Fullerton’s Hungry Bear Restaurant – A Family Tradition

Aug 12, 2010 by Timothy Ajioka

Originally, The Hungry Bear was opened in Fullerton as a “Steer n’ Stein” on February 1, 1968. It quickly established a local following and was extremely popular for hand cut steaks and hearty home-style meals at an affordable price.

The restaurant changed owners in 1973 and in 1985, along with a new partner, the “Steer n’ Stein” transformed into The Hungry Bear Restaurant as we know today. While still maintaining its local customers for almost a decade under the original name, the restaurant gained even more popularity as the town of Fullerton grew. Over the last few decades, generations of patrons continue to bring their families to dine at the establishment.

You are welcomed immediately by one of many friendly hosts upon entering the restaurant. The actual size of the Hungry Bear is about half the size of regular restaurants which provides a more "at home" atmosphere.

Once inside, you’ll find yourself surrounded with painted portraits of grizzly bears, various stuffed teddy bears, the iconic stuffed "Hungry Bear", and a decorated interior that makes you feel like you’re dining in a cozy log cabin. It’s one big dining room complete with a quaint fire place that comprises the entire restaurant.

Hidden between a sandwich – yogurt shop and a dry cleaners, you’d never know that there would be this type of quality steak house in this local shopping center. The only clue that’s obvious, is the smell of great steaks being cooked wafting across the parking lot. Now let’s forget about what the restaurant looks like and its location, let’s talk about Hungry Bear’s food.

If you desire an appetizer, I highly recommend their legendary fried clams. Available in full or half-orders, Hungry Bear’s golden fried clams are absolutely to die for. Garnished with a side of lemony cocktail sauce, it is hard to stop dipping and eating them. Note – Proceed with caution – don’t spoil your dinner getting filled up on their appetizers!  It’s just like being served fresh tortilla chips and salsa before a Mexican dinner. Be careful. Along with the clams, the Sauteed Mushrooms and fried zucchini are some other mouthwatering options. But above all, the Hungry Bear has the reputation for having one of the best cuts of steak in Orange County.

Each Hungry Bear steak is cooked to your liking and available in many different cuts. Personally, I never stray from the Stockyard Steak which is a generous adult cut priced at $14.45. It’s accompanied by a choice of one side, fresh garlic bread, and a soup or salad. If the Stockyard is too hefty, there’s also the classic "specialty steak" served with the same sides for $12.45.

They also serve delicious bacon-wrapped filets, rib eye steaks, and other cuts of meat and its iterations are available from the Hungry Bear menu.

Most other steakhouses, such as the Outback Steakhouse chains, are easily five or six dollars more a plate making The Hungry Bear economically sound as well as delicious. For the kids, it’s one of few places that children can have a kid’s meal with adult items like fried shrimp, baby back ribs or steak.

To compliment your meal, nicely priced homemade desserts are also served. Homemade peach, blueberry cobbler, parisienne truffles, and Mississippi mud pie are all delicious options if you have room.

Ultimately, you and your family can have a generously proportioned steakhouse meal at a moderate price. Take it from this steak lover, you won’t be sorry. The Hungry Bear restaurant has withstood the test of time and will always be one of O.C.’s favorite restaurant/steakhouses.

Over forty-years later, The Hungry Bear continues to serve up their classic steaks to a new generation of families as well as their familiar ones. The restaurant prides itself on having “the same great tasting menu that’s been servicing the Fullerton area for forty years.”

In 2009, they expanded their menu to include breakfast. With that particular area of North Fullerton expanding in the last decade, due in no doubt to the St. Jude Hospital expansion, the Hungry Bear not only attracts regulars and locals, but now attracts a lot of business customers as well.

All-in-all, The Hungry Bear is one of the premiere steakhouses in Orange County and there is only one location.

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Food, Orange County, Restaurant Reviews, SoCal
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