California is a state that offers a plethora of experiences, from the hustle and bustle of the big cities to the tranquility of its rural areas. But one thing that all Californians have in common is their love for good food. From San Diego to San Francisco, the Golden State has some of the best restaurants in the world, offering a unique blend of flavors and ingredients that make it one of the most sought-after culinary destinations. The lowest city on the list in California is Moreno.
Just three hours from Sacramento, Mendocino County is an ideal day trip. With miles and miles of ocean and abundant park life, there's always something to do, and if there isn't, Mendocino's famous zinfandel ensures that there's always something to drink. Here you'll find eco-friendly inns and accommodations, restaurants that support local producers, and parks that show their love for local musicians: they care about the land and the people of the Earth, because both things deserve to be preserved, down to the smallest detail. One of the best examples of this culinary culture can be found in Café Beaujolais, which offers an extensive list of local wines from Mendocino and France.
Café Beaujolais has found a way to combine flavors, both hyperlocal and from the farthest from French, in a clean, white plate. With the added benefits of a splash of olive oil imported from Spain and local fish caught online, these dishes won't leave any visitor hungry. Solvang is a purely Californian city that seems to have been taken straight out of Denmark. This small town is distinguished by its unique architecture, quirky small restaurants, rustic windmills and local businesses that owe their heritage to a migration of Danish Americans from Iowa who established the Solvang settlement in the early 20th century.
Located in the Santa Ynez Valley and next to the Santa Barbara Valley, the area is known for its wineries. In the city center you can find more than 150 independent shops and art galleries to stroll through, as well as a dozen wine tasting rooms and a significant number of restaurants, cafes and bars. Perhaps the best snack in Californian Denmark is at the Solvang restaurant, which specializes in Aebleskiver, which is a traditional Danish pancake with a spherical shape that is served with jam of various flavors or sprinkled with sugar. Bodega Bay is another great destination for foodies. With its miles and kilometers of beaches, its annual seafood and fishing festivals, its varied aquatic fauna and its markets and restaurants selling fresh fish from the ocean, a weekend getaway has never been so free or so tasty.
Like most of its Central Coast neighbors, Bodega Bay has some of the best wines in the world, and the combination of food and drink never works as magically as at Terrapin Creek Café, which specializes in exclusive dining in an informal setting. With its dog-friendly patio and sunny indoor dining room, Terrapin Creek Café is a favorite among locals. They are committed to serving local, seasonal produce and high-quality, responsibly sourced meats and work with farmers in the Bay Area. The final product is an exclusive and ingeniously prepared dish of raw or cooked seafood and simple, comforting food paired with hand-selected local wines. If you're looking for an unforgettable dining experience in California then look no further than Addison in San Diego's Carmel Valley.
As the only Michelin-starred restaurant in San Diego (it has two), Addison offers a sophisticated take on California cuisine with its nine-course dining experience that celebrates Southern California's rich culinary heritage and the best ingredients. An extensive wine list that highlights the state's best offerings only enhances a night of exploring the Golden State through food and drink. The eponymous dining establishment inside Taj Campton Place also offers an unforgettable dining experience that combines old world practices with those of California with flavors and soul from The Spice Route. Guests can enjoy an eclectic variety of dishes from a four- or six-course tasting menu as well as excellent accompaniments from 1500 best wine brands from around the world from their acclaimed winery. It won't take long to discover how chef Srijith Gopinathan has earned this place nine Michelin stars for nine consecutive years - currently two - as well as incredibly elegant interiors inspired by India's best. Finally, Mélisse in Los Angeles offers an intimate dining experience like no other.
This two-Michelin star institution can accommodate just 14 people and exudes romantic charm from its elegant atmosphere to its open kitchen full of delicacies. A night at Mélisse lasts two and a half hours with eight-course tasting menus that highlight flavors from around the world using classic and modern culinary techniques. Chef Josiah Citrin is dedicated to sourcing California's best ingredients from San Diego to Napa Valley so every bite allows guests to take advantage of all that California has to offer.