The Dish List: Cappy’s Cafe and Cantina

Phuc Pham | New University

A short walk from the seashore and through a pair of tinted glass double doors is a taste of island paradise. A ways down Pacific Coast Highway, past the busy Newport Harbor and Balboa Peninsula, is Cappy’s Café & Cantina.

A haven for hungry brunchers, Cappy’s serves up breakfast and lunch favorites with a Mexican twist. From breakfast burritos, to triple-decker sandwiches to over 15 different omelettes to choose from, Cappy’s is the ultimate Southern California breakfast, brunch or early lunch spot.

The self-proclaimed “Landmark in Newport Beach since 1957” is the true epitome of a beach café.

Located just across the street from the sand, Cappy’s gives guests the full experience of beach culture with both its food and its ambience. Open every day from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., it’s an ideal spot to go to for a hearty weekend brunch or before a long day of work.

The café is covered inside and out with simple murals depicting beach scenes, cartoony surfers and beach babes, palm trees and sea animals which welcome guests to its lively atmosphere. Inside, feel-good tunes such as “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” blast while families, friends and couples loudly converse over their hearty plates of food. Bleach-blonde waitresses in tank tops and booty shorts serve guests their morning coffee and steaming hot breakfast plates.

Guests can also watch football on one of several TVs, or choose to sit outside for a sunnier dining experience. The café can get fairly crowded, especially on Saturday and Sunday mornings, but the tasty food is well worth the wait.

“It’s really fun and busy and the food is really good!” a newly-hired waitress named Koral said.  Her father had been a frequent Cappy’s guest before she applied.

The food will never disappoint. The menu is huge and provides an excellent array of choices to help guests make the most important meal of the day the most delicious as well. Choose between a long list of  “Regular Omelettes,” which includes simple combinations such as Spinach and Cheddar Cheese, or Bacon, Onions and Bell Peppers, and an even longer list of “Special Omelettes,” featuring tasty egg concoctions such as “The 62nd Street” — spinach, swiss and feta cheese, mushrooms and onions.

I personally recommend the Fajita Omelette, as it combines the restaurant’s two specialties. Stuffed with chicken, onions, bell peppers, and smothered in melted jack cheese and pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole, the dish will have your taste buds tingling. Their omelettes are also served with a choice of seasoned potatoes, hash browns, refried beans, home fries or fresh fruit. Choose the potatoes; they are phenomenal. The portions are so large that even one order of food will be enough for at least one more meal the next day.

There are many different coffee options at Cappy’s as well, from lattes to espressos, as well as deserts like tapioca pudding and chocolate fudge cake, and a small beer and wine selection.

For lunch, Cappy’s serves a large selection of burgers, sandwiches and wraps, including the classic “Monte Cristo” sandwich and Cappy’s special “A.C.A.O.” sandwich — avocado, cheddar cheese and alfalfa sprouts on sourdough bread, served open-face with chicken, turkey or tuna salad.

The menu also features Mexican favorites, such as Enchiladas Rancheras, chicken or shredded beef tostadas and the classic quesadillas.

“It’s not your normal bland breakfast place,” first time Cappy’s visitor and UCI fourth-year Nicole Shalit said. “The food is excellent!”

If you live anywhere in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa or Irvine, Cappy’s is a must-try. If you are coming from UCI and have nothing to do on a lovely weekend morning, the fifteen to twenty-minute drive to the café is well worth your while. The fast service, beach setting, lively atmosphere and delicious food will leave you satisfied and happy.