Watch CBS News

Best Bistros In OC

bistro food
(credit: Shutterstock)

By definition, a bistro is a small, European-style restaurant or cafe. That not only means that the place is pretty cozy as far as size, but also that the restaurant features smaller portions like you'd find in European restaurants. Whether you're in the mood for French or Mediterranean cuisine, try these bistros fro irresistible food and beverages like wine and Belgian beer.

LUCCA CAFE Orange County YELP verified
(credit: Thomas O./Yelp)

6507 Quail Hill Parkway
Irvine, CA 92603
(949) 725-1773

When you first find this restaurant, you might be surprised at what you find - simply because this is located in a shopping center in Irvine. You'll notice the cozy atmosphere immediately with the cheese counter and the encased wine rack right at the entrance. Here you'll find fresh pasta - such as butternut squash ravioli. The salads here are light and use local, fresh ingredients. If you're eating light, try the watermelon-mango salad. Before you leave, make sure you stop by the cheese counter to pick up some of the amazing cheeses on hand.

zov's bistro YELP - verified
(credit: Cliff C./Yelp)

Zov's Bistro
17440 E. 17th St.
Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 838-8855

While a lot of bistros focus mainly on French cuisine, Zov's is a place where you'll find some great Mediterranean food. Appetizers here include babaganoush and tabouleh, among others. You'll find a fair amount of lamb on the menu, not only with lamb chops, but also with lamb meatballs. If you think the entrees here are good, just wait until you see desserts from an apple tart to creme brulee. Also, this restaurant adjoins Zov's Bakery and Cafe if you want to look for some goodness to take home from this place.

Bistro Bleu
(credit: Maggie C./Yelp)

Bistro Bleu
918 S. Magnolia Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92804
(714) 826-3590

Bistro Bleu advertises itself as a CaliFrenchian eatery. Here you'll find a lot of French favorites including steak au poivre and coq au vin. Like a lot of restaurants in France, you can also choose a prix fixe menu with four courses including dessert, for which you can choose a delicious creme brulee. Bistro Blue also has traditional French aperitifs like a Kir (Chardonnay with a splash of black currant). The atmosphere and the food will keep you coming back to this charming restaurant.

Related: Best French Restaurants in OC

Brussels Bistro salmon
(credit: Brussels Bistro)

Brussels Bistro
222 Forest Ave.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 376-7955

If you're of the opinion that any reason is a good reason to go to Laguna Beach, then Brussels Bistro is the place for you. You'll find the rich cuisine you expect from Belgium - including various steak dishes and pork with mustard sauce. If you really want to delve into the cuisine, try the mussels with pommes frites. In addition to great cuisine, you'll also find a good selection of Belgian beers, which are generally the cream of the crop. If you can't decide on one beer, you can choose a flight of four different Belgian beers, and that's a win.

wine glasses dinner flowers thinkstock
(credit: Thinkstock)

Bistro Le Crillon
2523 Eastbluff Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 640-8181

One of the things you'll notice first when you walk into Bistro Le Crillon is the wine storage. It is truly an impressive collection that you can enjoy with your meal. This place also has an impressive list of French items. From the charcuterie plate to the escargot to the cheese plate you can get after your dinner, you'll feel like you're eating somewhere in France. If you are a fan of wild game, Bistro Le Crillon offers dishes like wild boar and elk in season.

Related: Best Cheese Shops in OC

Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.