Restaurants

Top Choice Basque in Bakersfield

Noriega's

Surly Basque gentlemen pass the communal wine carafes at Bakersfield’s family-style Basque institution. The fixed menu includes a procession of dishes leading to silky oxtail stew, ribs and amazing garlic fried chic…
Californian in Lodi

Towne House Restaurant

The bright, crisply designed on-site restaurant of Wine & Roses draws on locally sourced ingredients in an elegant preparation. There's often live jazz in the evening in the adjoining lounge, which pours cocktai…
Chicken in Stockton

Smitty’s Wings & Things

This checker-tiled neighborhood wing joint is run by a former NFL player and his wife, who turn out perfectly crispy wings (which were recently featured on the Food Network) and pizzas. They have specials every day …
Brew Pub in Fresno

Rocket Dog Gourmet Brats & Brew

Sure, something like 'Hansel's Heaven' – a bratwurst served on a pretzel roll and covered in mac 'n' cheese – isn't health food, but this excellent, ultra-efficient brewpub is the perfect highway pit stop if you're …
Filipino in Stockton

Papa Urb's Grill

Filipino flavors drive the menu of fusion fast food at this bright cafe: there's adobo and longanisa (Filipino pork sausage) in many of the typically Mexican presentations. If you want to expand your horizons, go fo…
Italian in Bakersfield

Luigi’s

Lined with black-and-white photos of sporting legends, this amazing lunch spot has been around for over 100 years. The stuffed chicken melts in your mouth and the excellent bakery turns out soft, buttery rolls and a…
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 …
Cafe in Bakersfield

Cafe Smitten

This bright cafe in the heart of downtown has a great vibe, serving lighter fare, such as a savory 'avocado smash' sandwich, and buttery pastries. It has excellent coffee drinks and a sunny patio that attracts a fun…
American in Modesto

Commonwealth

Elegant without being stuffy, there's a great selection of local wine and indulgent sandwiches at this downtown spot (try the M80, which joins jalapeño fried chicken and thick bacon). In the morning, it serves pictu…
American in Lodi

Dancing Fox Winery & Bakery

Everything here celebrates grapes – from the Lewis Family Estate's own wines to the bread cultures created from the vineyard's petite sirah grapes. The best selections from the overly broad menu involve the wood-bur…