We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Where is the best place to eat to get a taste of California

Loughborough...
Level Contributor
1 post
6 reviews
Save Topic
Where is the best place to eat to get a taste of California

I'm from the UK I want history when I travel like Lavenham in Suffolk uk there's buildings and tearooms from the 1500's still up where do I go to get a historic experience to eat in California?

San Diego...
Level Contributor
10,558 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Where is the best place to eat to get a taste of California

Donner Pass?

No I'm kidding. I'm pretty sure the oldest building in California that is still standing is Mission San Juan Capistrano in Orange County, which was built in 1776. The first mission in the chain of missions was Mission San Diego de Alcalá, founded in 1769, but the original building is gone. Those aren't places to eat, though, just to visit. But that illustrates how "new" California buildings are compared to Europe. There are some claims that the oldest restaurant in California is the Tadich Grill in San Francisco.

Edited: 25 July 2012, 16:25
San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
63,869 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Where is the best place to eat to get a taste of California

Although the Portuguese explorer Cabrillo(sailing for Spain) came to San Diego in the 1600s ,we don't have any buildings from that time!!

You can find history at Cabrillo National Monument but NO restaurants!!

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
15,498 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Where is the best place to eat to get a taste of California

I don't think we could name anything really specific because California is so cosmopolitan. People do talk about "California cuisine," but it includes many different elements and influences. Words like “fusion” and “nouvelle” are very common here because there isn’t any single California taste.

I'm not sure anyone today has mastered the cuisine of the original Californians who were here at the time of the first European contacts (the first recorded arrivals were from England and Spain). TMK, none of the Native Californians had written languages. Sadly, most of them did not survive into the 20th century as independent entities. So we know little about what they ate, except by looking at the food sources where they lived.

In the 1800s, settlers from Spain, Spanish and independent Mexico, many other European countries, other parts of the U.S., South America, China, and countless other places came here. Of course, the main draw in the 19th century was the Gold Rush, and prospectors in a hurry to make their fortune aren't usually known as gourmets. But still, people brought culinary traditions from all over the world that took root. In San Francisco, which was a hamlet in 1847 and a bustling city in 1852, much of the cultural refinement is attributed to French prostitutes who came to practice their trade and also brought music, drama, and gourmet cuisine. Many foods were Americanized to appeal more to the masses, so even today there are varieties of Mexican or Chinese food that would be “foreign” in Mexico or China. California is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world; the Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Salinas valleys supply varying estimates of 70-90% of America’s produce (depending on the type). Almost every artichoke or pistachio eaten in America comes from California. Naturally, this inspires a lot of experimentation and new recipes. We continue to get visitors and settlers who bring food ideas with them and the cuisine keeps evolving, so Thai, Indian, and Ethiopian are now part of the dining scene in most major cities.

If you could have a sampler menu that included acorn meal mush (one of the Native staples), something from every continent and from countries heavily represented in California’s demographic mixture, and A variety of the veggies, fruits, and grains grown here, you’d have a taste of California.

Lassen National...
Level Contributor
2,631 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Where is the best place to eat to get a taste of California

There are some foods that are only grown in California--commercially at least--such as almonds.

There are many Indian Reservations in CA and they know what their ancestors ate. Foods made from acorn --crushed and made into a.flour--were a staple of the Maidu. I'm not sure of their exact territory, but do know they spent their winters in the Northern CA valley and came up into the mountains in the summer.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
63,869 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Where is the best place to eat to get a taste of California

Yes, of course the Native Tribes were the first to settle here in California.

Many of them now have casinos with restaurants but they don't necessarily serve "native" cuisine! You might have to find a Pow Wow(native celebration) to find more of their traditional cooking.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
43,221 posts
1,081 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Where is the best place to eat to get a taste of California

>> Donner Pass? <<

LOL, that's kinda sick but very funny ;-)

*

Patmay64, welcome to TripAdvisor. California is a very large state and it would help us to help you if you could post your approximate itinerary?

Here are some historic restaurants in California:

In a town called Groveland, which is near Yosemite National Park, there is a pub that is considered the "oldest continually operating saloon in California" ; it dates from about 1850.

In the southern California city of Rancho Cucamonga, there is the Sycamore Inn, which first started serving dinners about 1848.

The Tadich Grill in San Francisco was mentioned in a previous post and it dates from I believe 1849.

The Samoa Cookhouse has been serving hungry loggers and diners since the 1890's and is an *original* logging camp cookhouse, still located in the original building. It's on the northwest coast just outside Eureka.

There are a number of historic eateries scattered around California that date from around 1900 or so -- the Mission Inn in Riverside comes quickly to mind. There are also newer restaurants which are located in old buildings. The gold country has some of these.

You can see that these places are widely scattered and of course, not nearly as old as anything in Lavenham ;-)

So. Cal
Level Contributor
1,160 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Where is the best place to eat to get a taste of California

I would suggest eating in the Crown Room for brunch at the Hotel Del Coronado.

http://www.hoteldel.com/history.aspx

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
12,666 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Where is the best place to eat to get a taste of California

Just a correction to an earlier post about Cabrillo.... he and his 3 ships actually entered San Diego Bay back in ....1542 !!!! This was more than 60 years BEFORE Jamestown was established !!

I remember this from one of the Huell Howser "California's Gold" programs.

Dr. Z

Pacific Grove...
Destination Expert
for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey County
Level Contributor
5,383 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Where is the best place to eat to get a taste of California

Well, it's not 1500s, but Restaurant 1833 in Monterey is very good and in an historic building. Read about it on their website: http://www.restaurant1833.com/our-house

Dublin, California
Level Contributor
21,343 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Where is the best place to eat to get a taste of California

The Garden Court in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.