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.
Dine alfresco among the rose gardens at this hotel restaurant, which sources most of its ingredients locally. Try dishes plucked straight out of local gardens, like the roasted pumpkin soup with Cyprus Grove goat cheese.
What It’s Like: On the banks of the Napa River in a 100-year-old white-and-blue-painted (former) boathouse, this family-run bistro is loved by locals throughout the valley for its French-inspired menu and cheery ambience—think oversize bouquets of loosely bundled meadow flowers,
You'll typically find chef Travis Lett at the farmer's market when he's not behind the stoves at his restaurant, the bright new light on ever-trendy Abbot Kinney.
This spot, once a lumber-camp mess hall, now feeds tourists three set-menu, hungry-man-portioned meals a day. (Cross your fingers for roast beef.)
Serpentine, housed inside an old warehouse in the city’s Dogpatch neighborhood, is a unique fusion of past and present. The restaurant combines its industrial, warehouse foundations with decorative accents like mirrors and vases full of flowers.
Pig is something of an obsession at this petite café at the back of Copperfield’s Books. You can get the house-made bacon on a salad, in a sandwich, on pizza, or on pasta. Or throw dietary caution to the winds and dive into the pork-cheek sandwich.
French-inspired dishes in an atmosphere of understated style mark this Melrose Avenue eatery fast becoming one of Southern California’s top restaurants.
Chef Melissa Perello spent her twenties collecting accolades at esteemed San Francisco restaurants like Fifth Floor and Charles Nob Hill.
Amid the vintage Victorian houses on nearby Summerland's main shopping street, Stacky's Seaside stands out like a grounded trawler. Fortify yourself with its fish and chips.
The fresh-made multigrain pancakes and cheddar-jack omelettes are popular with breakfasting climbers.
The view from the Mission District is echoed inside Pizzeria Delfina on 18th Street with a mural by Andre Karpov, sweeping from bridge to bridge. Above the sidewalk tables, a blue cursive neon sign proclaims “Pizzeria” on the glass façade.