Some people travel to relax, to escape the grind, to experience different cultures, or to become immersed in history. For more and more travelers, though, the overriding factor for choosing a vacation locale is a top-notch food and drink scene. When your stomach is your ultimate guide, these top culinary destinations in the West should not be missed.
San Francisco, CA
It’s the birthplace of sourdough bread, cioppino, and countless food trends, as well as the city with the most full-service restaurants in the country. When visitors come to San Francisco, food is first and foremost on their minds for good reason.
One of the newest must-stops is Che Fico, opened in 2018 by a team of alums from New York’s vaunted Eleven Madison Park. Italian for “what a fig’’ or more common in slang for “that’s so cool,’’ the Cal-Italian tavern frequently has lines out the door and A-listers such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Anderson Cooper paying visits for toothsome house-made saffron spaghetti with lobster and blistered pizza crusts with a flurry of grated Parmesan blanketing the edges.
Insider’s Tip: Can’t snag a table? Try one of these nearby NoPa restaurants instead.
Perennial favorite, Rich Table, which notched a Michelin star in 2018, is always a hard ticket. But it’s worth the effort to enjoy its uncanny, imaginative fare such as dried porcini doughnuts in a pool of gooey raclette, aged beef wontons with chili oil, and signature potato chips with a whole crisp sardine threaded through each of them.