The number one topic of conversation when it comes to traveling anywhere is often the food. 'Oh, if you're going to New York you HAVE to get the bagels', 'Chicago? The pizza is to die for.' and so on. California is always a hot spot for tourism for every reason. Fortunately for us in the Northwest it's a much shorter flight than most. In fact, you could even drive there if you had the time.

Once you're in California, what are you grabbing to eat? Well, you could always play it safe by just eating what you're used to, but what's the fun of that? If you find yourself in California, look out for these foods because they'll be the new thing you'll tell all your friends in Washington, making them jealous you got to experience great food that Washington State may be clueless on.

California-style Pizza

The more you travel, the more you realize every region has their own style of pizza. Chicago is known for their 'pie' style with loads of cheese, New York is a thin crust but still crispy, gigantic slices and very foldable (think opening of Saturday Night Fever), Detroit has a square deep dish with sauce on top and so many more places have their own thing. California is no different. They prefer a thin crust with unique toppings. This one in the photo happens to be made with avocado, blue cheese, black truffle oil and more. Very gourmet-style. Remember that scene in Inside Out where they hand her a slice of pizza with broccoli? That's real life. It's not bad, but maybe a bit of a shock to those who only know pepperoni.

Speaking of avocados...

Avocado Toast

Don't let the name fool you, it's more than just putting slices of acovado on toast. It's not much different, but it's a little more than that. Some go for slices, some go for a guac-style mush. Either way, Avocado Toast is slowly makes its way to other parts of the United States as some hip, trendy breakfast option. Avocado makes it excessively Californian (ie. why California Rolls have avocado in them). With the addition of red pepper flakes, a little sea salt and black pepper and often times some greens on it as well, it's like a salad on toasted bread. Handy, albeit a little overpriced at some places, but most find it very much so worth it.

They also say the California Roll was invited in Los Angeles. I believe it.

Animal Fries

Why order just plain, ol' boring french fries when you can get Animal Fries. What makes this specific to California as you'll find these at the popular In-N-Out restaurants in the area. But you won't find them on the menu. Only die hard fans to know ask them by name and everyone employee will know exactly what you're talking about. It's like a secret menu or secret code for those who grew up in California. I may not know why the eagle flies at midnight, but I can tell you Animal Fries are a reason people keep coming back to In-N-Out. Fries smothered with a thousand island-style combo of ketchup, mayo, and sweet pickle relish.


This is one of those dishes where I think to myself, 'Yeah, it looks good... but what is it'? This soup or stew originated in San Francisco with Italian roots. To put simply, it's just local seafood cooked in tomatoes and wine which gives it a vibrant color. It tastes even better than it looks. It's so popular that it may not be stuck just in San Francisco but surrounding California area as well, to bring a taste of San Francisco to other cities.

Fish Tacos

To be fair there are places in Washington that do sell a fish taco and they're always fantastic, but something about the fish tacos in California just hit different. I think it's because so many places in Washington happen to have them on the menu while many places in California specialize in them. As in, they only item on the menu are Fish Tacos and variations there-of. Might be worth to grab some. I say some because you'd never order just one.

Those are 5 you can't lose but a few other options would be

Wet Burritos

We usually just call them 'burritos' here, but you have to specifically ask for a wet burrito if this is what you're looking for in CA.

California Roll

No, not when you slow but don't come to a complete stop at a stop sign, these are often the cheaper option on sushi menus, but they take these very seriously in California where it's said they originated from.

Midoh Kitchen

Honestly, anything from Midoh. They have a few locations in the LA area and it's my favorite restaurant to visit if I find myself in LA. They have Japanese curry dishes and items like omurice I can't find anywhere, not even in Seattle.

If you have other can't-miss food ideas for California, AppChat us so we can add those to this list or even a future list.

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