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Dining in Claremont

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My daughter will be attending school in Claremont. I am looking for dining suggestions. Would like some fairly upscale places for when we visit, as well as some inexpensive but good places for someone on a student's budget. Any advice?

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  1. This will get your daughter started, estblishments marked with an asterisk are in Clarement Village, immediately adjacent to the colleges:

    21 Choices Frozen Yogurt
    328 S Indian Hill

    *42nd Street Bagel
    225 Yale Ave

    *Afghan Restaurant
    316 Yale Ave

    Amore Yogurt & Cafe
    665 E Foothill Blvd

    *Aruffos Italian Cuisine
    126 Yale Ave

    *Bert & Rockys Cream Company
    242 Yale Ave

    *Danson Restaurant
    109 Yale Ave

    Darvish Restaurant
    946 W Foothill Blvd

    *Delhi Palace Express
    313 Yale Ave

    El Ranchero Mexican
    984 W Foothill Blvd

    *Espiaus Restaurant
    109 Yale Ave

    Grind Cafe
    915 W Foothill Blvd

    Inka Trails
    1077 W Foothill Blvd

    *Spaghetti Eddies
    102 Harvard Ave

    *The Press
    129 Harvard Ave

    *Tutti Mangia Italian Grill and Bar
    102 Harvard Ave

    *Village Grill
    148 Yale Ave

    *Walters Restaurant
    316 Yale AveClaremont

    *Yiannis Greek Restaurant
    238 Yale Ave

    Check out the Thai discussion a couple of postings below on this board, the Thai restaurants in Pomona are about 8 minutes away, south on Indian Hill Blvd by car from the Claremont colleges.

    Check out a recent posting by me regarding the Sycamore Inn for about the higest end steak house in the area, good food, lots of wines by the glass. Sycamore Inn is in Rancho Cucamonga, on Foothill Boulevard (hop on the 210 and its probably less than 15 minutes away from Claremont).

    For oustanding ice cream, "dr. bob's" in nearby Upland.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Chino Wayne

      The four on this list we have liked for a long long time are Walters, Dansons, Aruffo's and Yianni. Walters is a must for sunday brunch.

      1. re: Peter

        Ditto for Walter's and the Danson. I would add the Buffalo Inn for Buffalo burgers, homemade chips and beer.

        1. re: TomSwift

          OK, if your going to go "all the way" to Upland, how about Joey's Bar-B-Que.

          1. re: Chino Wayne

            There's a Buca di Bepo in Claremont too as well as Marie Callendars on Foothill. For the best mexican food around try La Paloma in La Verne on Foothill and Gary.

            1. re: RobL

              Used to visit La Paloma 25 years ago, when we drive by now it seems very forlorn. So you say it's still good? What dishes do you like?

          2. re: TomSwift

            Funny... I haven't been to the Danson since... oh, 2000 or so, but the two times I went it was awful. Slow service, cold food, not tasty food. And sadly, I only went to the Buffalo Inn once, and enjoyed the ambiance, but not the food.

            I much preferred Walter's for fancier food years ago, and went to the Back Abbey a month ago, and enjoyed it quite a lot, too. My favorite place was Thai Orchid Garden on Foothill. In fact, I agree with most places people mention, except for the Danson. Maybe it's improved in the last 10 years. Then again, this is a zombie post from 7 years ago, so I can't imagine it changed too much in 3 years.

            The Back Abbey
            128 Oberlin Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

            Danson Restaurant
            109 Yale Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

            Thai Orchid Garden
            315 E Foothill Blvd, Pomona, CA 91767

            Buffalo Inn
            1816 W Foothill Blvd, Upland, CA 91786

        2. re: Chino Wayne

          Second (or third) the recs for Walters, Yianni's, Bert & Rocky's, and Dr. Bob's.

          1. re: Chino Wayne

            Thank you one and all, I knew I could count on chowhounds.

          2. Congratulations to your daughter! I attended school in Claremont too and had a wonderful time. And Claremont Village has plenty of nice eating places that is within walking distance to the campuses if she doesn't have a car.

            Chino Wayne gave you an extensive list and I'll just add to that some more of my favorites (that generally worked for a student on a budget):

            Viva Madrid - 225 Yale Ave. Tapas restaurant tucked away in the back of a little minimall. Very festive; great for parties. Can get packed.

            Heroes - 131 Yale Ave. Huge portions of standard pub food. From what I remember we went becuase there were lots of beer on tap. :)

            When my parents came to visit, we'd go to Tutti Mangia or Harvard Square Cafe. Both are a bit more expensive (but not too bad at all) with a more refined atmosphere.

            And, since my parents would commute from LA and I had a car, it always gave us a good excuse to "meet in the middle" and have great Chinese food in SGV.

            Good luck!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Macy U.

              My daughter just took me to 21 Choices for frozen yogurt. This is a very popular destination on a hot day. They take the concept of frozen yogurt and mix-in's to the nth degree. You can mix-in's chopped in or hand cranked until smooth. Tons of fresh fruit, nuts, candies.

            2. Inka Trails--a Peruvian restaurant on Foothill just East of Towne Ave. (near Stater Bros. supermarket). YUM!

              As a former "Scrippsie," I also enjoyed the baked delights of Some Crust Bakery, the bagel sandwiches at 42nd Street Bagel Cafe, pastrami sandwiches and gravy fries from The Hat, and shawerma from Saca's Mediterranean.

              And of course there are also prepared foods from Wolfe's Market that saved me from more than one bad campus meal!

              Bon appetit! Welcome to the Claremont clan. Tell your daughter about the Collage newspaper if she has an interest in journalism! =)

              1. Ahh, my old stomping grounds. My husband and I are CMC alums...

                In the Village (ie, walking distance) the Danson & Walters. Also, the Buffalo Inn (aka the Buff) and The Hat, only a few streets away. Down just south of the 10, Sanamluang Thai Cafe. Somewhere close on Foothill is actually a good French place, though the name excapes me right now. Tutti Mangia & Harvard Square were "date" restaurants. And really, for the broke college student, how can you pass up Mongolian BBQ? Also, great donuts in the area, specifcally Donut Man, down Foothill in LaVerne.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Aim

                  Oh, yes Donut Man. Fresh strawberry donuts in the spring (right now) and fresh peach donuts in the late summer.

                2. This is my very first post, though I am a frequent visitor of Chowhound. I have lived in Claremont for four years and I feel I have adequate information to recommend a few restaurants above others.

                  My husband and I frequent Inka trails, we order their wonderful ceviche and get cheap steaks with fried egg and plantains, and the fantastic dulce de leche filled cookies.

                  Back Abbey has the best burger and fries i have eaten anywhere. They also have a great beer and wine list.

                  A pomegranate martini and braised lamb at Walters is very good.

                  The clam appetizer at Tutti Mangia is good.

                  You can get a good cocktail at Casa 425 or The Press.

                  That's it.

                  The Back Abbey
                  128 Oberlin Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

                  Tutti Mangia
                  102 Harvard Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

                  16277 Laguna Canyon Rd Ste A, Irvine, CA 92618

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chubob

                    Good to see your post to the LA Chowhound board, Chubob. Your contribution is most welcome. New blood (and new recommendations) are what keep the remainder of us coming back here, day in and day out.

                  2. Has anyone been to La Piccoletta Ristorante or the Hip Kitty? They both look very good.

                    La Piccoletta Restaurant
                    114 N Indian Hill Blvd, Claremont, CA 91711

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: parker394

                      If you like good Italian, try La Picolletta, a quaint, somewhat rustic family style Italian trattoria. They serve only one pasta dish per night with your choice of four different sauces plus an amuse bouche. The vongole (clam) sauce, when offered, is da bomb! Several special selections are also offered, inluding an excellent Cioppino. Small but decent wine list. Great ambience and service. Quiet. Dinner only, served Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. Wonderful.

                      La Piccoletta
                      114 N. Indian Hill Blvd.
                      Claremont, CA 91711
                      (909) 624-1373


                      La Piccoletta Restaurant
                      114 N Indian Hill Blvd, Claremont, CA 91711

                      1. re: parker394

                        We did a fondue dinner at the Hip Kitty a few months ago. It was good, and the room is a lot of fun. The upcharge for filet is rather steep, but they give you a HUGE portion. We ended up taking around six ounces of filet home to turn into the next evening's dinner.

                      2. any thoughts on Viva Madrid?

                        Viva Madrid
                        225 Yale Ave Ste B, Claremont, CA 91711

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: samtron608

                          My friend who went to Claremont McKenna took me to Viva Madrid and I liked it. The wait can be pretty long though. I especially liked their dish with the chicken and fried carrots!

                          Viva Madrid
                          225 Yale Ave Ste B, Claremont, CA 91711

                          1. re: samtron608

                            My first choice in the Claremont area has to be Viva Madrid, a fairly authentic Spanish Tapas Bar offering over 50 delicious small plates plus selected full entrees and desserts. Favorites include Gambas Ajillo (shrimp in garlic wine sauce), Tosta con Cabales Queso y Peras (toast with Cabrales cheese and red wine with poached pears), Calamares Con Chorizo (stuffed squid with chorizo, onions, & herbs), Emanada De Pollo (chicken, onions and red bell peppers) and Chuletas De Cordero (broiled marinated lamb chops). Full bar and great ambiance in a charming part of town. Love this romantically cozy place! Not exactly quiet, but well within reason even when packed. Well-heeled by Claremont schools' staff and students.

                            Viva Madrid
                            225-B Yale Avenue
                            Claremont, CA
                            (909) 624-5500


                            Viva Madrid
                            225 Yale Ave Ste B, Claremont, CA 91711

                          2. Walters, Harvard Square, Tutti Mangia and The Back Abbey!!!

                            The Back Abbey
                            128 Oberlin Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

                            Tutti Mangia
                            102 Harvard Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

                            Harvard Square Cafe
                            206 W Bonita Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

                            1. Wow, a revivial of a 7 year old thread. The OP's daughter has long graduated, too bad we didn't get a report. I don't eat over there much but here is what I like:

                              Back Abby - a bit pricy for a student budget but premium burgers, nice sliced cured meats platter, belgian fries good beer selection and a casual patio, even heat lamps and blankets if it is cool.

                              Some Crust Bakery - Lemon bars, and I like the cheese and blueberry danish too

                              I've only had drinks and the cheese plate at Hip Kitty, but it is a fun place and I heard a great female jazz singer and pianist one evening, wish I had noted her hame.

                              Viva Madria - I have not had large plates here, just tapas at the bar. Very good, fun place though I think I can get jammed on weekends.

                              Went once for Happy Hour at Casa 425 with live music in the courtyard, very chic and comfy seating.

                              Walters is very popular I think I have just had brunch and lunch. Big breakfast and huge salads iirc.

                              My relatives go to the Village Grille once a week for breakfast. Retro looking little place.

                              A little farther away:
                              I love Sanamalang Cafe on Indian Hill just south of the 10 at San Bernadino Ave. It is in a strip mall anchored by a Mexican Grocery Store. Cute place, the offshoot of a Thai Town place, the noodle dishes are great, pad Thai, Generals noodles in soup, duck noodle soup and a spicy grilled beef salad, fish cake appetizer. The will adjust spice level for you.

                              Juanitas is a little fast food Mexican catty corner, that is pretty good. You have to eat at outdoor table or take away.

                              Sycamore Inn n Foothill at the Upland / Rancho Cucumonga boarder has a very good happy hour, with 1/2 price (nice) wines by glass, 1/2 price martini, including cosmo typ drinks and 1/2 price appetizer. They also added some little dinners in the bar for $10. I have not eaten in the formal dining room.

                              Senor Baja - casual fast place for Fish Tacos, Shrimp Tacos and other -and they now have a $1 special every weekday. iirc monday is chicken taco, tues is fish taco, wed beef hard shell taco, thurs potato taco, fri shrimp cocktail. I noticed they cut back their condiments bar though. It is a small chain. There's one on Foothill in Upland near the Claremont border, across the street from Walmart.

                              21 Choices is popular with kids. I like Kiwiberry better.

                              For classic greasy goodness, check out the old school The Hat for pastrami dip, chili cheese fries. A long time fast food staple in the area. On Central just south of Foothill in Upland, not far from Claremont border.

                              Walter's is a good gourmet store with prepared foods as well as meats, cheeses, but pricy. On Foothill at Harvard.

                              Sycamore Inn
                              8318 Foothill Blvd, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730