By Alina Orozco | Photo by Jody Tiongco
Our city seems to be ushering in a sort of pizza and artisanal sandwich renaissance. The peninsula, in particular, is a hub for the latter, welcoming newbies like Dory Deli, Sessions West Coast Deli and The Trough in 2015.
“The great thing is, they all have something different to offer providing unique twists on already favorite items,” says Ryan Cox, Yelp’s Orange County community manager.
A standard deli option like a meatball sub gets a Korean makeover at Sessions, for example—the Gangnam Style is loaded with pickled vegetables, cucumber and soy-sesame slaw. Dory Deli also gets praise from Cox, specifically for the out-of-the-box Buffalo Mary. Instead of chicken, the restaurant serves a vegan version featuring crispy cauliflower, without missing a beat when it comes to flavor.
And in the last 18 months, pizza has proven its popularity. Pizza Nova, Pizzeria Sapori, Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana, Fresh Brothers and Pizza del Perro Negro have opened up shop across the city since summer 2014, each offering its own approach to crafting the perfect pie. If you haven’t had the wood-fired Napoli “deliciousness” from Settebello, Cox says to run—don’t walk. But when soft, foldable crust won’t satisfy your pizza craving, you aren’t out of luck.
“That’s the great thing about Newport: If one of these places doesn’t fancy your interest, you can still go the late-night route of Laventina’s or even the Mexican-inspired Pizza del Perro Negro,” he says.
As for what’s on the horizon in 2016, Cox predicts we’ll see poke popping up on plates across the city. “We’ve already seen an influx of spots like Calipoke, Poki Monster and Uroko Cafe open within the last couple of months,” he says. “I’ve heard there are still many more to come in Orange County.”