Spring break was upon the Austin area later than usual. No matter, it did not stop me from going back to the West Coast last week to eat some amazing food. One of my favs this time? Vitaly Caffe at The CAMP in Costa Mesa.

The CAMP is an eco-friendly retail district that promotes health and well-being. You can find shops like Patagonia and healthy food like Vitaly, a small Italian cafe and coffee shop. Yes, healthy and Italian were used in the same sentence to describe the same place.

When you enter Vitaly, you are greeted by a small case of pastries, a coffee menu, baristas, and a short narrow hallway that leads to an open foyer. You would not guess this place was a full on restaurant. Turn the corner and you find the gelato counter, the register with the cafe menu, and the kitchen. There are two full on tables, which are usually reserved. Vitaly also has a nice outdoor patio with seating.

Vitaly menu – from Yelp

Vitaly’s menu is limited, which is always a plus. They offer a make your own pasta section in which you can choose between fettuccine and gnocchi before choosing your toppings. I chose San Daniele Prosciutto, arugula, and lemon zest with fettuccine and added chicken for an extra charge. I must say I loved this plate. The prosciutto was easy to cut, the arugula added a healthy touch, and the lemon zest was not overpowering. The added chicken gave a nice additional layer of texture. The plate was not Olive Garden huge, which was great. I finished 3/4 of the plate without feeling like a bowling ball. You can tell the pasta was made in-house with your first bite. I wish I had a picture of my plate, but unfortunately, my starving stomach beat me to it.

My party ordered two appetizers, the roasted potatoes and the crescentine basket. The potatoes were soft and were not dunked in extra virgin olive oil, which I find tends to happen at most restaurants. The potatoes were mixed with slices of fresh garlic, giving a rich flavor. The crescentine basket was a bowl of crunchy puffed flat breads. Our waitress mentioned different regions of Italy served different types of bread. The crescentine is a style of bread found in the region of Bologna. It is crunchy on the edges and hollow in the middle. Thank goodness otherwise I would have gone overload on the carbs.

Vitaly is one of my new favorite spots to catch a hearty and healthier Italian meal. Everything is made in-house and they take pride in using locally fresh ingredients. The prices are on the higher end but you are paying for top quality. The staff are friendly and easy to talk to, happy to converse with you about things beyond the business. I highly recommend visiting Vitaly if you are in the Orange County area.

Vitaly is located at 2937 Bristol St B103-B100, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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