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Four types of pinsa from Montesacro
Montesacro
Montesacro

13 Worthwhile Places to Eat and Drink in Walnut Creek

From Peruvian food to tiki drinks, this is the best of where to go in Walnut Creek

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Montesacro
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The Walnut Creek area is awash in smaller, local chains — and, honestly, it makes sense, given the larger restaurant spaces, (somewhat) plentiful parking, and hot summer (and not-too-cold winter) weather perfect for outdoor patios and strolling the Main Street drag. Still, there are a number of homegrown favorites worth trying while you’re in the area, whether you’re shopping around Broadway Plaza or fulfilling some other reason that brings you to this region. Here’s where to snag a bite to eat when Cheesecake Factory doesn’t quite fit your food needs.

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Calicraft Brewing Company

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Calicraft has been pulling beers at its taproom since 2016, taking advantage of its spacious brewery with plenty of seating available, especially in the outdoor beer garden. It’s become a popular spot away from the busier downtown area, and a place to try some Calicraft beers that won’t be available at any nearby stores. Outside food is allowed, but there is pretty much a constant rotation of food trucks available to purchase food from as you sip your drink at the picnic table setups.

Calicraft

Parada is the Walnut Creek location of chef Carlos Altamirano’s group of Peruvian restaurants, including San Francisco’s Mochica and La Costanera in Half Moon Bay; but it’s still worth a mention as a casual dinner option in Walnut Creek. Try the cebiche mixto, an order of the yucca fries, or the pulpito a la parilla if you’re in the mood for octopus off the smaller bites menu, before branching out into the lomo saltado, adobo, or paella.

kibi's Cafe Walnut Creek

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Kibi’s Cafe is a local favorite for its banh mi, becoming popular enough to warrant expanding into a second location, this time in Orinda. The secret is the house-made pickles, pate, and dipping sauces that infuse the sandwiches; go for the five-spice pork banh mi, and pick up some fresh summer rolls, which include three vegan options.

Montesacro Pinseria - Walnut Creek

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Pinsa, the pizza-adjacent delight from Italy, is the dish that helped build the Montesacro name in San Francisco, but in its newer outpost in Walnut Creek, the restaurant has a few more dishes to attract diners. There are pasta options such as cacio e pepe, plus heartier dishes like the cast iron lamb chops to sink your teeth into. Meanwhile, the pleasant bar encourages diners to linger, with drinks such as the bergamot gimlet, made with Italicus Bergamot Liqueur, plus other aperitivi.

A plate of food from Montesacro in Walnut Creek, Calif. Albert Law

Katy's Kreek

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If you’re a breakfast fiend, Katy’s is the place to go with its extensive eggs Benedict menu featuring everything from a Dungeness crab version to one with a corned beef hash. The omelettes are also worth a mention, as are the sandwiches, if you’re looking to go rogue from the egg options.

SanDai & KOPI Bar

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Chef Nora Haron is sharing her love of Nusantara food through her two Walnut Creek operations, SanDai & KOPI Bar on North Main Street. SanDai is the more formal restaurant option, serving lunch, dinner, and brunch items made with Northern California produce. Diners would be wise to try one of the satay options and add on an order of the roti, but it’s hard to go wrong from there; vegetarians might want to check out the gado gado, while seafood enthusiasts will want the fresh fish option, such as the ikan pepes. Meanwhile, KOPI Bar is the more casual cafe side, with fresh pastries and coffee drinks to fuel anyone’s morning into the early afternoon.

Megan Benshalom

Havana Restaurant

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This Cuban restaurant is nestled on a busy restaurant strip in Walnut Creek, but worth stopping in for its puerco Cubano, a roasted pork shoulder, or the Chino-Cubano fried rice. The brunch menu gets playful, with a croque-monsieur and Cubano mashup called the Croque Cubano, and there’s a bottomless brunch drink options if that’s your thing.

Lita is one of the newer restaurant options in Walnut Creek, debuting in early 2022, and brings with it a fun, scene-y vibe that fits its Latin Caribbean cuisine and drinks. The lobster corn dog or the empanadas are a fun way to kick things off, food-wise, and the ancho chile coffee short ribs is worth considering if you’re staying for a meal. Grab a cocktail during happy hour (or, anytime really), such as the mangonada margarita, which comes with a chamoy and Tajin rim.

San Francisco Creamery

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Ice cream is the thing to get here at San Francisco Creamery, where the ice cream is all made in-house. Splurge on a brownie sundae if you can — or the Kitchen Sink, if you dare — or try the coffee cookie shake and ride that sugar high as long as you can. It’s also the spot for ice cream cakes, in case a special occasion requires a cake to match.

Rooftop Restaurant & Bar

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It’s pretty much impossible to hate a rooftop bar, and the appropriately named Rooftop Restaurant & Bar is no different, with its retractable roof and heaters for those nights when it’s a bit chilly. It can be a bit busier at night, with the locals wanting to enjoy those views of downtown Walnut Creek, but it’s worth dropping in if you’re looking for a nicer spot to eat and drink. Rock the small plate menu with some lettuce cups or go all-in with a ribeye if that’s what you’re feeling; meanwhile, the signature cocktail list is lengthy, but mules are the way to go with five different options to enjoy.

Va de Vi Bistro & Wine Bar

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This bistro/wine bar has been a longtime local favorite, with its extensive list of wine flights and evident sense of humor, as displayed on the lengthy wine menu. The menu is eclectic, running the gamut from Italian classics like risotto to customer favorites like lechon and Alaskan black cod in a soy glaze. If you’re in the mood for a more classic food pairing with wine, there are three cheese plates to choose from while enjoying a glass (or flight) of wine from Napa, Italy, France, Australia, or more. There’s also a cute patio in the back if you’re looking to sit outside.

Dianne de Guzman

Tiki Tom's

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The tiki vibe is alive and well here, if you’re looking to hole up in a stylized bamboo hut with a fruity beverage in hand. Keep in mind the colonial roots of the tiki bar movement as something to chew on during your next visit, but there can still be some appreciation for the style of drinks that have come out of tiki bars. Here, the Rhum Rum is a blend of rums and cognac, with pineapple, apricot, strawberry flavors, and the Dole Whip is perfect for those missing their Disneyland fix. There’s a food menu as well, with some smaller dishes of lumpia and bao, as well as a smash burger and ribs if you’re hungrier.

Tiki Tom’s

Morucci's Si Mangia Bene

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If you’re looking for a solid deli sandwich, Morucci’s is the local favorite with good reason. The sandwiches are generously stacked, there are solid breakfast items available, and there’s a smattering of salad options available if you’re looking to eat something healthier. The Popeye & Olive Oil is a nice vegetarian option that features a layer of the “secret” pesto spread, with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and spinach, but most go with the classic Italian sub with salami, coppa, mortadella, and provolone along with veggies and Italian dressing.

Calicraft Brewing Company

Calicraft has been pulling beers at its taproom since 2016, taking advantage of its spacious brewery with plenty of seating available, especially in the outdoor beer garden. It’s become a popular spot away from the busier downtown area, and a place to try some Calicraft beers that won’t be available at any nearby stores. Outside food is allowed, but there is pretty much a constant rotation of food trucks available to purchase food from as you sip your drink at the picnic table setups.

Calicraft

Parada

Parada is the Walnut Creek location of chef Carlos Altamirano’s group of Peruvian restaurants, including San Francisco’s Mochica and La Costanera in Half Moon Bay; but it’s still worth a mention as a casual dinner option in Walnut Creek. Try the cebiche mixto, an order of the yucca fries, or the pulpito a la parilla if you’re in the mood for octopus off the smaller bites menu, before branching out into the lomo saltado, adobo, or paella.

kibi's Cafe Walnut Creek

Kibi’s Cafe is a local favorite for its banh mi, becoming popular enough to warrant expanding into a second location, this time in Orinda. The secret is the house-made pickles, pate, and dipping sauces that infuse the sandwiches; go for the five-spice pork banh mi, and pick up some fresh summer rolls, which include three vegan options.

Montesacro Pinseria - Walnut Creek

Pinsa, the pizza-adjacent delight from Italy, is the dish that helped build the Montesacro name in San Francisco, but in its newer outpost in Walnut Creek, the restaurant has a few more dishes to attract diners. There are pasta options such as cacio e pepe, plus heartier dishes like the cast iron lamb chops to sink your teeth into. Meanwhile, the pleasant bar encourages diners to linger, with drinks such as the bergamot gimlet, made with Italicus Bergamot Liqueur, plus other aperitivi.

A plate of food from Montesacro in Walnut Creek, Calif. Albert Law

Katy's Kreek

If you’re a breakfast fiend, Katy’s is the place to go with its extensive eggs Benedict menu featuring everything from a Dungeness crab version to one with a corned beef hash. The omelettes are also worth a mention, as are the sandwiches, if you’re looking to go rogue from the egg options.

SanDai & KOPI Bar

Chef Nora Haron is sharing her love of Nusantara food through her two Walnut Creek operations, SanDai & KOPI Bar on North Main Street. SanDai is the more formal restaurant option, serving lunch, dinner, and brunch items made with Northern California produce. Diners would be wise to try one of the satay options and add on an order of the roti, but it’s hard to go wrong from there; vegetarians might want to check out the gado gado, while seafood enthusiasts will want the fresh fish option, such as the ikan pepes. Meanwhile, KOPI Bar is the more casual cafe side, with fresh pastries and coffee drinks to fuel anyone’s morning into the early afternoon.

Megan Benshalom

Havana Restaurant

This Cuban restaurant is nestled on a busy restaurant strip in Walnut Creek, but worth stopping in for its puerco Cubano, a roasted pork shoulder, or the Chino-Cubano fried rice. The brunch menu gets playful, with a croque-monsieur and Cubano mashup called the Croque Cubano, and there’s a bottomless brunch drink options if that’s your thing.

LITA

Lita is one of the newer restaurant options in Walnut Creek, debuting in early 2022, and brings with it a fun, scene-y vibe that fits its Latin Caribbean cuisine and drinks. The lobster corn dog or the empanadas are a fun way to kick things off, food-wise, and the ancho chile coffee short ribs is worth considering if you’re staying for a meal. Grab a cocktail during happy hour (or, anytime really), such as the mangonada margarita, which comes with a chamoy and Tajin rim.

San Francisco Creamery

Ice cream is the thing to get here at San Francisco Creamery, where the ice cream is all made in-house. Splurge on a brownie sundae if you can — or the Kitchen Sink, if you dare — or try the coffee cookie shake and ride that sugar high as long as you can. It’s also the spot for ice cream cakes, in case a special occasion requires a cake to match.

Rooftop Restaurant & Bar

It’s pretty much impossible to hate a rooftop bar, and the appropriately named Rooftop Restaurant & Bar is no different, with its retractable roof and heaters for those nights when it’s a bit chilly. It can be a bit busier at night, with the locals wanting to enjoy those views of downtown Walnut Creek, but it’s worth dropping in if you’re looking for a nicer spot to eat and drink. Rock the small plate menu with some lettuce cups or go all-in with a ribeye if that’s what you’re feeling; meanwhile, the signature cocktail list is lengthy, but mules are the way to go with five different options to enjoy.

Va de Vi Bistro & Wine Bar

This bistro/wine bar has been a longtime local favorite, with its extensive list of wine flights and evident sense of humor, as displayed on the lengthy wine menu. The menu is eclectic, running the gamut from Italian classics like risotto to customer favorites like lechon and Alaskan black cod in a soy glaze. If you’re in the mood for a more classic food pairing with wine, there are three cheese plates to choose from while enjoying a glass (or flight) of wine from Napa, Italy, France, Australia, or more. There’s also a cute patio in the back if you’re looking to sit outside.

Dianne de Guzman

Tiki Tom's

The tiki vibe is alive and well here, if you’re looking to hole up in a stylized bamboo hut with a fruity beverage in hand. Keep in mind the colonial roots of the tiki bar movement as something to chew on during your next visit, but there can still be some appreciation for the style of drinks that have come out of tiki bars. Here, the Rhum Rum is a blend of rums and cognac, with pineapple, apricot, strawberry flavors, and the Dole Whip is perfect for those missing their Disneyland fix. There’s a food menu as well, with some smaller dishes of lumpia and bao, as well as a smash burger and ribs if you’re hungrier.

Tiki Tom’s

Morucci's Si Mangia Bene

If you’re looking for a solid deli sandwich, Morucci’s is the local favorite with good reason. The sandwiches are generously stacked, there are solid breakfast items available, and there’s a smattering of salad options available if you’re looking to eat something healthier. The Popeye & Olive Oil is a nice vegetarian option that features a layer of the “secret” pesto spread, with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and spinach, but most go with the classic Italian sub with salami, coppa, mortadella, and provolone along with veggies and Italian dressing.

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