Fresno’s location within California’s
Central Valley makes it a prime location to explore the outdoors, including national parks. It is also a great place to try delicious locally sourced cuisine from the surrounding agricultural area. Here are the ten of the best places to get some local flavor in Fresno.
Cracked Pepper Bistro
Bistro, American, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Fast Food, $$$
Cracked Pepper Bistro
Cracked Pepper Bistro serves up contemporary American cuisine with a European twist, all within a welcoming atmosphere. The Mala-Insana Napoleon, pumpkin seed-encrusted eggplant with goat cheese, oven-roasted tomatoes and pesto with aged balsamic, is a memorable start to a meal while the rack of lamb with porcini dust and mushroom risotto is a delectable entrée. Open for dinner Tuesday through to Saturday, the bistro also offers daily specials and an impressive wine list and handcrafted cocktails.
Cracked Pepper Bistro, 6737 N. Palm Ave., Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 222 9119
Dog House Grill
Bar, Steakhouse, BBQ, Fast Food, American
Dog House Grill
Located across from California State University, Fresno, Dog House Grill is a popular venue with locals looking for top BBQ. A lively atmosphere with sports memorabilia adorning the walls, the bar and grill is a great spot where fans can celebrate before or after a sporting event at the university, or watch other athletics on one of the many large televisions. Popular choices from the menu include the tri-tip steak sandwich with the grill’s renowned BBQ sauce on a French roll and the sandwich with shredded pork and BBQ sauce. While the menu leans towards catering for meat lovers, vegetarians have a few tasty choices as well.
Dog House Grill, 2789 E. Shaw Ave., Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 294 9920
Restaurant, Chinese, Asian, $$$
Hunan Restaurant specializes in Chinese cuisine with an emphasis on Szechwan and Hunan fare. An interior featuring rich woods and dark colors creates a warm and comforting atmosphere where guests can enjoy a host of flavorful dishes made by the award-winning Chef Zhongyi Liu and his team. Succulent highlights include buttercream shrimp, lightly-fried tofu in mixture of snow peas, water chestnuts, and broccoli with a brown sauce and Mongolian BBQ lamb tossed with pepper, onion and garlic sauce. The restaurant also features a Chinese menu with more traditional dishes found in China.
Hunan Restaurant, 6716 N. Cedar Ave., Suite 104, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 297 0336
Bakery, French, Coffee, Tea , Pastries, Dessert, Fast Food, $$$
La Boulangerie is a lovely bakery and café providing diners with a taste of France in Fresno. Located in the shopping and dining destination known as Fig Garden Village, this friendly place offers savory and sweet edibles seven days a week, from savory croissants or quiche to sandwiches such as the roasted eggplant sandwich with mozzarella, tomato, fresh basil, pesto and balsamic vinegar. For those seeking something sweet, there is a tempting array of croissants, muffins, scones, coffeecakes and cookies too.
La Boulangerie, 730 W. Shaw Ave., Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 222 0555
Lela’s is a wonderful restaurant featuring New American cuisine inspired by the flavors of California. Within a casual yet elegant environment, complete with art-adorned walls, guests can enjoy entrée highlights such as braised short ribs accompanied by cremini mushrooms, sugar snap peas and carrots over ginger risotto and penne pasta with a variety of vegetables tossed in a roasted tomato sauce and goat’s cheese. Lela’s also offers a large wine list with choices that will complement the dishes perfectly.
Lela’s, 7089 N. Marks Ave., Suite 101, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 432 9900
Located in a shopping center, Lucy’s Lair specializes in authentic Ethiopian delicacies. With a menu featuring appetizers, salads, vegan dishes and meat options, there is something for everyone, including gluten-free diners. Start with beef or vegan sambusas, which are filo dough pockets stuffed with either beef or lentils plus garlic, onions, jalapeños, and spices, followed by doro wat, an Ethiopian ceremonial dish of chicken marinated in lemon and sautéed in spiced butter with a variety of flavors, including ginger and tomatoes. Ethiopian beer plus wine and tea are also available.
Lucy’s Lair, 1137 Champlain Dr., Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 433 9775
Peeve's Public House & Local Market
Pub, Gastropub, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, American
Peeve’s Public House & Local Market
Located downtown, Peeve’s Public House and Local Market‘s menu changes every day so that the culinary team can create dishes showcasing the best seasonal ingredients from local sources. Recent highlights included fresh jalapeño hummus served with local Manapan pita chips and the FFD Pizzetta topped with seasonal vegetables, local cheeses and house pumpkin sauce and drizzled with Sayula’s spicy peanut sauce. This friendly pub also houses a market, which features local artisan items, and also hosts events, like food entrepreneur night, Café Scientifique and ArtHop.
Peeve’s Pubic House & Local Market, 1243 Fulton Mall, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 573 5735
Oggi Cosi Si Mangia
Restaurant, Italian, Fast Food, Vegetarian
Oggi Cosi Si Mangia
Located in the historic Tower District, Oggi Cosi Si Mangia is a lovely trattoria featuring traditional Italian fare. Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, this quaint restaurant’s menu presents a wide selection of soups, salads, appetizers, entrées (including vegetarian options), plus desserts, with many items being made from old world Italian recipes. A typical meal at Oggi’s could begin with roasted cauliflower with lemon, garlic, Parmigiano, and fresh parsley, followed by chicken marsala made with sweet marsala wine and mushrooms, accompanied by capellini aglio e olio. Domestic, international, and craft beers plus a variety of wines are also available.
Oggi Cosi Si Mangia, 1110 N. Van Ness Ave., Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 445 1957
Restaurant, Steakhouse, Seafood, American, $$$
Yosemite Ranch is a local, family-friendly restaurant serving succulent steaks and seafood within a beautiful setting inspired by Yosemite National Park. Open every night for dinner, this wood-adorned space has low lighting creating a warm and cozy setting for a night out. From appetizers to salads to burgers to entrées and more, guests have a host of options, including the bacon-wrapped filet mignon served with soup or salad, plus side dishes, such as rice pilaf and vegetables, and the Australian lobster tail served with a baked potato.
Yosemite Ranch, 1520 E. Champlain Dr., Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 434 4403