Five Hottest Celebrity Hangouts in Orange County
by Dax Holt
With over 10 years as one of TMZ's top on-screen personalities, pop culture expert Dax Holt knows the best places for spotting celebs. An OC resident, he shares some of his favorite local hotspots in and around Anaheim for seeing stars.
We’ve all heard of LA’s paparazzi covered hangouts like Chateau Marmont and Craig’s, where any night of the week celebs can be spotted sneaking out the back. Only 40 miles away from the epicenter of film and television, stars often head south to Orange County to get out of the hustle, bustle and flashing lights. With the popularity of homegrown shows like the Real Housewives of OC, Flip or Flop and endless MTV shows, the area is flooded with stars. So, when OC celebrities hit the town, where do they go?
THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon
One of the hotspots is THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon. Only minutes away from Disneyland, the upscale eatery is filled with western-influenced décor, elegant wood and stone accents throughout—not to mention food you’d write home to momma about. If American cuisine isn’t your thing, but wine is, you’re in luck. THE RANCH Cellar boasts over 10,0000 bottles of vino to choose from. MLB centerfielder, Mike Trout, was spotted at the saloon celebrating his contract signing with the neighboring Anaheim Angels baseball team. The restaurant has also become a hit for Bachelor Nation stars and fans. Bachelor in Paradise hunk Dean Unglert, as well as Jade Tolbert from ABC’s hit reality shows have been seen grabbing a bite at the establishment. Those are just a few of the names, after all, the restaurant is very hush-hush about their celebrity clientele, but trust us, there’s a ton.
This next restaurant is for you authentic Italian-loving foodies that want to step back in time and potentially run into an A-lister while doing so. Mama Cozza’s is one of Anaheim’s most respected and well-kept secrets. The family-owned restaurant opened up back in 1965. The decor hasn’t changed much since it first opened, and that’s what makes this gem so special. Beyond the mouth-watering food and rustic charm, this location happens to be one of Gwen Stefani’s favorite places to eat when she’s back in her hometown. The No Doubt singer has been spotted chowing down countless times over the years and is treated like family when she walks through the doors. If you don’t believe us, celebrity chef Guy Fieri even vouched for the joint by featuring it on an episode of ‘Diners, Drivers and Dives.’
South Coast Plaza
If you like shopping, you know of our next location, South Coast Plaza. It’s Orange County’s premier shopping destination. Basically, the Rodeo Drive of the South. It also holds the title of the largest shopping center on the west coast. The floors are filled with high-end boutiques and top-of-the-line brand names shops like Gucci, Chanel, Prada and Versace to name a few. So of course, where there’s high fashion, there are big names. Every famous face from Bravo’s O.C. Housewife’s show has been spotted strolling the halls, as well as MTV’s Laguna Beach alums Kristin Cavallari, Lauren Conrad and Audrina Patridge. Even Kim Kardashian has been seen at the mall.
We’ve hit food and fashion, what about fun? Celebrities love having fun with their families too. Knott’s Berry Farm is a staple of Orange County. The 57-acre theme park is not only known for their rides and attractions but has become the place to visit during its holiday transformations, Knott’s Scary Farm followed by Knott’s Merry Farm. If you’ve been keeping tabs on the gossip magazines, you would have seen paparazzi photos of Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis enjoying the horse-drawn Stagecoach ride recently. Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk was also seen screaming his lungs out on the Hangtime roller-coaster during its opening days. Leonardo DiCaprio has even been known to stop by with his entourage of famous friends. Travis Barker, Gigi Hadid, JoJo Siwa, Bella Thorne, Rumer Willis, Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron are only a few of the long list of names that have braved the park’s infamous Knott’s Scary Farm.
We obviously can’t complete a list of the ‘Hottest OC Celebrity Hangouts’ without mentioning the biggest celebrity magnet Orange County has to offer, the Disneyland resort. On any given day, the park is filled with Instagram influencers, YouTube personalities, reality stars and A-list actors. There are so many stars the place has Twitter accounts dedicated to spotting celebrities on the grounds. If you want tips on how to spot famous faces while at the happiest place on earth, check out our step-by-step guide HERE. While we could go through and name off every celebrity that has ever graced the park, just know everyone one from Oprah to Justin Bieber to David Beckham have enjoyed a day at the mouse house.
If you know of a location you believe is a hotbed of celeb activity, post a photo and tag @VisitAnaheim letting us know.