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Reviews of restaurants in the San Joaquin Valley , Central Coast, and the Sierra Nevada mountains...


Casa de Fruta Restaurant:  A Pacheco Pass icon, which has been dishing out fine food since the 1960's.  Great food, friendly service and open 24/7/365 for fine dining.

Latif's Restaurant:  Classic Turlock diner that's been serving great food in the same location since 1960.  If love delicious food, served in retro diner atmosphere, Latif's is a must-visit restaurant.

Los Panchos:  Authentic Mexican cuisine, served in a comfortable, family-friendly restaurant, in Merced.  Great breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Vista Ranch:  Winery, events center, restaurant, and a great place to spend a summer evening on the way to Yosemite, just east of Merced.  Great entertainment, friendly staff along with amazing food.

It Is What It Is Diner:  Located just north of Lodi off Highway 99, this small diner caters to truckers, locals, and everybody who appreciates a great breakfast, at a reasonable price.

Bobcat Diner:  Small diner, located in Merced, that blends delicious food, friendly service, and enjoyable dining in a "almost camp-like" atmosphere.

Grumpy Bears Retreat:  Burgers, sandwiches and beer, served in a rustic restaurant, high in the Southern Sierras, at Kennedy Meadows.  Just the thing while you're hiking the Pacific Crest Trail...

Chicken Pie Shop:  Features delicious "comfort food" in a retro diner, in Fresno's Tower District.  Great breakfast, friendly staff, and of course, chicken pies!

Lula's Neighborhood Grill:  Delicious burgers, sandwiches, salads and more, from a small, family owned and operated restaurant in Empire.  Such a great burger!

Richmaid Restaurant:  An iconic Lodi restaurant for over 75 years, Richmaid is owned and operated by the Crow family.  Features nostalgic decor, amazing food, and super-friendly service.

Hot Rod Diner:  Breakfast and lunch is amazing in Turlock!  Located off busy Highway 99, and caters to breakfast and lunch of locas, as well as travellers on the busy highway...

Mariana's Mexican Grill:  Offers delicious Mexican cusine in Merced, including all of your favorites, along with lots of "comfort food."

California Al's Restaurant:  Old school diner, located in Lodi, that offers breakfast all day, along with delicious burgers, great food, and friendly service.

Jones Store:  It's a store and a restaurant combination.  If you're interes in good burgers, friendly staff and a rustic atmosphere, this is your restaurant. Locate east of Bass Lake, in the Sierra National Forest.

Strawberry Inn:  Features traditional "comfort food" in Strawberry, near Pinecrest.  Comfortable, rustic dining, with a great view of the Stanislaus River and the forest.

Woods Creek Cafe:  Traditional diner located in the foothill town of Jamestown. Features friendly service, comfortable dining, and "comfort food," for your dining enjoyment.

Almond Tree Restaurant and Lounge:  Open 24/7, and caters to locals, truckers, and all folks passing by on busy Highway 99 in Atwater.

Old Well Motel and Grill:  Located in Drytown, this "mom and pop" diner features delicious food, friend staff and customers, and lots of small-town atmosphere.

Cahoots Corner Cafe:  "Cowboy up" and enjoy some of the best food in the Central Valley!  Delicious food, "country" dining at it's best, along with friendly staff.  Fine food in Oakdale...

Almond Tree Restaurant and Lounge:  Located near busy Highway 99 in Turlock, this restaurant caters to tourists, truckers, and anybody has an appitite 24/7, any day of the month, or year.  Closed.

Lodi Airport Cafe:  You can watch all of the general aviation activity the Lodi airport has to offer, and munch on a great burger while you're taking in all of the action!

Village Grill:  Burgers, chicken, salad and more... Located in Yosemite National Park, next to the store in Yosemite Village.  Breathtaking outdoor dining, in scenic Yosemite Valley.

Bella Luna Bistro:  Located in downtown Merced, Bella Bistro offers delicious Italian cuisine and more, including authentic pizza, served by friendly staff, in a "pub-like" atmosphere.

Mangy Moose Cafe:  Small "mom and pop" diner in Manteca that serves the best breakfast that you can imagine.  Diner cusine, open kitchen, friendly staff, delicious food, what more could you ask for?

Cowgirl Cafe:  If you're in the mood for a delicious breakfast, in a restaurant that is more "country" than most of Texas, look no further than Cowgirl Cafe, in downtown Paso Robles.  "Cowgirl" up for breakfast!

Creekside Garden Cafe:  Delicious food, served outside on a beautiful patio, served by friendly, attentive staff. This restaurant is a breakfast gem in the small town of Cambria...

Kitty's Kitchen:  Family owned and operated diner in downtown Morro Bay, Kitty's is serious about breakfast and serves a truly delicious breakfast.  Mashed potato cake for breakfast, anyone?

Manta Rey Restaurant:  Seafood and steak for dinner!  Great dining in San Simeon...

Golden Ox Restaurant:  Favorite breakfast diner with the Lodi locals, Golden Ox offers delicious food at a fair price, and is one of the most railroad-friendly restaurants that I've ever had the pleasure to visit.

Hope Valley Café and Market:  Features delicious breakfast and lunch, along with a small general store, super friendly staff, located in a very rustic dining room in Hope Valley, just a few miles south of Lake Tahoe.

Brett's Gold Coin:  Combine "old west" atmosphere, a sports bar, a HUGE bar, friendly service, and some of the best burgers in Mariposa County, and you have a great restaurant!

Cavalier Restaurant:  Located at the Cavalier Oceanfront Resort in San Simeon, this fine restaurant features delicious food, friendly service, at very reasonable prices.

Los Serranos Hot Lunch:  Taco truck, located in Winton, that specilized in tacos and tortas.  Friendly service, great food, and shaded, patio dining.

Reniero's Trophy Room:  Mounted trophies, delicious Italian food, and a retro bar.  Reniero's Trophy Room has been a Merced favorite since the 1940's...

Sanchez Taqueria:  Family owned and operated taco truck.  Serves delicious tacos and more, at a rock-bottom price.  Offers shaded, patio dining, at the west end of downtown Turlock.

The Omelet House:  You won't go away hungry, as the portions are GIGANTIC!  Friendly people, delicious food, reasonable prices make The Omelet House a favorite of the Stockton locals.

El Chorlito:  Delicious California/New Mexican cuisine in San Simeon, with a elegant dining room that features a view of the Pacific Ocean.

Richplate Restaurant Cafe:  Features delicious food, super friendly service, large portions, great prices, and family-friendly dining.  Great dining in Lockeford!

Tacos Mexico:  Featues delicious tacos, served out of a trailer, parked in a vacant lot, in Turlock.  The outdoor location makes the tacos delicious, and the friendly staff makes the experience even better.

Bar B Q Pit:  A Merced dining institution that has been in the same location for over 50 years.  Great food, family-friendly dining, and great staff.

La Casita:  Small taqueria/Mexican grocery store that offers a full selection of Mexican favorites, PLUS, they will cook food to order, not listed on the menu.

Five Ten Bistro:  Friendly service, outstanding food, competive prices, and a full-service bar.  Offers comfortable dining on Main Street, at Bob Hart Square, in downtown Merced.

B&S Coffee Shop:  1960's-era dining at the finest!  Featues great food, great prices, in a very retro '60's diner atmosphere in Clovis.

Bobby Salazar's:  Authentic Mexican cuisine, served in a farmily-friendly restaurant, by friendly staff. Menudo served every day.  Yes!!!  Fine dining in Old Town Clovis.

Shila Korean BBQ:  Delicious all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue, that you grill at your table, served with an endless array of fantastic side dishes.  What a restaurant!!!  Old Town Clovis.

Maria's Taco Shop:  I visit the nearby Atwater location, and enjoy a delcious brunch of menudo, and corn tortillas.

Pinocchio's Restaurant:  Locally owned and operated, Pinocchio's serves the best pizza in Merced!  Offers Italian inspired cuisine, full service bar, great service, and lots of comfortable dining.

J & R Tacos:  We've written about this restaurant before, as they serve some of the best tacos in Merced, and it's a fun, friendly restaurant, and a great place to spend an evening.

Black Bear Diner:  Sure it's a cutesy-poo, bear-themed restaurant, but the staff is friendly, the food is great, and the portions are huge. One of the newer restaurants in Merced.

Michelangelo's Pizzeria:  Pizza... mmmm... beer ... Sports bar atmosphere, and you have a winning combinination for a friendly restaurant in Old Town Clovis.

Del Taco Tulare:  It's "fast food," yet it's good food, served by friendly people who seem to care, and seem to value the customer.  Check out my Baja Shrimp Taco combination meal...  fine fast food in Tulare.

Apple Annie's:  Advertised on CA Highway 99 for miles around... Apple Annie's serves great American diner cuisine... famous Tulare cusine for over 60 years and counting...

Bit Of Germany:  Serves authentic German cuisine in an attractive, old-world dining room.  Great food and nice people.

Donna Kaye's Cafe:  Open for breakfast and lunch only, this small restaurant is a favorite of the locals, and offers the best of Bakersfield breakfast cuisine.

Magoo's Pizza Restaurant:  If you love pizza, this is your restaurant, as Magoo's makes the best Combination pizza in Bakersfield.  Features informal, family-friendly dining...

Rocket Shop Café:  Located at the municipal airport, this restaurant serves a great breakfast and offers chicken fried sausage patties and chicken fried bacon!  A Bakersfield exclusive....

Black Bear Diner:  Tulare's link in a small chain of restaurants in California and beyond, Black Bear Diner serves delicious food at a very reasonable price.

Don Pancho Villa Tacos:  Family owned and operated, Don Pancho serves authentic tacos, burritos, tortas and other Mexican favorites in Tulare.

Richard's Lunchbox:  Located in the fuselage of an ex-airliner, Richard's serves delicious barbecue, smoked and grilled over oak.  Fine barbecue in Tulare!

San Simeon Beach Bar and Grill:  We enjoy a delcious breakfast, great service, and an ocean view, on a beautiful, October morning, on the patio, in front of this fine restaurant.

Main Street Grill:  Barbecue for the masses, served in a large, sports bar-like dining room.  Features all of your grilled favorites, along with some of the best onion rings found in Cambria.

Sunset Grill:  The only breakfast buffet in San Simeon!  Serves delicious dinner, in a comfortable, sit-down dining room, served by friendly staff.

Big Sur California Cafe:  Offers diner-style cuisine in one of the few sit-down restaurants in San Simeon that serve breakfast.  This proved to be a very interesting dining experience...

Hearst Castle BBQ Co.: Great Kansas City-style barbecue, located at the Hearst Castle Visitors Center.  Dining entertainment is provided by many opportunistic crows...

Giovanni's Fresh Fish Market and Galley:  Located in Morro Bay, serves delicious seafood, including fish and chips, and offers a fresh seafood market.

Pizza Factory:  Serves delicious pizza, sandwiches, calzones, soup, salad and more.  Located in downtown Mariposa, where the motto is, "We toss em, they're awesome!"

Tuolumne Meadows Grill:  Restaurant in a tent, open summer only.  Features breakfast, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs and more... Great food, friendly people, and surprisingly reasonable prices.

Magnolia Saloon:  Located inside Coulterville's Hotel Jeffery, Magnolia claims to be the oldest operating saloon located in the State of California!  Cold beer, great people, and a priceless, antique atmosphere.

Miner's Roadhouse 140:  Elegant dining in historic Mariposa.  Great food, nice staff, but a "interesting" surprise or two...

Pete's Place:  Features great food, super friendly staff, casual dining in a rustic dining room, and unlimited cups of some of the best coffee in the Southern Sierras.

Sugar Pine Café:  Has been serving fine food in downtown Mariposa since the 1940's, Sugar Pine Café offers great food, served by friendly staff, in a rustic, diner atmosphere.

Happy Burger Diner:  Features home town athosphere, friendly service and delicious food.  If you're a music lover, you'll enjoy the decor almost as much as you'll enjoy the fine Mariposa cusine.

Yosemite Lodge Food Court:  Home of the "grumpy eggman."  If you like cold toast, stale potatoes, cold sausage, and rubbery eggs, this restaurant is for you!

Big Bubba's Bad BBQ:  The mechanical bull is gone, the shooting gallery is history, but the beer is good, the people are friendly, and we enjoy "Taco Tuesday!"  Located in downtown Merced, in a former city firehouse.

Denny's Restaurant:  Features classic... Denny's cuisine, including great value, friendly people, and the Denny's menu found everywhere.  Has been in the same location for over 40 years...

Cinema Café:  A Merced classic diner, located at the old Strand Theater.  Offers breakfast and lunch cusine inside the tiny dining room, but also offers comfortable, shaded dining on the sidewalk.

Bellini's Roman Bistro:  Serves great Italian cusine in friendly, pub-like atmosphere, and offers some of the best pizza to found in Merced.

Florencio's Mexican Restaurant:  Features authentic, Northern Mexican cusine, that's almost too good to be true, and offers elegant, patio dining, all at very attractive prices.  Located in Merced.

Dardanelle Restaurant:  Fine dining in a rustic dining room, on the veranda, or the patio!  The food is good, the staff are friendly, and the atmosphere is wonderful. At Dardanelle Resort, on the Sonora Pass Road.

Kennedy Meadows Restaurant:  Located inside the Kennedy Meadows store, this restaurant serves delicious food, and features large portions, and friendly staff.  At the resort, near Sonora Pass.

Jack Douglass Saloon:  Located in Columbia State Park, this saloon is very western in character, and serves in-house brewed sarsaparilla.

Washington Street Steak House:  Delicious food, stunning presentation, and friendly service maks this restaurant a top dining choice in Sonora.

John's Burgers Oak Street:  John's has several locations in Bakersfield, and this article is all about the Oak Street location, and the fresh, filling and delicious burgers we enjoyed during our visit.

Knotty Pine Café:  American cuisine at it's best, in a comfortable, rustic setting.  Good frood, good prices, and some of the friendliest people you've ever have the pleasure to meet... Knotty Pine has it all!

24th Street Café:   Probably the best known "hang out" for the Bakersfield locals, this legacy diner offers great food, great service, great prices, an a chance to mingle with Bakersfield locals.

John's Burgers River Road:  Considered by many to be the best burger place in Bakersrield, Kern County, or just about anywhere, John's Bugers serves a delicious burger... and lots more.

Milt's Coffee Shop:  Family friendly dining, features friendly service, great food, and an all-American dining experience... Milt's featrues delicious  Bakersfield cusine.

La Costa Mariscos:  Family owned and operated in Bakersfield, La Costa specializes in Mexican seafood, and serves traditional Mexican cuisine, in a family-friendly atmosphere, by efficient and friendly staff.

Salida Kountry Kitchen:  Home of the largest chicken fried steak in the San Joaquin Valley... all 2-1/2 pounds of it! Great breakfast restaurant...

Maria's Taco Shop:  Located in the orginal Merced Taco Bell building, Maria's serves excellent tacos, enchiladas, menudo and much more, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

La Nita Cafe:  A Merced icon of Mexican food for over 40 years, this restaurant is a favorite of local diners.

Mi Casa Cafe:   Mi Casa seems to be a Merced well-kept secret, as it features delicious food and full-featured menu, and is known mostly to locals.

Country Cafe:  Lockeford's Country Cafe is truly an "old school" diner, and it as "country" as it gets.  Serves delicious diner cuisine in a retro dining atmosphere.


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