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.
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.
A cutout of a wild pig hanging from the rafters of Oxbow Public Market denotes the entrance to this food- and wine-focused antique shop.
The most famous of the Marshall oyster purveyors sells unshucked oysters—but unfortunately they charge $5 per person merely to sit at a picnic table.
The izakaya Nombe—its name translates, roughly, to “drunkard”—serves haute Japanese pub food (grilled shishito peppers with bottarga; grilled skewers of chicken thigh with ume and shiso) accompanied by a great sake list.
Brews and brauts are the main attraction at this downtown version of a German biergarten. Wurstküche’s brauts range from traditional Kielbasas to exotic specialty sausages, such as an alligator and pork combination, rattlesnake and rabbit mix, and duck and bacon option.
There’s a lot to like about a superior sushi joint disguised as a hole in wall and located next door to a 7-Eleven. As under the radar as LA sushi gets, this restaurant on Beverly is the genuine article.
Housed in a 1903 military barrack, the Presidio Social Club restaurant combines original furnishings, such as stainless-steel medicine cabinets now used as liquor storage, with contemporary design elements.
Organic, ciabatta-crust pizzas and homemade pastas reign at this earthy Laurel Canyon eatery that once housed Café Galleria (a ‘60s spot hosting open-mike nights for neighborhood locals).
European-style deli meets Japanese cuisine in Delica rf1 at the San Francisco Ferry Building.
Enjoy blue-agave tequilas and Mexican cuisine at Tres on Townsend Street in the SoMa District. Its brick façade features a trio of agave plants above the arched doorway.
In 1986, Alsace-native Hubert Keller, after years of mentorship from culinary masters like Paul Bocuse, became executive chef and partner in this contemporary French restaurant in Union Square.
Order the barbecued-chicken pizza at this local favorite of everyone from grandmas to surfer dudes.