24 Best Street Foods You Must Try Out in California

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Street Food

The cuisine of California reflects its diverse culture. The culture of this region is influenced by many countries from all over the world; like European, Asian, and mainly Hispanic American cultures. Northern California is inspired by Mediterranean food and culture. The Asian influence is seen here as well. The central and coastal region has seafood culture from all over the world.

Fusion cuisine is popular in California. Local ingredients and fresh seasonal availability of the raw materials influence the menu of the restaurants here. It is found only in California. This region is known for its drive-in and drive-through. Food on the Wheels culture is also quite famous here. Keeping this in mind,

1. Avocado toast

Source: The Spruce Eats

California’s own invention, the juicy green fruit turned into such a delicious topping for morning toast. Folks here can’t get enough of avocado. The fruit is mashed and seasoned with spices like salt, pepper, chili flakes and oregano to make it delicious, garnished with parsley. Some places have modified the recipe and even add radish and feta cheese to make it more delicious. Any café serves this delicious dish.

2. Chicken and waffles

Source: Martha Stewart

No one loves fried chicken as the Californian folks do. This sweet and savoury meal is the favourite of all. The fried chicken wings which are deep fried and seasoned with paprika are served with waffles, topped with maple syrup and honey. The three-winged country boy chicken-and-waffle is famous from Roscoe’s House of chicken and waffles after the former President of the U.S.A. Obama visited the place, now it’s renamed as The Obama special.

3. Hangtown fry

Source: Chowhound

This dish dates back to the Gold Rush era of America. It is an egg scramble, made with oysters, bacon and onions. Melted cheese is added to the dish as a topping. It is the taste of history.

4. Fried pizza

Source: Serious eats

The pizza dough is fried with the most simple topping, mainly basil leaves, mozzarella cheese, and tomato sauce. It is served right out of the wooden oven as a whole. The topping is Californian styled sometimes, which is mixed. Mainly, basil, mozzarella and sauce are definitely found in the pizza. Some restaurants even serve eggs as a topping.

5. Grilled Corn

Source: Cooking Light

One of the most celebrated street food in California. Boiled or grilled corn on the cob is brushed with butter, cheese, mayo, lemon or lime and seasoned with salt. Topped with spices such as paprika, pepper and topped with coriander.

6. Adobada tacos

Source: Vadetacos.com

These are one of a kind tacos. The tacos have a filling of pork cooked with cabbage, onion, and cheese along with a generous number of spices. Topped with coriander, parsley and basil. The specialty lies in the cooking of the taco. The taco shell is griddled in the spicy mixture and then filled with the pork filling and served with a slice of lime.

7. Crispy tacos

Source: Potato Goodness

Nicknamed as “Gabacho tacos”, they are an American taco variety. The taco shell is deep-fried then filled with various fillings. Ground beef/ pork is cooked with an onion, tomatoes, cabbage. Topped by shredded lettuce and cheese, served with tomato sauce.

8. Fish taco

Source: Delish

The most favourite seafood dish, the traditional tacos, are given a twist by filling the fish in. Fresh season catch is chosen by the customer to make the fish filling. Like red snapper, jumbo scallops, shrimps, soft-shelled crabs, etc. the fish is seasoned with spices and fried, then topped by cabbage, radish, onion, carrots and tomatoes with mayonnaise on it. Then garnished with chives, coriander, jalapenos, etc. filled into the tortilla and served with a lime slice.

9. Cioppino

Source: Delish

A classic of the seafood dishes, cioppino is a fish stew. As the culture goes, the seasonal catching makes up the fish choice. Generally, a mix of squid, carb, mussels and white fish is seen. Sometimes, sardines, salmon are also seen as the topping. The chosen fish is put together with a tomato, wine-based sauce, potatoes, parsley, spices like salt, pepper, basil, and served with garlic bread toast or bread slices.

10. California roll

Source: Vaya.in

This is not exactly a roll, inspired by the Japanese sushi, this is sushi with avocado filling in it. The rice is rolled up with the filling of crab, avocado, cucumber. Sprinkled with roasted sesame. Sometimes the crab is substituted by a crab stick. It is also called California maki, which means makirzushi. The rolling out technique is called uramaki.

11. Oyster

Source: Lebua Hotels and Resorts

The Pacific oysters tend to be sweet and creamier. Therefore, the oysters here are a famous dish when it comes to seafood, a must-try. The oysters are naturally better tasting, and that makes it special.

12. Dungeness crab

Source: Former Chef

San Francisco welcomes the Dungeness crab in the April season. This west coast dwelling crab offers sweetmeat. The crab is served on toast with a topping of rice, slices of avocado and sprinkled with spring onions.

13. Spot prawns

Source: Times Colonist

This is the most expensive food in the region. These beautiful prawns have sweet shells, they are brushed with butter, then served with corn, tomatoes, avocado. Spiced with paprika, salt and pepper, garnished with coriander, this prawn dish is the most wanted.

14. Carnitas Burrito

Source: The oven Light

The burrito is also famous food with a lot of varieties in it. The filling of the burrito is of the customer’s choice, not to mention the seasonal fresh choices of ingredients are on the menu. The burrito is generally filled with rice, avocado, tomatoes, onion, lettuce or cabbage, coriander, parsley and lime juice. Other choices of fillings are chicken, pork and beef. But when these are the fillings, then rice is not there. Other ingredients remain the same though.

15. Carne Asada burrito

Source: Youtube

This burrito has chunky pico de gallo, fried beans, with tomatoes, topped with a generous amount of cheese, along with coriander. It is served with guacamole.

16. Cobb salad

Source: Delish

It is made of lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, avocado, cheese and red wine vinegar. The variety of this salad serves chicken along with the other fillings. Sometimes there is bacon with blue cheese, avocado and vinegar.

17. Korean BBQ

Source: I am a food blog

The traditional Korean BBQ feast has a colourful presentation. This dish has seafood pancakes, gooey gochujang pork belly, and steamed buns.

18. Xiaolongbao

Source: Cookiedoo

One of the best authentic Chinese food is soup dumplings. Thinnest skin dumpling, filled with pork/ beef. Served in the authentic Chinese way.

19. French dip

Source: Food Network

It is an American classic. Thinly sliced roasted beef is piled inside the roll that is dipped in beef, from the meat roasting process. It is then filled in with a baguette like a long bread.

20. Tri-tip

Source: NYT Cooking

Steak is grilled and stuffed inside a French roll. It serves as a meal. It is topped with cheese and served with fries.

21. Burger

Source: Now Lucknow

The double-double burger is famous in this region. This hefty burger is made up of two American beef patties, two slices of American cheese, a slice of tomato, crisp lettuce, onion rings, and dressed with spread. It tastes great along with the fries.

22. Fried chicken sandwich

Source: Bon Appetit

The freshly deep-fried crispy chicken is cooked and layered with shredded lettuce, onion rings, tomato and cheese. The chicken is juicy and crispy, it tastes better with fries and Dijon sauce, mayonnaise sauce or tomato ketchup.

23. Lemonade ice pop

Source: Youtube

The vitamin C-rich citrus is turned into a healthy Popsicle. It is the best snack during summer. Limes are converted to lemonade and then turned to ice pop by freezing them.

24. Garlic ice-cream

Source: Youtube

California grows around 90% of the country’s garlic. This tangy, kind of spicy taste is converted to ice cream, which tastes different but delicious. Those who try to experiment with their food must definitely try it.

These are the specialties of the region. Other street foods include tortillas, burritos, coffee, tea, etc. California has the most varied food culture. Mexican, Asian, and even Eastern culture is seen in its food.

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abobada tacos / avocado toast / burger / california roll / carne asada burrito / carnitas burrito / chicken and waffles / Cioppino / cobb salad / crispy tacos / Dungeness Crab / fish taco / french dip / fried chicken sandwich / fried pizza / garlic ice cream / grilled corn / hangtown fry / korean BBQ / lemonade ice pop / oyster / spot prawns / tritip / xiaolongbao

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