The Inland Empire Restaurants

Downtown Riverside is home to a few ambitious restaurants, along with the familiar chains. The college town of Claremont has creative contemporary and ethnic fare. Innovative cuisine has become the norm in Temecula, especially at winery restaurants, some of whose chefs specialize in farm-to-table cuisine. The options are more limited in the smaller mountain communities; typically, each town supports a single upscale restaurant, along with fast-food outlets, steak-and-potatoes family spots, and perhaps an Italian or Mexican eatery. Universally, dining out is casual.

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  • 1. Himalayan Restaurant

    $ | Nepalese

    It's best to order family style at this no-frills storefront restaurant so that everyone gets a taste of the many Nepalese and Indian delicacies...Read More

  • 2. The Goat & Vine

    $ | Mediterranean

    At this vintage-meets-industrial style restaurant, don’t be surprised to see a line outside the door, as patrons wait to partake of Mediterranean...Read More

  • 3. 1909

    $$ | American

    Superb cocktails and craft-beer samplers, a something-for-everyone menu, and the always swingin' streetside patio have made this gastropub one...Read More

  • 4. Apple Annie's Restaurant and Bakery

    $ | American

    You won't leave hungry from this country-western diner, popular with locals for its family-style seven-course dinners. Perennial favorites include...Read More

  • 5. Belgian Waffle Works

    $ | Café

    This dockside eatery steps from the Lake Arrowhead Queen is quaint and homey, with country decor and beautiful lake views. Dive into a mud...Read More

  • 6. Bert & Rocky's Cream Company

    $ | Café

    The sinfully innovative concoctions at this local ice cream store include mint Oreo, blueberry-cheesecake, and the Elvis special with bananas...Read More

  • 7. Black Kat Fine Dining & Wine Room

    $$$ | American

    Floor-to-ceiling murals of vineyards and wine cellars decorate this 2017 newcomer whose international wine selection impresses as much as its...Read More

  • 8. Café Champagne

    $$$ | Contemporary

    With its flowering trellises and vineyard views, the spacious patio at Thornton Winery's café is the perfect place to lunch on a sunny day....Read More

  • 9. Il Mattone Trattoria Italiana

    $$ | Italian

    Locals line up on weekends for a table at this busy spot where waiters zip through small rooms to deliver fresh and beautifully seasoned fare...Read More

  • 10. Law's Oak Glen Coffee Shop

    $ | American

    Since 1953, this old-fashioned coffee shop has been serving up hot java, hearty breakfasts and lunches, and famous apple pies. Menu stalwarts...Read More

  • 11. Mario's Place

    $$$ | Italian

    The clientele is as beautiful as the food at this intimate jazz and supper club across the street from the Mission Inn. The northern Italian...Read More

  • 12. Meritage Restaurant at Callaway Vineyards

    $$$ | Mediterranean

    Impressively prepared cuisine and stunning Temecula Valley views from a shaded terrace make a visit to the restaurant at Callaway winery a memorable...Read More

  • 13. Packing House Wines

    $$ | Eclectic

    At this shop, bar, and restaurant inside a former orange-packing house, you can purchase wines from around the world and enjoy them on-site...Read More

  • 14. Peppercorn Grille

    $$ | American

    Filling pizzas, pastas, and steak and fish dishes make this clubby-looking restaurant a fine choice after a long day of skiing in winter or...Read More

  • 15. Pomona Valley Mining Co.

    $$$ | American

    Atop a hill near an old mining site, this rustic steak-and-seafood restaurant whose decor reflects the regional mining heritage provides great...Read More

  • 16. Public House

    $$ | American

    A low-key gastropub inside a restored 1950s home, this Old Town spot with a sunlit patio hosts live music on weekends. A roasted 16-ounce New...Read More

  • 17. Restaurant Gastrognome

    $$$$ | French

    Elegant and dimly lighted, with wood paneling, lace curtains, and an oft-glowing fireplace, "The Gnome" is where locals go for a romantic dinner...Read More

  • 18. Simple Simon's Bakery & Bistro

    $ | American

    Expect to wait in line at this popular little sandwich shop on the pedestrian-only shopping strip outside the Mission Inn. At lunchtime, salads...Read More

  • 19. The Sycamore Inn

    $$$$ | Steakhouse

    Built in 1921, the Sycamore Inn occupies the site of a stagecoach stop on Historic Route 66. The specialty here is USDA dry-aged prime steak...Read More

  • 20. Trattoria Toscana

    $$ | Italian

    California native Blythe Wilson and Sardinian-born chef Pietro Cinus met while Wilson was exploring the Tuscan countryside and together they...Read More

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