Antiquing in Old Towne Orange, California is one of my favorite ways to spend a day. The thrill of the hunt is part of the fun, and there’s a ”foodie” aspect, too. In addition to having several antique stores, this little area is also home to several wonderful places to eat. So if you like to gaze at goodies from the past and grab some great grub, you’ll definitely enjoy a trip to Old Towne Orange. I snapped some photos with my trusty iPhone on a recent trip – please scroll down to see images of things that caught my eye versus what I actually purchased.
My Perfect Schedule
I like to start looking through the stores around 10 a.m. I break for lunch at one of the nearby restaurants around noon, and then continue shopping until sensory overload sets in. Sensory overload is a very real danger when shopping in antique stores because they cram stuff into every nook and cranny! I don’t usually eat lunch and dinner in the area, but if you’re coming from out of town and want to make a day of it, you could easily eat two great meals at two different restauruants.
Let me clarify something: When I go antiquing I’m not looking for stately wooden furniture or Depression-era glassware. Those kinds of things are certainly lovely, but they’re not my thing. First of all, my budget is too small, and I’m actually looking for smaller things size-wise, too. I’m usually searching for unique little bits and bobs I can use in my art: vintage buttons and other trims, vintage photos, and things like handkerchiefs.
The stores I visit generally have a good mix of merchandise though. Bigger pieces for those looking to decorate their home, and smaller pieces for people like me who are looking to embellish a collage.
First – things I liked, but didn’t buy:
Image at top – I love vintage ornaments, and they looked great in the glass bowl.
The green on this dish brought Ireland to mind.
I love this rich, velvet hat – but not the $45 selling price.
The baker and the silver lover in me adore this pan. Unfortunately, the price was unappetizing.
My Grandma Neva loved owls, and I do, too…
This skirt was lovely, but at nearly $80 it wasn’t a great fit.
You know you’ve reached “a certain age” when you start seeing toys from your childhood in antique stores!
This beauty is a vintage footwarmer, used in the early days of automobiling. I love the contrast of the green velvet and the metal…
Here’s what I did buy:
This book of Practical Arithmetic was a bargain at $1. It will be perfect for collage and is already partially disassembled!
I love vintage photos, and purchased five black and white photos for $1 each. Here are two of the images I chose – the class photos go well with my book!
Total spent: $6.00, plus tax
With so many restaurants to enjoy, it can be tough to decide where to dine. Here’s a brief list of some of my favorite restaurants:
Watson’s Drugs & Soda Fountain – Watson’s has been a fixture in Old Towne Orange since 1899. Not only do they have a soda fountain/dining area that serves up delicious food and desserts, they also have a small drugstore that sells some “old school” candies you might not have seen for years. The meals are good (including breakfast), but I really go to Watson’s for sweets: shakes, root beer floats, banana splits, pie. Everything I’ve had is good – the difficult part is choosing what to order!
Renata’s Cafe Italiano – This Italian restaurant has great food. I love their lasagna, garlic bread, and house dressing!
Bruxie – This is a new addition to my favorite list. They serve waffle sandwiches – both savory and sweet. Yum! I’ve only eaten at Bruxie once thus far, but will definitely be going back.
I can vouch for the following:
Savory: Bruxie Burger, and the Smoked Salmon & Dill Cream Waffle
Sweet: Lemon Cream & Berries Waffle, and Soft Serve Frozen Custard
*Note: Bruxie is very popular and is likely to have a (potentially long) line, so don’t wait until you’re starving to head over.
I invite you to post a comment and share your favorite antiquing locations – please be sure to include your favorite nearby restaurants!