Best Worst-Kept Secret

Squirreled away in a run-down strip mall and blocked from sight by a car wash is the Secret Spot. Despite its name, the lunchtime rush usually draws a packed patio and a persistent line that extends well past the doorway; Huntington Beach locals seem to either love the place or have never heard of it, but the number of those in the know continues to grow. There's good reason for it too. During summer hours, this beachside dive cooks up heaping portions of healthful grub that sticks to your ribs without delivering you to the clutches of a food coma. In addition to offering a wide selection of veg-friendly fare, breakfast is served all day and includes items from your classic ham-and-cheese omelet to vegan chocolate chip pancakes. If you go for lunch, the array of eclectic Cal-Mex offerings is enough to keep you sampling new items for weeks. They even have a separate menu for juices and smoothies. Yeah, it'll take you forever to decide on what you want to order, but for those who haven't stumbled upon it yet, the Secret Spot is well worth discovering. $$

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