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Orange Inn

703 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA - (949) 494-6085
Posted By Dale Fine on 7/17/2009 10:34:00 AM
The Orange Inn has retained the unusual distinction of being one of the few restaurants written about in Jane and Michael Stern's first Roadfood book, that is still going strong more than 30 years later. Like an old friend who moves away and is gone but not forgotten, the Orange Inn moved a couple of towns away from its original location in Corona Del Mar two decades ago due to burgeoning condo development and somehow got lost in the Roadfood shuffle. Well, I'm delighted to say that the Orange Inn is alive and well and thriving in artsy Laguna Beach.

Since 1931, The Orange Inn has been serving to sunny Southern California's health nut enthusiasts, food that is not only good for you, but also tastes good. Although the Orange Inn offers oat bran muffins, and creative sandwiches with locally grown avocado or tuna and sprouts on whole-grain bread with creative names like "Lagoona Tuna," the Orange Inn's self-proclaimed moniker and claim to fame is "The Home of The Original Smoothie."

The Orange Inn's smoothie contains tart strawberries which mingle well with the banana and dates which contribute a sweet, rich taste and thick texture. Fresh juice, protein powder, bee pollen, and crushed ice seal the deal. It was quite clear after the first gulp that this smoothie was one of the best I've ever had.

The date shake is no slouch either. Although it's not advertised on their menu, it's available for "those in the know." You would never think that these thick shakes were made with ice milk. Each mouthful has small fine clumps of sweet dates that were not quite pulverized in the blender. Unlike their counterparts at Shields Date Garden, the date shakes at the Orange Inn are not overwhelmingly sweet.

Although many folks believe that Roadfood has to be "bad for you," The Orange Inn proves otherwise.




5 out of 6 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Original Smoothie
Date Shake
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Although I can't authenticate the Orange Inn's claim to be the home of the original smoothie, it is one of the best smoothies I've ever enjoyed.  Those are flakes of bee pollen floating on top of the smoothie.
"Although I can't authenticate the Orange Inn's claim to be the home of the original smoothie, it is one of the best smoothies I've ever enjoyed. Those are flakes of bee pollen floating on top of the smoothie."
Dale Fine





This granola really tastes like health food: not sickly sweet like so many granola candy bars and cereal.
"This granola really tastes like health food: not sickly sweet like so many granola candy bars and cereal."
Michael Stern


If you like your brownie crisp-edged, dense, and chewy, this is the one for you.
"If you like your brownie crisp-edged, dense, and chewy, this is the one for you."
Michael Stern


Serving Southern California health food enthusiasts since 1931.
"Serving Southern California health food enthusiasts since 1931."
Dale Fine


The Orange Inn Smoothie is served with a scattering of bee pollen on top.
"The Orange Inn Smoothie is served with a scattering of bee pollen on top."
Michael Stern


The blueberry muffin really tastes like blueberries. Its top is easily removable in bite-size pieces.
"The blueberry muffin really tastes like blueberries. Its top is easily removable in bite-size pieces."
Michael Stern


Home of the Original Smoothie.
"Home of the Original Smoothie."
Dale Fine


Other than the ocean and the hills, there hardly is anything old in Orange County, but the Orange Inn has been around since 1931. This is not its original location, but inside and out, it feels like a place that has worn time well.
"Other than the ocean and the hills, there hardly is anything old in Orange County, but the Orange Inn has been around since 1931. This is not its original location, but inside and out, it feels like a place that has worn time well."
Michael Stern


They offer a variety of shakes.  The date shake is not on the menu but is readily available to
"They offer a variety of shakes. The date shake is not on the menu but is readily available to "those in the know.""
Dale Fine


A board in the window of the Orange Inn offers the weather forecast and a surf report.
"A board in the window of the Orange Inn offers the weather forecast and a surf report."
Michael Stern


It's comfortable to hang out, sip coffee and chit-chat or read the paper at the Orange Inn. Note the surfboards stored overhead.
"It's comfortable to hang out, sip coffee and chit-chat or read the paper at the Orange Inn. Note the surfboards stored overhead."
Michael Stern



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