Best beach food to explore – Orange County Register

There’s no shortage of epic grub to explore while at the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing event in Huntington Beach, which kicks off July 29 and runs through Aug. 6.

Pipeline is one of the five flavor variations of ahi poke served up over your choice of white rice, brown rice, or cucumbers at North Shore Poke Co. in Huntington Beach. Poke is a Hawaiian raw fish salad.<br />(PHOTO: ANA VENEGAS, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER)

Pacific City, a retail hub just south of the contest site, is up and running.  Last year, beachgoers were slow to trickle into the just-opened shopping center, but it’s now a Huntington Beach hot-spot with tons of great options for grabbing a bite.

The center – near 1st Street and across the Pacific Coast Highway – boasts surfer favorite Bear Flag Fish Co., where fresh fish is served up alongside rice and veggies.  Don’t miss their panko-crusted fish tacos and mouth-watering ahi or salmon poke, served with chips on the side.

If you’ve ever gone on a surf trip Down Under, you know the Australians are on to something with their meat pies – try the Aussie-inspired Pie Not shop in the food hall.

For fresh, signature salad assortments, check out Lemonade, a buffet-style set-up where patrons can pick out several helpings of seasonal salads and other offerings like sandwiches and of course, refreshing lemonades.

Across the street from the contest site and right next door to Jack’s Surfboards on Pacific Coast Highway is Session West Coast Deli, where you can’t go wrong with their tasty breakfast offerings and hefty sandwiches and salads. Most sandwiches pay homage to the action-sports culture, and a favorite (especially on a hot beach day) is the Summer Zephyr – a cool mozzarella, tomato and arugula sandwich.

The Zephyr from Sessions features mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, onions, and arugula. (PAUL RODRIGUEZ, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

You’ll most definitely come across a celebrity surfer sighting at Sugar Shack up Main Street, run by the Turner…

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