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.
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 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
This throwback ice cream shop and soda fountain offers both original Prohibition-era recipes and upgrades with old ingredients.
In the midst of downtown’s Fashion District, WoodSpoon is a small, sweet café serving homespun Brazilian fare with heart.
Set in an 1896 building with original mosaic floors, Desco is known for its Italian standards, including house-made-pasta dishes such as lamb-cheek pappardelle. BART stop: 12th Street/Oakland City Center
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.