Traditional recipes

Sacramento is One of America’s Most Overlooked Food Cities

Sacramento is One of America’s Most Overlooked Food Cities

Sacramento has clean food movement that deserves more renown

Having never visited California before, I expected what many other East Coast residents do: that the whole state was by and large the same. Another journalist covering the food festivities at the recent Sacramento Farm-To-Fork Festival, who was a Sacramento native, was all too familiar with this misplaced sentiment of his home. While the weather is the same, ideal growing conditions for produce and almost year round sun, the city of Sacramento is cut from a very different cloth than its sister cities. The state capital is in fact the largest agricultural producer in the nation! This begs the question: why hasn’t this place been flagged as a foodie hotspot yet?

I’m aware we are all sick of the phrase “farm-to-table” and all variations of it, but the Farm to Fork Festival really takes the movement to another level. There are over eighty vendors involved, and it gets bigger every year. And the best part? Don’t expect to see handcrafted soap vendors and art stations; this event is purely food focused. Sure there are interactive stations for kids, like the potted plant area where they teach the young folk how to plant and care for their own squash, but everything has a message rooted in food (pun intended).

One of the farmers’ markets that contributes to festivities like this (and provides a majority of the produce for surrounding restaurants), happens to be the largest California Certified farmers’ market in the state. Not a surprising fact when you find out that no major city in America is more centrally located amid such a vast range of high-quality farms, ranches, and vineyards. Sacramento’s Mediterranean climate produces some of the nation’s most diverse and high-quality crops year-round. So residents here never have to go without perfectly ripe strawberries or tomatoes. What a life! And all you almond milk drinkers can thank California for your creamy dairy-free drinks; the state supplies eighty percent of the world’s almonds, and Sacramento-based company Blue Diamond is the largest almond processor worldwide.

With this impressive resume of (yes, I’m going to say it) farm-to-table ethics, it’s a wonder how Sacramento has been cast in the shadow of cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. While there is plenty that these sunny cities offer, Sacramento is a secret that not many seem to know about yet. If you’re not interested in farming your own food, I recommend taking a trip to Sacramento. This is the freshest food you can find without having to buy an acre of land and fertilizing your own avocados.


50 Things to Eat in California Before You Die

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

California natives will tell you that there’s no place better than California and people from all other states will tell you that there’s no better place to visit than California. Because not only does California have golden beaches and endless sunshine, it also has some of the best food out there. There’s a reason why so many California restaurants have been featured on “before you die” type bucket lists, with the most recent being Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

But with so many amazing places to eat, how can you even possibly know where to begin? That’s where this list comes in clutch. We’ve compiled this handy guide of the fifty best things to eat in California — perfect for both locals and visitors alike. Enjoy, and happy eating!

1. Any Dog at Pink’s Hot Dogs

Photo courtesy of Huishi L on yelp.com

Normal hot dogs are boring. Pink’s hot dogs are epic. They’re named after infamous celebrities and are topped with anything from bacon to sour cream to nacho cheese.

2. A Fully Topped Donut at California Donuts

Photo courtesy of Sheila A on yelp.com

California Donuts also proves that Californians love their toppings. While there’s a good selection of your normal sprinkle and maple bacon donuts, this famous donut shop also has must-try cereal and candy-topped donuts.

3. Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles

Photo courtesy of expatthought on Tumblr

Roscoe’s is the only place to have the classic chicken and waffle combo. With chains all around California, you have no excuse not to hit one up.

4. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese at Eggslut

The only thing slutty about this place is the amount of yolk porn you’ll see from every single egg dish.

5. Godmother from Bay Cities

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Good Italian subs are hard to find in California, but Bay Cities has got you covered. Pick one up for your next beach day — the Godmother is their best-selling one.

6. Animal Style Anything from In-N-Out Burger

Photo courtesy of fastfoodlover21 on Tumblr

The not-so-secret “secret” menu at In-n-Out includes both animal-style fries and an animal-style burger. Either one is good — or both, if you love that animal sauce.

7. Breakfast Burrito at Tacos Villa Corona

Photo courtesy of @welikela on Instagram

Nobody makes breakfast burritos like Californians do. This little hole-in-the-wall taco shop beats all the competition with its perfect combination of egg, potato and chorizo.

8. Custom Crêpe from Harajuku Crêpe

Photo courtesy of Chris C on yelp.com

Parisians aren’t the only ones who can make an awesome crêpe. Harajuku Crêpes is a Japanese crêpe place that lets you customize your own crêpe, and has options for add-ins ranging from sesame ice cream to mochi. Added bonus — everything is organic.

9. Açai Bowl from Banzai Bowls

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Açai bowls may have originated in Brazil and first became popular in Hawaii, but they’re still a SoCal favorite. Topped with fruit and superfoods, you’ll feel healthy and fit right in as you stroll down the streets of Santa Monica.

10. Poke from Sweetfin Poke

Photo courtesy of Amy C on yelp.com

Poke is another Hawaiian favorite that Californians have adopted. Though nothing can beat true Hawaiian poke, Sweetfin comes pretty damn close.

11. California Burrito from Nico’s Mexican Food

Photo courtesy of burritosofsandiego on Tumblr

If you haven’t had fries in a burrito, you haven’t truly lived. This San Diego classic takes normal burritos to a whole new level and is a perfect post-beach meal.

12. Seafood Burrito from El Zarape

Photo courtesy of Allison J on yelp.com

San Diegans sure know how to do a burrito right. Instead of fish tacos, make sure to try a seafood burrito in San Diego — it’s much more filling and is better than your typical carne asada burrito.

13. Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

Photo courtesy of Matt De Turk on flickr.com

The beauty of this cheeseburger in its simplicity. It’s juicy and and sinful and everything a burger should be.

14. Carne Asada Tater Tots from Bull Taco

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Carne asada tater tots are carb-y bowls of goodness — an upgrade to the classic carne asada fries.

15. Churros from Disneyland

Photo courtesy of disneychurros on Tumblr

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and their churros will make you the happiest person on earth.

16. Tacos Al Pastor (Adobada) from Tacos el Gordo de Tijuana B.C.

Photo courtesy of Andrew S yelp.com

This Chula Vista place serves the most authentic tacos north of the border. The adobada is carved off a massive spit and plopped into warm corn tortillas topped with special sauce. Heaven.

17. The Rebel Within from Craftsman and Wolves

Photo courtesy of Lin Lin S on yelp.com

Surprise yolk porn is the best yolk porn. Just cut into this savory muffin and you’ll see.

18. Matt Cain Sandwich from Ike’s Place

Photo courtesy of @tylertsd on Instagram

Go to Ike’s and you’ll be guaranteed a full and satisfied stomach. Any of their sandwiches are good (it is a famous place, after all), but the Matt Cain has three different types of meat, automatically making it one of our top choices.

19. Sushirrito from Sushirrito

Photo courtesy of Nancy L on yelp.com

California is the land of the burritos, apparently. And the birthplace of the infamous sushirrito, aka everything that’s good about sushi wrapped up in a burrito body.

20. Carne Asada Super Burrito from La Taqueria

Photo courtesy of Mani B on yelp.com

SoCal may have the best California burritos, but NorCal has the best classic burritos. La Taqueria does it the authentic way, with no rice and lots of guac.

21. Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie

Photo courtesy of Alex P on yelp.com

If you’re ever in San Francisco, hitting up the Embarcadero market is the first thing you should do. Find the red tent and get in line to get these porchetta sandwiches — we promise you won’t regret it. And if you’re looking for a more carb-heavy meal (aren’t we always?), get the potatoes as well.

22. Secret Breakfast from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Breakfast in ice cream form? Um yes. While the ingredients of this ice cream may be a secret (hint: it contains whiskey and cornflakes), the fact that it’s one of the most popular ice cream flavors in California definitely isn’t.

23. Mint Mojito Coffee from Philz Coffee

Photo courtesy of Philz Coffee on facebook.com

There’s not actually any alcohol in this coffee (sorry), but it’s the most unique coffee you’ll ever taste. They put actual mint leaves in, giving your coffee an instant pick-me-up.

24. All You Can Eat KBBQ from Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Steph S on yelp.com

AYCE KBBQ > any buffet you’ve ever been to in your life. Just pay a set price and you get as many plates of meat as you want, as well as many side dishes as you want.

#SpoonTip: Don’t order more than you can eat — they charge $15 for unfinished meat.

25. Pork Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Din Tai Fung

Photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung on Facebook

This famous Taiwanese chain has moved to the US, which is a win for people who love soup dumplings. Which, to be honest, should be everyone. Thin skin, flavorful broth, and quality meat makes Din Tai Fun’s xiao long bao a definite dim sum must-try.

26. Garlic Knots from C&O Trattoria

Photo courtesy of cotrattoria.com

Garlic lovers, you have to try this. These garlic knots are like garlic bread on steroids: warm, fluffy, and wonderfully flavored with lots of garlic.

27. Ramen from Daikokuya

Photo courtesy of aisforaftan.wordpress.com

Perfectly chewy noodles and a rich, flavorful broth makes Daikokuya’s ramen the best in LA and subsequently, California.

28. Omusubi from Sunny Blue

Photo courtesy of Jay B on yelp.com

What’s not to love about a place that has the tagline “this little place has balls”? Sunny Blue specializes in Japanese onmusubi (also known as onigiri), which are filled rice balls. Any of the balls are a good choice, though the miso beef is one of the most popular choices.

29. Fish Tacos from Ricky’s Fish Tacos

Photo courtesy of Roland L on yelp.com

Fish tacos are a California beach classic. With so many options, you can’t really go wrong eating them anywhere in California. But Ricky’s has been dubbed the “best fish taco” from Serious Eats and LA Weekly, to name a few.

30. Sushi Combination from Sushi Ota

Photo courtesy of John Pastor on flickr.com

Don’t let the strip mall location fool you. Sushi Ota has the best sushi in San Diego, and arguably some of the best sushi in the state. Plus, you can try live uni if you’re feeling adventurous.

31. Self-serve Boba from Class 302

Move over, self-serve fro yo. Self-serve boba is here, fulfilling all boba addicts’ dreams. You can customize your drink to your heart’s content, which is great for just about anyone.

#SpoonTip: Check out the do’s and don’ts of self-serve boba here.

32. Umami Burger from Umami Burger

Photo courtesy of umamiburger on Tumblr

“Umami” means a flavor with a distinct, pleasant savory taste, and the aptly named Umami Burger chain has burgers with unique combinations that will fulfill your umami receptors. Although all their options are interesting, go with the classic Umami Burger for your first time (Parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami ketchup) — it will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds.

33. Half Chicken from Zankou Chicken

Photo courtesy of Dikran I on yelp.com

Hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken. Not hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken and share. It’s crispy and crunchy and will make you rethink your previous concept of chicken.

34. Local Beer from Telegraph Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Telegraph Brewing Co. on yelp.com

Though California is known for its Napa Valley wines, beer lovers should know that the locally brewed craft beers are something worth trying as well. Telegraph has seasonal beers as well as classic beers, all of which are made with locally sourced ingredients.

35. Green Tea Latte from Urth Caffe

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

This matcha latte is probably one of the most Instagrammed photos by anyone who has been to or lived in SoCal, and for good reason. It looks artsy and is made with care from ceremonial-grade matcha from a family farm in Japan.

36. Macarons from Bottega Louie

Photo courtesy of John L on yelp.com

Bottega Louie has food, but don’t even bother. Just go for the rainbow macarons — get a box.

37. Baby Back Ribs from Phil’s BBQ

Photo courtesy of Phil’s BBQ on yelp.com

You don’t need to go to Texas for barbecue — Phil’s was not only on Thrillist’s Best BBQ in America, but also was recently featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

38. Praise the Lard from The Waffle Experience

Photo courtesy of Eric C on yelp.com

Sacramento is one of the most underrated food cities in California. But with restaurants like The Waffle Experience, it has recently come into the spotlight. The local cafe features creatively named waffle combinations like Farmer in the Dell, Praise the Lard, and Eggcellent. We suggest that anyone who has a hankering for pork belly go for Praise the Lard, which has cider-braised pork belly, a farm fresh egg, burrata cheese, a lard-stuffed waffle, maple syrup, and on-the-vine tomatoes.

39. Mac ‘n Cheetos from The Attic

Photo courtesy of Ivana T on yelp.com

Literally the stuff of college student dreams.

40. Oysters from Hog Island Oysters

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

They grow, harvest, shuck, and shell their own oysters, so the oysters are always unbelievably fresh. You can find them in Napa or in San Fran, but we recommend that you visit their farm at Marshall for the full experience.

41. Cioppino from Sotto Mare

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cioppino is a tomato stew filled with seafood and pasta — aka the perfect meal no matter what the weather or your mood. You can’t get much more authentic than Sotto Mare, which is right in the heart of San Francisco’s Italian North Beach.

42. Short Rib Tacos from Kogi BBQ Truck

Photo courtesy of Michael S on yelp.com

Not only did Kogi BBQ basically begin the food truck craze, but they also began the Asian fusion craze with their Korean-Mexican dishes.

43. Carbonara Pizza from Pizzeria Delfina

Photo courtesy of Yuestudio Y on yelp.com

If you thought carbonara only works as a type of pasta, think again. Thanks to Pizzeria Delfina, you can now enjoy it in a pizza form, runny egg and all.

44. Dry Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung’s

Photo courtesy of Amy T on yelp.com

Chinese food is a big part of Californian cuisine. So instead of KFC or Chick-Fil-A, we have Sam Tung’s to satisfy our fried chicken cravings.

45. Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe

Photo courtesy of Blu Jam Cafe on yelp.com

No one loves brunch as much as Californians do, and with places like Blu Jam, that’s no surprise. They have everything from the healthy to the decadent, and it’s all Instagram-worthy.

#SpoonTip: They serve breakfast all day and offer vegan and gluten-free options, so there’s really no losing by going here.

46. House Meat Pie at Beijing Pie House

Photo courtesy of Chris H on yelp.com

There are dumplings and there are steamed bao, and then there are Beijing Pie House’s meat pies. Filled with the traditional dumpling fillings, these savory pies fit perfectly into your hand and taste wonderful in your mouth.

47. Chocolate Bouchons from Bouchon Bakery

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

New York has their fair share of famous bakeries, but that doesn’t mean that California’s desserts should be overlooked. Bouchon Bakery is famous for its innovative and gorgeous pastries, especially their decadent chocolate bouchons.

48. Whole Snook from Coni’Seafood

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Jonathon Gold ate this, so you probably should too. Snook is rarely seen in the states, so it’s definitely a specialty.

#SpoonTip: Gold recommends trying the triple-spicy guac with this. We agree.

49. The Bambu Special from Bambu

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Irvine is the Asian food hub, so it only makes sense that the most unique Asian food is found there. Bambu takes desserts one step further with its traditional Vietnamese Chè (sweet beverages, desserts, and drinks). They have a smashed avocado drink for die-hard avo lovers, but for everyone else, we recommend the Bambu Special, which is made with fresh coconut juice with longan, basil seed, coconut meat, and pandan jelly.

50. Julian Apple Pie from Julian Pie Company

Photo courtesy of Julie K at yelp.com

One of the most famous pie places in California, the Julian Pie Company grows their own apples and retains the original traditions from when they first started, making it a cozy, homey place to grab a slice of pie. Though based out of Julian, you can now find their pies in San Diego and Riverside as well.


50 Things to Eat in California Before You Die

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

California natives will tell you that there’s no place better than California and people from all other states will tell you that there’s no better place to visit than California. Because not only does California have golden beaches and endless sunshine, it also has some of the best food out there. There’s a reason why so many California restaurants have been featured on “before you die” type bucket lists, with the most recent being Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

But with so many amazing places to eat, how can you even possibly know where to begin? That’s where this list comes in clutch. We’ve compiled this handy guide of the fifty best things to eat in California — perfect for both locals and visitors alike. Enjoy, and happy eating!

1. Any Dog at Pink’s Hot Dogs

Photo courtesy of Huishi L on yelp.com

Normal hot dogs are boring. Pink’s hot dogs are epic. They’re named after infamous celebrities and are topped with anything from bacon to sour cream to nacho cheese.

2. A Fully Topped Donut at California Donuts

Photo courtesy of Sheila A on yelp.com

California Donuts also proves that Californians love their toppings. While there’s a good selection of your normal sprinkle and maple bacon donuts, this famous donut shop also has must-try cereal and candy-topped donuts.

3. Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles

Photo courtesy of expatthought on Tumblr

Roscoe’s is the only place to have the classic chicken and waffle combo. With chains all around California, you have no excuse not to hit one up.

4. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese at Eggslut

The only thing slutty about this place is the amount of yolk porn you’ll see from every single egg dish.

5. Godmother from Bay Cities

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Good Italian subs are hard to find in California, but Bay Cities has got you covered. Pick one up for your next beach day — the Godmother is their best-selling one.

6. Animal Style Anything from In-N-Out Burger

Photo courtesy of fastfoodlover21 on Tumblr

The not-so-secret “secret” menu at In-n-Out includes both animal-style fries and an animal-style burger. Either one is good — or both, if you love that animal sauce.

7. Breakfast Burrito at Tacos Villa Corona

Photo courtesy of @welikela on Instagram

Nobody makes breakfast burritos like Californians do. This little hole-in-the-wall taco shop beats all the competition with its perfect combination of egg, potato and chorizo.

8. Custom Crêpe from Harajuku Crêpe

Photo courtesy of Chris C on yelp.com

Parisians aren’t the only ones who can make an awesome crêpe. Harajuku Crêpes is a Japanese crêpe place that lets you customize your own crêpe, and has options for add-ins ranging from sesame ice cream to mochi. Added bonus — everything is organic.

9. Açai Bowl from Banzai Bowls

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Açai bowls may have originated in Brazil and first became popular in Hawaii, but they’re still a SoCal favorite. Topped with fruit and superfoods, you’ll feel healthy and fit right in as you stroll down the streets of Santa Monica.

10. Poke from Sweetfin Poke

Photo courtesy of Amy C on yelp.com

Poke is another Hawaiian favorite that Californians have adopted. Though nothing can beat true Hawaiian poke, Sweetfin comes pretty damn close.

11. California Burrito from Nico’s Mexican Food

Photo courtesy of burritosofsandiego on Tumblr

If you haven’t had fries in a burrito, you haven’t truly lived. This San Diego classic takes normal burritos to a whole new level and is a perfect post-beach meal.

12. Seafood Burrito from El Zarape

Photo courtesy of Allison J on yelp.com

San Diegans sure know how to do a burrito right. Instead of fish tacos, make sure to try a seafood burrito in San Diego — it’s much more filling and is better than your typical carne asada burrito.

13. Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

Photo courtesy of Matt De Turk on flickr.com

The beauty of this cheeseburger in its simplicity. It’s juicy and and sinful and everything a burger should be.

14. Carne Asada Tater Tots from Bull Taco

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Carne asada tater tots are carb-y bowls of goodness — an upgrade to the classic carne asada fries.

15. Churros from Disneyland

Photo courtesy of disneychurros on Tumblr

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and their churros will make you the happiest person on earth.

16. Tacos Al Pastor (Adobada) from Tacos el Gordo de Tijuana B.C.

Photo courtesy of Andrew S yelp.com

This Chula Vista place serves the most authentic tacos north of the border. The adobada is carved off a massive spit and plopped into warm corn tortillas topped with special sauce. Heaven.

17. The Rebel Within from Craftsman and Wolves

Photo courtesy of Lin Lin S on yelp.com

Surprise yolk porn is the best yolk porn. Just cut into this savory muffin and you’ll see.

18. Matt Cain Sandwich from Ike’s Place

Photo courtesy of @tylertsd on Instagram

Go to Ike’s and you’ll be guaranteed a full and satisfied stomach. Any of their sandwiches are good (it is a famous place, after all), but the Matt Cain has three different types of meat, automatically making it one of our top choices.

19. Sushirrito from Sushirrito

Photo courtesy of Nancy L on yelp.com

California is the land of the burritos, apparently. And the birthplace of the infamous sushirrito, aka everything that’s good about sushi wrapped up in a burrito body.

20. Carne Asada Super Burrito from La Taqueria

Photo courtesy of Mani B on yelp.com

SoCal may have the best California burritos, but NorCal has the best classic burritos. La Taqueria does it the authentic way, with no rice and lots of guac.

21. Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie

Photo courtesy of Alex P on yelp.com

If you’re ever in San Francisco, hitting up the Embarcadero market is the first thing you should do. Find the red tent and get in line to get these porchetta sandwiches — we promise you won’t regret it. And if you’re looking for a more carb-heavy meal (aren’t we always?), get the potatoes as well.

22. Secret Breakfast from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Breakfast in ice cream form? Um yes. While the ingredients of this ice cream may be a secret (hint: it contains whiskey and cornflakes), the fact that it’s one of the most popular ice cream flavors in California definitely isn’t.

23. Mint Mojito Coffee from Philz Coffee

Photo courtesy of Philz Coffee on facebook.com

There’s not actually any alcohol in this coffee (sorry), but it’s the most unique coffee you’ll ever taste. They put actual mint leaves in, giving your coffee an instant pick-me-up.

24. All You Can Eat KBBQ from Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Steph S on yelp.com

AYCE KBBQ > any buffet you’ve ever been to in your life. Just pay a set price and you get as many plates of meat as you want, as well as many side dishes as you want.

#SpoonTip: Don’t order more than you can eat — they charge $15 for unfinished meat.

25. Pork Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Din Tai Fung

Photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung on Facebook

This famous Taiwanese chain has moved to the US, which is a win for people who love soup dumplings. Which, to be honest, should be everyone. Thin skin, flavorful broth, and quality meat makes Din Tai Fun’s xiao long bao a definite dim sum must-try.

26. Garlic Knots from C&O Trattoria

Photo courtesy of cotrattoria.com

Garlic lovers, you have to try this. These garlic knots are like garlic bread on steroids: warm, fluffy, and wonderfully flavored with lots of garlic.

27. Ramen from Daikokuya

Photo courtesy of aisforaftan.wordpress.com

Perfectly chewy noodles and a rich, flavorful broth makes Daikokuya’s ramen the best in LA and subsequently, California.

28. Omusubi from Sunny Blue

Photo courtesy of Jay B on yelp.com

What’s not to love about a place that has the tagline “this little place has balls”? Sunny Blue specializes in Japanese onmusubi (also known as onigiri), which are filled rice balls. Any of the balls are a good choice, though the miso beef is one of the most popular choices.

29. Fish Tacos from Ricky’s Fish Tacos

Photo courtesy of Roland L on yelp.com

Fish tacos are a California beach classic. With so many options, you can’t really go wrong eating them anywhere in California. But Ricky’s has been dubbed the “best fish taco” from Serious Eats and LA Weekly, to name a few.

30. Sushi Combination from Sushi Ota

Photo courtesy of John Pastor on flickr.com

Don’t let the strip mall location fool you. Sushi Ota has the best sushi in San Diego, and arguably some of the best sushi in the state. Plus, you can try live uni if you’re feeling adventurous.

31. Self-serve Boba from Class 302

Move over, self-serve fro yo. Self-serve boba is here, fulfilling all boba addicts’ dreams. You can customize your drink to your heart’s content, which is great for just about anyone.

#SpoonTip: Check out the do’s and don’ts of self-serve boba here.

32. Umami Burger from Umami Burger

Photo courtesy of umamiburger on Tumblr

“Umami” means a flavor with a distinct, pleasant savory taste, and the aptly named Umami Burger chain has burgers with unique combinations that will fulfill your umami receptors. Although all their options are interesting, go with the classic Umami Burger for your first time (Parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami ketchup) — it will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds.

33. Half Chicken from Zankou Chicken

Photo courtesy of Dikran I on yelp.com

Hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken. Not hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken and share. It’s crispy and crunchy and will make you rethink your previous concept of chicken.

34. Local Beer from Telegraph Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Telegraph Brewing Co. on yelp.com

Though California is known for its Napa Valley wines, beer lovers should know that the locally brewed craft beers are something worth trying as well. Telegraph has seasonal beers as well as classic beers, all of which are made with locally sourced ingredients.

35. Green Tea Latte from Urth Caffe

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

This matcha latte is probably one of the most Instagrammed photos by anyone who has been to or lived in SoCal, and for good reason. It looks artsy and is made with care from ceremonial-grade matcha from a family farm in Japan.

36. Macarons from Bottega Louie

Photo courtesy of John L on yelp.com

Bottega Louie has food, but don’t even bother. Just go for the rainbow macarons — get a box.

37. Baby Back Ribs from Phil’s BBQ

Photo courtesy of Phil’s BBQ on yelp.com

You don’t need to go to Texas for barbecue — Phil’s was not only on Thrillist’s Best BBQ in America, but also was recently featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

38. Praise the Lard from The Waffle Experience

Photo courtesy of Eric C on yelp.com

Sacramento is one of the most underrated food cities in California. But with restaurants like The Waffle Experience, it has recently come into the spotlight. The local cafe features creatively named waffle combinations like Farmer in the Dell, Praise the Lard, and Eggcellent. We suggest that anyone who has a hankering for pork belly go for Praise the Lard, which has cider-braised pork belly, a farm fresh egg, burrata cheese, a lard-stuffed waffle, maple syrup, and on-the-vine tomatoes.

39. Mac ‘n Cheetos from The Attic

Photo courtesy of Ivana T on yelp.com

Literally the stuff of college student dreams.

40. Oysters from Hog Island Oysters

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

They grow, harvest, shuck, and shell their own oysters, so the oysters are always unbelievably fresh. You can find them in Napa or in San Fran, but we recommend that you visit their farm at Marshall for the full experience.

41. Cioppino from Sotto Mare

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cioppino is a tomato stew filled with seafood and pasta — aka the perfect meal no matter what the weather or your mood. You can’t get much more authentic than Sotto Mare, which is right in the heart of San Francisco’s Italian North Beach.

42. Short Rib Tacos from Kogi BBQ Truck

Photo courtesy of Michael S on yelp.com

Not only did Kogi BBQ basically begin the food truck craze, but they also began the Asian fusion craze with their Korean-Mexican dishes.

43. Carbonara Pizza from Pizzeria Delfina

Photo courtesy of Yuestudio Y on yelp.com

If you thought carbonara only works as a type of pasta, think again. Thanks to Pizzeria Delfina, you can now enjoy it in a pizza form, runny egg and all.

44. Dry Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung’s

Photo courtesy of Amy T on yelp.com

Chinese food is a big part of Californian cuisine. So instead of KFC or Chick-Fil-A, we have Sam Tung’s to satisfy our fried chicken cravings.

45. Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe

Photo courtesy of Blu Jam Cafe on yelp.com

No one loves brunch as much as Californians do, and with places like Blu Jam, that’s no surprise. They have everything from the healthy to the decadent, and it’s all Instagram-worthy.

#SpoonTip: They serve breakfast all day and offer vegan and gluten-free options, so there’s really no losing by going here.

46. House Meat Pie at Beijing Pie House

Photo courtesy of Chris H on yelp.com

There are dumplings and there are steamed bao, and then there are Beijing Pie House’s meat pies. Filled with the traditional dumpling fillings, these savory pies fit perfectly into your hand and taste wonderful in your mouth.

47. Chocolate Bouchons from Bouchon Bakery

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

New York has their fair share of famous bakeries, but that doesn’t mean that California’s desserts should be overlooked. Bouchon Bakery is famous for its innovative and gorgeous pastries, especially their decadent chocolate bouchons.

48. Whole Snook from Coni’Seafood

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Jonathon Gold ate this, so you probably should too. Snook is rarely seen in the states, so it’s definitely a specialty.

#SpoonTip: Gold recommends trying the triple-spicy guac with this. We agree.

49. The Bambu Special from Bambu

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Irvine is the Asian food hub, so it only makes sense that the most unique Asian food is found there. Bambu takes desserts one step further with its traditional Vietnamese Chè (sweet beverages, desserts, and drinks). They have a smashed avocado drink for die-hard avo lovers, but for everyone else, we recommend the Bambu Special, which is made with fresh coconut juice with longan, basil seed, coconut meat, and pandan jelly.

50. Julian Apple Pie from Julian Pie Company

Photo courtesy of Julie K at yelp.com

One of the most famous pie places in California, the Julian Pie Company grows their own apples and retains the original traditions from when they first started, making it a cozy, homey place to grab a slice of pie. Though based out of Julian, you can now find their pies in San Diego and Riverside as well.


50 Things to Eat in California Before You Die

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

California natives will tell you that there’s no place better than California and people from all other states will tell you that there’s no better place to visit than California. Because not only does California have golden beaches and endless sunshine, it also has some of the best food out there. There’s a reason why so many California restaurants have been featured on “before you die” type bucket lists, with the most recent being Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

But with so many amazing places to eat, how can you even possibly know where to begin? That’s where this list comes in clutch. We’ve compiled this handy guide of the fifty best things to eat in California — perfect for both locals and visitors alike. Enjoy, and happy eating!

1. Any Dog at Pink’s Hot Dogs

Photo courtesy of Huishi L on yelp.com

Normal hot dogs are boring. Pink’s hot dogs are epic. They’re named after infamous celebrities and are topped with anything from bacon to sour cream to nacho cheese.

2. A Fully Topped Donut at California Donuts

Photo courtesy of Sheila A on yelp.com

California Donuts also proves that Californians love their toppings. While there’s a good selection of your normal sprinkle and maple bacon donuts, this famous donut shop also has must-try cereal and candy-topped donuts.

3. Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles

Photo courtesy of expatthought on Tumblr

Roscoe’s is the only place to have the classic chicken and waffle combo. With chains all around California, you have no excuse not to hit one up.

4. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese at Eggslut

The only thing slutty about this place is the amount of yolk porn you’ll see from every single egg dish.

5. Godmother from Bay Cities

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Good Italian subs are hard to find in California, but Bay Cities has got you covered. Pick one up for your next beach day — the Godmother is their best-selling one.

6. Animal Style Anything from In-N-Out Burger

Photo courtesy of fastfoodlover21 on Tumblr

The not-so-secret “secret” menu at In-n-Out includes both animal-style fries and an animal-style burger. Either one is good — or both, if you love that animal sauce.

7. Breakfast Burrito at Tacos Villa Corona

Photo courtesy of @welikela on Instagram

Nobody makes breakfast burritos like Californians do. This little hole-in-the-wall taco shop beats all the competition with its perfect combination of egg, potato and chorizo.

8. Custom Crêpe from Harajuku Crêpe

Photo courtesy of Chris C on yelp.com

Parisians aren’t the only ones who can make an awesome crêpe. Harajuku Crêpes is a Japanese crêpe place that lets you customize your own crêpe, and has options for add-ins ranging from sesame ice cream to mochi. Added bonus — everything is organic.

9. Açai Bowl from Banzai Bowls

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Açai bowls may have originated in Brazil and first became popular in Hawaii, but they’re still a SoCal favorite. Topped with fruit and superfoods, you’ll feel healthy and fit right in as you stroll down the streets of Santa Monica.

10. Poke from Sweetfin Poke

Photo courtesy of Amy C on yelp.com

Poke is another Hawaiian favorite that Californians have adopted. Though nothing can beat true Hawaiian poke, Sweetfin comes pretty damn close.

11. California Burrito from Nico’s Mexican Food

Photo courtesy of burritosofsandiego on Tumblr

If you haven’t had fries in a burrito, you haven’t truly lived. This San Diego classic takes normal burritos to a whole new level and is a perfect post-beach meal.

12. Seafood Burrito from El Zarape

Photo courtesy of Allison J on yelp.com

San Diegans sure know how to do a burrito right. Instead of fish tacos, make sure to try a seafood burrito in San Diego — it’s much more filling and is better than your typical carne asada burrito.

13. Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

Photo courtesy of Matt De Turk on flickr.com

The beauty of this cheeseburger in its simplicity. It’s juicy and and sinful and everything a burger should be.

14. Carne Asada Tater Tots from Bull Taco

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Carne asada tater tots are carb-y bowls of goodness — an upgrade to the classic carne asada fries.

15. Churros from Disneyland

Photo courtesy of disneychurros on Tumblr

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and their churros will make you the happiest person on earth.

16. Tacos Al Pastor (Adobada) from Tacos el Gordo de Tijuana B.C.

Photo courtesy of Andrew S yelp.com

This Chula Vista place serves the most authentic tacos north of the border. The adobada is carved off a massive spit and plopped into warm corn tortillas topped with special sauce. Heaven.

17. The Rebel Within from Craftsman and Wolves

Photo courtesy of Lin Lin S on yelp.com

Surprise yolk porn is the best yolk porn. Just cut into this savory muffin and you’ll see.

18. Matt Cain Sandwich from Ike’s Place

Photo courtesy of @tylertsd on Instagram

Go to Ike’s and you’ll be guaranteed a full and satisfied stomach. Any of their sandwiches are good (it is a famous place, after all), but the Matt Cain has three different types of meat, automatically making it one of our top choices.

19. Sushirrito from Sushirrito

Photo courtesy of Nancy L on yelp.com

California is the land of the burritos, apparently. And the birthplace of the infamous sushirrito, aka everything that’s good about sushi wrapped up in a burrito body.

20. Carne Asada Super Burrito from La Taqueria

Photo courtesy of Mani B on yelp.com

SoCal may have the best California burritos, but NorCal has the best classic burritos. La Taqueria does it the authentic way, with no rice and lots of guac.

21. Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie

Photo courtesy of Alex P on yelp.com

If you’re ever in San Francisco, hitting up the Embarcadero market is the first thing you should do. Find the red tent and get in line to get these porchetta sandwiches — we promise you won’t regret it. And if you’re looking for a more carb-heavy meal (aren’t we always?), get the potatoes as well.

22. Secret Breakfast from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Breakfast in ice cream form? Um yes. While the ingredients of this ice cream may be a secret (hint: it contains whiskey and cornflakes), the fact that it’s one of the most popular ice cream flavors in California definitely isn’t.

23. Mint Mojito Coffee from Philz Coffee

Photo courtesy of Philz Coffee on facebook.com

There’s not actually any alcohol in this coffee (sorry), but it’s the most unique coffee you’ll ever taste. They put actual mint leaves in, giving your coffee an instant pick-me-up.

24. All You Can Eat KBBQ from Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Steph S on yelp.com

AYCE KBBQ > any buffet you’ve ever been to in your life. Just pay a set price and you get as many plates of meat as you want, as well as many side dishes as you want.

#SpoonTip: Don’t order more than you can eat — they charge $15 for unfinished meat.

25. Pork Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Din Tai Fung

Photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung on Facebook

This famous Taiwanese chain has moved to the US, which is a win for people who love soup dumplings. Which, to be honest, should be everyone. Thin skin, flavorful broth, and quality meat makes Din Tai Fun’s xiao long bao a definite dim sum must-try.

26. Garlic Knots from C&O Trattoria

Photo courtesy of cotrattoria.com

Garlic lovers, you have to try this. These garlic knots are like garlic bread on steroids: warm, fluffy, and wonderfully flavored with lots of garlic.

27. Ramen from Daikokuya

Photo courtesy of aisforaftan.wordpress.com

Perfectly chewy noodles and a rich, flavorful broth makes Daikokuya’s ramen the best in LA and subsequently, California.

28. Omusubi from Sunny Blue

Photo courtesy of Jay B on yelp.com

What’s not to love about a place that has the tagline “this little place has balls”? Sunny Blue specializes in Japanese onmusubi (also known as onigiri), which are filled rice balls. Any of the balls are a good choice, though the miso beef is one of the most popular choices.

29. Fish Tacos from Ricky’s Fish Tacos

Photo courtesy of Roland L on yelp.com

Fish tacos are a California beach classic. With so many options, you can’t really go wrong eating them anywhere in California. But Ricky’s has been dubbed the “best fish taco” from Serious Eats and LA Weekly, to name a few.

30. Sushi Combination from Sushi Ota

Photo courtesy of John Pastor on flickr.com

Don’t let the strip mall location fool you. Sushi Ota has the best sushi in San Diego, and arguably some of the best sushi in the state. Plus, you can try live uni if you’re feeling adventurous.

31. Self-serve Boba from Class 302

Move over, self-serve fro yo. Self-serve boba is here, fulfilling all boba addicts’ dreams. You can customize your drink to your heart’s content, which is great for just about anyone.

#SpoonTip: Check out the do’s and don’ts of self-serve boba here.

32. Umami Burger from Umami Burger

Photo courtesy of umamiburger on Tumblr

“Umami” means a flavor with a distinct, pleasant savory taste, and the aptly named Umami Burger chain has burgers with unique combinations that will fulfill your umami receptors. Although all their options are interesting, go with the classic Umami Burger for your first time (Parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami ketchup) — it will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds.

33. Half Chicken from Zankou Chicken

Photo courtesy of Dikran I on yelp.com

Hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken. Not hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken and share. It’s crispy and crunchy and will make you rethink your previous concept of chicken.

34. Local Beer from Telegraph Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Telegraph Brewing Co. on yelp.com

Though California is known for its Napa Valley wines, beer lovers should know that the locally brewed craft beers are something worth trying as well. Telegraph has seasonal beers as well as classic beers, all of which are made with locally sourced ingredients.

35. Green Tea Latte from Urth Caffe

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

This matcha latte is probably one of the most Instagrammed photos by anyone who has been to or lived in SoCal, and for good reason. It looks artsy and is made with care from ceremonial-grade matcha from a family farm in Japan.

36. Macarons from Bottega Louie

Photo courtesy of John L on yelp.com

Bottega Louie has food, but don’t even bother. Just go for the rainbow macarons — get a box.

37. Baby Back Ribs from Phil’s BBQ

Photo courtesy of Phil’s BBQ on yelp.com

You don’t need to go to Texas for barbecue — Phil’s was not only on Thrillist’s Best BBQ in America, but also was recently featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

38. Praise the Lard from The Waffle Experience

Photo courtesy of Eric C on yelp.com

Sacramento is one of the most underrated food cities in California. But with restaurants like The Waffle Experience, it has recently come into the spotlight. The local cafe features creatively named waffle combinations like Farmer in the Dell, Praise the Lard, and Eggcellent. We suggest that anyone who has a hankering for pork belly go for Praise the Lard, which has cider-braised pork belly, a farm fresh egg, burrata cheese, a lard-stuffed waffle, maple syrup, and on-the-vine tomatoes.

39. Mac ‘n Cheetos from The Attic

Photo courtesy of Ivana T on yelp.com

Literally the stuff of college student dreams.

40. Oysters from Hog Island Oysters

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

They grow, harvest, shuck, and shell their own oysters, so the oysters are always unbelievably fresh. You can find them in Napa or in San Fran, but we recommend that you visit their farm at Marshall for the full experience.

41. Cioppino from Sotto Mare

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cioppino is a tomato stew filled with seafood and pasta — aka the perfect meal no matter what the weather or your mood. You can’t get much more authentic than Sotto Mare, which is right in the heart of San Francisco’s Italian North Beach.

42. Short Rib Tacos from Kogi BBQ Truck

Photo courtesy of Michael S on yelp.com

Not only did Kogi BBQ basically begin the food truck craze, but they also began the Asian fusion craze with their Korean-Mexican dishes.

43. Carbonara Pizza from Pizzeria Delfina

Photo courtesy of Yuestudio Y on yelp.com

If you thought carbonara only works as a type of pasta, think again. Thanks to Pizzeria Delfina, you can now enjoy it in a pizza form, runny egg and all.

44. Dry Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung’s

Photo courtesy of Amy T on yelp.com

Chinese food is a big part of Californian cuisine. So instead of KFC or Chick-Fil-A, we have Sam Tung’s to satisfy our fried chicken cravings.

45. Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe

Photo courtesy of Blu Jam Cafe on yelp.com

No one loves brunch as much as Californians do, and with places like Blu Jam, that’s no surprise. They have everything from the healthy to the decadent, and it’s all Instagram-worthy.

#SpoonTip: They serve breakfast all day and offer vegan and gluten-free options, so there’s really no losing by going here.

46. House Meat Pie at Beijing Pie House

Photo courtesy of Chris H on yelp.com

There are dumplings and there are steamed bao, and then there are Beijing Pie House’s meat pies. Filled with the traditional dumpling fillings, these savory pies fit perfectly into your hand and taste wonderful in your mouth.

47. Chocolate Bouchons from Bouchon Bakery

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

New York has their fair share of famous bakeries, but that doesn’t mean that California’s desserts should be overlooked. Bouchon Bakery is famous for its innovative and gorgeous pastries, especially their decadent chocolate bouchons.

48. Whole Snook from Coni’Seafood

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Jonathon Gold ate this, so you probably should too. Snook is rarely seen in the states, so it’s definitely a specialty.

#SpoonTip: Gold recommends trying the triple-spicy guac with this. We agree.

49. The Bambu Special from Bambu

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Irvine is the Asian food hub, so it only makes sense that the most unique Asian food is found there. Bambu takes desserts one step further with its traditional Vietnamese Chè (sweet beverages, desserts, and drinks). They have a smashed avocado drink for die-hard avo lovers, but for everyone else, we recommend the Bambu Special, which is made with fresh coconut juice with longan, basil seed, coconut meat, and pandan jelly.

50. Julian Apple Pie from Julian Pie Company

Photo courtesy of Julie K at yelp.com

One of the most famous pie places in California, the Julian Pie Company grows their own apples and retains the original traditions from when they first started, making it a cozy, homey place to grab a slice of pie. Though based out of Julian, you can now find their pies in San Diego and Riverside as well.


50 Things to Eat in California Before You Die

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

California natives will tell you that there’s no place better than California and people from all other states will tell you that there’s no better place to visit than California. Because not only does California have golden beaches and endless sunshine, it also has some of the best food out there. There’s a reason why so many California restaurants have been featured on “before you die” type bucket lists, with the most recent being Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

But with so many amazing places to eat, how can you even possibly know where to begin? That’s where this list comes in clutch. We’ve compiled this handy guide of the fifty best things to eat in California — perfect for both locals and visitors alike. Enjoy, and happy eating!

1. Any Dog at Pink’s Hot Dogs

Photo courtesy of Huishi L on yelp.com

Normal hot dogs are boring. Pink’s hot dogs are epic. They’re named after infamous celebrities and are topped with anything from bacon to sour cream to nacho cheese.

2. A Fully Topped Donut at California Donuts

Photo courtesy of Sheila A on yelp.com

California Donuts also proves that Californians love their toppings. While there’s a good selection of your normal sprinkle and maple bacon donuts, this famous donut shop also has must-try cereal and candy-topped donuts.

3. Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles

Photo courtesy of expatthought on Tumblr

Roscoe’s is the only place to have the classic chicken and waffle combo. With chains all around California, you have no excuse not to hit one up.

4. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese at Eggslut

The only thing slutty about this place is the amount of yolk porn you’ll see from every single egg dish.

5. Godmother from Bay Cities

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Good Italian subs are hard to find in California, but Bay Cities has got you covered. Pick one up for your next beach day — the Godmother is their best-selling one.

6. Animal Style Anything from In-N-Out Burger

Photo courtesy of fastfoodlover21 on Tumblr

The not-so-secret “secret” menu at In-n-Out includes both animal-style fries and an animal-style burger. Either one is good — or both, if you love that animal sauce.

7. Breakfast Burrito at Tacos Villa Corona

Photo courtesy of @welikela on Instagram

Nobody makes breakfast burritos like Californians do. This little hole-in-the-wall taco shop beats all the competition with its perfect combination of egg, potato and chorizo.

8. Custom Crêpe from Harajuku Crêpe

Photo courtesy of Chris C on yelp.com

Parisians aren’t the only ones who can make an awesome crêpe. Harajuku Crêpes is a Japanese crêpe place that lets you customize your own crêpe, and has options for add-ins ranging from sesame ice cream to mochi. Added bonus — everything is organic.

9. Açai Bowl from Banzai Bowls

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Açai bowls may have originated in Brazil and first became popular in Hawaii, but they’re still a SoCal favorite. Topped with fruit and superfoods, you’ll feel healthy and fit right in as you stroll down the streets of Santa Monica.

10. Poke from Sweetfin Poke

Photo courtesy of Amy C on yelp.com

Poke is another Hawaiian favorite that Californians have adopted. Though nothing can beat true Hawaiian poke, Sweetfin comes pretty damn close.

11. California Burrito from Nico’s Mexican Food

Photo courtesy of burritosofsandiego on Tumblr

If you haven’t had fries in a burrito, you haven’t truly lived. This San Diego classic takes normal burritos to a whole new level and is a perfect post-beach meal.

12. Seafood Burrito from El Zarape

Photo courtesy of Allison J on yelp.com

San Diegans sure know how to do a burrito right. Instead of fish tacos, make sure to try a seafood burrito in San Diego — it’s much more filling and is better than your typical carne asada burrito.

13. Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

Photo courtesy of Matt De Turk on flickr.com

The beauty of this cheeseburger in its simplicity. It’s juicy and and sinful and everything a burger should be.

14. Carne Asada Tater Tots from Bull Taco

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Carne asada tater tots are carb-y bowls of goodness — an upgrade to the classic carne asada fries.

15. Churros from Disneyland

Photo courtesy of disneychurros on Tumblr

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and their churros will make you the happiest person on earth.

16. Tacos Al Pastor (Adobada) from Tacos el Gordo de Tijuana B.C.

Photo courtesy of Andrew S yelp.com

This Chula Vista place serves the most authentic tacos north of the border. The adobada is carved off a massive spit and plopped into warm corn tortillas topped with special sauce. Heaven.

17. The Rebel Within from Craftsman and Wolves

Photo courtesy of Lin Lin S on yelp.com

Surprise yolk porn is the best yolk porn. Just cut into this savory muffin and you’ll see.

18. Matt Cain Sandwich from Ike’s Place

Photo courtesy of @tylertsd on Instagram

Go to Ike’s and you’ll be guaranteed a full and satisfied stomach. Any of their sandwiches are good (it is a famous place, after all), but the Matt Cain has three different types of meat, automatically making it one of our top choices.

19. Sushirrito from Sushirrito

Photo courtesy of Nancy L on yelp.com

California is the land of the burritos, apparently. And the birthplace of the infamous sushirrito, aka everything that’s good about sushi wrapped up in a burrito body.

20. Carne Asada Super Burrito from La Taqueria

Photo courtesy of Mani B on yelp.com

SoCal may have the best California burritos, but NorCal has the best classic burritos. La Taqueria does it the authentic way, with no rice and lots of guac.

21. Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie

Photo courtesy of Alex P on yelp.com

If you’re ever in San Francisco, hitting up the Embarcadero market is the first thing you should do. Find the red tent and get in line to get these porchetta sandwiches — we promise you won’t regret it. And if you’re looking for a more carb-heavy meal (aren’t we always?), get the potatoes as well.

22. Secret Breakfast from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Breakfast in ice cream form? Um yes. While the ingredients of this ice cream may be a secret (hint: it contains whiskey and cornflakes), the fact that it’s one of the most popular ice cream flavors in California definitely isn’t.

23. Mint Mojito Coffee from Philz Coffee

Photo courtesy of Philz Coffee on facebook.com

There’s not actually any alcohol in this coffee (sorry), but it’s the most unique coffee you’ll ever taste. They put actual mint leaves in, giving your coffee an instant pick-me-up.

24. All You Can Eat KBBQ from Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Steph S on yelp.com

AYCE KBBQ > any buffet you’ve ever been to in your life. Just pay a set price and you get as many plates of meat as you want, as well as many side dishes as you want.

#SpoonTip: Don’t order more than you can eat — they charge $15 for unfinished meat.

25. Pork Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Din Tai Fung

Photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung on Facebook

This famous Taiwanese chain has moved to the US, which is a win for people who love soup dumplings. Which, to be honest, should be everyone. Thin skin, flavorful broth, and quality meat makes Din Tai Fun’s xiao long bao a definite dim sum must-try.

26. Garlic Knots from C&O Trattoria

Photo courtesy of cotrattoria.com

Garlic lovers, you have to try this. These garlic knots are like garlic bread on steroids: warm, fluffy, and wonderfully flavored with lots of garlic.

27. Ramen from Daikokuya

Photo courtesy of aisforaftan.wordpress.com

Perfectly chewy noodles and a rich, flavorful broth makes Daikokuya’s ramen the best in LA and subsequently, California.

28. Omusubi from Sunny Blue

Photo courtesy of Jay B on yelp.com

What’s not to love about a place that has the tagline “this little place has balls”? Sunny Blue specializes in Japanese onmusubi (also known as onigiri), which are filled rice balls. Any of the balls are a good choice, though the miso beef is one of the most popular choices.

29. Fish Tacos from Ricky’s Fish Tacos

Photo courtesy of Roland L on yelp.com

Fish tacos are a California beach classic. With so many options, you can’t really go wrong eating them anywhere in California. But Ricky’s has been dubbed the “best fish taco” from Serious Eats and LA Weekly, to name a few.

30. Sushi Combination from Sushi Ota

Photo courtesy of John Pastor on flickr.com

Don’t let the strip mall location fool you. Sushi Ota has the best sushi in San Diego, and arguably some of the best sushi in the state. Plus, you can try live uni if you’re feeling adventurous.

31. Self-serve Boba from Class 302

Move over, self-serve fro yo. Self-serve boba is here, fulfilling all boba addicts’ dreams. You can customize your drink to your heart’s content, which is great for just about anyone.

#SpoonTip: Check out the do’s and don’ts of self-serve boba here.

32. Umami Burger from Umami Burger

Photo courtesy of umamiburger on Tumblr

“Umami” means a flavor with a distinct, pleasant savory taste, and the aptly named Umami Burger chain has burgers with unique combinations that will fulfill your umami receptors. Although all their options are interesting, go with the classic Umami Burger for your first time (Parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami ketchup) — it will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds.

33. Half Chicken from Zankou Chicken

Photo courtesy of Dikran I on yelp.com

Hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken. Not hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken and share. It’s crispy and crunchy and will make you rethink your previous concept of chicken.

34. Local Beer from Telegraph Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Telegraph Brewing Co. on yelp.com

Though California is known for its Napa Valley wines, beer lovers should know that the locally brewed craft beers are something worth trying as well. Telegraph has seasonal beers as well as classic beers, all of which are made with locally sourced ingredients.

35. Green Tea Latte from Urth Caffe

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

This matcha latte is probably one of the most Instagrammed photos by anyone who has been to or lived in SoCal, and for good reason. It looks artsy and is made with care from ceremonial-grade matcha from a family farm in Japan.

36. Macarons from Bottega Louie

Photo courtesy of John L on yelp.com

Bottega Louie has food, but don’t even bother. Just go for the rainbow macarons — get a box.

37. Baby Back Ribs from Phil’s BBQ

Photo courtesy of Phil’s BBQ on yelp.com

You don’t need to go to Texas for barbecue — Phil’s was not only on Thrillist’s Best BBQ in America, but also was recently featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

38. Praise the Lard from The Waffle Experience

Photo courtesy of Eric C on yelp.com

Sacramento is one of the most underrated food cities in California. But with restaurants like The Waffle Experience, it has recently come into the spotlight. The local cafe features creatively named waffle combinations like Farmer in the Dell, Praise the Lard, and Eggcellent. We suggest that anyone who has a hankering for pork belly go for Praise the Lard, which has cider-braised pork belly, a farm fresh egg, burrata cheese, a lard-stuffed waffle, maple syrup, and on-the-vine tomatoes.

39. Mac ‘n Cheetos from The Attic

Photo courtesy of Ivana T on yelp.com

Literally the stuff of college student dreams.

40. Oysters from Hog Island Oysters

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

They grow, harvest, shuck, and shell their own oysters, so the oysters are always unbelievably fresh. You can find them in Napa or in San Fran, but we recommend that you visit their farm at Marshall for the full experience.

41. Cioppino from Sotto Mare

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cioppino is a tomato stew filled with seafood and pasta — aka the perfect meal no matter what the weather or your mood. You can’t get much more authentic than Sotto Mare, which is right in the heart of San Francisco’s Italian North Beach.

42. Short Rib Tacos from Kogi BBQ Truck

Photo courtesy of Michael S on yelp.com

Not only did Kogi BBQ basically begin the food truck craze, but they also began the Asian fusion craze with their Korean-Mexican dishes.

43. Carbonara Pizza from Pizzeria Delfina

Photo courtesy of Yuestudio Y on yelp.com

If you thought carbonara only works as a type of pasta, think again. Thanks to Pizzeria Delfina, you can now enjoy it in a pizza form, runny egg and all.

44. Dry Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung’s

Photo courtesy of Amy T on yelp.com

Chinese food is a big part of Californian cuisine. So instead of KFC or Chick-Fil-A, we have Sam Tung’s to satisfy our fried chicken cravings.

45. Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe

Photo courtesy of Blu Jam Cafe on yelp.com

No one loves brunch as much as Californians do, and with places like Blu Jam, that’s no surprise. They have everything from the healthy to the decadent, and it’s all Instagram-worthy.

#SpoonTip: They serve breakfast all day and offer vegan and gluten-free options, so there’s really no losing by going here.

46. House Meat Pie at Beijing Pie House

Photo courtesy of Chris H on yelp.com

There are dumplings and there are steamed bao, and then there are Beijing Pie House’s meat pies. Filled with the traditional dumpling fillings, these savory pies fit perfectly into your hand and taste wonderful in your mouth.

47. Chocolate Bouchons from Bouchon Bakery

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

New York has their fair share of famous bakeries, but that doesn’t mean that California’s desserts should be overlooked. Bouchon Bakery is famous for its innovative and gorgeous pastries, especially their decadent chocolate bouchons.

48. Whole Snook from Coni’Seafood

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Jonathon Gold ate this, so you probably should too. Snook is rarely seen in the states, so it’s definitely a specialty.

#SpoonTip: Gold recommends trying the triple-spicy guac with this. We agree.

49. The Bambu Special from Bambu

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Irvine is the Asian food hub, so it only makes sense that the most unique Asian food is found there. Bambu takes desserts one step further with its traditional Vietnamese Chè (sweet beverages, desserts, and drinks). They have a smashed avocado drink for die-hard avo lovers, but for everyone else, we recommend the Bambu Special, which is made with fresh coconut juice with longan, basil seed, coconut meat, and pandan jelly.

50. Julian Apple Pie from Julian Pie Company

Photo courtesy of Julie K at yelp.com

One of the most famous pie places in California, the Julian Pie Company grows their own apples and retains the original traditions from when they first started, making it a cozy, homey place to grab a slice of pie. Though based out of Julian, you can now find their pies in San Diego and Riverside as well.


50 Things to Eat in California Before You Die

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

California natives will tell you that there’s no place better than California and people from all other states will tell you that there’s no better place to visit than California. Because not only does California have golden beaches and endless sunshine, it also has some of the best food out there. There’s a reason why so many California restaurants have been featured on “before you die” type bucket lists, with the most recent being Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

But with so many amazing places to eat, how can you even possibly know where to begin? That’s where this list comes in clutch. We’ve compiled this handy guide of the fifty best things to eat in California — perfect for both locals and visitors alike. Enjoy, and happy eating!

1. Any Dog at Pink’s Hot Dogs

Photo courtesy of Huishi L on yelp.com

Normal hot dogs are boring. Pink’s hot dogs are epic. They’re named after infamous celebrities and are topped with anything from bacon to sour cream to nacho cheese.

2. A Fully Topped Donut at California Donuts

Photo courtesy of Sheila A on yelp.com

California Donuts also proves that Californians love their toppings. While there’s a good selection of your normal sprinkle and maple bacon donuts, this famous donut shop also has must-try cereal and candy-topped donuts.

3. Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles

Photo courtesy of expatthought on Tumblr

Roscoe’s is the only place to have the classic chicken and waffle combo. With chains all around California, you have no excuse not to hit one up.

4. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese at Eggslut

The only thing slutty about this place is the amount of yolk porn you’ll see from every single egg dish.

5. Godmother from Bay Cities

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Good Italian subs are hard to find in California, but Bay Cities has got you covered. Pick one up for your next beach day — the Godmother is their best-selling one.

6. Animal Style Anything from In-N-Out Burger

Photo courtesy of fastfoodlover21 on Tumblr

The not-so-secret “secret” menu at In-n-Out includes both animal-style fries and an animal-style burger. Either one is good — or both, if you love that animal sauce.

7. Breakfast Burrito at Tacos Villa Corona

Photo courtesy of @welikela on Instagram

Nobody makes breakfast burritos like Californians do. This little hole-in-the-wall taco shop beats all the competition with its perfect combination of egg, potato and chorizo.

8. Custom Crêpe from Harajuku Crêpe

Photo courtesy of Chris C on yelp.com

Parisians aren’t the only ones who can make an awesome crêpe. Harajuku Crêpes is a Japanese crêpe place that lets you customize your own crêpe, and has options for add-ins ranging from sesame ice cream to mochi. Added bonus — everything is organic.

9. Açai Bowl from Banzai Bowls

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Açai bowls may have originated in Brazil and first became popular in Hawaii, but they’re still a SoCal favorite. Topped with fruit and superfoods, you’ll feel healthy and fit right in as you stroll down the streets of Santa Monica.

10. Poke from Sweetfin Poke

Photo courtesy of Amy C on yelp.com

Poke is another Hawaiian favorite that Californians have adopted. Though nothing can beat true Hawaiian poke, Sweetfin comes pretty damn close.

11. California Burrito from Nico’s Mexican Food

Photo courtesy of burritosofsandiego on Tumblr

If you haven’t had fries in a burrito, you haven’t truly lived. This San Diego classic takes normal burritos to a whole new level and is a perfect post-beach meal.

12. Seafood Burrito from El Zarape

Photo courtesy of Allison J on yelp.com

San Diegans sure know how to do a burrito right. Instead of fish tacos, make sure to try a seafood burrito in San Diego — it’s much more filling and is better than your typical carne asada burrito.

13. Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

Photo courtesy of Matt De Turk on flickr.com

The beauty of this cheeseburger in its simplicity. It’s juicy and and sinful and everything a burger should be.

14. Carne Asada Tater Tots from Bull Taco

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Carne asada tater tots are carb-y bowls of goodness — an upgrade to the classic carne asada fries.

15. Churros from Disneyland

Photo courtesy of disneychurros on Tumblr

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and their churros will make you the happiest person on earth.

16. Tacos Al Pastor (Adobada) from Tacos el Gordo de Tijuana B.C.

Photo courtesy of Andrew S yelp.com

This Chula Vista place serves the most authentic tacos north of the border. The adobada is carved off a massive spit and plopped into warm corn tortillas topped with special sauce. Heaven.

17. The Rebel Within from Craftsman and Wolves

Photo courtesy of Lin Lin S on yelp.com

Surprise yolk porn is the best yolk porn. Just cut into this savory muffin and you’ll see.

18. Matt Cain Sandwich from Ike’s Place

Photo courtesy of @tylertsd on Instagram

Go to Ike’s and you’ll be guaranteed a full and satisfied stomach. Any of their sandwiches are good (it is a famous place, after all), but the Matt Cain has three different types of meat, automatically making it one of our top choices.

19. Sushirrito from Sushirrito

Photo courtesy of Nancy L on yelp.com

California is the land of the burritos, apparently. And the birthplace of the infamous sushirrito, aka everything that’s good about sushi wrapped up in a burrito body.

20. Carne Asada Super Burrito from La Taqueria

Photo courtesy of Mani B on yelp.com

SoCal may have the best California burritos, but NorCal has the best classic burritos. La Taqueria does it the authentic way, with no rice and lots of guac.

21. Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie

Photo courtesy of Alex P on yelp.com

If you’re ever in San Francisco, hitting up the Embarcadero market is the first thing you should do. Find the red tent and get in line to get these porchetta sandwiches — we promise you won’t regret it. And if you’re looking for a more carb-heavy meal (aren’t we always?), get the potatoes as well.

22. Secret Breakfast from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Breakfast in ice cream form? Um yes. While the ingredients of this ice cream may be a secret (hint: it contains whiskey and cornflakes), the fact that it’s one of the most popular ice cream flavors in California definitely isn’t.

23. Mint Mojito Coffee from Philz Coffee

Photo courtesy of Philz Coffee on facebook.com

There’s not actually any alcohol in this coffee (sorry), but it’s the most unique coffee you’ll ever taste. They put actual mint leaves in, giving your coffee an instant pick-me-up.

24. All You Can Eat KBBQ from Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Steph S on yelp.com

AYCE KBBQ > any buffet you’ve ever been to in your life. Just pay a set price and you get as many plates of meat as you want, as well as many side dishes as you want.

#SpoonTip: Don’t order more than you can eat — they charge $15 for unfinished meat.

25. Pork Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Din Tai Fung

Photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung on Facebook

This famous Taiwanese chain has moved to the US, which is a win for people who love soup dumplings. Which, to be honest, should be everyone. Thin skin, flavorful broth, and quality meat makes Din Tai Fun’s xiao long bao a definite dim sum must-try.

26. Garlic Knots from C&O Trattoria

Photo courtesy of cotrattoria.com

Garlic lovers, you have to try this. These garlic knots are like garlic bread on steroids: warm, fluffy, and wonderfully flavored with lots of garlic.

27. Ramen from Daikokuya

Photo courtesy of aisforaftan.wordpress.com

Perfectly chewy noodles and a rich, flavorful broth makes Daikokuya’s ramen the best in LA and subsequently, California.

28. Omusubi from Sunny Blue

Photo courtesy of Jay B on yelp.com

What’s not to love about a place that has the tagline “this little place has balls”? Sunny Blue specializes in Japanese onmusubi (also known as onigiri), which are filled rice balls. Any of the balls are a good choice, though the miso beef is one of the most popular choices.

29. Fish Tacos from Ricky’s Fish Tacos

Photo courtesy of Roland L on yelp.com

Fish tacos are a California beach classic. With so many options, you can’t really go wrong eating them anywhere in California. But Ricky’s has been dubbed the “best fish taco” from Serious Eats and LA Weekly, to name a few.

30. Sushi Combination from Sushi Ota

Photo courtesy of John Pastor on flickr.com

Don’t let the strip mall location fool you. Sushi Ota has the best sushi in San Diego, and arguably some of the best sushi in the state. Plus, you can try live uni if you’re feeling adventurous.

31. Self-serve Boba from Class 302

Move over, self-serve fro yo. Self-serve boba is here, fulfilling all boba addicts’ dreams. You can customize your drink to your heart’s content, which is great for just about anyone.

#SpoonTip: Check out the do’s and don’ts of self-serve boba here.

32. Umami Burger from Umami Burger

Photo courtesy of umamiburger on Tumblr

“Umami” means a flavor with a distinct, pleasant savory taste, and the aptly named Umami Burger chain has burgers with unique combinations that will fulfill your umami receptors. Although all their options are interesting, go with the classic Umami Burger for your first time (Parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami ketchup) — it will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds.

33. Half Chicken from Zankou Chicken

Photo courtesy of Dikran I on yelp.com

Hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken. Not hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken and share. It’s crispy and crunchy and will make you rethink your previous concept of chicken.

34. Local Beer from Telegraph Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Telegraph Brewing Co. on yelp.com

Though California is known for its Napa Valley wines, beer lovers should know that the locally brewed craft beers are something worth trying as well. Telegraph has seasonal beers as well as classic beers, all of which are made with locally sourced ingredients.

35. Green Tea Latte from Urth Caffe

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

This matcha latte is probably one of the most Instagrammed photos by anyone who has been to or lived in SoCal, and for good reason. It looks artsy and is made with care from ceremonial-grade matcha from a family farm in Japan.

36. Macarons from Bottega Louie

Photo courtesy of John L on yelp.com

Bottega Louie has food, but don’t even bother. Just go for the rainbow macarons — get a box.

37. Baby Back Ribs from Phil’s BBQ

Photo courtesy of Phil’s BBQ on yelp.com

You don’t need to go to Texas for barbecue — Phil’s was not only on Thrillist’s Best BBQ in America, but also was recently featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

38. Praise the Lard from The Waffle Experience

Photo courtesy of Eric C on yelp.com

Sacramento is one of the most underrated food cities in California. But with restaurants like The Waffle Experience, it has recently come into the spotlight. The local cafe features creatively named waffle combinations like Farmer in the Dell, Praise the Lard, and Eggcellent. We suggest that anyone who has a hankering for pork belly go for Praise the Lard, which has cider-braised pork belly, a farm fresh egg, burrata cheese, a lard-stuffed waffle, maple syrup, and on-the-vine tomatoes.

39. Mac ‘n Cheetos from The Attic

Photo courtesy of Ivana T on yelp.com

Literally the stuff of college student dreams.

40. Oysters from Hog Island Oysters

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

They grow, harvest, shuck, and shell their own oysters, so the oysters are always unbelievably fresh. You can find them in Napa or in San Fran, but we recommend that you visit their farm at Marshall for the full experience.

41. Cioppino from Sotto Mare

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cioppino is a tomato stew filled with seafood and pasta — aka the perfect meal no matter what the weather or your mood. You can’t get much more authentic than Sotto Mare, which is right in the heart of San Francisco’s Italian North Beach.

42. Short Rib Tacos from Kogi BBQ Truck

Photo courtesy of Michael S on yelp.com

Not only did Kogi BBQ basically begin the food truck craze, but they also began the Asian fusion craze with their Korean-Mexican dishes.

43. Carbonara Pizza from Pizzeria Delfina

Photo courtesy of Yuestudio Y on yelp.com

If you thought carbonara only works as a type of pasta, think again. Thanks to Pizzeria Delfina, you can now enjoy it in a pizza form, runny egg and all.

44. Dry Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung’s

Photo courtesy of Amy T on yelp.com

Chinese food is a big part of Californian cuisine. So instead of KFC or Chick-Fil-A, we have Sam Tung’s to satisfy our fried chicken cravings.

45. Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe

Photo courtesy of Blu Jam Cafe on yelp.com

No one loves brunch as much as Californians do, and with places like Blu Jam, that’s no surprise. They have everything from the healthy to the decadent, and it’s all Instagram-worthy.

#SpoonTip: They serve breakfast all day and offer vegan and gluten-free options, so there’s really no losing by going here.

46. House Meat Pie at Beijing Pie House

Photo courtesy of Chris H on yelp.com

There are dumplings and there are steamed bao, and then there are Beijing Pie House’s meat pies. Filled with the traditional dumpling fillings, these savory pies fit perfectly into your hand and taste wonderful in your mouth.

47. Chocolate Bouchons from Bouchon Bakery

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

New York has their fair share of famous bakeries, but that doesn’t mean that California’s desserts should be overlooked. Bouchon Bakery is famous for its innovative and gorgeous pastries, especially their decadent chocolate bouchons.

48. Whole Snook from Coni’Seafood

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Jonathon Gold ate this, so you probably should too. Snook is rarely seen in the states, so it’s definitely a specialty.

#SpoonTip: Gold recommends trying the triple-spicy guac with this. We agree.

49. The Bambu Special from Bambu

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Irvine is the Asian food hub, so it only makes sense that the most unique Asian food is found there. Bambu takes desserts one step further with its traditional Vietnamese Chè (sweet beverages, desserts, and drinks). They have a smashed avocado drink for die-hard avo lovers, but for everyone else, we recommend the Bambu Special, which is made with fresh coconut juice with longan, basil seed, coconut meat, and pandan jelly.

50. Julian Apple Pie from Julian Pie Company

Photo courtesy of Julie K at yelp.com

One of the most famous pie places in California, the Julian Pie Company grows their own apples and retains the original traditions from when they first started, making it a cozy, homey place to grab a slice of pie. Though based out of Julian, you can now find their pies in San Diego and Riverside as well.


50 Things to Eat in California Before You Die

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

California natives will tell you that there’s no place better than California and people from all other states will tell you that there’s no better place to visit than California. Because not only does California have golden beaches and endless sunshine, it also has some of the best food out there. There’s a reason why so many California restaurants have been featured on “before you die” type bucket lists, with the most recent being Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

But with so many amazing places to eat, how can you even possibly know where to begin? That’s where this list comes in clutch. We’ve compiled this handy guide of the fifty best things to eat in California — perfect for both locals and visitors alike. Enjoy, and happy eating!

1. Any Dog at Pink’s Hot Dogs

Photo courtesy of Huishi L on yelp.com

Normal hot dogs are boring. Pink’s hot dogs are epic. They’re named after infamous celebrities and are topped with anything from bacon to sour cream to nacho cheese.

2. A Fully Topped Donut at California Donuts

Photo courtesy of Sheila A on yelp.com

California Donuts also proves that Californians love their toppings. While there’s a good selection of your normal sprinkle and maple bacon donuts, this famous donut shop also has must-try cereal and candy-topped donuts.

3. Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles

Photo courtesy of expatthought on Tumblr

Roscoe’s is the only place to have the classic chicken and waffle combo. With chains all around California, you have no excuse not to hit one up.

4. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese at Eggslut

The only thing slutty about this place is the amount of yolk porn you’ll see from every single egg dish.

5. Godmother from Bay Cities

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Good Italian subs are hard to find in California, but Bay Cities has got you covered. Pick one up for your next beach day — the Godmother is their best-selling one.

6. Animal Style Anything from In-N-Out Burger

Photo courtesy of fastfoodlover21 on Tumblr

The not-so-secret “secret” menu at In-n-Out includes both animal-style fries and an animal-style burger. Either one is good — or both, if you love that animal sauce.

7. Breakfast Burrito at Tacos Villa Corona

Photo courtesy of @welikela on Instagram

Nobody makes breakfast burritos like Californians do. This little hole-in-the-wall taco shop beats all the competition with its perfect combination of egg, potato and chorizo.

8. Custom Crêpe from Harajuku Crêpe

Photo courtesy of Chris C on yelp.com

Parisians aren’t the only ones who can make an awesome crêpe. Harajuku Crêpes is a Japanese crêpe place that lets you customize your own crêpe, and has options for add-ins ranging from sesame ice cream to mochi. Added bonus — everything is organic.

9. Açai Bowl from Banzai Bowls

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Açai bowls may have originated in Brazil and first became popular in Hawaii, but they’re still a SoCal favorite. Topped with fruit and superfoods, you’ll feel healthy and fit right in as you stroll down the streets of Santa Monica.

10. Poke from Sweetfin Poke

Photo courtesy of Amy C on yelp.com

Poke is another Hawaiian favorite that Californians have adopted. Though nothing can beat true Hawaiian poke, Sweetfin comes pretty damn close.

11. California Burrito from Nico’s Mexican Food

Photo courtesy of burritosofsandiego on Tumblr

If you haven’t had fries in a burrito, you haven’t truly lived. This San Diego classic takes normal burritos to a whole new level and is a perfect post-beach meal.

12. Seafood Burrito from El Zarape

Photo courtesy of Allison J on yelp.com

San Diegans sure know how to do a burrito right. Instead of fish tacos, make sure to try a seafood burrito in San Diego — it’s much more filling and is better than your typical carne asada burrito.

13. Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

Photo courtesy of Matt De Turk on flickr.com

The beauty of this cheeseburger in its simplicity. It’s juicy and and sinful and everything a burger should be.

14. Carne Asada Tater Tots from Bull Taco

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Carne asada tater tots are carb-y bowls of goodness — an upgrade to the classic carne asada fries.

15. Churros from Disneyland

Photo courtesy of disneychurros on Tumblr

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and their churros will make you the happiest person on earth.

16. Tacos Al Pastor (Adobada) from Tacos el Gordo de Tijuana B.C.

Photo courtesy of Andrew S yelp.com

This Chula Vista place serves the most authentic tacos north of the border. The adobada is carved off a massive spit and plopped into warm corn tortillas topped with special sauce. Heaven.

17. The Rebel Within from Craftsman and Wolves

Photo courtesy of Lin Lin S on yelp.com

Surprise yolk porn is the best yolk porn. Just cut into this savory muffin and you’ll see.

18. Matt Cain Sandwich from Ike’s Place

Photo courtesy of @tylertsd on Instagram

Go to Ike’s and you’ll be guaranteed a full and satisfied stomach. Any of their sandwiches are good (it is a famous place, after all), but the Matt Cain has three different types of meat, automatically making it one of our top choices.

19. Sushirrito from Sushirrito

Photo courtesy of Nancy L on yelp.com

California is the land of the burritos, apparently. And the birthplace of the infamous sushirrito, aka everything that’s good about sushi wrapped up in a burrito body.

20. Carne Asada Super Burrito from La Taqueria

Photo courtesy of Mani B on yelp.com

SoCal may have the best California burritos, but NorCal has the best classic burritos. La Taqueria does it the authentic way, with no rice and lots of guac.

21. Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie

Photo courtesy of Alex P on yelp.com

If you’re ever in San Francisco, hitting up the Embarcadero market is the first thing you should do. Find the red tent and get in line to get these porchetta sandwiches — we promise you won’t regret it. And if you’re looking for a more carb-heavy meal (aren’t we always?), get the potatoes as well.

22. Secret Breakfast from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Breakfast in ice cream form? Um yes. While the ingredients of this ice cream may be a secret (hint: it contains whiskey and cornflakes), the fact that it’s one of the most popular ice cream flavors in California definitely isn’t.

23. Mint Mojito Coffee from Philz Coffee

Photo courtesy of Philz Coffee on facebook.com

There’s not actually any alcohol in this coffee (sorry), but it’s the most unique coffee you’ll ever taste. They put actual mint leaves in, giving your coffee an instant pick-me-up.

24. All You Can Eat KBBQ from Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Steph S on yelp.com

AYCE KBBQ > any buffet you’ve ever been to in your life. Just pay a set price and you get as many plates of meat as you want, as well as many side dishes as you want.

#SpoonTip: Don’t order more than you can eat — they charge $15 for unfinished meat.

25. Pork Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Din Tai Fung

Photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung on Facebook

This famous Taiwanese chain has moved to the US, which is a win for people who love soup dumplings. Which, to be honest, should be everyone. Thin skin, flavorful broth, and quality meat makes Din Tai Fun’s xiao long bao a definite dim sum must-try.

26. Garlic Knots from C&O Trattoria

Photo courtesy of cotrattoria.com

Garlic lovers, you have to try this. These garlic knots are like garlic bread on steroids: warm, fluffy, and wonderfully flavored with lots of garlic.

27. Ramen from Daikokuya

Photo courtesy of aisforaftan.wordpress.com

Perfectly chewy noodles and a rich, flavorful broth makes Daikokuya’s ramen the best in LA and subsequently, California.

28. Omusubi from Sunny Blue

Photo courtesy of Jay B on yelp.com

What’s not to love about a place that has the tagline “this little place has balls”? Sunny Blue specializes in Japanese onmusubi (also known as onigiri), which are filled rice balls. Any of the balls are a good choice, though the miso beef is one of the most popular choices.

29. Fish Tacos from Ricky’s Fish Tacos

Photo courtesy of Roland L on yelp.com

Fish tacos are a California beach classic. With so many options, you can’t really go wrong eating them anywhere in California. But Ricky’s has been dubbed the “best fish taco” from Serious Eats and LA Weekly, to name a few.

30. Sushi Combination from Sushi Ota

Photo courtesy of John Pastor on flickr.com

Don’t let the strip mall location fool you. Sushi Ota has the best sushi in San Diego, and arguably some of the best sushi in the state. Plus, you can try live uni if you’re feeling adventurous.

31. Self-serve Boba from Class 302

Move over, self-serve fro yo. Self-serve boba is here, fulfilling all boba addicts’ dreams. You can customize your drink to your heart’s content, which is great for just about anyone.

#SpoonTip: Check out the do’s and don’ts of self-serve boba here.

32. Umami Burger from Umami Burger

Photo courtesy of umamiburger on Tumblr

“Umami” means a flavor with a distinct, pleasant savory taste, and the aptly named Umami Burger chain has burgers with unique combinations that will fulfill your umami receptors. Although all their options are interesting, go with the classic Umami Burger for your first time (Parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami ketchup) — it will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds.

33. Half Chicken from Zankou Chicken

Photo courtesy of Dikran I on yelp.com

Hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken. Not hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken and share. It’s crispy and crunchy and will make you rethink your previous concept of chicken.

34. Local Beer from Telegraph Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Telegraph Brewing Co. on yelp.com

Though California is known for its Napa Valley wines, beer lovers should know that the locally brewed craft beers are something worth trying as well. Telegraph has seasonal beers as well as classic beers, all of which are made with locally sourced ingredients.

35. Green Tea Latte from Urth Caffe

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

This matcha latte is probably one of the most Instagrammed photos by anyone who has been to or lived in SoCal, and for good reason. It looks artsy and is made with care from ceremonial-grade matcha from a family farm in Japan.

36. Macarons from Bottega Louie

Photo courtesy of John L on yelp.com

Bottega Louie has food, but don’t even bother. Just go for the rainbow macarons — get a box.

37. Baby Back Ribs from Phil’s BBQ

Photo courtesy of Phil’s BBQ on yelp.com

You don’t need to go to Texas for barbecue — Phil’s was not only on Thrillist’s Best BBQ in America, but also was recently featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

38. Praise the Lard from The Waffle Experience

Photo courtesy of Eric C on yelp.com

Sacramento is one of the most underrated food cities in California. But with restaurants like The Waffle Experience, it has recently come into the spotlight. The local cafe features creatively named waffle combinations like Farmer in the Dell, Praise the Lard, and Eggcellent. We suggest that anyone who has a hankering for pork belly go for Praise the Lard, which has cider-braised pork belly, a farm fresh egg, burrata cheese, a lard-stuffed waffle, maple syrup, and on-the-vine tomatoes.

39. Mac ‘n Cheetos from The Attic

Photo courtesy of Ivana T on yelp.com

Literally the stuff of college student dreams.

40. Oysters from Hog Island Oysters

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

They grow, harvest, shuck, and shell their own oysters, so the oysters are always unbelievably fresh. You can find them in Napa or in San Fran, but we recommend that you visit their farm at Marshall for the full experience.

41. Cioppino from Sotto Mare

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cioppino is a tomato stew filled with seafood and pasta — aka the perfect meal no matter what the weather or your mood. You can’t get much more authentic than Sotto Mare, which is right in the heart of San Francisco’s Italian North Beach.

42. Short Rib Tacos from Kogi BBQ Truck

Photo courtesy of Michael S on yelp.com

Not only did Kogi BBQ basically begin the food truck craze, but they also began the Asian fusion craze with their Korean-Mexican dishes.

43. Carbonara Pizza from Pizzeria Delfina

Photo courtesy of Yuestudio Y on yelp.com

If you thought carbonara only works as a type of pasta, think again. Thanks to Pizzeria Delfina, you can now enjoy it in a pizza form, runny egg and all.

44. Dry Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung’s

Photo courtesy of Amy T on yelp.com

Chinese food is a big part of Californian cuisine. So instead of KFC or Chick-Fil-A, we have Sam Tung’s to satisfy our fried chicken cravings.

45. Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe

Photo courtesy of Blu Jam Cafe on yelp.com

No one loves brunch as much as Californians do, and with places like Blu Jam, that’s no surprise. They have everything from the healthy to the decadent, and it’s all Instagram-worthy.

#SpoonTip: They serve breakfast all day and offer vegan and gluten-free options, so there’s really no losing by going here.

46. House Meat Pie at Beijing Pie House

Photo courtesy of Chris H on yelp.com

There are dumplings and there are steamed bao, and then there are Beijing Pie House’s meat pies. Filled with the traditional dumpling fillings, these savory pies fit perfectly into your hand and taste wonderful in your mouth.

47. Chocolate Bouchons from Bouchon Bakery

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

New York has their fair share of famous bakeries, but that doesn’t mean that California’s desserts should be overlooked. Bouchon Bakery is famous for its innovative and gorgeous pastries, especially their decadent chocolate bouchons.

48. Whole Snook from Coni’Seafood

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Jonathon Gold ate this, so you probably should too. Snook is rarely seen in the states, so it’s definitely a specialty.

#SpoonTip: Gold recommends trying the triple-spicy guac with this. We agree.

49. The Bambu Special from Bambu

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Irvine is the Asian food hub, so it only makes sense that the most unique Asian food is found there. Bambu takes desserts one step further with its traditional Vietnamese Chè (sweet beverages, desserts, and drinks). They have a smashed avocado drink for die-hard avo lovers, but for everyone else, we recommend the Bambu Special, which is made with fresh coconut juice with longan, basil seed, coconut meat, and pandan jelly.

50. Julian Apple Pie from Julian Pie Company

Photo courtesy of Julie K at yelp.com

One of the most famous pie places in California, the Julian Pie Company grows their own apples and retains the original traditions from when they first started, making it a cozy, homey place to grab a slice of pie. Though based out of Julian, you can now find their pies in San Diego and Riverside as well.


50 Things to Eat in California Before You Die

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

California natives will tell you that there’s no place better than California and people from all other states will tell you that there’s no better place to visit than California. Because not only does California have golden beaches and endless sunshine, it also has some of the best food out there. There’s a reason why so many California restaurants have been featured on “before you die” type bucket lists, with the most recent being Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

But with so many amazing places to eat, how can you even possibly know where to begin? That’s where this list comes in clutch. We’ve compiled this handy guide of the fifty best things to eat in California — perfect for both locals and visitors alike. Enjoy, and happy eating!

1. Any Dog at Pink’s Hot Dogs

Photo courtesy of Huishi L on yelp.com

Normal hot dogs are boring. Pink’s hot dogs are epic. They’re named after infamous celebrities and are topped with anything from bacon to sour cream to nacho cheese.

2. A Fully Topped Donut at California Donuts

Photo courtesy of Sheila A on yelp.com

California Donuts also proves that Californians love their toppings. While there’s a good selection of your normal sprinkle and maple bacon donuts, this famous donut shop also has must-try cereal and candy-topped donuts.

3. Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles

Photo courtesy of expatthought on Tumblr

Roscoe’s is the only place to have the classic chicken and waffle combo. With chains all around California, you have no excuse not to hit one up.

4. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese at Eggslut

The only thing slutty about this place is the amount of yolk porn you’ll see from every single egg dish.

5. Godmother from Bay Cities

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Good Italian subs are hard to find in California, but Bay Cities has got you covered. Pick one up for your next beach day — the Godmother is their best-selling one.

6. Animal Style Anything from In-N-Out Burger

Photo courtesy of fastfoodlover21 on Tumblr

The not-so-secret “secret” menu at In-n-Out includes both animal-style fries and an animal-style burger. Either one is good — or both, if you love that animal sauce.

7. Breakfast Burrito at Tacos Villa Corona

Photo courtesy of @welikela on Instagram

Nobody makes breakfast burritos like Californians do. This little hole-in-the-wall taco shop beats all the competition with its perfect combination of egg, potato and chorizo.

8. Custom Crêpe from Harajuku Crêpe

Photo courtesy of Chris C on yelp.com

Parisians aren’t the only ones who can make an awesome crêpe. Harajuku Crêpes is a Japanese crêpe place that lets you customize your own crêpe, and has options for add-ins ranging from sesame ice cream to mochi. Added bonus — everything is organic.

9. Açai Bowl from Banzai Bowls

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Açai bowls may have originated in Brazil and first became popular in Hawaii, but they’re still a SoCal favorite. Topped with fruit and superfoods, you’ll feel healthy and fit right in as you stroll down the streets of Santa Monica.

10. Poke from Sweetfin Poke

Photo courtesy of Amy C on yelp.com

Poke is another Hawaiian favorite that Californians have adopted. Though nothing can beat true Hawaiian poke, Sweetfin comes pretty damn close.

11. California Burrito from Nico’s Mexican Food

Photo courtesy of burritosofsandiego on Tumblr

If you haven’t had fries in a burrito, you haven’t truly lived. This San Diego classic takes normal burritos to a whole new level and is a perfect post-beach meal.

12. Seafood Burrito from El Zarape

Photo courtesy of Allison J on yelp.com

San Diegans sure know how to do a burrito right. Instead of fish tacos, make sure to try a seafood burrito in San Diego — it’s much more filling and is better than your typical carne asada burrito.

13. Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

Photo courtesy of Matt De Turk on flickr.com

The beauty of this cheeseburger in its simplicity. It’s juicy and and sinful and everything a burger should be.

14. Carne Asada Tater Tots from Bull Taco

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Carne asada tater tots are carb-y bowls of goodness — an upgrade to the classic carne asada fries.

15. Churros from Disneyland

Photo courtesy of disneychurros on Tumblr

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and their churros will make you the happiest person on earth.

16. Tacos Al Pastor (Adobada) from Tacos el Gordo de Tijuana B.C.

Photo courtesy of Andrew S yelp.com

This Chula Vista place serves the most authentic tacos north of the border. The adobada is carved off a massive spit and plopped into warm corn tortillas topped with special sauce. Heaven.

17. The Rebel Within from Craftsman and Wolves

Photo courtesy of Lin Lin S on yelp.com

Surprise yolk porn is the best yolk porn. Just cut into this savory muffin and you’ll see.

18. Matt Cain Sandwich from Ike’s Place

Photo courtesy of @tylertsd on Instagram

Go to Ike’s and you’ll be guaranteed a full and satisfied stomach. Any of their sandwiches are good (it is a famous place, after all), but the Matt Cain has three different types of meat, automatically making it one of our top choices.

19. Sushirrito from Sushirrito

Photo courtesy of Nancy L on yelp.com

California is the land of the burritos, apparently. And the birthplace of the infamous sushirrito, aka everything that’s good about sushi wrapped up in a burrito body.

20. Carne Asada Super Burrito from La Taqueria

Photo courtesy of Mani B on yelp.com

SoCal may have the best California burritos, but NorCal has the best classic burritos. La Taqueria does it the authentic way, with no rice and lots of guac.

21. Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie

Photo courtesy of Alex P on yelp.com

If you’re ever in San Francisco, hitting up the Embarcadero market is the first thing you should do. Find the red tent and get in line to get these porchetta sandwiches — we promise you won’t regret it. And if you’re looking for a more carb-heavy meal (aren’t we always?), get the potatoes as well.

22. Secret Breakfast from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Breakfast in ice cream form? Um yes. While the ingredients of this ice cream may be a secret (hint: it contains whiskey and cornflakes), the fact that it’s one of the most popular ice cream flavors in California definitely isn’t.

23. Mint Mojito Coffee from Philz Coffee

Photo courtesy of Philz Coffee on facebook.com

There’s not actually any alcohol in this coffee (sorry), but it’s the most unique coffee you’ll ever taste. They put actual mint leaves in, giving your coffee an instant pick-me-up.

24. All You Can Eat KBBQ from Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Steph S on yelp.com

AYCE KBBQ > any buffet you’ve ever been to in your life. Just pay a set price and you get as many plates of meat as you want, as well as many side dishes as you want.

#SpoonTip: Don’t order more than you can eat — they charge $15 for unfinished meat.

25. Pork Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Din Tai Fung

Photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung on Facebook

This famous Taiwanese chain has moved to the US, which is a win for people who love soup dumplings. Which, to be honest, should be everyone. Thin skin, flavorful broth, and quality meat makes Din Tai Fun’s xiao long bao a definite dim sum must-try.

26. Garlic Knots from C&O Trattoria

Photo courtesy of cotrattoria.com

Garlic lovers, you have to try this. These garlic knots are like garlic bread on steroids: warm, fluffy, and wonderfully flavored with lots of garlic.

27. Ramen from Daikokuya

Photo courtesy of aisforaftan.wordpress.com

Perfectly chewy noodles and a rich, flavorful broth makes Daikokuya’s ramen the best in LA and subsequently, California.

28. Omusubi from Sunny Blue

Photo courtesy of Jay B on yelp.com

What’s not to love about a place that has the tagline “this little place has balls”? Sunny Blue specializes in Japanese onmusubi (also known as onigiri), which are filled rice balls. Any of the balls are a good choice, though the miso beef is one of the most popular choices.

29. Fish Tacos from Ricky’s Fish Tacos

Photo courtesy of Roland L on yelp.com

Fish tacos are a California beach classic. With so many options, you can’t really go wrong eating them anywhere in California. But Ricky’s has been dubbed the “best fish taco” from Serious Eats and LA Weekly, to name a few.

30. Sushi Combination from Sushi Ota

Photo courtesy of John Pastor on flickr.com

Don’t let the strip mall location fool you. Sushi Ota has the best sushi in San Diego, and arguably some of the best sushi in the state. Plus, you can try live uni if you’re feeling adventurous.

31. Self-serve Boba from Class 302

Move over, self-serve fro yo. Self-serve boba is here, fulfilling all boba addicts’ dreams. You can customize your drink to your heart’s content, which is great for just about anyone.

#SpoonTip: Check out the do’s and don’ts of self-serve boba here.

32. Umami Burger from Umami Burger

Photo courtesy of umamiburger on Tumblr

“Umami” means a flavor with a distinct, pleasant savory taste, and the aptly named Umami Burger chain has burgers with unique combinations that will fulfill your umami receptors. Although all their options are interesting, go with the classic Umami Burger for your first time (Parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami ketchup) — it will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds.

33. Half Chicken from Zankou Chicken

Photo courtesy of Dikran I on yelp.com

Hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken. Not hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken and share. It’s crispy and crunchy and will make you rethink your previous concept of chicken.

34. Local Beer from Telegraph Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Telegraph Brewing Co. on yelp.com

Though California is known for its Napa Valley wines, beer lovers should know that the locally brewed craft beers are something worth trying as well. Telegraph has seasonal beers as well as classic beers, all of which are made with locally sourced ingredients.

35. Green Tea Latte from Urth Caffe

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

This matcha latte is probably one of the most Instagrammed photos by anyone who has been to or lived in SoCal, and for good reason. It looks artsy and is made with care from ceremonial-grade matcha from a family farm in Japan.

36. Macarons from Bottega Louie

Photo courtesy of John L on yelp.com

Bottega Louie has food, but don’t even bother. Just go for the rainbow macarons — get a box.

37. Baby Back Ribs from Phil’s BBQ

Photo courtesy of Phil’s BBQ on yelp.com

You don’t need to go to Texas for barbecue — Phil’s was not only on Thrillist’s Best BBQ in America, but also was recently featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

38. Praise the Lard from The Waffle Experience

Photo courtesy of Eric C on yelp.com

Sacramento is one of the most underrated food cities in California. But with restaurants like The Waffle Experience, it has recently come into the spotlight. The local cafe features creatively named waffle combinations like Farmer in the Dell, Praise the Lard, and Eggcellent. We suggest that anyone who has a hankering for pork belly go for Praise the Lard, which has cider-braised pork belly, a farm fresh egg, burrata cheese, a lard-stuffed waffle, maple syrup, and on-the-vine tomatoes.

39. Mac ‘n Cheetos from The Attic

Photo courtesy of Ivana T on yelp.com

Literally the stuff of college student dreams.

40. Oysters from Hog Island Oysters

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

They grow, harvest, shuck, and shell their own oysters, so the oysters are always unbelievably fresh. You can find them in Napa or in San Fran, but we recommend that you visit their farm at Marshall for the full experience.

41. Cioppino from Sotto Mare

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cioppino is a tomato stew filled with seafood and pasta — aka the perfect meal no matter what the weather or your mood. You can’t get much more authentic than Sotto Mare, which is right in the heart of San Francisco’s Italian North Beach.

42. Short Rib Tacos from Kogi BBQ Truck

Photo courtesy of Michael S on yelp.com

Not only did Kogi BBQ basically begin the food truck craze, but they also began the Asian fusion craze with their Korean-Mexican dishes.

43. Carbonara Pizza from Pizzeria Delfina

Photo courtesy of Yuestudio Y on yelp.com

If you thought carbonara only works as a type of pasta, think again. Thanks to Pizzeria Delfina, you can now enjoy it in a pizza form, runny egg and all.

44. Dry Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung’s

Photo courtesy of Amy T on yelp.com

Chinese food is a big part of Californian cuisine. So instead of KFC or Chick-Fil-A, we have Sam Tung’s to satisfy our fried chicken cravings.

45. Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe

Photo courtesy of Blu Jam Cafe on yelp.com

No one loves brunch as much as Californians do, and with places like Blu Jam, that’s no surprise. They have everything from the healthy to the decadent, and it’s all Instagram-worthy.

#SpoonTip: They serve breakfast all day and offer vegan and gluten-free options, so there’s really no losing by going here.

46. House Meat Pie at Beijing Pie House

Photo courtesy of Chris H on yelp.com

There are dumplings and there are steamed bao, and then there are Beijing Pie House’s meat pies. Filled with the traditional dumpling fillings, these savory pies fit perfectly into your hand and taste wonderful in your mouth.

47. Chocolate Bouchons from Bouchon Bakery

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

New York has their fair share of famous bakeries, but that doesn’t mean that California’s desserts should be overlooked. Bouchon Bakery is famous for its innovative and gorgeous pastries, especially their decadent chocolate bouchons.

48. Whole Snook from Coni’Seafood

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Jonathon Gold ate this, so you probably should too. Snook is rarely seen in the states, so it’s definitely a specialty.

#SpoonTip: Gold recommends trying the triple-spicy guac with this. We agree.

49. The Bambu Special from Bambu

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Irvine is the Asian food hub, so it only makes sense that the most unique Asian food is found there. Bambu takes desserts one step further with its traditional Vietnamese Chè (sweet beverages, desserts, and drinks). They have a smashed avocado drink for die-hard avo lovers, but for everyone else, we recommend the Bambu Special, which is made with fresh coconut juice with longan, basil seed, coconut meat, and pandan jelly.

50. Julian Apple Pie from Julian Pie Company

Photo courtesy of Julie K at yelp.com

One of the most famous pie places in California, the Julian Pie Company grows their own apples and retains the original traditions from when they first started, making it a cozy, homey place to grab a slice of pie. Though based out of Julian, you can now find their pies in San Diego and Riverside as well.


50 Things to Eat in California Before You Die

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

California natives will tell you that there’s no place better than California and people from all other states will tell you that there’s no better place to visit than California. Because not only does California have golden beaches and endless sunshine, it also has some of the best food out there. There’s a reason why so many California restaurants have been featured on “before you die” type bucket lists, with the most recent being Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

But with so many amazing places to eat, how can you even possibly know where to begin? That’s where this list comes in clutch. We’ve compiled this handy guide of the fifty best things to eat in California — perfect for both locals and visitors alike. Enjoy, and happy eating!

1. Any Dog at Pink’s Hot Dogs

Photo courtesy of Huishi L on yelp.com

Normal hot dogs are boring. Pink’s hot dogs are epic. They’re named after infamous celebrities and are topped with anything from bacon to sour cream to nacho cheese.

2. A Fully Topped Donut at California Donuts

Photo courtesy of Sheila A on yelp.com

California Donuts also proves that Californians love their toppings. While there’s a good selection of your normal sprinkle and maple bacon donuts, this famous donut shop also has must-try cereal and candy-topped donuts.

3. Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles

Photo courtesy of expatthought on Tumblr

Roscoe’s is the only place to have the classic chicken and waffle combo. With chains all around California, you have no excuse not to hit one up.

4. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese at Eggslut

The only thing slutty about this place is the amount of yolk porn you’ll see from every single egg dish.

5. Godmother from Bay Cities

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Good Italian subs are hard to find in California, but Bay Cities has got you covered. Pick one up for your next beach day — the Godmother is their best-selling one.

6. Animal Style Anything from In-N-Out Burger

Photo courtesy of fastfoodlover21 on Tumblr

The not-so-secret “secret” menu at In-n-Out includes both animal-style fries and an animal-style burger. Either one is good — or both, if you love that animal sauce.

7. Breakfast Burrito at Tacos Villa Corona

Photo courtesy of @welikela on Instagram

Nobody makes breakfast burritos like Californians do. This little hole-in-the-wall taco shop beats all the competition with its perfect combination of egg, potato and chorizo.

8. Custom Crêpe from Harajuku Crêpe

Photo courtesy of Chris C on yelp.com

Parisians aren’t the only ones who can make an awesome crêpe. Harajuku Crêpes is a Japanese crêpe place that lets you customize your own crêpe, and has options for add-ins ranging from sesame ice cream to mochi. Added bonus — everything is organic.

9. Açai Bowl from Banzai Bowls

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Açai bowls may have originated in Brazil and first became popular in Hawaii, but they’re still a SoCal favorite. Topped with fruit and superfoods, you’ll feel healthy and fit right in as you stroll down the streets of Santa Monica.

10. Poke from Sweetfin Poke

Photo courtesy of Amy C on yelp.com

Poke is another Hawaiian favorite that Californians have adopted. Though nothing can beat true Hawaiian poke, Sweetfin comes pretty damn close.

11. California Burrito from Nico’s Mexican Food

Photo courtesy of burritosofsandiego on Tumblr

If you haven’t had fries in a burrito, you haven’t truly lived. This San Diego classic takes normal burritos to a whole new level and is a perfect post-beach meal.

12. Seafood Burrito from El Zarape

Photo courtesy of Allison J on yelp.com

San Diegans sure know how to do a burrito right. Instead of fish tacos, make sure to try a seafood burrito in San Diego — it’s much more filling and is better than your typical carne asada burrito.

13. Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

Photo courtesy of Matt De Turk on flickr.com

The beauty of this cheeseburger in its simplicity. It’s juicy and and sinful and everything a burger should be.

14. Carne Asada Tater Tots from Bull Taco

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Carne asada tater tots are carb-y bowls of goodness — an upgrade to the classic carne asada fries.

15. Churros from Disneyland

Photo courtesy of disneychurros on Tumblr

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and their churros will make you the happiest person on earth.

16. Tacos Al Pastor (Adobada) from Tacos el Gordo de Tijuana B.C.

Photo courtesy of Andrew S yelp.com

This Chula Vista place serves the most authentic tacos north of the border. The adobada is carved off a massive spit and plopped into warm corn tortillas topped with special sauce. Heaven.

17. The Rebel Within from Craftsman and Wolves

Photo courtesy of Lin Lin S on yelp.com

Surprise yolk porn is the best yolk porn. Just cut into this savory muffin and you’ll see.

18. Matt Cain Sandwich from Ike’s Place

Photo courtesy of @tylertsd on Instagram

Go to Ike’s and you’ll be guaranteed a full and satisfied stomach. Any of their sandwiches are good (it is a famous place, after all), but the Matt Cain has three different types of meat, automatically making it one of our top choices.

19. Sushirrito from Sushirrito

Photo courtesy of Nancy L on yelp.com

California is the land of the burritos, apparently. And the birthplace of the infamous sushirrito, aka everything that’s good about sushi wrapped up in a burrito body.

20. Carne Asada Super Burrito from La Taqueria

Photo courtesy of Mani B on yelp.com

SoCal may have the best California burritos, but NorCal has the best classic burritos. La Taqueria does it the authentic way, with no rice and lots of guac.

21. Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie

Photo courtesy of Alex P on yelp.com

If you’re ever in San Francisco, hitting up the Embarcadero market is the first thing you should do. Find the red tent and get in line to get these porchetta sandwiches — we promise you won’t regret it. And if you’re looking for a more carb-heavy meal (aren’t we always?), get the potatoes as well.

22. Secret Breakfast from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Breakfast in ice cream form? Um yes. While the ingredients of this ice cream may be a secret (hint: it contains whiskey and cornflakes), the fact that it’s one of the most popular ice cream flavors in California definitely isn’t.

23. Mint Mojito Coffee from Philz Coffee

Photo courtesy of Philz Coffee on facebook.com

There’s not actually any alcohol in this coffee (sorry), but it’s the most unique coffee you’ll ever taste. They put actual mint leaves in, giving your coffee an instant pick-me-up.

24. All You Can Eat KBBQ from Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Steph S on yelp.com

AYCE KBBQ > any buffet you’ve ever been to in your life. Just pay a set price and you get as many plates of meat as you want, as well as many side dishes as you want.

#SpoonTip: Don’t order more than you can eat — they charge $15 for unfinished meat.

25. Pork Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Din Tai Fung

Photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung on Facebook

This famous Taiwanese chain has moved to the US, which is a win for people who love soup dumplings. Which, to be honest, should be everyone. Thin skin, flavorful broth, and quality meat makes Din Tai Fun’s xiao long bao a definite dim sum must-try.

26. Garlic Knots from C&O Trattoria

Photo courtesy of cotrattoria.com

Garlic lovers, you have to try this. These garlic knots are like garlic bread on steroids: warm, fluffy, and wonderfully flavored with lots of garlic.

27. Ramen from Daikokuya

Photo courtesy of aisforaftan.wordpress.com

Perfectly chewy noodles and a rich, flavorful broth makes Daikokuya’s ramen the best in LA and subsequently, California.

28. Omusubi from Sunny Blue

Photo courtesy of Jay B on yelp.com

What’s not to love about a place that has the tagline “this little place has balls”? Sunny Blue specializes in Japanese onmusubi (also known as onigiri), which are filled rice balls. Any of the balls are a good choice, though the miso beef is one of the most popular choices.

29. Fish Tacos from Ricky’s Fish Tacos

Photo courtesy of Roland L on yelp.com

Fish tacos are a California beach classic. With so many options, you can’t really go wrong eating them anywhere in California. But Ricky’s has been dubbed the “best fish taco” from Serious Eats and LA Weekly, to name a few.

30. Sushi Combination from Sushi Ota

Photo courtesy of John Pastor on flickr.com

Don’t let the strip mall location fool you. Sushi Ota has the best sushi in San Diego, and arguably some of the best sushi in the state. Plus, you can try live uni if you’re feeling adventurous.

31. Self-serve Boba from Class 302

Move over, self-serve fro yo. Self-serve boba is here, fulfilling all boba addicts’ dreams. You can customize your drink to your heart’s content, which is great for just about anyone.

#SpoonTip: Check out the do’s and don’ts of self-serve boba here.

32. Umami Burger from Umami Burger

Photo courtesy of umamiburger on Tumblr

“Umami” means a flavor with a distinct, pleasant savory taste, and the aptly named Umami Burger chain has burgers with unique combinations that will fulfill your umami receptors. Although all their options are interesting, go with the classic Umami Burger for your first time (Parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami ketchup) — it will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds.

33. Half Chicken from Zankou Chicken

Photo courtesy of Dikran I on yelp.com

Hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken. Not hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken and share. It’s crispy and crunchy and will make you rethink your previous concept of chicken.

34. Local Beer from Telegraph Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Telegraph Brewing Co. on yelp.com

Though California is known for its Napa Valley wines, beer lovers should know that the locally brewed craft beers are something worth trying as well. Telegraph has seasonal beers as well as classic beers, all of which are made with locally sourced ingredients.

35. Green Tea Latte from Urth Caffe

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

This matcha latte is probably one of the most Instagrammed photos by anyone who has been to or lived in SoCal, and for good reason. It looks artsy and is made with care from ceremonial-grade matcha from a family farm in Japan.

36. Macarons from Bottega Louie

Photo courtesy of John L on yelp.com

Bottega Louie has food, but don’t even bother. Just go for the rainbow macarons — get a box.

37. Baby Back Ribs from Phil’s BBQ

Photo courtesy of Phil’s BBQ on yelp.com

You don’t need to go to Texas for barbecue — Phil’s was not only on Thrillist’s Best BBQ in America, but also was recently featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

38. Praise the Lard from The Waffle Experience

Photo courtesy of Eric C on yelp.com

Sacramento is one of the most underrated food cities in California. But with restaurants like The Waffle Experience, it has recently come into the spotlight. The local cafe features creatively named waffle combinations like Farmer in the Dell, Praise the Lard, and Eggcellent. We suggest that anyone who has a hankering for pork belly go for Praise the Lard, which has cider-braised pork belly, a farm fresh egg, burrata cheese, a lard-stuffed waffle, maple syrup, and on-the-vine tomatoes.

39. Mac ‘n Cheetos from The Attic

Photo courtesy of Ivana T on yelp.com

Literally the stuff of college student dreams.

40. Oysters from Hog Island Oysters

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

They grow, harvest, shuck, and shell their own oysters, so the oysters are always unbelievably fresh. You can find them in Napa or in San Fran, but we recommend that you visit their farm at Marshall for the full experience.

41. Cioppino from Sotto Mare

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cioppino is a tomato stew filled with seafood and pasta — aka the perfect meal no matter what the weather or your mood. You can’t get much more authentic than Sotto Mare, which is right in the heart of San Francisco’s Italian North Beach.

42. Short Rib Tacos from Kogi BBQ Truck

Photo courtesy of Michael S on yelp.com

Not only did Kogi BBQ basically begin the food truck craze, but they also began the Asian fusion craze with their Korean-Mexican dishes.

43. Carbonara Pizza from Pizzeria Delfina

Photo courtesy of Yuestudio Y on yelp.com

If you thought carbonara only works as a type of pasta, think again. Thanks to Pizzeria Delfina, you can now enjoy it in a pizza form, runny egg and all.

44. Dry Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung’s

Photo courtesy of Amy T on yelp.com

Chinese food is a big part of Californian cuisine. So instead of KFC or Chick-Fil-A, we have Sam Tung’s to satisfy our fried chicken cravings.

45. Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe

Photo courtesy of Blu Jam Cafe on yelp.com

No one loves brunch as much as Californians do, and with places like Blu Jam, that’s no surprise. They have everything from the healthy to the decadent, and it’s all Instagram-worthy.

#SpoonTip: They serve breakfast all day and offer vegan and gluten-free options, so there’s really no losing by going here.

46. House Meat Pie at Beijing Pie House

Photo courtesy of Chris H on yelp.com

There are dumplings and there are steamed bao, and then there are Beijing Pie House’s meat pies. Filled with the traditional dumpling fillings, these savory pies fit perfectly into your hand and taste wonderful in your mouth.

47. Chocolate Bouchons from Bouchon Bakery

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

New York has their fair share of famous bakeries, but that doesn’t mean that California’s desserts should be overlooked. Bouchon Bakery is famous for its innovative and gorgeous pastries, especially their decadent chocolate bouchons.

48. Whole Snook from Coni’Seafood

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Jonathon Gold ate this, so you probably should too. Snook is rarely seen in the states, so it’s definitely a specialty.

#SpoonTip: Gold recommends trying the triple-spicy guac with this. We agree.

49. The Bambu Special from Bambu

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Irvine is the Asian food hub, so it only makes sense that the most unique Asian food is found there. Bambu takes desserts one step further with its traditional Vietnamese Chè (sweet beverages, desserts, and drinks). They have a smashed avocado drink for die-hard avo lovers, but for everyone else, we recommend the Bambu Special, which is made with fresh coconut juice with longan, basil seed, coconut meat, and pandan jelly.

50. Julian Apple Pie from Julian Pie Company

Photo courtesy of Julie K at yelp.com

One of the most famous pie places in California, the Julian Pie Company grows their own apples and retains the original traditions from when they first started, making it a cozy, homey place to grab a slice of pie. Though based out of Julian, you can now find their pies in San Diego and Riverside as well.


50 Things to Eat in California Before You Die

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

California natives will tell you that there’s no place better than California and people from all other states will tell you that there’s no better place to visit than California. Because not only does California have golden beaches and endless sunshine, it also has some of the best food out there. There’s a reason why so many California restaurants have been featured on “before you die” type bucket lists, with the most recent being Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

But with so many amazing places to eat, how can you even possibly know where to begin? That’s where this list comes in clutch. We’ve compiled this handy guide of the fifty best things to eat in California — perfect for both locals and visitors alike. Enjoy, and happy eating!

1. Any Dog at Pink’s Hot Dogs

Photo courtesy of Huishi L on yelp.com

Normal hot dogs are boring. Pink’s hot dogs are epic. They’re named after infamous celebrities and are topped with anything from bacon to sour cream to nacho cheese.

2. A Fully Topped Donut at California Donuts

Photo courtesy of Sheila A on yelp.com

California Donuts also proves that Californians love their toppings. While there’s a good selection of your normal sprinkle and maple bacon donuts, this famous donut shop also has must-try cereal and candy-topped donuts.

3. Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles

Photo courtesy of expatthought on Tumblr

Roscoe’s is the only place to have the classic chicken and waffle combo. With chains all around California, you have no excuse not to hit one up.

4. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese at Eggslut

The only thing slutty about this place is the amount of yolk porn you’ll see from every single egg dish.

5. Godmother from Bay Cities

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Good Italian subs are hard to find in California, but Bay Cities has got you covered. Pick one up for your next beach day — the Godmother is their best-selling one.

6. Animal Style Anything from In-N-Out Burger

Photo courtesy of fastfoodlover21 on Tumblr

The not-so-secret “secret” menu at In-n-Out includes both animal-style fries and an animal-style burger. Either one is good — or both, if you love that animal sauce.

7. Breakfast Burrito at Tacos Villa Corona

Photo courtesy of @welikela on Instagram

Nobody makes breakfast burritos like Californians do. This little hole-in-the-wall taco shop beats all the competition with its perfect combination of egg, potato and chorizo.

8. Custom Crêpe from Harajuku Crêpe

Photo courtesy of Chris C on yelp.com

Parisians aren’t the only ones who can make an awesome crêpe. Harajuku Crêpes is a Japanese crêpe place that lets you customize your own crêpe, and has options for add-ins ranging from sesame ice cream to mochi. Added bonus — everything is organic.

9. Açai Bowl from Banzai Bowls

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Açai bowls may have originated in Brazil and first became popular in Hawaii, but they’re still a SoCal favorite. Topped with fruit and superfoods, you’ll feel healthy and fit right in as you stroll down the streets of Santa Monica.

10. Poke from Sweetfin Poke

Photo courtesy of Amy C on yelp.com

Poke is another Hawaiian favorite that Californians have adopted. Though nothing can beat true Hawaiian poke, Sweetfin comes pretty damn close.

11. California Burrito from Nico’s Mexican Food

Photo courtesy of burritosofsandiego on Tumblr

If you haven’t had fries in a burrito, you haven’t truly lived. This San Diego classic takes normal burritos to a whole new level and is a perfect post-beach meal.

12. Seafood Burrito from El Zarape

Photo courtesy of Allison J on yelp.com

San Diegans sure know how to do a burrito right. Instead of fish tacos, make sure to try a seafood burrito in San Diego — it’s much more filling and is better than your typical carne asada burrito.

13. Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

Photo courtesy of Matt De Turk on flickr.com

The beauty of this cheeseburger in its simplicity. It’s juicy and and sinful and everything a burger should be.

14. Carne Asada Tater Tots from Bull Taco

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Carne asada tater tots are carb-y bowls of goodness — an upgrade to the classic carne asada fries.

15. Churros from Disneyland

Photo courtesy of disneychurros on Tumblr

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and their churros will make you the happiest person on earth.

16. Tacos Al Pastor (Adobada) from Tacos el Gordo de Tijuana B.C.

Photo courtesy of Andrew S yelp.com

This Chula Vista place serves the most authentic tacos north of the border. The adobada is carved off a massive spit and plopped into warm corn tortillas topped with special sauce. Heaven.

17. The Rebel Within from Craftsman and Wolves

Photo courtesy of Lin Lin S on yelp.com

Surprise yolk porn is the best yolk porn. Just cut into this savory muffin and you’ll see.

18. Matt Cain Sandwich from Ike’s Place

Photo courtesy of @tylertsd on Instagram

Go to Ike’s and you’ll be guaranteed a full and satisfied stomach. Any of their sandwiches are good (it is a famous place, after all), but the Matt Cain has three different types of meat, automatically making it one of our top choices.

19. Sushirrito from Sushirrito

Photo courtesy of Nancy L on yelp.com

California is the land of the burritos, apparently. And the birthplace of the infamous sushirrito, aka everything that’s good about sushi wrapped up in a burrito body.

20. Carne Asada Super Burrito from La Taqueria

Photo courtesy of Mani B on yelp.com

SoCal may have the best California burritos, but NorCal has the best classic burritos. La Taqueria does it the authentic way, with no rice and lots of guac.

21. Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie

Photo courtesy of Alex P on yelp.com

If you’re ever in San Francisco, hitting up the Embarcadero market is the first thing you should do. Find the red tent and get in line to get these porchetta sandwiches — we promise you won’t regret it. And if you’re looking for a more carb-heavy meal (aren’t we always?), get the potatoes as well.

22. Secret Breakfast from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Breakfast in ice cream form? Um yes. While the ingredients of this ice cream may be a secret (hint: it contains whiskey and cornflakes), the fact that it’s one of the most popular ice cream flavors in California definitely isn’t.

23. Mint Mojito Coffee from Philz Coffee

Photo courtesy of Philz Coffee on facebook.com

There’s not actually any alcohol in this coffee (sorry), but it’s the most unique coffee you’ll ever taste. They put actual mint leaves in, giving your coffee an instant pick-me-up.

24. All You Can Eat KBBQ from Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Steph S on yelp.com

AYCE KBBQ > any buffet you’ve ever been to in your life. Just pay a set price and you get as many plates of meat as you want, as well as many side dishes as you want.

#SpoonTip: Don’t order more than you can eat — they charge $15 for unfinished meat.

25. Pork Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Din Tai Fung

Photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung on Facebook

This famous Taiwanese chain has moved to the US, which is a win for people who love soup dumplings. Which, to be honest, should be everyone. Thin skin, flavorful broth, and quality meat makes Din Tai Fun’s xiao long bao a definite dim sum must-try.

26. Garlic Knots from C&O Trattoria

Photo courtesy of cotrattoria.com

Garlic lovers, you have to try this. These garlic knots are like garlic bread on steroids: warm, fluffy, and wonderfully flavored with lots of garlic.

27. Ramen from Daikokuya

Photo courtesy of aisforaftan.wordpress.com

Perfectly chewy noodles and a rich, flavorful broth makes Daikokuya’s ramen the best in LA and subsequently, California.

28. Omusubi from Sunny Blue

Photo courtesy of Jay B on yelp.com

What’s not to love about a place that has the tagline “this little place has balls”? Sunny Blue specializes in Japanese onmusubi (also known as onigiri), which are filled rice balls. Any of the balls are a good choice, though the miso beef is one of the most popular choices.

29. Fish Tacos from Ricky’s Fish Tacos

Photo courtesy of Roland L on yelp.com

Fish tacos are a California beach classic. With so many options, you can’t really go wrong eating them anywhere in California. But Ricky’s has been dubbed the “best fish taco” from Serious Eats and LA Weekly, to name a few.

30. Sushi Combination from Sushi Ota

Photo courtesy of John Pastor on flickr.com

Don’t let the strip mall location fool you. Sushi Ota has the best sushi in San Diego, and arguably some of the best sushi in the state. Plus, you can try live uni if you’re feeling adventurous.

31. Self-serve Boba from Class 302

Move over, self-serve fro yo. Self-serve boba is here, fulfilling all boba addicts’ dreams. You can customize your drink to your heart’s content, which is great for just about anyone.

#SpoonTip: Check out the do’s and don’ts of self-serve boba here.

32. Umami Burger from Umami Burger

Photo courtesy of umamiburger on Tumblr

“Umami” means a flavor with a distinct, pleasant savory taste, and the aptly named Umami Burger chain has burgers with unique combinations that will fulfill your umami receptors. Although all their options are interesting, go with the classic Umami Burger for your first time (Parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami ketchup) — it will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds.

33. Half Chicken from Zankou Chicken

Photo courtesy of Dikran I on yelp.com

Hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken. Not hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken and share. It’s crispy and crunchy and will make you rethink your previous concept of chicken.

34. Local Beer from Telegraph Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Telegraph Brewing Co. on yelp.com

Though California is known for its Napa Valley wines, beer lovers should know that the locally brewed craft beers are something worth trying as well. Telegraph has seasonal beers as well as classic beers, all of which are made with locally sourced ingredients.

35. Green Tea Latte from Urth Caffe

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

This matcha latte is probably one of the most Instagrammed photos by anyone who has been to or lived in SoCal, and for good reason. It looks artsy and is made with care from ceremonial-grade matcha from a family farm in Japan.

36. Macarons from Bottega Louie

Photo courtesy of John L on yelp.com

Bottega Louie has food, but don’t even bother. Just go for the rainbow macarons — get a box.

37. Baby Back Ribs from Phil’s BBQ

Photo courtesy of Phil’s BBQ on yelp.com

You don’t need to go to Texas for barbecue — Phil’s was not only on Thrillist’s Best BBQ in America, but also was recently featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

38. Praise the Lard from The Waffle Experience

Photo courtesy of Eric C on yelp.com

Sacramento is one of the most underrated food cities in California. But with restaurants like The Waffle Experience, it has recently come into the spotlight. The local cafe features creatively named waffle combinations like Farmer in the Dell, Praise the Lard, and Eggcellent. We suggest that anyone who has a hankering for pork belly go for Praise the Lard, which has cider-braised pork belly, a farm fresh egg, burrata cheese, a lard-stuffed waffle, maple syrup, and on-the-vine tomatoes.

39. Mac ‘n Cheetos from The Attic

Photo courtesy of Ivana T on yelp.com

Literally the stuff of college student dreams.

40. Oysters from Hog Island Oysters

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

They grow, harvest, shuck, and shell their own oysters, so the oysters are always unbelievably fresh. You can find them in Napa or in San Fran, but we recommend that you visit their farm at Marshall for the full experience.

41. Cioppino from Sotto Mare

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cioppino is a tomato stew filled with seafood and pasta — aka the perfect meal no matter what the weather or your mood. You can’t get much more authentic than Sotto Mare, which is right in the heart of San Francisco’s Italian North Beach.

42. Short Rib Tacos from Kogi BBQ Truck

Photo courtesy of Michael S on yelp.com

Not only did Kogi BBQ basically begin the food truck craze, but they also began the Asian fusion craze with their Korean-Mexican dishes.

43. Carbonara Pizza from Pizzeria Delfina

Photo courtesy of Yuestudio Y on yelp.com

If you thought carbonara only works as a type of pasta, think again. Thanks to Pizzeria Delfina, you can now enjoy it in a pizza form, runny egg and all.

44. Dry Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung’s

Photo courtesy of Amy T on yelp.com

Chinese food is a big part of Californian cuisine. So instead of KFC or Chick-Fil-A, we have Sam Tung’s to satisfy our fried chicken cravings.

45. Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe

Photo courtesy of Blu Jam Cafe on yelp.com

No one loves brunch as much as Californians do, and with places like Blu Jam, that’s no surprise. They have everything from the healthy to the decadent, and it’s all Instagram-worthy.

#SpoonTip: They serve breakfast all day and offer vegan and gluten-free options, so there’s really no losing by going here.

46. House Meat Pie at Beijing Pie House

Photo courtesy of Chris H on yelp.com

There are dumplings and there are steamed bao, and then there are Beijing Pie House’s meat pies. Filled with the traditional dumpling fillings, these savory pies fit perfectly into your hand and taste wonderful in your mouth.

47. Chocolate Bouchons from Bouchon Bakery

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

New York has their fair share of famous bakeries, but that doesn’t mean that California’s desserts should be overlooked. Bouchon Bakery is famous for its innovative and gorgeous pastries, especially their decadent chocolate bouchons.

48. Whole Snook from Coni’Seafood

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Jonathon Gold ate this, so you probably should too. Snook is rarely seen in the states, so it’s definitely a specialty.

#SpoonTip: Gold recommends trying the triple-spicy guac with this. We agree.

49. The Bambu Special from Bambu

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Irvine is the Asian food hub, so it only makes sense that the most unique Asian food is found there. Bambu takes desserts one step further with its traditional Vietnamese Chè (sweet beverages, desserts, and drinks). They have a smashed avocado drink for die-hard avo lovers, but for everyone else, we recommend the Bambu Special, which is made with fresh coconut juice with longan, basil seed, coconut meat, and pandan jelly.

50. Julian Apple Pie from Julian Pie Company

Photo courtesy of Julie K at yelp.com

One of the most famous pie places in California, the Julian Pie Company grows their own apples and retains the original traditions from when they first started, making it a cozy, homey place to grab a slice of pie. Though based out of Julian, you can now find their pies in San Diego and Riverside as well.


50 Things to Eat in California Before You Die

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

California natives will tell you that there’s no place better than California and people from all other states will tell you that there’s no better place to visit than California. Because not only does California have golden beaches and endless sunshine, it also has some of the best food out there. There’s a reason why so many California restaurants have been featured on “before you die” type bucket lists, with the most recent being Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

But with so many amazing places to eat, how can you even possibly know where to begin? That’s where this list comes in clutch. We’ve compiled this handy guide of the fifty best things to eat in California — perfect for both locals and visitors alike. Enjoy, and happy eating!

1. Any Dog at Pink’s Hot Dogs

Photo courtesy of Huishi L on yelp.com

Normal hot dogs are boring. Pink’s hot dogs are epic. They’re named after infamous celebrities and are topped with anything from bacon to sour cream to nacho cheese.

2. A Fully Topped Donut at California Donuts

Photo courtesy of Sheila A on yelp.com

California Donuts also proves that Californians love their toppings. While there’s a good selection of your normal sprinkle and maple bacon donuts, this famous donut shop also has must-try cereal and candy-topped donuts.

3. Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles

Photo courtesy of expatthought on Tumblr

Roscoe’s is the only place to have the classic chicken and waffle combo. With chains all around California, you have no excuse not to hit one up.

4. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese at Eggslut

The only thing slutty about this place is the amount of yolk porn you’ll see from every single egg dish.

5. Godmother from Bay Cities

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Good Italian subs are hard to find in California, but Bay Cities has got you covered. Pick one up for your next beach day — the Godmother is their best-selling one.

6. Animal Style Anything from In-N-Out Burger

Photo courtesy of fastfoodlover21 on Tumblr

The not-so-secret “secret” menu at In-n-Out includes both animal-style fries and an animal-style burger. Either one is good — or both, if you love that animal sauce.

7. Breakfast Burrito at Tacos Villa Corona

Photo courtesy of @welikela on Instagram

Nobody makes breakfast burritos like Californians do. This little hole-in-the-wall taco shop beats all the competition with its perfect combination of egg, potato and chorizo.

8. Custom Crêpe from Harajuku Crêpe

Photo courtesy of Chris C on yelp.com

Parisians aren’t the only ones who can make an awesome crêpe. Harajuku Crêpes is a Japanese crêpe place that lets you customize your own crêpe, and has options for add-ins ranging from sesame ice cream to mochi. Added bonus — everything is organic.

9. Açai Bowl from Banzai Bowls

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Açai bowls may have originated in Brazil and first became popular in Hawaii, but they’re still a SoCal favorite. Topped with fruit and superfoods, you’ll feel healthy and fit right in as you stroll down the streets of Santa Monica.

10. Poke from Sweetfin Poke

Photo courtesy of Amy C on yelp.com

Poke is another Hawaiian favorite that Californians have adopted. Though nothing can beat true Hawaiian poke, Sweetfin comes pretty damn close.

11. California Burrito from Nico’s Mexican Food

Photo courtesy of burritosofsandiego on Tumblr

If you haven’t had fries in a burrito, you haven’t truly lived. This San Diego classic takes normal burritos to a whole new level and is a perfect post-beach meal.

12. Seafood Burrito from El Zarape

Photo courtesy of Allison J on yelp.com

San Diegans sure know how to do a burrito right. Instead of fish tacos, make sure to try a seafood burrito in San Diego — it’s much more filling and is better than your typical carne asada burrito.

13. Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

Photo courtesy of Matt De Turk on flickr.com

The beauty of this cheeseburger in its simplicity. It’s juicy and and sinful and everything a burger should be.

14. Carne Asada Tater Tots from Bull Taco

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Carne asada tater tots are carb-y bowls of goodness — an upgrade to the classic carne asada fries.

15. Churros from Disneyland

Photo courtesy of disneychurros on Tumblr

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and their churros will make you the happiest person on earth.

16. Tacos Al Pastor (Adobada) from Tacos el Gordo de Tijuana B.C.

Photo courtesy of Andrew S yelp.com

This Chula Vista place serves the most authentic tacos north of the border. The adobada is carved off a massive spit and plopped into warm corn tortillas topped with special sauce. Heaven.

17. The Rebel Within from Craftsman and Wolves

Photo courtesy of Lin Lin S on yelp.com

Surprise yolk porn is the best yolk porn. Just cut into this savory muffin and you’ll see.

18. Matt Cain Sandwich from Ike’s Place

Photo courtesy of @tylertsd on Instagram

Go to Ike’s and you’ll be guaranteed a full and satisfied stomach. Any of their sandwiches are good (it is a famous place, after all), but the Matt Cain has three different types of meat, automatically making it one of our top choices.

19. Sushirrito from Sushirrito

Photo courtesy of Nancy L on yelp.com

California is the land of the burritos, apparently. And the birthplace of the infamous sushirrito, aka everything that’s good about sushi wrapped up in a burrito body.

20. Carne Asada Super Burrito from La Taqueria

Photo courtesy of Mani B on yelp.com

SoCal may have the best California burritos, but NorCal has the best classic burritos. La Taqueria does it the authentic way, with no rice and lots of guac.

21. Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie

Photo courtesy of Alex P on yelp.com

If you’re ever in San Francisco, hitting up the Embarcadero market is the first thing you should do. Find the red tent and get in line to get these porchetta sandwiches — we promise you won’t regret it. And if you’re looking for a more carb-heavy meal (aren’t we always?), get the potatoes as well.

22. Secret Breakfast from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Breakfast in ice cream form? Um yes. While the ingredients of this ice cream may be a secret (hint: it contains whiskey and cornflakes), the fact that it’s one of the most popular ice cream flavors in California definitely isn’t.

23. Mint Mojito Coffee from Philz Coffee

Photo courtesy of Philz Coffee on facebook.com

There’s not actually any alcohol in this coffee (sorry), but it’s the most unique coffee you’ll ever taste. They put actual mint leaves in, giving your coffee an instant pick-me-up.

24. All You Can Eat KBBQ from Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Steph S on yelp.com

AYCE KBBQ > any buffet you’ve ever been to in your life. Just pay a set price and you get as many plates of meat as you want, as well as many side dishes as you want.

#SpoonTip: Don’t order more than you can eat — they charge $15 for unfinished meat.

25. Pork Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Din Tai Fung

Photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung on Facebook

This famous Taiwanese chain has moved to the US, which is a win for people who love soup dumplings. Which, to be honest, should be everyone. Thin skin, flavorful broth, and quality meat makes Din Tai Fun’s xiao long bao a definite dim sum must-try.

26. Garlic Knots from C&O Trattoria

Photo courtesy of cotrattoria.com

Garlic lovers, you have to try this. These garlic knots are like garlic bread on steroids: warm, fluffy, and wonderfully flavored with lots of garlic.

27. Ramen from Daikokuya

Photo courtesy of aisforaftan.wordpress.com

Perfectly chewy noodles and a rich, flavorful broth makes Daikokuya’s ramen the best in LA and subsequently, California.

28. Omusubi from Sunny Blue

Photo courtesy of Jay B on yelp.com

What’s not to love about a place that has the tagline “this little place has balls”? Sunny Blue specializes in Japanese onmusubi (also known as onigiri), which are filled rice balls. Any of the balls are a good choice, though the miso beef is one of the most popular choices.

29. Fish Tacos from Ricky’s Fish Tacos

Photo courtesy of Roland L on yelp.com

Fish tacos are a California beach classic. With so many options, you can’t really go wrong eating them anywhere in California. But Ricky’s has been dubbed the “best fish taco” from Serious Eats and LA Weekly, to name a few.

30. Sushi Combination from Sushi Ota

Photo courtesy of John Pastor on flickr.com

Don’t let the strip mall location fool you. Sushi Ota has the best sushi in San Diego, and arguably some of the best sushi in the state. Plus, you can try live uni if you’re feeling adventurous.

31. Self-serve Boba from Class 302

Move over, self-serve fro yo. Self-serve boba is here, fulfilling all boba addicts’ dreams. You can customize your drink to your heart’s content, which is great for just about anyone.

#SpoonTip: Check out the do’s and don’ts of self-serve boba here.

32. Umami Burger from Umami Burger

Photo courtesy of umamiburger on Tumblr

“Umami” means a flavor with a distinct, pleasant savory taste, and the aptly named Umami Burger chain has burgers with unique combinations that will fulfill your umami receptors. Although all their options are interesting, go with the classic Umami Burger for your first time (Parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami ketchup) — it will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds.

33. Half Chicken from Zankou Chicken

Photo courtesy of Dikran I on yelp.com

Hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken. Not hungry? Get Zankou’s half chicken and share. It’s crispy and crunchy and will make you rethink your previous concept of chicken.

34. Local Beer from Telegraph Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Telegraph Brewing Co. on yelp.com

Though California is known for its Napa Valley wines, beer lovers should know that the locally brewed craft beers are something worth trying as well. Telegraph has seasonal beers as well as classic beers, all of which are made with locally sourced ingredients.

35. Green Tea Latte from Urth Caffe

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

This matcha latte is probably one of the most Instagrammed photos by anyone who has been to or lived in SoCal, and for good reason. It looks artsy and is made with care from ceremonial-grade matcha from a family farm in Japan.

36. Macarons from Bottega Louie

Photo courtesy of John L on yelp.com

Bottega Louie has food, but don’t even bother. Just go for the rainbow macarons — get a box.

37. Baby Back Ribs from Phil’s BBQ

Photo courtesy of Phil’s BBQ on yelp.com

You don’t need to go to Texas for barbecue — Phil’s was not only on Thrillist’s Best BBQ in America, but also was recently featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2016.

38. Praise the Lard from The Waffle Experience

Photo courtesy of Eric C on yelp.com

Sacramento is one of the most underrated food cities in California. But with restaurants like The Waffle Experience, it has recently come into the spotlight. The local cafe features creatively named waffle combinations like Farmer in the Dell, Praise the Lard, and Eggcellent. We suggest that anyone who has a hankering for pork belly go for Praise the Lard, which has cider-braised pork belly, a farm fresh egg, burrata cheese, a lard-stuffed waffle, maple syrup, and on-the-vine tomatoes.

39. Mac ‘n Cheetos from The Attic

Photo courtesy of Ivana T on yelp.com

Literally the stuff of college student dreams.

40. Oysters from Hog Island Oysters

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

They grow, harvest, shuck, and shell their own oysters, so the oysters are always unbelievably fresh. You can find them in Napa or in San Fran, but we recommend that you visit their farm at Marshall for the full experience.

41. Cioppino from Sotto Mare

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cioppino is a tomato stew filled with seafood and pasta — aka the perfect meal no matter what the weather or your mood. You can’t get much more authentic than Sotto Mare, which is right in the heart of San Francisco’s Italian North Beach.

42. Short Rib Tacos from Kogi BBQ Truck

Photo courtesy of Michael S on yelp.com

Not only did Kogi BBQ basically begin the food truck craze, but they also began the Asian fusion craze with their Korean-Mexican dishes.

43. Carbonara Pizza from Pizzeria Delfina

Photo courtesy of Yuestudio Y on yelp.com

If you thought carbonara only works as a type of pasta, think again. Thanks to Pizzeria Delfina, you can now enjoy it in a pizza form, runny egg and all.

44. Dry Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung’s

Photo courtesy of Amy T on yelp.com

Chinese food is a big part of Californian cuisine. So instead of KFC or Chick-Fil-A, we have Sam Tung’s to satisfy our fried chicken cravings.

45. Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe

Photo courtesy of Blu Jam Cafe on yelp.com

No one loves brunch as much as Californians do, and with places like Blu Jam, that’s no surprise. They have everything from the healthy to the decadent, and it’s all Instagram-worthy.

#SpoonTip: They serve breakfast all day and offer vegan and gluten-free options, so there’s really no losing by going here.

46. House Meat Pie at Beijing Pie House

Photo courtesy of Chris H on yelp.com

There are dumplings and there are steamed bao, and then there are Beijing Pie House’s meat pies. Filled with the traditional dumpling fillings, these savory pies fit perfectly into your hand and taste wonderful in your mouth.

47. Chocolate Bouchons from Bouchon Bakery

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

New York has their fair share of famous bakeries, but that doesn’t mean that California’s desserts should be overlooked. Bouchon Bakery is famous for its innovative and gorgeous pastries, especially their decadent chocolate bouchons.

48. Whole Snook from Coni’Seafood

Photo courtesy of facebook.com

Jonathon Gold ate this, so you probably should too. Snook is rarely seen in the states, so it’s definitely a specialty.

#SpoonTip: Gold recommends trying the triple-spicy guac with this. We agree.

49. The Bambu Special from Bambu

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

Irvine is the Asian food hub, so it only makes sense that the most unique Asian food is found there. Bambu takes desserts one step further with its traditional Vietnamese Chè (sweet beverages, desserts, and drinks). They have a smashed avocado drink for die-hard avo lovers, but for everyone else, we recommend the Bambu Special, which is made with fresh coconut juice with longan, basil seed, coconut meat, and pandan jelly.

50. Julian Apple Pie from Julian Pie Company

Photo courtesy of Julie K at yelp.com

One of the most famous pie places in California, the Julian Pie Company grows their own apples and retains the original traditions from when they first started, making it a cozy, homey place to grab a slice of pie. Though based out of Julian, you can now find their pies in San Diego and Riverside as well.