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California Deemed America’s Best Place to Eat

Eater levels its highest praise on the Golden State in a new dining guide

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Posted 3 years agoby Jessica Marshall

California already had a pretty impressive culinary reputation, but it can’t get much better than renowned foodie site Eater calling it “hands down the best place to eat in America.”

The proclamation was Eater’s not-so-subtle way of introducing its new food guide to the “totally fantastical state of California.” The popular blog says it sent its national critic to dine, speak to culinary experts, and explore the state for two months to compile the best picture of the good eats in the Golden State. Here’s a taste of the praise:

“Obscenely wonderful produce is abundant year-round, but there are also peerless sushi bars and Sichuan restaurants and kebab shops and beach burger shacks and prix fixe palaces and pho specialists and bread bakeries and chaat shops and French bistros and tacos — lo, the tacos!” the Eater staff writes. “This is where even toast sparked a national obsession.”

Eater’s guide includes a list of 38 essential restaurants (Chez Panisse and Taco María made the cut, to name a few), and an exploration of the impressive array of international cuisine offered up and down the state. Some highlights include a profile of the Mexican food scene along a stretch of Highway 99 from Bakersfield to Sacramento, as well the historic ranch cuisine of the Central Coast, and Orange County’s Little Saigon. It attempts to unravel the mysterious origins of the spiciest pepper in the country, the Fresno chili, and catalogue the vastness of quality fast-food offerings in Los Angeles County.

The guide is further broken down into region, and includes advice on where you can stay and what else you can do while you’re eating your way across the state.

If that’s not enough to tantalize your taste buds, try this list of culinary attractions in California.

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