Top-Level Restaurants | Visit California

Chef Alice Waters and her group of idealistic friends did not attempt to start a movement when they opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1971; they just wanted to do things right, which meant using organic, seasonal and sustainably grown ingredients. It's hard to open a menu without meeting the buzzwords of today, but make no mistake: Berkeley's iconic restaurant, which is still growing, was the first spark of the current widespread idea of ​​selling fresh, local, and direct foods from the producer to the table. Other good examples are the Gather community tables, also in Berkeley, or Farmshop in Marin County, Zazu (Sonoma County) in Sonoma County, Farm House Inn & Restaurant (Forestville) and Terrapin Creek (Bodega Bay). Also in the east of the bay, Oakland has emerged as a hotbed of innovative chefs and restaurants, such as Commis and Haven.

More news: Being Healthy

In San Francisco, it is virtually impossible not to eat well. There are Michelin-rated dining options, ranging from Atelier Crenn to Zuni Cafe. Find some of the fashionable eating places on Valencia Street in the Mission District where you'll see a huge variety of chic bars and restaurants and almost every type of international cuisine and also an incredible ice cream at Bi-Rite, Mitchell's o Cream. The neighborhoods of Little Italy and Jackson Square have more wonderful options, like Bix and Quince with Michelin stars.

But with all these new trends, there is still something to be said about the San Francisco classics: Boudin's crunchy sourdough (first baked in 1849), the martini (which debuted in 1850), Irish coffee ( perfected in 1952 in the Buena Vista Café where this coffee is still served) and the eternal steamed Dungeness crab dipped in melted butter.

  • Adam Floyd