Best of Santa Ana: Check out the 5 top spots downtown

Lola Gaspar. | Photo: Big Mike C./Yelp

Spending time in downtown Santa Ana? Get to know this Santa Ana neighborhood by browsing its most popular local businesses, from a neighborhood tavern to a Mediterranean eatery.

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top places to visit, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of neighborhood businesses. Read on for the results.

1. Crave Restaurant



Photo: Andrew C./Yelp

Topping the list is New American breakfast and brunch spot Crave. Located at 410 W. Fourth St., it's the most popular business in the neighborhood, boasting 4.5 stars out of 1,222 reviews on Yelp.

The spot comes courtesy of owner Judy Fleenor, explains the business on its website, former chef and co-owner of Santa Ana's Cafe Chiarini.

Menu offerings include breakfast and lunch specialties like garden frittatas, energy bowls with seasonal fruit and a spicy red curry pork sandwich with cilantro and pickled red onions. (You can check out the full menu here.)

2. Mil Jugos



Photo: Mil Jugos/Yelp

Next up is Venezuelan spot Mil Jugos situated at 320 W. Fifth St. The eatery was founded in 2003 by Venezuelan native Norah Briceno Brower and features authentic specialties like fresh chicken arepas, filled empanadas and shredded lean pork cachapas.

With 4.5 stars out of 1,065 reviews on Yelp, it's proven to be a local favorite.

Yelper Esther Y., who reviewed the spot on Nov. 1, wrote, "Bomb.com arepas and ham and cheese empanadas. Their green sauces add a perfect flavor and spice to it. Must try their fresh jugos to it finish off!"

3. Lola Gaspar



Photo: John B./Yelp

Latin American and Mexican spot Lola Gaspar is another top choice. Yelpers give the business, located at 211 W. Second St., four stars out of 1,728 reviews.

The neighborhood tavern serves up cuisine "inspired by travels, tales, life, and mother nature herself," with offerings like warm avocado cornbread and seafood ceviche with agua de pina, cured Calabrian chili and citrus. (You can view the 2018 menu here.)

4. Mix Mix Kitchen Bar



PHOTO: joel m./YELP

Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, a cocktail bar and New American spot that offers tapas and more, is another much-loved neighborhood go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 372 Yelp reviews. Head over to 300 N. Main St. to see for yourself.

The globally-inspired dining concept is helmed by award-winning chef Ross Pangilinan and features culinary creations like roasted brussel sprouts with Korean chili and duck fettuccine with housemade pasta, spring vegetables and parmesan cheese. (See the full menu here.)

5. Kebab Place



Photo: Kebab Place/Yelp

Last but not least, check out Kebab Place, which has earned 4.5 stars out of 253 reviews on Yelp. You can find the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean spot, which offers kebabs and more, at 306 W. Fourth St.

On the menu, expect to find fresh appetizers like hummus and stuffed grape leaves with tatziki, while entrees include platters of kebabs (chicken, steak, salmon and more) served with imported basmati rice and grilled tomato. (You can check out the full menu here.)
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