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Anaheim Information
More than 40 million people visit this Southern California metropolis every year—which means it can be tough to find a bargain.  More...
If you stick with snack bars and coffee shops while touring Anaheim , you're doing your tummy a grave injustice.  More...
When it comes to family-friendly attractions, Anaheim is almost without equal.  More...
When most people first visit Anaheim , they're only looking to make one major purchase: personalized Mickey Mouse ears.   More...
Orange County nightlife used to be an oxymoron. However, in the past few years, quite a few establishments have sprung up,  More...

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Guide To Anaheim
If you stick with snack bars and coffee shops while touring Anaheim , you're doing your tummy a grave injustice.Even at first glance, places such as Downtown Disney and South Coast Plaza are full of inviting, tantalizing restaurants. Scratch the surface, and there are enough dining destinations to keep even the most avid gourmand satisfied. Whether you prefer unknown neighborhood gems with low prices and simple fare, or busy, centrally located theme restaurants with high-ticket cuisine, there's plenty to appease your appetite.

Obviously, the restaurants within the Disneyland parks and hotels tend to be the most expensive and crowded, but for many people, that's all part of the experience. Places like French Market Restaurant and Rancho del Zocalo in Disneyland or Ariel's Grotto at Paradise Pier in California Adventure Park are slightly better than the snack bars, but still appropriate for families with small children. Each park has one fine-dining venue, where mature visitors can get a decent meal in a somewhat peaceful setting. At Disneyland , it's Blue Bayou, in California Adventure Park , The Vineyard Room.

All the aforementioned restaurants are within park boundaries and open to park guests only. However, many of Disney's most popular restaurants are located in the resort hotels. Paradise Pier Hotel boasts the colorful PCH Grill, known for its character breakfasts, and Yamabuki, a Japanese restaurant with a full sushi bar. Over in the Grand Californian Hotel is Napa Rose, a lovely gourmet room with a 1000-label wine list; while the Disneyland Hotel holds a half-dozen eateries, running the gamut from prime steak at Granville's to casual buffets at Goofy's Kitchen to California cuisine at Hook's Pointe.

Downtown Disney has ramped up its restaurant portfolio considerably in the past few years, with the help of local restaurateur Joachim Splichal. His Patina Group owns Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria, the brand-new Tortilla Jo's, and Catal and Uva Bar, a gourmet Italian and mid-scale tapas bar situated in the same building. Other restaurants worth checking out include the House of Blues, with its famous Gospel Brunch, and the Rainforest Café, a favorite of kiddies everywhere.

In order to find real value, you need to venture away from the Disney domain, but not too far—in fact, you may not even need to leave your lodgings. Anabella Hotel, located literally one minute from the park, has Tangerine Grill, known for its warm, Mediterranean-inspired décor and exotic cuisine. The Clarion Hotel Maingate has two restaurants, the main one being the Clubhouse Grill and Lounge. Also at the main gate is Millie's Country Kitchen, serving low-priced comfort food in generous portions. Pavia is a graceful, beautifully decorated haven within the no-nonsense Hilton Anaheim. The Anaheim Park Hotel is actually located in neighboring Fullerton , a college town with local gems such as Table Ten and Stubrik's Steakhouse.

If you don't mind driving a short distance for a gourmet meal, you can enjoy sumptuous contemporary Italian fare and fine wine at the Anaheim White House, an elegant and spacious landmark owned by local philanthropist Bruno Serrato. Or, reserve a table at Mr. Stox, known for its 20,000-bottle wine cellar and its upscale Continental menu, revised daily by the chef.

Anaheim has no shortage of casual restaurants. Scattered throughout the city, they provide hearty, inexpensive meals at any hour of the day. Start out with breakfast in the Original Pancake House, a local favorite for decades. If you're downtown, try the Filling Station, known for its delicious baked goods and pastries. Or, if you don't want to venture far from the Disney park gates, get an omelet or a ranch-style breakfast at Millie's. All three of these restaurants serve lunch and dinner as well. Less than two miles from the Days Inn is Angelo's Hamburgers, an old-fashioned burger joint featuring skimpily clad carhops. And The Catch, hangout of hockey players and local happy-hour crowds, is convenient to both Dolphin's Cove and the Ramada Plaza Anaheim.

Try one of the ethnic restaurants at some point during your stay. Cuban Pete's is a Caribbean-themed restaurant and nightclub, known as much for its crowds as its cuisine. The same goes for El Pollo Inka, a Peruvian restaurant with regular Latin dance nights. Pho Republic, a Vietnamese restaurant in Downtown Anaheim, and Merhaba, a low-key African restaurant (located on West Ball Road 10 blocks down from the Sheraton), offer authentic versions of their respective cuisines, but not too much in the way of atmosphere.

If you're staying at the Hilton Costa Mesa, you're within walking distance of two dozen excellent restaurants. Go to Pinot Provence or Troquet if you're in the mood for fine French cuisine; Quattro Café or Antonello if you prefer Italian fare; and Morton's or Turner New Zealand if it's prime beef you fancy. End the evening with a nightcap and a cheese platter at Chat Noir or the Clubhouse. Hilton Irvine guests will be impressed by the quality and variety of nearby restaurants. You can find contemporary Asian fare at Thaifoon and P.F. Chang's, microbrews and upscale bar nibbles at the Yard House and Rock Bottom Brewery, and Mexi-Cali cuisine at the newest location of Javier's Cantina. And all of that is inside the Irvine Spectrum! Other must-tries include Opah, located in the Tustin Marketplace, and Bistango, in the Atrium Building just a mile away from the Hyatt Regency Orange County .

Hungry yet? Like we said, we've just scratched the surface. Not only that, but the local restaurant scene is growing and changing all the time – so check back once you're ready for a second helping.

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