Jane Ko, the blogger behind A Taste of Koko, recently dined at 15 amazing California restaurants on a culinary road trip through Calistoga, Chico, and Sacramento. With January’s California Restaurant Month in full swing, visitors to these regions can try some of the state’s best cuisine at bargain prices thanks to prix-fixe deals and special menus. We asked the foodie to share highlights from her trip below.
1. What was the top highlight of your trip to California?
Definitely wine tasting and the geothermal pools in Calistoga. Soaking in the pools with gorgeous mountain views was a magical experience.
2. Which restaurants and dishes stood out to you?
3. What was your Napa Valley wine tasting experience like?
Castello di Amorosa is this stunning castle with rows and rows of vineyards—it's unbelievable that there's a medieval castle in the middle of wine country! I highly recommend doing the wine and cheese tasting there.
4. Why do you suggest visiting Butte County?
Butte County is such a cute and under-the-radar area with local coffee shops and restaurants. The drive into Butte County is very scenic with orchards of almond and walnut trees.
5. Where would you recommend eating in the Butte County area?
Loved our meal at Momona—it's a local restaurant that serves Japanese noodles, Taiwanese bao, and Hawaiian poke.
6. Sacramento has become a hot dining destination—where did you eat while you were there?
I had happy hour at Tiger, brunch at The Porch, lunch at Hook & Ladder, and dessert at Milk Money. If I lived in Sacramento, I would probably be a regular at Tiger—the appetizers and cocktails are so good! [I loved] dining on The Porch and soaking up the California sunshine. I was surprised by how walkable Sacramento was!
7. Which picture or social media post best sums up your trip and why?
[See above.] I love local food and meeting new people!
8. What would you recommend to other food lovers visiting California?
If you like wine, you're going to love Calistoga because you can actually experience and visit the wineries that produce the wine. Butte County has a diverse selection of cuisine and Sacramento has more chic options.