The 4th Street Market has 16 eateries under one roof. Yes, SIXTEEN. This food hall is located in the revitalized downtown Santa Ana, near the 5 freeway off 4th street and Bush.
The food halls are the latest trend popping up everywhere, from New York, Chicago, Portland, and Los Angeles. Following all trends, Orange County is no different. Major food magazines are following the trend, and this concept taking on a life of its own. Its basically an upscale food court, where you can try highest quality ingredients in an utmost casual atmosphere. Business people and students alike can dine under 1 roof, with a plethora of places to choose from. However, this concept is not new, as you can find this sort of dining in major European cities.
The 4th Street is communal dining, where you wander from store to store, order what you want, and find a table so you can share a meal with friends. This food hall has every kind of food you can think of:
– American, from sandwiches, wraps, to burgers
– Asian, such as noodles from Noodle Tramp and Asian-latin fusion from Dos Chinos
– Comfort food from Stockyard Sandwich Co. and Ktchn DTSA
– Seafood from MAR
– Sweet/ Savory inside a waffle from Ink Waffles
– Fried chicken from PFC
– Bakery items from Dough Exchange
– Desserts from Front Porch/ Torch and Chunk N Chip
– and beverages of all sorts from Recess (serving up a full bar), Portola Coffee, and Radical Botanicals (organic juice bar).
I brought Stephen here on a Saturday afternoon for a burger… and not just any kind but a Wagyu Chuck burger. This location is owned by Chef Jason Quinn from the Playground restaurant, and he hand grinds his wagyu chuck meat into made to order burgers. There’s 3 types of burgers: single, double, and triple, which sound very similar to the In-N-Out menu. I do think its supposed to be, but on a gourmet scale.
We chose the double burger, and it took about 10-15 minutes for the food. When we sat down, the juices were dripping from the meat, onto the bottom of my tray. When I picked up the burger, there’s only 1 word to describe it: messy. When I took at bite out of it, it was probably one of the best burgers I’ve had. Tender, flavorful, juicy (and messy!) and just melted in my mouth. That’s a good thing, since this burger set me back $9.00, but the quality and freshness was worth every bite.
Wagyu Chuck also has their own version of fries. They’re chunks of russet potatoes fried up and served, well, chunky style. Crispy outside, tender and fluffy inside. We splurged and got the loaded Baked Potato Fries, which was the skins on chunks of potato covered in cheese, bacon, and onions. Lunch for 2 came to just under $25.
After eating such a heavy meal, we spied an ice cream sandwich shop across the walkway: Chunk-N-Chip. They have hand made ice cream, and home made cookies, which you can make into a made to order ice cream sandwich. Stephen just wanted something sweet to cleanse his palate, so we just picked up the Pumpkin Cheesecake and Ginger Snaps ice cream for dessert. It was probabaly one of the best ice creams we’ve had in a long time.
The 4th Street Market is located at 201 East 4th Street in Santa Ana, California. There’s meter parking on the street (accepts coins or credit card) or a structure located off Bush or behind the Playground by the Yost Theater.