A Food Tour of Northern California
Collected by Jenna Francisco, AFAR Local Expert
Northern California is a mecca for food-lovers. The land makes a great place to grow all kinds of food products, from almonds and walnuts to wine grapes, from olives to all kinds of fruit and vegetables. There are also many excellent cheese makers, wineries, and sustainable farms. This means that restaurants can get a variety of locally-grown ingredients and provide seasonal menus that showcase only the freshest foods available.
2007 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818, USA
With a menu full of unusual entree names like "Limitless Compassion" and "Awakening of Faith," you know this restaurant is not your average place. Andy Nguyen's has been in Sacramento for a long time, happily serving fresh vegan food in an...
2801 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA
Biba has long been one of Sacramento's finest restaurants and, despite some serious competition in the city's growing food scene, it still holds its place at the top. It has endured for 27 years by sticking to what it does best: simple, fresh,...
610 1st St #9, Napa, CA 94558, USA
I have a thing for authentic Italian food, and this place quickly won me over. Ca' Momi is housed in the foodie lover's Oxbow Public Market just across the river from Downtown Napa. It's a combination of winbar, where you can get small plates and...
2726 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA
Sacramento has been called the Farm-to-Fork capital of the U.S. because of its location, surrounded by farmland that brims with high-quality produce, nuts, wine grapes, and livestock. Cafe Bernardo takes advantage of the area's bounty by using...
7250 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
I had been to the almost-too-cute village Carmel by the Sea a few times but never to the neighboring Carmel Valley. On my last trip to the area, I decided to take a drive through Carmel Valley and just explore. As I drove through the hills and...
1321 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
From chocolate cabernet sauce on ice cream to freshly made brittles and exquisite chocolates, Anette's Chocolate and Ice Cream shop in Downtown Napa is the place to indulge in Napa when you want a little break from wine. The shop is reminiscent of...
1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
It was my first dinner out in Downtown Napa (the new place to be in Napa Valley), and it set the bar very high for the rest of my stay. My dinner at Oenotri was one of the best I've ever had. From the salad of beets, arugula, and oranges, the...
1400 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
All Seasons Bistro is easy to walk by without noticing, but those who eat there are treated to an excellent dining experience in Napa Valley, one of the very best areas to eat in the United States. This restaurant has been here for 30 years, on a...
610 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Think of the Oxbow like a high-end shopping mall for food and wine. On the east side of the Napa River, the market brings together a number of epicurean purveyors under one roof (well, technically, it’s three different roofs). The result:...
4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
Outerlands is an Outer Sunset institution. The small restaurant near Ocean Beach serves local, organic cuisine in a rustic-chic setting. Covered floor-to-ceiling in warm, rough-hewn wood, the interior invites lingering over an artisan cocktail or...
3674 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
18 Reasons is a new type of community center—one that connects San Franciscans to food and food to community. The goal is to they teach San Franciscans how to cook and eat together. Run by the locally famous Bi-Rite organization in the heart of...
San Francisco, CA, USA
Consistently rated one of the best food trucks in San Francisco, The Chairman is a culinary delight! They have a small menu of steamed and baked buns with exotic fillings (including a great vegetarian offering), but everything is unique,...
610 1st St #22, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Napa Valley has so much to offer that as a local, sometimes you find hidden gems within your own backyard. On our way out of the valley and into SF last night we decided to stop by the Oxbow Market in downtown Napa until traffic subsided. We were...
21047 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville, CA 95441, USA
Catelli's Restaurant sits on the 2-block main drag of the tiny town of Geyserville in Northern California. This town is part of the wine country that runs north-south through the Alexander Valley. Even though the town and its run-down structures...
933 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
The line for burgers and fries at Gott's Roadside (formerly Taylor's Refresher and don't you forget it) in St. Helena can be ridiculous in the afternoon, but if you go in the morning, you'll have your choice of picnic tables—either in front...
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