The 11 Best Restaurants In California

With incredibly fresh ingredients and creative chefs who know how to put those ingredients to work, it’s no surprise that California is a Mecca for foodies.

While New York had the largest amount of restaurants on our list of the 45 Best Restaurants in America, California held a close second place, with 11 appearances on the list.

We looked at five notable restaurant rankings compiled by food critics, diners, and experts, and combined these rankings to create the ultimate list of the Best Restaurants. (You can read our complete methodology and see numerical scores here).

We pulled the top California restaurants from our list, and ranked them here.

11. Zuni Café

1658 Market Street, San Francisco

Chef: Judy Rodgers

Co-owner and chef Judy Rodgers has been at the helm of Zuni's kitchen since 1987, making this Bay-area restaurant a standout on multiple 'best' lists. Zuni ranked No. 45 on our overall list of The 45 Best Restaurants in America as well as No. 23 on The Daily Meal's 101 Best Restaurants.

Zuni's menu draws on classic Venetian comfort food with a modern twist, using local and organic ingredients wherever possible.

9. State Bird Provisions

1529 Fillmore Street, San Francisco

Chef: Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski

Opened just two years ago, State Bird Provisions made No. 41 on our overall list. It also took the No. 18 spot on The Daily Meal's list.

Chef proprietors Brioza and Krasinski named the restaurant to hint at California's state bird, the valley quail, a featured item on their menu.

8. The Restaurant at Meadowood

900 Meadowood Lane, St. Helena

Chef: Christopher Kostow

What's unique about The Restaurant at Meadowood is the way Chef Kostow tailors the menu to his guests' tastes and preferences within his restaurant's American modern theme. For those looking for an exceptional overview of his culinary talent, a 10-course tasting menu is available for $US225 a person.

This newcomer to our overall list (ranked No. 40) also took the 91st spot on The Daily Meal's list and No. 80 on The World's Best list.

7. Animal

435 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles

Chef: Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo

Animal tends to focus on -- what else? -- meat. All parts of the pig feature prominently on the chefs' carnivorous menu, which takes influences from around the globe.

The restaurant jumped from No. 43 last year to No. 30 this year on our overall list, thanks to its high ranking (No. 8) on The Daily Meal's list.

5. Saison

178 Townsend Street, San Francisco

Chef: Joshua Skenes

Ranked No. 24 on our overall list, Saison popped up on The World's Best list as well as OpenTable's. The restaurant, whose name is French for 'season,' is a nod to Chef Skenes' commitment to calendar-specific produce.

Saison has a different multicourse menu nightly; the price changes depending on the ingredients used.

4. Gary Danko

800 North Point Street, San Francisco

Chef: Gary Danko

Gary Danko debuts as No. 21 on Business Insider's overall list and also made The Daily Meal's cut this year, after receiving accolades from the likes of Michelin and Esquire since opening in San Francisco's Wharf area in 1995.

Chef Danko combines classical training with focuses on French, Mediterranean, and regional American cooking.

3. Coi

373 Broadway Street, San Francisco

Chef: Daniel Patterson

Coi's North Beach location offers stunning views and access to fresh ingredients from nearby forests, gardens, and farms. Both contribute to the culinary vision of Chef Patterson, who was recently named Best Chef: West by The James Beard Foundation.

Ranked No. 49 on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list and No. 15 on our overall list, Coi serves contemporary Northern California cuisine.

2. Manresa

320 Village Lane, Los Gatos

Chef: David Kinch

The Daily Meal and The World's Best both recognised the 'seasonal and spontaneous' tasting menu at Manresa that consistently delivers. On our overall list, Manresa ranked No. 11.

The menu changes frequently to highlight the best ingredients from Love Apple Farms, a biodynamic farm in nearby Santa Cruz. By sourcing its produce using sustainable methods, the Manresa team aims to create a closed circle between guests, the farm, and chef Kinch's haute cuisine.

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