines that can pair perfectly with the right meal.

When it comes to one of the best restaurants in Seal Beach, Ilios is undoubtedly deserving of the title, and you won’t find another taste adventure quite like them.

Opening Hours: 11 am – 3 pm, 4 – 9 pm Tues – Sun; Closed Mon

Location: 131-1/2 Main St, Seal Beach, CA

3. Catrina Cafe

A contemporary American cafe with a twist and beautiful curbside dining.

This small neighborhood cafe is a staple for breakfast in Seal Beach. There’s no better feeling than basking in the morning sunlight with a great cup of coffee, and with Catrina Cafe’s curbside dining, you can do just that.

But the reality is we’re not just here to embrace a cuppa Joe. We’re here to awaken the senses with amazing-tasting food. Their options are far from bland Bacon and Eggs; you can find an array of delicacies chocked to the brim with flavor. We highly recommend the Chilaquiles simply because we couldn’t resist the concept of breakfast nachos. Waffles, Crepes, Eggs Benedict, you name it, they probably have it!

And for lunch? Heartier portions of new American-style food and fusion Mexican are at your beck and call. You can try your hand at a Hawaiian Torta for something sweet and savory or a classic homely Catrina Burger. While the options may not be overwhelming, they are cooked with passion and a flair for undeniable flavor.

The owners have put their hearts into creating a comfortable spot for guests to enjoy a meal and are often seen mingling between tables. Their staff are attentive and friendly, creating a worry-free dining experience.

Catrina Cafe exudes comfort, from the sun-soaked outdoor seating to the bubbly warmth and soft wooden finishes.

It gives the classic coffee house vibe, where you can enjoy watching the baristas work their magic. The atmosphere is always light and cheerful, and some days the venue can see a lot of foot traffic, especially around lunchtime. So booking ahead is recommended.

There’s no denying the ambiance and quality provided by Catrina’s Cafe, and that’s why they’re on our list of the best restaurants in Seal Beach.

Opening Hours: 7 am – 2 pm Tues to Sun; Closed Mon

Location: 330 Main St Unit F, Seal Beach, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only:

4. Koi Japanese Cuisine

Take a dive into exotic Japanese cuisine, and divine sushi.

As worldly experts, exotic cuisine is our forte, and in Seal Beach, there’s no better place to go than Koi Japanese Cuisine. They’re a family-operated Asian restaurant that’s been in business since the ’80s. Over the years, they have fought the increasing popularity of convenient foods to bring authentic Japanese fare to your plates.

They don’t offer mediocre quality and ensure everything is meticulously prepared to maintain a high standard. Certain aspects of their menus have remained the same since they opened their doors, but they’ve also adapted to offer seasonal dishes that revolve entirely based on what’s available. So be sure to watch their social media to find out if they have your favorites.

As we’ve mentioned, they’re sticklers for tradition and often display methods of Japanese cooking that are relatively unheard of on American shores, especially regarding their Seasonal Appetizers. But for comfort’s sake, you’ll be glad to know you can still find familiar options like Teriyaki and Tempura.

Their specialty is in their seafood, and as a result, they are one of the foremost restaurants in Seal Beach to dine on fresh, delicious sushi. Nigiri, Sashimi, and fusion Rolls are prepared with delicate precision at their Sushi Bar, where guests can watch the chefs at work.

The venue is down-to-earth and is one of the many things that hasn’t changed over the years. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned, you can’t improve on perfection. They’re still as welcoming and energetic as the day they opened and show no signs of slowing down.

While they’re a bit off the beaten path, Koi Japanese Cuisine offers an unforgettable experience and something truly unique.

Opening Hours: 5 pm – 9 pm Tues – Sun; Closed Mon

Location: 600 CA-1 #100, Seal Beach, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only:

5. Crema Cafe

Artisinal European cuisine in a beautiful venue with a pet-friendly patio.

Many residents of Seal Beach have discovered the best way to kickstart their days. It comes in the form of the Fido-friendly Crema Cafe. Another one of Main Street’s worst-kept secrets, it’s hard to miss; simply follow your nose to the source of freshly baked bread and pastries.

That’s right, not only is it one of the best restaurants in Seal Beach, but it doubles as a bakery too. Their food is inspired by European cuisine and takes an especially heavy influence from French delicacies. Everything was meticulously chosen for the complexity of flavor and diversity it brings to the Californian food scene, and in that regard, they’ve succeeded.

They open early and, as a result, serve up some mean breakfasts that look incredible and taste unbelievable. Locals are particularly fond of the Seal Beach omelet, which contains not one, but six different kinds of cheese and is served with roasted potatoes. But there’s far more available, including homemade bagels, sweet crepes, and mouth-watering french toast.

What’s better is that when lunchtime arrives, you don’t necessarily have to pick from their lunch menu either. Although, you’ll definitely want to. They serve sandwiches, burritos, and burgers alongside a few other delectable dishes that cater to everyone from vegans to meat lovers.

Depending on the weather, you would not want to pass up an opportunity to take full advantage of their patio. Especially if you’re bringing your beloved canine companion with you.

Crema Cafe is increasingly popular, and if you don’t arrive early, you may find yourself waiting, so they’ve had to implement a 1-hour dining limit on their busy days to ensure they cater to as many hungry patrons as they can.

Opening Hours: 7 am – 3 pm Daily

Location: 322 Main St, Seal Beach, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only:

6. Taco Surf

A colorful Mexican cantina just a few steps away from Seal Beach Pier!

Taco Surf has been around since the late ’80s. It was a concept initially born in Mexico but somehow found its way to the pristine shores of California and hasn’t looked back since.

Like most of the best restaurants in Seal Beach, Taco Surf is conveniently situated on Main Street. The only difference is that here you can roll out the front door and down to the Pier. The beach is so close that you can smell the ocean and have a relatively undisturbed view from their outdoor patio.

They’re quirky not only in name but appearance as well. The idea is based on Baja cantinas, and the influence is seen in the retro-style decor and sheet metal fixtures. It’s certainly interesting, and offers a colorful alternative to their competitors up the street.

The fun only continues with the menu. The dishes are inspired by the Baja California Peninsula and the refreshing family recipes of Malena. We’ve never met her, but we’d certainly like to thank her. The food is known for bein delicious and packed with authentic, rich flavors. Some popular choices include Fish Tacos and the one-of-a-kind Scorpion Chowder.

Of course, they have almost every dish you could think of, so you’ll have to come mentally prepared. With a menu this extensive, we can only recommend coming with friends. Why? So you can sneak a tasty bite of everything.

But our best advice is to pay them a visit on a Tuesday. Why? Well, it’s Taco Tuesday, of course, and we need no more convincing to over-indulge on overloaded soft tortillas.

Opening Hours: 11 am – 9 pm Sun – Thurs; 11 am – 9:30 pm

Location: 115 Main St, Seal Beach, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Ragiboglu

7. Patty’s Place

An upbeat Steak and Seafood restaurant with open-air dining and special events on occasion.

Elegance and class pour into the ambiance of Patty’s Place. The name has been around for decades, and while it’s undergone some significant changes (for the better), it has maintained an undisputable passion for bringing guests together over fine dining.

So break out your best dress, and prepare to enjoy a meal in the lap of luxury. You’ll be greeted by friendly and dedicated staff, which will whisk you away to the dining area of your choice.

Personally, we adore the remodeled patio, which reminds us of secret courtyards, warm and appealing under the glow of string lights. Inside, you’ll find is just as gorgeous and boasts a well-stocked bar and lounge area as well.

Once you’ve settled, it’s time to tuck into their menu. They serve elevated American cuisine, which breathes fresh, robust flavor into classic and beloved dishes. Amongst their most popular is a tender Filet Mignon Stragonoff, soaked in a creamy sauce.

But you can find plenty to tickle your tastebuds, from Seafood to Prime Rib. Each dish has been perfected over the years, and while they may seem pricey, you are paying for unbelievable quality.

You can find daily specials, including a Happy Hour (or two) throughout the week. And on Sundays, they open bright and early to welcome in a crowd for an unforgettable Sunday Brunch.

There’s always something happening at Patty’s, so we highly recommend keeping an eye on their social media. They often host event evenings, where they usher in guests for wine and whiskey tastings.

Being one of the best restaurants in Seal Beach, they can be pretty busy, so we advise booking a table to avoid disappointment.

Opening Hours: 4 pm to 9 pm Sun – Thurs; 4 pm to 10 pm Fri & Sat; Sunday Brunch 9 am to 3 pm

Location: 500 E Pacific Coast Hwy #104, Seal Beach, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Galaganov

8. Blackboard Bistro

A quirky All-American scratch kitchen located inside a historic school building that also boasts outdoor dining.

Few places help us reminisce about our childhood, but in the case of Seal Beach locals, that’d be Blackboard Bistro. The venue is located in a Historic Landmark that once acted as a school, and we’ve never been more excited to relive our awkward school years.

In true bistro fashion, they’re only open for breakfast and lunch, but that doesn’t mean you can’t expect incredible quality food. As a scratch kitchen, everything is made to order and as fresh as possible. You’ll be thanking your lucky stars that it’s not cafeteria food.

Instead, you’ll find a blend of New American bistro-style foods with a bit of Mexican flavor. Scrumptious breakfasts are loaded onto plates in the morning and include a range of options. Personally, we can’t get enough of the Skillets, each one tailor-made to a specific flavor profile and overflowing with taste.

Lunch really comes down to two main choices. Sandwich or a Burger? While there are more options, you’ll be hard-pressed to look elsewhere. This isn’t your simple Cheddar Melt (but they serve those). Instead, you can have a mouth-watering Clueban (a Club and Cuban hybrid) or a Frisco Burger. And with menu diversity like this, you can guarantee you’ll be able to find Vegan options too.

You would never say that this incredible restaurant was once a school. Desks are replaced with booths, and the playground now hosts a gorgeous outdoor patio that’s family-friendly, even for your dogs!

It’s easy to see why Blackboard Bistro made its way onto our list of the best restaurants in Seal Beach.

Opening Hours: 7:30 am – 2 pm Daily

Location: 1198 CA-1, Seal Beach, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only:

The Best Restaurants In Seal Beach, CA: Our Final Thoughts

With so much to do in Seal Beach, you’re bound to work up an appetite. This quirky little town offers many opportunities to try new and exciting things, and the cuisine should definitely be at the top of one’s list.

Whether you’re a local, have surfed these waves before, or are new to town, you’ll find yourself wandering the main street searching for the perfect restaurant. But instead of feeling lost, just refer to our helpful little guide and find yourself one of Seal Beach’s best restaurants to dine at.

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