The Central Valley Restaurants

Fast-food and chain restaurants are omnipresent, but homegrown bistros and fine restaurants take advantage of the local produce and meats. Superb Mexican food abounds, and Chinese, Italian, Armenian, and Basque cuisines are amply represented.

Fast-food and chain restaurants are omnipresent, but homegrown bistros and fine restaurants take advantage of the local produce and meats. Superb Mexican food abounds, and Chinese, Italian, Armenian, and Basque cuisines are amply represented.

Fast-food and chain restaurants are omnipresent, but homegrown bistros and fine restaurants take advantage of the local

Fast-food and chain restaurants are omnipresent, but homegrown bistros and fine restaurants take advantage of the local produce and meats. Superb Mexican food abounds, and Chinese, Italian, Armenian, and Basque cuisines are amply represented.

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  • 1. Luigi's

    $$ | Italian

    The same family has operated this popular restaurant, bar, and delicatessen at the same site since 1910. Feast on generous portions of pastas...Read More

  • 2. The Vintage Press

    $$$$ | European

    Built in 1966, this is one of the best restaurants in the Central Valley. The California–Continental cuisine includes dishes such as crispy...Read More

  • 3. Towne House Restaurant

    $$$$ | American

    Lodi power breakfasts and lunches and special-occasion dinners often take place in the distinguished rooms of this former residence behind,...Read More

  • 4. A&W Root Beer Drive-in

    $ | American

    Only two reasons to come here, but they're both delightful: frosty-glassed root-beer floats and drive-in service that transports patrons (by...Read More

  • 5. Bella Luna Bistro & Bar

    $$ | Italian

    In a downtown Tuscan-theme bakery, bar, and bistro, chef Vincent DeAngelo, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, brings his considerable...Read More

  • 6. Café 225

    $$$ | American

    High ceilings and contemporary decor contribute to the relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere at this popular downtown restaurant. Meats and fish...Read More

  • 7. Café Via

    $$ | Italian

    Sharing a strip of a strip mall with a massage parlor and a mattress retailer, this restaurant couldn't have a more humble location, but the...Read More

  • 8. Chef's Choice Noodle Bar

    $ | Thai

    Aromatic pan-Asian spices, healthful ingredients, and inventive cocktails have made this arts-district eatery a local fave. Chef Preeda Piamfa...Read More

  • 9. Cinema Cafe

    $ | American

    Hash browns, grilled-cheese sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, and similar fare are served at this downtown breakfast and lunch joint. The outdoor...Read More

  • 10. Dewz

    $$$$ | American

    Modestans hankering for a fine-dining experience—especially one involving prime rib or filet mignon—often head to this handsome dining room...Read More

  • 11. Elbow Room

    $$$ | American

    A classic San Francisco–style steak house and bar, the Elbow Room has been a Fresno social hub since opening in 1955. The steak sandwich, served...Read More

  • 12. Five Ten Bistro

    $$ | American

    Elegant yet unpretentious Five Ten serves upscale bistro-style meals at reasonable prices. Sit at candlelit tables and watch the cooks in the...Read More

  • 13. French 25

    $$ | American

    California meets New Orleans with farm-to-fork ingredients and Cajun-Creole flavors at French 25, an upscale restaurant near downtown Stockton...Read More

  • 14. La Fiesta

    $ | Mexican

    Mexican-American families, farmworkers, and farmers all eat here, polishing off traditional Mexican dishes such as posole, menudo, enchiladas...Read More

  • 15. Pietro's Trattoria

    $$$ | Italian

    Lodi's go-to spot for Italian American classics wins fans for its quality ingredients, Tuscan-courtyard ambience, and plant-filled outdoor patio...Read More

  • 16. School House Restaurant & Tavern

    $$$ | American

    A Wine Country–style establishment that sources ingredients from the on-site gardens and surrounding farms and orchards, this popular restaurant...Read More

  • 17. That's Italian

    $ | Italian

    For northern Italian cuisine in a no-frills trattoria, this is the spot. Try the braised lamb shanks in a Chianti wine sauce, grilled rib eye...Read More

  • 18. The Dancing Fox Winery and Bakery

    $ | American

    A good downtown stop especially for lunch, the Dancing Fox also has a tasting room for its eponymous wines. The restaurant, with decor that...Read More

  • 19. The Lunch Box

    $ | American

    A casual downtown café and bakery, the Lunch Box serves healthful meals at reasonable prices. Choose from nearly 50 types of hot and cold sandwiches...Read More

  • 20. The Mark

    $$ | American

    An upscale restaurant and bar in the downtown arts district, The Mark specializes in fresh seafood, hand-cut steaks, pastas, homemade soups...Read More

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