Downtown Santa Ana is home to many unique bars which bring crowds of people during the weekends. The Twisted Tiki opened at McFadden Public Market back in May of this year and has quickly gained a massive following. Their island vibes and deliciously crafted drinks make this the perfect place to escape the at times hectic weekend environment.
Mana is the visionary behind the Twisted Tiki. A native Hawaiian, Mana was determined to bring a little piece of paradise to Orange County. “I want it to feel like you are back home with me in Hawaii. I want the vibe to be chill and relaxed.”
Once you enter the bar you are instantly transported to another place. The venue is very intimate with ukulele music playing in the background and a live stream of a Hawaiian beach playing on the TV making it the perfect atmosphere to sit back, relax, and enjoy a drink.
The Purple Polynesian Sunset is one of Twisted Tiki’s signature cocktails and their number one bestseller. Mana named it after the purple sunsets of the Hawaiian Islands. If you come at the right time you can see it for yourself on their live stream. This purple pina colada is a smooth and creamy cocktail that is garnished with a made-to-order caramelized pineapple slice. There is a reason why this drink is their best seller, it is simply delicious.
The Lua Punch is another one of the Twisted Tiki’s signature cocktails. This drink has Malibu Run, Captain Morgan dark rum, and a mix of tropical juices and bitters. The Lua punch can be purchased as a single cocktail or served in a half shell for two-four people to share.
The Twisted Tiki created fun names for all their signature drinks like the humuhumunukunukuapua'a, a tequila based drink named after the state fish of Hawaii. The King Kamehameha pays homage to the great first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The drink is made with ghost pepper syrup and packs a powerful punch.
Twisted Tiki is also serving the classics like Mai Tais, Daiquiris, and Painkillers. When it comes to crafting cocktails, Mana strives to create well-balanced drinks that everyone can enjoy. His philosophy on cocktails works. The ingredients of the beverages are perfect blends of alcohol, spices, and tropical flavors, leaving you satisfied and wanting more.
To ensure that everyone gets a chance to visit paradise the Twisted Tiki has a time limit of 1 hour per visit. This policy is played out only when there is a wait. Coming in on a weekday will probably guarantee you some more time in this tropical oasis.
Mana is already planning on expanding the Twisted Tiki to an outdoor lounge. His concept is to have outdoor seating where customers can take their drinks and feel like they are in someones backyard in Hawaii.
Mana credits the success of the Tiki bar to having a menu of well balanced and delicious drinks that are made by amazing people. The Twisted Tiki is open Tuesday - Thursday from 5 pm - 10 pm and Friday - Saturday from 5 pm - 1 pm.
Make it a hop: Enjoy a downtown tropical trist by starting at Twisted Tiki, then sailing over to Vacation Bar, Mix Mix Kitchen & Bar and Irenia for a full trek of tropical high-end drinks.
Article by Jennifer Morones
Photos provided by Twisted Tiki, Jennifer Morones and Arlene Viveros
Vegan cuisine is sweeping the nation with many restaurants creating unique dishes to appeal to their vegan customers. Downtown Santa Ana is home to some amazing vegan restaurants and vegan options, so we decided to highlight some of our favorite dishes!
1. Vegan Pozole at Alta Baja.
Alta Baja carries a selection of vegan dishes on their menu daily, but we wanted to highlight the Green Vegan Pozole. This dish is so good it was featured in The New Yorker. The green pozole is made with squash, beans, and hominy in a delicious green chili sauce and served with all the fixings. This dish is only served every last Sunday of the month and is known to sell out so make sure to get to Alta Baja early and get your hands on a warm savory bowl of Vegan Green Pozole.
2. Hummus Sandwich at Black Market Bakery
This sandwich is so fresh Black Market Bakery has dubbed it “The Fresh Air.” Don’t let the name fool you, this sandwich is packed with flavor and will leave you feeling satisfied. It is made with hummus, avocado, Roma tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, arugula, lemon vinaigrette on toasted lemon rosemary bread. Black Market Bakery also has a selection of vegan desserts like sprinkle cookies, hand-pulled brittle, and seasonal pies!
3. Vegan ice cream sandwich at Chunk-N-Chip
Ice cream lovers can thank Chunk-N-Chip for this tasty vegan dessert. With seasonal flavors like vegan Thai tea and vegan dragon fruit and strawberries, customers always have something new to look forward too. They also have a gluten-free and vegan chocolate chip cookie so everyone can enjoy their famous ice cream “sammich.” Two vegan cookies are oven warmed to gooey perfection holding your choice of ice cream creating dessert heaven.
4. Vegan Ceviche at La Vegana Mexicana
La Vegana Mexicana is a family-owned and operated vegan eatery created by chef and owner Loreta Ruiz. Ruiz started experimenting with plant-based Mexican recipes after her daughter converted to veganism. Her take on “ceviche” is made with chopped cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro, served over a crunchy corn tostada and drizzled with lime and hot sauce. Healthy and delicious. La Vegana Mexicana is also known for their vegan tamales so be sure to grab some while you are there!
Vegan Breakfast Burrito at The Den
The Den, formerly known as The Gypsy Den, has a wide selection of vegan dishes. They are a trendy spot for brunching a-la vegan. Their Saucy Vegan Breakfast Burrito is a fan favorite. The burrito is loaded with vegan chipotle chicken, turmeric rice, tofu scramble, beans, roasted red peppers, and chipotle aioli. The burrito is then smothered with green or red enchilada sauce and served with your choice of fresh fruit, house potatoes, or balsamic dressed salad. Is it big enough to share but this burrito is so good we wouldn’t.
6. Vegan sausages at Wursthaus
Craving handmade sausages and German and Polish Beer? Wursthaus is the gastropub to deliver such items. With their vegan sausages, veggie eaters can too enjoy a frankfurter and beer. Their vegan sausage options include Smoked Apple and Sage, Mexican Chipotle and the Italian. The sausages are topped with grilled onions and pepper and stuffed into a toasted bun. This is the perfect watering hole suitable for all eaters.
7. Western Bacon Shroom Burger at Munchies Diner
Munchies Diner is the newest vegan eatery to join Downtown Santa Ana. They have taken your traditional diner favorites, like buttery pancakes and tuna melts, and made them vegan approved. There are so many amazing dishes to try but the fan favorite is their Western Bacon Shroom Burger. This burger contains bacon, a beef patty, melted provolone, beer-battered organic mushroom, BBQ sauce, garlic aioli, and organic house cheese sauce. You would never be able to guess this burger is 100% plant-based. All burgers and sandwiches come with a side of fries and for $5 more you can upgrade to their Human-Style Fries. Their take on “Animal Style Fries.”
8. Beyond Bulgogi Wraps at Next Round
It is great to see how many restaurants are catering to the vegan diet and bars are quickly following suit. Next Round Bar & Grill has an amazing vegan appetizer on their menu called Beyond Bulgogi Wraps. This dish is made with beyond meat sautéed in a bulgogi glaze and served on top of butter lettuce then topped with pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeños, and sesame seeds. Come during happy hour Monday – Friday from 4 pm to 7 pm to get $4-$5 draft beers and 25% off your vegan appetizer.
9. Vegan Michelada at Mission Bar
Micheladas are a popular spicy Mexican cocktail made with Mexican beer and a tomato mix called clamato which, you guessed it, contains clam juice. This makes most Micheladas non vegan. Luckily Mission bar has a vegan Michelada mix to craft this popular drink. Enjoy your Vegan Michelada with a chamoy, lime and tajin rim that adds the perfect kick and tang to your drink.
Video Roundup of the 9 Tasty Vegan Dishes
Video by Hector Gomez
Video and Article by Jennifer Morones
The Santa Ana Breakfast Club invites all attendees of Santa Ana’s 150th Birthday Street Breakfast to participate in a decade themed costume contest. Guest can enjoy food and live entertainment all while dressing up in their favorite current or vintage fashions. The Historical Decades Costume Contest will showcase costumes from any historical decade starting with the founding of the City of Santa Ana in 1869 through 2019. That is 15 decades of fashion inspiration to choose from!
Dylan Almendral, @fugitivevestige, a Santa Ana native and historian, enjoys dressing up in vintage attire and gave us some pointers on how to easily assemble a swanky outfit.
For men, he suggests starting with a pair of slacks or jeans and a button-down collar shirt. With these base items, you can now add layers to take your look back in time. For a more Victorian look of the late 1800s, add a coat, bow-tie and top hat to your slacks and button-down. If you’re looking for a 1910’s – 1920’s style, simply add a vest and a newsboy cap. For a classic Pachuco/Pachuca look, adding a feathered fedora and suspenders to your base items will create that iconic 1940’s Chicano style.
For women, Dylan recommends a day dress as a base for the costume and using the accessories and hair to create the decade look. Pay special attention to such aspects as period-specific looks and accurate details to wow the judges. YouTube supplies many vintage makeup and hair tutorials like 1940’s liberty rolls and 1950’s pompadours. A short-sleeve button-down shirt paired with slacks or a pencil skirt also makes a great base. This is a perfect time to recreate your favorite iconic movie character! Add a jeweled head ban and a faux fur coat to play homage to Daisy from The Great Gatsby or rock a matching plaid ensemble to recreate the icon 90’s Cher look from Clueless.
The ’80s and ’90s have recently made a comeback and your favorite retail stores will more than likely carry items inspired by these decades. For great vintage finds you can check out Elsewhere Vintage and Joyride: Vintage for Men located in Old Town Orange. Your local Goodwill and thrift stores can be a jackpot for all kinds of decade pieces and don’t forget to raid your older family member’s closets. Most importantly pick a period that shows off your style and have fun!
Whether you are participating in the contest or just dressing up for fun stay till the end of the event to help us recreate the famous first Santa Ana street breakfast group photo.
For more information about the costume contest and to register, follow the link below.
Story by Jennifer Morones
Photos provided by Dylan M Almendral, Brian Feinzimer
Congregation Ale House opened its first chapter back in 2010 in Long Beach and has since grown to three Los Angeles County chapters and finally, their first Orange County chapter here at DTSA.
It has taken over the location at the historic Santora Arts Building on the corner of Broadway and 2nd St. Congregation offers an impressive variety of your favorite German beers as well as local craft beers on draft and in bottles. Congregations’ house ales are given clever names like the farmhouse style ale Praise on Saison and the hazy IPA with fermented mango called A Hazing Grace.
The food served at Congregation is more than your standard pub snacks. My philosophy when venturing to new food destinations is to try their most basic dish. If they can get that right, then that guarantees their other dishes will likely be phenomenal. With this in mind, I ordered the pretzel to go along with my beer. This pretzel was soft, chewy and came with an IPA cheddar sauce. After tasting this sauce, I never want to eat cheese sauce that is not made with IPA.
Once my friends and I tasted the sauce, we knew we needed more so we tried the Rapture Tots that include IPA cheddar, jalapenos, sour cream, and bacon (we got it on the side for our veggie friend). Again, tots will never be the same without sitting on a bed of IPA Cheddar sauce.
Getting thirsty? It’s hard not to be seduced into drinking a cold glass of Praise On Saison, but I went with one of their guest taps, 21st Hell or High Watermelon. The beer was crisp and refreshing with a hint of sweetness. If beer is not your drink of choice, there are plenty of cocktails to quench thy thirst. The Grapefruit Gimlet is made with Tito’s Vodka, grapefruit juice, orange juice, and agave nectar. The color was a beautiful peach and at $10 is packed with enough vodka to get the blood pumping. The Santa Margarita is made with Patron Silver and was equally as refreshing.
Back to the grub, their Portobello pesto pizza was a cheesy garlic masterpiece topped with a refreshing mixed green salad. The menu options at Congregations are plenty. A variety of pizzas, burgers, sausages, tacos, salads, and more where displayed on their digital menu. This makes it a great place for gatherings with their variation of food choices.
The name Congregation suits this establishment not just for their ironic Catholic church décor and witty drink names. It really is a great place to gather and feel inspired. The bar is spacious and holds weekly trivia nights on Wednesdays from 7pm-9pm. You can also look forward to a DJ playing every Sunday afternoon. Congregation is also the host of unique monthly events which you can check out online on their event calendar at congregationalehouse.com.
Story by Jennifer Morones
Photo by Andi Martinez
Buqqa is the newest eatery to open at Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market, offering a fusion of Mediterranean and Turkish delights. Buqqa got its start as a food truck circulating the music festival scene feeding hungry ravers and festival goers all around California. They have since grown to three food trucks and its first on-site location at 4th Street Market.
Tony Elmas, the visionary behind Buqqa, created a unique culinary experience with a modern take on traditional Mediterranean food. Their foods are delicious and 100% Halal (think Kosher for Islam). The finest quality of meats and ingredients are used in their recipes. Tony only allows 100% natural products and is very strict on quality control at all his eateries.
Buqqa offers all your Mediterranean favorites like kebabs, falafels, and gyros. If you are looking for something a little more elevated than your standard gyro, the beef and lamb doner on ciabatta bread is sure to satisfy any foodie. The chef special fries are also loaded with beef and lamb doner creating a Mediterranean take on carne asada fries.
You can also customize a rice plate with your favorite meats and side dishes. Their meatballs, which look more like meat sticks, are perfectly paired with Mediterranean rice and a side salad. Don’t forget to sauce up your food with spicy garlic, ajvar (roasted red pepper and eggplant puree) or tzatziki.
At Buqqa, the menu is prepared fresh daily with locally sourced meats that are seasoned with traditional hand prepared Mediterranean spice blends. All spices are imported from Italy and Turkey. Even the pistachios used in their incredibly delicious baklava are imported from Turkey. Their daily specials also highlight seasonal ingredients.
Ok, now back to the baklava. This homemade sweet and texturally satisfying dessert is the perfect ending to an incredible meal at Buqqa. It tastes like someone's Greek grandmother made it and paired with a cup of Turkish coffee, is a dessert paradise.
Tony’s favorite dishes are the Alexander kebab, beef and lamb rice plate, and the chicken kebab. Buqqa is on the fast track to becoming a successful restaurant chain with two more restaurant locations scheduled to open this year in Riverside and Costa Mesa. For more on Buqqa, visit their website at Buqqa.com and make sure to check out their Instagram @Buqqafood.
Story by Jennifer Morones
Photos by Jennifer Morones and Andi Martinez
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to treat yourself and your loved one to an evening of delicious food and drinks. The restaurants of Downtown Santa Ana know how to set the mood and are ready to deliver a romantic night out! Here are some special DTSA festivities to consider:
Blackmarket Bakery DTSA's
"Time to be Loved" Weekend
Feb. 9th & Feb. 10th
The bakery will be getting some sweet treats ready for anyone wanting to be loved or share love. They will be rolling out cream puffs for the weekend, small mini tart collections, plus mini chocolate mousse and strawberry cakes!
Saturday, Feb. 9th
"Wormly Yours", a handcrafted greeting cards and pin vendor, will be selling cute and eclectic items. Their cookie decorating class still has spots available, as well, so be sure to register online.
Sunday, Feb. 10th
"Paperpunched", will be on site, with handcrafted stationery and vow books, and "Hey Girl Crafts" will be helping you create loving Valentines for your special person, at no charge.
Alta Baja Market's V-Day Libations with Sarah Whittenberg of Dilettante's Table
Sunday, Feb. 10th
Looking for the perfect wine to celebrate your love? What about something to sooth your single soul? Enjoy sparkling wines, dessert wines, rosés and more. Six wines will be featured and all wines will be available for purchase during the event. Mini cheese plate included for an additional $5.
Alta Baja Market
Price: $30 per person
2pm-4pm, RSVP required
Mix Mix’s 4-Course Meal
Thursday, Feb. 14th
The local modern, multi-cultural dining room will be featuring a special a 4-course meal including aphrodisiac selections like soft egg raviolo, and tenderloin of beef with purple potato espuma.
Price- $65 per person
Chapter One "Valentine’s Weekend"
Tuesday Feb. 13th - Sunday Feb. 17th
Valentine’s Weekend at modern gastropub, Chapter One, last five days, and features a special menu with romantic classics like Oysters, Lobster Bisque, White Chocolate Souffle, and Chocolate Lava Cake. You can see the full menu here, and make reservations by following this link.
Chapter One: the modern local
Irenia Restaurant "Dinner for Two"
Thursday, Feb. 14th
Modern Filipino restaurant, Irenia, is accepting Valentines reservations for their intimate restaurant. They will be serving their favorites from the regular menu, plus romantic cocktails and shared “dinners for two”. More details can be found here.
Eat Chow "Gal-entine's Day Celebration"
Thursday, Feb. 14th
Eat Chow is throwing a Gal-entine’s Day party in DTSA. Happy hour will go served all night long, and will feature bottomless Mimosas and Sangrias. In addition, DJ Bulvo will be spinning from 7-10pm. The guest list is limited, so be sure to call to RSVP.
Kebab Place "4 course dinner"
Thursday, Feb. 14th
The Kebab Place will be serving a special 4 course prix fixe Valentine’s Dinner for 2, including desert, drinks, and appetizers. Alcohol is not served on-site, but you can bring your own wine (corkage fee applies) There will be a live acoustic Guitar show, and the restaurant will extend it’s normal hours to 10:30pm.
Pizza Press "Share the Love" promotion
Thursday, Feb. 14th
Pizza Press is offering a special “Share the Love” promotion only on Valentine’s Day. A great option for a nice evening out, or take it to-go and enjoy a cozy Valentine’s Day in your home. You find find all the details here.
Kaizen Shabu " Will you be my Sha-boo?"
The already romantic Kaizen Shabu will be offering a special Valentines Day special that includes Wagyu beef, hot sake, and dessert!
Lola Gaspar "Singles Night"
Thursday, Feb. 14th
The usually romantic hot spot, Lola Gaspar, will be catering to singles on Valentine's Day. Enjoy the solidarity of other singles along with their delicious eclectic food and award winning drinks.
It’s a new year, and for many people that means new resolutions! A poll of 2000 people showed that 71% of those resolutions included diet or healthier eating and 64% included more exercise! If you’re one of those seeking a fresh start, we have some healthy downtown Santa Ana options for you to enjoy!
The first step to tackling these resolutions is often the most challenging but Elite Fitness and Element 7 have partnered up to make it a bit easier on you. Joaquin and the staff at local boutique gym, Elite Fitness, are focused on giving a personalized experience, whether you’re looking for one-on-one training or prefer group classes.
The healthy experience starts at the gym, but thanks to a partnership with Element 7 restaurant, you can continue the healthy lifestyle with meal prep. Element 7 is established in principles of creating healthy food that doesn’t skimp on flavor. You can buy prepared meals in single portions or in bulk at Elite Fitness, online, or by visiting Element 7 at McFadden Public Market. You can even get a full month of meal prep for FREE after purchasing 3 months of meal prep.
If you’re motivated by competition and like to give yourself a fitness goal, Crossfit DTSA is offering a 6 week “Change Your Life Challenge”, starting on January 19th. You can schedule a free 1-on-1 session and enter for a chance to win a FREE entry into the 6 week challenge by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
If diet and healthier eating are your resolutions, Downtown Santa Ana has plenty of options to satisfy your needs. Chevita’s Juice and Bagels is a great place to find fresh squeezed juices, aguas frescas, salads, soups, sandwiches, and bagels. To help motivate you on your journey, they’re offering a 15% off coupon on Monday-Friday from 8am to noon.
4th Street Market is a treasure trove of options for the healthy eater.
Brand new to the market is Miel, in the space previously occupied by Front Porch Pops. They're serving a healthy selection aguas frescas or acai bowls made to order with either Sorbet, Chia Pudding, or Berry Yogurt Base.
Also new to the market is restaurant concept All Flavor No Grease delivers a simple menu offering Tacos, Quesadillas, or Burritos with any combination of Chicken, Shrimp, Beef, or Rice. They deliver on their promise, serving up flavor-packed plates, that taste light and fresh (and not at all greasy).
If you’re looking for other highlights at 4th St. Market, there are plenty. Alta Baja Market has a fantastic breakfast and lunch menu, which includes a quinoa-chorizo bowl, seasonal frittata, and great selection of salads.
The always popular poke bowls and tacos at Mar, are light and delicious, and if you’re cutting carbs, you can have the poke served a la carte or over mixed greens.
Supernatural Sandwiches may be a cheat meal served on their buttery griddled buns, but you can ask to have any sandwich turned into a salad (I’d recommend the Hydra or Seared Tuna).
There are great healthy options elsewhere in DTSA as well. Crave on the west end is known for amazing healthy breakfast and lunch. Their breakfast energy bowls and frittatas are a great way to start the day, and the lunch-time salad selection and vegetarian sandwiches will keep you going without feeling guilty.
If you’re looking to cut meat out of your diet, you have options galore at Gypsy Den, in the Artist Village promenade. The corner of 3rd St. and Spurgeon plays host to a trifecta of restaurants with healthy options with Kaizen Shabu, El Mercado, and Cevicheria Nais.
Want to share your favorite healthy bite from DTSA? Comment below!
The City of Santa Ana has established a pilot program to green light food truck vendor pods and food pop-ups on both city-owned and private properties.
This action is a creative urban design solution that begins to balance the age-old clash of neighbors who feel impacted by unregulated food truck vending with the needs of "those who live and work in areas where food may not be readily available," according to the City.
If you're not familiar with "food truck pods" or food truck islands, they are small groupings of food vending businesses clustered in a sort of outdoor food hall or food court .
Portland, Oregon is synonymous with these food truck pods and parking lot food courts. In Downtown Portland, immigrant food entrepreneurs circumferenced an entire parking lot with nearly 100 food carts. The idea caught on in adjacent Portland neighborhoods where "the pods" serve as de facto neighborhood centers with amenities like seating, ATMs, bathrooms, movie screens and community events.
One of the most-established food vendor pods in the Portland neighborhood of Belmont.
The City of Santa Ana currently allows food vending businesses to operate on private property for up to 6 days per year and this new pilot program works by extending that period up to 6 months with the possibility of extension.
City properties that have been identified as sites where food vehicles could apply include the Santa Ana Zoo, Santa Ana Regional Transit Center, Cesar Chavez Park, and in the Civic Center. Private properties can apply through the planning department for a land use certificate and/or Special Event Permit.
Potential Food Truck Pod site at First Street and Bush Street. (Image courtesy of Google Street View)
Some of the best food truck vendors in the world are in Santa Ana. Like Tortas Ahogadas Los Primos on W 5th Street.
The City will consider many factors in allowing a food vendor on a particular property -- from security concerns to sanitation and general maintenance, and proximity to similar brick & mortar uses.
During the pilot program, the City will work to "identify impacts and unintended effects and evaluate best practices to minimize potential impacts to brick and mortar businesses and surrounding neighborhoods, while encrouaging entrepreneurial enterprises."
Story by Ryan Smolar
Photos by Brian Feinzimer, Ryan Smolar
Love them or Hate them, Santa Ana becomes first OC City to officially test dockless scooters
Some love them, some hate them -- but dockless scooters are a fun transportation trend that may be here to stay.
If you haven't heard of these scooters? They've appeared in urban centers for the last few years with City responses ranging from injunctions and impoundings to crafting operating agreements with data and revenue-sharing agreements.
While many cities faulter when the speed of technology grapples with the speed of goverment, The City of Santa Ana acted swiftly and adopted the first resolution in Orange County to allow dockless scooter companies to deploy up to 500 scooters on the bike lanes and streets of Santa Ana.
The transportation initative was presented by the Public Works department who are embracing this transportation revolution that is confounding many cities and being adjusted to in real-time by both urban planners and the rest of us. The pilot program allows scooter companies to secure permits to operate in the City for 3 months at a cost of $1,200 with other provisions including indemnifying the City, educating the public and sharing ride data.
Some concerns raised by the City Council before approving the trial period were whether the scooters may clutter sidewalks or cause damage that the City will be held liable for. Mayor Pro Tem Villegas further pointed out that the City holds over 200 impounded scooters from a previously unauthorized deployment. After concerns were assuaged by City staff, the Mayor explained the advanced capabilities of the scooter company to oversee their operation.
"They can actually slow the scooters down in sensitive areas like 4th Street or by a school," said Mayor Pulido. He exuberantly added that the trial will provide the City with useful transportation data that could help with pedestrian safety. Downtown Councilmember David Penaloza explained how he recently visited New Orleans where he preferred to get around on similar alternative transportation to explore that city.
Representatives from both Lime and Bird, two prominent dockless scooter proiders were present and expressed that they have their paperwork ready and will be purusing scooter deployments in Santa Ana immediately.
Story by Ryan Smolar
Photos by Brian Feinzimer
Whether you look back at 2018 and feel it was joyful 12 months, or you’re just excited to start fresh in 2019, New Year’s Eve is a time to come together with friends and celebrate! If you’re looking for an elegant NYE dinner, or the best bar-hopping in OC, Downtown Santa Ana has you covered. Here are 12 exciting New Year’s Eve happenings to consider!
There’s no rule that says you can’t start celebrating the New Year early.
Irenias “Pre-New Year’s Lechon Party”
Modern Filipino hot-spot Irenia will be hosting a Pre-New Years Lechon Party, featuring a slow-roasted whole pig as the centerpiece of the meal. Menu will be served family style.
(Subject to change without notice, based on product availability)
To reserve your seats email email@example.com
First seating- 6:00pm, last seating- 8:00pm
Price: $65 per person
Address: 400 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (657) 245-3466
Playground’s "Sunday Supper: NYE Edition"
Downtown’s dining gem, Playground, will be hosting an Epic 10-course tasting meal of shared plates with entree selections of rib-eye steak, loup de mer en papillote, Uncle Lou’s Chicken or their famous Pork Chop (which will be leaving the menu after this event). Reservations are made by table from 4-12ppl.
Reservations made by table size from 4-12ppl
Address: 220 E 4th St #102, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 560-4444
Chapter One: The Modern Local “New Year’s Eve Celebration”
If you’re looking for a date night that includes dinner, plus a flight of Pappy Van Winkle, a bottle of bubbly, and a party until 2am, look no further than Chapter One, the Modern Local’s New Year’s Eve celebration! If the Pappy dinner for two isn’t your speed, you can make a still make a dining reservation and order off their special New Years Eve menu.
$250 plus tax & gratuity (Limited Amount)
Address: 227 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 352-2225
El Mercado’s “New Year's Eve Celebration”
El Mercado is normally closed on Monday night, but New Year’s Eve is an exception. They’re opening their doors and serving their regular dinner and amazing cocktails, with special offerings from the chef.
A'la Carte 6:30-11:30
Address: 301 N Spurgeon St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 338-2446
Velvet Lounge is offering an exciting New Year’s Eve with tickets to the “The Best of Dinner and Drag” which includes an upgraded 3-course meal, plus tickets to DTSA’s favorite drag queen productions. Non-dinner ticket options are also available.
Price ranges from 14.99-99.00
Visit Velvet Lounge Reservations
Address: 416 W 4th St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 664-0663
Electric City Butcher
If you’d rather stay in and host your own New Year’s Eve party, Electric City Butcher is featuring some delicious Holiday Cuts and Creations. Festive classics like Beef Wellingtons, Pate en Croute, and Goose are among the offerings!
Address: 201 E 4th St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 474-9096
Copper Door's "New Year's Eve Neon Party"
The Copper Door has a bevy of holiday nights leading up to New Years Eve, including NYE Neon Party featuring Power106 DJ Precise and MC Qui West. Live music will be back-to-back from 8pm-2am, but get there early if you want to enjoy the open bar from 8pm-10pm.
Address: 225 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 696-1479
Build-your-own pizza press is known for custom pies, but they always have a great rotating selection of beer on tap. On New Years Eve, they're offering all beers for a cool $5.
Address: 117 W 4th St Unit 101-102, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 760-4425
La Santa Modern Cantina
One of the hippest spots on the East end, known live music and sports, is open for New Years late into the night. Details of the nights programming are still to come.
Congregation Ale House
The newest addition to the Artists Village is open, serving food and drinks until 2am. Patrons ringing in the New Year at Congregation will be treated to a complimentary Midnight champagne toast.
Also open for business on New Year's Eve is local favorite Mission bar, with a curated list of craft beers on tap. The intimate bar will stay open past the New Year for those wanting to stay late and count down to 2019.
Native Son Alehouse
One of the best patios in town can be found upstairs on the corner of 4th St. and Spurgeon at Native Son Alehouse. If you're looking to cheers the New Year with craft beers, you'll be a happy camper.
Do you see an event missing from this New Year's Festivities? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be sure to add it to the list!
Article compiled by Scott Levy, DTSA Restaurant District Manager