Words and photos by Rebecca Parsons

With the biggest event of the year just days away, paddlers from around the world are making their way to Dana Point, CA in preparation for the 2017 Pacific Paddle Games presented by Salt Life. Between the SUP racing, sampling boards and gear at our expanded demo zone and musing about the beach, you're bound to wind up hungry and in search of a good meal. To save you the time and headache of searching Yelp for the best spot, we've rounded up six local favorites where you can refuel and recharge.

Chronic Tacos has all the right ingredients! Photo courtesy of Chronic Tacos, Facebook

Chronic Tacos

Price: Under $10

34255 Pacific Coast Hwy

With a location within walking distance of Doheny State Beach, there’s no more convenient—and tasty—place to scratch your itch for Mexican food than at Chronic Tacos. Quick, simple and satisfying, the Southern California chain offers quality standbys like an carnitas burritos (our personal favorite is the grilled shrimp), battered fish tacos, guac and tortas, while offering game changers like Bowl-Ritos, churro bites and Chronic Fries. Chronic is a quick, easy, fresh choice that is often frequented by paddlers and surfers with their hair still salty wet from their time in the water at Doheny. You’ll be welcomed with open arms—and won’t go away hungry. And if you’re a PPG competitor, you’ll be getting Chronic for lunch on race days!

The Shwack Beach Grill

Price: Under $10

24502 Del Prado Ave

At the Shwack, their motto is "eat well, surf daily, and love where you live!" Whether you're from Dana Point or across the globe, you'll be sure to be treated to great service and great food at this local hotspot. The menu includes breakfast options, delicious starters, a wide selection of burgers, grom options and hearty salads for the herbivores. They even offer a $600 surfboard and burger combo that includes a custom surfboard shaped by Nation MFG, a Shwack burger with up to 10 patties, and unlimited Shwack spuds!

Dinner with a view at Wind & Sea.

Wind & Sea Restaurant

Price: $11-$30

34699 Golden Lantern Street

Located on the Dana Point Harbor, this waterfront restaurant offers panoramic views of the harbor. Dine on steak, salad, seafood, pasta or sandwiches while watching playful sea lions frolic in the shallow waters. Ten fresh-catch selections are offered daily, with the macadamia nut-crusted mahi mahi being a house favorite. Wind & Sea also boasts an excellent happy hour menu from 4 to 7 pm on weeknights and live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

Coffee Importers

Price: Under $10

34531 Golden Lantern St.

Founded in 1979, this one-stop-shop offers coffee, ice cream, deli sandwiches and a juice bar all in one location. Perk up with some espresso in the AM or refuel with a hearty sandwich and smoothie midday, all while soaking up the rays and stunning scenery of the Dana Point Harbor. Coffee Importers is busy at all hours and for good reason—the food is great and the location can't be beat.

Looking for bomb Mexican food? Look no further.

Aurora's Taqueria

Price: Under $10

34146 Pacific Coast Highway

Aurora's is a little hole-in-the-wall taqueria conveniently located on the PCH. You order at a window and either take your food to go or sit at one of their outdoor tables. Adjacent to the shop is a small Mexican market where you can stock up on basics or purchase some chips or Jarritos soda to enjoy with your meal. Prices are cheap and the tacos are tasty.

Harbor House is a Dana Point classic.

Harbor House Café

Price: $11-$30

34157 Pacific Coast Hwy

Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Harbor House Café is a favorite among locals and travelers alike. Simply referred to as The Harbor House by locals, this quaint café has been in business since 1939. Decorated with old movie posters and vintage décor, this cozy diner has a vast menu with everything from classic burgers and shakes, to salads, steaks, and of course, breakfast served at all hours. Cool off after a hard weekend of paddling with one of their famous shakes or chow down on a hearty sandwich to fuel up.

Pricing courtesy of Yelp.



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