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.
Lemon cookie, burnt caramel, and cardamom are just a few of the 100-plus rotating flavors available at this all-natural ice cream shop.
Grab a picnic lunch at the Victorian-housed emporium, specializing in fresh salads and sandwiches designed to be packed up and taken into the park.
Located at the south end of Rincon Park on Embarcadero, this two-story restaurant, designed as an oceanic brasserie, has 19-foot-tall floor-to-ceiling aquariums filled with Pacific life and panoramas of the San Francisco bay and city skyline.
After 30 years and two changes of ownership, the restaurant is still Mendo’s answer to Chez Panisse: the Dungeness crab cakes are winners.
The Gaslamp Quarter’s Red Pearl Kitchen is a romantic Pan-Asian fusion restaurant by boutique restaurateurs Tim and Liza Goodell. A humungous and intricately carved red chair sits at the entrance in stylized contrast to the unassuming slate exterior.
Somewhat hidden inside a vine-covered stucco building, this Hollywood restaurant and lounge attracts a fashionable crowd for both dinner and late night drinks.
Tidal at the Paradise Point Resort is a bayfront restaurant serving modern American cuisine. Water views are the most notable feature of the dining room, with windows and glass doors that open to a tropical outdoor patio.
Located in an American Craftsman bungalow that housed the caretaker of a 1920's-era hotel once on the property, the Raymond serves American dishes with a sometimes-exotic touch: lingcod fish with clams and Spanish chorizo sausage, for instance, or lamb shank prepared with Moroccan spices.
The more casual portion of chef Traci des Jardins’ eponymous Hayes Valley restaurant is situated to the left as soon as guests walk through the front door. The room features brick walls, a full bar, wood floors, and cushioned, low-slung seating.