San Juan Capistrano

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Local Entertainment


It's hard to beat the Swallow's Inn for local nightlife.  Come one, come all . . . Cowboys, Surfers, Local Folks, Bikers, mixed with Grandma / Grandpa.  This bar is the biggest mish-mash of local flavor in all of South Orange County.  Great live music and lots of crazy decor to look at.  In the heart of town, so you can easily fit this in while dining or taking in a move at the local Regency Theatre.

The Coach House of SJC has been a live concert venue and staple of South Orange County for decades. There are numerous weekly live events that range anywhere from local bands to more popular A & B level names people would recognize from their youth to the radio. It's not uncommon to see a few bands that survived the 80's to play here as well as many cover/tribute acts.

Mission San Juan Capistrano will present five evening concerts featuring tribute bands beginning Saturday, July 7, 2012 continuing through Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, September 1, 2012.

The concerts feature picnic dining and dancing to a variety of live music in the Mission's scenic courtyard. Seating is available either at a reserved table, or on your own lawn chair.

Want some steak and wine with that popcorn?

Dinner and a movie have been a dating staple for years.  SJC's theater combines the two. A 600-seat, Moroccan-style theater in San Juan Capistrano that includes a 50-seat VIP auditorium where customers can order a meal along with beer and wine while watching a movie. The 50-seat VIP auditorium, features reclining seating and buttons that allows patrons to order food from a full-service restaurant, Rick's Cafe, offering items like Kobe beef hamburgers and Moroccan curried chicken salad.  Locate in downtown SJC right next to the historical train station.

The Camino Real Playhouse - Wonderful little community theater and a gift to San Juan with unique and affordable entertainment for the whole family.  Inexpensive and the staff is wonderful.

The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (formerly Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre) is anamphitheater
, located in Irvine

The amphitheatre is currently Orange County's largest amphitheater.

The amphitheatre has played host to music festivals, including The Uproar Festival, The Area2 Festival, The Gigantour, Projekt Revolution, Lollapalooza and Lilith Fair. A benefit concert for then-recently deceased Social Distortion guitarist Dennis Danell, dubbed "When the Angels Sing", took place here on May 6, 2000.[3] On the bill were The Offspring, Pennywise, X, T.S.O.L. and Social Distortion.[4][5] The benefit concert also marked Social Distortion's first show with Danell's permanent replacement Jonny "2 Bags" Wickersham.

The Vintage Steakhouse - The service and the food is great!
A neat (but initially unnerving) feature of this restaurant is that it sits next to a functioning rail line. About three Amtrak trains an hour speed across the window and slightly shake the floor giving everyone a show that (some) patrons don't expect. The added ambiance created by a speeding train in a place that prides itself on the legacy of trains it adourns on the walls prove to be the perfect accompaniment. You will end up looking forward to the sudden train visits! 

You can sit and experience the romance of dining in a cozy 1927 restored Pullman Car or enjoy a cocktail in an 1887 Feight House Bar or sip a glass of champane on their covered patio, or enjoy a gourmet meal in the art deco main dining room. Sammy. who man's the bar, is our favorite bartender in town.

There is also live music by a jazz band most night. The music perfectly accompanied the environment and was not too loud to detract from conversation.

The Renaissance in Dana Point is a great place for drinks and live music 7 days a week. Food is OK, probably better to eat somewhere else first.

Here area a few of our favorite Restaurants / Bars:

L’Hirondelle - Excellent French Restaurant - In my opinion, the best restaurant in town. -

The Cedar Creek Inn - Good Food, Great Year Round Patio Dining Area, Nice Bar -

Sun Dried Tomato Cafe - Great Food & Happy Hour Prices - Inside & Patio Dining -

Ramos House Café - Great for Breakfast - In Los Rios Historical District Next to Railroad Tracks -

Mollie's Famous Cafe - Great for Breakfast - Mom & Pop Diner -

The Bagel Shack - Great for Breakfast -

19th Hole - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner - Great Patio and Bar - Live Entertainment -

 El Adobe de Capistrano - Best Taco Tuesday Night in Town, Otherwise Prices are High & Food is ok. 

Casanova Ristorante - Great Happy Hour, Good Food, Excellent Bar -

Tannins Restaurant & Wine Bar - Nice Bar - Not Cheap, Excellent Wine Selection, Try "The Tannins Pizza" during Happy Hour -

El Molino de Oro - Best Authentic Mexican Food, Cheap Prices -

 Bad to the Bone - Best BBQ in Town -

Downtown Farmer’s Market - Every Wednesday afternoon.  Great places to buy fresh produce, nuts, seafood and flowers.

Dana Point Yacht Club - On the Island Side of Dana Point Harbor - Private Yacht Club, but reciprocal with other Yacht Clubs.  Best view in Orange County.-


West Dana Point Yacht Club - Also on the Island Side of Dana Point Harbor - Also Private - A little more casual than Dana Point Yacht Club.  Also, receiprocall with other Yacht Clubs. -

These are just some of our favorites, to see a complete list of over 75 Restaurants within San Juan Capistrano click on the San Juan Restaurants link above. 


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