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California for Food and Wine Lovers

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California for Food and Wine Lovers

Savor California

©2013 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.
If you're a foodie, you may want to read about California cuisine, learn what it is (and isn't), and find the best places to sample California cuisine and original foods.

San Diego

While it hasn't yet achieved a national reputation for the quality of its restaurants, San Diego boasts some excellent cuisine and innovative chefs.

San Francisco

Some critics say San Francisco has better restaurants than New York, a statement I'll leave to the experts to debate. Nevertheless, it has a large number of terrific restaurants, fun grazing in the Ferry Building, an exciting Farmers Market and some nice places for afternoon tea. Devoted food-lovers may want to make the pilgrimage to Chez Panisse across the bay in Berkeley, where some say Alice Waters invented California cuisine, but you'll have to reserve a month ahead (exactly) and make a deposit for the privilege.

Los Angeles

The home of Spago, Campanile and my favorite La Brea Bakery has plenty of fine dining, but Los Angeles is also a great place for ethnic cuisine and reasonably-priced beachside cafes. The Farmers Market here is more of a tourist stop than a gourmet shop, but many locals swear by it.

In Beverly Hills, the annual Vintage Bouquet Food and Wine Extravaganza delivers quality that rivals the state's best food and wine festivals - and their elegant surroundings on the grounds of Greystone Mansion create the nicest ambiance we've seen at a food and wine event. The associated silent auction includes travel, food and wine packages and a lot more, giving you a chance to get something special at a great price. And to top it all, proceeds of the event support the Beverly Hills Bar Association's pro bono work.

Elsewhere

Napa and Sonoma are obvious choices for wine lovers, but you can find wineries almost everywhere these days, so many that I sometimes wonder if the whole state will soon be one giant vineyard.
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