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.

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.

The second location of this popular South Indian spot is great for a date night—especially when paired with a show at the Sundance Kabuki Cinema right across the street.

Laurel Hardware has a healthy and delicious kale-and-feta salad.

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).

At dinnertime, splurge on Moroccan tagines and slow-roasted prime rib at this upscale restaurant.

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

The food is simple but good—especially the “Indian tacos” (on fry bread, with chile sauce).