California offers the best food options than any other state in the USA.
While San Francisco has been named the best food city in the world, Los Angeles has gained popularity as an emerging food city. Nonetheless, you can find some of the greatest food options in the Golden State, whether you are looking for cheap eats or high-end Michelin Star recipients.
California cuisine has taken over the US, and many popular dishes can be found on menus everywhere. California introduced the alternative to healthy eating along with local food trucks. All cities in the US quickly embraced this food truck movement. Since California is home to a large immigrant population, the locals enjoy the best Thai food, tacos, and so much more in the state.
Visiting California cannot be complete without lots of dining! Here are our top picks of the best food joints in California where you can enjoy delicious local meals. Experience the Golden State with the best flavors and bounties it has to offer.
The French Laundry
Located in Yountville, The French Laundry is a sight to behold! Located in an actual 20th-century French laundry, this restaurant is an experience in itself. Moreover, the restaurant’s chef-owner, Thomas Keller, has designed a unique three Michelin-star menu.
You must definitely try the Alaskan King Crab with garden cauliflower. Another hit item on the menu includes charcoal-grilled Japanese wagyu with cèpe mushrooms. According to Bourain, this is the best restaurant in the world and for all the right reasons.
The French Laundry has its own organic garden, which is a lot more impressive than any park in California! Although keep in mind that getting a reservation is a lot more difficult than gaining admission in Stanford School for Business.
Located in San Francisco, the chef-owner Brandon Jew has created this gorgeous Michelin-star restaurant in Chinatown. The restaurant has become a landmark with a dreamy and obscured entrance that takes you to the hot spot of the city.
The must-try items on the menu include wagyu fried rice that comes with cured tuna hearts. Another one of Jew’s specialties is the whole roasted duck with finger-licking good sidelines. Getting a reservation at Mister Jiu’s is a tough ask, and walk-in for a spot at the 15-seat bar is another challenge.
State Bird Provisions
Also located in San Francisco, the State Bird Provisions is a dim sum-style restaurant. Husband-and-wife team Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski are the restaurant owners and chefs who quickly gained popularity. What started as a temporary eatery opposite a storefront, State Bird Provisions, is now something else entirely.
Fast forward to today, it is named Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurant, and getting a reservation is nearly impossible! The food is innovative and tasty to a level that nobody can beat. The ingredients they use in the menu are strange, too, things like pecorino and ricotta, sourdough pancakes, seaweed breadcrumb, and others. The uniqueness of the ingredients results in a unique taste, which is why this food joint is a must-visit!
Chez Panisse was opened by Alice Waters back in 1971 and is believed to have made the California cuisine international. Located in Berkeley, the 47-year-old location still preserves the original kitchen. Because of Chez Panisse, the neighborhood was quickly named Gourmet Ghetto.
The unique eating experience at Chez Panisse includes their fixed menu made with ingredients from local food producers. Meals include pancetta, Hog Island clams, braised green garlic, sweet peas, porcini mushrooms, and Grilled Wolfe Ranch quail with sage.
Chez Panisse will not disappoint you if you are on a budget, as Monday nights, the restaurant features a simpler menu. The price is comparatively lower, and the eatery located upstairs called The Café follows suit.
Ironside Fish & Oyster
Located in San Diego, this restaurant is nothing like the name implies! Ironside Fish & Oyster is located in hip Little Italy with a picturesque interior fit for a fashion shoot. The funny signs and piranha skeletons painted on the walls make this the “it” place to be.
Besides the fun interior, the seafood menu has endless options! Rich uni toast, fresh oysters, and Spanish-style octopus are just some of the options. The local cocktail company of San Diego Consortium Holdings runs the place giving their guests the option to pair the meal with their favorite drinks.
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch
If you love the countryside where you can enjoy nature with great food and wine tasting, this is the place to be. Located at St. Helena, Farmstead has a great menu that pleases the crowd. The location is great with an organic farm, edible garden, and live music as well.
The BBQ and smoked ribs are a hit menu item that fits well with the surroundings. This is served with green apple slaw. The ingredients used in every meal are from their ranches, like the grass-fed steak tartare and farm eggs.
Gjusta is located in Los Angeles, and it is one of the best eateries for brunch. The restaurant looks like a warehouse with whitewashed walls, but the ambiance is quite upscale. Illuminated with high ceiling skylights, the patrons are always ready to welcome the guests warmly.
Gjusta is a high-end deli and a bakery, which can be seen by the cabinets and a wooden counter with freshly baked goods. The eating experience is another great thing about this restaurant. You order at the counter, then grab your coffee and wait for the food to be served on the canopied courtyard patio.
The Marshall Store
The beautiful seafront location of The Marshall Store in Tomales Bay perfectly captures the essence of the place. You can enjoy the gentle ocean breeze over the sound of gentle waves while you enjoy mouth-watering seafood.
The oysters at The Marshall Store are sourced from a farm nearby and are served raw with mignonette. Other options include grilling them with several varieties of toppings. The salmon here is also a great option that is smoked to perfection.
Taste the Best of the Golden State!
California is a dream state, and when it comes to food, it is leading the race in the country. With so many options and opportunities to taste unique cuisines, California does offer a lot! Next time you are in the state, make sure you do not miss these food joints! The owners of most of these food joints are professional chefs with some Michelin stars in their bags.
Isn’t this enough evidence to convince food lovers to try California?