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Boston Hound traveling from LA to North of San Francisco needs roadfood advice.

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I am going to California at the end of August and driving from LA to north of San Fran. I have already posted on the SF board looking for Bay Area recs and now I need suggestions for cheap, interesting and delicious eats on the road between LA and SF and also north of SF to wine country. I am looking for advice on :

Barbeque: I know CA isn't classic que country but I am sure there are some good spots.

Seafood: all types preferably with views of the ocean and not fancy or stuffy.

Mexican: in particular tortas, ceviche, and chilis rellenos.

Any unique to CA roadside stands, hole in the walls, etc. Also cool specialty food stores, farm stands, orchards, etc.

Sorry for the long post and multiple requests but I will be grateful for any advice and will reciprocate with New England questions, thanks in advance.

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  1. Hi, welcome to California - are you driving upInterstate Highway 5 through the San Jauquin Valley to SF, or US Highway 101 that goes through Santa Barbara and Santa Maria and on up to SF?

    Big difference and if you have not made a choice yet, Highway 101 which is closer to the Pacific Coast is a very scenic choice and far more appetizing - though it may take you longer since you do want to enjoy some culinary side trips.

    1 Reply
    1. re: glbtrtr

      hello, I'm ignorant on the eating spots on I-5, but near 101 in the central coast section, as you know, there are numerous places to fit the OP's specs, like the oak roasted meats they call 'Santa Maria bbq' and its variants. have fun

    2. If you come through Santa Barbara, check out La Super Rica Taqueria at 622 N. Milpas. It has been covered elsewhere on Chowhound.

      1. I love to stop at Jocco's in Nipomo for classic Santa Maria Style BBQ -- tri tip. Call ahead for reservations and you'll probably still have to wait.