I love finding fun foodie things in my backyard. Old Towne Orange is a real treasure in Orange County, Ca. If you have never been, you need to check it out yesterday. This is a classic American style of an old town. Built on a circle, the town is full of antique stores where you can find little treasures, mom and pop diners and eateries. Orange is also home to Chapman University and is also a great college town.
Two sisters founded Old Towne Orange Walking Food Tours and they have done a fabulous job in creating a fun local activity. The guides are knowledgeable and energetic, telling foodies fun facts about the town along the way.
The family decided to join the fun on a Sunday afternoon and we had such a great time. Meeting at the Starbuck’s inside the Wells Fargo right on the circle, we met our fun and friendly guide Linda. Once the group was together we were off.
Our first stop was Felix’s, a local cafe that serves Cuban food. Our bite for the day was their special empanada’s filled with a meat filling and then we finished with a sweet bite of fried plantain. The empanadas were crispy on the outside and full of Cuban flavor on the inside. We are off to a great start.
Crossing back over we stopped at Paris in a cup. This is one of my favorite treasures in Orange, I am a tea fiend, not coffee, TEA! They have a great selection with a shop in the front and a cute cafe in the back to sip tea with friends. If you find yourself near this little shop, they offer the very best French macaroons or macarons ever.
We have gone from Cuba to Paris, now to Americana with Watson’s, which is the oldest diner just off the circle. We had a little cup of rice pudding. It was the perfect bite of cinnamon goodness.
Francoli’s was also on our walking tour. This is another local favorite, a little Italian market and eatery that has been a staple in Orange County for many years. Serving authentic Northern Italian food, yum! We sampled their Caprese salad and pesto pasta. What I most loved, is their pesto was near perfect. Not to much garlic or basil, it was balanced and the pasta was cooked very well.
We made a stop at Provisions Market, this spot is one that has been on my list to try for awhile. We had a sample of their salami, cheese and Hangar 24 beer. All of their items were fabulous. This market/cafe is a fun stop. They offer some interesting dishes and sandwiches. It is also a market with a large selection of meats, cheeses, beers and soda. We will definitely go back.
Now on to The Grinder, where we had soda. This is the spot for soda. The owner talked about the soda machine he created to perfectly carbonate the soda’s and I have to say, they were creamy and delicious. Nibbled on a turkey grinder which as they say at the cafe, it’s all about the bread.
We then crossed the street to Zito’s pizza and by now, I am stuffed and can’t take another bite, barely. The pizza was very good.
For those with dietary issues, we stopped at The Bite Market, which carries gluten-free and dairy free foods. The owner is very sweet and so knowledgeable and is doing everything she can to provide great products for those with food issues. She also is working with local farmers to bring in organic produce..
The Last stop was Cafe Lucca for gelato. It is very tough to find authentic gelato. Unfortunately, the gelato at Cafe Lucca didn’t do it for me. The flavor was a bit artificial and left a funny after taste, so wasn’t a fan of this gelato.
Old Towne Orange Walking tours also offers a Vintage Orange Tour, that includes a stop at the local farmer’s market. If you are a parent taking your son or daughter to Chapman University, they offer a Chapman Parents/Family tour to help you and your student become familiar with the treasures around downtown Orange.
The tour was really so much fun and how can you go wrong with food, family or friends. You can check them out at www.oldtowneorangewalkingfoodtours.com.