7 California food trends you have to try

17 September 2019

California is often the epicentre of any hot new trends and when it comes to food, that’s no different.

Given North America’s position at the forefront of western culture, it’s no surprise that the food scene is constantly evolving and emanating outwards for the rest of us to follow.

Let’s take a look at some of the food trends that took off within ‘the Golden State’.

Sunday Brunch (Santa Cruz)

Brunch is becoming ever more popular and if it sounds like your thing, why not indulge in the award-winning Sunday Brunch at the luxurious Chaminade Resort in Santa Cruz County.

Serving savoury dishes such as eggs Benedict, salmon and mushroom ravioli, alongside a carving station offering you prime cuts of ribs and ham. For something made to your personal taste, you’ll be able to get omelettes and waffles made to order just for you!

Poke bowl (Newport Beach)

Hailing from Hawaii, poke is a traditional dish of diced raw fish and rice, accompanied by soy sauce. The dish is thought to originally have been made using tuna fish, but it is now common to find octopus, salmon, and scallop in your poke bowl.

Over the years as the public demand for sushi soared in California and people’s fondness for raw fish grew, the popularity of poke bowls soon blossomed. Californians have added their own spin to the dish making it a decorative and vibrant affair containing any number of delicious ingredients from fruit and pickled root vegetables to edamame and roe.

The photogenic nature of the dish has led to many people posting snaps of their carefully arranged work of food art on social media, and what better backdrop to have than the immaculate Newport Beach.

Vegetarian (South Lake Tahoe)

Given the state’s progressive mindset, it’s no surprise that California is leading the way when it comes not only to vegetarianism, but in making plant-based food irresistible.

It’s not just the health conscious or people with moral objections that are electing to ditch the meat in favour of plant-based food, and eateries like Sprouts Café in South Lake Tahoe are exemplifying why, serving up vegan food that delights veggies and carnivores alike.

Artisan Olive Oils (Yosemite Mariposa County)

Yosemite Mariposa County’s low elevation mountains are home to great places to grow olives and grapes, which makes this area great for wine as well as olive oil. CostaLivos Olive Oil has been using the California sun and glacial fed streams to feed their olive trees for years.

They take their locally grown olives and turn them into a tasting experience in downtown Mariposa at CostaLivos Mountain Gold. There patrons can taste locally sourced olive oils in all sorts of flavors before having their favorites served up in authentic Italian dishes.

Sustainable food (San Diego)

California has really bought into the global sustainability movement and its people are making a concerted effort to make their diets more environmentally friendly. For many, this has meant adopting a more seasonal diet and sourcing produce locally to avoid the unnecessary food miles.

Many restaurants in San Diego are adopting these principles and serving up organic dishes with minimal waste and impact on the environment. One such restaurant is Ranchos Cocina which serves up authentic Mexican food made from local sustainable ingredients sourced from nearby farmers markets. There are over 50 farmer markets going on throughout the region each week. 

Superfoods (Sonoma County)

Superfoods are a group of nutritionally dense foods, which are reported to pack a whole host of health benefits. In a state where health and wellness are paramount, Californians have kick started a craze of people striving to include these in their diet.

The Nectary, in Sonoma County, is the first juice and smoothie apothecary bar of its kind. They serve a unique and delicious assortment of 100% organic cold-pressed juices, superfood and green smoothies, hot tonics & superfood lattes, probiotic beverages and other artisanal raw food snacks and sweet treats. Their menu is guided by the seasons and supported by the abundance of local organic produce available in Sonoma County.


To book your California adventure and taste the newest food trend, contact your local Travel Counsellor!

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