Top things to do

Pizza in Merced

Little Oven Pizza

Turning out picture-perfect, New York–style thin crust, this tidy downtown spot offers daily specials and makes a quick, cheap option. The Pesto Bango – a pesto, garlic and mushroom combination – is delicious. Like …
Bar in Merced

17th Street Public House

This haven for serious beer drinkers has an excellent and often-updated rotation of taps and a huge selection of bottles.
Museum in Merced

Castle Air Museum

Aerospace buffs will enjoy strolling down the rows of vintage military aircraft, ranging from pre-WWII to the present, on former Air Force base grounds. Military mechanics volunteer their time restoring these planes…
Steak in Merced

Branding Iron

The Branding Iron roadhouse, a favorite of ranchers in the area, has been spruced up a bit for the tour buses, but locals still dig the hearty steak platters and Western atmosphere. Presiding over the dining room is…
Thai in Merced

New Thai Cuisine

Hardly the fanciest digs in town – just four bare walls and a few tables – but this downtown Thai restaurant makes an excellent combination pho soup, sweet-and-savory honey sesame wings and a nice duck curry.