Orange Inn

Review by: Michael Stern

The Orange Inn claims to have invented the smoothie. It serves a classic: nothing but strawberries, bananas, dates, juice, and ice topped with a sprinkle of bee pollen. In an era when ambitious smoothie shops offer mixological catastrophes made with everything from crumbled Oreos to powdered libido enhancers, it’s nice to find one so simple. Or you can get a date shake.

The Orange Inn also happens to be a place to sip excellent coffee with or without espresso and eat freshly-made muffins, brownies, and sweet rolls. Three meals a day are served. There is a modest lunch menu of sandwiches, Cal-Mex fare, soups and salads, as well as eggs and wonderful granola for breakfast. Dinner is relatively swank, including such entrees as smoked prime rib and grilled wild salmon.

What To Eat

Original Smoothie





Orange Inn Recipes


What do you think of Orange Inn?

One Response to “Orange Inn”

Dale Fine

July 17th, 2009

The Orange Inn has retained the unusual distinction of being one of the few restaurants written about in Jane and Michael Stern’s first Roadfood book, that is still going strong more than 30 years later. Like an old friend who moves away and is gone but not forgotten, the Orange Inn moved a couple of towns away from its original location in Corona Del Mar two decades ago due to burgeoning condo development and somehow got lost in the Roadfood shuffle. Well, I’m delighted to say that the Orange Inn is alive and well and thriving in artsy Laguna Beach.

Since 1931, The Orange Inn has been serving to sunny Southern California’s health nut enthusiasts, food that is not only good for you, but also tastes good. Although the Orange Inn offers oat bran muffins, and creative sandwiches with locally grown avocado or tuna and sprouts on whole-grain bread with creative names like “Lagoona Tuna,” the Orange Inn’s self-proclaimed moniker and claim to fame is “The Home of The Original Smoothie.”

The Orange Inn’s smoothie contains tart strawberries which mingle well with the banana and dates which contribute a sweet, rich taste and thick texture. Fresh juice, protein powder, bee pollen, and crushed ice seal the deal. It was quite clear after the first gulp that this smoothie was one of the best I’ve ever had.

The date shake is no slouch either. Although it’s not advertised on their menu, it’s available for “those in the know.” You would never think that these thick shakes were made with ice milk. Each mouthful has small fine clumps of sweet dates that were not quite pulverized in the blender. Unlike their counterparts at Shields Date Garden, the date shakes at the Orange Inn are not overwhelmingly sweet.

Although many folks believe that Roadfood has to be “bad for you,” The Orange Inn proves otherwise.


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