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.

Run by celebrated chef Charles Phan (formerly of the Slanted Door), the Academy Café is a casual, cafeteria-style eatery located in Golden Gate Park’s California Academy of Sciences.

Within the narrow confines of Cook, owner-chef Jude Wilmoth, who previously helmed the kitchen at St. Helena's Tra Vigne, prepares casual Northern Italian cuisine using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

At first glance, Delfina might not look like one of San Francisco’s top restaurants: the zinc tables are linen-less, the waiters are heavily tattooed and pierced, and the room is filled with a happy clamor rather than a reverent hush.

Order the West Coast rendition of a lobster roll, made with Dungeness crab.

Don't miss the coral tree–shaded dining patio at Hidden Restaurant. Dishes to try: thin-crust pizza with mozzarella, mushrooms, Italian ham, artichokes, and black olives; or salmon and albacore sashimi with a chili ponzu sauce.

This L.A. born coffee chain arose in 1963 and now competes with bigger chains in California. This longtime location in family-friendly Larchmont Village has limited space indoors.

This upscale steakhouse from the Smith brothers–Bob and Gregg–resides on Pasadena’s Arroyo Parkway and specializes in house-aged, hand-cut Prime beef. Available cuts include the filet mignon, Porterhouse, and cowboy rib-eye.

 

This kitschy, mock-Danish community of year-round Christmas lights and ebelskiver has never seen anything like Bradley Ogden’s latest venture, a destination restaurant as polished as its gleaming walnut floors.

This Old Town restaurant is known for its hickory-smoked ribs, pulled pork, and brisket, all served with two homemade sauces—one sweet, one spicy—and traditional sides, like mashed yams and baked beans.