Words by Halle Homel & Jenn Hubbert
Less than an hour south of Los Angeles lies Anaheim, home to the famed amusement parks your kids are begging to visit: Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. These world-famous attractions are popular for a reason and shouldn’t be missed during a trip to Anaheim, but this SoCal city is no two-trick pony. What's more, many of its waiting-to-be-discovered activities and attractions are conveniently located near noteworthy eateries. Here are six "fun and food" pairings travellers will eat right up.
Honda Center hockey + SteelCraft Garden Grove
Ice in Southern California? You bet. Catching your favourite team square off against the hometeam Anaheim Ducks rinkside at Honda Center will have Canadians feeling right at home.
Pre-game, fuel up for the match at SteelCraft Garden Grove, an open-air food and drink gathering space constructed from repurposed shipping containers. First, pursue any and all cravings at the counters of SteelCraft's many vendors: Chick N'Shack, Renegade Taco, Barrio, The Nest or NHL Hockey Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne's The Penalty Box for mains; Honey & Butter or Cauldron Ice Cream for sweets; and Beachwood Brewing or Dark Horse Coffee Roasters for drinks. Next, pull up a seat at one of the community tables to make fast friends with other diners in the laid-back al fresco hang space. Don't leave without wagering a friendly bet over a competitive game of ping pong or cornhole. Music lovers should check ahead to see who will be performing on SteelCraft's outdoor stage.
Learn to fly at Flightdeck + Anaheim Packing House
One of Anaheim’s most unique experiences can be found at Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center. Only here can you experience what it feels like to fly a fighter jet or commercial airplane without ever leaving the ground – no flight experience needed!
Visit California | David Collier
Once you’ve "landed," it’s time to dine in at Anaheim Packing House, located in Downtown Anaheim. Anaheim Packing House is housed in a former Sunkist warehouse and can be described as a hip, food court-style hall with communal dining. Spanning two storeys and packed with quality vendors, peckish wannabe pilots can circumnavigate the world of flavours, from Syrian fare at Mangal's by Aleppo Kitchen to Mexican gourmet at Urbana. Thirsty fliers shouldn't leave without seeking out a secretive, hidden speakeasy called The Blind Rabbit; reservations are strongly recommended.
Disneyland Resort + Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
No visit to Anaheim is complete without a trip to Disneyland Resort. And after a day of rides, parades and character meet and greets, you’re bound to be hungry.
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
Located in the Downtown Disney District is Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, a lively restaurant transporting diners to New Orleans through ambiance and food. Take a seat on the upstairs Jazz Balcony or in the courtyard, then dig into succulent dishes like Southern fried chicken, blackened catfish or pasta jambalaya. Cocktails are served with a side of live music from six o'clock onward at Flambeaux's, the Kitchen's Big Easy-style jazz club. A post-meal beignet is highly encouraged.
Knott’s Berry Farm + Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant
Visit Anaheim | Knott's Berry Farm
Another quintessential Anaheim-area amusement park is Knott’s Berry Farm. Knott’s is known for being the home of the Peanuts characters and for scream-worthy thrill rides. The park itself plays host to plenty of good eats (it's named for a berry farm after all) so once you’re done wandering Calico Ghost Town and befriending Charlie Brown, stop in at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant for homestyle, comfort food dining.
Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant
Opt for the signature entrée (a chicken dinner which includes handmade biscuits, a side salad, three pieces of fried chicken, mashed potatoes smothered with gravy and a boysenberry dessert) or from à la carte options like chicken pot pie or chicken and dumplings. Whatever you do, don't leave without indulging in a boysenberry treat – they’re a Knott’s specialty!
Outlets at Orange + Anepalco
Visit Anaheim | Outlets at Orange
Shoppers in need of some serious retail therapy might head to The Outlets at Orange where they'll find national brands at discounted prices. The open-air pedestrian shopping centre is home to some 120 stores and includes favourites like Nordstrom Rack, Columbia, Neiman Marcus Last Call and Adidas.
Shoppers who have worked up an appetite should take pause (to refuel for another round, of course) at Anepalco, located in the ALO Hotel. Anepalco creatively marries French and Mexican cuisine, serving up memorable fusions like crêpes filled with pico de gallo to Mexicali duck and everything in-between.
Angel Stadium baseball + The Catch Restaurant
Visit California | Carol Highsmith
What better way to experience Anaheim than by joining the Angels home team crowd for a wholesome afternoon at the ballpark? Sure, nosh on stadium snacks during the game but save room for a proper meal at nearby The Catch Restaurant.
The Catch Anaheim
This 35-year-old upscale institution boasts an outdoor patio, fire pits, 14 televisions in its bar-lounge and an impressive selection of 20 craft beers. The Catch is best known for its gourmet steakhouse dishes (think: prime steaks, seafood and Caesar salads) but game day menus offer casual eats, too.
This article was presented in collaboration with Visit Anaheim.
To start planning your trip, visit visitanaheim.org