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Irvine is a beautiful and booming city in southern California, filled with sights, shops and delicious eats for all tastes and interests. One of the most enticing cities in Orange County for people to move to. Whether you are a local, on a Disney vacation, or merely passing through on a journey to somewhere else, Irvine offers a variety of family friendly eateries that are worth the stop. Fine Dining, quaint cafes and exotic cuisines await you. This list highlights some of the best-rated local and nationwide eateries that Irvine has to offer.

Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

If you are looking for a family friendly restaurant that also welcomes your furry friends, than Lazy Dog is the perfect spot. Their massive menu is packed full of delicious options for every taste and budget. From flat bread pizzas and shrimp stir fry to refreshing salads and crave worthy burgers. The selection will not disappoint. Make sure to check out one of their generous happy hours, with a menu that is loaded with seasonal drinks, tasty appetizers, and excellent savings. They even offer a dog friendly menu just for your furry family members.

The outdoor seating area is expansive and offers fire pits and cozy seating areas. During their peak hours you may have a short wait, but the pay off of enjoying a quality meal in an environment that truly welcomes both you and your dog will make it totally worth it.

Lazy Dog currently offers multiple locations throughout southern California, Nevada and Texas. Find locations, hours and more at www.lazydogrestaurants.com


If you are a fan of brunching, and have yet to try Bruxie, you are missing out! This family friendly spot offers a menu packed with sandwiches, burgers, and deserts, with a twist. They are all served on waffles! Known for being the home of the original fried chicken and waffle sandwich, Bruxie will take your love of a timeless breakfast staple to the next level. You can grab a turkey club, hot pastrami, and even a buffalo chicken sandwich piled high between their delicious signature waffles. Have a sweet tooth? Try crème brulee, nutella and bananas or a frozen custard sundae nestled atop a fresh warm waffle!

If you are in the mood for something with a little less waffle, they also offer crisp delicious salads, buffalo spiced macaroni & cheese, fried pickles and more. Don’t forget to ask about their refreshing selection of house made sodas.

Bruxie offers multiple locations throughout the SoCal area and they even have a shop on the Las Vegas Strip! You can find menu information and hours by visiting www.Bruxie.com

Texas de Brazil

Texas de Brazil is a churrascaria steakhouse inspired by traditional Brazilian cuisine and rooted in southern hospitality. The family owned and operated eatery got its start in Dallas, Texas and has since gained great acclaim both nationwide and abroad. They offer diners an expansive selection of all you can eat cuts of meats paired with a seasonal salad bar at a great price. Their meats are always fresh and known for their deep layers of flavor and mouth watering succulents. The ever-changing salad bar brings you a selection of sides and tastes that will perfectly compliment your meat selection and leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Texas de Brazil is the perfect choice when you are looking to celebrate with family and enjoy an exceptional meal. Find more information on locations and pricing by visiting www.texasdebrazil.com

The Stand

If you are searching for a tasty burger, a great beer selection and a warm family friendly atmosphere, then you have to check out The Stand.  They are serving up a menu filled with hot dogs, sausages, burgers and more. With their elevated flavors and a philosophy centered on honest food and sincere hospitality, they are not to be confused with your average burger joint. Their inventive approach when designing their burgers – from the Apple Slaw covered turkey burger to their French onion soup burger complete with crispy onions and served with a side of au jus – is not to be overlooked.

Want fries with that? Try an order of their braised short rib fries that is big enough to share and take your dining experience to the next level. If you still have room, you won’t want to miss out on one of their frozen custard creations like the custard cookie sandwich or a custard-topped cobbler. If you are looking for a deal, don’t forget to ask one of their employees about The Standcard so you can enjoy instant savings.

The Stand offers locations throughout the SoCal area. Browse their menu and all the benefits The Standcard has to offer by visiting www.thestandlink.com

Square One Pizza

Square One Pizza Café is a family owned restaurant serving up thin crust artisan pizzas made with only the freshest local ingredients. While this Irvine hot spot is most known for their signature square pizzas, overlooking the pasta selection would be a mistake. All of their dishes are loaded with fresh, robust flavors and carefully crafted to give you an authentic and satisfying taste experience. They also have an impressive rotation of beers on draft and an extensive wine selection. The beautiful and modern family friendly atmosphere keeps the vibes both casual and comfortable.

This Italian eatery is a must try for any pizza connoisseur. Check out their menu and daily specials at www.sq1pizza.com

S’wich Bistro

S’wich Bistro is a casual café serving up a variety of artisan burgers and sandwiches at a great price. If you are looking to grab a quick bite without compromising flavor, than this is the place for you. Their breakfast menu offers satisfying and nutritious options to help you get the day started. Mouth watering burgers made exactly to your liking and carefully crafted sandwiches await you come lunchtime. S’wich even offers vegan options and will do their best to accommodate most dietary needs.

Just because you are short on time, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a beautifully prepared meal at an affordable price. From lunch break meetings to last minute family dinners, S’wich bistro will take care of you.

For directions and menu options visit www.irvinesandwiches.com

Station Café

Sometimes you need a great cup of coffee, excellent service and no added frills. Station Café offers exactly that. The customer service is superb and while the atmosphere may leave a little to be desired, the menu sure doesn’t. A beautiful selection of Panini, salads and wraps offer a satisfying yet cost effective meal on the go. Their lattes are poured to perfection and they offer a variety of options to accommodate most dietary restrictions.

This café is a hidden gem located walking distance from the Amtrak train station. The fast and friendly service makes it the perfect stop when looking for a quick bite before boarding your train. The parking is easy, the service is top notch and if you’re looking to support a local small business, you won’t want to pass this one up.

Browse the menu and more at www.istationcafe.com


Falasophy is a falafel food truck and hummus bar often stationed in the Irvine area. This mobile eatery provides exciting and crave-able street food made with only the freshest ingredients. The menu focuses on falafel, hummus and traditional Lebanese cuisine with a SoCal twist. Everything they serve is made from scratch and all natural, so you can feel good about supporting a local business while treating your body right. Try taking the whole family on a food truck adventure and enjoy some good eats and the great outdoors while squeezing in a little bit of bonding time.

If you can’t wait for the falafel goodness to come to you, they have recently opened their first brick and mortar location a short drive away in Santa Ana.  You can find their menu, schedule and social media by visiting www.falasophy.com

The city of Irvine has so much to offer, and these family friendly restaurants are just the tip of the iceberg. Let us know what your favorite spots are, and don’t be afraid to get out and explore new places every day!

For more information on Irvine, see: Festival Guide 2017 in Irvine, California

All photos courtesy of their respective businesses.

By Janysh Osmon

25 May 2021