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Planning on a picnic for a sunny day in the headlands? Re-up on sandwiches, local wines, and salads here. The vegetarian avocado-hummus sandwich is delicious and satisfies even carnivores. The smoked wild salmon on a toasted bialy, stuffed with fromage blanc, capers, and slivers of red onion is a must order. There are full bottles and half bottles of local wines. Be sure to have them open your bottle if you aren't equipped with a corkscrew.
The hubby needed to catch an Arsenal game while on honeymoon and this friendly local pub obliged. We posted up for the second half of the match over a bloody mary and grapefruit juice. We'd already had an amazing breakfast at our B&B, so the pub fare, however tempting and comforting it looked on the tables of other diners, was not going to find our appetites. It's a friendly bar/pub. But they could use a fly zapper.
Only giving three stars because I didn't hang out here and judge a grocery store while on honeymoon. It's a happy market for sure and if you want to pick up some scented candles and locally produced essential oils, need a newspaper, want to load up on picnic fixings, or need a pharmacy, you're in good hands here.
This place is the best place to eat in Mendocino for many reasons. That said, make reservation because around 7/8pm, it's couple wars for two-tops. With great local wines (mmm pinot noirs) from nearby and many seasonal dishes to try, you'll want to share and you won't be snubbed for it. It's a toasty atmosphere on a cold and misty evening by the ocean. Great date spot.
Brought the family here to celebrate, and our party of 13 was seated out on the patio (make reservations). We were served their seven-dish family style (but actually eight) dinner with a fixed price of $40/person. Every dish was excellent especially the mini fatty ox-tail sliders! The sangria made with cava was not nearly as easy to drink as I'd hoped for, but the Rioja wine was excellent as were the desserts of thick chocolate with churros and flan (no Spanish meal is complete for me without flan). They have a sweet shortlist of Sherries from Jerez, perfect to pair with dessert.
It would take a rare reason to pull me out to Fisherman's Wharf. If you're in this area and you have a hankering for decent Pho beef noodle soup or a very good Vietnamese coffee, brave the tacky tourists and t-shirt traps, come down to earth for a minute and grab a fix here.
If you're a creeping elitist, your instincts may tell you to steer clear of this pizza restaurant which often has a line out the door. If you snub this spot, you'll only deprive yourself of a damn good pie. There's a reason this place is popular – the pizzas are excellent. And the salads, cocktails, and service is, too. Make reservations and skip that obnoxious line.
Whether it's brunch, lunch or dinner, this spot is treat! With a seasonal menu and interiors that go through a seasonal overhaul, this lively restaurant surrounds you with an experience. The cocktails are genius, the dishes throw in some surprises that work, and without breaking the bank the entire meal feels special.
A first date after my own heart – he won it. Okay, not because he took us to A16 for our first official date after 11 years, but because good food and wine grease the wheels for cruising chemistry.
We were getting to know each other so why not stick to the basics? We started with the Burrata which for me is a good indicator or a parter who can indulge with good taste. Fresh, milky and gooey from the plate and off the fork to the mouth. We ordered the Margherita pizza; a good litmus test for any restaurant with a wood-fired oven that serves it on the oven. It's easy to over order here. The entrees change often as the kitchen prepares what's in season.
Come here to dine family style, seasonal Californian grown produce, rustic Italian, whether on a first date or with a large group (they have a private dining room seating 20, give or take a few).
Mendocino is a perfect romantic getaway for coastal convertible cruisers and tree huggers alike. Perched between forest and ocean is a sleepy little town which hasn't changed much in the 18 years I've been returning. Lots of hikes around the area, kayaking and outrigger tours. Runaway with your tech gear and get some work done in a bed and breakfast with a handful of good restaurants and cafés to mix it up a bit or really leave the gear at home and recharge completely.
Lately on the prowl for more vegetables and less meat, we taste this two-year old local joint in the Tenderloin. Perhaps because vegetables are so cheap, the portions were ginormous! We over ordered because we were expecting smaller portions. The food is delicious and heaping with vegetables tossed together unabashedly. The spicy string beans could use an edit and really deliver just string beans; but for the value we don't mind the bonus julienned vegetables. The Penang curry with tofu is a hit over red-brown steamed rice. Wing Bomb, an order of imitation chicken drumsticks with a crispy skin of nothing-meat-related is a filling yet treat of an appetizer served atop spools of red beet root and crispy-fried basil leaves. Thai iced teas are served with soy milk and the fried bananas are served with vegan coconut ice cream. We took home half of what we ordered and may be eating the leftovers for another two days. There's no torture in delicious leftovers. We'll be going back for another meal, but will order more conservatively.
I've always heard that one of the best places to eat Indian food is in London. I'd have to agree. In a city where many originate from or have traveled India, palates are particular and seasoned to ensure this trendy hotspot earns its full house and reservations-a-must status. Everything is delicious, though served in date-sized portions. You'll still walk away stuffed because all menu items come with great descriptions and the waiters speak impassioned with praise for their favorites. Pair the meal with a savory, sweet or tart cocktail, served boozy or virgin. The interiors are designed with a nostalgic throwback to backpacking India and eating in gritty hole in the walls, but here the toilets are clean and Instagram-worthy and the water is sweetly-safe to drink.
You might be inclined to diversify your breakfast spots while traveling, but while in Mendocino it will be a challenge to do once you've eaten at Goodlife Café & Bakery. In fact, if you're staying at a B&B serving breakfast included, you'll be tempted to shell out a little more just to snack a little more at this cafe. Here, even the gluten-averse and vegans eat blissfully. There will be a line, but it moves quickly and there are many tables indoors and out. Have your morning caffeine with a spot of milk (cow, soy, almond or hemp). And unless you're tragically allergic to blueberries, you must order the blueberry coffee cake. We ordered it two eat-in visits in a row and stopped for another before continuing north to the Avenue of the Giants.
If you do nothing else in the remote parts of north coast California (note: budget more time in for driving around Northern California; not just a long weekend), be sure to spend an early café morning at Loleta Bakery. It opens at 7AM, serving bouncy, flaky croissants, freshly baked sticky buns, piping hot coffee and tea, and if you're driving straight back to San Francisco, pick up a couple fresh loaves. The town sleeps shrouded in coastal mist and this cafe is a toasty, heartwarming way to start another day exploring Northern California.