i heart ocAs you’ve already know, we {heart} OC in a big, pink, puffy heart kinda way. But we know we aren’t the only ones. So, we’re asking our readers to tell us (& you) why they {heart} OC. Maybe it’s a specific attraction or restaurant. Perhaps is just the laid back way of life. Or, maybe it’s all about the Dole Whip on a hot, sunny day. Whatever it is, we want to know, & we figured we’d bring you along for the ride.

old town orange

Meet Kelly. She is a wife, mother & the ultimate expert on Old Towne Orange. That’s right, she is passionate about old town in the City of Orange (also known as the Orange Circle located just down the street from Chapman University, at the intersection of Glassell and Champan Ave)- so much so, she has an entire site dedicated to exploring the Orange Plaza & it’s wonderful restaurants, galleries & shoppingI Heart Old Towne Orange.

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Old Towne Orange is definitely what I would call a ‘hot spot’ in Orange County today. It’s filled with all kinds of restaurants and shopping, and it’s one of those friendly, walkable places that’s hard to find in this part of the world. For those of you that live in and around here, you already know that, and I’m certain have your own favorite little spots. For the rest of you, I’m going to share a few of my favorite things in Old Towne Orange.

I’m going to start with Food. I could tell you my favorites everywhere, but I’m going to narrow the field and give you 3 things that are just YUM…FYI, this was a difficult task for me:

Francoli Gourmet
Number 1: The Lasagna at Francoli Gourmet…is out of this world delicious! They also have an A-mazing Carpaccio. So here’s what you
do. Go to Francoli…order the Carpaccio, the Lasagna and a bottle of wine…you will be happy.

Number 2: The Potato Chips and Brussels Sprouts at Haven Gastropub. Ok, I could actually eat these Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Prosciutto every night for dinner and be pretty darn satisfied. There is a lot of really good food at Haven, but it is nearly impossible for me not to order the Potato Chips AND the Brussels Sprouts with whatever else I’m getting. I would actually be content to just order those two things with whatever White Ale they’ve got on tap…happy, happy, happy camper!

bruxie
Number 3: The last thing I’m going to mention is Bruxie. This is a new concept in food really and it’s WOW! All their food is wrapped up in a
waffle and you’d be surprised how good it all tastes. My favorite is the Chicken and Waffle Sandwich. It’s a piece of Fried Chicken with Coleslaw and a little Honey and it’s SO SO SO good. My recommendation is to get that (or any other savory sandwich) and to also try a Sweet Treat like the S’Mores.

Bonus: Ok, I had to add in one more thing and that’s the Happy Hour at Citrus City Grille. It’s from 4-7 and they have the most amazing $5 menu. So, fine dining for $5 and that applies to a bunch of appetizer sized plates, a great martini menu, as well as other well drinks, select wines and beers. They also have ‘Kids Eat Free on Tuesday’s’

Now that we’ve talked a little food, there are a couple of other things I want to mention about Old Towne Orange. Things that make the area unique and worth a trip over.
farmers and artisans market
First, there is a new Saturday Farmers and Artisans Market. It’s every Saturday from 8am to Noon. It’s such a wonderful asset to the community. HERE is a list of participating vendors and it’s located at the Historic Villa Park Orchards Packinghouse lot at the corner of Cypress and Palm Avenue’s (across from Chapman University’s Film School). You will find fresh fruits and veggies, breads, sweets, hummus, olives, dried fruit and nuts, flowers and much, much more.

The last thing I want to mention is this. In addition to all the wonderful antique stores in Old Towne Orange, there are a variety of other boutiques. There’s the new Laurenly, which is for all the fashionista’s out there. They’ve got lots of hip, stylish clothes and accessories (including TOMS shoes) at pretty reasonable prices. You’ll also find a variety of other clothing shops for women and men, along with some great vintage boutiques. You could easily come to Old Towne in the morning and find something to occupy your time for the whole day…art, food, shopping and
parks…it’s a mecca of happiness with something to offer all ages!

If you haven’t been to Old Towne Orange lately or you want to know more about what’s going on around towne, then check out my blog, www.iheartoldtowneorange.com or follow me on Facebook!

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So there you have it… why Kelly {hearts} Orange County. Get to know Kelly even more on her blog, Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter.

xoxo, K

p.s. interested in contributing & telling us why YOU {heart} OC? Just send us an email: justspotted@gmail.com