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.
An 880-seat banquet hall installed in the same Chinatown complex as the Asian Cultural Center and Library, Peony prepares Hong Kong-style dishes as well as an elaborate dim sum menu.
This Montecito restaurant draws on influences from Mexico, Latin America, and Spain. Locals pile into the yellow-walled dining room and fill the patio for tostadas and sandwiches at lunch, as well as dishes like seafood fajitas and paella Valenciana at dinner.
Opened in 2004, Circolo is a multi-level restaurant and bar in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Bamboo and metallic curtains separate the main dining room, which seats up to 50 people, from the lounge; and an upstairs mezzanine offers 5 private booths.
With a focus on seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine, the chefs at Zin Restaurant make almost everything from scratch, including condiments, breads, charcuteries, and desserts. In addition, they also incorporate fresh produce from the restaurant’s own Eastside Farm.
A locavore’s paradise, this all–regionally sourced, all-sustainable restaurant (set in a soaring, modern version of a red barn) takes haute farmyard cuisine to a whole new level.
Adds a twist to classic soul-food, like buttermilk fried chicken—ask for a side of truffled honey to drizzle on top.
Since moving to a new location on Main Street in 2008, Azzurro Pizzeria has a more streamlined, slightly industrial setting with blue, black, and white tiles lining the walls.
This longtime haunt of President Ronald Reagan dates back to 1966, when George Smith, Jimmy Ullo, and George Raft brought “the sweet life” to Beverly Hills. Alessandro Uzielli now owns the old-school restaurant, which has art-lined, brick walls; red carpeting; and leather, lamp-lit booths.
Sculptor-turned-chocolatier Will Gustwiller uses only high-grade cocoa beans from sustainable sources, as well as other organic and seasonal ingredients, to create his artistic confections.
After training at San Francisco’s renowned Tartine Bakery, pastry chef Zoe Nathan teamed up with husband Josh Loeb to open this popular café, known for its use of local, organic ingredients.
A Los Angeles landmark since 1921, this traditional steakhouse is located in a replica railway dining car adorned with overstuffed armchairs, plush banquettes, and white tablecloths.
Within this largely white corner café boasting woods floors and a white-marble counter, Fraîche Yogurt serves both fresh a frozen variations of this homemade treat (they make small batch with organic milk and probiotic culture, as well as a lactose-free, soy version).
The Riviera Palm Springs hotel received a $70 million makeover in 2008, and its marquee dining option is Circa 59, designed to evoke a retro Hollywood feel.