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.
Located in the Mission District, Range serves contemporary American and Californian cuisine crafted by executive chef Phil West and his wife Cameron. Inside, the restaurant has hardwood flooring, brick-colored leather banquettes, and mirrors hanging on the cream walls.
Like vintage Buicks and aging divas, old delicatessens preserve themselves well in the southern California sunshine. Canter’s, Nate ’n Al, Greenblatt’s: all unimpeachable specimens. But the sine qua non will always be 1947-founded Langer’s, source of the finest pastrami this side of the Hudson.
Since 1980, Tom White has featured local shellfish at his eatery at the end of Stearn’s Wharf, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Views have remained the same, but offerings at this fish shack-designed restaurant have expanded over the past three decades.
Situated in the lobby of the historic Roosevelt Hotel, this 24-hour haunt adds a little punk to Hollywood Boulevard. Black-and-chrome tiles line the bar shelves and surrounding wall, while red leather upholstery covers bar stools and rounded booths.
A vibrant neon sign illuminates the front patio seating at this authentic Thai café, where patrons can savor affordable, homemade dishes until 3 a.m.
Bar Jules, a brightly colored, neighborhood café in Hayes Valley, serves a new menu daily, written on the café’s signature blackboard.
Christopher Malm and Bruce Bloch named their American bistro Jake’s after their West Highland Terrier. Located in the Uptown Design District, this eatery’s dining room is bright with glossy white walls and beige banquette seating.
The confoundingly underrated Ricardo Zarate—a Lima, Peru, native and former sushi chef—works wonders with Peruvian ceviche at this hidden spot in the Mercado La Paloma food court and craft market south of Downtown.
This one-star Michelin restaurant from chef/owners Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani is located on the ground floor of the St. Regis Hotel on corner of Third and Mission Streets.
Named after one of Italy’s most popular—and loudest—card games, this understated Sonoma County trattoria telegraphs authenticity and delivers with cooking that gets the details right.
Splurge at this eclectic small-plates restaurant where the menu might include ahi sashimi with napa cabbage and sriracha.