by Rebecca Parsons
San Clemente is known for a lot of things
but the biggest draw of the beachfront community is probably its year-round surf. Whether the waves are firing or not, one of the best parts of surfing is swapping stories with friends over a post-surf meal. San Clemente offers no short supply of dining options. We’ve rounded up five of the popular spots to fuel up with a must try item from each.
2313 S. El Camino Real &
550 N. El Camino Real
As far as dining options go, Pedro’s is perhaps the most iconic location in all of San Clemente. In 1986, Pedro’s Tacos was constructed off El Camino Real, making it the first fish taco stand in Orange County. Word of the stand’s mouth-watering tacos and burritos quickly spread, with surfers from near and far lining up to get a taste for themselves. Today, Pedro’s remains a staple among tourists and locals. The shop now consists of five locations, two of which are located at its place of origin in San Clemente. Must Try: Fish tacos
102 Avenida Cabrillo
Nomads was made for surfers. Their motto: “surfer soul food.” Sit on the patio and enjoy the ocean view or hang inside for a sweet surf flick and a collection of vintage boards. Their menu includes a collection of surfer favorites, all made fresh to order with no cans, grease, or preservatives. In addition to food, they offer a selection of 32 different draft beers and 120 of the world’s best tequilas. If you’re visiting from out of town, consider spending your trip in the attached hotel in one of the many surf inspired rooms.
Must Try: Jaco Poké Bowl
114 Ave. Victoria
La Tiendita is a little hole-in-the wall taqueria, located directly behind the bustling Avenida Del Mar. In English, La Tiendita translates to “the little shop.” This family-run eatery offers burritos, tacos, quesadillas, cold beverages, and other menu items you’d expect to find at a taqueria. Additionally, they offer pantry staples if you’re looking to do a taco night of your own. The food is delicious and the prices can’t be beat … which is why La Tiendita has been a hit among surfers since 1993.
Must Try: Chicken wet burrito
Cafe Del Sol
3817 S. El Camino Real
Cafe Del Sol is the sister restaurant to La Tiendita. In operation since 2007, Cafe Del Sol offers many of La Tiendita’s beloved menu items as well as acai bowls, smoothies, Peet’s coffee, and adult beverages. Located at the top of the Trestles trail, Cafe Del Sol is a popular place to refuel after surfing. In addition to dine-in and take out, Cafe Del Sol offers a drive through option for those looking to grab a quick bite on the run.
Must Try: Trestles Bowl
120 S. El Camino Real
Banzai Bowls was created by surfers for surfers. At Banzai Bowls, every bowl is made by hand from the finest and most nutritious ingredients. Since opening their doors in Costa Mesa in 2008, Banzai Bowls has expanded to six coastal locations to keep up with their high demand. Their menu includes a number of different healthy and filling bowl and smoothie options, at a price that won’t break the bank. Acai bowls are the perfect post-surf snack: they’re light and healthy yet give you tons of energy.
Must Try: Banzai Bowl
111 S. El Camino Real
Must Try: Quinoa Lentil Bowl
In 2010, a local Laguna Beach family opened up shop in their hometown in an effort to offer a healthy food alternative to the community. Three years later, they saw the need for an Active Culture in a neighboring city and so, opened their doors in San Clemente as well. Their goal is to provide customers with healthy and organic food at an affordable price. Their vegetarian menu includes breakfast items, bowls, burgers, salads, smoothies, and frozen yogurt, among other things. They are also committed to protecting the environment and use biodegradable and compostable plates, napkins, and utensils.