Jullie & Chelsea: Socal Finale | DCA & The Anaheim Packing House

Happy Friday, everyone! We hope you enjoy the finale of our SoCal trip recap! Today, we’ll be talking about a couple of stops in Disney California Adventure and an awesome Anaheim gem to hit up for even more food options. They’re all great places to take note of and to help plan your next vacation! :)

Although our trip was definitely on the more chill side when it comes to Disney vacations, our second day in the parks was all about taking it easy after our 16-hour trek through the parks on Saturday. The line to get into Disneyland on Sunday morning was INSANE, so we ended up heading across the way to California Adventure and spent the morning taking pictures that we hadn’t necessarily snapped the day before and trying all of the snacks that were still on our list. Including breakfast at Flo’s, which is definitely something I would recommend if you’re looking for a really good, cost effective option for breakfast in the parks.

Flo’s V8 Cafe is a great option if you’re looking for unique atmosphere. The diner-esque restaurant has a couple of different rooms for seating, and they each have their own themes. But our tip? Head through the side doors of the main building and grab a table outside, just across from Radiator Springs Racers. Your view includes some pretty desert landscaping and the big beautiful canyon that’s such a draw in Cars Land. It’s usually less busy out here anyway, so it’s a nice peaceful spot for breakfast!

As for the food, we highly recommend the Brioche French Toast. It’s like a baked bread pudding, with sliced fresh bananas and a salted caramel sauce drizzled on top. We had what seemed like a good 20-minute conversation about how to recreate this French toast at home! YUM! Also, another tip: If you order the American Breakfast Platter, you can ask to substitute the biscuit with extra bacon. I’m not a huge biscuit fan. But bacon? I can always go for more bacon. Most of the time, cast members are willing to make small changes/subsitutions. Just ask nicely. :)

After breakfast, we walked around...tried to get on Toy Story Mania, but the line was just too long...tried to check out one of our faves, Cove Bar, for lunch, but with the seating area expanded, the "shiny new toy" factor hasn't worn off yet and the wait for a table was just too long...So, where do you go when you just want to relax? Check out the Grizzly Peak area of the park!

(And a side note: *Sigh*. This stupid bear. Guys, this is the most liked photo on my Chelsea.Simply Instagram page. I mean, I literally stopped to casually take a photo of this bear outside the Trading Post next to Grizzly River Run and everyone loved him.)

Holy Cow! Snipe Tracks! :D If you have antsy kids, or you are a large, antsy kid inside like I am, you need to check out the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail for a little bit of a run around. It’s a nice enclosed area to let the littles ones run wild in, and there’s actually plenty of shaded seating for all you moms, dads, grandparents, etc. to catch a break and get out of the hot SoCal sun.

Many, many moons ago, this used to be a Brother Bear (raise your hand if you remember that movie) themed activity area, complete with rope bridges, a tiny rock climbing area and a super awesome rope swing that I’m still bitter about being over the age and weight limit for. It has since been repurposed as an area where your little “campers” can complete the same activities, but for merit badges and to meet Russell and Dug from Up when they’ve finished. They also do a neat campfire story time when the weather permits.

It’s not all just for kids, though. There are actually a ton of signs and displays, where you can learn about animals and Native American legends, and there are plenty of scenic spots to take photos!

Once you’re all done exploring the Disney parks...you should definitely check out the Anaheim Packing House! It’s a very quick drive from the resort area, and there are a ton of restaurants/shops/bars to choose from once you get here. The history alone is pretty fascinating:
One of the few remaining packing houses from the agricultural era for which Orange County is named, the Anaheim Citrus Packing House is a landmark in both County and City history. Built in 1919 at the edge of downtown Anaheim and along the Southern Pacific rail line, the Packing House was a hub of commerce for the area…The restored Packing House is a food hall reminiscent of the great public markets of South America and Europe. These markets serve as a resource for the neighborhood (daily food production) and a community gathering space (restaurants and entertainment). The two level Packing House features a large central atrium with communal dining surrounded by cafes and kiosks of varying sizes as well as outdoor picnic gardens and a building-length dining porch looking out to the outdoor marketplace, Farmers’ Park. – AnaheimPackingDistrict.com 
As soon as you walk in, it has a lively-yet-relaxed vibe. A funky collection of different cuisines. We passed places like Popbar, where they serve “handcrafted gelato on a stick” with a variety of toppings, and The Iron Press, all about local beer and waffles! Our first stop, though, was at Lemon Drop Pressed Juicery, for some fresh fuji apple lemonade. (I adored the pineapple decor...) Eventually, after a bit of cruising around, we ventured downstairs and found Saw Leaf Vietnamese Café.

We ordered the lemongrass chicken banh mi and the shrimp summer rolls. Both items were delicious, and the portion sizes were fantastic. (The picture doesn’t do the rolls justice because they looked jumbo size in person! :D) Saw Leaf also serves other Vietnamese classics like pho (rice noodle soup) and vermicelli noodle salads, but they also have some fun, modern offerings. Their side order of sweet potato fries are “topped with minced sautéed shrimp or pepper flank steak, chopped green onions, cilantro, sawleaf, and a drizzle of house-made sriracha aioli sauce. Add a splash of fresh lime juice for a tangy citrus kick!” Doesn't that sound amazing?? And if it hadn’t been for the lemonades we’d already had, we probably would’ve ordered the sparkling mint limeades too, a fusion of freshly squeezed lime juice and chopped Vietnamese mint. Saw Leaf’s menu immediately caught our eyes, and it’s something we would definitely come back again for!

If you’re in the mood for a foodie adventure, or you're in town for a Disney vacation and want to go somewhere a little off from the beaten path, the Anaheim Packing House is a must-see! We really loved the vibe of this place, it’s easy to get to/easy to find, AND there’s plenty of seating available, a bunch of different spots for you to hang out with friends or family and enjoy some fabulous food and drink. We hope our recaps give you some ideas for YOUR next SoCal trip! For even more sights and eats, make sure to also check out: