Harborside, Restaurant & Grand Ballroom
Harborside, Restaurant & Grand Ballroom

Harborside, Restaurant & Grand Ballroom

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Phone: 9496734633x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 9:30pm; Sunday: 10:00am - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options:
  • Cuisine: Seafood, American, Comfort Food
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Balboa Blvd.
  • Parking: No
A word from Harborside, Restaurant & Grand Ballroom
Located inside the historic Balboa Pavilion building built in 1906, Harborside is the perfect place to enjoy a casual waterfront dinner, lunch or weekend breakfast. The Harborside Saloon offers the “longest happy hour in town” everyday of the week from 12:00 to 7:00pm with spectacular views of the harbor or watch your favorite sports event on one of the six flat screens. The award winning menus include fresh seafood, Alaskan king crab, Canadian Lobsters, prime steaks and local favorites with a value minded California wine selection.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSeafood
Harborside, Restaurant & Grand Ballroom reviews from OpenTable diners
49 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
scenic view (43)special occasion (25)good for groups (21)romantic (18)neighborhood gem (17)fit for foodies (14)great for lunch (14)great for brunch (6)kid-friendly (6)vibrant bar scene (6)notable wine list (4)hot spot (2)Show More
  • Worth the expense
    BlytheSpirit
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The view is wonderful, and the appetizer selection is especially good. The portions of food are plentiful. We did request a special table and view since we were celebrating a birthday, and we had to wait awhile for the table with a view. The hostess did not act like she knew that was part of our Open Table request; it did not seem like she had a note to that effect. We did not realize they had valet service, which is important because parking is very difficult to find in this area on the weekend.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • overall top 10
    12happymen
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The hostesses were very polite and accomidated our party 30 minutes earlier than our reservation time.Our waiter was very friendly. He was prompt and seemed to remember everyones request. The food was excellent, we had 12 people in our party and most of us shared food because everything was really good. Overall great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food prep problems
    Jiro
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Second time in a row that we order steaks and they were over cooked. Potatoes were cold and the wrong vegetable was served.. After two attempts it was finally corrected. The manager made us feel as if the problem was us.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dean2Doris
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Many booths with great views of Newport Harbor. We enjoyed watching the boats, people, seals and birds. The food, service and ambiance were all very good.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historic and Memorable
    datenite
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We went on a date night to this restaurant because we had been given a gift certificate. What a special place! I didn't even know it was there, even though we had been at the Fun Zone many times. It has a great history, too. The view was beautiful, our waitress was attentive yet gave us time to be alone, and the food was terrific. We will definitely be back, even without a gift certificate. The food is reasonably priced. It is a great get away spot for a quiet date night in the middle of a busy area. Thanks for a great time!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great little spot!
    clarepurpl
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    First time at the restaurant and I have already gone back! Perfect blend of casual and nice!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The food and service was great. My steak was over cooked and so the manager took the charge for my wine off of the bill. Totally not warranted because I was given a new steak cooked properly. It was a wonderful gesture!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pretty cool.
    tunoffun
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Went for my parents anniversary , great service and food. It said business casual attire but the atmosphere is a little more laced than assumed. Would recommend for a nice evening out.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The web site is wrong about brunch
    lizbeth35
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    The website said they had brunch until 2pm with mimosas, and the restaurant said they did not serve Sunday brunch anymore.
    Special Features:
    romantic, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Enjoyed dinner and the celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary. We are have been in this area since 1949 and love the Pavillion!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • never a bad meal
    3king3
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    I was beyond overjoyed to get two entertainment book book coupons for Harborside in the book this year. It has quickly become my favorite restaurant in orange county and i look forward to going every year. Chicken, Fish, pot roast, simply cooked to perfection. I look forward to trying some of the entrees as have yet to consume.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food Great Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We went on the whale watching tour out the harbor then went here right after words. Great meal and the service was excellent. We have a newborn and they were great about having a small child in the dining room.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NICE DINNER
    CC60
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    WE enjoyed our dinner, helped by good serving staff. Food was tasty and generously portioned. Desserts were tempting and we were glad we tried the fresh, from scratch fruit sorbet. A refreshing finish to our meal. The view from our seats was not bad either, of boats docking and taking off and the pretty bay views.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place!
    Beachlovers
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    The food and service were great. The portions were generous and well prepared. The view is fabulous!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Experience!
    ReviewVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    The food and menus was great. Did not know what to pick since everything looked so good. The service was courteous but a bit slow. When the food came, it was worth the wait. The view of the bay and the ferry going back and forth made it a perfect day. We will be back again. Many thanks.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, great view
    FranandBenVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    This restaurant is iconic on the Newport Harbor. The food is good but most come for the views at night. Parking can be difficult as the valet fills up quickly during peak times. The coconut orange salmon is delicious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Graduation Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    I had my daughter's graduation dinner here, in their semi-private room for 20 guests, but then ended up having 24. We were a bit chaotic with our sitting arrangements but the servers were very accommodating. Thanks Sheila for the fix price menu. Everyone LOVED the clam chowder. The steak - those who ordered medium rare, loved the steak but those who ordered medium well didn't as they said the steak was well done instead of medium well. The only CON I have is the receptionists. They shld be upbeat, smiling, & greet each customer that comes in, instead they were lifeless. Over all, we had a wonderful experience. Thanks to our servers, Erik & another guy whose name I don't know. You guys rock!!! Thank you for your excellent service!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hostess not up to par
    ccrider
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    If you have children, make sure you ask for children menus.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Dinner
    bruingal67
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    Celebrated our son's high school graduation here. Great food and attentive service. Cherry was a wonderful server!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We were taken by surprise
    Luv2CuttlefishVIP
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    We had a wonderful evening. It started with a quaint ferry ride which we loved. The Harbor Restaurant had great food and the waiter was terrific. Harbor island is a fun place to explore. Skip the overpriced 21 Oceanview and head to Harbor Restaurant at half the price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Old spot
    fatfk
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    This restaurant has had many ups and downs over the many years. Food was excellent. It's up right now.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious food for great price
    dineoutqueen
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    The menu had a lot of variety. Entres were well prepared and service was excellent. Good place for family and out of town freinds
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 27 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 25 reviews are from the Harborside, Restaurant & Grand Ballroom reviews archive.
  • Harborside does not disapppoint
    Louie2
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    The perfect place to dine for fairly priced seafood right on the water. The swordfish was outstanding as was the Opakapaka. The portions were generous though they could have given larger side of brussel sprouts. Desserts were tasty: nice hot fudge sundae and lovely lava cake.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fun spot for a good meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We made reservations for Mothers Day at 6:00 PM and arrived right on schedule. We were seated right away at a window table and given menus and plenty of time to make our selections. The waiter was attentive and served us cocktails while we were waiting for our entrees. We were never hurried even though the room was full for the one and a half hours we were there. After our dishes were bussed we were delivered a dessert we had not ordered, but were interested in seeing the dessert menu. We assumed that since it was Mothers Day the dessert was for "Mom" and thought nothing about it. It was meant for the table next to us and the waiter was very kind and said all is good. We had a good meal and a good time. We'll return.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • SusanVIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We mostly enjoyed our Mothers' Day dinner here, though the waiter forgot a few things. My husband asked for lemon with his salad but never got it. Our salads/appetizers came in a timely fashion, as did his entrée. However, my entrée came quite a few minutes later, & I had to repeat my order for the parmesan corn. It finally came, but wasn't nearly as good as usual. My husband loved his blackened sea bass special, & the chocolate lava cake is tops.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • On the harbor
    JudgeBBQ
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    Receptive had to change reservation time, easily accommodated our group of 10. Food was excellent and service was great. Got to watch boats in the harbor as we ate.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Fare
    SuperbVIP
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    We had lunch after riding the Balboa Ferry - a treat and stepping back in time. Lunch was Spinach Salad, snapper special -very good. View is of Balboa Harbor and the ferry crossings - one from each shore at the same time. Also watched a seal play around the boats right outside the restaurant's window.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch, Scenic View
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great views and food
    GFGourmet
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    An establishment type place that still delivers on food. The seafood risotto was a table favorite. Service friendly but not perfect. They messed up our order slightly but took care of it in a friendly manner. No big deal overall.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We were having a lovely evening
    AzBookendVIP
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    We were having a lovely evening at the Harborside, until 4 folks were seated in front of us and blocked our view, which they never looked at even once. But I digress... Fish was prepared better than most served in Alaska, our home state. Who ever is cooking in that kitchen deserves at least one Michelin star, it was THAT good! Krista was one of the best servers we've had anywhere in soCal. It took close to 15 minutes to get our cocktails and when she found out about it, went over and had it fixed straight away. While the furniture is a bit old fashioned (as mentioned in another review), the food and service more than made up for it. Thanks for a surprisingly nice evening, we will be back!
    Special Features:
    scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • fantastic
    3king3
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    this was my second time dining here, and have come away more than pleased both times. probably my favorite restaurant in orange county. Both times, every meal was excellent, some of the best i have ever had. I hope to make it back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Anniversary & B-Day Celebration
    steaklover
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    My Fiancée and I chose this restaurant to try something new. We celebrated out 7 yrs. dating anniversary and mu early birthday. Our seever was great, the manager was very helpful, the view was nice. But the beat part was being together making new memories. I recommend you try Harborside Restaurant to.celebrate amy special event. The prices are not bad ans the portions are just right.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun Experience.
    ReviewVIP
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    Used to the The Tale of the Whale. Now is updated with a great menu for people who love American food. Best dessert we ever had! Loved the view. The staff was courteous and helpful. Will be back!!!
    Special Features:
    scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great prices and view
    kharkVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    We needed last minute Saturday night reservations for a large group and were pleasantly surprised with Harborside. The food was priced great for the area and view. I was very happy with my potroast and key lime pie--I don't think any of the 15 of us had a bad meal.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Harborside Experience
    Fran
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    The restaurant seems to need some refurnishing. Looks dark and worn inside. Food was good but not memorable. Parking was for about six cars. Area is rundown also. We would not return.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Balboa Peninsula Restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/12/2014
    Very pretty views of Newport Bay. Excellent service and food. Only complaint was that there was a very loud and rude customer using extremely foul language while speaking with another patron. It made our group very uncomfortable, but we didn't see a staff person to ask them to address the situation until the patron had left.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Lunch Outing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    We had a group of 5 for a Birthday lunch. the Service and food was were great as was the service. We will look forward to coming again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Customer Service Satisfaction!
    acm0321
    Dined on 3/5/2014
    Talk about service! Despite having dinner reservations for 8:30 we were late arriving due to delayed flights into LAX. However, colleagues had arrived on time and checked us in. When we arrived 45 minutes later we found our colleagues inside, enjoying a drink, but the restaurant had since closed for the evening. To our surprise the Harborside stayed open for us, how nice! Needless to say we received excellent treatment. The service was outstanding, we didn't feel like they were trying to rush us out the door. The food was hot, fresh and excellently prepared. I recommend the cioppino :) I liked it so much that I came back myself two days later to have the bunelos, which were delicious!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not going back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/2/2014
    I had high hopes since this was our first time, but will not be going back. The ambiance was nice. The scallops were mediocre, lamb was good, and burger was over cooked. There were only a few tables and but our waitress forgot several of our requests(second beer, more butter, etc). Just was expecting more.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OC Restaurant Week Deal
    VaughnVIP
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    We dined at Harborside during OC Restaurant Week. You can't beat $30 for a 3 course meal with many good choices that included a glass of wine or beer. The scallops were cooked to perfection as was the risotto that accompanied them. My wife had the prime rib - a generous portion cooked exactly to her specifications. Oh yes, Harborside also has great views of Balboa even when your table is at the back of the restaurant. If only the Catalina ferry could be move to a dock a bit further away. We look forward to a return visit.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Harborside
    brat
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    We went for OC Restaurant week. Great price and great menu. The food and service were great - the view is outstanding. While we were there we found out about Happy Hour and came back the next day after our trip to Catalina.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, scenic view, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.