Image source: Flickr - Sam Howzit
If you're looking for something different to do on your trip to Disneyland, consider leaving the parks and venturing over to Anaheim's new hot spot the Anaheim Packing District. Opened in May 2014, the area is now a food lover's paradise. If you've been to the San Francisco Ferry Building, you'll find the Anaheim Packing District has a similar vibe and eclectic mix of local vendors.
The highlight of the area is the two-story Packing House, a historic building dating back to Orange County's agricultural era. Built in 1919 at the edge of Anaheim and the Southern Pacific rail line, the Packing House was once a hub for commerce. Farmers unloaded citrus that was cleaned and packed in wooden crates, ready to load on railcars for shipping around the country.
Twenty or so vendors are housed in the Packing House, offering customers a number of food options - everything from sushi to authentic poutine. There are a couple of creative bars, like the open-air Hammer, that looks like your Dad's garage, and the Blind Rabbit speakeasy. There is no shortage of retro and hip places to check out.
Dessert is not to be missed at the Packing House. The line is lengthy at the Pop Bar, but for customizable Popsicle bars, it's worth the wait.
The Packard Building is a mission-revival-style building dating back to 1925. It's seen a number of uses over the years and has been restored to its initial glory. Today, it houses the historic Anaheim Brewery, originally established in 1870. In 1920, once Prohibition hit, Anaheim Brewery was forced to close its doors. After a 90-year hiatus, it was reopened and serves up a variety of local brews and eats.
Also housed in the Packard Building is Umami Burger, a popular gourmet burger chain that originated in Los Angeles. The location here features a specialty burger, the Welsh Rarebit, a classic sandwich dating back to 1919. Look for iconic light fixtures crafted from 1929 license plates that were found during construction; the location was once the Packard Automobile Showroom.
Farmers Park is a two-acre park outside the Packing House. It features an olive grove, redwood boardwalk, gardens, and even a grassy knoll. It connects the two historic landmarks and is the ideal community gathering spot.
There is a Farmers' Market on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. Look for other events like Farmers Park Flicks (outdoor movies), Annual Halloween Parade Float viewing, and a traditional German-style Christmas Market.
The Anaheim Packing District is located at 440 South Anaheim Blvd. It is open daily at 10:30 am for lunch and dinner. Juice and coffee are available starting at 9 am, while bars stay open until midnight.
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Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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