With a little insider know-how and ingenuity, we can be a tourist in our town—enjoying and exploring our Ctr City neighborhood on our own agenda. We asked a few locals (crowdsourcing Nextdoor app for the win!) for their insider tips. Here are five ways to experience Ctr City like an Orange County native:
Up Your Wine and Hummus Game
While wine and cheese will remain bffs, hummus makes for a nice switch-up for a Mediterranean-themed meal. Anaheim has long been home for Arabic and Mediterranean communities who have enriched our city through culture and cuisine. Hummos & Pita owner Fadi Awaad tested out his Lebanese cuisine for years at Ctr City Farmer’s Market, proving popular, he jumped when the opportunity came up to open up shop on Center St. Promenade! Stop by and pick up some of his house-made hummus inspired by his mother’s recipes and then walk around the block from Center Street Promenade to West Broadway to Colony Wine Merchant for advice on the perfect bottle to pair with and take home. Colony specializes in California and West Coast wines.
Soak Up Some Culture
Anaheim has a fascinating history, and locals love to cite little-known facts about a world-famous city that go beyond what it’s widely known for. In the mood for some creative inspiration? Take a walk to the Anaheim Heritage Center, a reading center just a block away at MUZEO where you can pass a quiet morning digging through historic photos and texts. An alternative is to take a self-guided tour through the Anaheim Colony District landmark homes. One of the homes was once owned by Nobel Prize-winning author Henryk Sienkiewicz and has been turned into a museum run by the Anaheim Library—appointments required in advance.
Stick to Your Favorites, or a Theme
With plenty of delicious options to choose from at The Packing House, the best way to approach the popular food hall is to come up with a game plan and stick to it. Some residents always use valet, while others swear by parking further and taking a brisk walk. The trick is to come up with an itinerary and even keep a couple of menu items in mind and maybe throwing in one new place each time. Or stick to a theme: apps only, or dessert only. Save time by mapping out your favorites in advance!
Take it Outside
Get your favorite food to go and make it a picnic at the nearby Farmer’s Park. It’s home to the relatively new and positively delicious dim sum spot 18 Folds, as well. Have kids in town? Hang out in nearby Little People’s Park. Around since 1970, there is a dedicated kid play area as well as a classic baseball field.
Thrift on a Thursday
For the DIY oriented, a trip to the carefully curated Rare by Goodwill is a must. While treasure hunting at any Goodwill can be a good time, Rare gives you the satisfaction of the hunt while upping the chance you will find something to love as clothing, accessories and home goods are chosen with a more discerning eye. The experience is a cross between a typical Goodwill and a consignment shop. Before or after heading to Rare, you can continue the homespun feels by hitting up the Thursday farmers market on Center Street Promenade where you can meet local artisans, cooks, and farmers; leaving with something else unique to take home.
There are endless options for creating an experience that works for your time, budget and interests if you think like a local. Stay tuned for more tips that will take you beyond the typical tourist experience. Happy exploring!