The revitalization of Anaheim, especially downtown, is astounding. Walkable, livable, sociable areas have sprouted up in the past decade, making the city a worthy magnet for both locals and visitors.
One of the hottest new additions is the Anaheim Packing District, with revitalized buildings and inviting parkland. Front and center is the restored Anaheim Packing House, a former Sunkist citrus-packing facility built in 1919. Abandoned for decades, the building has been reborn as a multi-story food hall, with entertainment spaces for live music and events. Inside, two dozen food stalls and eateries—many focusing on hyper-local ingredients—tempt you to stop, taste, and enjoy. Drop by The Hammer Bar for craft cocktail and maybe a game of Connect Four, then plan your dining strategy. Maybe you’re in the mood for soul food at Georgia’s, ramen noodles at Orange Tei, or the street foods of India at Adya, one of the O.C.’s top new eateries. Or just forget dinner and go straight for dessert at Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream. Finish the night with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in a restored 1920s railroad boxcar—yes, inside the Packing House—at The BXCR (also known as the Underground Wine Society).
Next door is the Packard Building, built in 1925 as a showroom for luxury cars. Today, it houses foodie-favorite Umami Burger (check out the license plate chandelier) and Anaheim Brewery, the re-imagining of a brewery closed during Prohibition (don’t miss the bar salvaged from an old saloon nearby).
The Packing District complex goes beyond building makeovers with Farmers Park, an inviting two-acre space with room to stroll and relax. Take an outdoor yoga class, play ping-pong, watch a movie on an outdoor screen, or dine al fresco on modern Chinese at 18 Folds or the vegetarian- and vegan-friendly shovel-to-fork eatery Cultivation Kitchen.
Insider tip: The Blind Rabbit, a celebrated speakeasy inside the Packing House, is a big draw, but know that an RSVP (and proper attire) is required.