Top 10 Restaurants and Bars in Modesto, California

The Gallo Center for the Arts, Modesto, California.
The Gallo Center for the Arts, Modesto, California. | © Anthony Dunn / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of H.C. Hamblin
9 February 2017
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A short distance from the San Francisco Bay area of California, Modesto is a comparatively small town with an up-and-coming restaurant scene. We list 10 great places to eat in this gem of the Golden State.

© Carl Skaggs

Dewz

At Dewz, no detail is left unattended to. This upscale American restaurant executes service, cuisine, and atmosphere with perfection. The food is elegant, with varied influence from French, Asian, and Italian dishes. Add a world-class wine list to the equation and we have a restaurant that becomes a complete upscale package.

Camp 4 Wine Café

As the name suggests, Camp 4 Wine Cafe has a passion for great wine. The wine selection is vast the, and food is excellent and shouldn’t be missed. The menu offers gourmet panini, small bites and a charcuterie and cheese selection that includes both local and imported options. During the dinner hour, Camp 4 also has a bruschetta appetizer that changes daily, with creative flavor combinations like burrata with heirloom tomatoes and piquillo pepper with Manchego and sun dried tomatoes.

Surla’s

Surla’s is a vibrant mix of inspiration from a number of Asian cuisines and flavors. The restaurant offers unique dishes from a tomahawk smoked pork chop, to a kale and mint salad. Customers especially love the Sunday brunch offered at Surla’s for its American classics, variety of offerings, and large portions. The chef utilizes the bounty of central California in his restaurant, by using as much local produce as possible in his dishes. Surla’s is trendy and chic, with an atmosphere perfect for an easygoing night out.

Rockin’ B’s Burger Company

Rockin’ B’s Burger Company is new to the Modesto restaurant scene, opening in early 2013. Since then, it has been wowing customers with no-frills food and service. The menu is small, offering diner classics like burgers, fries, chicken tenders, and grilled cheese. What this place may lack in options, it makes up for in creative flavor.

Raw Sushi Bistro

As a Japanese fusion restaurant, Raw Sushi offers both the expected and the unique. Customers can enjoy popular sushi rolls, or innovative dishes like the beef and cilantro roll and Dante’s Inferno roll topped with crunchy, tempura-fried jalapenos. Plating is especially important to the chefs at Raw Sushi and dishes are served looking artistic and fresh.

Beirut Falafel Hut

Restaurant, American, $$$
Beirut Falafel Hut offers a delightfully different host of flavors to the Modesto restaurant scene. The kitchen at this restaurant cooks up a variety of Mediterranean dishes in large portions and at budget-friendly prices. Favorites include classics like gyro sandwiches, creamy hummus with pita, stuffed grape leaf dolmas and, of course, falafel. From the restaurant’s decor, to the simple menu, Beirut is uncomplicated and reliably good.

Michael’s Pizza Bar & Grill

While Michael’s Pizza Bar & Grill is especially known for its pizza, it also serves pastas, salads, and fish dishes. The pizza crust is house-made, using a two-day process that gives the dough time to rest and rise. Then, the readied dough is topped with meats, cheeses, and vegetables. A house favorite is Michael’s Masterpiece, a combination of four meats, onions, peppers, and mushrooms, all on hand-crafted dough.

Bauer’s 66 ½ Skillet Grill

Though oddly named, Bauer’s 66 ½ Skillet Grill hits the mark. This restaurant is so focused on using fresh and local ingredients that the menu changes weekly to reflect what is currently in season. The chef considers different diet preferences when designing the menu and offers vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Some of Bauer’s most popular dishes are the homestyle mac ‘n’ cheese, lamb burger, and garlic shrimp.

Concetta

Concetta is small but full of charm. This restaurant is heavily inspired by locally sourced ingredients currently in season. With those fresh ingredients, they craft dishes that are both creative and carefully planned. Diners are encouraged to order dishes to share and to eat in a family style, sharing a variety of dish options.

Bella Italia

Bella Italia is a delightful touch of Italy, far from the old country, in Modesto. This restaurant has been in business for over two decades. Traditional Italian dishes like pizza, pasta, and polenta are prepared daily in-house. The chef at Bella Italia tries make each customer feel like a welcome guest in an Italian family kitchen.

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