Laguna Beach’s Most Convenient Takeout

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Good To-Go

Need a quick lunch for a day at the beach? Here’s a look at some of the tastiest places in town for convenient takeout.-By Beth Fhaner | Photos by Jody Tiongco

It’s a gorgeous summer day, and the beach is calling your name. The only dilemma: You need sustenance, and you don’t want to spend valuable time preparing a meal when you could be out enjoying the sun, sand and waves. Thankfully, with so many Laguna Beach establishments offering delicious takeout, there are plenty of options to help alleviate your hunger. For fare that will tantalize your taste buds, visit any of these eateries, and you’ll soon be on your way to a relaxing and fun-filled day at the beach.

 Good Eats on the BeachIf hunger strikes and you’re already on the sand at Crystal Cove State Beach, you are in luck. While the Beachcomber Café doesn’t serve takeout, they do offer beach snacks, beverages, frozen treats and grilled items on the Beachcomber Express Menu during the summer months (look for the large tent located next to the picnic tables). Among the available “to-go” options are the beach burger, barbecue pulled pork sandwich, shrimp skewers and the grilled cheese with tomato. (15 Crystal Cove; Newport Coast, 949-376-6900;, if no items on the Beachcomber Express Menu catch your eye, you can always walk to the top of the bluff for a hot dog, burger or shake from Ruby’s Shake Shack. Monkey Flip Shake, anyone? (7703 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-464-0100;

Savory Sicilian 

For a hearty appetite, consider Gina’s Pizza, where you’ll find home-style fare inspired by the cuisine of Sicily, where Gina Costa, the restaurant’s founder, spent her childhood. Grab a tasty slice of pizza, which is custom baked to order, or one of the many satisfying artisan sandwiches, including a signature Italian sub, grilled pesto chicken, or roasted veggie on focaccia bread. It’s best to call ahead for takeout, or allow approximately 10 minutes for food preparation. Gina’s has two Laguna locations—from the north Laguna location, it’s a quick stroll over to Heisler Park and the Divers Cove area; from the south Laguna location, head over to Brooks Street Beach. (610 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-4421; and 1100 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-4342;

Mouth-Watering Mexican 

Craving some super fresh, contemporary Mexican food? If so, La Sirena Grill, named for its downtown location on Mermaid Avenue, definitely fits the bill. It’s often standing-room only at this casual, family-owned-and-operated eatery dedicated to sustainable practices and serving tasty fare prepared from scratch. Best bets for takeout are the tacos (served with cabbage and fresh salsa in a handmade corn tortilla) or burritos (served with cabbage, jack cheese, guacamole and a choice of organic beans or rice in a flour tortilla). Guests can choose from taco and burrito options including chicken, beef, pork, ahi, salmon, calamari and grilled veggie. The blackened salmon salad, served with a lime cilantro dressing, also earns raves. Wash it all down with a sweet watermelon strawberry agua fresca. Call ahead for to-go orders, especially on Saturdays. Locals or visitors can enjoy either of two La Sirena locations—from the downtown location, it’s an easy walk to Main Beach. From the south Laguna location, carry your chow over to Aliso Beach Park. (347 Mermaid St.; 949-497-8226; and 30862 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-499-2301;

A Taste of the Mediterranean

At the north end of town, Zéytoon Café is somewhat of a hidden gem, serving fresh, flavorful Mediterranean fare, such as hummus and flatbread with marinated green olives, herbs and light mozzarella. Any item on the menu can be boxed for takeout, and popular sandwich choices include the turkey panini, grilled portobello and French goat cheese, and the tuna melt with yellow cheddar. Cold drinks, coffee and pastries are also available, and if you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, try the tart lemon bar or the decadent dulce de leche cheesecake bar. Call ahead for carry-out orders, or wait about 10 minutes for your food to be prepared. Once you’re set with delectable nosh from Zéytoon, it’s just a short walk over to Heisler Park. (412 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-9230;

Trendy Bites

For upscale beach takeout, check out the small but hip Pizza Lounge, located on the corner of Laguna Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway. With flat-screen TVs, cool music spinning in the background and a bench out front with comfy black-and-white pillows, Pizza Lounge definitely emits a chill vibe. Try a slice of the nearly two dozen different pies on the menu, including coconut shrimp pizza and chicken, pear and gorgonzola pizza. Other recommended takeout options are the various grilled paninis and yummy wraps (the salmon wrap is superb). Gluten-free pizza and soy cheese are also available upon request. For a sweet ending, there’s a chocolate pizza on the menu, made with melted French chocolate. Once you’re loaded with scrumptious eats, head to Main Beach, only a few steps away. (397 S. Coast Hwy.; 949- 497-2277;

Gourmet Goodies 

Epicureans have a few excellent options when it comes to gourmet food items available for takeout in Laguna. At Zinc Café & Market, located in the heart of downtown, customers can select from a tempting array of sandwiches, salads and baked goods, including a brie and arugula sandwich, artisanal cheddar ficelle and an artichoke pasta salad. From Zinc, it’s an easy, short walk to Main Beach. (350 Ocean Ave.; 949-494-6302;

Further south and adjacent to Sapphire Restaurant, The Pantry offers a daily assortment of sandwiches, salads, pastries and beverages, plus one of the finest selections of cheese in Laguna—their cheese humidor features more than 100 different varieties. Once you’re set with your gourmet goodies, head over to Brooks Street Beach or Cress Street Beach. (1200 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-9888; LBM

More Beach Takeout 

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
(280 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-3802;

Heidelberg Café & Bistro
(1100 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-4594;

House of Big Fish & Ice Cold Beer
(540 S. Coast Hwy., #200; 949-715-4500;

Johnny Rocket’s
(188 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-7252;

Maro Wood Grill
(1915 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-793-4044;

Nick’s Laguna Beach
(440 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-8595;

Nirvana Grille
(303 Broadway St.; 949-497-0027;

San Shi Go

(1100 S. Coast Hwy., #303; 949-494-1551)

The Stand

(238 Thalia St.; 949-494-8101)

For even more options, turn to our Taste of the Town dine listings starting on page 110.

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