Best of ezCater

Best of ezCater: Top Orange County Caterers for 2020

  • ezCater
  • 5 Min Read

Orange County packs a huge amount of amazing, distinctly SoCal eats into its food scene. Of course, tacos are everywhere and fusion never dies (Latin Asian is always a winner here). The catering scene makes room for these styles and plenty of others, including Indian, American barbecue, and Mediterranean. Vegetarian and vegan options have exploded, too, making it easier than ever to eat well without the meat. Before placing your next catering order, consider a new dish or a new caterer and experience the thrill of the flavors you find.

Best in Orange County 

1. Avocado Café (6060 Scholarship, Irvine)

Fans love the sandwiches and salads here. Try the BLTA in the Sandwich Platter, or a Hot Pressed Cuban in a Lunch Box complete with fruit salad, chips, and a cookie. An array of vegetarian and meaty breakfast options like Smoked Salmon Toast, Chai Oatmeal, and a Breakfast Burrito Platter keeps things interesting in the morning.

2. Duck Donuts (2222 Michelson Dr., Irvine)

Sweet and pretty donuts (maple icing with chopped bacon, chocolate icing with vanilla drizzle) that arrive hot make this caterer a favorite. Try the Vegan Classic Donut Assortment for vanilla icing with rainbow sprinkles or peanut butter icing (w/ raspberry drizzle), cinnamon-sugar donuts, and many more.

3. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (8300 La Palma Ave., Buena Park)

Everyone loves the Texas-style Chopped Beef Brisket which can be ordered by the pound, the perfect keto topper to Garden Salad or Green Beans with Bacon. Or try it on the Barbecue Sliders Package where it is piled on a roll with pickles and onions for a bit of vinegary snap with your ‘cue.

Best for Large Meetings

1. Duck Donuts (2222 Michelson Dr., Irvine)

The Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwich comes on your choice of bread which means you can have a bagel, English muffin, or a plain donut wrapped around your eggs. Coffee drinks like a Horchata White Mocha or Regular Latte make for a meal that’s as much about the beverages as the food.

2. Macaroni Grill (7901 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach)

Hot entrée orders like a pan of juicy Chicken Scaloppine and Eggplant Parmesan feed a minimum of five people, which makes scaling up an order for a large group easy. Rosa’s Signature Caesar Salad is popular as much for the croutons as the creamy dressing and can be bulked up with chicken or shrimp.

3. Papa Pizza Pie (1105 Euclid St., Fullerton)

On time delivery of Italian-American combos like Pizza and Wings or the Hot Sandwich Platter (one package feeds 10 people) make this caterer a consistent choice. The Sandwich Boxed Lunch includes a drink, cookie, chips, and your choice of a sandwich like Meatball & Cheese or Roasted Veggie.

Best for Small Meetings

1. Firehouse Subs (2266 E 17th St., Santa Ana)

Stay in familiar territory by ordering Turkey & Ham in the Deluxe Sub Platter Pack. Each sandwich is stacked on your choice of bread with provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and vinaigrette plus mayo, deli mustard, kosher pickles, assorted bags of chips, drink, and a dessert.

2. Yalla Mediterranean (12420 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach)

Table cards offer guidance on dishes like the Yalla Sampler Tray which includes baba ghanoush, hummus, tabbouli, falafel, and pita chips. The Yalla Plates Package, which includes two proteins (like Spicy Kale Falafel and Grilled Chicken) and three sides (like Moroccan Carrot and Greek Potato salads), is served with basmati rice, grilled vegetables, salad, and pita.

3. Urban Plates (3972 Barranca Pkwy., Irvine)

Easily accommodate dietary restrictions with super-fresh flavors in dishes like the BBQ Turkey Meatloaf Plate and Curry Tofu & Vegetable Braise. The Honey Mustard Salmon Plate is already gluten-free and sides of Rainbow Carrot Salad and Rosemary Potatoes are also vegan.

Best for High Stakes Meetings

1. Firehouse Subs (2139 N Tustin St., Orange)

On-time delivery and a sleek presentation are cited time and again by fans of this caterer. The Chopped Deluxe Salad comes with your choice of protein (turkey breast, honey ham, or tuna salad), a great option for days when carbs are not on the wish list.

2. MasalaCraft Indian Cuisine (2 Hutton Center Dr. Ste 103, Santa Ana)

Hot lunch items, like the Chicken Curry and vegetarian Aloo Gobi make a big impression when it counts. A pan of Indian Salad satisfies crunchy cravings with a flavorful mix of chopped cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, cilantro, and a lemon dressing that brings everything together.

3. El Torito Grill (555 Pointe Dr., Brea)

Well-balanced flavors make their way into each and every dish this caterer serves. Check out the Carnitas on the Fajita Bar and then marvel at the fragrant rice amped up with bright green pasilla-cilantro. The feast comes complete with sweet corn cake and chips & salsa on the side.

Best for Last Minute Orders

1. Kebab Place (306 W 4th St., Santa Ana)

The ability to easily juggle last-minute orders for on-time arrival helps make this caterer a popular one. Try the Sultan Mix Grill Package with four organic chicken kebab skewers, four fillet steak kebab skewers, four sirloin ground beef skewers, basmati rice, Greek salad, pita bread slices, tzatziki and signature garlic sauce.

2. El Torito (18512 MacArthur Blvd., Irvine)

The Mexican Caesar Salad is bright with slivers of red pepper and crispy tortilla. The Breakfast Burrito, stuffed with soft scrambled egg, potatoes, salsa, and pico de gallo arrives hot, oozing with cheese. 

3. Daphne’s (23706 El Toro Rd., Lake Forest)

Plenty of vegetarian entrées (the Vegetarian Tray alone includes falafel, spanakopita, fire feta, hummus, tabbouleh, pita, and tzatziki sauce) and juicy meats (Hand-carved Gyro, Grilled Chicken) make this caterer a favorite of many.

Best Mexican Catering

1. Tuition Tacos (3444 E Orangethorpe Ave., Anaheim)

Fresh and fragrant corn tortillas on the Build-Your-Own Taco or Fajita Bar set this caterer apart. And the Build-Your-Own Breakfast Bar along Burritos topped with hot and mild salsas are hugely popular.

2. Los Sanchez Restaurant (11906 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove)

Known for their tacos, this caterer delivers all of them– Asada, Chicken, Carnitas, Fish, Barbacoa, and Shrimp– hot. They are priced per taco, making it easy to order exactly as many as your crew needs.

3. Acapulco (1262 Bristol St., Costa Mesa)

When hand held foods are on the agenda, this caterer has you covered. Mini Chimichangas or Taquitos (both are stuffed with chicken or beef) are a fun change of pace from the usual Taco Bar.

Best Sandwich Catering

1. Stefano’s Golden Baked Hams (18220 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda)

Big flavors in pasta salads like the Orzo Pasta Salad come from plenty of feta cheese, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and olive oil. The Panini Tray includes this caterer’s famous staple on the Ham & Swiss with soft grilled bread that gives the sandwich its name.

2. Brewberry Café (1198 W Katella Ave., Anaheim)

Serving crowds large and small, the Deluxe Breakfast for the Group includes favorites like a Bacon and Egg Melt with a fresh, seasonal fruit salad and coffee. Pescatarians will love the Salmon Lox Sandwich and there is a Vegetarian Sandwich, too, for colleagues with dietary restrictions.

3. Gold Coast Catering (17382 Eastman St., Irvine)

When you need something familiar yet just a little bit different, find what you need from this caterer’s 15 wrap choices. The Santa Fe Roast Beef Wrap layers meat with pepper jack cheese, roasted chilies, tomatoes, lettuce, and chipotle mayonnaise on ciabatta bread and your choice of side (their Asian Salad with sweet sesame dressing and oranges is a hit).

Best Italian Catering

1. Mountain Mike’s Pizza (22942 Ridge Rte Dr., Lake Forest)

Kick sandwich orders up a notch with the Half Dome Sandwich. Named for the enormous granite peak in Yosemite National Park, this beauty’s got pizza sauce, mozzarella, and is piled high with your choice of three toppings, including Pastrami, Linguica, and Canadian Bacon.

2. Zpizza (148 Main St., Seal Beach)

When half your team wants pizza and the other half wants Mexican food, this caterer has your back with Mexican Pizza. Under the gooey mozzarella is fresh pico de gallo, spicy lime chicken breast, and red onions, with sliced avocado, sour cream, green onions, and cilantro on top.

3. Buca di Beppo (7979 Center Ave., Huntington Beach)

Pasta pans like Baked Ziti Pan and Spaghetti Marinara Pan arrive with house baked bread. A Chopped Antipasti Salad Pan, loaded with pepperoni, salami, red onions, pepperoncini, cucumbers, Roma tomatoes, olives, provolone, feta, Gorgonzola, and Italian vinaigrette on lettuce will make the low carb eaters happy.

Best Mediterranean Catering

1. Fanous Mediterranean Grill (1621 Edinger Ave., Tustin)

Feed 20 or more hungry eaters with The Supreme Combo Platter. Includes your choice of appetizer (creamy baba ghanoush, smooth hummus), two proteins (like fragrant chicken kebabs or beef and lamb gyro), salad (garden or Greek) plus juicy grilled tomatoes or vegetables on the side, basmati rice, and pita bread.

2. DonerG Turkish & Mediterranean Grill (3800 Barranca Pkwy., Irvine)

Chicken Shish Kebab Pita Sandwiches Tray is a go-to order for fans of this caterer. The griddled bread is warm, wrapped around juicy meat and greens. It all comes together for a healthy handheld, lunchtime delight.

3. The Olives Branch (31105 Rancho Viejo Rd., San Juan Capistrano)

Branch out from your usual kebabs order of traditional gyro and chicken with this caterer’s different proteins. The Chargrilled Filet Mignon Tray is tender and juicy while the White Jumbo Shrimp and Alaskan Salmon Kebab Trays add seafood to the usual meaty mix.

Best Breakfast Catering

1. Avocado Cafe (6060 Scholarship, Irvine)

Treat the team to a huge breakfast that keeps them energized all day. The Southwest Chicken Toast with poached eggs, avocado, spicy cheddar cheese, and arugula on sourdough even bridges into lunch- should the meeting run over its scheduled time.

2. Duck Donuts (18591 Main St., Huntington Beach)

Extra rich donuts with fun icing (chocolate with marshmallow drizzle and graham cracker crumbs is just one of many) in the Signature Donut Assortment is a celebration in a box. Should you want yours with a satisfying protein, try the Bacon Egg & Cheese Sandwich and select “donut” as the bread option.

3. Johnny Rebs’ (2940 E Chapman Ave., Orange)

On those days when a little fun is in order, try the Green Eggs & Ham Sandwiches. One tray feeds 10 and, though the eggs are not really green, the bright yellow scrambled eggs and gooey cheddar are layered with just enough spinach and smoked ham to give this biscuit sandwich its colorful name.

The Best of ezCater Awards recognize top performing ezCater catering partners in 25 cities across the US. Selection criteria include catering performance over the past 12 months, customer reviews and ratings, and adherence to ezCater editorial guidelines. All winners must have a location in the 25 designated metro areas.

Orange County’s business catering scene is as diverse as its residents.

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