The LAB Anti-Mall in Costa Mesa, California feels fresh. It's the cool spot I would like to have hung out at with friends every weekend if I were 12 again. An enormous fiddle leaf fig plant towers over the open space common area touching the wooden ceiling as it tries to makes its way through the skylight. Three neon signs that say Yes, No, Maybe hang on the wall. People sit at varying seats, stools, chairs, & tables sprawled out; typing on their laptops, nibbling on a bite to eat, chatting with a friend. Other patrons walk to & fro with their masks on as they shop. The world comes alive again as it adjusts itself in a world with COVID.

I sit down at a tiny table with a pair of mismatched chairs. I take off my mask to enjoy a bite of my mini donut haul from Good Town Doughnuts. I snagged the Raspberry Pistachio & Chocolate Strawberry doughnuts. Good Town Doughnuts offers vegan & non-vegan options. We accidentally picked both vegan versions since the flavours just appealed to us. I particularly loved the Chocolate Strawberry with the chocolate doughnut base & tart strawberry glaze. Take a look at the Good Town Doughnuts Instagram page for photos of their delightful doughnuts.

The LAB Anti-Mall Costa Mesa, California Address: 2930 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 United States

The LAB Anti-Mall Costa Mesa, California Carmen Varner Travel Blogger Influencer San Diego

Located at 2930 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 United States, the LAB Anti-Mall has food & drink options, clothing shops, thrift stores, barbershop, hair salon, record store, & some other bits & bobs. I've actually been here before, although it was quick, in & out. This time I was able to get a better feel of the  LAB Anti-Mall & What makes it so great, exciting. I'm glad to be back. Take a look at the LAB website!

Fred & I said what the hell, drove an hour away from our usual haunts to explore Costa Mesa, California. Located close to the 405 Freeway on Bristol Street, LAB Anti-Mall was a doughnut, vegan food whirlwind. 

Please check out my Instagram post about my Orange County day trip to the LAB Anti-Mall. There are plenty of online reviews so you can really get a feel of places nearby, what people think,  the type of art, the best restaurant to check out, & more.

Whether you're an Orange County local or came to Costa Mesa CA for a day trip, there's quite a lot to see at the LAB. If you're tired of the same old same old then you'll like the unique shops & restaurants that the LAB Anti-Mall provides. This place is different. There's art & installations, an attention to detail in every corner.

Related reading: Things to Do in North County San Diego, California

The LAB Anti-Mall Costa Mesa, California Carmen Varner Travel Blogger Influencer San Diego


Parking

There are parking options throughout the LAB. However, if you come on a busy day, it's likely that all the spaces in the parking lot will be full. We came on Sunday & it was busy. We drove around a couple of times & had to do a bit of walking from our parking space. I'm not sure if there's street parking, at least not very close by.

You could check out LAB Anti-Mall's other restaurants, eateries, & drinkeries Baba's Chicken, Bootleggers, Habana, Hana Re, Nook Coffee, Refresh Stream, Ruin Bar, Seabirds Kitchen, & The Den (formerly known as Gypsy Den).

Fun Fact: "LAB" stands for Little American Business. Their goal to combat retail monotony began in 2003. Now it's a relatively popular hotspot for pretty much any age group to shop, eat, & enjoy Costa Mesa.


Address: 2930 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 United States

Experience unique shopping opportunities at the LAB's stores. You'll find a great variety. We went to 2nd Street USA; Fred & I each scored something. This thrift store has a mix of funky vintage blouses to modern name brand sneakers, so men & women alike can get some shopping done. If you want to find a great place to shop local, LAB Anti-Mall is one of those one-stop shops.

Store hours may vary: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM, Friday & Saturday 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM. View the LAB store list for links to each business & up-to-date hours.

Store List

Shopping

Blends + Carve

Buffalo Exchange

Eco Now

Red + Blue Vintage

Sundressed Inc

Terra Nova Vintage

Urban Outfitters

Food & Drink

Baba's Chicken

Bootleggers

Good Town Doughnuts

Habana 

Hana Re

Nook Coffee

Refresh Stream

Ruin Bar

Seabirds Kitchen

The Den

Other Shops

Barber Shop

Crew Salon

Creme Tangerine Records

The Artery

The LAB Anti-Mall Costa Mesa, California Carmen Varner Travel Blogger Influencer San Diego

We had dinner at Nice Guys Vegan, an all-vegan restaurant that ultimate vegan comfort foods such as burgers, fries, & desserts). Think vegan fast-casual restaurant. The BBQ Bacon Burger & Spicy Chicken Burger. Both were absolutely incredible & believe me because I’ve had a lot of crapy burgers in my 15+ years of being meat-free. 

Then there's the eco-friendly retail campus, The CAMP, that's dedicated to supporting the community through an active, healthy lifestyle mindful of environmentalism. View The CAMP website for more information.

You could spend the day at the LAB Anti-Mall shopping, exploring the place, taking cool photos of the art. The indoor-outdoor aspect means you can have shelter on rainy days & still enjoy the sunshine on those beautiful California days. It really is the best of both worlds. Located in Costa Mesa, CA, this small anti-mall feels pumped with life & a thriving community. So yeah, that's my review of the place. Read the Yelp or TripAdvisor LAB reviews to see what places call to you.  Please leave a comment to share your thoughts - have you visited?

Related reading: Warner Brothers Studio Tour Gilmore Girls in Burbank, CA

About Carmen

I'm Carmen Varner, a San Diego based travel writer, social media manager, content creator. There's a lot of different buzzwords that you can call me. I have been working remotely since 2017 doing social media management for small businesses. I manage their social media platforms & review platform such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google My Business. I craft content that speaks to a company's audience. Wondering What is Influencer Marketing? Read this blog post for a breakdown. Stay inspired to travel by viewing my other California travels! Find out more about me & my career background.

Have you been to the LAB? What are your favorite shops?

Related reading: Searching for the Best Coffee in Carlsbad, California