Our off-the-beaten-path food series concludes with dinner. We’re sharing our favorite places to sup without the touristy hype. Since Newport locals live in their flip flops and shorts, most of our winners are casual sit-down restaurants. But if you’re on vacation and looking to splurge, we threw in a few fancier options, too!
For a Delicious Helping of California Cuisine, Sol Grill is a Local Treasure!
Funky & absolutely fabulous, Sol Grill is where the locals go when they want amazing, upscale food without the hefty price tag. The meatballs are their specialty, but we’re bougie and go for the lamb chops. The atmosphere here is just stupendous, with live music on weekends and various eclectic “family rooms” from which to dine. Don’t duck out without ordering their sangria because you’ll never have a better one!
For Unbeatable Outdoor Dining & Italian Food, Sabatino’s is a Gift to Us All
You’d never know this place existed if you weren’t looking for it. Tucked back in the parking lot of a shipyard, Sabatino’s is a family owned Italian joint that’ll make you feel like you’re at your nonna’s house. They are most known for their housemade sausage that is truly to die for. Do yourself a favor and order it. And while you’re at it, order the caesar salad, the pasta roll, the baked mostaccioli, the eggplant parmesan, the New York Pizzaiola…you get the picture. These dishes are sheer perfection!
For Grab & Go Lobster Rolls, Hook & Anchor will be your new Favorite!
With its casual walk-up counter and strip mall locale, you’d never know that the lobster rolls of your dreams were being served here. Hot buttery rolls stuffed with tender lobster and slathered in sauce, these sandwiches will run you anywhere from $30-$40, but we promise you won’t regret it! A whole line-up of cheesy and cheeky dishes accompany Hook & Anchor’s lobster roll, making this a go-to spot for all types of dinner seekers.
For a Top-to-Bottom Perfect Menu, Eat Chow can take all our $$$
How to describe perfection? Eat Chow serves fresh and delicious food that both spoils & nourishes. Their menu is emblematic of what makes California cuisine so great: the crazy diversity of dishes! From short rib tostadas to thai salads to gooey butter cake, Eat Chow’s long list of 10/10 offerings ensures that there is something here for everyone in your group.
For Casual Italian Food from the Motherland, It Can Only Be il Farro
Il Farro is this tiny little bistro nestled in a back alley at the Newport Pier. They only use the best of ingredients (shoutout to their olive oil, which is noticeably superior to anything else you’ve had!). Order yourself a glass of wine, a plate of bruschetta, and one of their farro specialties and you might just think you’re on the coast of Amalfi!
For Fresh Vietnamese Street Food, Saigon Beach Market Always Hits the Spot
We can’t sing the praises of Saigon Beach Market loud enough! Equal parts comforting and fresh, every item on the menu is a winner. We have a minor obsession with their pork, shrimp, and avocado spring rolls; their banh mis are perfect at any time of day; and their soups are so flavorful and bright we want to hug whoever’s working the magic in the kitchen. (Oh, and their breakfast and lunch are spectacular, too!).
For a Feast That Will Fire You Up, Arc Butcher & Baker is a Culinary Masterpiece
Arc focuses on “flame, flavor, and finesse,” and boy does it show! Most everything on their menu is cooked over a fire in their open concept kitchen/restaurant. While we always choose to sit in their beautiful garden patio, we always have a tough time choosing our order. Everything’s just too darn good! Some nights it’s pizza with fun sharing apps. Other nights we go for a perfectly cooked steak or fish plate. And when we’re feeling indecisive, we order a ton of sides and then go ham on their desserts. Long story short, you can’t go wrong dining at Arc Butcher & Baker!
For Pizzas You Can Eat on the Beach, Order From Laventina’s!
Our favorite nights eating “out” are the ones when we order pizza and head to the beach. There’s something about digging into hot cheesy pizza while sitting on the lifeguard stand that makes you feel like you’re 16 again. This, we promise, will be a lifelong memory for you and your entire family. Pro tip: get Laventina’s delivered to you right on the beach. This way, you don’t have to miss the epic sunset or dolphin show that’s surely happening on the horizon.
For an Upscale Night Featuring Top-Notch Dishes, The Dock is the Winner!
Teeny tiny and located in the Cannery Village right on the waters of the harbor, The Dock is the perfect way to celebrate any special evening. Due to its small size (14 or so tables), the Dock requires guests to select one of two seating windows when making reservations. The planning required to dine here is worth it, though. The food is spectacular: thoughtfully crafted with not a detail out of place. Expect classic dishes like filet mignon, rack of lamb, and pork chop, along with coastal favorites like scallops and sashimi. And with the shimmering waters of the bay beside you, The Dock provides any guest with a dining experience that lives up to its awards and acclaim.