Center Street is evolving its downtown digs in similar fashion as The LAB and CAMP in Costa Mesa, SanTana's Artist Village and downtown Fullerton. With three new eateries opening in the last month, we cannot ignore their climb to hipster neighborhood status.
First stop: Jenny Ross' 118 Degrees Community Cafe, which launched their second spot at the end of July. This branch is less table service, more take-out meals. Her raw vegan cuisine as vibrant and wholesome as ever, with lunch favorites like fried avocado rolled tacos and savory baja burritos for diners looking to cleanse from the inside out.
Healthy Junk launched last month across the street, getting a head start with their vegan fare inside the GOOD FOOD Hall. Crunchy baked kale chips and tempeh meat substitutes add texture to a menu chock full of greens, snacks and buns with junk (their words, not ours).
Last, but definitely not least, another Costa Mesa brand swims further upstream as Gypsy Den celebrated their first day last Friday, serving free coffee to content hipsters everywhere. The alt cafe where, as we wrote so long ago, “nose-pierced babes woo scruffy-bearded grad students with promises of Foucault and vegetarian chili” creates a vibe at their end of the street. Damn, us Forkers give great quotes!
118 Degrees Community Cafe, 185 W. Center St. Promenade, (714) 772-2695; www.118degrees.com; Healthy Junk, 201 Center St. Promenade, Unit B, (714) 772-5865; Facebook page; The Gypsy Den, 211 W. Center St. Promenade, (714) 956-4400; www.gypsyden.com.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.