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.
Since 1997, this Monica Blvd restaurant has been bringing contemporary Italian cuisine to West LA diners. Redesigned by Osvaldo Maiozzi in 2005, the interior now features apricot-colored leather booths, imported chandeliers and sconces, and an art deco ceiling fixture made from Italian stucco.
This wildly popular dining venue at the new California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park (sister restaurant to the neighboring Academy Café), is a shrine to sustainable agriculture, courtesy of local food heroes and good-pal chefs Charles Phan (Slanted Door) and Loretta Keller (Coco500).
Jsix is a restaurant and bar inside the East Village’s contemporary Hotel Solamar. Situated near Petco Park, the convention center, and the Gaslamp District, Jsix is a bustling gathering place full of urban touches like stone walls, metal grillwork, and an illuminated bar.
Fill up on morning blueberry pancakes or cinnamon raisin French toast at this local breakfast haunt.
Set amidst a myriad of food stalls in the Mercado la Paloma, an unassuming warehouse-style building in South LA, this family-owned eatery is renowned for its authentic Yucatecan fare.
This wood-paneled restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows serves hearty steaks and pasta.
A casual and self-consciously funky place in Santa Rosa. The narrow room is lively, with copper-top tables and a long bar. The staff is young, tattooed, and coolly professional.
Located in downtown’s Little Italy district, Indigo Grill has a dull entrance, but the dark distressed wood floor and a yellow stone-covered exhibition kitchen give this industrial interior space charm and warmth. The menu is mostly Southwestern cuisine with Italian influences.
Occupying a scenic, 16-acre estate in St. Helena, Brix is a combination restaurant, wine shop, and vegetable garden owned by the Kelleher family.
Watch for the exuberantly tacky billboards for the Mad Greek. The silly Greek restaurant is surrounded by plaster statues, but the draws are its delicious lamb dishes and fresh strawberry shakes.
This recently opened granita bar in the Farmers Market serves up the perfect cool-down for a hot day. The granitas' chunky ice crystals give them more heft than ice cream, with considerably less guilt.
Power lunchers adore this outpost of New York celebrity chef (and Top Chef host) Tom Colicchio, whose daily-changing menus are famous for their seasonal, artisanal ingredients. host) Tom Colicchio, whose daily-changing menus are famous for their seasonal, artisanal ingredients.
Avant-garde food haven