California

Restaurants in California

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

An extensive number of top-rate German, Austrian, and Belgian beers on offer makes waiting for this always busy spot’s sausage, sauerkraut, spätzle its own pleasure. For the thirsty, beer is available in a 2-litre boot or a massive 5-litre stein.

The booths are the best way to enjoy Elite’s California Cajun cuisine. They’re only remaining element of the original space built in 1922, and they offer a unique amount of privacy and charm. Don’t miss the deviled eggs and gunpowder martinis.

This chic rooftop bistro settled atop the Pershing Square Building may not be the highest point in downtown, but the unique view gives you the delicious illusion that you’re floating amid the skyscrapers.

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

Santa Barbara's latest arrival is a casual breakfast-and-lunch spot whose home-style sandwiches are inspired by Ugandan street food. For breakfast, try the scrambled eggs, bacon, and smoked tomato on house-made flatbread.