Why you should give a foodie tour of NorCal a goby Alexander Quebec
People from all over the world come to California, mainly to take in the sights like The Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood and Yosemite, as well as the beautiful weather year round. We here, living here anyways, know about the sights and the hot touristy spots, but what many tourists want to know about are the best food spots around. I really can’t speak for Southern California, in many ways, we are two different states put together as one, with enough distance to have given us a unique culture unlike the other, yet bound by common threads. I can offer you a perspective on San Diego, but if you really want to get my motor running, ask me about Northern California.
There isn’t really much I can say about individual restaurants, to each their own; however, what I will say is this; while we lack the trendiness and gloss of our Socal brethren, we make up for it in our desire for authenticity and the quality of what goes into what we eat. Flashiness and showmanship are part and parcel down in SoCal, but up here, the authenticity has to be there if we’re going to accept it.
San Francisco, as of late, has everything a foodie could want underneath the sun. What many don’t know is that, almost every week it seems, a legendary eatery quietly goes into that cold night of obscurity; victims of aging owners, changing tastes, or the tides of gentrification. The only way to really experience San Francisco as a foodie is to find a willing local who has lived there almost their entire life, which in it of itself a monumental task. Sometimes, it’s as much about timing as it is location.
Oakland is the newest and hottest spot for foodies. Everyday, a new eatery is making waves and many of those new eateries have been coming out from Oakland. A local might point you in the direction of either the Temescal neighborhood or Uptown to start you on your foodie journey. As the forces of gentrification have yet to take a serious hold on the city, everything from healthy greens to delicious soul food can be found here, and from all corners of the globe.
Those living in the city consider the South Bay to be a bit of a cultural wasteland. San Jose and the rest of the 408, however, have lots of gems that go unnoticed by those living up in the city; We’re proud of the many Mexican and Vietnamese places that dominate the East Side of San Jose, we have a 3 star Michelin restaurant (Manresa) surrounded by equally deserving dining options in Los Gatos.
The North Bay is an epicenter of fine dining, holding 2 of the US’s 3 star Michelin restaurants as well as countless wineries that offer tours and tastings almost every day of the year. While it may take a day to get there, spend your time. Wine Country is a place far removed from the rest of the state, and rushing through it like you would in the more populous areas will do you no good.
At the end of the day, I can only give you the opinion of one person, myself. I am curious, what do you guys think? Want to add to this? Debate something? contribute something? Let me know in the comments below.
Cover photo credit: justfunfacts.com