California

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.

In the midst of downtown’s Fashion District, WoodSpoon is a small, sweet café serving homespun Brazilian fare with heart.

Attached to a clothing boutique and gallery, this tiny café serves excellent poached eggs, but the caramel French toast may appeal to even the pickiest eaters.

Locals have been standing in line for Pork Store’s delicious diner-style breakfasts since the 1970’s. The hash browns (the second most popular item that starts with “hash” in the neighborhood) and scrambles (both veggie and meat varieties) are well worth the wait.

Meat-centric small plates reign at Box and Bells, the latest from chef James Syhabout of Michelin-starred Commis. Try the country pork rillettes and blood pudding poutine. BART stop: Rockridge

This jewel of a restaurant in the The Redbury Hotel takes its inspiration from Cleopatra, both in cuisine (the Queen of Egypt would no doubt have loved the Middle Eastern fare) and decor (a photo of silent film actress Theda Bara as Cleopatra greets you upon entry).

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

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.

At Duende, chef Paul Canales channels his Basque heritage into pintxos and paellas in a whimsical setting (colorful murals; fence posts as floorboards). BART stop: 19th Street/Uptown Oakland