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.
Also known as Kevin's Noodle House, this family-owned restaurant serves an extensive menu of authentic, affordable Vietnamese fare. At this Outer Sunset branch—one of five regional locations—the no-frills space is simply decorated with small tables, tiled floors, and sparse white walls.
Serving French cuisine, Fraîche was founded by Chef Jason Travi and is now run by Ben Bailly, formerly of Petrossian, so while the focus is on an straightforward approach to cooking, there's a fine dining sensibility to it as well.
The long queue at Humphry Slocombe has a silver lining: waiting leaves more time for mulling over what to order at this Mission district hotspot. Should one order a scoop of the top-selling Secret Breakfast, with its much-vaunted combination of bourbon and toasted cornflakes?
Spago-trained Anne Gingrass serves traditional Peruvian basics for her new 12-table restaurant.
Set in a restored, Mission-district Victorian house, Flour + Water focuses chef Thomas McNaughton's energy on regionally authentic Italian pasta and thin-crust pizza.
With its sultry, feng-shui-conscious design, flickering candlelight, and crowds of A-listers sipping sake martinis, Koi is perhaps better known for its glitzy scene than it is for its Japanese-inspired food.
This spin-off of a Napa Valley original is located in Healdsburg’s bustling town square.
Founded by Russell Moore, a former chef at Chez Panisse, this restaurant has an open kitchen that cooks using a fireplace hearth and a wood-burning oven.
The name of this rustic restaurant and bar in the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa refers to its location along U.S. Highway 189. The bar has a sliced timber base and moose antler chandeliers. The adjacent dining room has white tablecloths and built-in wooden wine racks.
In the same building as Hotel Metropolis on Mason Street, farmerbrown is where chef-owner Jay Foster creates Southern cuisine using organic and sustainable ingredients from local and African-American suppliers.
Tangy-sweet quesillo (soft, unripened cow’s-milk cheese) is the key to a mouthwatering pupusa: a disk of griddled corn flatbread filled with grated cheese and your choice of green chiles, shredded pork, refried beans, squash, or artichoke-like loroco flower.
As Alice Waters travels the world, spreading her gospel of “local, seasonal, sustainable,” Chez Panisse chugs steadily along in its two-story Craftsman-style home.