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Coast from San Fran to the Oregon Border - road trip food along the way?

Hi All,

I'm heading from San Fran up the coast, and am looking for b/l/d and snacks along the way.
Specifically need a lunch spot between SF and Fort Bragg, for when we get in (closer to SF). Then
one night in Fort Bragg, so a dinner there, and then a breakfast for the morning afterwards on the way to the Redwoods, maybe a lunch around the redwoods.

Somewhat on a budget, and looking for local finds and your must-have picks. All kinds of food very welcome.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. We were just down in the redwoods a few weeks ago and be warned that you need to manage your expectations. We traveled in the opposite direction -from Oregon as far south as Orek (just outside Redwoods National Park) and there were very few choices. I understand there may be a few good places farther south near Trinidad - I've read about The Larrupin Cafe - but we didn't go that far south. We stayed in Klamath at The Requa Inn which fortunately serves wonderful breakfast and dinner (for their guests only). Otherwise we might have gone hungry in that area.

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    Larrupin Cafe
    1658 Patricks Point Dr, Trinidad, CA 95570

    1. Bluebird Cafe in Hopland for breakfast or lunch less than 2 hrs north of San Francisco.

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      Bluebird Cafe
      13340 S Highway 101, Hopland, CA 95449

      7 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Thanks for the warning! Also looking for budget stuff, especially tacos...

        1. re: Jel212

          There isn't a taco worth stopping for in Humboldt.

          1. re: jwbarth

            When I passed through two years ago, I had a more than decent taco at Alma's Mexican Express Food, a truck parked on 9th in Arcata.

             
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I always go for al pastor, and I wasn't impressed by Alma's version.

              1. re: jwbarth

                If it's not cut from a spit, I don't order al pastor. So it doesn't surprise me that Alma's wouldn't deliver on that particular carne. Thanks for clarifying that your taco critique of Humboldt County is based on al pastor and al pastor alone. YMMV.

          2. re: Jel212

            Not intended as a warning. There's plenty of food available between SF and Fort Bragg. It's just that the range of what's discussed on the San Francisco Bay Area board extends north to the town of Cloverdale in Sonoma County, which is about 90 minutes from San Francisco. Recs for eats between SF and Cloverdale, such as in Healdsburg in one of the other posts to this thread, should be posted to your thread on the SF board, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/733999.

            The next town north is Hopland in Mendocino County is about 15 minutes north of Cloverdale and the first place to eat along Hwy 101 that is within the geography that is discussed on this California board. So that's why I suggested Bluebird. It's a good place to take a break after your first 2 hours of driving north. When I drove through Hopland last month on a Saturday, I noticed a taco truck parked on River Rd/Hwy 175 in parking lot just east of Hwy 101. I didn't have time to stop to check it out, let us know if you do.

            If you're taking Hwy 1, the first town outside the SF Bay Area board's territory would be Gualala. Anything south of that should be discussed on the SF board.

            Note that prices drop considerably the further you get away from San Francisco. So, if you can hold out and are interested in saving money, wait until you get into Mendocino County before stopping for lunch.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Super, thank you, appreciate the detail, Melanie. And the tips, everyone!

        2. If for lunch around the redwoods you are considering Crescent City, our family seems to have the best luck at the Chart Room. It has an old fashioned nautical theme and is located down in the harbor and has views of the harbor and the Battery Point Light House on one side and a view of South Beach on the other side. The service is quick and efficient and the food is okay to good. Mostly seafood and a few other options.

          I would also recommend if you're thinking of lunch in Crescent City to get provisions at the Rays or Safeway supermarkets on 101 in town and have a picnic somewhere on Pebble Beach Drive at one of the turnouts with beautiful views of the Pacfic Ocean. Some turnouts have beach access (If it's raining, having lunch in the car and looking at the ocean view is good too).

          Crescent City has a farmers market on Saturdays (10 am to 1 pm) until the end of October at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds. Depending on what vendors show up you might find smoked salmon, locally canned tuna, fresh bread and local produce.

          If you want a sit down meal, you'll find a greater selection of restaurants in Eureka and Arcata.

          Chart Room
          130 Anchor Way
          Crescent City, CA 95531
          707-464-5993

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          Chart Room Restaurant
          130 Anchor Way, Crescent City, CA 95531

          1. While in Ft. Bragg dinner options are Piaci's Pub & PIzzeria, very local, open lunch and dinner during the week,dinner on the weekends. North Coast Brewery is also good spot. Both have websites (I don't know how to attach)
            For breakfast there's Headlands Coffee House on Franklin St, Cafe 1
            , organic sit down breakfast, Taqueria Ricarda on Oak & Colombi St, excellent huevos and tacos too. There's a wonderful grocery store in town , called Harvest Market has lot of to go items. Plus local product, apple ciders,wines,cheese. From Ft. Bragg first town for eating is Garberville. If you are traveling Highway 1 from Fort Bragg.
            There' Silicito's pizza in Garberville. Then in Redway , Matole Cafe, CA style food. Otherwise you have to wait for Fortuna, Eel River Brewing Co.

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            North Coast Brewery
            Fort Bragg, CA, Fort Bragg, CA

            Taqueria Ricarda's
            647 E Oak St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437

            Cafe 1
            753 N Main St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437

            2 Replies
            1. re: ambercontegssa

              We picked up some smoked tuna, smoked salmon, bacon ends and sausages from Roundman's Smokehouse on the main street in Fort Bragg. Yummy!

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              Roundman's Smoke House
              412 N Main St, Fort Bragg, CA

              1. re: ambercontegssa

                +1 for Piaci's, our last trip we were upstairs having dinner at Mendo Bistro looking down out the window at all the action going on at this little hidden "pizza" place.... next trip for sure.

                Piaci Pizza
                across Redwood from the Mendo Bistro (hidden in back)
                707-961-1133

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                Mendo Bistro
                301 N Main St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437

              2. Trinidad has traditionally been a little mecca for decent food in the Eureka / Arcata area. Hopefully the economic crunch hasn't decimated things.

                Last trip we enjoyed the Sunset restaurant in the casino, so much so that we went twice, good food plus great view and decent wine list. Prices were very wallet friendly as well.

                Sunset Restaurant
                Cher-Ae Heights casino
                707-825-2760

                Larupin, just N of town, and Moonstone Grill to the south have been board favorites for a while.

                As for Crescent City, here is a list of places from my notes, be great to hear any updates from the locals or recent visitors:

                Toreros - seafood chimichanga, shrimp crab and scallops with monterey jack cheese and a good sauce

                Beacon Burger next door has excellent two-handed messy burgers

                Coffee Corner, very good deli sandwiches coffee bar and pastries
                5th St and 101

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                Beacon Burger
                160 Anchor Way, Crescent City, CA 95531

                Moonstone Grill
                100 Moonstone Beach Rd, Trinidad, CA 95570

                2 Replies
                1. re: PolarBear

                  The Coffee Corner closed in 2009. The Beach House Fry and Grill which opened at the same location later in 2009, closed earlier this year. It appears there may be yet another new restaurant opening soon there.

                  1. re: PolarBear

                    In Crescent City, you might want to consider the Good Harvest Cafe too. Had a pretty decent dinner there recently (I'm working on a writeup of me and my friend's recent 2000-mile excursion) but it looked like breakfast and lunch might be the better bets based on menu examination/random overheard chatter

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                    Good Harvest Cafe
                    700 Northcrest Dr Ste A, Crescent City, CA 95531

                  2. what freeway are you taking? if on the 5 the Yreka Bakery always gets marks in my book for the palindromic name alone. in Weed it's not a food rec, but there's a weird bar in the middle of town that sometimes has old-school hip-hop kickin on a patron's boom box (and not the violently unplugged juke).

                    but it sounds like you're doing the 1/101. beautiful.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: hill food

                      Yup, 101, then 5 up when we hit Willamette Valley : ) Thanks for all the great recommends!

                      1. re: hill food

                        Depending on where you head in to the coast, you may try lunch in Healdsburg. many fine choices but my fave is Zin for a great wine list and a twist on American Bistro. The drive up north from San Francisco is beautiful but tiring and the driver, once you are on Highway One, can get burned out quick if not used to it. Take your time and stop often. Have a Great Trip!

                        1. re: hill food

                          the Yreka Bakery has been closed for many years. Of course it sounds like the OP will not be going through this area anyway.

                          1. re: karenfinan

                            really about Yreka? too bad, I used to drive SF to Seattle on a regular basis. I should just shut up on West Coast things (and I usually do) but I still love the state.

                            1. re: hill food

                              Sorry for the very, very late reply - life after vacation has gotten in the way!!

                              The one specialty meal we ended up with in Fort Bragg was Mendo Cafe, which was a very nice, hearty-portioned, lovely-atmosphere discovery. (We had our breakfasts at the motel). I loved the very simple bistro salad - a heaping portion with enough for two. I had the Bucatini with flank steak and my hubby had the rigatoni with sausage. I wasn't blown away, but was pleased with both dishes. And did I mention the portions were hearty? (read: huge!). I particularly loved the excellent local beer and wine list - it really was a treat.

                              Thanks again!! And...Happy New Year!