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How to Dine in California Now

California is known for its diverse culinary scene, ranging from organic farm-to-table cooking and Michelin-starred restaurants to innovative dining experiences and international flavors. Although local restrictions on in-person dining vary, locals and visitors alike can still safely partake in a variety of new dining options across the Golden State. We encourage you to support local businesses and restaurants while safely social distancing, and be sure to check local guidance to know what your options for dining are. Bon appetit!

Meal Kits to Go

Brewery Gulch Inn’s Handcrafted Mendo Boxes
On a blufftop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Brewery Gulch Inn reigns cathedral-like over the Mendocino coast. Indulge in daily seasonal gourmet appetizers displayed in portable Mendo Boxes crafted from eco-salvaged redwood used to build the inn. The Mendo Boxes make it easy for guests to savor each evening's offering on the large outdoor deck, around the firepit, or in the privacy of their own rooms.

Artisan Cocktail Kits to Go in Yolo County
Sourcing local-grown grains and fruits to honor the region and insure the freshest ingredients, Patio29 Spirits Co. is a family-owned and operated distillery offering new artisan cocktail kits to go such as bloody marys, raspberry mules, old fashions, bourbon sours and more.

Jeune et Jolie Elevates the Take Home Dining Experience in San Diego
Jeune et Jolie, Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America 2019, has launched “Extraordinaire,” an elevated to-go dining experience featuring a bi-weekly menu with custom illustrations and detailed heating and prep instructions. The attention to detail in plating ensures guests will have a sense of admiration and satisfaction similar to an in-dining experience.

Terranea Resort Serves up Gourmet Meals To Go
Terranea's award-winning chefs are offering gourmet meals to go, with an emphasis on seasonal and local ingredients. Guests may enjoy the tastes of Terranea with an alfresco ocean-view picnic or from the comfort of their home or guestroom during select holidays and special occasions throughout the year. Order online or follow along on social media for the latest specialty offerings and a sneak peek at the new menus. Guests may also order specialty desserts and baked goods.

Innovative Delivery

Oakland’s New Meal Delivery Platform Supports Bay Area Restaurants
Bay Area eaters and restaurant owners have a new and improved meal delivery option, Feastin, that delivers restaurant-prepared meals, meal kits, desserts and spirits from the area’s best restaurants and up to 70% savings on grocery staples from local purveyors.

New Food Delivery Service and Takeout Guide in Carmel Supports Local Businesses
Carmel Delivers is a new restaurant delivery service in Carmel structured to support local businesses devastated by the pandemic. Also, Carmel-by-the-Sea launched Take Out Guide & Deals, a new online guide providing a comprehensive list of takeout options from Carmel’s eating establishments.

Bring Porto's To Your Home
Porto’s Bakery has made it safe and easy to order pastries and desserts, and have them shipped frozen and ready to bake with Porto’s Bake at Home line. Items available through Bake at Home include seasonal favorites and popular bakery pastries. For dessert, Porto’s just added its best-selling cake Tres Leches Milk N Berries to the Bake at Home family.

New Dining Options

Monterey County Welcomes Array of New Restaurants
Monterey County recently welcomed a wealth of new dining options. Babaloo Cuban Café in Seaside features a variety of Cuban sandwiches and sides, and Deja Blue features blues and soul food. Blue Fox Cellars offers Italian-style wines to enjoy outdoors. Situated in Carmel Valley Village, Albatross Ridge transformed the historic dairy barn into a new tasting cottage. Visitors to Carmel-by-the-Sea can now enjoy Talbott Vineyards’ award-winning chardonnay and pinot noir on a private patio. Helados La Yaquesita, a new Mexican frozen treat shop, offers 28 flavors of Marianne’s Ice Cream along with other desserts. Tutto Buono Eataliano, a new fast-casual eatery, brings Sicilian favorites from a family with nearly 30 years of restaurant experience in Monterey. Located near the Pacific Grove Municipal Golf course, Lucy’s on Lighthouse combines two iconic American foods – hot dogs and ice cream.

Sonoma Welcomes New Dining Options
The new Taub Family Outpost brings together the best of Sonoma Valley – wine, food, cocktails and an artisanal market. Next door, Valley Bar + Bottle makes use of an intimate backyard patio, with a menu focusing on seasonal produce and wine driven by organic and biodynamic practices. Using seasonally inspired menus and fresh ingredients sourced from Sonoma County, Folktable is founded by Casey Thompson, a fan favorite on season three of “Top Chef.” Indulge in seasonal favorites such as black truffle chicken hand pies, beef tartare on hash browns, or drawn butter dungeness crab rolls.

New Culinary Delights in Downtown Napa
Downtown Napa welcomed two new culinary hotspots in fall 2020. First & Franklin Marketplace blends a full-service deli with a specialty marketplace offering up local wine, craft beers, and Napa Valley gift items. Visitors looking for a quick bite can enjoy grab-and-go or made-to-order sandwiches, salads and charcuterie plates, as well as pre-cooked family meal kits and sides. On a mission to make high-quality the everyday norm, Contimo Provisions in Napa opened a new, larger location replacing the CIA at Copia outpost. Featuring their famous breakfast biscuits, sandwiches, and salads, nearly every item on the menu is hand-crafted in house.

Classic Italian Eats in Temecula
Old Town Temecula is home to Bottega Italia, a new one-of-a-kind restaurant combining classic recipes with new-age adventures using local ingredients.

Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica Introduces “Grin & Bear It,” a Pandemic Pop Up
Executive chef Andy Doubrava of Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica is mixing things up with “Grin & Bear It,” a new pandemic pop up offering comforting Southern food made with ingredients from local farmers. Southern-influenced cocktails, wine and beer are also available.

San Diego’s New Selection of Restaurants
Across San Diego, food enthusiasts can find new restaurants to pick from starting with Fortunate Son, which pays homage to American-Chinese takeout classics like kung pao chicken and shrimp lo mein. Little Italy Food Hall is now home to Samburgers by Sam the Cooking Guy with out-of-the-box burgers featured in his YouTube channel. The brothers behind Civico 1845 are cooking their Calabrian-style dishes out of their new Civico by the Park kitchen in Bankers Hill. A new eco-friendly, multi-concept dining and imbibing destination (affectionately referred to as the ‘Acre of Awesome’) has debuted in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood in the historic Fraser's Boiler Service building. By April 2021 the employee-owned project will feature Thorn Brewing Co., ReBru Spirits, Sideyard BBQ by HottMess, and HottMess Woodfired Pizza.

Note: As communities re-open after COVID-19-related closures, some parks, businesses and attractions may still be closed or have new protocols in place. Please verify local guidelines and regulations for all destinations and hours and availability of individual businesses before publishing. Check out Visit California’s Responsible Travel Hub for guidance on how visitors can travel within California safely.