The Anaheim Packing What? A Look Into the Food, Ambience and History
By Jessica Jacobs
The Anaheim Packing District is only 32 minutes away from Long Beach and it’s the most crowded but entertaining food place you’ll visit.
What once was a citrus packing warehouse in 1919 is now a renovated food market with over 20 vendors. The two-story food place maintains its original structure and tributes its history through citrus fruits encased in the glass of tables and walls. If you don’t want to visit for the history, then visit for the entertainment. Jazz, rock and folk bands perform about twice a week. You can stay updated with the live music on the venue’s website.
This stop is hard to miss because you are greeted by two giant chickens at the doors. These statues are a sneak peek to the decor that breathes within the Anaheim Packing District. The packing house is home to a tractor, saddle seats, a swinging bench and more. The most noticeable decor is the plants that stretch from the lights on the bottom floor up to the second floor as well as netted lanterns that hang from the highest ceiling.
The multi-merchant food hall provides options for its customers and has seating everywhere. You can arrive with a group of 20 and be accommodated. Everyone can choose their own vendor, buy their food and meet up with the rest of their group at a vendor’s seating area or in the central quad of the food hall. It’s a prime place for both big groups and those who arrive solo. If you come alone, you can always sit on the bar stools that perimeter the quad on the second story.
Overall, this place was picturesque and diverse, but what about the food? I tried five different vendors; here are my reviews:
ADYA - Grade B
I decided to order the first thing on the menu—the chicken tiki masala. The plate includes a small salad, chicken masala, dips and naan. The curry was tasty but tamed. For $14, I expected more bang for my buck.
SweetBird - Grade A
When I ordered my “Original Fried Chicken” sandwich, the cashier yelled, “bird.” I didn’t like the reminder that my food was once living until I took a bite of my chicken sandwich. It was the juiciest sandwich I’ve ever had. You can find this vendor on the northeast corner of the first floor. This is also one of the cheapest item you’ll find at $9.
206 BCE - Grade C
I have very little experience with Vietnamese food, so I ordered something simple at the price of $8.50, the Banh Mi. The beef was satisfying, but the foot-long sandwich was hard to finish when the taste became plain after five bites. This vendor is found on the first floor.
Crepe Coope - Grade A
If you have a sweet tooth then this is the perfect place for you. These crepes come in the form of a cone larger than your face and cost $8.95. This at first might seem overpriced, but is worth the price in taste and size.
Mini Monster - Grade B
Located on the top floor, this drink vendor offers iced coffees, lemonade, fruit, milk and chai teas for $4 to $5. However, there is an option to upgrade for a reusable light bulb-shaped glass for $7.60. This was a top-tier vendor because it resides next to the bar stools that overlook the central quad. These stools are tall, but there are cable wires for those on the shorter side to rest their feet on comfortably while feeling tall watching the scenery below.