It’s no secret that local restaurants in Santa Ana are struggling. The National Restaurant Association reports that 17 percent of restaurants have closed due to the pandemic. That’s more than 110,000 establishments closed for the long term or permanently. If the ones still operating are going to make it, they’ll need our support.

Fortunately, we have excellent restaurants in Santa Ana, many of which are within walking distance of Artists Village! Here are three of our favorite local restaurants in Santa Ana, so close to us that supporting them is a breeze!

Lola Gaspar

This hidden gem of Santa Ana receives top marks for its delicious tacos and quesadillas. And if you’re feeding a group of four, the Care Package is the perfect option. That’s 1.5 pounds of pork carnitas, braised beef barbacoa, brussels sprouts tinga, and vegan mushroom “chorizo” with potatoes, with 16 oz. of rice and beans, chile de arbol salsa, cilantro, onions, limes, and a dozen flour or corn tortillas.

Only a minute away by foot, Lola Gaspar offers pickup and delivery. It’s perfect for a late-night craving or night in the family or roommates. It’s only open from 4 till 9 p.m., so plan accordingly.

Chapter One

Calling all bookworms! Chapter One is located in a former bookstore, and the food is definitely worth writing home about. Their menu is eclectic, serving everything from burgers and sandwiches to soups and chilis, with home-churned ice cream for dessert.

Everything is available for takeout. If you’re so taken with the menu that you want to support in other ways, they offer gift cards and branded merchandise for true enthusiasts.


With dinner clearly out of the way, let’s talk about breakfast and lunch. You can find both at Crave, a local restaurant that believes in fresh ingredients, using seasonal and locally grown ingredients as much as possible. 

For breakfast, Crave offers freshly baked bagels, energy bowls, and various egg-based dishes. They also have plenty of drink options, from coffees and espressos to smoothies and teas. For lunch, you can choose from a wide variety of hot or cold sandwiches, salads, soups, and combinations of the three. This offering is so good that when the restaurant originally closed, its loyal customer base rallied to bring it back. See what the fuss is about with carry-out options.

We all want this pandemic to end soon, and we want our favorite local restaurants in Santa Ana to be around when dine-in is once again available. Support these and other local restaurants now to ensure we can continue enjoying them in the future.

Photo credit: Chapter One