Sample tantalising local and international cuisine in California
You can get just about any food you want in California. Whether it’s Mexican, Italian, French, Chinese, Indian or Japanese, you can eat your way around the world, and you’re never far from a good restaurant. And with such an abundance of produce from land and sea, it’s no surprise that there’s a fantastic array of dishes on offer, and of course, plenty of excellent varieties of Californian wine to wash it all down with.
Seafood: Thanks to its oceanic currents, the seas off the Californian coast are teeming with life, so there are some excellent seafood options – everything from sea urchin and abalone to Dungeness crab, lobster and salmon. Places to try great Californian seafood include Scoma’s, in Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, Sardine Factory in Monterey, and The Crab Cooker in Newport Beach. Splash Cafe in Pismo Beach serves more than 20,000 gallons of its clam chowder every year.
International cuisine: Over the years, people from all over the world have settled in California, so it’s no surprise you can find cuisine from many countries. Highly regarded restaurants in California include Asanebo, in Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, for Japanese; Kokkari Estiatorio, in Jackson Street, San Francisco, for Greek; Madeo, in Beverly Blvd, LA, for Italian; Supannee House of Thai, in Shelter Island Drive, San Diego; and Nopalitos, in H Street, Sacramento, for Mexican.
Fusion cuisine: California’s cuisine is influenced by many international cuisines. For example there’s the California pizza, which uses non-traditional topping ingredients – anything from scallops to pate to zucchini flowers. Good places to try fusion cooking include The Slanted Door in San Francisco, and Nobu in Malibu.
Fast food: Of course, an easy dining option is to head to one of California’s ubiquitous fast food joints – which are also influenced by cuisine from around the world. There are the burger joints, of course, but tacos, hot dogs, ribs, pizza, chicken and many other options are available. There are drive-thrus all over the state, so if you’re feeling peckish, just keep heading along the highway and you’ll soon find something.