Restaurants in California
California restaurants range from the four-star to fast-food joints, and everything in-between. Because the state is a melting pot, it’s easy to find a wide range of cuisine. Mexican, South American, Chinese, Japanese, American, French, Ethiopian cuisine – you name it, and you’ll likely be able to find multiple California restaurants that serve it.
The Golden State enjoys an enviable culinary reputation. For instance, French Laundry, located in Napa Valley, isn’t just considered to be one of the best restaurants in California, but is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in the world. Reservations are hard to come by, but those who manage to get one are in for a treat. Everyday, the Thomas Keller-helmed restaurant delights guests with a nine-course tasting menu made solely from local, fresh ingredients.
On the other side of the coin, restaurants in California include a number of quality fast food joints, most notably In-N-Out Burger, which enjoys something of a cult following with locals and tourists alike.
Farm-to-table meets nose-to-tail at this casual New American bistro/butcher. The kitchen uses California-raised meats (including unusual cuts like pig’s ears and goat chops) and local produce, while the charcuterie, bread, and even the pickles are made in-house.
The retro diner Hopscotch puts a Japanese spin on hearty American dishes. Take the soba ragù, with buckwheat noodles, braised pork, Manchego, and shiso. BART station: 19th Street/Uptown Oakland
The open-air trolley on State Street leads to organic lunch spot Scarlett Begonia, which serves one of the best brunches in town. Snag a table in the hidden courtyard and order the salmon carpaccio.
At dinnertime, splurge on Moroccan tagines and slow-roasted prime rib at this upscale restaurant.
Dim sum fanatics often gravitate to the Richmond neighborhood, but this Cantonese spot lures them back to Chinatown. Go for cilantro-spiked shrimp dumplings and xiao long bao (soup dumplings).
This stylish, buzzing neighborhood spot skips across continents with urban Latin cuisine from throughout the Spanish-speaking world. The emphasis is on warm and cool small plates to share paired with creative seasonal cocktails and Latin wines.
Proof that Oakland has NoCal’s buzziest restaurant scene? Its new nickname: Brooklyn West. Honoring Alice Waters’s ethos is Ramen Shop, owned by three Chez Panisse alums. Creative noodle soups spotlight homegrown produce such as Meyer lemons and chanterelles. BART stop: Rockridge