There are two main routes that connect the Bay Area and Los Angeles, and they differ wildly in terms of both natural beauty and amenities for travelers. You can spend a long day (or a leisurely weekend) winding down Highway 1, stopping along the way at a handful of charming seaside enclaves, each with their own culinary destinations. Or you can haul ass down Interstate 5, the flat, boring four-lane expanse that runs straight through California’s agriculture heartland — you’ll get to your destination in about six or seven hours this way, but the dining options are mostly limited to fast-food chains and mom-and-pop restaurants catering to truckers and farm workers.
But with a little planning, it’s possible to eat well while traveling through the center of the state as well as on the periphery. (Sadly, parts of the coastal highway are not drivable right now because of landslide damage, but hopefully that will change soon.) With that in mind, here’s a guide to eight restaurants to consider along I-5, plus 10 spots that are worth stopping for on the coast. All of the restaurants are located within a few minutes of the highway, and none of them require reservations or any sort particular attire — most of them are fun, casual places that are also good for families.
Did we miss your favorite restaurant along the coast or down the middle of the state of California? Please share your picks in the comments.Read More