Month: October 2016

Vegetarians and Carnivores Break Bread!

Carnivores and vegetarians unite at these restaurants in Center City.

So you meet someone new and decide to go out for a bite to eat. Then it happens. You hear the “V” word. He or she is a vegetarian. Yikes. What’s a sworn, hardcore meat eater to do? Is it a deal-breaker? Not necessarily.

Fortunately, there are more options than ever for carnivores and vegetarians to break bread and have a civil meal at some of the best vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Anaheim. In fact, you can find some of the best vegetarian dishes at places you would least expect.

The following list serves as a solid guide of places to eat that satisfy both meat and vegetarian diets. Now, if only you meat lovers could get past the disapproving glances from your date.

vegetarian-friendly restaurant menu options

Scrumptious vegan burgers and juicy meat patties piled high on the same menu. A foodie’s dream come true.

Gypsy Den

If you want to ease into your uneasy communion, the Den is a good, friction-less destination where you both can find something right up your alley.

It’s a casual, funky, charming location right on Center Street Promenade with vegetarian dishes that include the Quinoa Veggie Burger, Vegetable Lasagna, and Vegetarian Chicken Enchiladas. They also have several good vegan options—including the Vegan Chicken Wrap, hummus and pita, and a green salad.

Carnivores, on the other hand, will feast upon the Cubano Press with slow-roasted pork, spiced ham and pepper jack. Or the Carved Roast Beef Sandwich smothered with provolone, caramelized onions and horseradish aioli.


Next up is ADYA in the Packing House, a hip, vegetarian-friendly food bar serving up inventive Indian street food and craft beer. Here a clever vegetarian could probably fool a devout carnivore into ordering a vegetarian meal and he or she would be none the wiser.

There’s the Pav Bhaji, a very meaty tasting veggie Sloppy Joe. And there’s also the Kaathi Rolls which are griddled wraps served with Chutney, some with chicken or lamb, but some vegetarian. They also have some nice kebabs and curries with Tandoori Chicken and the classic favorite Chicken Tikka Masala for something a little more hearty.

ADAYA restaurant's spread of veggie and meat dishes.

ADAYA’s colorful spread of veggie and meat dishes.

Umami Burger

Just across Farmers Park from the Packing House is Umami Burger. This is carnivore heaven with a large menu of burgers with some very interesting flavors and ingredients. The word Umami can be translated from its Japanese origin as a “pleasant savory taste” and is considered there as one of the five basic tastes (in addition to sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness).

Their beef burgers include the anything-but-basic “Umami” with parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami ketchup. There’s also the Truffle Burger, Sunny Side, and the popular Manly, plus ahi and turkey burgers.

But their Falafel Burger will satisfy any diehard vegetarian with its falafel patty, beet infused couscous, crushed avocado, romaine, and tzatziki. There are excellent salads too, including the Roasted Portobello and the Truffled Beet.

Friends having fun out to eat at Umami Burger in Anaheim Packing House.

Cheers to piled-high meat and veggie burgers at Umami Burger in Anaheim Packing House.

Healthy Junk

If you really want to do your vegetarian friend a solid you should probably take them to Healthy Junk. Close your eyes and point at the menu and you’ll find some kind of vegetarian or vegan option that’s guaranteed to please.

Most of their dishes contain some kind of meat substitute, possibly with a funny name, like the Philly Chez Stake. They also have “Junky Tex-Mex” tacos with “meaty” crumbles, “Fish” Tacos, and a “Better” BLT with “Bacon.”

One dish both carnivores and vegetarians alike can agree on is the Bunny Love cake with freshly grated carrots and vanilla frosting for dessert.

Find directions to check out the vegetarian-friendly restaurants listed above.

5 Best Sandwiches in Anaheim Packing District

mouth watering sandwich loaded with toppings

Remember when a sandwich was a little lunch meat between a couple slices of bread? The following creations will make your grade school bologna sandwich look pretty pathetic. Here are the five best sandwiches CtrCity Anaheim has to offer in and around the Packing House, so let the lunch tour begin.

Best sandwiches Anaheim has to offer.

Fresh baked bread piled high with meat and veggies, then smothered with melted cheese and toppings. Get your sandwich fix today in CtrCity.

The Black Sheep

A well-executed grilled cheese sandwich is a work of art, and ingredients are key. Although The Black Sheep in the Packing House will use Kraft Singles on occasion (in their aptly named #7 sandwich: The Kid), but raclette is the ideal melty gooey cheese for a perfect grilled cheese. The #3 has plenty of raclette along with pickled red onions, cornichons (pickled gherkins), and potato chips (yes, inside the sandwich), all on OC Baking Company’s marble rye bread.


Also in the Packing House. If you’re craving something a little meatier—or a lot meatier—The Kroft serves an outstanding porchetta sandwich. It’s made with pork belly, loin, and cracklings, salsa verde, seasoned arugula, and caramelized onions on freshly baked ciabatta. It was our top-ranked sandwich at The Kroft, but its Short Rib Melt and Prime Rib Dip were both also in the running.

The Iron Press

The Iron Press (in the Packing House) has put a new twist on everybody’s favorite sandwich: The Monte Cristo. Choose ham or turkey, then add gruyere cheese, mixed greens, and strawberry jam, then put it all on a batter-fried waffle. The Iron Press is also known for their spicy Fried Chicken waffle, a terrific selection of craft beers, and their addictive tater tots.

Iron Press' famous Monte Cristo sandwich: ham + jam, smothered with cheese and greens sandwiched between waffles.

Iron Press’ famous Monte Cristo sandwich: ham + jam, smothered with cheese and greens sandwiched between waffles.

Georgia’s Restaurant

Last stop in the Packing House, you’ve got to try Georgia’s BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich. This is real, down-home Southern cooking with Creole-inspired recipes. Their BBQ sauce is on the sweet side and the tender, gently pulled pork is piled high and overflowing. Their fries are amazing, but the sweet coleslaw is a great complement to the sandwich.

Tony’s Original Deli

If you’re looking for a true deli experience, head just down the road from the Packing House to Tony’s Original Deli on Anaheim Boulevard. It’s called “Original” even though they’ve had different owners over the years, but inside it feels like a step back in time with all the funky old signs and memorabilia. And it’s more than just a deli with the bottle shop and full bar. But if you’re in the mood for an authentic pastrami sandwich, this is the place. It’s enormous, heaping with Vienna beef pastrami, Swiss cheese, and pickles on rye bread. The Reuben is outstanding also, and don’t forget the potato salad.

Find directions to track down the best sandwiches from our list.

Cheap Cocktails:

Citrus-flavored cheap cocktails in CtrCity.

When you head out for a night on the town it’s good to have a plan. First, obviously, have a plan to get home safe, and secondly, a plan to get the biggest bang for your buck. We’ve put together a short list of cheap cocktails, Happy Hour deals, and budget bites in Anaheim, and specifically in Center City.

Umami Burger

Another consideration, you probably want a full belly before you start pounding fruity cocktails. Fortunately for you Happy Hour starts at 3:00 at Umami Burger (in the old Packard Building) Monday through Thursday. The burgers are amazing and they’ve got 10 different cocktails for $7 until 6:00 pm. They also have a nice late night happy hour that runs from 9:00 until closing.


Across Farmers Park from Umami, downstairs in the Packing House, Urbana is another great option for drink specials. Their “Hora Feliz” is from 3:00 to 6:00 Monday through Friday and 2:00 to 4:00 on Saturday and Sunday. You can get $3 Mexican cervezas and $7 Urbana Margaritas and Palomas. They also have good food deals on street dogs, ceviche, guacamole and mini chili rellenos. If you’re around on Tuesday, you’re in luck. It’s Taco (and tequila) Tuesdays from 4:00 to closing with chicken mole, carnitas, Baja fish tacos, and cauliflower tacos all 2 for $5 on fresh, homemade tortillas, along with their Margarita and Paloma specials all night.

Pour Vida Latin Flavor

Keeping with the Latin theme, you might want to try Pour Vida over on the Center Street Promenade. They offer Happy Hour every day from 3:00 to 6:00 and all day Sunday. Enjoy $5 house cocktails including Moscow Mules, Pasion Caliente Margarita and Cadillac Margaritas. You should also try their fresh pressed juices for just $3 and their sides and salads are all half off.

Gypsy Den

And finally, if you’re in the mood for something a little more low-key, the Gypsy Den is a great place for a quiet cocktail on the rocks and some people-watching along the Center City Street Promenade. Their Happy Hour is from 4:00 to 7:00 daily with a full bar and $5 sangria.

Find directions to the best spots for cheap cocktails here.

Best Craft Beer Spots

Anaheim Ctr City Craft Beer

Southern California has been a hotbed for the craft beer movement, and Anaheim definitely has its fair share of great spots to conduct your own tasting around town. If you’re in Center City Anaheim, here are your best spots for not only the best craft beers, but great options for food pairings as well.

Anaheim Brewery

Anaheim Brewery

The Anaheim Brewery is the reinvented, reincarnation of the original brewery that was founded downtown in the 1800s. Their current home is in the renovated 1920s Packard Building overlooking Farmers Park. To honor their roots, they’ve named their flagship brew the Anaheim 1888. It’s copper-colored, full-flavored and well-hopped, and is available by the glass, in six-packs or in growlers. Excellent with grilled beef and burgers on the barbecue.

They make a wide variety of styles of beer including a Kolsch, a blonde ale, an oatmeal stout, an IPA and a very hoppy double IPA, but they might be best known for their excellent Hefeweizen. The tasting room doesn’t serve food, but they’ll sometimes have food trucks out back and a lot of people bring food over from the Packing House to enjoy on their dog-friendly patio.

Unsung Brewing Company

The newest craft brewery in Center City is Unsung Brewing Company located in the new Make building right across from the Packing House. The interior is tasting room minimal with industrial flair and there’s a big, trippy mural for your obligatory selfie. Mike Crea is the brewer and founder, and he brings a slightly different take on the
Southern California brewing scene with his Midwestern roots.

Buzz Man is a crisp, sessionable “mutant ale” inspired by the lawnmower beers of the Midwest. Anthia is IPA with tropical notes. And Propeller-Head is an American
Amber brewed with locally roasted coffees.

Umami Burger

Right next door you’ll find Umami Burger. With six taps and a dozen bottled options you’ll find something to quench that thirst, but the real draw is the amazing food and some of their burger combos actually come with a beer. They offer an excellent draft line-up on a rotating basis and today featured Yeti Imperial Stout, Ommegang Rare Vos and Victory’s Golden Monkey Belgian-Style Tripel.

Iron Press

Back over in the Packing House, check out The Iron Press for some impressive waffles and outstanding brews. They have a big selection from some of the best craft brewers in the country and feature a nice array from the best local breweries (check out for their current offerings). They often have beers from the popular Bottle Logic Brewing in Anaheim like the intensely hoppy Elevation Change. Another local favorite is the Good Beer Company’s Saison Ana. And from down south they’ll feature beers from Modern Times and Saint Archer (this day they had the harder to find Saint Archer Blackberry Gose). And you’ve got to try the buttermilk fried chicken served on a jalapeño cheddar waffle.

Barbeer Shop

If you’re into multi-tasking, you might also be interested in the Barbeer Shop on the Center Street Promenade. This old school barbershop serves beer with your haircut and you can even get an old-fashioned razor shave. Not a huge selection of beers but they do offer select craft beers on draft often featuring local favorites such as Valiant, Left Coast and Blue Point.