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4th Street Market Culinary Crawl

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I have to admit that I probably visit this place at least twice a month. Located in Downtown Santa Ana, the 4th Street Market is an artisanal market mecca for those like me, looking for tasty food options. Featuring seasonal offerings by local chefs, this popular stop for downtown Santa Ana employees offers a tasty array of delights for cooks, food and those looking for a place to chill.

I recently was invited to a culinary crawl of the 4th Street Market and had an opportunity to check out many of the restaurants there. So many great dining options exist here. But lest you think this is just a food hall, let me tell you some unique characteristics about 4th Street Market.

Best places to eat in Downtown Santa Ana - this food hall has so many great choices!

4th Street Market Offers Incubator Kitchens

One of the facets that sets apart the 4th Street market, is the availability of Incubator kitchens. These offer turnkey operations for chefs, home cooks and entrepreneurs that operate a food centered business. The kitchens offer ovens, roasters, and smokers for use and are certified by the local health department. The 4th Street Market team also offers consulting to resident eateries.

 

Incubator kitchens offer new businesses a place to prepare and cook with kitchens you can rent by the hour

I love to support local businesses and love that there is a place for new businesses to take flight. The Market basement houses storage, (dry, refrigerated and frozen), as part of their rental packages. Incubator kitchens can be rented by the month, week or even hour. Kitchens can be rented 24/7 and can be booked online. You cannot miss the kitchens when you come into the hall.

Amazing Food Choices

Let the Culinary Crawl begin! We started with a lovely cocktail from Recess Libations, an offshoot of the awesome Playground restaurant group, and then headed to ECB (Electric City Butcher) to check to start the tour. The emphasis at ECB is to offer responsibly-sourced meats and provide high quality cuts of meat. They will help you with selecting cuts, and cooking suggestions. Their hospitality reminds me of the old school butcher that knew your name.

We sampled a lovely chacuterie plate and you really can taste the difference in their meats.
 So many great eateries at the 4th Street Market in Downtown Santa Ana!
Most people in the OC are familiar with Dos Chinos. Their popular Vietnamese and Mexican fusion food trucks are at all the happening Orange County events. Founder Hob Phan treated us a taste of their wonderful and award winning flavors with their Angus Beef Carne Asada Tacos  with a Vietnamese Chimichurri sauce. I have ordered this before and it was delicious! These tasty creations are memorable and unique, which is why they are so popular.
 Culinary treasures await at the 4th Street Market - Do a culinary crawl if you have some time! It's worth it!

Next we tasted delightful Pork Belly fries with a creamy cilantro sauce from Pig Pen. These were da bomb and a must have from this recent addition to 4th Street!

Poutine-fries
For those that love burgers, Terra is not to be missed. They use only organic grass-fed beef in their cheeseburger sliders.  Made with whole grain mustard, organic ketchup, arugula grilled onions and white cheddar cheese, they are sumptuous. They also make a vegetable slider and offer bowls and salads too!
 Culinary treasures await at the 4th Street Market - Do a culinary crawl if you have some time! It's worth it!
If Pizza is what you are cravingJinny’s Pizzaria offers an artisan edge inspired by the mom and pop pizzerias. The house made dough is matched with a pizza sauce made with locally grown tomatoes and Wisconsin Cheese, is proof of their desire to offer only farm fresh produce and made from scratch ingredients. I wanted to devour several slices of their pizza, but had to resist to save some room. Seriously, really great pizza.
So many great choices at 4th Street Market!
Then there were the Chicken Wings and Egg Rolls from Sit Low Pho which were very good. This eatery, also started by Hob Phan, offers more traditional Vietnamese choices, all reasonably priced. I have not tried their Pho yet, but hear it is delicious.
 Delights await at 4th Street Market
Also memorable are the Chilaquiles from KTCHN DTSA. Seriously good and perusing their menu makes me want to come back for some of their breakfast offerings which are served all day – Bachinga!
Culinary treasures await at the 4th Street Market - Do a culinary crawl if you have some time! It's worth it!
If all this food is making your thirsty, Radical Botanical is an excellent choice. They make a new Agua Fresca every day! Their fresh cold pressed juices are made with fresh fruit, herbs, vegetables and spices these drinks not only taste good, but are good for you! It was completely refreshing and I am looking forward to their mixer elixirs.

Sweet Options at 4th Street Market

Chunk n Chip makes some cookie ice cream sandwiches like you have never had. Offering such combinations such as  This tasty creations are so freaking tasty and are nothing like what you grew up with as a child. Affectionately called “sammiches”, the combinations that you can order seem endless. They are served oven-warm with fresh small batch ice cream.
sigh.
So rich and creamy and flavorful!
 Culinary treasures await at the 4th Street Market - Do a culinary crawl if you have some time! It's worth it!

Then we brought some outdoors indoors with a little help from the Torch Smore Co. who made us these freaking amazing s’mores.

 Can’t you just taste it? Culinary treasures await at the 4th Street Market - Do a culinary crawl if you have some time! It's worth it!
If you are looking for something cooler, these mini pops from Front Porch Pops are a great way to finish your meal or just to have a snack. Made with fresh ingredients in small batches, I can vouch that the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt was creamy and chocolately and the mojito flavor was delightful!
 Culinary treasures await at the 4th Street Market - Do a culinary crawl if you have some time! It's worth it!

We ended our crawl with some tasty beverages from Portola Coffee Lab. I could write an entire post about Portola. Just know that it is some of the best damn coffee available. Their meticulous growing, roasting and brewing process delivers a cup of coffee that is pure and flavorful. We sampled an Espresso Tonic that was delightful.

 portola-coffee-lab-dtsa

A Place for Community Events

Besides offering a great place to grab a bite, the 4th Street Market has lots seating and a wonderful courtyard area with local talent often performing.

The Market also serves the local community with regular clothing and food drives to assist families in need. They also support a #LunchBag program that provides meals to the homeless.
Check out their calendar of events or follow 4th Street Market on Facebook for more information on happenings. You can even find out how to take a culinary crawl like this one!

4th Street Market

201 E 4th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone number(714) 486-0700

Special thanks to the 4th Street Market and the International Food and Wine Travel Writers Association for hosting such a fun and memorable crawl! All opinions, photos of this great venue are my own.

Have you been to 4th Street Market?
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heather (delicious not gorgeous)

Monday 13th of June 2016

i've been meaning to go to 4th st market for ages, but just haven't made it! it'll definitely have to be on my summer bucket list now that you had such nice things to say about it (:

Raquel

Monday 13th of June 2016

It is so much fun and be sure to go hungry Heather!

Akaleistar

Saturday 2nd of April 2016

All the food looks so good! I'd love to attend a culinary crawl sometime :)

Raquel

Tuesday 5th of April 2016

It was really fun and a great way to sample some fabulous food!