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Photography by The Dani Creative
Just got back from road tripping through California and eating our way through all the local, farm fresh restaurants. We dined at 15 California restaurants in 4 days (yes, 15!!) on our road trip through Calistoga, Butte (Chico, Durham, Oroville), and Sacramento!
It’s California Restaurant Month this January in California and local restaurants in each city are offering prix fixe lunch and dinner menus. Restaurants marked below with * are part of California Restaurant Month. Absolutely loved trying all the different cuisines in each of the cities and we even got to explore the local vineyards in Napa Valley!
WHERE TO EAT IN CALISTOGA, CALIFORNIA
We started our trip by flying into Santa Rosa and driving to Calistoga – just 30-minutes away. Calistoga is this darling little city in California’s Napa Valley with wineries, hot springs, and mud baths!
FOR BREAKFAST: BELLA BAKERY
If you’re needing a grab & go breakfast, stop by Bella Bakery for a hot cup of coffee and a fresh pastry. The donuts are phenomenal but if you need something a little heartier, opt for the freshly made quiches.
1353 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515, bellabakerycalistoga.com
FOR BREAKFAST: SOLBAR
For a splurge-y sit-down breakfast featuring farm-fresh Napa Valley produce, go to Solbar. The property is gorgeous and you’re going to want to sit on the restaurant patio. The morning in California dish with blue crab and avocado on a toasted couteaux English muffin was delicious.
755 Silverado Trail N, Calistoga, CA, aubergeresorts.com/solage/dine/
FOR LUNCH: CAFE SARAFORNIA*
Cafe Sarafornia was our first meal in California after landing in Santa Rosa and driving into Calistoga. The toasted sandwiches, cozy soups, and crispy tater tots hit the spot! Cafe Sarafornia is one of the last diners left in Napa Valley! 1413 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga CA 94515
FOR LUNCH: CALISTOGA INN RESTAURANT*
Our favorite meals in Calistoga were at Calistoga Inn Restaurant - we loved it for dinner so much that we came back for lunch! over braised lamb shank was fall-off-the-bone tender and the steak and frites were perfection. We had the seafood fettuccine for lunch the next day and that was delicious as well! 1250 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515
FOR DINNER: EVANGELINE*
California cuisine meets jazzy New Orleans flair in this cozy, Michelin guide bistro in Calistoga. We dined on Creole favorites like the duck confit and mussels.
1226 Washington St, Calistoga, CA, evangelinenapa.com
THINGS TO DO IN CALISTOGA
Calistoga Motor Lodge
Come for the vineyards in Calistoga and stay for the geothermal pools! Calistoga is truly a magical destination not just for its vineyards but many geothermal pools and mud baths. We spent the afternoon soaking in the three geothermal pools at Calistoga Moter Lodge that are all fed from nature’s own underground hot springs.
1880 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga, CA 94515, calistogamotorlodgeandspa.com/hotel/pools/
Moving into Chateau Montelena – but really, how dreamy would it be to live in a chateau?! In 1976, Chateau Montelena and it’s 1973 Chardonnay beat out the best French wines in a blind taste test at the Judgement of Paris. Let’s just say the French weren’t pleased but that’s how the little town of Calistoga put Napa Valley as a wine destination in the world!
1429 Tubbs Ln, Calistoga, CA 94515, montelena.com
Castello di Amorosa
If you’re visiting Calistoga, make sure to book a tour at Castello di Amorosa. This 121,000 square foot medieval-style multi-turreted castle was built on a hill by Italian-style winemaker Dario Sattui and is surrounded by rows and rows of vineyards. We ended the tour with a wine tasting with cheese and charcuterie in the Il Passito Room. Don’t leave without a bottle of award-winning wine because Castello di Amorosa doesn’t sell to stores or restaurants.
3801 Saint Helena Highway, Calistoga, CA 94515, castellodiamorosa.com
WHERE TO STAY IN CALISTOGA
BUNGALOWS AT CALISTOGA
Our stay in Calistoga couldn’t have been more perfect with the Bungalows at Calistoga. We stayed in Bungalow A and the bungalow is so cute and darling! We loved sipping wine by the fireplace and waking up to such a beautiful space. All the #homegoals!
207 Wappo Ave Calistoga, CA 94515, thebungalowsatcalistoga.com
WHERE TO EAT IN BUTTE COUNTY
From Caligosta, we drove through the mountains and across to Butte County. It’s a very scenic and beautiful drive! You’ll know once you’re nearing Butte County when you see acres and acres of walnut and almond trees.
FOR COFFEE: TENDER LOVING COFFEE
Tender Loving Coffee is a cute little coffee shop in Chico that also serves pizza out of a wood fire oven.
365 E 6th St., Chico, California, tenderlovingcoffee.com
FOR LUNCH: MOMONA*
🍜Slurrpppp! If slurping noodles was a sport, I’d be a pro. Momona is one of the restaurants in Butte County’s Restaurant Week from Jan 18 – 27, 2018 that serves Japanese noodles with Taiwanese bao, Hawaiian poke, and beer.
30 W 3rd St, Chico, CA, momonachico.com
FOR LUNCH: THE EXCHANGE*
We spent the afternoon thrift shopping in historic downtown Oroville and had lunch at The Exchange, an upscale restaurant and bar serving classic cocktails and tapas.
1975 Montgomery St, Oroville, CA, theexchangeoroville.com
FOR HAPPY HOUR: RAWBAR*
Happy hour at Rawber is Monday through Saturday from 3pm – 5pm with $2 – $6 appetizers, nigiri of the day, and beer, sake, and cocktail specials.
346 Broadway St, Chico, CA, rawbarchico.com
FOR DINNER: GRANA*
Grana is a local restaurant in Chico that serves a seasonal menu featuring organic and sustainable products from local farmers in the region. We had the braised beef shank (recipe coming soon the blog!), fresh greens salad, slow-roasted kabocha squash, and cauliflower. All the product was sourced from local farmers in the area!
198 E 2nd St, Chico, CA, granachico.com
FOR DESSERT: SHUBERT’S
Shubert’s is the is the only family-owned homemade ice cream & candy shop in Chico that opened in 1938 serving up scoops, milkshakes, and old-fashioned candies.
178 E 7th St, Chico, CA 95928, shuberts.com
Almendra Winery & Distillery*
Almendra Winery, just a short 15-minute drive from Chico, is a family-own winery and distillery that grows, produces, and distills its own wine and spirits!
9275 Midway, Durham, CA 95938, almendrawinery.com
WHERE TO EAT IN SACRAMENTO
Our last stop on our California road trip was Sacramento! We only had 24 hours in Sacramento so I definitely wish we had more time to explore this city.
FOR COFFEE: THE MILL
Hot cups of coffee, matcha, and yeast waffles to-go.
1827 I St, Sacramento, CA, themillsacramento.com
FOR BRUNCH: THE PORCH*
Southern brunch on the porch soaking up the California sunshine – the chicken & waffles at The Porch were delicious!
1815 K St, Sacramento, CA, theporchrestaurantandbar.com
FOR LUNCH: HOOK & LADDER*
If you’re looking for a lunch spot in Sacramento, go to Hook & Ladder for a casual New American meal on the patio in an industrial space.
1630 S St, Sacramento, CA, hookandladder916.com
FOR HAPPY HOUR: TIGER*
Our first meal in Sacramento was happy hour at Tiger, this New American cart-service restaurant and bar. We loved the Thai fried peanuts, vegan lumpia, ribs, and Tiger milk. You can pick bites off wheeled carts, dim sum-style!
722 K St, Sacramento, CA, tiger700block.com
FOR DESSERT: MILK MONEY
If I was going to have a bakery, Milk Money would be it. Donuts and ice cream? Both of my favorite foods!
And that completes all the California restaurants on our road trip!
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