Photos: It's A Foodie's Paradise In The New Anaheim Packing District (Yes, That Anaheim)
Nestled in Anaheim is a new playground for foodies: an expansive and hip food court complete with a farmers market and a brewing company.
It's the brainchild of Shaheen Sadeghi, whose other contemporary malls like The Lab and The Camp in Costa Mesa have brought some color to the area. You could even call his latest project, the Anaheim Packing District, a hipster's paradise. (This may or may not deter you from going, although if you're out in that area, you might as well check it out if you're looking for some new grub to try out.) It's reminiscent of the Ferry Building in San Francisco and a bit like the Old Farmers Market near the Grove, and it opened recently at the end of May.
There's an eclectic mix of about 20 or so shops inside the two-story Packing House (a historic building built in 1919 that Sadeghi restored) in the complex. And the entire space is decorated to a T: it's rustic, retro and modern all at the same time. Terrariums hang from the high ceiling like a spider's web, the structures of the shops look like they're made from reclaimed wood, steel beams cover the space, and yes, there are those bright light bulbs forming words at every corner (even the ATM sign is written in light bulbs).
You can get an array of food—from poutine and deep-fried cheese curds at The Kroft; ramen and a Japanese ceviche (which we highly recommend) at Orange Tei; waffle sandwiches (in the similar vein as Bruxie) at The Iron Press; shabu shabu at Rolling Boil, among others.
They also mix it up with their bars, including an open air bar called Hammer, which as the name suggests, is decorated to look like it's part of your dad's garage with tools latched onto the walls. It faces a projector screen hanging from the ceiling; there are actually TVs located all around the entire Packing House, so it's hard to miss a sports game. There's also a speakeasy at Blind Rabbit, where you'll have to find the door hidden behind a wall of Japanese barrels, and part of the fun is seeing folks exit the bar in a spot that is disguised to look like a wall covered with boxes.
As for dessert, the must-try is Pop Bar, but beware, you'll almost always find yourself waiting in a long line for it. They have customizable Popsicle bars, where you choose your pops from a bevy of flavors—anything from blood orange to green tea—and then see them get hand-dipped in chocolate and covered in coconut shavings or nuts. You might balk at the nearly $5 price, but it's a fun, novelty item, and if you make the right choices in your combination, they're pretty damn delicious. (The peach yogurt Popsicle half-dipped in milk chocolate and dipped in coconut shavings did us right.) If it's a hot day, you can take your Popsicle out to the outdoor patio, where you can sit in a rocking chair and look over the farmers market. You can also wash that down with some coffee (and get your froth art on) from Cafecito Organico, which we have storefronts of in Silver Lake and Malibu out here in L.A.
Outside there's a farmers market (which runs on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) with your typical honey, fruit and veggie vendors. And across the way is the Packing Building, which houses Umami Burger and the Anaheim Brewery. The brewery is the type of joint where you can get a flight of seven samples of their craft brews for $14 (and that includes a novelty glass for you to take home); we suggest their Anaheim 1888 and Anaheim Hefeweizen. The brewery had settled in the area a few years ago, and the rest of the Anaheim Packing District took over four years to build out.
Food is a bit on the pricier side here, but you're also paying for the ambiance. You could easily spend a few hours here exploring the different foodie options. Heck, you might as well drop by Disneyland after while you're at it.
Anaheim Packing District is located at 440 S. Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim
Eds. Note: An earlier version of this story reported that the farmers market runs daily, but it actually only runs on Sundays. It has since been corrected.