A welcome addition to the mix of college eateries surrounding Humboldt State University in the town of Arcata, just north of Eureka. Here, Folie Douce presents a hearty menu focusing on sustainable and organic ingredients. Think locally sourced American staples complemented with global flavors—wasabi steak with jasmine rice and Asian greens and Israeli-spiced black cod with roasted faro. Once a month, the restaurant prepares a gourmet prix fixe menu that benefits the region’s public schools.
For dinner in an especially romantic coastal setting, venture north of Mendocino to the tiny village of Albion, and the deceptively simple Ledford House Restaurant. This is the kind of place you’ll probably want to hang out in for hours, watching the sun go down over the ocean as you sip local wines and dine on Provencal-style dishes. There’s plenty to keep you warm and well-fueled—nothing much better than digging into a packed-full seafood stew or a rich cassoulet after a long hike along the ocean bluffs or in a redwood forest.