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.
Part of the iconic Chateau Marmont hotel, this restaurant and cocktail lounge is a magnet for Hollywood’s A-list, with former patrons including Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the cast of Mad Men.
Neighborhood swells wash down grilled bavette steak and sinful duck fat–fried potatoes with big-ticket Cabs with prerecession abandon at this masculine chocolate-colored boîte in Presidio Heights.
This surf-themed establishment resides in far southern Long Beach, near the marina, along Alamitos Bay, and beyond a recessed entrance. Inside, Buster’s has blue floors and stools, wood tables, a central bar, and flat-screen TVs galore, though diners may prefer water views.
Chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck opened his flagship California Cuisine restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in 1982, later moving it to this location in Beverly Hill’s Golden Triangle.
Market Restaurant + Bar showcases the Asian-inspired California cuisine of renowned chef Carl Schroeder. Decorated in shades of persimmon, the dining room contains brown-leather banquettes, large drum pendant lights, and a 12-foot central tasting table.
This Mission District pizzeria offers regular and communal seating in a relaxed space designed in a minimalist palette of off-white, gray, black, and dark wood.
Funky Middle Eastern décor and all-you-can-eat Iranian fare distinguish this eatery in the heart of Westwood. Located in Rancho Park, Canary serves up exotic treats for the like donbalan (lightly breaded lamb testicles) and lamb tongue sandwiches.
Harold Lloyd’s former West Hollywood carriage house now belongs to chef Suzanne Goin and sommelier Caroline Styne. A Spanish tiled roof protects the brick-walled dining room and patio, which the duo punctuates with plants.
Rancher-turned-restaurateur Daniel Placencia dishes up trophy winning chili with chunks of pork and a fiery, thick sauce. Cowboy Way in Palm Springs serves fall-off-the-bone pulled pork, baby back ribs, tri-tip, and chicken with crunchy Kansas City coleslaw, too.
Cost alone makes the Nob Hill Café an attractive option in the otherwise wallet stretching neighborhood.