French Restaurants in Downtown Santa Ana

Select Local Merchants

Art ranks among the highest achievements of any world culture, and The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art aims to enrich our own by sharing some of the finest works from Native American, Polynesian, African, East Asian, and South American cultures. The museum’s vast collection—and buzzing calendar of new exhibits and special events—has earned it a decades-long streak as the Orange County Register’s pick for Best Museum in Orange County.

  • Size: 93,000 square feet featuring more than 120,000 examples of pottery, stone tools, jewelry, wooden sculptures, and clothing
  • Permanent Mainstay: A broad range of artifacts from the entire Pacific Rim, including the South Pacific, China, and early California
  • Visiting Exhibit: Chuck Jones: Doodles of a Genius celebrates the legendary Looney Tunes animator at his most creatively uninhibited with drawings from his private collection—many on public display for the first time
  • Hands-On Experiments: At the Kidseum, children can play musical instruments, dress in ethnic clothes and masks, and learn how to excavate artifacts
  • Eye-Catcher: the stucco-beamed glass ceiling of the museum’s courtyard restaurant, Tangata, which suffuses the French-accented California cuisine with natural light
2002 N Main St.
Santa Ana,
CA
US

The chefs at Filling Station have found success in a simple formula: comfort food plus a comfortable café in which to enjoy it. Guests bite into huge burgers or belgian waffles on the flower-lined patio and toast with beers beside the warm fireplace. This is a slice of what Filling Station's owners call "the good ol' days," and it's easy to get swept up in the atmosphere of nostalgia. A dog-friendly policy makes every meal a true family affair, especially since you can bring that cousin who doesn't go anywhere without his leash.

201 N Glassell St.
Old Towne Orange,
CA
US

• For $28, you get dinner for two, including two entrées (up to a $22 value each) and two glasses of house wine (up to a $7 value each; up to a $58 total value). • For $55, you get dinner for four, including four entrées (up to a $22 value each) and four glasses of house wine (up to a $7 value each; up to a $116 total value).

1481 Edinger Ave
Tustin,
CA
US

Gourmet French fast food at its finest; using only fresh, first-quality ingredients and prepared in a healthy way.

2 Hutton Centre Dr
Santa Ana,
CA
US

Euro Caffe's intimate space abounds with European atmosphere, thanks to touches such as tile floors and outdoor patio umbrellas adorned with lights. This European sensibility also extends to the kitchen, which serves up simple eats such as grilled Italian-style paninis, waffles, and its main offering—savory and sweet crepes.

Savory options arrive tableside stuffed with smoked bacon and avocado or housemade pesto and prosciutto. Sweet ones ooze with Nutella and peaches or melted brownies and vanilla ice cream. Everything is made in-house daily using ingredients from local suppliers or the refrigerator of a neighbor. And like any good European cafe, Euro Caffe plies patrons with organic Italian Illy coffee, espresso drinks, and fine teas.

3950 S Bristol St
Santa Ana,
CA
US

Marché Moderne: A User's Guide

Modern French Bistro | Local Ingredients | Seasonal Menus | Cosmopolitan Vibe | Covered Patio

Sample Menu

  • First course: bone marrow with bordelaise sauce, truffle-butter-grilled asparagus, and toast
  • Second course: Shelton Farms chicken coq au vin with angel hair pasta
  • Dessert: beignet with butterscotch pot de crème

While You're Waiting

  • If you’re close enough to the open kitchen, ask the chef-owners, Florent and Amelia Marneau, for some relationship advice. The couple probably has some tips to share, having successfully worked together in the same kitchen since 2007.
  • Admire the elegant interior design, which evokes the cosmopolitan feel of some of the owners' favorite french bistros around the world. The dining room transfixes the eye with its ancient stone accents, dark hardwoods, french doors, and italian patterned-silk banquettes.

Inside Tips

  • Scratching your head over what to order? Get the Spontanée prix fixe. You'll be rewarded with three reasonably priced and hyper-seasonal courses handpicked by the chefs.
  • Reservations are recommended.

Vocab Lesson

  • À la minute: this phrase directly translates to "to the minute." In cooking, it's used to describe food that's prepared to order.
  • Marché: a market. The restaurant's name—Marché Moderne, or "modern market"—is a nod to its chefs' emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients.

While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Covet luxury apparel from renowned designers such as Hermès and Valentino at the South Coast Plaza shopping center (3333 Bristol Street).

After: Sip a craft cocktail with local trendsetters at Mesa (725 Baker Street).



If You Can’t Make It, Try This Pinot Provence (686 Anton Boulevard), another upscale spot specializing in seasonal French cuisine.

3333 Bristol St
Costa Mesa,
CA
US