Where to Eat in San Juan Capistrano: The Best Restaurants and Bars

April 14, 2018 Stefan Strunk

San Juan Capistrano is an easy day trip from Los Angeles and Orange County, by Amtrak train or freeway.  Tours of the Mission buildings and gardens include the ruins of the 1797 Great Stone Church, destination for the legendary swallows of Capistrano. The Los Rios Historic District has buildings open to the public, such as the 1881 Ramos House Café and the1794 Montanez Adobe. Zoomars Petting Zoo is a kid-friendly attraction in the district adjacent to the train depot. The attractive town center has interesting galleries, antique stores, shops and restaurants.
Things to do in San Juan Capistrano

1. Ramos House Cafe

31752 Los Rios St, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-3114 Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Highchairs Available American, Cafe, Cajun & Creole, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch SGD 10 - SGD 24 +1 949-443-1342
Excellent
66%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
2%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 276 reviews

Ramos House Cafe

Reviewed By Heather M - Ladera Ranch, California

We stopped by on a Thursday for a late lunch around 1:00pm. We were seated immediately! Our server came over promptly to take our drink orders. We were sitting outside...the restaurant itself is a gem! The atmossphere is charming and great for a special occassion!

The menu was quite small and I had to ask what a few of the menu items were. before making my decision on what to order.

I ordered a breakfast dish that was layered. When it came out is was so pretty. It was delicious!

2. Hidden House Coffee

31791 Los Rios St, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-3113 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating American, Cafe, Healthy Breakfast, Lunch +1 949-240-0200
Excellent
70%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 100 reviews

Hidden House Coffee

Reviewed By Valentin R - Brownsville, Texas

Stopped by with friend for cappucino and croissant... Fairly limited menu (coffee and pastries) Los Rios District in San Juan Capistrano a must!

3. The Olives Branch

31105 Rancho Viejo Rd Ste C13, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-1744 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards Lebanese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Greek, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner +1 949-373-5633
Excellent
68%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 53 reviews

The Olives Branch

Reviewed By MilaneseImbruttito64 - Milan, Italy

I'm Italian and i know very well the Lebanese/Syrian food specialties, I’m been very surprise to find this Mediterranean specialties prepared according the tradition in California, without any crazy improvement for satisfy the local market. Flavors, you will love this cuisine its Healthy, succulent and light.
Good services, Good Food we were 15 people for a business dinner an international group and everyone have been happy. So good if you have heterogeneous people, as vegan, Muslim and people like me that eat everything Lebanese and Syrian food satisfy from vegan to omnivore 

4. Ciao Pasta

31661 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-2667 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Parking Available, Television, Free Wifi Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 13 - SGD 39 +1 949-496-5002
Excellent
54%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 152 reviews

Ciao Pasta

Experience the authentic taste of Southern Italy with selections of Antipasti, incredible authentic pasta creations, meat and fish dishes, Fccaccia Sandwiches and delectable desserts, patrons senses are serenaded by the aroma of garlic and Italian Herbs while transported to another place through murals of Tuscany while dining in view of beautiful Mission San Juan Capistrano at Ciao Pasta Trattoria. Here surrounded by old-world murals in soft mustard yellows and terra cotta, high wood beamed ceilings and casual elegance you will enjoy excellence in Italian Cuisine.

Reviewed By PG13LA - Dana Point, California

A reliable Italian eatery in SJC. Had a birthday dinner with friends and everyone was quite happy with the food and service. Pastas were cooked perfectly and sauces were flavorful. The outdoor seating was really nice and the service was quite efficient... Definitely one of the better Italian food in the area. Prices quite reasonable too ...

5. Tea House On Los Rios

31731 Los Rios St, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-3113 Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff American Breakfast, Lunch SGD 13 - SGD 20 +1 949-443-3914
Excellent
44%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
22%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 58 reviews

Tea House On Los Rios

Reviewed By DreamWriter9 - Laguna Woods, California

This quaint little gem serves a wonderful tea... the Mission (fruit cup, finger sammies and a heart-shaped scone with clotted cream & raspberry jam, followed by choice of dessert) is our favorite. The most difficult decision is picking a tea from the extensive list. This time we had Queen Catherine and it had a wonderful flavor with no aftertaste. The service is impeccable and every plate is prepared with love and a flower garnish. Can't wait for an excuse to go back!!

6. Cedar Creek Inn

26860 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-3236 Television, Highchairs Available, Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards American, Bar, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Drinks SGD 20 - SGD 59 +1 949-240-2229
Excellent
54%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 361 reviews

Cedar Creek Inn

Rated top 100 al fresco restaurants in the United States in Forbes Magazine

Reviewed By travelernottourist - Mission Viejo, California

Love the cozy ambiance and food here never disappoints. One friend had prime rib which was excellent. The chicken looks tempting. I had salmon with double veg. Succulent and tasty rub. Although crowded we could have a conversation. Service very good. Beef vegetable soup probably the best I’ve ever had loaded with big chunks of beef!

7. Starbucks

31760 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-3246 Takeout, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Free Wifi Cafe, American Breakfast +1 949-487-0065
Excellent
51%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
2%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 35 reviews

Starbucks

Reviewed By geotech522

This is the classiest Starbucks I have ever been in. It is located in an historic building that has been tastefully renovated and is a great space to have coffee or a snack. You are surrounded by beautiful art on the walls and there is great seating areas. The service is also great with the usual wonderful Starbucks quality. One other important thing to note: it's right across the street from the historic San Juan Capistrano Mission.

8. Sundried Tomato American Bistros & Catering

31781 Camino Capistrano, Ste 302, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-3226 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast SGD 26 - SGD 52 +1 949-661-1246
Excellent
47%
Good
45%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 215 reviews

Sundried Tomato American Bistros & Catering

Upbeat California cuisine, served in a smart casual environment. The restaurant has a long and creative wine list at reasonable pricing, happy hour, brunch, and lovely patio seating. We hope to see you soon!

Reviewed By Joyce N - Huntington Beach, California

We have been to this restaurant 4 times and keep coming back when we are in the area. It is casual in style and is located in a strip mall but the food and the service is good.
We tried the Mini Rustic Jars one with tepanade and one with a goat cheese pesto torte topped with sun dried tomatoes. They were so yummy.
Do order the Prime Angus Sirloin Cheeseburger, even if you have to share it - it is fabulous! It comes with shoestring herbed fries.
We have been there a couple of times with a big group - no one was disappointed

9. L'Hirondelle Restaurant

31631 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-2651 Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Reservations, Wheelchair Accessible French, European, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 42 +1 949-661-0425
Excellent
76%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 154 reviews

L'Hirondelle Restaurant

Reviewed By Joan H - San Bernardino, California

We wished that we lived closer to this amazing restaurant located adjacent to Mission San Juan Capistrano, but we try to come whenever we are in the area. We love sitting outside and having our lunch in the sheltered patio area. The colorful umbrellas keep the sun from being too hot, and the little fountain and trees create a tranquil ambiance. The Country French decor of the interior makes a warm and cozy atmosphere for a romantic dinner. On our last visit, we were here for Mother's Day. Although the menu was limited, we chose our favorite meal which is salmon with dill sauce, veggies, and mashed potatoes. We can't wait to return! It's a real treat to hear the church bells ring while we are dining.

10. Ricardo's Place

32082 Camino Capistrano, Ste C, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-3727 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Mexican, Southwestern, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast +1 949-493-4941
Excellent
51%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 166 reviews

Ricardo's Place

Reviewed By beachlovers4 - San Diego

We were in town for the weekend and couldn't decide where to go for breakfast. We decided that Mexican sounded good. What a great find, Sal was our server and he was awesome, the Mexican ambiance was great and tons of room for big crowds! We ordered Bloody Mary's, OMG, one of the best we've ever had, YUM! I had the Huevos Rancheros and it was made the way I make it at home and it was again, excellent, so tasty and plenty of food, I couldn't finish it all. My husband, not knowing what we had planned on doing for the day, played it safe with a scramble and he said it was really good as well. We will definitely return here next time we're in town.

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